The Girl with the Hurricane Hands (and Other Short Tales of Woe)

The Girl with the Hurricane Hands (and Other Short Tales of Woe)

Each of the short – but far from woeful – tales in this half-hour collection (from Bristol University and National Youth Theatre) have concepts that could be summed up in one line: a girl whose eyes are celestial telescopes; a boy who turns out to be a humanoid tea-bag; another boy who is half-sofa... 

​Will Pickvance, Piano Whisperer, on the Anatomy of the Piano (for Beginners)

​Will Pickvance, Piano Whisperer, on the Anatomy of the Piano (for Beginners)

Will Pickvance returns to the Fringe this year with his whimsical Anatomy of the Piano (for Beginners), an anatomical lecture about the piano. Children’s Correspondent Tom Moyser met him to find out more about this prolific and unique species, piano-forte. 

A Tale of Two Cities: Blood for Blood

A Tale of Two Cities: Blood for Blood

A Tale of Two Cities: Blood for Blood is neither the best of times, nor the worst of times, but over a ninety-minute running time it is a something of an odd construction. There is no extra blood (in fact, much less than the book) and even the two cities themselves seem reduced in status... 

Us/Them's Carly Wijs & Gytha Parmentier are Talking Terrorism to Children at Summerhall

Us/Them's Carly Wijs & Gytha Parmentier are Talking Terrorism to Children at Summerhall

Us/Them, a family dance show about terrorism, has been one of the surprise hits of this year’s Edinburgh Fringe. Children’s Correspondent Tom Moyser met its writer and director Carly Wijs, with performers Gytha Parmentier and Roman Van Houtven, to get the inside story of its development; and to discuss the ways that theatre can engage children with challenging and controversial subjects. 

Breakfast Plays: Tech Will Tear Us Apart (?)

Breakfast Plays: Tech Will Tear Us Apart (?)

The Traverse’s Breakfast Plays series is an intriguing prospect: four plays on the same theme by their Associate Artists, presented as script-in-hand rehearsed readings at 9am each day, along with breakfast... 

Droll

Droll

Drolls, Brice Stratford tells us in the show’s scholarly introduction, were originally performed by half-drunk actors in covert locations on raucous evenings during the Puritan Interregnum... 

Andrew Roberts & Josh Mathieson are Dealing with Death in Children's Theatre

Andrew Roberts & Josh Mathieson are Dealing with Death in Children's Theatre

The Many Doors of Frank Feelbad is a brave and engaging work about how children and families process and communicate grief. Children’s Correspondent Tom Moyser met writer/actor Andrew Roberts and his co-star Josh Mathieson to discover how children’s theatre can be used to start conversations that some school curriculums are shying away from. 

Sun, Chen-Chieh on Inspiring Children to Becoming Puppeteers

Sun, Chen-Chieh on Inspiring Children to Becoming Puppeteers

The Adventure of Puppets charts the voyage of two explorers as they venture into the unknown. After fifteen years of touring it comes to the Edinburgh Fringe as part of the Taiwan Season... 

The Castle Builder

The Castle Builder

With the feel of an interactive workshop rather than a theatrical ‘show’, The Castle Builder is a lo-fi exploration of outsider art that alternates between informal lecture and untidy pop concert... 

​Paines Plough’s James Grieve & Remy Beasley on the Magic of Theatre for Teens

​Paines Plough’s James Grieve & Remy Beasley on the Magic of Theatre for Teens

I Got Superpowers for my Birthday by Katie Douglas is an action-packed fantasy adventure about the pains of growing up and learning you can shoot fire from your fingertips. Broadway Baby Children’s Correspondent Tom Moyser met actor Remy Beasley and Paines Plough’s artistic director James Grieve to discuss the power and responsibility of making theatre for teenagers. 

The Ruby in the Smoke Team on Working with Philip Pullman

The Ruby in the Smoke Team on Working with Philip Pullman

Philip Pullman’s The Ruby in the Smoke sees the author’s Victorian mystery novel come to the stage for the first time. Broadway Baby Children’s Correspondent Tom Moyser met writer-director Madeleine Perham, producer Madeleine Golding and lead actor Rebecca Lenihan to discuss Pullman, skirt-hoiking and why it is so important to have the right hats. 

4D Cinema

4D Cinema

In 1923, Marlene Dietrich made the transition from stage to cinema through a bit part in German silent comedy The Little Napoleon. Ninety-three years later, Mamoru Iriguchi delivers a monologue about Dietrich’s life, with a projector screen around his head... 

Ghost Quartet

Ghost Quartet

“Side One. Track One. ‘I Don’t Know’.” So starts Ghost Quartet, a spellbinding song cycle-come-musical that mixes an intricate multi-instrumental score, live instrumental sound effects and rich, chestnutty vocals... 

​Riverdance’s Suzanne Cleary & Peter Harding on Creating New Dance Traditions

​Riverdance’s Suzanne Cleary & Peter Harding on Creating New Dance Traditions

Into the Water is a fantastical folk-dance adventure set in a magical wasteland. Broadway Baby Children’s Correspondent Tom Moyser met dancers Suzanne Cleary and Peter Harding to discuss breaking and making Irish dancing traditions, Nordic folklore and bear-head masks. 

Boris: World King

Boris: World King

A lot has happened to Boris Johnson since Boris: World King’s runaway success at last year’s Fringe. None of it has slowed down his onstage imitator David Benson, who returns more brash, more bombastic and as bicycled as ever... 

Ubu on the Table

Ubu on the Table

La Pire Espèce have been rummaging in the cupboards: in Ubu on the Table coffee pots, cutlery, a glass jug and drawers full of unassuming objects populate the cast in an energetic object theatre version of Alfred Jarry’s late nineteenth century surreal tragedy Ubu Roi... 

I'm Not Here Right Now

I'm Not Here Right Now

How do we choose what we believe? Do we believe what we see with our eyes? Or do we believe what others find believable? What happens when these two things contradict one another? This is the intriguing dilemma at the heart of Thomas Eccleshare’s new play, about a scientist’s reflections on a strange encounter on a snowy, wind-swept night, the only explanation of which tests the limits of her credibility and sanity... 

A String Section

A String Section

Here is what happens in A String Section: five women cut the legs off the chairs on which they are sitting. In most fundamental ways, it does not do anything more or less than this premise... 

“We can be anything behind the puppet” - Puppetry Panel with Les Enfants Terribles, Puppet Soup and Smoking Apples

“We can be anything behind the puppet” - Puppetry Panel with Les Enfants Terribles, Puppet Soup and Smoking Apples

This year's Fringe - both in the children's and adults' sections of the programme - is full of innovative and exciting puppet shows. Broadway Baby’s puppet panel includes some of the creators behind three of them - Fiona Porritt from Les Enfants Terribles, Cass Gastaldon from Puppet Soup, and Molly Freeman from Smoking Apples - as well as Cariad Astles, an international expert on puppetry... 

'Wreaking havoc on the interactive whiteboard' - Richard O'Brien's Free For All

'Wreaking havoc on the interactive whiteboard' - Richard O'Brien's Free For All

Richard O'Brien is the author of several plays and four books of poetry. His new verse drama, Free For All, is part of a research project at the University of Birmingham. His friend – and Broadway Baby features writer – Tom Moyser spoke to him about prosody, politics and posture. 

Squish Squared

Squish Squared

Guided by the contours and movements of squash and the confining size and layout of a squash court, Squish Squared is a unique and searching dance sequence that invites some fascinating questions about the relationship between dance and sport... 

Gomaar Trilogy

Gomaar Trilogy

The Gomaar Trilogy has stylish puppetry and heartfelt sincerity – but its confident aesthetic fails to enliven a tired story of a male artist trying to accommodate his creative impulses in an indifferent universe... 

Fraxi Queen of the Forest

Fraxi Queen of the Forest

Fraxi Queen of the Forest is a pageant for children about ash dieback. Let that roll around in your head for a minute. A pageant – dancing, bright costumes, allegorical plot – about ash dieback – the disease that kills ash trees and that is usually the concern of ecology experts and land managers... 

Dickens Quiz with the cast of Dickens Abridged

Dickens Quiz with the cast of Dickens Abridged

Dickens Abridged, a fast-paced musical romp through Charles Dickens's life and works, has been entertaining audiences in Edinburgh and beyond for the last eight years. It was written by The Reduced Shakespeare Company's Adam Long and features scores of Dickens's best loved stories, characters and, of course, deaths... 

Clout Theatre, Superbolt Theatre and Tooth+Nail: The Lecoq Theatre Panel

Clout Theatre, Superbolt Theatre and Tooth+Nail: The Lecoq Theatre Panel

L'École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris is one of the world's most influential theatre schools. Lecoq-trained companies, or those inspired by Lecoq's style of movement and play, are staples of fringe theatre both in Edinburgh and elsewhere... 

Robin Ince's Reality Tunnel

Robin Ince's Reality Tunnel

“The thing I was going to show you – well there’s a few things to show you – but I want to tell you something else first,” says Robin Ince some time into this intellectual whirlwind of a show... 

Taiwan Season: The Paper Play

Taiwan Season: The Paper Play

This charming double bill from Puppets Being Theatre uses poise and precision to bring to life ingenious paper creations. Running as part of Edinburgh Fringe’s Taiwan season, The Paper Play is almost entirely nonverbal, making it accessible for children of all ages and languages... 

Bobalong

Bobalong

Amiable hosts Dingo (Joshan Chana) and Dog (Thomas Fraser) present surreal sketches and storytelling in this enjoyable and inventive show that will sometimes be lost on younger audience members... 

Colors

Colors

Kurage Theatre’s innovative theatre show is a song, dance and drama spectacular. The children in the audience are enthralled by an explosion of colour and movement.Colors’ ingenious conceit is to bring each colour of an artist’s palette – red, green, blue, black and yellow – to life... 

The Jabberwocky

The Jabberwocky

In this marvellous production from UCLU Runaground, the creatures from Lewis Carroll’s classic poem become metaphors for the inner demons a young boy must fight as he learns to cope with a parent’s illness... 

Back to Blackbrick

Back to Blackbrick

Sarah Moore Fitzgerald’s much-loved Young Adult novel Back to Blackbrick is adapted in a technically ambitious production from Patch of Blue. This story of memory, history and coping with loss is a triumph in style and execution, though it lacks something in the substance of its narrative... 

'39 Steps meets Naked Gun but for children' - Adapting the Falcon’s Malteser for the Fringe

'39 Steps meets Naked Gun but for children' - Adapting the Falcon’s Malteser for the Fringe

The Falcon’s Malteser is the story of private detective Tim Diamond and his younger brother Nick becoming embroiled in a malteser-related mystery. New Old Friends bring their adaptation of Anthony Horowitz’s novel to the Edinburgh Fringe... 

Jack and Molly and the Beanstalk

Jack and Molly and the Beanstalk

We all know the story of Jack and the Beanstalk – or at least, think we do. C Theatre’s likeable production gives us a feminist take on the story, in which the Scottish fairytale character Molly Whuppie takes charge and surpasses the heroism of the traditional male lead... 

City of the Dead Haunted Graveyard Tour

City of the Dead Haunted Graveyard Tour

Edinburgh’s City of the Dead tour company guide fringe audiences along their graveyard route. In doing so, they take us on a journey that shows us the world in a handful of soil; and inform us that the soil is two percent dead body... 

How to Co-Star with a Robot - Interview with Spillikin’s Helen Ryan, Jon Welch and Jude Munder

How to Co-Star with a Robot - Interview with Spillikin’s Helen Ryan, Jon Welch and Jude Munder

Pipeline Theatre’s Spillikin is the moving story of an Alzheimer’s sufferer who is kept company by a robot made and programmed by her robotics-obsessed husband. Tom Moyser spoke to Director and Writer Jon Welch, Co-designer Jude Munden and BAFTA-nominated lead actor Helen Ryan about Alzheimer’s, AI and hologram Hamlets... 

Ethical Quandires and Sequin Jackets: Tonight with Donny Stixx's David Mercatali and Sean Michael Verey

Ethical Quandires and Sequin Jackets: Tonight with Donny Stixx's David Mercatali and Sean Michael Verey

In their companion piece to 2013’s Fringe First Award-winning Dark Vanilla Jungle, writer Philip Ridley and director David Mercatali tell the story of Donny, a boy who has committed a shocking and terrible crime... 

A Midsummer Night's Dream

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Picture this. A man and a puppet are fighting whilst the man operates the puppet. The man and the puppet are shouting lines from Shakespeare. Their shouts declare love for another puppet and admonishments to each other... 

Yianni in Think Big (The Big One)

Yianni in Think Big (The Big One)

In his hugely popular free show Think Big, Yianni sets out his ambition to sell-out the biggest venue at the Fringe, have Michael 'HackIntyre' open for him and to enter the stage 'down a death slide into a pile of £50 notes'... 

Polly Toynbee: Reasons to Be Cheerful

Polly Toynbee: Reasons to Be Cheerful

'Look, I'm really sorry for this but we've got you here under false pretences,' says Polly Toynbee at the start of her talk with David Walker. The co-authors of The Verdict (on Labour's governance) and Dogma And Disarray (on the coalition) have racked their brains but not found any reasons to be cheerful... 

Adventures On Air – Free!

Adventures On Air – Free!

Ever wondered what radio DJs chat about when they're off-air? No, me neither - but it turns out the topic provides a wealth of material for James Cook's one-man show about the trials, tribulations and toilet humour of being a local commercial radio presenter... 

Childrens' Haunted Underground Tour

Childrens' Haunted Underground Tour

Every day in Edinburgh, a group of children and adults disappear into a haunted layer within South Bridge, enveloped in the crevasses of the city. Within they discover a small slice of its history, brought to them in a few dank chambers, through the medium of storytelling... 

Chris Mullin – A Walk On Part

Chris Mullin – A Walk On Part

At the start of this show former Labour minister Chris Mullin claims that his memoirs chart 'the entire rise and fall of New Labour from John Smith's death in 1994 to Gordon Brown leaving office in 2010'... 

Phil Wang: Anti-Hero

Phil Wang: Anti-Hero

On entering his small room at Pleasance for his first full-hour stand-up set Phil Wang promises us two things: that this set will get rather blue around the middle and that it will get much stranger towards the end... 

Godspell

Godspell

The second production of Godspell to grace the stages of the American High School Theatre Festival this Fringe - from St Luke's School in Connecticut - is a skilfully directed spectacle that showcases very well the ability and energy of its young cast... 

Magpie & Stump Are Chairman Lmao and the Lolitburo

Magpie & Stump Are Chairman Lmao and the Lolitburo

'We're from Trinity College Cambridge', says Harriet Cartledge, introducing herself, three other comedians (John Howe, Vishal Patil and Ken Cheng) and their stuffed Magpie. Not so much a comedy collective as a University Challenge team – even including the mascot – Magpie & Stump are Cambridge's oldest comedy society... 

The Dragon and George

The Dragon and George

There is no dragon in The Dragon and George. There is a character named Sir Dra'gon. Yet I don't think this quite fulfils the promise of the show's title. Nor does this production, from elite private school Milton Abbey, really fulfil the promise it makes to students and parents of giving its young cast a meaningful experience of the Edinburgh Fringe... 

I Believe in Unicorns by Michael Morpurgo

I Believe in Unicorns by Michael Morpurgo

I Believe in Unicorns immediately invites us into its world. We are in a village and, as we know, that village is rebuilding its library. The children have been asked to bring books for a book-swap and these instantly become returned library books, joining the piles and piles of children's books that make up Kate Bunce's exquisitely designed set... 

Claudia O'Doherty: Pioneer

Claudia O'Doherty: Pioneer

'I got a lot of money from the electronics company Pioneer to put on a massive show!' shouts Claudia O'Doherty, as the word 'Pioneer' rises from screens both behind and in front of her... 

The  Red Tree

The Red Tree

The Red Tree might be the most stylistically challenging piece of children's theatre at this year's Edinburgh Fringe. The roots of the piece exist in Shaun Tan's children's book of the same name, while the physical theatre provides a strong trunk, from which branches and buds of all kinds of exquisite details and devices shoot... 

Bridget Christie - A Bic for Her

Bridget Christie - A Bic for Her

'There's a time and a place for that', says Bridget Christie of serious political talk about feminism, 'and eleven in the morning in a comedy show is not it'. Yet here we are, hearing an impassioned and persuasive polemic on just that topic, at eleven in the morning, in a show whose sense of comedy is deeply ingrained in its politics: thoughtful, subversive and urgent... 

Inspector Norse

Inspector Norse

For the most part, Inspector Norse is a traditional detective farce: plenty of awful puns, stereotyped characters and of nods to the Nordic crime dramas - most obviously The Killing - that it sends up... 

Pigeon English

Pigeon English

Gbolahan Obisesan's adaptation of Stephen Kelman's novel Pigeon English has a lot of big names behind it: a popular novel and school classroom-reader; an acclaimed playwright; and perhaps the country's two best known youth companies: Bristol Old Vic Young Company and National Youth Theatre... 

Austentatious: An Improvised Jane Austen Novel

Austentatious: An Improvised Jane Austen Novel

Commercially, Austentatious is perhaps one of the easiest sells on the Free Fringe: a popular and intensely loved literary brand – Austen – combined with the most crowd-pleasing of comedy styles – long-form improv... 

Howard Read: Hide and Speak

Howard Read: Hide and Speak

Howard Read, the creator of the six-year old stand-up comedian and CBBC sensation Little Howard, leads a double life. In the daytime he's a children's entertainer; by night, the ring-leader of a very strange circus, featuring two chickens, a dinosaur, some monkeys, a Neanderthal, several unlikeable snowmen, Little Howard, a pigeon and God... 

Chilly Gonzales

Chilly Gonzales

Halátnost, the Russian word that literally translates as ‘dressing gown-ness’, has finally found its English, or more accurately Canadian, equivalent. Upon arriving in dressing gown and slippers, Chilly Gonzales practically pirouettes his way through four pieces from his new album ‘Solo Piano II’ straight off the top of the set... 

Newcastle University Comedy Society Showcase / PBH's Free Fringe

Newcastle University Comedy Society Showcase / PBH's Free Fringe

‘I was going to have a cucumber down my pants’ says compere Marc Smethurst, removing a cucumber from his pants, ‘but there’s a reviewer in tonight.’ It was a theme that dominated the final performances of four talented comics from Newcastle University, whose plans of games and gimmicks were abandoned in favour of a straighter rendition of their nightly material... 

Subliminal Nonsense

Subliminal Nonsense

Milk is a graduate with a degree in advertising. He makes his living in the tea-making production line with his friends Tea, Water and Sugar. One day a man from upstairs gives him the job of his dreams, and of his qualification: to work in the advertising department, selling tea to the masses... 

The Musicians

The Musicians

This production of Patrick Marber’s The Magicians shows huge amounts of effort and creativity on the part of its young cast from the sixth form of Taunton School, and is never without some charm... 

Bec Hill is More Afraid of You Than You Are of Her!

Bec Hill is More Afraid of You Than You Are of Her!

A man in the front row at Bec Hill’s show accuses her of being the worst comedian he’s ever seen. He launches into a cascade of heckles that meet the approval of the sour-faced, dead-eyed line-up next to him... 

Domestic Science

Domestic Science

Domestic Science is a complex but perfectly balanced equation. Helen Arney and Rob Wells are a real-life couple who met when they both did spots in a Robin Ince science comedy showcase in the same room - the basement of The Canon’s Gait - at the Fringe a year ago... 

King Creosote

King Creosote

King Creosote’s iron-clad strengths are his songwriting - whimsical and understated - and his voice - fragile and melodic. Amongst the big band set at The Queen’s Hall this evening neither were allowed to shine as often as they wanted to, rusted amongst a soaring indie-rock sound that lost articulation of voice and instrument in favour of big world-crunching noise... 

Black Country Cider Lions - Free

Black Country Cider Lions - Free

The Black Country Cider Lions’ compere Rob Kemp reminds us near the start of the gig that the room we are in is bespoke. It didn’t exist two weeks ago and may never exist again... 

School of Comedy

School of Comedy

In Shakespeare’s Hamlet the players are driven to Elsinore by a company of child actors who have commandeered the urban stages. I know how they feel. School of Comedy are outrageously popular with the crowd who roar with laughter, their volume in inverse proportion to the age of the child involved... 

Peep

Peep

Performed in a specially made box inspired by the darkened booths of Victorian peep shows, Peep presents one of three short plays about sex and eroticism, depending on the time of day you come to take a peek... 

The Comedy Manifesto

The Comedy Manifesto

From the moment the host of The Comedy Manifesto Kate Smurthwaite gives the audience the power to award points via heckling and gestures towards the Mussolini quote that the restaurant owner has chosen to decorate the wall with to get us all into the dictatorial spirit, we know it will be a lot of fun... 

Horrible Histories - Barmy Britain

Horrible Histories - Barmy Britain

Have you ever a heard a room containing hundreds of children fall completely pin-drop silent? And if so, did that silence result from the listing of statistical, historical facts? It’s a rare thing to move from grotesque comedy to heart-breaking tragedy, or indeed to find tragedy nestled in an Apprentice parody within a family theatre show... 

Sarah Jones: Does Not Play Well With Others

Sarah Jones: Does Not Play Well With Others

If there’s one near-forgotten art form due for a revival – along with storytelling and morris dancing – it’s surely ventriloquism. At least, it is difficult not to be convinced by this fact after an hour in the company of Sarah Jones, a ventriloquist who mixes modern sensibilities, sophisticated meta-comedy and ingenious classical awareness to create a very childish show aimed squarely at an adult audience... 

The Madness of King Lear

The Madness of King Lear

Were I a paying customer in the audience of The Madness of King Lear, I would have walked out when Lear - Leofric Kingford-Smith – began his imitation of Rammstein using Shakespearean script, sub-basement growls, and industrial metal backing music... 

Nick Cope: Family Songs and Music

Nick Cope: Family Songs and Music

Nick Cope is the children’s singer-songwriter who brings acoustic, folky indie rock to the under-fives. Horn-rimmed, skinny-jeaned and silver-haired, he cuts a figure somewhere between Paul Weller and a mature Graham Coxon... 

The Music Box

The Music Box

The Music Box, a new play by Cambridge University’s Emma Stirling is not only bad, but bad for theatre. It’s a pale-faced, meaning-drained zombie of a production, pretentious in its delivery, lacklustre in its aims, and dull in its absurdity... 

The Magician's Daughter

The Magician's Daughter

On paper The Magician’s Daughter could be one of the best shows of this year’s Fringe: a sequel to The Tempest, written by legendary children’s author Michael Rosen, including live action, puppetry and production values that are not only high but stratospheric... 

Rua Macmillan Trio

Rua Macmillan Trio

In Madame Blavatsky’s ‘The Ensouled Violin’ Giuseppe Tartini’s demonic fiddle-playing is the result of a pact with the devil. At his best Rau MacMillan is a violinist of exceptional virtuosity, as if the devil Robert Burns so often meets on the moors of Scotland were dangling under his bowstrings as he creeps through over an hour of Scottish folk... 

Nicholas Parsons' Happy Hour

Nicholas Parsons' Happy Hour

Nicholas Parsons’ Happy Hour is like a dusty old set of furniture in a stately home. It’s grand and charming, but old-fashioned and wooden: preserved as a relic of times-gone-by, unchanging and nostalgic... 

Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night

Twelfth night is a time of chaos, mess and topsy-turvy. So Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night should be similarly carnivalesque, a play particularly unsuited for the historically anomalous approach of on-script, stony faced adaptation... 

Mark Grist - Rogue Teacher

Mark Grist - Rogue Teacher

There are few performers humble, subtle and versatile enough to not only survive the avalanche of churnalistic pulp – that is to say, newspaper articles ripped from press releases – to which Mark Grist has been subjected, but to emerge the other side seeming more human for it... 

Aaaand Now for Something Completely Improvised - Free

Aaaand Now for Something Completely Improvised - Free

The improv group Racing Minds want to tell you a story. They just don’t know what that story is yet. Instead, a number of audience members, chosen forcibly and at random, will give them themes, a location and title with which to sow an hour-long narrative, in which disparate threads stitch together in ramshackle serendipity... 

The Comedy Reserve

The Comedy Reserve

On paper The Comedy Reserve is a great idea: find four up-and-coming comics and sort them out with a fully paid up Edinburgh show under a prestigious banner, along with all the publicity and production quality of a top venue... 

Absolute Improv Stories!

Absolute Improv Stories!

There are few things quite as lively, or amusing, as the imaginations of children. They create free of inhibition or discernible logic. Imagine if the things you blurted out as a child, or the things your children say, were turned into a story in front of your very eyes... 

Richard Wiseman: Psychobabble

Richard Wiseman: Psychobabble

Richard Wiseman’s Psychobabble feels like an assembly. Llike the photographs of ‘things that look like faces’ he delights in showing us, I mean you to read that in two ways. First, that Wiseman feels like a very funny psychology teacher, delivering the most entertaining lesson most sixth formers have ever seen... 

Pun Run

Pun Run

Pun Run is a simple idea: a load of comics and other acts (including a sketch group, musical numbers and the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre) deliver short, condensed sets of puns, wordplay and other minor fetes of linguistic ingenuity... 

The Golden Cowpat

The Golden Cowpat

The Golden Cowpat is a show grown on fertile pasture: Tucked In Productions’s Robin Hemmings and Anna Wheatley are accomplished performers, with a show as dramatically skilled as it is impeccably directed, scored and choreographed... 

Josie Long and Sam Schäfer's Awkward Romance

Josie Long and Sam Schäfer's Awkward Romance

Josie Long, arguably the highest profile comic on this year’s Free Fringe, and newcomer Sam Schäfer are an odd pairing. Whilst Long wears her awkwardness as geek chic, Schäfer’s hangs from him like unwashed cotton... 

Tenderpits

Tenderpits

The stage of the Fringe one-man-show can be a high, vulnerable, and exposed parapet and never more so when the performer – in this case writer and co-creator Anthony Johnston – is wearing a nappy and mooning us with his glitter-spangled backside... 

Little Howard's Big Show

Little Howard's Big Show

It should be no surprise that I am not the only unaccompanied adult at Little Howard’s Big Show. Behind me, inside Udderbelly’s Southbank home, are a row of late twenty-somethings – too old to be students, but not too old to enjoy watching a grown man hit himself over the head with a foam frying pan... 

Susan Murray's Photo Booth

Susan Murray's Photo Booth

Susan Murray's Photo Booth has a promising concept: comedy spun around her collection of passport photos – her own, her friends', her family's and those of complete strangers that she has stolen from booths up and down the country... 

The Horne Section

The Horne Section

If I were to imagine a perfect evening’s entertainment, I’d like to think I’d come up with something not dissimilar to The Horne Section. It’s the carnival, the jazz club, the game show, the variety act, the comedy gig – all rolled into one glorious tombola of mischief and mayhem... 

Lullabies of Broadmoor - Venus at Broadmoor

Lullabies of Broadmoor - Venus at Broadmoor

A Victorian insane asylum. A beautiful but deranged killer. A good doctor who believes in the cure for all ills. And a lot of confectionary. Venus of Broadmoor, one of four plays in Steve Hennessy's Lullabies of Broadmoor quartet, could have been a glorious melodrama, or at least an enjoyable romp... 

Thugz N Tearz

Thugz N Tearz

A play with this many Zs in its title should not be this good. And nor should a play with Thugz n Tearz’s dubious premise: an exploration of London gang culture in the structure of a Jacobean revenge tragedy... 

Debris

Debris

Dennis Kelly's Debris is a masterpiece. The richness of its language, the vividness of its description and its sheer, brilliant peculiarity make it to my mind one of the seminal theatre scripts so far this century... 

The Burns Unit

The Burns Unit

For a band who create a sound as complete and consistent as The Burns Unit, the Scottish-come-Canadian collective look rather disparate. From the nerd-rock red shirt and black tie of Future Pilot AKA, or the lively indie vibe of Michael Johnston and the elegance of Emma Pollock and Karine Polwart to the scruffy hobo-folk look of this year’s Mercury nominee King Creosote, The Burns Unit barely look like they belong in the same music festival, let alone on the same stage... 

The Jabberwocky

The Jabberwocky

Lewis Carroll’s ‘The Jabberwocky’ is to my mind one of the best works of literature to get children playing with language and at tempting their young imaginations. Its nonsense verse creates an ocean of associations and possibilities for a child to explore... 

The  Life Doctor

The Life Doctor

The Life Doctor’s vital signs are all there: lights, music, movement and a very talented cast. And yet there seems to be a serious medical complication - a deep internal rupture in one of its major organs... 

Spooky Men's Chorale

Spooky Men's Chorale

The Spooky Men's Chorale are perhaps the world's least famous international superstars. The Australian group of male singers perform to a large and loyal core of fans, at music festivals, in regional arts centres, theatres and churches in many different countries... 

Belt Up's Twenty Minutes to Nine

Belt Up's Twenty Minutes to Nine

Before I walk into the theatre it is quarter to six in the afternoon. But inside it is twenty minutes to nine – it’s always twenty minutes to nine and I can’t imagine it being anything else... 

...In for a Pound

...In for a Pound

The room is the size of your average school drama studio. The audience is full of adoring parents and polite friends. Some of the actors can act; others cannot. I haven’t seen a play like this since I was in sixth form, maybe even before – and I didn't want to again... 

Dave Gorman's Power Point Presentation

Dave Gorman's Power Point Presentation

Dave Gorman has formed a double act - with a projection screen. Gorman's history with the device is familiar to most of his fans – the majority of his shows relying heavily on graphs and charts and bullet points – but here he takes the gimmick to whole new, fantastic levels, making the PowerPoint bigger, better and longer than ever before... 

Mad About the Boy

Mad About the Boy

Mad About the Boy, the new play from Gbolahan Obisesan, could not have come along at a better time. With the London riots springing up during the show's run here, the script's exploration of youth criminality in London, and of young black culture in particular, speaks directly to many debates on societal decay, responsibility and generational difference that are currently in the forefronts of many minds... 

Tim Key - Masterslut

Tim Key - Masterslut

Chekhov said that if you put a gun in your scene it has to go off. Well, Tim Key stands next to a bath tub filled with warm soapy water throughout the entirety of Masterslut. What do you think is gonna happen? That's right, he’s gonna take a bath... 

An Instinct for Kindness

An Instinct for Kindness

I don't feel entirely comfortable reviewing An Instinct For Kindness. Chris Larner's deeply moving one-man-show, retelling his trip with his ex-wife to Dignitas, the clinic for assisted suicides, somehow seems too personal to critique... 

Sanderson Jones - ComedySale.com/Fringe

Sanderson Jones - ComedySale.com/Fringe

There aren't many taboos left in comedy. Or at least that’s what I thought until I saw Sanderson Jones. Jones knows everyone who is coming. He greets us all by name, he's researched us... 

A Conversation with Carmel

A Conversation with Carmel

A Conversation with Carmel is a dialogue of artistic fusion with a lot to say, and far too many ways of saying it. The production, from Natasha Gilmore's Barrowland Ballet, swings wildly and abruptly from traditional ballet to contemporary dance, from joyous celebration to solemn vigil, incorporating filmed segments and community dance groups in support of its more seasoned core performers... 

David O'Doherty Presents: Rory Sheridan's Tales of The Antarctica

David O'Doherty Presents: Rory Sheridan's Tales of The Antarctica

David 'Perrier Award winning' O'Doherty has grown a beard especially for his role as the intrepid – read: inept - explorer Rory Sheridan. But Sheridan's story, a story of love, penguin meat and really small tigers – read: definitely actually just cats – puts even that commitment to shame... 

Jay Foreman: We're Living in the Future

Jay Foreman: We're Living in the Future

Jay Foreman's show is a nostalgia trip for the young. This mixture of stand-up, songs and audience participation explores our relationship with the recent past and the experience of living in an age, the fanciful year of 2011, that should definitely be some kind of futuristic paradise - but isn't... 

Flynch, Looking

Flynch, Looking

To say that Flynch, Looking is about a seaside holiday will tell you nothing. Nothing of the technical brilliance of this play's choreography. Nothing of the living mind that inhabits the multiple limbs of the company's members... 

Sheeps: A Sketch Show

Sheeps: A Sketch Show

Any sketch show that opens with the entire plot of Oliver Twist, in song, in three minutes is going to be good. I know this because I've seen Sheeps, an all singing, all dancing, three-person sketch troop of Cambridge Footlights graduates... 

Peacock and Gamble Emergency Broadcast

Peacock and Gamble Emergency Broadcast

Just over the half the audience at Peacock and Gamble's Emergency Broadcast seem to love this show. Just under half do not. Coincidentally, then, support for Peacock and Gamble works within the same proportions - amongst those with a preference - as support for the death penalty...