A Gentleman's Game

A Gentleman's Game

In this new musical, a piece which has flashes of The Picture of Dorian Gray crossed with psycho-dramatic elements of an Edgar Allen Poe ballad, a story of clandestine love, beauty and wealth is woven and dissected within the enclosed Edwardian drawing room that is the play's setting... 

The Ivor Novello Story (By Arrangement With Samuel French Ltd)

The Ivor Novello Story (By Arrangement With Samuel French Ltd)

Sometimes a little simplicity can go a long way in the theatre, and in this case, the title of this piece about the life of composer and performer Ivor Novello is very apt, as it really is a case of an interesting story being very well told... 

Promise and Promiscuity: A New Musical by Jane Austen and Penny Ashton

Promise and Promiscuity: A New Musical by Jane Austen and Penny Ashton

In the latest theatrical offering of a Jane Austen themed adaptation, this piece, which is billed as a new musical by Penny Ashton, interweaves thirty-three direct passages from Austen’s own novels, and seeks to amalgamate them in such a way so as to create a new narrative, headily replete with figures not out of place in either Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion or Northanger Abbey... 

How to Win Against History
BOBBY WINNER

How to Win Against History

On every front, this show is a winner. The writing is outstanding, the music is catchy, and the performances of each of the actors (including the pianist actor/musician) are faultless... 

A Streetcar Named Desire

A Streetcar Named Desire

Having previously seen an outstanding Georgian language version of George Orwell’s Animal Farm by the Tumanisvili Film Actors Theatre at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2014, in which the revolutionary themes were imbued with new significance, the company’s take on Tennessee Williams’ masterpiece, A Streetcar Named Desire, promises much... 

A Number by Caryl Churchill

A Number by Caryl Churchill

Caryl Churchill’s 2002 play about the ethics of genetic cloning and an extension of the well-worn ‘nature versus nurture’ debate is a challenging text for actors. With only two performers inhabiting the stage throughout, and with radical character differences having to be portrayed with immediacy following scene transitions, the text contains within it a natural intensity which is well realised by actors Charlie Randall and Tom Smythe of Gone Rogue Productions... 

Bouncers

Bouncers

John Godber’s fluid exploration of British society, drinking culture and nightlife in the 1980s is a fast-paced romp through fragments of characters’ lives, from upper-class champagne-quaffing, to alcohol-fuelled nights on the tiles, all under the supervision of the ever-present bouncers... 

Cradle King

Cradle King

In this one-performer play by writer Donald Smith, actor Robin Thomson plays King James – at once James VI of Scotland and James I of England. Set towards the end of his long reign, the piece is simultaneously an elucidation of the history of James himself, along with his views on his family, his thoughts on witches and his attitudes towards religion, as well as being a celebration of his patronage of The King’s Men, the title afforded to Shakespeare’s company during his time as monarch... 

Bubble Revolution

Bubble Revolution

George Orwell once wrote a fairy tale in order to avoid accusations of criticising reality. His novella Animal Farm, though ostensibly a warning against a particular brand of Stalinist communism, might also be read as the struggles of some pigs and other animals... 

The Giant's Loo Roll

The Giant's Loo Roll

Casting one’s mind over the great theatrical titles of our time, there are very few which can compete with the concept suggested by the name of this play by Tale Gate Theatre. Toilet humour has always been a reliable way to make children giggle, but this 45 minute piece covers more than that... 

Diary of a Madman

Diary of a Madman

The Edinburgh Fringe has recently seen a surge in theatrical adaptations of Nikolai Gogol’s short story Diary of a Madman. This very year, the Traverse Theatre is presenting a version currently playing to critical acclaim... 

Albatross

Albatross

Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Romantic poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner already exists as a work of enviable length. So it is quite something that writers Matthew Spangler and Benjamin Evett have managed to extend the tale of the mariner and the albatross further in this play of approximately ninety minutes... 

Growth

Growth

The stellar reputation of Paines Plough’s championing of new writing for the theatre means that each new offering is welcomed with a great deal of anticipation. Constantly hard-hitting, their offerings present fresh perspectives on contemporary issues voiced by some of the most exciting dramatic writers in the UK... 

Verge of Strife

Verge of Strife

Emerging in a Grecian breastplate of gold, to a poetic backdrop of Wilfred Owen’s Dulce et Decorum Est the stage is seemingly set for the presentation of a man whose view of himself is certainly not lacking in confidence, bordering on adulation... 

Für Elise

Für Elise

The female object of Beethoven’s widely known composition for solo piano is unknown, though in this devised production by the York Drama Soc, she is given form and identity as the love interest of an impoverished French mime artist, François... 

[Title of Show]

[Title of Show]

As cryptic as the title of this show may seem to be, its basic premise is established very early on. A sharply self-aware piece based upon the tribulations of writing a new musical, [title of show] wades through clichés, tableaus, references to a wide variety of other West End and Broadway productions which make it completely relatable to anybody already deeply immersed within the form – either as a fan or as someone with any experience of being involved with a musical... 

A Man Standing

A Man Standing

“You come in like a lion and you leave like a lamb”. This was just one of the marks left on the walls which met the eyes of Jean-Marc Mahy as he passed, under guard, along the corridors of his prison, in which he was to spend three years of his sentence in solitary confinement... 

Mercury Fur

Mercury Fur

In a dystopian London, in which the unseen outside world is ravaged by violence, drugs and fear, Mercury Fur focuses upon the relationship between two brothers and depicts, in characteristically graphic and unsettling ways, the lengths to which they would go to protect those whom they love... 

Northanger Abbey

Northanger Abbey

Jane Austen’s satirical novel, itself a pastiche of recognisable and well-worn tropes of the Gothic literary genre, is here given new life by company Box Tale Soup, consisting of performers Antonia Christophers and Noel Byrne... 

The Trial

The Trial

An expansive stage space is dominated by assorted wooden furniture, with some pieces decked out in opulent reds and golds. The contrast between the dilapidated scenery and the luxurious colours in which they are bathed confirms this adaptation of Franz Kafka’s The Trial as maintaining a relevance for rich and poor, young and old... 

The Blue Box: Memories of the Children of War

The Blue Box: Memories of the Children of War

A twelve-year-old girl writes a poem. With nobody to read it, and nobody to give it to, she stows it away in a hitherto unused blue box. Over the years, the box accumulates further texts and short stories about real people, which the girl, Emma Abdullah, has written... 

Love for Sale

Love for Sale

The title song, by Cole Porter, makes an appearance part way through the second half of this narrativised collection of numbers, and really speaks of the character’s ultimate state of mind as the consequence of a series of experiences following her move from America to Paris... 

Scorched

Scorched

The setting is intimate, and encroaching on the personal space of a frail man, in a battered armchair listening to the television (news of the Gulf War is on – the year is 1991) feels a little intrusive... 

Trust Me, I'm A Drama Teacher

Trust Me, I'm A Drama Teacher

Seemingly at the end of his tether, a teacher sits, tie loose, marking work, clearly frustrated to say the least. Describing himself as grumpy, sad, but creative, Rick Wood’s opening number of this new devised piece of beat poetry musical theatre establishes the fact that this will be a show replete with observational humour, centred around the working life of a drama teacher in a secondary comprehensive school... 

The Diary of Anne Frank

The Diary of Anne Frank

It is a story well-known to millions, made all the more poignant and absorbing for its absolute authenticity. Young Anne Frank (whose name is pleasingly pronounced here with regard for its German rather than British origin) wished “to go on living – even after my death” and thanks to the characterful vibrancy of this adaptation by many of the young Lambrook Theatre Company, the young writer is certainly imbued with a new lease of life... 

An Account of a Savage

An Account of a Savage

‘What does it mean to be a human?’Voiced explicitly at one moment during this equal parts captivating, inviting and horrifying production, the question of the very nature of humanity is wrestled with... 

An Evening with CS Lewis

An Evening with CS Lewis

The set-up is simple: an armchair, a side-table, and a teapot, cup, and saucer. As it should be, An Evening with C. S. Lewis is exactly that – no frills, no complications, just a complete reliance on the actor’s ability to hold an audience’s attention through his crafted delivery... 

At War With Love

At War With Love

Ambitious in its intentions, At War With Love uses a selection of thirty-two of William Shakespeare’s sonnets to form a narrative set against the backdrop of the First World War. What with the continuation of World War One commemorations taking place in this centenary anniversary year of the Battle of the Somme, tied to the events marking the four hundredth year since Shakespeare’s death, it would appear that the piece has chanced upon the perfect time to tie these two areas of literary and historical significance together... 

The Company of Wolves

The Company of Wolves

“Who’s afraid of the big, bad wolf?”Such is the musical refrain setting the playful, yet pervasively sinister, tone which permeates this piece from the outset. A devised adaptation of Angela Carter’s Gothic fairy-tale subversion, this reworking of The Company of Wolves skilfully negotiates a balance between retaining Carter’s own language, realising visually her symbolic use of colour, and introducing original set-pieces which delve deeper into the themes of transgression and predation established by the author... 

The Mission

The Mission

Set in 2057, a time not too far away from our own, The Mission charts the selection and preparation for an unprecedented space exploration by an unremarkable and apparently run-of-the-mill protagonist – Jenny... 

Over There

Over There

Mark Ravenhill’s play uses the metaphor of two brothers – twins – to represent the former partitioning of Germany into East and West during the time of the Berlin wall. One brother, Karl, lives with their ailing mother in the West, while Franz is in the East with their father... 

Jesus Camp: The Musical Comedy

Jesus Camp: The Musical Comedy

British Exist Theatre Company admit that they sometimes embrace challenging and provocative subjects. They’re not wrong. Their newly created musical, Jesus Camp: The Comedy Musical, exposes, challenges and satirises in no short measure the uniquely American phenomenon of vacation-time residential Christian camps... 

Albert Einstein: Relativitively Speaking

Albert Einstein: Relativitively Speaking

For many people today, their impression of Albert Einstein is quite possibly informed by the oft-seen image of his face: tongue sticking out – to all intents and purposes every bit the mad scientist... 

DNA

DNA

This young company from The Theatre School in Tunbridge Wells, Kent brings an array of engaging, emotional, and believable performances to Dennis Kelly’s gritty play. Charting the unlikely turmoil of a group of youths who find themselves in the midst of a terrible crime and their efforts to prove their innocence, DNA offers a glimpse of how a shared situation might bring disparate people together to achieve a common goal... 

The Great Downhill Journey of Little Tommy

The Great Downhill Journey of Little Tommy

Is this a music concert? Is it a piece of theatre? Can it be both? Might it be neither? These are the questions that may well fly around your mind after experiencing The Great Downhill Journey of Little Tommy... 

The Temptation of St Anthony

The Temptation of St Anthony

Welcome to the Edinburgh Spiritual Emergency Support Group. The name of this particular organisation is emblazoned on a board at the back of the stage and we feel as though we have entered a meeting with a peculiar twist on the format of Alcoholics Anonymous... 

Chopin's Last Tour

Chopin's Last Tour

Phillip Aughey’s favourite composer is the great pianist Frédéric Chopin and, having been present at a number of recitals of his work last year, he has been motivated to create this biographical piece... 

Iolite the Musical

Iolite the Musical

First things first, a notable mention must be awarded to the sterling efforts of the two-piece band. Charlotte Senescall on the piano gives a finely-tuned performance as she diligently follows the occasionally deviant timing of the singers... 

Secrets of Us

Secrets of Us

If ever there were a production which vociferously defends the ability of young people to make theatre with the impact of a professional standard (whatever that actually means) this is it... 

A Sudden Burst of Blinding Light

A Sudden Burst of Blinding Light

This piece of new writing from Ben Maier is the latest addition to the succession of plays at this year’s Fringe which in some way seek to deal with issues of mental health. On this occasion, the framework of a television gameshow is established from the outset and sets up an illusion of structure which, along with our reading of the characters, grows less certain as the work progresses... 

The Raven

The Raven

Edgar Allen Poe’s seminal poem, which charts the gradual descent into madness of a heartbroken lover compounded by the incessant repetitions of a talking bird, gives its name and themes to a newly devised piece by Bawsoot Theatre Company... 

1972: The Future of Sex

1972: The Future of Sex

Following The Wardrobe Ensemble’s previous creations, including the depicted opening of a Swedish furniture store (RIOT) and an account of the Chilean Mining Accident of 2010 (33), 1972: The Future of Sex offers a further platform to add to their eclectic portfolio of ingeniously devised work... 

Diary of a Madman

Diary of a Madman

Nikolai Gogol’s short story, formed of a series of diary entries, charts the descent into madness of an ordinary civil servant, whose observations on the power-holders within his experience appear to be the catalyst for his fall... 

Troublesome People by Jill Haas

Troublesome People by Jill Haas

The challenge for any writer tackling the well-worn topic of WWII is to find a particular niche or angle which has not previously been given adequate treatment. Jill Haas, in her exploration of the experiences of conscientious objectors and enemy civilians, has certainly hit upon such a point of departure... 

Letters to Aberlour

Letters to Aberlour

Ostensibly a community play, there can be little doubt that the impact of Letters to Aberlour will be most keenly felt by people from the area in which the play is set, and by those who have some connection to the real-life people upon whom the characters are based... 

Poppies

Poppies

A new musical set at the beginning of the First World War. Think you’ve seen it all before? Think again. Music Box Theatre has succeeded in capitalising on previously untapped perspectives while combining these with stunningly original music and performances of an all-round vibrancy from six actor-musicians... 

My Beautiful Black Dog

My Beautiful Black Dog

Billed as both musical theatre and performance art, the audience for Brigitte Aphrodite’s My Beautiful Black Dog, her autobiographical account of depression, is likely to bring varied expectations of what this piece will deliver... 

Naked Knotted Neurons

Naked Knotted Neurons

In this devised piece, the company from the University of Pennsylvania’s Theatre Arts Program set themselves an almighty challenge in terms of the subject matter they deal with (and all in less than an hour)... 

Baggage

Baggage

As theatrical metaphors go, the equating of psychological ‘baggage’ to physical suitcases is one of the more straight-forward examples, yet that is not to decry the effectiveness or necessary bluntness of the images thus created by the young Stage 32 company... 

Knowledge and a Girl

Knowledge and a Girl

It is not often that Howard Barker’s plays are produced in Britain (he is far more popular in Europe and America) in spite of his prodigious output and well-known name. Indeed, if you missed Blok/Eko at the Exeter Northcott (2011) or Scenes from an Execution at the National in London (2012) then this may well be the first opportunity for a while to see one of his works... 

Desperate Measures: Moonfleece

Desperate Measures: Moonfleece

Philip Ridley is often shocking, constantly provocative, and always thought-provoking. His play Moonfleece forms part of a sequence of works which aims to illuminate the difficulties faced by young people through the means of traditional storytelling and overtly theatrical conventions... 

Institute

Institute

Artistic Director of Gecko, Amit Lahav, revealed in conversation after this dynamic, forceful and moving performance that the initial stimulus for Institute had been an exploration of what it is to care for others and to be cared for... 

Touched by Fire

Touched by Fire

This is immersive theatre. But not as we know it. It promises much – Lord Byron is, after all, somewhat synonymous with extravagance, indulgence and excess – and we ought, therefore, to be treated to fifty minutes’ worth of opulence and pleasure... 

The Empire Builders

The Empire Builders

The absurdist mindset in The Empire Builders would suggest that any endeavour to find meaning in the play is inherently flawed, due to humanity’s inability to make sense of anything with total certainty... 

Jane Austen's Persuasion: A New Musical Drama

Jane Austen's Persuasion: A New Musical Drama

Though Jane Austen is undoubtedly one of Britain’s most prominent literary names, Persuasion is perhaps her least widely read work. It tells of Anne Elliot, her history of broken love and her hopes of reconciliation with Captain Wentworth...