Perceptual Landscape

Perceptual Landscape

A technical marvel, Perceptual Landscape is an alarming watch. We enter on unbearable supersonic screeches and earth-rocking bass. Crumpled paper adds unease to an already complex soundscape… 

Jamie MacDonald: Oblivious

Jamie MacDonald: Oblivious

Jamie MacDonald is a gentle comic, even when brandishing his white cane as a weapon. Indeed, disdain aimed at bullies, gross but fantastic images of mumps/impetigo-ridden school dances and an absurd discussion of disability and terrorism never land with the churlishness of an Andrew Lawrence (thank goodness for that)... 

Siro-A

Siro-A

The live rhythm action bonanza Siro-A is quite simply multi-layered hyperactivity for the stage. Ramped up generic dance music and a plethora of lights from every direction, translucent sheets, sabres and white squares fill an overwhelming number of set pieces... 

Lee Miller and Picasso

Lee Miller and Picasso

Edinburgh is a hotbed of street performance, pushy flyerers and hill-related exhaustion at this time of year. The National Galleries of Scotland offer a range of beautifully curated free collections - each a delightful sanctuary away from the frenzy... 

Pippin

Pippin

Pippin is a difficult musical, and in the past has been staged as a fully-fledged acrobatic circus (Les 7 Doigts de la Main did a great job). Without that physical heft, Schwartz and Hirson’s spectacular has the potential to feel like a puppet’s careers fair as Pippin – the main cog in the Lead Player’s machine – tries out war, sex, patriarchal overthrow, pacifism, unexpectedly genteel domestic arrangements and maybe self-immolation... 

The Falcon's Malteser by Anthony Horowitz

The Falcon's Malteser by Anthony Horowitz

"Maltese Falcon; no - Falcon’s Maltese," one parent suggests as the title to the show outside the theatre doors. Anthony Horowitz's corker takes advantage of befuddlement such as this, masquerading corruption, abduction, death and a fat network of baddies as fanciful farce, pulling it off with the dynamism of the best Horrible Histories episodes... 

Aidan Goatley: Year of the Goat

Aidan Goatley: Year of the Goat

Aidan Goatley strikes me as an organised, practical and variably fearless fellow. If no one sits in the front row, he removes it. If feminists for the following show come into Ciao Roma’s wine cellar (a surprising spacious venue by Fringe standards) before they should, they’re shouted out... 

Ahir Shah: Distant

Ahir Shah: Distant

If pirates wore signet rings and possessed anything in the way of eloquence, I’d feel as if I were watching a one-man shanty as Ahir Shar (aka Shit Shag, via autocorrect) sways and splutters... 

Andrew Lawrence: Uncensored

Andrew Lawrence: Uncensored

Andrew Lawrence isn’t a fan, to say the least, of strident, militant lefties. They’re dogmatic. They’re aggressive. They’re strident again. Quickly we hit a repeated cadence of annoyance that smacks of Russell Brand, even though he’s a comedian (or more optimistically an ‘activist') Lawrence wants to disown... 

Cut the Mustard

Cut the Mustard

Cut the Mustard has what can only be described as an offbeat premise: it’s almost time for a live broadcast during a not-so-popular slot on Icelandic radio. As we wait for the countdown, Georgia Bruce and Jack Chisnall, playing exaggerated versions of themselves, entertain us, their studio audience, with repartee and acoustic duets... 

Hey Hey 16K

Hey Hey 16K

Two stand-up (not in the comedic sense) guys riffing on Doctor Who and the origins of programming doesn’t sound scintillating. And it isn’t. But there’s a warming charm about a musical geekathon: MJ Hibbett and Steve are what I imagine Brian Cox’s band sounded like (except I never listened to them)... 

Gary Little: Just Trying to Be Friendly

Gary Little: Just Trying to Be Friendly

“The Facebook," Little moans, is a hub of narcissism and platform for vapid boasts. At 52, he harks back to a simpler time of rough parenting and outside bogs, and condemns the ‘Tory scum’ and obscure male-dominated lawmaking of today... 

Belfast Boy

Belfast Boy

This stifling performance by young talent Greg Fossard will make you uneasy as the traumas of a troubled Belfast man’s life unravel. To witness hyperactive dances and skittish impressions descend into horrifying depictions of abuse and suffocating, emotional splintering, is undeniably affecting... 

Alun Cochrane: A Show with a Man in It

Alun Cochrane: A Show with a Man in It

Okay, he doesn’t promise much - the title was his son’s butchering of the ‘one-man show’ term. Alun even missed the deadline for posters. His nonchalant energy is sustained, almost dipping into the genteel... 

Budge3

Budge3

At once frenetic and contemplative, Budge3 is an intricate knot of elastic energy, dance that is fit to burst at any moment. The triptych opens, soundless, on Florine Foucault, legs crossed, tending to what seems to be a seedling (the sprouting of a relationship)... 

Minor Delays

Minor Delays

Those little things that hold you back, awkward pauses and abashed hesitations of everyday life: the focus of Minor Delays. Belly-laughing isn’t optional. Seeing this again, one year on, is like driving an F12 Berlinetta whose tapered parts, more aerodynamic than the last Ferrari, make for an even faster beast, and a mesmerisingly turbulent thrill ride... 

We This Way

We This Way

A shamelessly monotonous cycle of intrigue, We This Way casts Seth Kiebel in a haunting light, his deadpan but deft delivery commanding an hour of interactive, communal ‘point-and-click’ adventure... 

Leapin' Louie's Wild West Spectacular

Leapin' Louie's Wild West Spectacular

‘Awesome’ is a terrible word, but there’s no shame using it – in the truest sense – to describe Leapin’ Louie and his lethal range of doohickeys. Taking an ‘anything goes’ approach, the skilled lariat artist (a what now?) stuns adults into a dumbfounded stupor and gets kids – desperate for a turn on stage – flailing hands high in the air... 

Macaroni on a Hotdog

Macaroni on a Hotdog

A masterwork of parallax, Macaroni on a Hotdog gently uncovers its affecting core through a focused 50 mins of understated wit. Walking in to a soundtrack of Beyonce’s Single Ladies sets the stage for a suitably fierce effort from Sandra Thomas, who shifts from bedraggled bride to cocksure frat guy/lawyer with shocking ease... 

Philharmonic of Wit

Philharmonic of Wit

From the first gong to the last of many bows, Philharmonic of Wit artfully balances Waldemar Malicki’s blunt musings as host/pianist and the big numbers of a shamelessly showy orchestra backed by drum kit and bass... 

Journeys Beyond

Journeys Beyond

How many ‘family friendly’ shows centre around a woman hanging off the edge of a pier, contemplating suicide? How many flit from Lyte’s soothing hymn Abide With Me to a fierce incantation with an unsettling carnival vibe that warns ‘beware of the jumbee’? Wac Arts is certainly trying to do something different in mixing a variety of afterlife myths from across the globe, but powerful singing and frenetic troupe dancing struggles to make up for a lack of direction in this production... 

Showstopper! The Improvised Musical

Showstopper! The Improvised Musical

No one expects to watch a musical set in a dog parlour with a canine duel – or, more precisely, ‘The Amazing New York State Poodle Fighting Championship’ – as its climax. Not a musical featuring cutesy Frozen-inspired flashbacks and a risqué Sweet Transvestite number; especially not one entitled Dogging...