Séance

Séance

It’s Halloween evening at the Brighton Open Air Theatre and what better time for a séance? Even if it has to be a socially distance séance – there’s no hand holding or grou… 

Lady M

Lady M

In Nia Williams’ upcoming new musical, Lady Macbeth is a creepy life coach who takes advantage of the collective incapacity of lockdown to bring her own particular brand of… we… 

Haunted

Haunted

The chaos of a house move. 

Lady Wank (And Other Fairytales For Adults)

Lady Wank (And Other Fairytales For Adults)

Marketed as a comedic, feminist fairytale mashup, the concept of Lady Wank (And Other Fairytales For Adults) offered much potential. 

Mrs Puntila And Her Man Matti

Mrs Puntila And Her Man Matti

Mrs Puntila and her Man Matti is that relatively rare thing for the Royal Lyceum Theatre—a star vehicle, rather than an ensemble production, that happens to have two audience fav… 

My Brilliant Friend

My Brilliant Friend

The challenge in attempting to adapt Elena Ferrante's 10 million-selling quadrilogy, The Neapolitan Novels lies not in finding the time to read through the 1,600 pages of sourc… 

Call of Cthulhu: A Cold Case

Call of Cthulhu: A Cold Case

As a horror fan, I approached this performance with high expectations; I wanted to be scared, disturbed or mildly agitated at the very least. 

Vassa

Vassa

In a rare proscenium-style presentation at the Almeida Theatre, director Tinuke Craig offers Maxim Gorky’s Vassa as her debut production for the venue in a new adaptation by Mike… 

Velvet

Velvet

To compile his one-man show, Velvet, Tom Ratcliffe combined personal experience and the disturbing revelations that emerged as the #MeToo movement gathered momentum. 

Brooklyn The Musical

Brooklyn The Musical

Set in the shadow of Brooklyn Bridge on a shabby corner, Brooklyn The Musical is a play-within-a-play staged by a rag-tag bunch of street performers who call themselves the Ci… 

Youth Without God

Youth Without God

Youth Without God at the Coronet Theatre is heralded as ‘a dark fable about the individual conscience in a time of social uncertainty’ and the 1937 novel by Ödön von Horváth… 

Fatherland

Fatherland

It seems like a few years now that people have been saying virtual reality is the future of theatre. 

Meatball Séance

Meatball Séance

As the caffeine levels increase and you approach the final week of the Festival Fringe, it is a fair observation to make that your shock tolerance increases. 

The Heresy Machine

The Heresy Machine

The Heresy Machine, by Seth Majnoon, claims to be about Alan Turing. 

The Female Role Model Project

The Female Role Model Project

The Female Role Model Project is just that, a project. 

Landscape (1989)

Landscape (1989)

With its eclectic composition of scenes, monologues, choreography and voice-over, Landscape (1989) is a genuinely intriguing production full of interesting elements – although th… 

Like Animals

Like Animals

Through a series of slightly disjointed comic scenes, two actors, Pete and Kim, tell the story of three different relationships. 

Rattigan's Nijinsky

Rattigan's Nijinsky

Written by Nicholas Wright for the Chichester Festival, Rattigan’s Nijinsky explores sexuality, privacy, autonomy and unconditional love within the central conceit of why the dyi… 

Everyman

Everyman

As the saying goes, "The path to hell is paved with good intentions". 

Miss AmeriKa

Miss AmeriKa

If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. 

The Perfect Body

The Perfect Body

The Perfect Body is a one woman show written and performed by Lavinia Savignoni. 

Rock'n'Roll Girls

Rock'n'Roll Girls

When so many songs written by men are condescending (Wake Up Little Susie), dangerously demeaning (Blurred Lines) or darn right creepy (Every Breath You Take) towards women, it is … 

21 Futures by Olly Hawes

21 Futures by Olly Hawes

At the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, there is a work by the artist Robert Montgomery, a large piece of signage that declares ‘THERE WILL BE NO MIRACLES HERE’. 

Daddy Drag

Daddy Drag

Leyla Josephine presents us with 'Daddy', a seeming parody of Rab C Nesbitt, oozing toxic masculinity. 

Shakespeare Up Late!

Shakespeare Up Late!

This 50-minute adaptation of Hamlet is one for Shakespeare lovers with short attention spans. 

Buzzing

Buzzing

Buzzing is the story of Julie, a 50-something recent divorcee who is wanting to discover herself and “find meaning”. 

Lucy McCormick: Post Popular

Lucy McCormick: Post Popular

Post Popular is Lucy McCormick's attempt to follow-up her fantastic and hugely popular show Triple Threat. 

This Island's Mine

This Island's Mine

The Italia Conti Ensemble changes its membership every year as another cohort passes through the famous drama school. 

The Domestic

The Domestic

To make a piece of gig theatre work, you need to find a musical genre or vibe that can imbue the show with energy, and you need to find a story and a storyteller that can harness t… 

Suicide Pact

Suicide Pact

Any piece of art that tackles a complicated subject like mental health is worthwhile. 

Parasites

Parasites

Seesome Theatre’s new production Parasites is presented as an issue play, getting to the heart of problems with the welfare state, domestic abuse and teenager stuck in an unforgi… 

Well That's Oz

Well That's Oz

Absurdism runs amok in Well That’s Oz, one of four plays in this year’s programme from CalArts at Venue 13. 

Spray

Spray

We find ourselves between a neighbourly feud in a block of flats in Seoul. 

Friendsical: A Parody Musical About Friends

Friendsical: A Parody Musical About Friends

Friendsical is billed as a ‘musical parody’ of Friends and unfortunately it fails to hit the mark on both counts. 

Bismillah! An ISIS Tragicomedy

Bismillah! An ISIS Tragicomedy

The premise of Bismillah! An Isis Tragicomedy, in the Fringe guide, "a story of radicalisation, disenfranchisment and the rock band Queen" was compelling enough to want t… 

Monica: This Play Is Not About Monica Lewinsky

Monica: This Play Is Not About Monica Lewinsky

In order for theatre to be political, it certainly does not have to make any truly profound statement on the state of the world. 

Romeo & Juliet

Romeo & Juliet

A classic retelling of Shakespeare’s tragedy, this piece is brought to us by Guy Masterson, TTI in association with Maverick Theatre Co. 

My Mum's a Twat

My Mum's a Twat

What happens when your mum abandons you at the age of 12 to join a cult and move to Canada? That’s exactly the predicament Anoushka Warden found herself in, subsequent to her par… 

Cabaret of Curiosities

Cabaret of Curiosities

Tatwood Puppets make their Edinburgh Fringe debut with the perfectly titled Cabaret of Curiosities. 

Apollo: Take 111

Apollo: Take 111

James Stuart – or Stuart James – is passed out at his desk as the audience file into the space. 

Stepping Out

Stepping Out

Stepping Out, performed by Stage Avenue Performing Arts at theSpace @ Nidry Street, is a serviceable production of the British comedy originally written in 1984 by Richard Haaris. 

Forest

Forest

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the Forest in question refers to the cast – a fourteen strong group of graduates from the Moscow Art Theatre School. 

Taiwan Season: Monster

Taiwan Season: Monster

Monster choreographed and performed by Yen-Cheng Liu of Dua Shin Te Production is a show about the monster within us but the trouble with alienation is that it alienates the audien… 

R'n'J: The Untold Story of Shakespeare's Roz and Jules

R'n'J: The Untold Story of Shakespeare's Roz and Jules

Perhaps the end of Romeo & Juliet wasn't quite as tragic as we remembered. 

Google Me

Google Me

Google Me is the new offering from 2018 Fringe debut comedian Eleanor Colville. 

Tom Lenk Is Trash

Tom Lenk Is Trash

Rarely is a title so apt. 

The Gray Cat and the Flounder

The Gray Cat and the Flounder

One bright and sunny day, a fish jumps out of a river, and promptly meets a fellow animal with whom he will share the next 46 years of his life. 

Inspirational India

Inspirational India

With over 4000 shows to contend with, including some of the largest exhibitions and names in the art world, it’s understandably difficult to stand out from the crowd. 

Sketch You Up!

Sketch You Up!

Sketch You Up! bills itself as “Catherine Tate meets Little Britain”, and mostly manages to replicate the character-driven performances that made Tate, Walliams and Lucas house… 

Sink

Sink

The current offering at The Space’s Foreword Festival, which champions new and upcoming playwrights, is Sink, by Tobias Graham. Sink is staged in a bathroom at a drug-fuelled house party in a flat… 

Ogg 'n' Ugg 'n' Dogg

Ogg 'n' Ugg 'n' Dogg

Ogg 'n' Ugg 'n' Dogg starts brilliantly, with Ogg and Ugg peering through the backdrop grasses, and simple choreography that made all the children laugh. The two performers emerge and introduce themselves in a caveman style then start talking in a normal way, pointing out that they fooled everyone, but that they are not actually hunter gatherers… 

Icons

Icons

A single actor, Jack Klaff, tell a series of interconnected stories about the most influential minds of the 20th century in Icons. This includes dictators, physicists, presidents and activists, many of whom you would recognise, and some of whom you don’t… 

Unmythable

Unmythable

Unmythable promised an ‘unforgettable blend of sketch comedy, cross-dressing, stories and songs’ but unfortunately, it didn’t deliver. Perhaps the fact that ‘cross-dressing’ is being used as a selling point for a show in 2019 says it all… 

Stand Up Yours

Stand Up Yours

Entering The Old Market on a Thursday night, to view a 'prize-winning feministic and queer Swedish comedy' was soon to be met with disappointment. A self-proclaimed '50 minute stand-up show' was not delivered… 

Ross & Rachel

Ross & Rachel

Billed as a ‘dark, uncompromising play about the myths of modern love’, this starts promisingly enough but soon veers off. It is unclear at the start that this is a one woman show - perhaps she is practicing to herself for a conversation that was happening later, and the male character would appear? But no, this is a dialogue between Ross and Rachel, and it is hard at times to discern who is speaking, especially as much of it is spoken quickly… 

Mary Blandy's Gallows Tree

Mary Blandy's Gallows Tree

Based on actual historical events, Mary Blandy’s Gallows Tree is a one-woman play that charts the last hour(s) of Mary Blandy as she awaits the gallows in Oxford Prison in 1752, for the crime of poisoning her father… 

Conflict of Interest

Conflict of Interest

Punny man Richard Pulsford hangs up his comic hat in tribute to the many that perished during The Great War. Conflict of Interest is somewhat of a personal story, being that 'the many' include relatives of his, so there’s a big emphasis on ancestry, marriages, offspring and, well, pictures of old family homes… 

The Trials Of Oscar Wilde

The Trials Of Oscar Wilde

Court rooms can often make for high drama, but unfortunately in this case the transcript of ‘the trial of the century, proves to be less than gripping.The Trials of Oscar Wilde at the Greenwich Theatre, and on tour till mid April, is co-written by Wilde’s grandson, Merlin Holland and director John O’Connor… 

The Conductor

The Conductor

The tragedy of World War II is remembered in many ways, but The Conductor, at The Space, takes a highly focussed look at just one small event in Russia’s window on the west in 1941 when Peter the Great’s city was under a siege that was to last 900 days and claim over half a million lives… 

Othello

Othello

The need for ‘a willing suspension of disbelief’ traditionally associated with an appreciation of Shakespeare’s Othello reaches a new level necessity in director Phil Willmott’s attempt to reinvent this classic at the Union Theatre… 

Shipwreck

Shipwreck

‘I haven’t had a Trump free 24-hours for… I don’t know how long’ complains a house-guest, ushered in from the cold before a snowstorm strikes a recently purchased farmstead, where seven middle-class Democrats have made their weekend retreat… 

The Story's End

The Story's End

I didn’t actually see this performance; not by virtue of being absent, but rather because I had followed the request of actor and spoken word poet, Paul Daly, to blindfold myself… 

When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other

When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other

It was only towards the very end of last year that it was announced – or rather whispered, hidden away as it was somewhere in the list of actors always included in the National Theatre’s press releases on the upcoming season (it’s not very British to make a fuss!) – that the actress Cate Blanchett (her off of movies and stuff), was going to be breathing the same South Bank air as us mere mortals… 

An Enemy Of The People

An Enemy Of The People

‘Enemies of the People’ is a welcome and observant theme for a theatre programme as we enter another year of post-truth politics, domestic division, and the third year in the reign of the Mad King Trump… 

The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven

The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven

When Jo Clifford ("proud father and grandmother") first performed her play, The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven, at Glasgow's Tron Theatre, it attracted both full houses and some 500 protestors outside the building… 

The Recruiting Officer

The Recruiting Officer

In her article for the British Library on Restorations Comedy Diane Maybankobserves that “little can be gained from removing the plays from their historical settings”. This sentiment is completely borne out at the Red Lion Theatre in an adaptation by Charlie Ryall of George Farquhar’s The Recruiting Officer (1706), directed by Jenny Eastop for Mercurius Theatre that runs in rep with their other work, Indebted to Chance… 

Parents’ Evening

Parents’ Evening

The Rebels’ Season continues at the Jermyn Street Theatre with Bathsheba Doran’s Parents’ Evening. In this case the rebel is the ten year old child of a nameless middle class couple referred to as simply Mother (Amy Marston) and Father (Peter Hamilton Dyer)… 

The Prisoner

The Prisoner

Full disclosure. The respect and admiration I have for Peter Brook is monumental. It’s not just that his seminal book, The Empty Space (scarily reaching its 50th anniversary this year) made me understand, for the first time, how it felt to feel truly inspired… 

Prairie Flower

Prairie Flower

Perhaps as a five-part radio serial Prairie Flower might provide some particular interest to crime enthusiasts, but as a two-hour monologue in the Upstairs at the Gatehouse, even with a fifteen-minute interval, it progresses somewhat tediously… 

Blood Wedding

Blood Wedding

Some productions are enhanced when a director changes the contexts of a play. Loncraine’s Richard III set in Nazi Germany; Hytner’s Henry V transposed to the time of the Iraq war; Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet set in corporate New York; but Lorca in London? It’s true that one of the major themes in Blood Wedding is the individual’s fight against the Andalucían Catholic rural culture of the 1930s which suppressed freedom; but in George Richmond-Scott’s re-imagining of the play Spanish migrants in London and beyond – with the inevitable and lamentable struggles migrants may have – offer very little to connect it to the characters in Lorca’s Blood Wedding... 

John-Luke Roberts: Terrible Wonderful Adaptations

John-Luke Roberts: Terrible Wonderful Adaptations

As a reviewer I'm fortunate enough to get free tickets to many shows. As it was the last Friday night of the Fringe I thought I'd invite some friends along to see John-Luke Roberts: Terrible Wonderful Adaptations... 

The Forecast

The Forecast

I’ll start by being honest – it is incredibly difficult to do sci-fi at the Fringe. The ability to use props and set dressing to create a world is limited when your budget is next to zero and you’re working out of a closed-down church... 

In Your Own Sweet Way

In Your Own Sweet Way

Hoghead Theatre Company Returns to the Fringe with their devised piece In Your Own Sweet Way. It's performed by six actors who playing six friends in search of a play.Soon they will all be heading off to university or taking other paths... 

I Am Orestes and I Am Electra Too

I Am Orestes and I Am Electra Too

The far future. After 25 years in Spain, Orestes (played by writer and co-director Arif Alfaraz) arrives as a psychoanalyst at a Greek asylum to treat his long-lost sister Electra’s (Marta Ramonet) ‘madness’ that he believes has been misdiagnosed... 

From Today Everything Changes

From Today Everything Changes

Before Chris’s wife died, she made him promise to be himself. She had known he was gay before he did, but things were different ‘in those days’ and you stayed together. Newly widowed and embracing ‘from today everything changes’, he begins online dating, not really believing he has anything to offer – especially to men younger than his own pensionable age... 

Grace

Grace

Katie Reddin-Clancy’s solo show has the potential to be fantastic – with a delicious, sharply observed script that is slickly performed. It is a show that appropriately evades simple labels, a mix of character comedy, cabaret, variety, new writing, monologues, solo-show and theatre, all wrapped into one... 

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... 

Working Class Hero

Working Class Hero

Working Class Hero’s biggest flaw is that it isn’t about anything. It involves issues but mentions very little about their impact, and even if it did, our main characters are just insufficiently developed or interesting to make me care... 

The Fun Club Presents...

The Fun Club Presents...

I’m not sure how to explain The Fun Club Presents… Three performers – Sara Page, Franny Anne Rafferty and Alistair McPhail – in a room, all in animal face-paint, talk obliquely about themselves... 

3am Waitress

3am Waitress

3am Waitress by UK company Rogueplay is billed as "merging physical theatre with dance and aerial circus", but may be better described as a duo acro-dance piece since there is little physical theatre or circus to be found... 

Bullingdon Revisited

Bullingdon Revisited

Bizarre is the word that has stalked my mind since watching Bullingdon Revisited. Telling the infamous story of Dave, Boris and a pig, we follow a young David Cameron as he arrives at Oxford and pursues the attentions of the Bullingdon Club... 

Plucked

Plucked

Plucked is a barnyard fable declaring the high ground on animal cruelty, a sermon on cycles of violence from bird to child to wife. However, like PETA’s performative little cousin, this show lacks nuance... 

Reigen

Reigen

Some plays lend themselves to radical reinterpretations and stagings while others need handling with more care. Arthur Schnitzler’s critique of Viennese society from 1903 probably falls into the latter category... 

Fallen Fruit

Fallen Fruit

Two Destination Language are encouraging audiences to see the personal narrative behind history with their performance Fallen Fruit. Set in 1989 at the fall of the Berlin Wall, Katherina Radeva presents two perspectives on this life-changing moment... 

I'll Have What She's Having

I'll Have What She's Having

Millennial anxieties are unpacked and explored in devised comedy I’ll Have What She’s Having. Written and performed by Jess Brodie and Victoria Bianchi, two women who live completely different lives and fake their own happiness around each other... 

Forget Me Nots

Forget Me Nots

Forget Me Nots is a new piece of ‘queer theatre’ from Rokkur Friggjar, a collective of theatre makers based in Iceland and the UK, who are contributors to this year’s [email protected] Festival Fringe programme... 

Framed!

Framed!

Art and crime collide in a ‘brush with the law’ from Laughing Mirror. In this lively comedy, Ashley Lancaster, a foolish and inept criminal, longs to become a wanted man. Unfortunately, he lacks the skill to catch the attention of the police or the papers... 

Love Cycle: Love Chapter 2

Love Cycle: Love Chapter 2

Love Chapter 2 by L-E-V, choreographed by Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar, is a twin-piece to OCD Love, both part of the Edinburgh International Festival. Whereas OCD Love is mesmerising and expresses a deep psychological understanding of the mental disorder, the meaning of this follow-up is so opaque, the movements so repetitive and obscure, its effect is soporific... 

Hocus Pocus

Hocus Pocus

Hocus Pocus, by the Philippe Saire company, didn't live up to its initial promise. This is an ultra-violet light show performed by two live dancers, aimed at adults and children (7+)... 

Polaris

Polaris

Holly & Ted’s Polaris opens with a slow explanation of the characters the two actors will be playing, frustratingly broken up by the use of a tablet to control an impressive soundscape... 

Trump'd!

Trump'd!

There is such a plethora of Donald Trump-inspired shows at Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year, it feels like it should almost become its own genre. From theatrical performances to musicals, there are so many mediums to dramatise the past two years of his presidency... 

Demi Lardner: I Love Skeleton

Demi Lardner: I Love Skeleton

Demi Lardner feels the need, at one point in their most recent show, to unveil a banner listing their previous accomplishments and awards they have won. This is presented alongside a series of self-depracating laughs at technical errors and admonishing of the welcoming audience applauding their routines... 

BaseCamp

BaseCamp

Fever Dream Theatre’s BaseCamp promises an immersive experience in the rivalry between two world-class mountain climbers preparing for a joint ascent of a Himalayan mountain. The audience is split between their two tents, hearing one side of the multi-faceted story of their relationship and career... 

Flies

Flies

I was excited about Flies. An award-winning theatre company. A sold-out show. An eager looking crowd. A delicious cheese toastie in preparation. I was ready to be swept away on an absurdist wave... 

The Last Straw

The Last Straw

People Show have been producing work for more than 50 years which, given the self-indulgence of People Show 130 (or The Last Straw, to give its more Fringe-friendly title), is something of a surprise... 

...and Peggy

...and Peggy

Attempting to create a spin-off to one of the most beloved musicals of recent memory is a brave choice, and unfortunately it is a gamble that didn't pay off in this case....and Peggy is a spin-off to the hit musical Hamilton, focusing on the very minor character of Peggy Schuyler, and aims to show her side of the now-famous story behind the American War of Independence... 

Jungle

Jungle

Jungle by the Bernese company Pink Mama under the direction of Slawek Bendraf and Dominik Krawiecki, purports to be about post-colonialism and in particular who survives but how does it relate to post-colonialim? Search me... 

Alma, a Human Voice

Alma, a Human Voice

Alma: A Human Voice is a one-person performance focused on portraying and contrasting two characters from the early 1900s. One of these is painter Oskar Kokoschka, who famously made a life-size doll of his former lover, and muse, Alma Mahler; the other is the main character in Cocteau’s Opera, La Voix Humaine, a heart-broken woman... 

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... 

Home, I'm Darling

Home, I'm Darling

An exquisitely detailed design of a picture box façade-free house. A multitude of circle dresses that swoosh beautifully around Katherine Parkinson as she seemingly dances every step before you...