Year Without Summer

Year Without Summer

Cast Iron Theatre have rocked a minimalist set – an intimate three chairs and floor space surrounded by a ring of audience members – and have stretched it expertly to the peak of its credibility... 

Rahul Kohli: All My Heroes Are Dead, in Jail or Touched Up Your Gran

Rahul Kohli: All My Heroes Are Dead, in Jail or Touched Up Your Gran

Rahul Kohli was unperturbed by the small audience on the evening this reviewer attended, likening it to ‘a Theresa May cabinet meeting’. He then delves into the provocative title of the show, explaining that in the following hour, he won’t provide any answers to society’s questions – instead, he will leave us with more questions... 

One Woman Alien

One Woman Alien

Heather-Rose Andrews skilfully acts out this minimalist stage version of cult classic Alien. In the heady depths of the Grassmarket, this parody of a Hollywood blockbuster is the backdrop for Andrews to explore some key questions we all have about the original... 

Michelle McManus: Reloaded

Michelle McManus: Reloaded

Michelle McManus has become a household name around these parts, and what she delivers is neither groundbreaking nor surprising – but it is still an hour deserving high acclaim. As we wait for McManus to greet us with her trademark glamour, we are treated to an on screen viewing of the moment she won Pop Idol in 2003... 

Jo Caulfield: Killing Time

Jo Caulfield: Killing Time

Jo Caulfield strides on stage with all the self-assuredness of the seasoned performer that she is. Wryly observing the audience, she comments that we ‘look holidayish – last night dressed up more’, and this sets the scene for some gentle audience interaction where Caulfield pointed out some 'silver foxes' and 'peaky wankers’... 

Adulting

Adulting

Hot from winning Adelaide Fringe Best Cabaret Weekly Award 2018, Tash York tempts us with this scintillating hour of song and expertly woven vignettes based on the concept of Adulting... 

Bad Luck

Bad Luck

Billed as part cabaret, part wannabe warehouse rave, my expectations were prepared. An industrial soundtrack heralds Black’s arrival on stage, as she opens with a perceptive and political spoken word/rap piece... 

Zoe Lyons: Entry Level Human

Zoe Lyons: Entry Level Human

Zoe Lyons delivers exactly what we have come to expect from her – an hour of fast paced observational humour that’s extremely relatable. Entry Level Human is a slick and polished hour exploring human anomalies – picnic goers who leave detritus on the beach, ‘destroying what they want to enjoy’ and people who listen to music on the bus without headphones... 

Ivy Paige: Seduction

Ivy Paige: Seduction

Ivy Paige opens her show gliding on stage in full sequins and crystals, elegantly poised as the heady beats of It’s Raining Men blasts in the background. She injects energy with her mere presence, and welcomes us as her lovers past, present and future – because ‘pronouns all sound the same when you have a ball gag in your mouth’... 

Nowt as Queer as Folk

Nowt as Queer as Folk

Set in rural England, this pale ale drenched parable explores village life juxtaposed with urban sprawl. Topical issues of sexual impropriety, love lost, love rediscovered and fiddling finances are interspersed with song and slapstick scenes... 

Little Death Club

Little Death Club

An atmosphere of fun and weimar cabaret beats envelop us as we enter Beauty at the Circus Hub. Setting the scene for what’s ahead, various performers are preparing for their upcoming performances – a mime perfecting his make up; an acrobat performing myofascial release; and Bernie Dieter weaving through the audience, casting a spell over us as she introduces herself to each person arriving... 

A Conversation With… Rob Ward and John Askew of Gypsy Queen

A Conversation With… Rob Ward and John Askew of Gypsy Queen

I met with the writer, producer and actor of ‘Gypsy Queen’, Rob Ward, and co-star John Askew. After being blown away with the originality of the writing and the passionate, brutal and raw portrayal by both Ward and Askew, I was eager to hear much more about how the piece had come about. 

Other People’s Teeth

Other People’s Teeth

Other Peoples Teeth is a unique, visceral and violent vignette, exploring the emotional depths of brutality. The performance opens with a Tarantino-esque scene, featuring two contract killers in a stand-off where only one person can survive... 

Harpy

Harpy

Harpy is an intricate portrayal of a nuisance neighbour, with more nuances than one would expect to squeeze into a one hour show. Su Pollard excels in her primary role of ‘Birdie’, also inhabiting various other characters to extend the cast... 

Colin Cloud: Psycho(Logical)

Colin Cloud: Psycho(Logical)

Colin Cloud conjures a cryptic presence as the audience enter to him trapped motionless in a large perspex box. Cloud creates an atmosphere where anything can happen, with eerie classical music setting a backdrop to screens where the more intrepid guests are invited to take a selfie in front of the box... 

A Man's a Man

A Man's a Man

I was unsure what to expect from this performance, but "a musical about Robert Burns" already had my interest piqued. What I actually experienced was a musical extravaganza! A beautifully written, innovative script, with ground breaking renditions of Burns works put to music... 

Laura Lexx: Trying

Laura Lexx: Trying

Laura Lexx takes us on an emotional exploration thick with poignancy, and layered with humour. Addressing her own experiences of infertility and mental health issues, she gives us a no holds barred introspection into her family dynamics and coping strategies... 

Juliette Burton: Butterfly Effect

Juliette Burton: Butterfly Effect

Juliette Burton’s show, as brought to us in 2017, is framed by the chaos theory and concept that a small action can have major consequences at a later point. And this edict provides the backdrop for us to explore the notion of ‘kindness’, with Burton posing the question of whether kindness can indeed change the world... 

Holly Morgan: Madonna or Whore?

Holly Morgan: Madonna or Whore?

Morgan bursts on stage dressed in a costume which is a parody of both an angel and madonna - a white bedsheet with foil halo and neon traffic cone boobs. This sets the scene for the hour which is to follow - an hour of controversial comedy and satirical speculation with a fun and frisky edge... 

Arthur Smith: Syd

Arthur Smith: Syd

Arthur Smith presents this heartwarming tribute to his dead father, Syd. Rather than narrate from his own perspective, Smith takes on the persona of his father, reading from the memoirs he’d written prior to his death... 

Chris Henry: Around the World in 80 Dates

Chris Henry: Around the World in 80 Dates

Fresh from a year of touring around Australia and the East, Henry is back and has something to say. On a very basic level, this is a lively and humorous hour of razor sharp stand-up based on one man's quest to find love... 

The Vanishing Man

The Vanishing Man

Knowledge = Belief and Truth. This is the backdrop to the performance, as we enter the room to an Edwardian showman - David Aula – standing on a grand piano. With a brooding sense of anticipation, Simon Evans reassures us that "it’s going to be okay", and with that we are catapulted into the story of the greatest magic trick ever performed... 

Mark Thomas – Check Up: Our NHS at 70

Mark Thomas – Check Up: Our NHS at 70

Mark Thomas regales us with a peppy portrayal of his health-check on the NHS, in commemoration of 70 years since its inception. The NHS is our biggest socialist element in UK society, and Thomas – a lefty politico-comedian – embarked on a month-long residency at the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust to find out what state the NHS will be in when he needs it most... 

Juliet Meyers: Year of the Dog

Juliet Meyers: Year of the Dog

Juliet Myers and Homer, the rescue podenco, deliver their second Fringe comedy run in which we are regaled with tales of life with an anxious dog. Homer is now possibly the most famous dog of the Fringe, and can regularly be spotted about festival haunts expertly posing for photographs... 

Iconic – A Brief History of Drag

Iconic – A Brief History of Drag

Ian Stroughair delivers an hour of avante guarde post modern drag, with a voice so powerful he should require a license to operate it. He performs as drag act Velma Celli, strutting into the theatre singing a sultry rendition of Sugar Daddy from the musical Hedwig... 

Best of Burlesque

Best of Burlesque

In the resplendent surroundings of the Assembly Speigeltent, a pumping rendition of Cherry Bomb blasts out the promise of an hour of alternative grandeur. Unfortunately the hour which follows is frustrating and mediocre at best... 

Fronting

Fronting

A bold and convention-bashing introspection on the impact of HIV, through the medium of two young gay men. David and Will catch each others’ eyes over the mist of a steamy nightclub... 

Gypsy Queen

Gypsy Queen

Hope Theatre Company bring us this brutal and beautiful production exploring sexuality through the lens of two boxers. This is a refreshingly unique glimpse into the lives of two men experiencing a love which dare not mention its name, and the potential repercussions when stereotypical masculinity is perceived to be challenged... 

Shakespeare for Breakfast

Shakespeare for Breakfast

For the 27th run of this Edinburgh Fringe staple, C Theatre have utilised a cast of four to present this contemporary pidgin adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew. As always, they have drawn on the bard’s traditional style of malaprops aplenty, as the cast have supposedly mistaken the title to be The Taming of the Shoe... 

Hot Brown Honey

Hot Brown Honey

Hot Brown Honey is a high-energy, ‘fuck the patriarchy’ exploration of everyday racism and sexism which promises to ‘tease and interrogate all your views’. In this aim, it does not disappoint - with a slick-as soundtrack, high energy performances and unashamed queer feminist delight... 

Anya Anastasia: The Executioners

Anya Anastasia: The Executioners

Anya Anastasia explodes into the theatre to the ominous sounds of thunderstorms, as she live streams her ascension to the stage. Adorned in a post apocalyptic silver headpiece featuring several iPhones, she serenades us with a scintillating soliloquy, a rhetoric on how we are feeling and our ability to react via the medium of social media... 

The Approach

The Approach

This simple and significant piece of theatre commences with three women each sat forebodingly on chairs at various points of the stage, as an ear-scratching soundtrack creates a backdrop that implies something ominous is about to occur... 

Terror Tour

Terror Tour

As an aficionado of all things Olde Edinburgh, there are a few basics I've come to expect from an underground tour. An immersive experience; a bit of history; scares; laughs; and a sense of trespassing into another time and place are necessary for their success... 

Pickle Jar

Pickle Jar

Pickle Jar takes us on the journey of an egocentrically flawed central character as she struggles to find her place in the world. Plagued by a lack of confidence, she is just about surviving as an English teacher in this one-woman play written and performed by Maddie Rice... 

Lauren Pattison: Peachy

Lauren Pattison: Peachy

Pattison explodes onto the stage in sparkly hot pants, boots and a crop top. It's a high energy introduction during which she barely draws breath, setting the scene for the next hour... 

Frau Welt

Frau Welt

An outstanding singular performance by Peter Clements, that draws upon - yet uniquely embraces - the fine traditions of drag queen finesse, dark humour, sexual allure and celebration... 

Pete Firman: Marvels

Pete Firman: Marvels

Pete Firman enters the stage in his trademark three-piece suit, warming the audience up with a cascade of comedy nuggets which sets the scene for what is to come. Firman is undoubtedly funny, and his heady combination of slapstick comedy and well-presented magic makes for an enjoyable hour which concludes with an astonished audience... 

Nine Foot Nine

Nine Foot Nine

Nine Foot Nine is a clever piece of dystopian theatre highlighting gender imbalance, produced by the Sleepless Theatre Company. It features the characters of Cara, Nate and their daughter Sophie, whom we visit in a chronology which transcends time and space, allowing us to dip in and out of their lives in no particular order... 

After Hours Cabaret Club

After Hours Cabaret Club

Entering the Underbelly Fresian, we were enticed by the melodious notes of a live band playing. These talented musicians manipulated the crowds and warmed us up as hostess Tash York enthused at us to take our seats, as she performed a phenomenal jazzed up tribute to Welcome to the Jungle... 

Hardeep Singh Kohli: You-topia

Hardeep Singh Kohli: You-topia

As the lights go down, the audience are met with a film playing on a screen, with a voiceover asking various people of diverse identities what utopia means to them. They reflect with various answers – ‘a level of wellbeing’, ‘heaven’, and ‘total equality and bliss’... 

A conversation with Anya Anastasia, Michael Griffiths and Hans the German

A conversation with Anya Anastasia, Michael Griffiths and Hans the German

Before the full-on headiness of the Fringe 2018 started, I had the opportunity to sit down and have a chat with three of Made In Adelaide’s hottest cabaret performers - Anya Anastasia, Michael Griffiths and Hans, the boy wonder of Berlin... 

Angry Alan by Penelope Skinner

Angry Alan by Penelope Skinner

Walking into the dark depths of the Big Belly at Underbelly, my expectations are low as I take my seat and note there’s a leak in the roof above my chair. My eye catches the on-stage screen, scrolling through social media tweets and posts featuring anti-feminist ‘men's rights activist’ rhetoric about the oppression of men... 

Bubble Show for Adults Only

Bubble Show for Adults Only

This is one of two offerings at the Fringe this year from Iulia Benze and Kurt Murray, featuring high energy physical movement, bubble art and audience interaction. In this production, Benze whips the audience into a frenzy as she rouses us into a state of exuberant clapping, chanting and an atmosphere where anything could happen, as Murray dazzles us with rotating, steam filled bubbles cascading across the room... 

Sex Waitress

Sex Waitress

Sex Waitress catapults us forward to the year 2020, in which a dystopian London has emerged from female empowerment and consent campaigns, to a society in which misogynists and sex offenders- or ‘Keiths’- are shielded, and even promoted... 

Glasgow '14

Glasgow '14

Glasgow ’14 is a one man show, inhabiting the minds of four very different men and their experiences of mental illness. The backdrop is Glasgow 2014, and the events of the bin lorry crash at George Square... 

Brenda's Got a Baby

Brenda's Got a Baby

Brenda’s Got a Baby was birthed from a concept created by Molly Rumford, financed via Crowdfunder and the culmination of interviews and news stories from real people. The audience joins Amy and Brenda in the intimate setting of their living room, as a voiceover narrates the attitudes and experiences of working class girls reflecting on their life destinations... 

Brain Rinse

Brain Rinse

Entering the room for Brain Rinse, the audience are engulfed by eerie music and the lurking of an arabianesque ninja creeping about the studio. There is a pantomime element to the performance by Mike Raffone (say it quickly) and as the music stops, we are promised ‘a transcendental experience’... 

A Glimpse into The Little Death Club

A Glimpse into The Little Death Club

Hot from rocking sell out shows in Melbourne and Adelaide, the Bernie Dieter brings us the Little Death Club - promising 'the darkest, funniest and most debauched variety show' this Fringe...