Feminism for Chaps

Feminism for Chaps

‘Why can’t I be an ‘equalist’?’ my partner asked me for the umpteenth time on our way to Andrew Watts’ work in progress Feminism for Chaps. And for the umpteenth time I sighed, reminded him he was a tool of the patriarchy (or just a tool, I can’t remember) and hoped Andrew Watts would solve this battle of the genders once and for all... 

An Evening of Americana Music

An Evening of Americana Music

I greatly admire Union Music Store’s mission to bring their home-grown acts to the masses – a labour of love and angst warding off cynics like me, to be sure. Their three-band production, An Evening of Americana, attempts to tap into the lush, nostalgic backbone of American music – the blues, folk, rock and country that form and later inform most of our collective musical libraries... 

Red Bastard

Red Bastard

In the immortal words of Kanye West, ‘no one man should have all that power’. New Yorker Eric Davis (Red Bastard), in his trademark lumpy red onesie, gets thoroughly turned on by wielding it, with a smile like a silk-covered steel rod... 

Thief by Liam Rudden

Thief by Liam Rudden

I was relieved when Sailor (Matt Robertson) ran onstage starkers, as I was pretty sure that the stage adaptation of Magic Mike wouldn’t require the pen and soggy bit of paper I’d smuggled into the back row... 

Abigoliah Schamaun is Working on It

Abigoliah Schamaun is Working on It

With a title too ripe to ignore, Abigoliah is definitely working on it. The show; her sex life; her PowerPoint skills… this Ohioan is an open, foul-mouthed, unfinished book.Thanks to a progressive programme this Fringe season, the Caroline of Brunswick is offering a plethora of free shows - a great platform for up-and-coming comedians trying out new material... 

The Bloody Ballad

The Bloody Ballad

Little Mary is sugar and spice, with a side of vice. And it’s been one bloody hell of a weekend. This endearing switchblade romance, told in retrospect through honky-tonk and sweet nothings murmured between Mary and the mysterious drifter, Connor, is a slice of 50s Americana with a blackened heart... 

50 Shades of Scarlet

50 Shades of Scarlet

After taking a long and most likely raucous roadtrip from Hull, the Scarlet’s bawdy songs and skits were a welcome burst of sun on an otherwise dour day. Soundtracked by the ultimate hen night playlist, the Scarlet Lights’ brand of comedy turned out far raunchier and realistic than the heavily sanitised female-centred comedy found on TV... 

The God Particle

The God Particle

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman in her mid-thirties with a PhD in quantum physics must be in want of a husband...Or so The God Particle would have us believe... 

Crimes Against Humanities Teachers

Crimes Against Humanities Teachers

Sussex teachers turned out in force after rolling about in catnip for this topical show which features frustrated educator Andy Thomas on the verge of chucking it all in. Enter Kenneth Williams' ghost, clearly, because, er... 

Failure (Other Opportunities for Non-Linear Success)

Failure (Other Opportunities for Non-Linear Success)

I was impressed by the summary this show boasts, breezily claiming to encapsulate the bulky genres of contemporary dance, comedy and social commentary in a neat hour. No wonder it's called 'Failure'... 

The Boy Friend

The Boy Friend

Ah, I always enjoy watching the English parody the French. It’s like imitating your sister, the one you don’t like, behind her back. The same thing happens when common South Easterners play ‘Posh’... 

Scottish Falsetto Socks – In Space

Scottish Falsetto Socks – In Space

Let’s see, how can I describe this one? There are a couple of socks that like to sing (up high, mind). Oh, and they’re Scottish (High-voice-landers). And they’re planning a mission to space... 

How Bruce Springsteen Changed My Life

How Bruce Springsteen Changed My Life

We were repeatedly warned, by the man himself, that Sarfraz Manzoor is not, nor will he ever be, a comedian. But after taking some advice from ‘professionals’ on ‘owning the stage’, Manzoor did just that... 

Miss Givings

Miss Givings

Damn that Shelly Hopkins. You remember her – the golden girl you knew in high school who stole all your lead roles? To add insult to injury, now she’s got a husband, kids, a job (one that involves teeth, but still) and worst of all, the pick of the choice parts in every Peekskill community production... 

The Great I Am

The Great I Am

Arthur, a doctor sheltering in a besieged city, wants to do ‘something useful...knowing your moment counts.’ While Anna and Alex, representative of the two warring factions of ‘In The Trenches’, are certainly concerned with counting, they’re less keen on being useful... 

Shit-Faced Shakespeare

Shit-Faced Shakespeare

Someone was plied with Echo Falls and Premium French Lager before curtains up - and it ain’t Puck (though I’d pay to see him have a crack at it later on in the run). If you’re expecting a bit of preamble or even a whiff of intrigue about who be ‘the shit-faced one’ among the cast – don’t... 

Boogie Woogie Troop

Boogie Woogie Troop

First things first: if you’re not the Stones, you should start on time.The Brunswick is not high on my list for punctuality or accuracy when it comes to the two Fringe shows I’ve attended this year... 

Cubana Bop Play West Side Story

Cubana Bop Play West Side Story

Since West Side Story was my first ever pocket-money album purchase, I am unbelievably, unreasonably touchy about its treatment onstage and off. As I’m a bit of a zealot, I did a great deal of talking myself down, muttering about Bernstein rolling in his grave... 

Faust

Faust

With voices and instruments merging in an arresting tableau, DumbWise’s production of Faust was a visual and aural onslaught. Sparked into life by Alex Mugnaioni’s Mephistopheles, the seven-strong cast sang and cavorted their way from saints to sinners in a striking adaptation by director John Ward... 

The Last Tuesday Society: The Magician

The Last Tuesday Society: The Magician

Backed by ethereal, moody themes produced by the aptly titled Ragged Ragtime Band, Rex Ingram’s silent film version of The Magician was brought up from the vault to revel in the colonial hunting tent/scary uncle’s trophy room that was Hendrick’s Library of Delightfully Peculiar Writings... 

Deckchairs

Deckchairs

With a name like Femme Fatale Theatre, I went in expecting some hard-hitting feminist, or at least femme-friendly, fare. Let me be clear, I wanted to be in LOVE with Deckchairs, get married, have four babies, and buy a Range Rover to carry said babies around at the inconvenience of others... 

Midnight at The Boar's Head

Midnight at The Boar's Head

First of all, there were no handmade puppets. Unless you count the prop mop, which doubled as a lady. Still, the Fine Chisel gentlemen, armed with stringed instruments, beer and an assortment of objects from a cheap party favours store, staged a Shakespearian mash-up even Branagh would envy... 

Three Balls and a New Suit

Three Balls and a New Suit

I sit here, chastised, after trying to prove to myself that I could still juggle using eggs filled with jelly beans. I can’t. I need (years of) practice. I sense Mat Ricardo has done his share of picking jelly beans out of the furniture, or at least, his long-suffering wife and mother have... 

The Revolution Will Be Sexual

The Revolution Will Be Sexual

From the moment the Sally Bowles-esque Bernadette Byrne and creepy Lautrecian cross-dresser Victor Victoria hit the tiny stage, I had four questions in mind. Would they be funny? Would they be musical? Why aren’t there props? And where can I get a feather-shoulderpadded sequined pantsuit like Bernadette’s? ‘Ve vill become intimate, ya?’ Bernadette was quick to inform us, in her light, German-laced soprano that held up throughout the hour-long performance... 

The Sussex Harmonisers in Concert

The Sussex Harmonisers in Concert

Like a bit of ragtime? Classic tunes from 1912? Henry Mancini ballads in four-part harmony? You’d be in luck with the animated stylings of the Sussex Harmonisers, a nearly 50-strong group of gentlemen (no teens to be seen), who sing Barbershop in both technique and substance...