Deimos

Deimos

A ‘journey into fear’, Deimos succeeded in one single respect: to instil the everlasting terror of anything billed at 2 hours 50 minutes. Comprised of three desperately uninspired one-act plays - Dorian, Demeter, Diadem - a single narrative unveils itself, connecting them together with all the subtlety of a brick in the face... 

The School of Night's Spontaneous Shakespeare

The School of Night's Spontaneous Shakespeare

Cards on the table: this is an incredibly impressive show. The sheer speed of the cast’s razor-sharp wit is insane. Is it entertaining? Well, yes, but I won’t be rushing out to buy a second ticket anytime soon... 

The Bridge That Tom Built

The Bridge That Tom Built

It is always sheer joy to watch Dominic Allen perform. A masterful character actor, his new solo show tells the story of Thomas Paine: pamphleteer, revolutionary, corset-maker. Crucial to the colonial uprising against Britain that would eventually lead to the independence of the United States, John Adams once remarked that without Paine’s pen, ‘the sword of Washington would have been raised in vain... 

Omega

Omega

A triumph of style over substance, the bright and flashy Omega from blackSKYwhite offers an awful lot of bark with little in the way of bite. Described as ‘a hoochie coochie carnival for the end of time’ - whatever this phrase may mean, it is certainly not apparent by the end of the show - the overall effect could be summed up by performers in elaborate costumes flapping about in jitters... 

Boris & Sergey's Vaudevillian Adventure

Boris & Sergey's Vaudevillian Adventure

‘We’re gonna scam these fuckers real good’ confides Sergey to his brother Boris behind a shielding screen. Unfortunately for Sergey they could not have failed more profoundly... 

Holes by Tom Basden

Holes by Tom Basden

Never has a plane crash induced so much hilarity. In Tom Basden’s (The Party, Fresh Meat) new work, three businesspeople and a sixteen year old girl find themselves stranded on a remote island after their plane goes down... 

Midnight at the Rue Morgue: The Madness of Edgar Allan Poe

Midnight at the Rue Morgue: The Madness of Edgar Allan Poe

Too much, too close. That about sums up BaLaylah production of Midnight At The Rue Morgue - a promenade piece based on the writings of the titular horror poet. Denizens of the Rueful Morgana populate theSpace cabaret bar: doctor, dancer, tarot-reader, ventriloquist, all presided over by a spritely mesmerist with the power to force confessions from their mouths... 

Kind

Kind

In this lifeless production, we follow the tale of a young woman, Skildir, as she struggles to cope with life in a secluded island community and an abusive stepfather. I’d like to elaborate on the plot further but, well, nothing really happened... 

Tourniquet 2013

Tourniquet 2013

Every time I recall this show, the nightmares return. See it. Seriously, see it. I don’t want to be alone in my horror any more. Was it any good? I have no idea! Just see it. Three figures congregate in a dark house and perform demonic rituals: to what end? I have no idea! Just see it... 

Sappho ... in 9 Fragments

Sappho ... in 9 Fragments

As fleeting as the surviving Sapphic snippets themselves, Sappho… In 9 Fragments shall vanish from Edinburgh come tomorrow and this review will be nothing more than dusty scholarship forcing assertions onto an absent void... 

Six Characters in Search of an Author

Six Characters in Search of an Author

In a new adaptation of Luigi Pirandello’s disturbing masterpiece, Cambridge ADC chop, change and miss the point entirely. A stressed-out, overworked production company are busy trying to rehearse for their upcoming Fringe musical spectacular when the process is interrupted by a family of theatrical constructs - characters abandoned by their author... 

The Librarians

The Librarians

Surreal, silly, spectacular, Minotaur Theatre Company presents a comic gem of a show that is a thoroughly entertaining experience. Deprived of daylight and customers for over thirty years, the librarians of Tinderghast Library have gone more than a little bit loopy... 

The Bloody Ballad

The Bloody Ballad

A fun, toe tappin’ schlock-horror romp, The Bloody Ballad whips up a mixture of live music and theatre to create what could be described as a narrative gig. Inspired by Abram Woods’ tale Mary Maid of the Mill, we follow slightly psychotic Mary (Lucy Rivers) as she begins a relationship with equally damaged Connor (Oliver Wood)... 

Death by Shakespeare

Death by Shakespeare

I found Hurly Burly’s ‘best of Shakespeare deaths’ a thoroughly educational experience: I learnt that Shakespearean ‘best of’ simply does not work. It is true that you would have to be living under a rock not to know who Romeo and Juliet are, yet without the presence of the full story there really was just no reason to care about them... 

Track 3

Track 3

Mad, rad, and dangerous to miss, Track 3 is a glorious treat that is sure to bring a smile to the face. Adapted from Chekhov’s comedy Three Sisters, Theatre Movement Bazaar and Greenwich Theatre distort the traditional naturalistic approach into a surreal mixture of dance, song and clowning... 

Feral

Feral

In a beautifully executed smorgasbord of puppetry, art, sound and film, Tortoise In A Nutshell in association with Cumbernauld Theatre presents a tale of small seaside-town destruction... 

The Bunker Trilogy: Agamemnon

The Bunker Trilogy: Agamemnon

Jethro Compton has racked up so many stars in his Fringe career that he may legitimately be called a galaxy and it is with great pleasure that I add a further five. His reworking of the most gruesome, bloody tragedy of ancient Greece is sensitive, touching, and humourous... 

The Beta Males' Midnight Movie Theatre

The Beta Males' Midnight Movie Theatre

Not quite a film night and not quite a variety show, sketch comedy troupe The Beta Males play host to a feast of entertainment from some of the Fringe’s finest comedy acts while the B movie horror extravaganza Spiders plays behind them... 

The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon

The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon

Part of the American High School Theatre Festival, The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon is a high speed attempt to combine all 209 fairy tales compiled by the Grimms or at least, it wants to be... 

Paul Chowdhry - What's Happening White People

Paul Chowdhry - What's Happening White People

Describing his genre as ‘racist comedy’ and insisting that the show is not funny, Paul Chowdhry presents 55 minutes of offensive material that is often as uncomfortable as it is funny... 

The Wind in the Willows

The Wind in the Willows

Hilarious and energetic, this is a superb adaptation of the quintessentially English tale. Our hero, Mole, travels for the first time to the surface where he meets the enigmatic Ratty and eccentric Mr Toad... 

We Got Rhythm

We Got Rhythm

According to the publicity, We Got Rhythm ‘smacks the audience in the face with a satirical spectacle of choreography, slapstick and farce’. I may have been watching a different show as none of these things were true... 

The Rabbit and the Rose

The Rabbit and the Rose

Taking a seat for The Rabbit and the Rose is a treat. Before the show commences, we are welcomed with live plaintive guitar which, coupled with soft blue lighting, creates a mysterious atmosphere indicating magic is about to take place... 

Return of the Lumberjacks (Back by Poplar Demand)

Return of the Lumberjacks (Back by Poplar Demand)

Returning from deepest darkest 1998 are Canadian comedians Craig Campbell, Glenn Wool and Stewart Francis with a showcase of their comic abilities. The Lumberjack shows seem to be a frame for their careers – little known in the ‘90s and now stars of such programmes as Mock The Week and Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow... 

The Remarkable Rocket

The Remarkable Rocket

Set in the litter-strewn streets of Olympic London, The Remarkable Rocket follows a group of young adults hired for the opening ceremony clean-up. At a mere 25 minutes in length, there is little in the way of plot and character development, but that does not stop the time being packed with enjoyable moments from start to finish... 

Virginia Ironside: Growing Old Disgracefully

Virginia Ironside: Growing Old Disgracefully

It is very difficult to appreciate a show when the performer alienates you from the rest of the audience. Before the routine even began, I was singled out for being the only young person in the audience and told to leave as ‘you won’t get any of this’... 

The Picture House

The Picture House

Choc-a-block with catchy tunes and feel-good fun, The Picture House tells the story of Penny and Oscar, a sweet couple torn apart by the Second World War. Though the horrors of war are touched upon, the primary focus of the piece is domestic: three ‘soldier rejects’ attempting to snatch away Penny’s beloved cinema... 

Paul McCaffrey: Pills'n'Thrills and Belly Laughs

Paul McCaffrey: Pills'n'Thrills and Belly Laughs

Paul McCaffrey seems less like a performer and more like a mate in a pub. Though distinctly a routine, his stories of music festivals and run-ins with the council would not be out of place in amongst a group of friends... 

Life Is Too Good To Be True

Life Is Too Good To Be True

An exploration of modern society and our responses to it, Life Is Too Good To Be True is a one-man show presented by the Netherlands’ Het Geluid (The Noise). The story follows a disgruntled journalist in his attempt to find a meaningful voice within society; sick of the crushing monotony of daily existence, he shifts his identity to take on that of a Lady Gaga tribute - triumphant in pure show... 

1984

1984

EmpathEyes theatre presents a beautifully directed and innovative adaptation of Orwell’s classic dystopian novel. An incredibly verbose and slow moving work, Matthew Dunster has done a superb job in his adaptation... 

Patrick Monahan – Shooting From The Lip!

Patrick Monahan – Shooting From The Lip!

Patrick Monahan is an energetic bundle of fun. Right from the outset, he conjures a jolly and upbeat atmosphere that lasts, unwavering, for the entire performance. Predominantly an audience-based show, Monahan crafts the majority of his routine from the stories of his participants whilst weaving in more conventional material... 

Charmian Hughes: Charmageddon!

Charmian Hughes: Charmageddon!

Charmian Hughes is on a mission to save the world. Taking the audience on a light-hearted journey through the apocalypse, Hughes uses the various ways our world could collapse around us as a springboard for wider material... 

Liam Mullone: A Land Fit For F*ckwits

Liam Mullone: A Land Fit For F*ckwits

Liam Mullone is a man with a chip on his shoulder. Misanthropic but endearing, he presents an hour of despair and, to no less extent, cuddly toys. At once cerebral and silly, the material itself was strong and had the potential to be thought provoking while hilarious... 

Adam Hills: Mess Around

Adam Hills: Mess Around

Tired of the exhausting work of writing shows, Adam Hills has resolved to be rid of routine and base a show entirely around chatting to the audience. At least, this is what he claims... 

Ed Eales-White: Champions

Ed Eales-White: Champions

Ed Eales-White presents a one man sketch show championing, as he puts it, the average man on the street. Character based in nature, we follow Eales-White’s personae through crucial moments in their lives... 

Cabaret Nova

Cabaret Nova

Showcasing the best Cabaret of the Fringe – so states the publicity – Cabaret Nova offers 20 minute titbits of full shows running across a range of venues. Presently only acts from C itself are on the bill, but watch this space as the festival progresses and C accumulates a greater range of talent... 

Children's Underground Tour

Children's Underground Tour

Children’s Underground Tour offers families the chance to be guided round Edinburgh’s haunted vaults. At 40 minutes, do not expect much depth in the historical analysis of the vaults themselves... 

Irish Shorts One

Irish Shorts One

Comprised of two one-act plays, The Words Upon The Window-Pane (W.B. Yeats) and Riders to the Sea (J.M. Synge), Irish Shorts One is the first of two such shows in Theatre Alba’s Irish season running throughout the Fringe...