Ireland, abortion and the eighth amendment with Yokes Night writer Scott Lyons

Ireland, abortion and the eighth amendment with Yokes Night writer Scott Lyons

SoHo Playhouse (New York) and Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2016 favourite Yokes Night electrified and shocked audiences with an anarchic misadventure of a night out in Dublin where an Irish law blunder resulted in a loophole where all drugs were legal for 24 hours... 

Lizzie

Lizzie

Whilst those accused of bloody murder over a century ago isn’t breaking new ground for a musical (think Jason Robert Brown’s Parade), this unusually grisly subject matter gets a highly original twist in its contemporary staging at Greenwich Theatre... 

La Voix: Red Hot Globe Trot

La Voix: Red Hot Globe Trot

The decadently French surroundings of the Crazy Coqs cabaret bar within the similarly lavish dining rooms of Brasserie Zédel in Soho play their part well in La Voix’s kick off to a tour around the UK and US that sees this multi-award-winning artist take on London, New York, San Francisco and, um, Richmond in North Yorkshire... 

The Adventures of Dick!

The Adventures of Dick!

When it comes to smutty seasonal fun, Stuart Saint and his team of cohorts are the authority.There may be no shortage of Christmas shows for the over 18's of late, but the crew over at Leicester Square Theatre are the ones raising the bar... 

A Fringe PokéFest

A Fringe PokéFest

Looking to catch ‘em all while in Edinburgh? Well you’re in luck. The festival is stuffed with PokeStops and Pidgeys. We run down what’s on offer at the main venues. 

Dick!

Dick!

Jim Davidson may be credited with inventing the adult panto (as early as 1999 with Boobs in the Wood), but perhaps we can now give Stuart Saint the accolade of perfecting it. Since Dick! – Saint’s fourth writing/directing Christmas stint at Leicester Square Theatre – takes all the glorious smut that has come before, gives it a right good polish and rams home a filth-fest of pure titillation... 

Worbey and Farrell's House Party

Worbey and Farrell's House Party

Ostensibly, Worbey and Farrell’s show is a piano recital. But it so much more than that. With the addition of the corniest jokes and literal bells and whistles, their performance strips away all the demure stuffiness associated with a concert and adds something rarely seen at these events... 

Reginald D Hunter

Reginald D Hunter

Reginald D. Hunter is going to have a great Edinburgh show. We know this because he’s already ironed out all the kinks in his performance at the Great Yorkshire Fringe.Yes, I know everyone heading north this August will be previewing their shows, but isn’t that better in a room above a pub rather than York’s largest Fringe space in front of an absolutely packed crowd?When Hunter is on form, he’s sublime... 

The Room : The Musical

The Room : The Musical

The Room is widely acknowledged to be one of the worst movies ever made. Full of plot cul-de-sacs, ridiculous dialog and even more questionable acting, it’s the creation of Tommy Wiseau... 

Edinburgh hit Shadow Boxing heads to London

Edinburgh hit Shadow Boxing heads to London

A smash at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe half a decade ago, Shadow Boxing heads to the Greenwich Theatre in London. 

Broadway Baby adopts the principles of the Theatre Charter

Broadway Baby adopts the principles of the Theatre Charter

The UK’s largest reviewer of live arts performance, Broadway Baby, has come out in support of the Theatre Charter – a campaign for good behaviour in UK theatres. 

Whatever Happened to LaLa Shockette - Icon of the 1980s!

Whatever Happened to LaLa Shockette - Icon of the 1980s!

If ever there was an appropriate time to say “I’ll have whatever she’s drinking”, it would be after watching the mini-tornado that is Lowri-Ann Richards perform her Edinburgh show, Whatever Happened to LaLa Shockette... 

Miss Hope Springs

Miss Hope Springs

The Boards at The Edinburgh Playhouse is one of those rooms playing host to Fringe performers that just exudes glamour. From the sumptuous seating to the eye-watering price for a bottle of lager, everything seems designed to remind you that this is a special night out... 

Freckled

Freckled

Even though the venue is a gay bar, the performer is a drag act and that act is a previous winner of the coveted national Drag Idol crown, Freckled isn’t a drag cabaret.No stranger to the drag circuit across the UK, Son of a Tutu’s regular show plays on her Nigerian roots as an illegal immigrant with one eye on the door in case the Border Agency are paying a visit... 

A Tranny On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown

A Tranny On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown

In arguably one of the most opulent rooms the Free Fringe has to offer, Mzz Kimberely takes to the stage wearing a figure-hugging honey-red gown plus feather fascinator and opens her set with a powerful and poignant rendition of Tahira Jumah’s Will the Real Me Please Stand Up... 

La Voix

La Voix

Since scooping the London Cabaret Award for best Drag Act last month, it's no longer obligatory to prefix La Voix's name with the qualifier 'Drag Idol Winner 2012'. For although I'm sure the lady herself will acknowledge the step up Drag Idol gave her career, La Voix is no longer just the best newcomer - she's the headliner... 

Elegies For Angels, Punks And Raging Queens

Elegies For Angels, Punks And Raging Queens

A show about a disparate group of people for whom the only common thread is their cause of death? Not your run-of-the-mill material for a song cycle, admittedly, but Elegies found its origins in the awe-inspiring NAMES Project AIDS Quilt, which serves as both memorial and celebration of the disease’s victims – over 94,000 as of 2012... 

Armada

Armada

Historical events make great musicals. Think Les Mis, Evita or Jesus Christ Superstar. Indeed, Sir Tim Rice once said the key to a great musical is a great story and you would have thought the 16th century naval war between England and Spain would be fertile ground for such a tale... 

Beulah

Beulah

Beulah is a new take on a musical. That's what you need to know, first and foremost. Beulah is a new take.Grab folk music, add a sprinkling of William Blake, a healthy dose of storytelling and some incredibly puppetry (that defies all the 'rules' of using puppets) and you'll be close... 

Joe Wilkinson: My Mum's Called Stella and My Dad's Called Brian

Joe Wilkinson: My Mum's Called Stella and My Dad's Called Brian

Joe Wilkinson comments wryly that the convention is for a stand-up's debut show to focus on what's happened in their life so far, but unfortunately nothing interesting has ever happened to him... 

Jimeoin - Lovely!

Jimeoin - Lovely!

Jimeoin is an act who I can always remember being at the Fringe and other comedy festivals, but have never got round to seeing. Well now I have and I kind of wished I hadn't. I'm positive he is or at least was brilliant, his live DVD is selling well, some of his routines I've seen in gala shows are wonderful, but from tonight's hour of stand up it seems he has lost the spark... 

Terrible Infants

Terrible Infants

Edinburgh is a great place to take risks on a show, but I’m sure we all also like to have a few safe-bets in our calendar to make sure a brief visit to the Fringe has some guaranteed high points... 

Dan Antopolski - Turn of the Century

Dan Antopolski - Turn of the Century

Last year, Dan Antopolski won the coveted accolade of ‘Best Joke’ at the Fringe ('hedgehogs: why can't they just share the hedge?') and he could easily be a contender again this year with any one of his pithy one-liners, which he intersperses with wry anecdotes that reveal his mildly subversive view of the world... 

Horne Section

Horne Section

The Horne section is a chaotic showcase of some of the Fringe’s finest comics, accompanied with flair by a group of jazz musicians, and presided over by the witty, affable, and understated Alex Horne... 

Richard Herring - Christ on a Bike: The Second Coming

Richard Herring - Christ on a Bike: The Second Coming

This year, Richard Herring is resurrecting his first ever one-man Fringe show, ‘Christ On A Bike’, which he performed in 2001. While re-hashing an old show might seem lazy, this is material that deserves as a second outing, and the riotous laughter of the packed-out crowd suggests it was a good move... 

WitTank

WitTank

It’s easy to enjoy watching Wit Tank when they are so clearly enjoying themselves, and their enthusiasm and commitment to their material is their greatest strength. This trio of up-and-coming young comedians inject their show full of energy and charm, wringing as much humour as possible from each line, and making one another corpse in a way that seems endearing rather than self-indulgent... 

Jump

Jump

There’s a professional gloss on Tank Production’s new musical, Jump, which should be reason enough to put it on your Festival consideration list. But combine that reason with a healthy collection of witty tunes, solid performances and some of the filthiest one-liners you’re going to hear at the Fringe, and I can see this show is going to be one of those that attract that sought-after marketing nirvana, Festival Buzz... 

Ups And Downs And Whoopsie Daisies

Ups And Downs And Whoopsie Daisies

A dance duet between an able bodied man and a significantly disabled woman could easily become a novelty act - and one that some will feel obliged to praise out of sympathy and others will guiltily shirk away from... 

The Bonnet Blue

The Bonnet Blue

To be fair, the programme and the press release had provided an “Artistic Health Warning” which pointed out that the 5633 Theatre Company accepted no responsibility for complete loss of faith in musical theatre resulting in attendance at their performance of The Bonnet Blue... 

Sleepwalk

Sleepwalk

Like any teenage boy, Dillon is angst-ridden. Unlike the majority, however, he carries a suicide note around in his pocket. In Sleepwalk, Dillon struggles with the inhabitants of his Id to figure out what makes life worth living... 

Guys and Dolls

Guys and Dolls

Merchiston Castle School and St George's School for Girls have collaborated to bring the classic stage and screen musical Guys and Dolls to Edinburgh. The story rotates around a band of petty criminals in New York... 

Golden Prospects

Golden Prospects

The Skullduggery Theatre company have put a new twist on the melodrama, for those, as they describe, who have a short attention span. Golden Prospects, currently playing at C Venues until the end of the month is a luscious frolic in the genre... 

Bad Play 3

Bad Play 3

Bad Play is almost becoming a permanent fixture on the Fringe, this being the fourth outing for this frenetically paced absurdist comedy.This time we're 1,000 years in the future, and humankind has predictably pretty much destroyed the planet and generally made a mess of things... 

John Laurie, Frazer & I

John Laurie, Frazer & I

Ian Watt's one-man show pays tribute to the acclaimed Scottish actor John Laurie. Laurie was probably most famous for his role as Frazer in Dad's Army, but as Watt is at pains to point out in his 50 minute monologue, that's not all you should remember him for... 

Catch-22

Catch-22

Please note the following important information for airmen wishing to avoid combat missions;One may only be excused from flying bombing missions on the grounds of insanity;One must assert one's insanity to be excused on this basis;One who requests to be excused is presumably in fear for his life... 

NewsRevue 24/7

NewsRevue 24/7

NewsRevue's show at the Fringe is predictably excellent. Given the benefit of their permanent run in London, and years of experience in Edinburgh, how could they possibly go wrong. At this point, the cynical amongst you may think I'd add some witty comment about how they've managed to bugger it up this year, but no - it's as irreverent and close-to-the-bone as ever... 

Halo Boy and the Village of Death

Halo Boy and the Village of Death

If you were to somehow strap Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas on the front of an Express Train going in one direction, and Sondheim's Into The Woods on a similar train heading right for it, the resulting aftermath might look an awful lot like Westminster School's new production called Halo Boy... 

Give Up! Start Over! (In the darkest of times I look to Richard Nixon for hope)

Give Up! Start Over! (In the darkest of times I look to Richard Nixon for hope)

Jessica Almasy is compulsive viewing, much like the material she delivers in her solo performance, Give Up! Start Over! (In the darkest of times I look to Richard Nixon for hope).This is a paranoid and schizophrenic look at reality, and in particular the reality that is presented through television... 

The Reduced Edinburgh Fringe Impro Show

The Reduced Edinburgh Fringe Impro Show

The Soap Kitchen have an act which will be familiar to anyone who's seen Who's Line Is It Anyway. The Reduced Edinburgh Fringe Impro Show takes its cues from the Fringe programme to create a series of games such as Stand Up, Sit, Lie Down and Human Puppets - most of which have appeared at one time or another on the TV show... 

Cabaret Decadanse

Cabaret Decadanse

If Jim Henson's Muppets were fused with the Kit Kat Club in hedonistic pre-War Berlin, it's kind of like the atmosphere painted by the French-Canadian production called Cabaret Decadanse currently at the Gilded Balloon... 

Zigger Zagger

Zigger Zagger

What seems like a brilliant night out at the Village Hall sadly doesn't cut it in the competitive world of the Fringe, and for this reason I think Sawston Players and Dramawise may be out of their depth in Edinburgh... 

Philip Pullman's I WAS A RAT

Philip Pullman's I WAS A RAT

Somewhere between Pinocchio, Oliver and Cinderella, Philip Pullman's I Was A Rat mixes traditional fairytale with contemporary ideas.With Princesses, cobblers, newspaper hacks and appropriately evil villains, this show has all the ingredients to enthral both adults and children alike... 

Hair

Hair

Hair is the ultimate hippy musical, featuring the now household-hits Aquarius, Good Morning Starshine and Let the Sunshine In. It was originally a reaction to the forced conscription in the Vietnam war, but has been used to great effect in recent years in a more contemporary fashion... 

Someone's Knocking At The Door

Someone's Knocking At The Door

Unexpected Company are an improv group from New England who specialise in a long-form technique they called The Morris. Long-form improv basically means they get one suggestion at the start, and run with it for half the show, then get an audience member on stage for a bit of public humiliation, get another suggestion and then run with that until the lights go off... 

Being Earnest, It's Rather Important

Being Earnest, It's Rather Important

The Shore Thing Youth Theatre have a decidedly slapstick view of Wilde's classic comedy-of-manners. Their production of Being Earnest, It's Rather Important sticks its tongue firmly in its cheek before taking several liberties with the original text... 

Beautiful Child

Beautiful Child

If your thirty year old son reveals to you that they have fallen in love with an eight year old, how would you deal with that? That is the question asked in Nicky Silver's darkly compelling Beautiful Child, which receives its UK premiere at the Fringe this year... 

LHO: Lee Harvey Oswald - The Musical

LHO: Lee Harvey Oswald - The Musical

When someone tells you their new musical is about the life of Kennedy's killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, it's practically impossible not to draw comparisons with Sondheim's Assassins. But where Assassins portrays Oswald as a victim who is ultimately manipulated by a hallucinatory figure, this new work depicts Oswald as a victim who is ultimately manipulated by a hallucinatory figure... 

Into The Woods

Into The Woods

Shrewsbury School must have nerves of steel. How else, then, could they possibly even attempt to stage a show as complicated as Sondheim's Into The Wood on the Fringe? But, it seems, folk from Shrewsbury don't do things by halves... 

Katzenjammer are Bitter & Sweet

Katzenjammer are Bitter & Sweet

Katzenjammer don’t fit into a Fringe category all that easily. Is it comedy, music or theatre? Maybe it’s all three. Regardless of the categorisation, the show is one of those surprising gems that the Fringe gives us an opportunity to see...