Sacred Earth

Sacred Earth

The word I would use to describe this production is ‘intricate’. The costumes, for example, are lavish, embroidered, gold-shot silk (offset beautifully from the golden wall-paintings of the church that acts as the venue), and the dancers replete with detailed jewellery... 

Second Coming

Second Coming

As anyone who’s ever been involved in any kind of show will know, they’re not easy things to put on. There’s last minute changes to tech, performers dropping out, egos clashing... 

In-be-tween

In-be-tween

Imagine trying to get somewhere in a hurry, when all of a sudden you get stuck behind someone who’s walking painfully slowly. You try to get round them, towards your destination, but you’re trapped – you’re not getting there before they do... 

Whatever Gets You Through the Night

Whatever Gets You Through the Night

Nighttime. It’s not exactly a small concept: half of all time on earth is night. That’s a pretty massive theme to choose for a show, particularly if it’s a production that uses song, dance, circus performance, film and acting... 

Brand New Ancients

Brand New Ancients

It’s not hard to be cynical. We all do it once in a while - take the mick, doubt someone’s motives, forget to give other people a chance. It’s much easier than being generous, seeing people’s dignity... 

I Guess if the Stage Exploded...

I Guess if the Stage Exploded...

Given the title of this show, you might have been expecting action, adventure and plenty of pyrotechnics. If that’s the case, I’ll have to disappoint you. However, if you’re after a gentle, slow-moving exploration of the human memory, you’re in luck... 

Arcadia

Arcadia

Ah, the English country garden. That haven of safe, traditional values and leisurely old-time pursuits. No? Not according to Arcadia,Tom Stoppard’s masterful play. The garden in question is that of a house named Sidley Park and in 1810 it is not only being dug up and modernised, but is the site of dangerous liaisons and even more dangerous duels... 

Out to Lunch

Out to Lunch

The food’s great in Edinburgh, isn’t it? You’ve got all those stalls selling gourmet hot dogs and falafel, every venue has its own cafe - I’m even sitting in a coffee shop to write this review... 

I Could've Been Better

I Could've Been Better

James Whiteaker is a train announcer who has never been on a train. He’s taking swimming lessons and harbours a deep-seated rivalry with an eleven-year-old girl at the pool. He’s in a relationship with his schoolfriend’s mother, who taught him to box... 

Herons

Herons

There’s one astonishingly effective scene of violence in this show. It’s a horrible, brutal, can’t-take-your-eyes-away-but-desperately-want-to kind of scene. It leaves you shocked and hollow, sincerely affected... 

Hidden

Hidden

The lights go down. The show is about to start. I’m sat in the audience waiting and the man next to me starts to speak. ‘So you’re sat in a theatre, right,’ he begins loudly and before you know it, he’s talking about the urge to scream and shout in a quiet auditorium... 

Tobacco Merchant's Lawyer

Tobacco Merchant's Lawyer

You know that uncle you have who doesn’t know when to stop talking? Who assumes you’re interested in every conversation he had with every person he spoke to today and thinks his jokes are bit funnier than they actually are? Imagine that relative up on stage, pretending to be an eighteenth century Glaswegian lawyer and you’ll have a fairly accurate picture of what awaits you at a performance of The Tobacco Merchant’s Lawyer... 

Sex Lives of Others

Sex Lives of Others

‘Oh yeah! Harder! Do it to me!’ Would you eavesdrop on your neighbours’ sex life? It’s hard to not be a little curious about what other people get up to. Certainly the two couples featured in this production have a positive fascination with the moans of pleasure they can hear through the walls... 

Boys

Boys

Growing up. That moment when you leave education and realise you’re supposed to do something in the Real World. It’s scary - that combination of liberty and sudden panic is skilfully captured by No Prophet Theatre’s young company in this production of Boys... 

L.O.V.E.

L.O.V.E.

Shall I compare this show to a summer’s day? I wouldn’t call it lovely or temperate. The biggest similarity is probably the sweatiness. L.O.V.E is a boisterously physical take on Shakespeare’s sonnets, with writhing dancers reciting the words and recreating the poems’ famous love triangle... 

Dumbstruck

Dumbstruck

This is a show about a man living on his own in an isolated arctic base listening to whale song. About a man so lonely he speaks his first words in months to a marine mammal. It might not sound like the sort of theatre that’s going to make your skin tingle or a rush of joy appear in your belly... 

Squally Showers

Squally Showers

This is a show that is sumptuous to look at: the atmospheric lighting, projections of blue skies and clouds, the dancing, the synthetic 80s glamour which pervades the set and costumes... 

Long Distance Affair (make possible an impossible trip)

Long Distance Affair (make possible an impossible trip)

Waiting in the Summerhall lobby, three other people and I are greeted by a smiling American in chunky glasses who takes us downstairs. She explains that we are about to experience three different Skype calls to theatre makers around the world... 

Choose Your Own Documentary By Nathan Penlington

Choose Your Own Documentary By Nathan Penlington

Remember those Choose Your Own Adventure Books, where you got to pick what happens at the end of each page? Nathan Penlington does. In fact, his love of them is so abiding that he bought, for £41... 

Overcoat

Overcoat

Ah, the classic boy-meets-overcoat tale. A civil servant discovers that his old overcoat isn’t protecting him from the St. Petersburg cold so he saves up his roubles to go and see a tailor... 

The  Fanny Hill Project

The Fanny Hill Project

I really wanted to like this show. I wanted to be able to champion its feminist message. I wanted to leave the theatre thinking hard about gender and society and ready to change the world... 

Solfatara

Solfatara

The opening of Solfatara prepares you for something atmospheric - a bit creepy, a bit strange. A man in a brown balaclava sits in a chair at the front of the stage. There is a spotlight on him... 

Banksy: The Room in the Elephant

Banksy: The Room in the Elephant

This is already a popular show: the queue outside the venue stretched halfway down the street; once inside, the less punctual audience members were scanning the crowd for a single spare seat... 

Anna

Anna

This is not an easy show to watch. The work of Anna Politkovskaya, the Russian journalist whose story this show tells, is remarkable and important but deeply disturbing. The production focuses not on Politkovskaya’s life or the political landscape in which she was writing but the trauma of individuals who have been tortured and raped, or who have lost family members in government-organised ‘disappearances’...