The Calpol Flashbacks - Free

The Calpol Flashbacks - Free

Its a hard job to get a small, mostly drunken, late night audience on your side. Rob Callaghan and Alexander Bennett, however, managed a difficult crowd well in their show Calpol Flashbacks... 

Berkoff's Hell

Berkoff's Hell

George Dillon gives us a virtuoso performance, cutting into the mind of loneliness. Using nothing more than a stool and a spotlight we hear his disembodied voice over a background of sinister but soothing music and delve into the psyche of a man who feels he has nothing to live for... 

Death of a Salesman

Death of a Salesman

I didn't have high hopes for a school drama group bringing one of the classic plays of the twentieth century to the Fringe. Half way through the opening scene, however, I was convinced that they could handle the weight of such a masterpiece... 

Chamber Music

Chamber Music

We are given a window into a mental asylum as this absurdist tale of tragic delusion unfolds before us. An enjoyable production let down by a a few average performances and a script that is trying to say everything and nothing at once... 

Celebration

Celebration

Harold Pinter's final play, Celebration, is widely regarded as one of his funniest and most accessible works. However, the slow pace coupled with odd pieces of shaky acting took the sting out of the script and didn't leave me in a mood to celebrate... 

Markus Birdman: Dreaming

Markus Birdman: Dreaming

Markus Birdman is a likable comedian but his set sadly lacked that vital something to make him a really funny one as well. Although there are moments of inspiration, for the most part it toes the line of average far too closely... 

And the Birds Fell from the Sky

And the Birds Fell from the Sky

Wow. Well. Disorientating, immersive and weirdly thrilling, this autoteatro show was stunning and left me wanting more. My only problem with an otherwise faultless production was that, at only 15 minutes long, this might not represent the best value for money in the crowded Festival Fringe market place... 

David Kelly is Shameless - Free

David Kelly is Shameless - Free

Advertised in the Fringe guidebook as 'David Kelly is Shameless', the show turned out to be rebranded as 'David Kelly and Laura Carr Have No Shame'. The show also contained no elaboration of any of the jokes hinted at in the guide, nor the ‘'hand-picked comedy guests’ promised... 

Foil, Arms and Hog: Comedy Doesn't Pay

Foil, Arms and Hog: Comedy Doesn't Pay

A brave attempt at something different, Foil, Arms and Hog flirted with comedy gold but their reliance on some cheap jokes and a few too many silly faces let them down. Although this is a very funny show, there are just too many faults for it to be outstanding... 

Love

Love

A contemporary reinventon of Shakespeare's sonnets was always going to be a risk. In this case it is one that doesn't pay off. Slow, loosely directed and at a terrible venue, this production is more of a tragedy than a love poem... 

McNeil and Pamphilon: Which One Are You?

McNeil and Pamphilon: Which One Are You?

Traversing the line between the silly and the outrageous whilst keeping a comic dignity is a difficult skill to master. It is one that Steve McNeil and Sam Pamphilon display in bucket loads in their sketch show ''Which One Are You?''... 

Hex

Hex

Opening on a living room complete with incense, plastic Buddha and meditating woman, Hex is an hour long stylish lampoon of silly new age ideas and the charlatans they breed. Funny and well-written, the show did suffer from the occasional blemish of overacting which detracted from the atmosphere, if not the audience's enjoyment... 

Dan Antopolski, Tom Craine & Nat Luurtsema: Jigsaw

Dan Antopolski, Tom Craine & Nat Luurtsema: Jigsaw

An inconsistent show which never quite gained momentum, Jigsaw was full of good ideas which weren't properly realised and fell by the wayside to badly executed surrealism and poor punchlines... 

Juliet Meyers: I'm Not Spartacus!

Juliet Meyers: I'm Not Spartacus!

A well structured, clever and charming hour of stand-up comedy, Juliet Meyers was a joy to watch. Although there were few resounding belly laughs, Meyers managed to ride the bad jokes and made for a thoroughly enjoyable show... 

Street Dreams

Street Dreams

A scattering of cardboard boxes, newspaper and plastic bags greet the audience on stage. A small puppet of an old man emerged to the sound of harmonica music. For the next 50 minutes a rapt congregation follows his escapades amongst the rubbish of his home sweet home with intense attention... 

Masses Man

Masses Man

Edinburgh can be a lonely place in August, as I found out turning up as the solitary audience member for Masses Man at C aquila. Dogged by technical problems and based around a difficult script, excellent performances and a subtly elegant use of physical theatre managed to create an absorbing production against the odds... 

The Oxford Imps

The Oxford Imps

The Oxford Imps have a big reputation on the student comedy scene, a reputation that wasn't fully realised at the last of their preview performances. Although boasting obviously talented performers, the show suffered from a confused structure, a slow pace and some really bad jokes which prevented it from maximising these abilities...