Pretty When I'm Drunk

Pretty When I'm Drunk

Pretty When I’m Drunk is a problematic production; it is a play that tries so hard to be funny, and to its credit the script has potential when it’s not stuck in knob gag mode: but its delivery, over-stylisation and stumbling plot stifle any impact that the the interesting concepts might have had... 

Swedenborg, the Devil and Me

Swedenborg, the Devil and Me

Gregory Akerman’s set is a slightly awkward one to review - nearly the entire thing is based around one terrible write up he received for one of his shows. The claim contained in the review was that Gregory Akerman, due to his lack of any ability as a stand up, was in fact both evil and the devil... 

The History Girls Present: A Summary of Things So Far

The History Girls Present: A Summary of Things So Far

The title of this show is a rather misleading one. Yes, this is an historical sketch show and yes this three handed comedy group are all female; unfortunately, due to the lack of breadth and diversity in the show, this far from provides a summary of things so far... 

One Man Lord of the Rings

One Man Lord of the Rings

First, a confession: I am a Lord of the Rings film fanatic, nay zealot. Yes, I have watched all three extended editions in one day, yes, I have watched all the bonus features on each one of them, and yes, I can do an utterly terrifying Gollum impression... 

Frisky & Mannish: Extra-Curricular Activities

Frisky & Mannish: Extra-Curricular Activities

The video that Frisky and Mannish play as the audience files in is marvellously appropriate; the pair are shown dominating BBC News 24, both as the stories and as the newsreaders. This conquest of popular culture is absolutely accurate both in general and within the show itself... 

Nina Conti: Dolly Mixtures

Nina Conti: Dolly Mixtures

As the title may suggest, comic ventriloquist Nina Conti’s new show Dolly Mixtures is a bit of a mixed bag; not in terms of the overall quality, which is excellent, nor in terms of the of the performance, which is superbly done, but instead because of the tone, which varies between the irreverent and the downright bleak... 

The Beta Males in... The Space Race

The Beta Males in... The Space Race

In a market saturated by sketch comedy, The Beta Males understand that something more is needed to entice the audience. Instead of a series of unrelated humour nuggets, these four performers choose a central theme each year and then create sketches that spider diagram out from the centre... 

Appointment With The Wicker Man

Appointment With The Wicker Man

The Loch Parry players have had a disaster: it is 24 hours until opening night and their lead of their upcoming musical extravaganza - The Wickerman - has disappeared. Luckily Finlay, the leader of the players, has sent to the metropolitan paradise of Glasgow and managed to nab a real life TV actor- Rory - from the famous Scottish cop show Bloodbeat to take his place... 

Scientist Turned Comedian: Tim Lee

Scientist Turned Comedian: Tim Lee

Tim Lee’s stand-up show is based around the premise that he was about to become a scientist but then, after receiving his PhD, decided to become a comedian. Although Lee is obviously an intelligent man, his dry, glacially slow humour leads to a very dull set... 

Greek Myths for Kids

Greek Myths for Kids

If I were choosing subject matter for a kids show, Greek Mythology wouldn’t be where I started; kids don’t have the best lot in these stories, being abandoned and even being sent off to be eaten by mythical beasts... 

Fascinating Aïda: Cheap Flights

Fascinating Aïda: Cheap Flights

If you know nothing of Fascinating Aïda, then you are the only one. Get on YouTube and watch Cheap Flights now; I’ll wait. You now understand what we’re dealing with. The three high class ladies, Dillie, Adele and Liza, are all absolute gems... 

Some Small Love Story

Some Small Love Story

Some Small Love Story, as the title may suggest, is a short, self-contained and in the end inconsequential story about love and loss, with some songs thrown in for good measure. Despite some excellent attempts by the actors to breathe life into it, the show is marred by the quality of its book... 

Humans v Nature: Engineering FTW

Humans v Nature: Engineering FTW

I hate to brag but as a species, we’re pretty brilliant. Not only because of our ability to perform physically as shown by the Olympics, or our ability to perform artistically as demonstrated by free improvised comedy at the Raddison (perhaps not) but because of our ability to invent things that break the shackles nature has put on us... 

EastEnd Cabaret: Notoriously Kinky

EastEnd Cabaret: Notoriously Kinky

The musical duo that make up EastEnd Cabaret look like they could have been dragged straight from a Berlin drag bar. Our chanteuse hostess Bernadette Byrne looks like a female Joel Grey, stretched through a mangle and doused with a serving of sexy; while her music slave, the half-man, half-woman Victor Victoria looks like the cross between a freak show and the Moulin Rouge... 

The Hurly Burly Show - Naughty But Nice!

The Hurly Burly Show - Naughty But Nice!

Burlesque loves its staples. Don’t get me wrong, The Hurly Burly Show does some things differently; however, the medium’s fundamentals remain intact: cheesy horns: check, nipple tassels: check, fan dances: check and semi-naked women; that deserves a rather large check thanks to the six Hurley Burley Girlies... 

Patrick Monahan - Hug Me I Feel Good

Patrick Monahan - Hug Me I Feel Good

The entrance of Patrick Monahan is an explosive one; the comedian subverts self-introduction by making sure everyone is comfortable with his touchy-feely comedy. When the suited Monahan erupts into the space, no one is safe; everyone at least receives a hand shake and at most is crowd surfed on... 

3rd Ring Out: The Emergency

3rd Ring Out: The Emergency

In a cargo crate at the end of Grassmarket, Metis Arts are rehearsing the future. The idea is an impressive piece of interactive theatre, supported by advanced technology, an intense situation and a strategy board... 

Slavery to Star Trek

Slavery to Star Trek

The premise of Slavery to Star Trek is a strange one. It feels less like a piece of theatre and more like listening to a grandmother talk about her photo album. I suppose that is because that is what it is, simply without the photo album... 

Steve Hall's Very Still Life

Steve Hall's Very Still Life

Steve Hall, part of the sketch comedy show We are Klang, is an appealing comic. Back in the Fringe for the first time since 2008, the way he shambles on stage he seems like a normal and lovely guy... 

Arabian Nights

Arabian Nights

Oh the Arabian Nights, it is almost impossible to do anything this clichéd without filling it with belly dancers, turbans and fezzes. This production is no different. The musical show by Yvonne Arnaud Youth Theatre is filled with great performances but unfortunately is marred by the quality of its book... 

Double Act

Double Act

The comedy double act is as old as theatre itself. It is a style that comes down to us from the Greeks and is as strong today as it ever was. Double Act attempts to take a look at the pressures of involvement in one of these popular acts... 

You Want Me To Do What?!

You Want Me To Do What?!

In my opinion medical professionals should stop making musical one-woman shows at the Fringe. I had thought that You Want Me to Do What? might change that opinion. I was sadly mistaken... 

Dust

Dust

Dust is a show with a message. I think it would have been impossible to notice that fact given the heavy hand with which it is executed. Underneath this, however, is a well put-together show with strong performances, great blocking and an excellently executed script... 

Nathan Cassidy: Fantastica!

Nathan Cassidy: Fantastica!

Nathan Cassidy’s Fantasica had an interesting premise. The material that Cassidy has created for this year’s show is based around a lie that he told about one of his classmates in school... 

Tiernan Douieb vs the World

Tiernan Douieb vs the World

Tiernan Douieb is an interesting comedian. The comedy he creates is the kind of happy and good natured political conversation you would hear at your local pub. His humour is both safe and friendly... 

The Wheel

The Wheel

The National Theatre of Scotland has one of the most recognisable names at the Fringe. This position puts a heavily critical eye over every show they bring to the festival. One of their plays this year, The Wheel, has brilliant elements throughout the show... 

End of the Line

End of the Line

The last year has not been a good time to live in Ireland. In fact, with the debt crisis, the housing crisis and the unemployment crisis, you could probably describe it as a crisis... 

The Suitcase Royale in Zombatland

The Suitcase Royale in Zombatland

Watching The Suitcase Royale was a special experience. I’m not convinced I have the words to describe it. Instead I’m going to mention out of context some of things that were included in this show: a giant zombie wombat obsessed with creating a spa; a bazooka that shoots crumpets; a puppet zombie wombat that beats up its cricket instructor with a bat; an emergency banjo; and an entrance to an evil lair situated between a bearded woman’s legs... 

Gogol's 'The Portrait'

Gogol's 'The Portrait'

Attempting to adapt a Russian short story as strange as The Portrait was always going to be a difficult task for The Newbury Youth Theatre. The show follows a demonic portrait as it changes hands and causes the death of everyone who possesses it... 

Darkness

Darkness

The pedigree of Darkness was obvious, having been written by previous Fringe First winner Jonathan Lichtenstein. Unfortunately this production, from script down to simple blocking, was more than a massive disappointment... 

The Last Five Years

The Last Five Years

The Last Five Years by Jason Robert Brown is one of those shows talked about by Musical aficionados across the world. It is one of those musicals that show up in every community theatre in the country... 

Belt Up's Outland
BOBBY WINNER

Belt Up's Outland

The works of Lewis Carroll are some of most overused in all of the arts. Just take a glance at the Fringe guide this year. Nearly every theatre company assumes that they can do something new, fun and interesting with the nonsense poet’s work, and most of the time they simply don’t hit the mark... 

Those Magnificent Men

Those Magnificent Men

It may not surprise you to learn that Those Magnificent Men shares a framing device with the film that shares half of its name. The story is based on the real-life race to achieve the first non-stop flight across the Atlantic, spurred on by a £10,000 prize offered by the founder of the Daily Mail... 

The Baby Diary

The Baby Diary

The Baby Diary, a new comic play by Emily Watson Howes first seen on BBC Online, seems to have a lot going for it at first. Watson Howes has a brilliant pedigree, with a selection of high-starred reviews and sell out runs for the Umbrella Birds... 

Absolutely Amazing Adventures of the Singing Acupuncturist - Free

Absolutely Amazing Adventures of the Singing Acupuncturist - Free

It isn’t often as a reviewer that you come across a show with absolutely no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Unfortunately, the Singing Acupuncturist was among them. This show, from planning to execution, was abysmal and close to unwatchable... 

One Fine Day

One Fine Day

A one-man show is a terrifying prospect for any actor. You alone have to fill the space with interesting personalities and your actions, all of which are being scrutinised by every eye in the audience...