The Shakespeare Conspiracy

The Shakespeare Conspiracy

When Martin's best friend is murdered by a shadowy assassin, he discovers he's at the heart of a 400-year-old conspiracy involving the RSC, Shakespeare's most nefarious villain and an idea that could mean the end of all thought, feeling and being on this humble globe... 

Watch This Presents: Nothing to Show

Watch This Presents: Nothing to Show

Here’s a trade secret for you, readers at home: reviewing comedy is the hardest part of this job. I know what you’re thinking; being paid to sit in a room with the funniest people in the country and then giving your opinions like we all do in the pub is a piece of cake... 

A Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange

Where do you begin with A Clockwork Orange? Is it with Burgess’ 1962 novella? Or Kubrick’s 1971 film, whose style and invention is forever omnipresent? Or Burgess’ resulting stage version? Or the attendant controversies and misunderstandings of the work? Or the celebration of language and form? Or the underlying themes of the piece no matter its incarnation? Or the contentious 21st chapter? Approaching the piece can seem too much even for those of us who have treasured it for years... 

Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet

Shakespeare’s classic tale of two warring households in fair Verona comes to the Finchley artsdepot on its national tour. I believe reviewing Shakespeare is as complicated as reviewing stand-up comedy: each individual has his own tastes, his own opinions and comes to the performance with his own understanding of the material... 

The Government Inspector

The Government Inspector

In a little Russian town, cut off from the rest of the world, a rumour is brewing. It seems there’s a Government Inspector on his way. What does he want? When is he going to get there? And who is he? These are the problems facing the Police Governor and the mob of ridiculous provincials that he allows to run the town... 

Sweeney Todd: His Life, Times and Execution!

Sweeney Todd: His Life, Times and Execution!

The sights, smells and sounds of eighteenth century London live on in the Gilded Balloon’s Debating Hall. The cast warmly welcome you into a smoky, straw-strewn room, clutching you by the hand and offering shots of gin... 

'Oleanna' By David Mamet

'Oleanna' By David Mamet

Oleanna is David Mamet’s unflinching and controversial portrayal of power relations as viewed through the prism of a potentially fraudulent allegation of sexual harassment. The play is a two-hander set solely in a small office room... 

The Most Important Show Of The Day

The Most Important Show Of The Day

It’s 10.30 on a Sunday morning and I’m here with a group of strangers whilst a man who bears more than a passing resemblance to Richard Simmons has us stretching to disco hits. Andrew Foreman’s Richard Simms is delightful: a campy fitness instructor whose comedy is laden with suggestive but inoffensive innuendos, he had the audience eating (literally!) out of the palm of his hand... 

Carl Donnelly - Relax Everyone, It's Carl Donnelly!

Carl Donnelly - Relax Everyone, It's Carl Donnelly!

Tucked away in the bowels of the Underbelly in an unfairly small room is the rarest of finds: an actual Fringe comedian. What do I mean by that? Well, this is Donnelly’s debut Edinburgh show that is, unassumingly, about him and the way he is... 

Anna & Katy

Anna & Katy

According to Anna and Katy there are two things a comedy double act need: chemistry and jokes.There’s no doubt about their chemistry. Anna and Katy clearly have a deep understanding of their act and they clearly enjoy performing to each other as much as to the audience... 

Jerry Springer The Opera

Jerry Springer The Opera

The most controversial musical of all time returns to its spiritual home in a production that is so vastly superior to the professional one that it is staggering.Welcome to the Jerry Springer show... 

Take The Empire: The Great Big Marvellous Victorian Game Show

Take The Empire: The Great Big Marvellous Victorian Game Show

Here’s the pitch and don’t run away: a Victorian-themed Shooting Stars with two insane Victorian aristocrats in the roles of Vic and Bob.Still here? Good. This is forty-five minutes of guaranteed hilarity... 

Hangover

Hangover

A man lies passed out in his bed, surrounded by discarded cigarette packets and empty bottles. His name is Daniel and he is being harassed by the personification of his hangover. But as the events of last night begin to come out, things take a turn for the worse... 

Geoff Norcott -The Shocking Truth About Men And Women

Geoff Norcott -The Shocking Truth About Men And Women

I’m pretty sure that if you decoded the earliest cave paintings they would be about the differences between men and women. Norcott’s material could be stale but he finds a lot of mileage in deconstructing both the clichés about men and women and also the old tired jokes that everyone knows... 

The Improverts

The Improverts

Improvisational comedy shows are always a tricky thing to review. On the one hand you get a sense of the company and how they work together. And on the other your enjoyment is entirely dependent on how good their response to the audience is... 

Zoe Lyons: Miss Machismo

Zoe Lyons: Miss Machismo

Zoe Lyons is an excellent comedienne. Standing there with only a microphone, she delivers an hour of comedy at a speed that will make your head rush and with more punch lines than you think can be crammed into an hour... 

The Canterbury Tales

The Canterbury Tales

You remember The Canterbury Tales don’t you? A group of pilgrims meet in a Southwark tavern, all on pilgrimage to Canterbury, and agree to pass the time by telling each other stories... 

Songs For A New World

Songs For A New World

Jason Robert Brown’s American song-cycle is a Fringe favourite with student companies. Its lush vocal harmonies and necessity for belting make it as exciting to perform as it is difficult to learn... 

Snarl-Up

Snarl-Up

Even in Edinburgh, the M25 is at a standstill. But the characters in Knock Knock’'s Snarl-Up are doing anything but putting on the radio. Secrets and old wounds are waiting to erupt… and the traffic’s not going anywhere... 

Jason Byrne: The Byrne Supremacy

Jason Byrne: The Byrne Supremacy

Spotlights swirl as Bond tunes blast from the speakers, a gun-toting silhouette hung from the ceiling as a backdrop. His name is Byrne, Jason Byrne and if you don’t know who he is you must be living under Arthur’s Seat... 

Chatroom

Chatroom

Congratulations to the Exeter University Theatre Company for this production which allows the emotion to bubble just under the surface without allowing it to erupt into cliché.Set entirely in a series of Internet chatrooms, the play focuses on Jim, a clinically depressed 18-year-old looking for advice from anonymous Essex teenagers he meets online... 

A Team - The Musical

A Team - The Musical

Another year, another series of ‘words that shouldn’t be followed by ‘the musical’: The Musical’. Nine times out of ten these are just gimmicky shows with the sole aim of getting people in and making money (as if anybody in Edinburgh makes money)... 

Andrew Maxwell - The Lamp

Andrew Maxwell - The Lamp

Fringe favourite Andrew Maxwell returns to Edinburgh with a show that touches on everything from Barack Obama to the difficulties of sexual self-gratification as a young father. Maxwell’s rapid-fire machine gun approach is incredibly entertaining... 

Paul Zerdin: Sponge Fest

Paul Zerdin: Sponge Fest

Say what you will about ventriloquists, there’s no denying their talent. And Paul Zerdin has to be one of the best of the bunch. His wit, vigour and inventiveness means his act is always entertaining, if not always hilarious... 

Art

Art

ArtC Venues5/5Jaw-droppingly, edge of your seat incredible.If I had paid £40 for this in the West End I would be delighted with what I saw for my money. This production, however, will cost you less than a tenner and is performed, not by professionals, but by a group of young actors, all recent graduates from the University of Birmingham with a level of professionalism and theatrical awareness that literally made me put my notes down in case I blinked and missed a microsecond... 

Lucy Porter - Fool's Gold

Lucy Porter - Fool's Gold

Lucy Porter is a darling of the Fringe. She’s sold out every show she’s performed here for the last five years and is considered by some to be the best comedienne working today.Fool’s Gold follows her obsession and fascination with gold... 

The Thing About Men

The Thing About Men

Tom (Howard Thompson) and Lucy (Amy Newman) live a Desperate Housewives kind of life. He’s a successful advertising executive, she’s a vacuous blonde and neither of them are above the occasional extra-curricular lover... 

I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change

I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change

So, another year another thousand student companies bringing I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change to the Fringe. You’ll have to excuse this jaded cynic, but, walking into this show, I was expecting to dislike it... 

Axis Of Awesome: Infinity Rock Explosion

Axis Of Awesome: Infinity Rock Explosion

This is an incredibly difficult review to write because to give away anything about the show will ruin it for you. Axis of Awesome are an Australian comedy rock group who have been described as a combination of Spinal Tap and Flight of the Conchords...