A Third

A Third

Being seated at director Josh Roche’s production of A Third means being drawn into the intimacy of a couple’s studio flat. With little spatial division between set and audience, you sit dotted around the central action, like lesser guests at a late night gathering... 

Chicken Shop

Chicken Shop

Anna Jordan’s plays are sex fables for the modern day that everyone must see. Deeply interested in and respectful of the issues she dissects, Jordan draws out their complexities without belittling them with quick, easy solutions... 

Blind

Blind

Grace Savage, the UK’s official female champion beatboxer, suits her oxymoronic name to a tee. She’s an unexpectedly soft spoken young woman with the sweetest of smiles, who insists upon a profound inclination for the underdog... 

Foil, Arms and Hog: Loch'd

Foil, Arms and Hog: Loch'd

Foil, Arms and Hog are a group of stylish Irish lads with an old-school, vintage look. Foil and Arms wear smart trousers and waistcoats while Hog dons a costume like a spin-off of the other two, with a comedy bowtie attached to his puffed up, short-sleeved shirt... 

The Interview

The Interview

A quick glance into the Fringe brochure may lead an innocent punter to think The Interview is an intriguing show. It’s on at the Underbelly, the poster is enticing, the description even more so... 

The Bunker Trilogy: Macbeth

The Bunker Trilogy: Macbeth

The Bunker Trilogy has transported the world of Shakespeare to the trenches of the first World War. Accordingly, they have converted a theatre in C Nova into a bunker, with soil on the ground and benches lined up... 

The Pin

The Pin

Alex Owen and Ben Ashenden are the veritable princes of the meta-theatrical sketch and descendants of a very British kind of comedy. With Owen’s gleeful child’s smile and genuine-seeming enthusiasm for each newly offered activity; and Ashenden with his oddly intimidating eyebrow-raising and generally maverick demeanour, they are great fun to watch perform... 

Silence in Court

Silence in Court

The plot runs as follows. Jennifer Lyons and Charles Brand meet one fateful one in a club. They have banter, they buy drinks (perhaps too many drinks) and they have sex in an alcove of the building... 

Thief

Thief

A naked pair of male buttocks tense under a spotlight as the play begins. They belong to Sailor, who asks if we want to watch. Sailor then proceeds to masturbate. The show follows in much the same way: at times a little wanky, very exposing, but ultimately fruitful... 

Ablutions

Ablutions

Live jazz bands and theatrical pieces are rarely blended together so successfully. On the musical side Ablutions features two electric guitars, a drum and a quartet of heavenly voices... 

The Curing Room

The Curing Room

The intriguing central premise of The Curing Room is based upon a terrifying true story. A captain, three lieutenants and three privates have been trapped and abandoned in a Polish cellar at the climax of the Second World War, awaiting liberation... 

AAA Stand-Up

AAA Stand-Up

Our host for the evening is Sunna Jarman, and she is certainly engaging. Energetic and perhaps a bit nervous, Jarman tends to ramble tangentially, which sometimes lead to nuggets of comedic gold, and sometimes does not... 

Natasia Demetriou: You'll Never Have All of Me

Natasia Demetriou: You'll Never Have All of Me

Natasia Demetriou is new to solo shows. This is both a fact and the overarching theme of her latest Fringe offering. Demetriou has performed with sketch group Oyster Eyes and has uploaded many youtube clips with Euro Sketch... 

Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho

Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho

Outside, the queue is teeming. Inside, the auditorium is full. Then she appears, in sensible shoes, bright lipstick, a tweed suit and heels. When she starts talking you find yourself wondering why you never made the observation before... 

AAA Stand-Up Late

AAA Stand-Up Late

Banterous and dangerous, this night of eclectic stand-up comedy is in the hands of three very capable performers. Our host for the evening, Scott Gibson, is a large, formidable-looking Glaswegian man, both Scot and Scotophile, equipped with bushy beard and verbal vulgarisms... 

Echolalia

Echolalia

Echolalia is a type of autism where sufferers automatically repeat the words and phrases of others. As with other types of autistic patients, the prospect of leaving the house and interacting with other people can be daunting, which is clearly problematic in job-seeking situations... 

Bitch Boxer

Bitch Boxer

This returning Fringe hit begins with an anecdote about a young woman called Chloe locking herself out of her house. It’s disastrous: she’s already late. However, she deals with the situation how none of us would or could... 

Magic Number Six

Magic Number Six

Magic Number Six documents the friendship between actor Patrick McGoohan and TV producer Lew Grade throughout the making of TV series The Prisoner. Grade puts up with McGoohan’s diva tendencies and demands for further funding, although it is unclear why he does so... 

Dark Matter

Dark Matter

Dark Matter is a piece of theatre that breaks many of its rules and moulds new ones. It does not take place in a theatre for starters. Audience members are asked to don black ponchos and are seated at either end of a garden decked up for the occasion with lights and one or two eerily planted props... 

Happy Never After

Happy Never After

It is difficult to critique a show that is raising awareness and funds for ovarian cancer research, but I will try my best. Happy Never After is not so much an insightful exploration of what it is like to experience ovarian cancer but more a play about everyday relationship issues, with a gradual backdrop of ovarian cancer complications... 

Breakfast Plays: A Respectable Widow Takes To Vulgarity

Breakfast Plays: A Respectable Widow Takes To Vulgarity

A Respectable Widow documents the beginning of the unlikely friendship between Annabelle Love, a respectable English widow, and Jim Dick, a working class Scottish employee of Annabelle’s deceased husband... 

Gym Party

Gym Party

This black comedy about competition appropriately takes the form of a game show. Clad in unflattering gym wear and fluorescent retro wigs, this trio of actors look like unlikely athletes... 

Best Kept Secrets

Best Kept Secrets

An ordinary woman sits on a park bench reading a newspaper. Along comes a spy who sits down beside her, claiming she has found the perfect ‘unintelligent specimen’ with whom to leave a briefcase containing top secret materials... 

Snap Out of It!

Snap Out of It!

Verbatim shows have hit this year’s Fringe like a storm. Snap Out of It! is about mental illness: entries have been received by sufferers of poor mental health and are read out to us, alongside interviews... 

Strangeways

Strangeways

Dot is going senile in her new Mancunian flat. It’s pouring and she is alone, apart from her cat Tiptoes, a visiting doctor and her uninvited dead husband, Vinny. Dot struggles to trust either her doctor or her husband’s ghost, both of whom claim to be helping her... 

Bluebeard

Bluebeard

The scene is set in dementia sufferer Claire Conomor’s care home. While her visiting children - David and Emily - are there, she is spoken about but rarely to. Claire proceeds to stare off into the distance, get the shakes and demand to be taken to Paris... 

The Love Project

The Love Project

As we took our seats, furnished with appropriately rose-patterned cushions, and gazed on at the living room set before us, it was as if we were in someone else’s house, listening in on a private conversation... 

Rules of the Game

Rules of the Game

Sinead, a prostitute, Debbie, an alcoholic thief, and Mags, a schizophrenic who has murdered her husband, all inhabit the same prison. Two guards watch over them, literally taking the form of good cop and bad cop... 

Outside on the Street

Outside on the Street

The poster for Outside on The Street features a young Aryan man with blood running down his face. Although an eye-catching poster, it is not entirely representative of the show which is, believe it or not, less gritty and more magical... 

Shadow On Their Wall

Shadow On Their Wall

In this one-man show, a man called Michael shoots himself, speaks to his therapist about his depraved impulses and his infatuation for the wife who has left him and stalks said wife outside the house she now inhabits with their daughters and a new man... 

Foil, Arms and Hog - Late Night Irish Sketch Comedy

Foil, Arms and Hog - Late Night Irish Sketch Comedy

Foil, Arms and Hog are an Irish sketch comedy trio who combine innovative ideas with silliness and boyish charm. Their shows buzz with spontaneity, hilarious gestures and phrases emerging that seem improvised on the spot by comics with a real flair for it... 

Milton Jones On The High Road

Milton Jones On The High Road

Milton Jones enters, characteristically via scooter, clad in a blue print shirt, orange trousers, orange shoes, and hair which defies gravity. He is heckled by a man from Gibraltar and almost as soon as his nationality is revealed Jones informs him that he ‘rocks’... 

It's Not What You Know...

It's Not What You Know...

The cast of short musical ‘It’s not what you know’ are talented. Apart from a few vocal slip-ups in the final moments of the piece, their singing was thoroughly impressive. When it comes to embodying characters, commanding stage presence and comic timing, they are again thoroughly impressive... 

Jamie Demetriou: People Day

Jamie Demetriou: People Day

Jamie Demetriou has come up with and employed a great and original idea for his Pleasance comedy set. He has created four different characters and far from stereotypical, these guys are original, entertaining and totally absurd... 

Peacock & Gamble: Heart-throbs

Peacock & Gamble: Heart-throbs

Heart throbs is a show that pulsates with silliness. This is down to Peacock’s extraordinary ability to morph himself into the character of a three-year-old (and a very, very weird three-year-old at that), who threatens to cheapen the show with his crudeness and immaturity... 

Finding Libby

Finding Libby

Finding Libby story follows sixty-something-year-old Pauline as she embarks on a nautical holiday along the canals of England. After living a refined and self-conscious life revolving around placating others, this trip is essentially an awakening for Pauline... 

That Is All You Need to Know

That Is All You Need to Know

Idle Motion is a theatre group that specialises in physical theatre. In their new project, That Is All You Need To Know, four fundraisers in 1994 fight to save Bletchley Park so as to honour the group of geniuses who worked there for the English government during the war... 

Major Tom

Major Tom

‘I had changed as a person since entering the beauty pageant. I was vain’, Victoria Melody announces dramatically, whilst staring intensely into the audience. That is, before reverting to her three-year-old self and whining loudly, ‘But I liked the worse me!’ This moment, in its juxtaposition of serious social commentary and bizarre comedy, sums up the show... 

The Violinist

The Violinist

In a new play by Matthew Kirton, the ageing Jack Goodman is trying to attend his daughter’s violin recital at the Royal Opera House, before being detained by two detectives unusually interested in his daughter and the origins of her musical talent... 

Shirley and Shirley: Carnage

Shirley and Shirley: Carnage

Last year, comedy duo Shirley and Shirley were Unleashed. This year, they promise Carnage. They are certainly in-yer-face and in the most literal sense: small Shirley conducted a vibrant meet and greet at the door as everyone took their seats, beckoning us into the first few rows, warning us that wherever we sat we ‘would be found’... 

Vikki Stone - Definitely

Vikki Stone - Definitely

Even if you haven’t heard of Vikki Stone, you may still have heard the anecdote about a loving fan sending their knickers in the post to Phillip Schofield and writing and performing a song on the piano for him... 

Life Sentence

Life Sentence

Life Sentence follows the story of Theo, who has just been diagnosed with immortality. Theo mourns the fact that he’ll never have last words, a funeral, or be made great or infamous by death... 

Nirbhaya

Nirbhaya

There is a danger when dramatising an incident as horrifying as the 2012 Delhi gang rape case, in which a woman coined Nirbhaya (meaning fearless) was dragged from a bus and raped and beaten to death by six men with metal rods... 

Fade

Fade

Dugout theatre company returns to the Fringe with Fade, a play about the pursuit of meaning and its detrimental consequences. Danny has turned to romantic love, Imogen and Andrew to art... 

David Trent: This Is All I Have

David Trent: This Is All I Have

David Trent has labelled each of his possessions: ‘This is a screen’, ‘This is a laptop’, ‘This is a projector’, etc., making This Is All I Have an ironic comment on our technological age of abundance... 

Miss Julie

Miss Julie

Written and set in the nineteenth century, Strindberg’s best-known play is about an illicit affair between Miss Julie, the lady of the house, with her footman Jean. Things turn ugly as the pair realise how far they have put their respective social and occupational positions at risk by becoming involved with one another... 

Dylan Moran: Yeah, Yeah

Dylan Moran: Yeah, Yeah

Dylan Moran has changed his persona somewhat. It was evident at first glance that he is no longer the dark, edgy character he once was when touring Like Totally. In a pink pin-striped shirt with floppy hair and parent jokes to match, Dylan now resembles more of a grumbling dad... 

George's Marvellous Medics

George's Marvellous Medics

George’s Marvellous Medics is a sketch show about medics by medics, with a few Olympics pieces thrown in too, as well as a scattering of quite random ones.Some of the scripts need tightening... 

Firing Blanks

Firing Blanks

The play opens with a teenage girl feeding ducks from a park bench. A man who has just found out that he is infertile enters into the proceedings and a strange, unlikely friendship ensues between the two... 

Hal Cruttenden Tough Luvvie

Hal Cruttenden Tough Luvvie

Hal Cruttendon is a very good traditional comic. Although he doesn’t do anything particularly novel, he is very successful in what he does and that is making audiences laugh.The set centred itself around whether Cruttendon is more of a ‘toughie’ or a ‘luvvie’, and indeed there was evidence for both... 

Peacock & Gamble Don't Even Want To Be On Telly Anyway

Peacock & Gamble Don't Even Want To Be On Telly Anyway

Young, blonde, tall and attractive Ed Gamble and Hagrid-lookalike Ray Peacock at first glance seem an unlikely pair. However, on closer inspection one realises that they have a very special connection - they’re both big children... 

Matthew Crosby is Matthew Crosby in Matthew Crosby (The Show)

Matthew Crosby is Matthew Crosby in Matthew Crosby (The Show)

Matthew Crosby is a five foot five bearded man with a side parting, who wears short-sleeved checkered shirts and black, thick-framed glasses. He somewhat resembles a young Woody Allen... 

Square Eye Pair

Square Eye Pair

Richard and Max have been best friends since high school, where they bonded over their respective social flaws. They now live together and do nothing but watch TV, obsess over TV and act out spoofs from various series, adverts, reality TV shows and wrestling tournaments... 

Plastic Beach

Plastic Beach

Six actors take turns playing a beachcomber while the rest watch, amused and concerned. They all wear Hawaiian-style beach shirts. There are rubber ducks, choreographed dances and few words... 

Russell Kane: Posturing Delivery

Russell Kane: Posturing Delivery

Through Kane’s discussion of procreation, something great is indeed born, and that is great comedy. Who knew that Russell Kane’s personal quest for love and fatherhood would take the form of such an acute and hilarious social commentary... 

Githa

Githa

Githa is a one-woman show about Katherine Githa Sowerby, suffrage playwright and writer of Rutherford and Sons, and her struggle to be respected in the male-dominated literary world... 

Word:Play

Word:Play

Only Humour, the first improv group to emerge from Bristol University, present us with Word:Play. They compose one warm-up story to explain what it is that they do and then one big story before our eyes, with suggestions taken from the floor... 

Best Served Cold

Best Served Cold

Rope is a play of the Victorian thriller genre written by Patrick Hamilton in 1929. The plot features two precocious Oxford University students who have been reading too much Nietzsche... 

Breathing Corpses by Laura Wade

Breathing Corpses by Laura Wade

This dark play about confronting death introduces us to an array of fascinating characters: Amy, a hotel-cleaner, Jim and Elaine, and Ben and Kate, whose lives are linked by a series of morbid revelations... 

Sploshy: A Sketch Show

Sploshy: A Sketch Show

The humour of sketch troupe Sploshy can most realistically be described as lazy. The jokes feature anti-girlfriend and anti-wife sentiments, food spillages and fights, nose-picking, dirty lyrics about the elderly and attempts made by one of them to seduce or molest another... 

The Death of Chatterton

The Death of Chatterton

In 2010, a young American student and an old British academic take an interest in the life of the Romantic poet Chatterton, and specifically the circumstances of his relationship with Horace Walpole, his death and Wallis’ famous painting of it... 

Love and Understanding

Love and Understanding

The title of the play sets up an immediate opposition between love and understanding, and once seated, we are soon presented us with characters full of love and totally lacking in understanding... 

Marcel Lucont: Cabaret Fantastique

Marcel Lucont: Cabaret Fantastique

The magical, dusky venue that is the Assembly Elegance Tent provided the perfect atmosphere for the night-time revels of Marcel Lucont’s Cabaret Fantastique.Our host appeared, elegantly dressed with a glass of ‘vin rouge’ in his right hand, playing into the stereotype of a lethargic, rude and quite sexy Frenchman, and playing into it well... 

Oyster Eyes Presents: Some Rice

Oyster Eyes Presents: Some Rice

Having watched Oyster Eyes Presents: Some Rice, you find yourself trying to work out what it is exactly you have just seen. Was it genius? Madness? Or both? Most of the time is spent feeling terrified of the troupe and the prospect of being abducted on stage: a fate which many other trembling Underbelly guests were met with... 

Shirley and Shirley Unleashed

Shirley and Shirley Unleashed

Shirley and Shirley Unleashed is a show about two women who, as the title suggests, do indeed seem somewhat feral (especially in their binge-drinkers-turn-into-wild-monkeys act). This vibrant comedy duo write and perform sketches, mainly about women, in a style not unlike those on Smack the Pony... 

A Streetcar Named Desire

A Streetcar Named Desire

When I saw that Tennessee Williams’ tragedy of lost youth and nostalgia was being performed by a cast of sixteen-to-eighteen-year-olds, I’ve got to admit that I had my doubts. The director too says that Streetcar presents us with ‘nuanced characters that many would consider too complex and mature for high school actors to portray’... 

Oliver Dean and His Fantastic Ego! Live

Oliver Dean and His Fantastic Ego! Live

In this supposedly fifty-minute show, the audience were met with twenty minutes of relatively weak material, often sitting through unjustifiably long stories for their mediocre punch-lines... 

Norwegians of Comedy

Norwegians of Comedy

People who like their comedy surreal will enjoy this more than others. There seemed to be a cultural comedy barrier between these Norwegians and the largely British audience at GHQ, which prevented the show from going as well as it may do elsewhere... 

Tania Edwards - Killer Instinct

Tania Edwards - Killer Instinct

Tania Edwards deserves a much bigger audience than what she was met with last night. A poor turnout put unnecessary pressure on a well-structured and well-delivered set.The material is sound... 

The One Hour Plays

The One Hour Plays

The idea behind The One Hour Plays is that through audience involvement a script can be written, cast and performed with the appropriate costumes, props and music in under an hour. A task of this magnitude requires great talent, which the Matey Institute indisputably has... 

Upstaging: A Modern Guide to Acting for Gentlemen and Gentleladies - Free

Upstaging: A Modern Guide to Acting for Gentlemen and Gentleladies - Free

Maurice Cock and Belvedere Bagg model their show as a lesson in how to act. Classical music on arrival sets a tone of sophistication along with their all black dramatist outfits, Scottish berets and thespian eloquence... 

Revill's Selection - Free

Revill's Selection - Free

Revill’s Selection is an hour of very friendly comedy, with Paul Revill hosting and three unannounced acts every day.On this occasion, the audience was packed with families, couples both old and young and groups of friends and tourists... 

Stinky Show

Stinky Show

Hitch and Mitch’s intentions were to be so bad that they were good. They succeeded and for a free show, were surprisingly entertaining. Mitch’s deadpan style and Hitch’s fun-loving one complemented each other... 

Anything But (A One-Woman Play)

Anything But (A One-Woman Play)

Agnes, played by Abi Tedder, is hosting a wake for the father who abandoned her as a child.It’s sentimental. Agnes, without fatherly support from a young age, has remained a child emotionally, socially and romantically; and many things about the production are delightfully child-like: drawings projected onto a cardboard box and the way Tedder wears all black mourning clothes except for multi-coloured socks and shoes... 

The Late Night Shack Show

The Late Night Shack Show

The Shack Comedy Club is a new venue just beginning to find its feet. As a result, the main problem with its Late Night Shack Show is the price. It’s not worth nine pounds, nor will many people pay this amount for a comedy night with an unannounced line-up... 

An Audience with the King

An Audience with the King

Andre King’s style is an endearing one. Always bright-eyed and with a smile on his face, he comes across as jolly, calm and professional. His set mainly covered encounters with people he’d met on his travels in Australia, Thailand and Great Britain, detailing distinctions between nationalities, with hilariously caricatured impressions and accents... 

Best of Edinburgh - The Showcase Show

Best of Edinburgh - The Showcase Show

The key ingredients to any successful comedy show have to be a friendly audience, a boisterous atmosphere and a packed venue, all of which the Showcase Show had. The host, Neil Delamere, entertained us with fast-paced and enthusiastic Irish banter, telling mischievous tales whilst standing alert, almost swaying with excitement...