Paradiso

Paradiso

Our Theatre’s Paradiso is ostensibly a puppetry show about three men of different nationalities, reflecting on the last days of their lives before moving onto paradise. Unfortunately, in actuality it is a difficult to understand play about two old men leering at a woman, trying to intimidate a new arrival they see as a threat, and then being waved through to paradise by an angel who takes their vices off them first... 

Stand and Deliver

Stand and Deliver

There is something sad about leaving Stand and Deliver, accompanied by the sound of the Adam Ant song referenced in the title of the show. Tobacco Tea Theatre’s piece never really rises above the laziness that the use of this song suggests on behalf of the creative team, but then, it doesn’t appear to try to do so... 

Departure Date

Departure Date

Departure Date is a comedy about death that sadly lacks life. Set, script and performance all contribute to a limp forty five minutes, written by Paul Vitty and presented by Venture Wolf... 

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... 

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... 

George Michael Is Greek

George Michael Is Greek

I realise I’m breaking the Greek code by saying this, but George Michael is Greek is quite possibly the most underwhelming show I’ve ever seen. I understand I’ll need to explain my reasoning for this, but if you are even the slightest bit dubious, by all means, please do go and see for yourself... 

Exit the King

Exit the King

For those who pertain to be students of the Theatre of the Absurd movement prevalent in the 1950s and 60s, there is nothing of value to you in this review. Reading further would simply be a pointless waste of your time... 

Knights of the Rose

Knights of the Rose

"Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon" (II Samuel 1:20) is a line that does not appear in Knights of the Rose. It’s surprising really: it would have been a suitable recitation following defeat on the battlefield... 

Creation Song Norse Myths Storytelling

Creation Song Norse Myths Storytelling

I’m happy to admit that my knowledge of Norse mythology is patchy, but becoming more familiar with what was advertised as a fusion of "ballad song, galdr chant and ancient Eddic poetry" seemed like an opportunity worth taking up... 

Nina Conti - Work In Progress

Nina Conti - Work In Progress

Nina Conti, now a household name from multiple television appearances, has done great trade tonight packing out London’s premier temporary fringe venue – The Underbelly at Southbank... 

Porn

Porn

Porn is a musical that aims to show the emotional side of those working in the adult film industry. The writer’s note explains that there are themes of “drugs, homelessness, victimisation, sexism and legalisation”... 

Elaine Davidson's Kinky Freakshow

Elaine Davidson's Kinky Freakshow

Elaine Davidson is something of an Edinburgh icon. She can be regularly seen performing on the Royal Mile and is hard to miss; her multi-coloured hair and several hundred piercings make her a unique sight... 

It's My Funeral and I'll Throw Glitter If I Want to

It's My Funeral and I'll Throw Glitter If I Want to

Isobel Marmion's one woman nervous breakdown, entitled This Is My Funeral and I'll Throw Glitter if I Want To, was a disturbing and joyless foray into a mind no one present wanted to delve into... 

Mind-Goblin

Mind-Goblin

Thisis a solo show where the Korean dancer and choreographer Lee Kyung-eun, inspired by the shamanic gut or rite to expel ‘goblins’ or evil spirits, aims to turn this around and suggest that acceptance of all sides of our psyche is better, thus balancing yin and yang... 

Tinder Rehab

Tinder Rehab

A friend of mine and I were recently chatting about how – even today – sexism is still very much in existence. Unfortunately, this archaic viewpoint reared its ugly head today: combine that with what I can only describe as the worst show I have ever seen at the Fringe, and you have a rough summary of Tinder Rehab... 

Cashmere

Cashmere

Narrative direction is hard to achieve but is essential to a good musical. Most of the problems with this show can be attributed to a lack of it. Cashmere attempts to create a feeling of corporate coldness, but doesn’t have either the visual design or the musical chops to back it up and spends more time engaged in sentimentality than it does in any message about society’s focus on aesthetics... 

Teahouse

Teahouse

This adaptation of the modern Chinese drama Teahouse does not work. The original play, written by Lao She and first performed in China in 1958, had over 60 characters played by individual actors... 

I'm Always the Bridesmaid

I'm Always the Bridesmaid

Halfway through David Tsonos’ tedious and rambling show, a former boyfriend, one of the many trotted out as a manifested recollection from the trio of bridesmaids, appears before us with his all-time football score achieved during his childhood... 

Demise

Demise

Demise was its own demise. Its blurb promised to ‘challenge […] views of prostitution.’ It could have been a sensitive, well-informed, empathetic theatrical exploration of sex-work that debunked the prejudices so frequently assigned it... 

Thom Tuck: An August Institution

Thom Tuck: An August Institution

Thom Tuck’s stand-up show, An August Institution, opens with an extended maths joke, which sets the tone for an hour of fairly niche humour. In this territory, Tuck is at his best; a geeky and somewhat odd approach to comedy works well for him... 

The Fungasm Gameshow

The Fungasm Gameshow

Where to start with The Fungasm Game Show? It’s hard to know, when our hosts clearly don’t have a clue either. Whilst fun and chaos often go hand in hand, here it felt like the former was discarded in favour of the latter... 

Five Encounters on a Site Called Craigslist

Five Encounters on a Site Called Craigslist

After an hour of a narcissistic one man show, we were left with the dilemma of whether to applaud the honesty of Sam, or be totally appalled by the stark exposure of his personality... 

We Are All Going to Die

We Are All Going to Die

We are all Going to Die is a devised piece by Dead Person Productions. The story follows eight people that are stranded in an Arctic research base. They seem to be looking forward to either starving to death or catching hypothermia... 

Electra

Electra

Electra has been exiled and married off to a peasant. Secretly, she seeks to avenge her father Agamemnon’s death after a brief reunion with her long lost-brother Orestes. This retelling of Euripides’ Electra from Aristeia Theatre Company gives you the basic lowdown on what happens in this ancient Greek tale, throwing in a few painful monologues charting how mentally ill the starring character is... 

The Principle of Uncertainty

The Principle of Uncertainty

Making a show about science interesting to a general audience is an extremely difficult feat. You risk losing anyone without a scientific background in the details, and condescending to those who know what you’re talking about... 

A Waste Land

A Waste Land

“It’s time to take your pill,” says the director, before handing me a tiny white tablet that she assures me is made of sugar, while clearing chairs to create a dancefloor. Maybe it was a placebo effect of the pill, but A Waste Land, billed as an “electronic dance opera-odyssey through T... 

Common

Common

Within the first five or so minutes of Common, a large chorus of people wearing shrubs, trees and animal heads over their faces chant menacingly, a woman in her fineries introduces herself to the audience as a whore, liar, thief and cunt, and a young boy talks to the robotic crow on his arm that is his dead father... 

God's Anointed

God's Anointed

Grace and Laurie are two friends who decide to become prophets, in order to disprove the dying words of their friend, Eve, who recently committed suicide. Reading Eve’s suicide note changes their world views entirely, in an attempt to dislodge the perceived haunting presence of Eve, they decide to attempt to disprove Eve’s belief that there is a God, and he makes people evil... 

Anatomy of Dating

Anatomy of Dating

This is a disappointing show, billed online as storytelling comedy. What it is, is a person flicking through a PowerPoint presentation, occasionally making comments, but for the most part just reading off the slides... 

Giacinto Palmieri: Nietzsche, Women and I

Giacinto Palmieri: Nietzsche, Women and I

Italian comic Giacinto Palmieri, in this hour of comedy, tries to draw comparisons between himself and renowned misogynist and philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche in their approach to us womenfolk as romantic prospects... 

Communicate

Communicate

Spot the cliché. James (Toby Vaughan) likes superheroes, video games, and not talking about his feelings; Heather (Olivia Elsden) likes berating her partner, talking about their future baby, and berating her partner some more... 

Shakespeare Tonight

Shakespeare Tonight

In Shakespeare Tonight, the famous playwright gives his first ever television performance on a talk show with host Martina, only to be confronted by his so-called ‘enemy’, humanist writer Francis Bacon... 

The Magic Cave of Salamanca

The Magic Cave of Salamanca

This was a hugely disappointing hour of theatre. Overall, it was less a comedy of errors than it was merely an error in comedy. The production is described on the Fringe website as being “an exciting, lively and colourful production”... 

Collateral Damage

Collateral Damage

The programme for Collateral Damage states that, while the play was written in 1999 in response to contemporary issues, it “has many resonances for us today”. Yet this production fails to resonate... 

Grandad Died

Grandad Died

A grandad may have passed on, but he wasn’t the only thing that died on stage. Toad Pit Theatre have committed murder with this lurid, self-indulgent drama and weak allegory on the outcome of the EU referendum... 

Imaginary Porno Charades

Imaginary Porno Charades

Imagine taking seven of the most gratingly hyperactive and sexually frustrated boys you were at school with aged fourteen. Now give them a few beers, the bodies of middle-aged men and a room full of people in front of whom they can make penis jokes and hump each other for a whole hour... 

The Improv Musical

The Improv Musical

The Improv Musical from the University of Warwick return for their third stint at the Fringe, and while providing some light and silly entertainment, fails to land any punches either through character, story or music... 

John Knox

John Knox

If you want to see a show that constructs John Knox as a talking point for oversimplified political views, may I suggest Mary Queen of Scots got her Head Chopped Off? It’s not on at this year’s Fringe, but is commonly done in Scottish secondary schools and universities, where you can see similar production values and performances in a script that doesn’t use one of Scotland’s most controversial historical figures as a tool for the American political right... 

Single Varietal

Single Varietal

Bob Stourton has an orchard. This orchard makes cider, specifically Hambledon Gold Single Varietal Cider, a famed brew from South West England. Bob dies and suddenly his children, Molly and Tim, are thrust into the care of the smallholding, and conflicts grow over its handling... 

Steele Edge: Martial Arts Illusion Show

Steele Edge: Martial Arts Illusion Show

Steele Edge: Martial Arts Illusion Show bills itself as “a dynamic fusion of physical excitement and visual wonder” but it’s more of a bizarre fusion of vague ‘oriental’ stereotypes, slow motion fight scenes and mediocre magic... 

The Gayest Thing You've Ever Seen

The Gayest Thing You've Ever Seen

Claiming to be the gayest thing in a room full of LGBT people in a gay bar (although straights are welcome too) is quite the boast. In the case of Martin J Dixon it is also entirely untrue... 

Alice and the Dream Child

Alice and the Dream Child

Transforum Theatre’s adaptation of Alice in Wonderland sets the Lewis Carroll classic in a mental hospital. This is an intriguing choice from the outset, not least because of Carroll’s widely known drug addiction... 

At War With Love

At War With Love

Ambitious in its intentions, At War With Love uses a selection of thirty-two of William Shakespeare’s sonnets to form a narrative set against the backdrop of the First World War. What with the continuation of World War One commemorations taking place in this centenary anniversary year of the Battle of the Somme, tied to the events marking the four hundredth year since Shakespeare’s death, it would appear that the piece has chanced upon the perfect time to tie these two areas of literary and historical significance together... 

Lewis Schaffer: You Are Beautiful

Lewis Schaffer: You Are Beautiful

Early on, Schaffer decided that the show wasn’t going so well. And shortly after that, he appeared to give up. Throughout, there were occasional glimpses of the show he was ostensibly meant to be performing; I suppose it was just bad luck that he decided not to bother... 

The Shakespeare Club

The Shakespeare Club

In the programme, The Shakespeare Club promises to be a somewhat cheesy, yet harmless play about finding oneself through Shakespeare’s characters. Instead, it’s a poorly-cooked mess of ideas... 

Vivaldi for Breakfast!

Vivaldi for Breakfast!

Vivaldi for Breakfast is an interesting attempt to dramatise the enigmatic life of notorious Baroque composer, Antonio Vivaldi, as he worked in the famous Pietà orphanage for young girls in Venice... 

Intergalactic Nemesis: Twin Infinity – A Live Action Graphic Novel

Intergalactic Nemesis: Twin Infinity – A Live Action Graphic Novel

Intergalactic Nemesis was like being trapped in a lift that wouldn’t stop going up or down, it made me angry on so many levels.Billed as a real-life graphic novel, the cast stand behind microphones as comic panels are shown behind them and a foley artist makes effects, all accompanied by a live piano... 

The Country Wife

The Country Wife

The Cambridge University Amateur Dramatic Club’s adaptation of the restoration era comedy The Country Wife moves the action to modern American suburbia, but keeps the period’s signature blend of complicated character relationships and bawdy humour, along with the era’s sensibilities... 

Insomnia

Insomnia

It’s said that two fasting, sleepless nights are all that separates us from savagery. And the play I saw last night, Insomnia, devised by ZLS Theatre, is well endowed with the kaleidoscopic disorientation, claustrophobia and the downright maddening of such an eventuality... 

The Suicide

The Suicide

Russian playwright Nikolai Erdman's original script for The Suicide was seen as such a strong satirical attack on the Communist Russian Government that it was branded ‘dangerous’ and ‘anti-Soviet’, banned and led to Erdman’s arrest and the murder of its director, Meyerhold... 

Punning Linguist

Punning Linguist

Heart-wrenching, harrowing, ill-fated, anguished; these words would not at all be out of place in a review of a Shakespearian tragedy but alas, this was no evening of star crossed lovers and unrequited affection but an unfortunate attempt at a night of stand-up comedy... 

Jeepers Creepers

Jeepers Creepers

Marty Feldman's style of comedy - and indeed his story - is of a very specific time in the annals of British entertainment. With elements of slapstick, surrealism, buffoonery and double entendre - along with a wonky eye that did more to harm his ego than his success or memorability - his work and his life aren't that dissimilar to his peers that we call great comedy masters today: such as Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan, Peter Cook and, of course, The Monty Python team... 

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby

Even if you don't know the whole story of F. Scott's Fitzgerald's classic 1925 American novel, the chances are you'll still be aware that it's an homage to the decadent, glamorous party lifestyle of post-WWI America – oozing with sexuality and debauchery in its comment on the importance society assigned to status at that time (arguably not that different to the showbiz world we see in our tabloids today)... 

Patrick Kielty: Help

Patrick Kielty: Help

Television personality, Patrick Kielty, attempts to revive his stand up career in what is billed as a fresh hour of comedy. Ominously, he admits three minutes in that ‘there is no show because he is happy’... 

The Graduettes

The Graduettes

The Graduettes starts with a great farce premise: flatmates wake up on Christmas morning to find their home robbed and their landlady dead on the floor. There's also a visit from a judgemental in-law planned, an intrusive ex and a policeman who's related to said dead lady... 

Tim Drain: I Know How to Make the Women I Sleep with Laugh

Tim Drain: I Know How to Make the Women I Sleep with Laugh

I went into Tim Drain's show fully prepared for some offensive stuff. Like, really offensive, "did he just say that" stuff. The flyer for the show boasts a no holds barred set, which means it's a total shock to the senses for the mild-mannered man to take to the stage in silence, sit down and produce a script... 

Death Actually: A Necromantic Comedy

Death Actually: A Necromantic Comedy

Death Actually sets out to bring 'lethal puns and dead funny songs' in a larger than life musical. What the audience gets instead is a hammy play with a contrived plot and songs which are few and far between... 

Captain of the Lost Waves: Unsolved Mysteries

Captain of the Lost Waves: Unsolved Mysteries

One of the songs included in Captain of the Lost Waves: Unsolved Mysteries is titled A Song No One Wants to Hear. Despite what it may seem from this, the Captain is apparently unaware that this is the show that no one wants to see... 

The Wendy House Trilogy: Edmund

The Wendy House Trilogy: Edmund

This is a show I really wanted to enjoy; each part of the production tries very hard to achieve an ambitious vision, but don’t quite make it.Despite marketing itself as a homage to Lewis Carrol, Edmund contains no reference to the story of Edmund from The Chronicles of Narnia – the closest it comes to this is when this show’s protagonist looks in a wardrobe and puts on a fur coat, flirting with the character of ‘Lucy’ (his sister in the Narnia books), in a situation which is surprisingly unaware of its incest... 

The Ted Bundy Project

The Ted Bundy Project

Killing most of an hour, and murder to sit through, The Ted Bundy Project does bait-and-switch on its audience. Anyone who shows up expecting that this solo piece will in some way explore the string of homicides committed by the title figure, one of America’s most notorious serial killers, will instead get something else... 

Australia: A Whinging Pom's Guide

Australia: A Whinging Pom's Guide

If Dan Willis is targeting the annoying Australian Uncle demographic with his show Australia: A Whinging Pom’s Guide, he’s got it completely spot on.Dan Willis appears to be ‘that Uncle’... 

These Troubled Times

These Troubled Times

Troy Diana’s comedy These Troubled Times focuses on Charles (John Curtis), an openly gay man who arrives at his brother's family home to babysit his niece and nephew. Upon arrival, strange incidents begin to unfold and he soon finds himself getting more than what he bargained for... 

Awakening, Sweet and Sour Sensory Composition

Awakening, Sweet and Sour Sensory Composition

Immersive shows are one of those strands of theatre which can be either spectacular or absolutely appalling. Unfortunately this show falls into the latter category. I can honestly say that I have never in my life felt so uncomfortable during a show... 

Paintings and Cake

Paintings and Cake

Do you like weird and impenetrable absurdist drama? The kind of play that seems to bend time with its slowness? Do you find pleasure in watching characters say meaningless things to one another, repeating them, not for emphasis, but for some confounding attempt at profundity? Is it easy for you to summon empathy for actors who garble their words, miss their cues, speak without actually moving their lips and make no attempt at vocal expressiveness? Who utter dialogue in the flat tones of the robo-voices who ring you at dinnertime on behalf of bogus real estate schemes and fake sweepstakes? Are you OK with sitting in a below-ground space that’s as airless as a boxcar? No, really, do you find it mentally stimulating to test your limits of claustrophobia in a room so hot it feels like the anteroom to purgatory? Have you been craving an alternative to the well-produced, expertly acted, beautifully written plays being staged elsewhere at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe? Do you need an hour of wooden acting to remind you what good acting looks like? Is it on your to-do list to witness a production in which the actors look like they need a hard scrubbing? Would you be interested in seeing three performers engaged in some new form of Method acting that requires them to wear filthy costumes? Have you dreamed of watching a play with no-name characters (they are called A, B and C) who gabble on about being trapped inside Monet paintings (much the way you are trapped inside the venue) and who sometimes cram their mouths full of pastry? If you said “yes” to all of these, Paintings and Cake is the perfect play for you... 

Five-a-Side Theatre

Five-a-Side Theatre

“Join our storytelling team as they use innovative improve [sic] techniques to craft a narrative from audience members’ true stories,” boasts the Five-a-Side flyer. Imagine the disappointment when, far from this promise, you are subjected to five students dressed in cheap Disney princess costumes, telling a story that is not only not improvised but is also mind-numbingly poor... 

No Strings

No Strings

No Strings tells the unoriginal tale of two, middle-aged married people hooking up for one night of meaningless, pure sex, with Shona looking to get back at her cheating husband and turning to the more experienced Jamie for that satisfaction... 

Bear Hug

Bear Hug

Billed as a rom-com, Bear Hug looked to be a pretty safe bet for some laughs – described as a story about how coming out is easy but how getting back in is harder. As a new piece of writing by Rory Mackenzie as part of The Mermaids Arts Fund, from The University of St Andrews, I was hoping for some fresh and hilarious take on a coming out story... 

Aidan Killian: Holy Trinity of Whistle Blowers

Aidan Killian: Holy Trinity of Whistle Blowers

Aidan Killian is not the kind of performer to shy away from big questions. This August he is back in Edinburgh with a stand-up show-cum-sermon, centring on the actions of Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, and Edward Snowden... 

Never Mind the Pollocks

Never Mind the Pollocks

Jim Higo and Miki Higgins present their double act poetry, comedy and sketch show which is intended to be ‘a satirical look at culture and the arts’.If satire is indiscriminately insulting any famous comedian, performer or artist they can think of then Higo and Higgins have hit the nail on the end... 

Death and the Maiden

Death and the Maiden

Ariel Dorfman’s Death and the Maiden is one of my all time favourite plays; it is a beautifully written text, teeming with monologues many actors would dream to get their hands on... 

Disorder

Disorder

Disorder is a play about mental illness that attempts to portray the realities of living with bipolar disorder, as well as the long term effects of the condition, not only on the sufferer but their relatives as well... 

Chipped/Drift

Chipped/Drift

Chipped/Drift is a double bill of short pieces with a high school cast all the way from the USA. Chipped discusses how we use technology to communicate. Drift takes a look into the lives of the young and homeless in New York City... 

101 Reasons Why I #@%$ Katie Hopkins

101 Reasons Why I #@%$ Katie Hopkins

Though billed as theatre, 101 Reasons Why I #@%$ Katie Hopkins is essentially a lecture on odious media figure Katie Hopkins, complete with biography and PowerPoint presentation, but sadly little analysis or engagement... 

Showbiz, or, Repeat Until Funny

Showbiz, or, Repeat Until Funny

A comedy that ironically centres around two failing comedians should find humour in the ineptness of these characters. Sadly Showbiz, or, Repeat Until Funny does not achieve this and we are left awkwardly watching the actors fishing for laughs in this disappointing production... 

Grounded

Grounded

Grounded is written, performed and directed by Linda McDade. Perhaps it is the fact she has taken on all three of the important creative roles that she has lost perspective on this show... 

Two From Texas: New Plays in Performance

Two From Texas: New Plays in Performance

Why go to the trouble of raising the funds and making the trip to the International Collegiate Theatre Festival, only to present plays nobody back home would want to see, much less the spoiled audiences at the super-competitive Fringe?Two from Texas: New Plays in Performance came to Edinburgh from Stephen F... 

Jim Higo and Miki Higgins - Never Mind The Pollocks

Jim Higo and Miki Higgins - Never Mind The Pollocks

Jim Higo and Miki Higgins are, in one word, brave. Onstage, Higgins unfortunately had her leg strapped up from an injury and not, as one might be led to believe, from the bullet wound where the pair shot themselves in the foot when they committed to this show... 

The Unholy Trinity

The Unholy Trinity

I’m not quite sure why The Unholy Trinity calls itself horror. “Be warned,” says the programme, “the sights you are about to see are not for the squeamish or the delicate of stomach... 

Making Light

Making Light

Naomi Paul does not so much make light of topics as make them dull. This bizarre piece, which defines itself as both comedy and theatre, is made up of anecdotal narratives and comments which are of less than anecdotal interest... 

Adventures of the Singing Acupuncturist: Big O Finds Her Soul

Adventures of the Singing Acupuncturist: Big O Finds Her Soul

Thankfully, there was no combination of singing and acupuncture. And that’s where the relief ended as far as Adventures of the Singing Acupuncturist was concerned. Olivia, the singing acupuncturist in question, took us through her life story via monologue and the adaptation of popular musical classics in a show only made less painful to watch by the lack of needles involved... 

PratFall

PratFall

A 'pratfall' refers to the slapstick action, common in clowning, of falling and landing on the buttocks. Pratfall doesn't so much as fall flat on its arse as on its face. Glasgow-based Threadbare Jugglers may tout themselves as performers dedicated to 'creating new exciting performances' which blend 'physical theatre and circus skills with contemporary theatre styles and aesthetics,’ but Pratfall delivers on none of these promises... 

Hamlet Private Eye

Hamlet Private Eye

Fringe wouldn’t be Fringe without its many questionable adaptations of Hamlet and this one definitely raises a lot of questions. Primarily, why would anyone want to inflict this monstrosity on the public?Set in New York where Hamlet is a private investigator, Ophelia is a phone sex worker and Yorick is rambunctiously camp, there is absolutely nothing positive to say about Hamlet: Private Eye... 

Can't Stay Away!

Can't Stay Away!

Can’t Stay Away! is a farce centred around an immigrant worker from Eastern Europe who has saved up some money and just wants to return home. He goes on an endless journey, encountering travail after travail as he attempts to hitch-hike his way back to his family with a sackful of gifts... 

Ant Dewson and Mark Silcox: Life in the Bus Lane - Free

Ant Dewson and Mark Silcox: Life in the Bus Lane - Free

Everything seemed against this performance from the start. This particular performance was beset by a daytime crowd of drunk teenagers to complete the scene, though they left halfway through, along with over half of the rest of the 40-strong audience, rocking the bus-cum-venue as they left... 

Hamlet

Hamlet

I really hope there wasn’t an adult in charge of this. If there was, why didn’t you tell them what they were doing? Rarely has the text of Hamlet been altered with such baffling disrespect... 

The Chronic Single's Handbook

The Chronic Single's Handbook

If you’ve been looking all over the Fringe for some misogynistic bullshit, you need look no further: Randy Ross is your man. His show is good value for money too, because I can guarantee that these fifty excruciating minutes feel more like several hours... 

Alasdair Lists Everything

Alasdair Lists Everything

If you go to see a show called Alasdair Lists Everything for an hour, you can probably expect to spend an hour watching and listening to a guy called Alasdair listing things. For an hour... 

Dead Fresh

Dead Fresh

The promotional blurb for Dead Fresh warns you that missing the secret of this dark comedy (or perhaps missing the comedy itself – there’s some pronoun confusion in there) ‘could be fatal’... 

Pieces of Eight

Pieces of Eight

Aberdeen’s Literal Lines bring their confused and incoherent sketch show to Edinburgh for the first time. Over fifty unrelentingly dismal minutes, the cast of five prove just how difficult it is to bring successful comedy to the Fringe in a display from which no-one emerges with much dignity... 

Rants, Bantz and Comas

Rants, Bantz and Comas

“Happy families are all alike, but every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way,” wrote Tolstoy. Across the theatrical canon – from Shakespeare to Chekhov to Tracey Letts - there are hundreds of examples of how theatre can effectively utilise the drama and comedy inherent in the family unit... 

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... 

Monster Madness

Monster Madness

I love monsters. I genuinely do. They can be the single most fascinating form of aesthetic and artistic expression to help understand fears in society and to achieve catharsis from trauma... 

Good Morning, Campers

Good Morning, Campers

‘I do say, give us another!’ is the tragic cry of mediocrity from an improv show that is several decades too late for salvation. Marching out on stage in their matching red blazers, the campers deliver an abysmal performance that emerges as one of the worst Fringe shows this year in an act that is worse than Highlander II, and that’s saying something... 

These Is You're Lifes

These Is You're Lifes

Sometimes a show just leaves you in despair and unfortunately These Is Your Lifes is one of them. An attempt at stand up comedy from Patch Hyde and David Hardcastle barely succeeded in ever raising a laugh in the painfully lengthy fifty minute set... 

Faith

Faith

Faith is based on the story of Imber, a village which had the misfortune to be located too near to a military base on Salisbury Plain. On All Saints Day, 1943, the people were summoned to a meeting in the village schoolroom and given 47 days’ notice to evacuate... 

National Loaf

National Loaf

There’s a sort of delicious irony to queuing for a show about rationing whilst watching one of the cast frantically stuffing their face with crisps. Sadly for National Loaf, this was as amused as I ever got... 

Stuart Laws When's This Gonna Stop? (1hr Show)

Stuart Laws When's This Gonna Stop? (1hr Show)

Irritating stand up from an irritating man. Stuart Laws is like the kid at school who used to get picked on so now he just picks on everyone smaller than him. In this case; his audience... 

Conversations with Boring, Ugly People

Conversations with Boring, Ugly People

A decent show is worth the price of a ticket and a bad show isn’t, but in the case of Conversations with Boring, Ugly People, I’d pay good money not to have to watch this exercise in pointlessness... 

Rock Trial

Rock Trial

Forget the defendant, it is the cast of this excruciating production who should be in the dock. In Trial by Jury, Gilbert and Sullivan created an operetta with a farcical plot which is taken seriously by the characters... 

Candide: The Optimist

Candide: The Optimist

This is a one man production of Voltaire’s Candide, a satire about a young man who believes firmly that this is the “best of all possible worlds”, despite the increasingly horrific events unfolding in his life...