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… 

W*nk Buddies

W*nk Buddies

“It’s about us—together,” explain Jake Jarratt and Cameron Sharp, in their new play in which two drama students – straight “Jake”, gay “Cameron” – end up trying… 

Pride Plays

Pride Plays

Edinburgh’s Traverse has long-championed new drama—indeed, the venue’s self-description is the simple goal of being “Scotland’s new writing theatre”. 

Oor Wullie

Oor Wullie

Many Scots first experience of comics is likely to be two series published by Dundee-based D C Thomson in their long-running newspaper, The Sunday Post. 

Fly Me To The Moon

Fly Me To The Moon

Having this year reached the notable landmark of their 500th new production, the team behind the award-winning lunchtime theatre phenomenon that is “A Play, A Pie and a Pint” i… 

The Panopticon

The Panopticon

I well remember when Jenni Fagan’s explosive debut, The Panopticon, first appeared in 2013. 

The Stornoway Way

The Stornoway Way

“We do not live in the back of beyond, we live in the very heart of beyond,” argues Roman Stornoway, a struggling musician and the central protagonist in Kevin MacNeil’s thea… 

Liam Malone: No Limbits

Liam Malone: No Limbits

Liam Malone, it’s fair to say, is not backwards at coming forwards. 

Typical

Typical

Ryan Calais Cameron’s powerful new work plays with the meanings of its title in many ways: our central, point-of-view character has the “distinctive qualities of a particular t… 

Total Immediate Collective Imminent Terrestrial Salvation

Total Immediate Collective Imminent Terrestrial Salvation

It was the title, I must admit, which first attracted me to review Total Immediate Collective Imminent Terrestrial Salvation; its promise of combining "stage action and illust… 

Pathetic Fallacy

Pathetic Fallacy

Pathetic Fallacy, at heart, has a Unique Selling Point—the show’s creator, Anita Rochon, isn’t actually in Edinburgh. 

Cardboard Citizens: Bystanders

Cardboard Citizens: Bystanders

Bystanders begins with staging reminiscent of a police detective’s office – plain desks, a few chairs, and piles of boxes full of paperwork and evidence. 

Vigil

Vigil

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature has, for many years, produced and maintained a “Red List” of species which are either already extinct or in danger of bei… 

Son of Dyke

Son of Dyke

I have a slight confession of bias. 

Richard Stott: Right Hand Man

Richard Stott: Right Hand Man

Apparently, Richard Stott got into comedy “for all the wrong reasons”; at least, that’s what the aforementioned Richard Stott says. 

Paris de Nuit

Paris de Nuit

There appears, these days, to be an almost apologetic desire among directors and producers to find ways of presenting traditional circus acrobatics and high-wire acts with some add… 

Filament

Filament

Whether it’s because Hollywood has force-fed us with them for decades, or simply because the concerns of teenage life are pretty universal across most of the Western world, we’… 

Aaron Simmonds: Disabled Coconut

Aaron Simmonds: Disabled Coconut

You’ll learn two things from Aaron Simmonds’ Disabled Coconut. 

When the Birds Come

When the Birds Come

As might be expected, the environment – specifically, the “environmental emergency” we currently face – is one of the more notable themes running through this year’s Frin… 

My Land

My Land

I have absolutely nothing but admiration to the performers of Recirquel Company Budapest, given that some of their number must have spent their entire lives training their lean, mu… 

La Reprise Histoire(s) du theatre (I)

La Reprise Histoire(s) du theatre (I)

Theatre-making manifestos always make me wary, in part because I'm inherently suspicious of portentous artists in any field: "The aim is not to depict the real, but to mak… 

Don't Bother

Don't Bother

It takes a certain bravery, or innocence, to name your debut full-hour show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Don’t Bother. 

Where to Belong

Where to Belong

What makes a home? It’s one of a number of questions that Victor Esses asks of audience members as they come in, taping their responses for use later on in his show. 

Normaler Than Everyone

Normaler Than Everyone

It may be because of the stage productions and films which I saw growing up, but my innate and core expectation about musical theatre is that it tends to be on the big size, if not… 

Jon Long: Planet-Killing Machine

Jon Long: Planet-Killing Machine

There are lots of words you can use to describe Jon Long, purveyor of clever gags and witty songs. 

Kombini

Kombini

Let's be honest here: I've never particularly liked clowns. 

Shattered

Shattered

As a reviewer, there are several situations that I normally hope to avoid while covering the Fringe: it may surprise you, given that essentially I’m here to force my opinion on you… 

Sam See: Coming Out Loud

Sam See: Coming Out Loud

It’s a fact of life that any standup on the Fringe who is neither white nor straight is likely required to spend at least part of their show addressing it. 

Fox-tot!

Fox-tot!

There are two challenges at the heart of Fox-tot!, a new work from composer Lliam Paterson and director Roxana Haines for Scottish Opera. 

Marcus Brigstocke: Devil May Care

Marcus Brigstocke: Devil May Care

In a festival where comedians eager to share their personal histories, foibles and perspectives on the world can oft seem ten-a-penny, it makes a pleasant change of pace to spend a… 

Chris Parker: Camp Binch

Chris Parker: Camp Binch

"I could be one of the Boys," New Zealander Chris Parker sings ecstatically at the start of Camp Binch, wearing a shirt and leggings echoing Elaine Stritch's iconic o… 

For All I Care

For All I Care

For All I Care is, first and foremost, the story of two women. 

Titania McGrath: Mxnifesto

Titania McGrath: Mxnifesto

Titania McGrath may just be a young Kensington girl with a modest Trust Fund and a thirst for social justice, but she’s in Edinburgh to make a difference, and inspire us common peo… 

Leo Kearse: Transgressive

Leo Kearse: Transgressive

Leo Kearse isn't, by his own admission, a 'woke' comedian. 

LipSync / Cumbernauld Theatre

LipSync / Cumbernauld Theatre

Biographical performances like LipSync, produced by Cumbernauld Theatre as part of their Invited Guest project, don't always have some obvious, political point to make; they… 

Deer Woman

Deer Woman

Her name is Lila, and she’s a proud Blackfoot woman, she tells us. 

The Ugly One

The Ugly One

At first glance, The Ugly One looks somewhat clinical. 

Them!

Them!

First, let’s get the biggest disappointment out of the way first: Them!, a joint production between the National Theatre of Scotland, writer Pamela Carter and director Stewart La… 

Sea Changes

Sea Changes

Jim Brown's Sea Changes is a play that delightfully and unashamedly embraces the info-dump, to the extent of having most of its characters directly introduce themselves to the … 

Curious Shoes

Curious Shoes

Curious Shoes is a show that's unashamedly dominated by the perceived needs of its target audience, people living with dementia, and those who care and support them. 

Super Human Heroes

Super Human Heroes

Super Human Heroes from theatre group The Letter J (in association with Paisley Arts Centre) has a simple message: We all need to do our little bit to help make the world a better … 

Us/Them

Us/Them

Arguably a surprise word-of-mouth hit during the 2016 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, this physical-theatre exploration of a mass hostage-taking returns to the Scottish capital with - t… 

I Wish I Was A Mountain

I Wish I Was A Mountain

It's appropriate that this particular production within the 2019 Edinburgh International Children's Festival is the only one slotted into the schedule for the Netherbow sta… 

Emil & The Detectives

Emil & The Detectives

I have a confession: I’d never previously heard of Erich Kästner's 1929 novel, Emil and the Detectives; It just wasn't a part of my childhood. 

This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing

This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing

Three, as the song goes, is a magic number. 

The Duchess (of Malfi)

The Duchess (of Malfi)

There's little doubt that The Duchess of Malfi has become the most popular and successful work written by the English Jacobean playwright John Webster. 

The Red Lion

The Red Lion

There’s something reassuringly "classy" about this production of Patrick Marber's The Red Lion, now touring Scotland for the first time courtesy of Glasgow-based Ra… 

Matilda The Musical

Matilda The Musical

When Noel Coward warned a certain Mrs Worthington against putting her daughter on the stage, it's highly likely that he didn't have Matilda The Musical in mind at the time. 

Get a Life!

Get a Life!

The sketch show can be a difficult beast to tame. 

(Can This Be) Home

(Can This Be) Home

It’s seldom fun to leave a venue thinking: "Well, that's an hour of my life I'm never getting back. 

Local Hero

Local Hero

When Edinburgh's Royal Lyceum Theatre announced that they were producing a stage musical based on the iconic 1983 Scottish film Local Hero, I must admit to wondering if it was … 

Fat Blokes

Fat Blokes

This is a Spoiler. 

The Funeral Director

The Funeral Director

In drama, an audience can either be ahead of what the characters know, or behind them, catching up; each approach has its dramatic advantages and disadvantages, but what is needed … 

Lost in Music

Lost in Music

“The music I listened to between the ages of 11 and 21 probably affected by life more than pretty much anything else. 

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 bo… 

Jack and the Beanstalk

Jack and the Beanstalk

What makes a "traditional" pantomime? It's certainly not just a case of blowing the dust off a 1970s panto script and hoping for the best; here, the Brunton’s now r… 

Mouthpiece

Mouthpiece

It's said that Edinburgh is a city, the size of a town, that feels like a village; or, in other words, the Scottish capital is sufficiently small and compact that you don't… 

Cyrano de Bergerac

Cyrano de Bergerac

The works by French poet and playwright Edmond Rostand, just one of the victims of the influenza pandemic which swept the world in 1918, are today largely forgotten; the one except… 

Arctic Oil

Arctic Oil

Watching Clare Duffy's one-act play "Arctic Oil", a particular phrase kept coming back to me: that mantra of 1960s' student protests and second-wave feminism, &qu… 

Scotties

Scotties

"Best leave history in the history books—get on with living. 

Nests

Nests

Within a cluttered clearing in some woods that's neither town nor countryside and so somehow feels like nowhere, an unnamed Man (David McKay) sleeps the sleep of the just-finis… 

The Yellow on the Broom

The Yellow on the Broom

It's just four years since Pitlochry Festival Theatre put on a production of Anne Downie's 1989 play The Yellow On The Broom, based on the autobiographical novel by Betsy W… 

Tom Neenan: It's Always Infinity

Tom Neenan: It's Always Infinity

Tom Neenan has been a regular Fringe attraction for several years now, bringing a succession of one-man pastiches - Edwardian ghost story, Vaudeville Horror tale, 1950s British Sci… 

Police Cops in Space

Police Cops in Space

It's obvious from the loud, excited audience in Assembly Studio 3 that London-based comedy theatre trio The Pretend Men – Nathan Parkinson, Zachary Hunt and Tom Rose – have… 

Marmite

Marmite

Marmite: it’s the breakfast spread that we apparently love or hate, and the word has – in that way the English language often does – subsequently evolved far wider metaphoric… 

Magic 8 Ball (My Life With Asperger's)

Magic 8 Ball (My Life With Asperger's)

I'm sure that history will suggest otherwise but, after seeing George Steeves perform his one man show, I couldn't help but think that Stevie Wonder must have written his s… 

What Girls Are Made Of

What Girls Are Made Of

The Traverse One stage looks more ready for a gig than a piece of theatre, but while music undoubtedly runs through the heart of Cora Bissett's latest, most autobiographical wo… 

The Flop

The Flop

It seems that Cardiff-based Hijinx Theatre Company are happy to take risks. 

When You Fall Down: The Buster Keaton Story

When You Fall Down: The Buster Keaton Story

If silent Hollywood star Buster Keaton is remembered for anything, it's his emotionless, mask-like expression; so the initial shock here is that this Buster speaks and smiles. 

Tim Renkow Tries to Punch Down

Tim Renkow Tries to Punch Down

Tim Renkow insists he’s spent the last decade on the comedy circuit trying to find a social or racial group that he’s NOT able to insult, because that would mean – as a disab… 

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 some… 

A Joke

A Joke

It was irresistible, I suppose: part way through Dan Freeman’s absurdist play A Joke, the acclaimed Scottish actor John Bett turns to his co-stars to start a joke with: "Doc… 

Space Doctor

Space Doctor

This November happens to mark the 55th anniversary of the BBC broadcasting the first ever episode of Doctor Who, so it’s hardly surprising that several shows on this year’s Fringe … 

David Mills: Focus People!

David Mills: Focus People!

David Mills is always well turned out: sharp-suited, finely tuned, sitting on his stool like some Easy Listening Singer from a bygone age. 

Scott Capurro: The Trouble With Scott Capurro

Scott Capurro: The Trouble With Scott Capurro

So what exactly IS the Trouble with Scott Capurro? Is it that this left-leaning liberal American (yes, he’s the one, apparently) seemingly talks without pausing for breath? (“Are y… 

Paper Dolls

Paper Dolls

Paper Dolls is advertised as a one-man show, but the person standing in front of us for the next hour isn't the show’s performer, writer, director and producer Shaun Nolan; r… 

My Left Nut

My Left Nut

“Bitter Sweet Symphony” by The Verve. 

Midsummer

Midsummer

What a difference a decade can make. 

Mark Thompson's Spectacular Science Show

Mark Thompson's Spectacular Science Show

Mark Thompson is quite clear about what his (modestly) titled Spectacular Show isn't: "It's not a science lecture," he insists. 

James Barr: Thirst Trap! – Free

James Barr: Thirst Trap! – Free

Wonderfully unexpected opportunities can occur at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe; even more so at the 'Free' variety. 

Kaput

Kaput

For anyone who thinks they don't make physical comedians like Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton any more, here's a word from the wise—which, in this context, essentially … 

Providence

Providence

"Life is a hideous thing," we're told by the lean figure of Simon Maeder, dressed for dinner and sitting in a leather armchair like some classic teller of ghost stori… 

Statements

Statements

Until relatively recently in Western society, children with physical, sensory or learning disabilities, or a wide range of neural and behavioural challenges, were either institutio… 

Free and Proud

Free and Proud

Perhaps it is because of the multi-show venue, or just the financial realities of bringing any production to the Edinburgh Fringe nowadays, but Peter Darney’s production of Charl… 

Erewhon

Erewhon

Erewhon: or, Over the Range is a fantasy novel by Samuel Butler which, first published anonymously in 1872, presented itself as the experiences of its narrator on discovering the m… 

Mbuzeni

Mbuzeni

Part of the inherent challenge for Noel Jordan and the Imaginate team when putting together their annual Edinburgh International Children's Festival is their very diverse poten… 

Expedition Peter Pan

Expedition Peter Pan

"Grow up, mature, and come back when you have something to contribute!" It's not the most sympathetic way to address a young audience; nevertheless, it succinctly sho… 

Stick By Me

Stick By Me

Andy Manley is undoubtedly one of the treasures of Scotland’s current theatrical landscape, all the more so given his seemingly innate (but presumably hard-learned) skill in hold… 

Gretel and Hansel

Gretel and Hansel

Fairy tales survive because they can be constantly retold, uncovering new depths and relevancies to the world today. 

Eddie and the Slumber Sisters

Eddie and the Slumber Sisters

Sometimes, when it comes to suspending our disbelief, we just have to go with the flow. 

Creditors

Creditors

August Strindberg apparently subtitled his play Creditors (in Swedish: Fordringsäxgare) a “tragicomedy” but, while David Greig’s 2008 adaptation does indeed contain a few de… 

Gut

Gut

“In my day, we trusted people. 

Passing Places

Passing Places

A road movie, according to Wikipedia, is “a film genre in which the main characters leave home on a road trip,” during which “the hero changes, grows or improves over the cou… 

Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice

If theatre is home to lies that impart truths, then this Actors Touring Company’s production of Roland Schimmelpfennig’s Winter Solstice (translated by David Tushingham) makes … 

Three Sisters

Three Sisters

“It’s sweat on your brow that gives life meaning,” says one of the supporting characters in Chekhov’s Three Sisters, and it’s fair to say that, on occasions, there’s a … 

H G Wells' The Time Machine

H G Wells' The Time Machine

While not even Herbert George Wells’s own first dalliance with the concept of time travel, his 1895 novella The Time Machine has nevertheless become pretty much the definitive te… 

The Last Bordello

The Last Bordello

Perhaps it was tempting fate, but David Leddy’s decision to call his latest work The Last Bordello now comes with a certain irony, given that it could well prove to be his final … 

Showtime from the Frontline

Showtime from the Frontline

Most stand-up comedy these days is based on the lives of the people standing behind the microphone, albeit reshaped to varying degrees to ensure their material matches the “rule … 

The Belle's Stratagem

The Belle's Stratagem

Writer and director Tony Cownie has established a particular niche at Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum Theatre, taking potentially overlooked 18th century comedies (like Carlo Goldoni’… 

The Match Box

The Match Box

The central metaphor running through Frank McGuinness’s 2012 monologue The Match Box is almost breath-taking in its simplicity; it’s that all of us, all of our lives, are ultim… 

Rita, Sue and Bob Too

Rita, Sue and Bob Too

It’s 36 years since Andrea Dunbar’s breakthrough play announced the all-too-brief flowering of a new writing talent – “a genius straight from the slums,” as the Mail on S… 

It's Behind You!

It's Behind You!

Alan McHugh has played in enough pantomimes down the years to ensure It’s Behind You! reeks of authenticity, albeit the heightened theatrics of the genre. 

Knives in Hens

Knives in Hens

David Harrower’s debut play, Knives in Hens, made a big splash back in 1995, recognised as a modern classic which has since seen revivals by companies as diverse as the Nation… 

The Lover

The Lover

When watching the stage adaptation of any book, especially one I’ve not read, there’s often a question lingering at the back of my mind; would I appreciate this more, would I… 

The Tin Soldier

The Tin Soldier

It’s a real shame temporary roadworks make accessing this show’s venue ever-so-slightly off-putting; also, that the venue is still relatively new, especially when it comes t… 

Tommy and the Snowbird

Tommy and the Snowbird

It’s said that actors should never work with children or animals, presumably because of their unpredictability and the extra work this requires. 

Shona Reppe’s Cinderella

Shona Reppe’s Cinderella

This revival of Shona Reppe’s acclaimed puppet retelling of the iconic fairytale is a fascinating jewel of a production, ideal for young children and families alike; subtle, s… 

How To Disappear

How To Disappear

As Scotland’s self-declared “new writing theatre”, Edinburgh’s Traverse does like to offer up an alternative to the pantomimes and decidedly family-focused fare on offer… 

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast

There’s a deliberate cheapness to the temporary, painted proscenium arch erected in the Brunton’s theatre-space, indicative of this local panto’s rough ’n’ ready (and n… 

The Arabian Nights

The Arabian Nights

Stories illuminate the truth, lies hide it; that’s just one of the lessons audiences of all ages can take from Suhayla El-Bushra’s energetic new adaptation of The Arabian N… 

Our Fathers

Our Fathers

It’s mildly amusing to see two grown men briefly falling into a childish bragging-match about their fathers—one a retired Church of Scotland minister, the other a former Bis… 

The Maids

The Maids

“We’re beautiful, wild, free and full of joy,” say the titular Maids, Solange and Claire, towards the close of Jean Genet’s 1947 drama, courtesy of Martin Crimp’s 1999… 

Thingummy Bob

Thingummy Bob

There’s a wonderful clarity to Linda McLean’s short play Thingummy Bob, a firm favourite with Scotland’s leading theatre company for people with learning disabilities, Lung H… 

Love Song to Lavender Menace

Love Song to Lavender Menace

“Lavender Menace”, according to Wikipedia, were “an informal group of lesbian radical feminists formed to protest the exclusion of lesbians and lesbian issues from the fem… 

One Mississippi

One Mississippi

There’s little obvious theatrical artifice on show; just four actors, in casual clothes, sitting or lying on the plain black floor of an empty stage as the audience comes in. 

Cockpit

Cockpit

Site specific theatre is nothing new in Scotland; from the numerous innovative creations by the likes of Grid Iron Theatre Company to much of the work by the “without walls” … 

Man to Man

Man to Man

There were a lot of expectation around this new Wales Millennium Centre production of Manfred Karge’s one-woman play, Man to Man. 

Without a Hitch

Without a Hitch

There’s no doubting the raw energy and physicality of this show, a work of dance theatre that definitely prefers choreography to speech, and uses it—along with some pretty st… 

Damned Rebel Bitches

Damned Rebel Bitches

Historically speaking, the original “Damned Rebel Bitches” were—according to the “butcher” Duke of Cumberland—the Jacobite women who marched behind their men in order… 

The Coolidge Effect

The Coolidge Effect

During the early years of the British Broadcasting Corporation, its first Director-General Lord Reith established the BBC’s mission as being to “inform, educate and entertai… 

Cilla – The Musical

Cilla – The Musical

Given that she’s such a much-loved public entertainer, an all-too-obvious challenge in creating a musical based on the early life of the late Cilla Black—born Priscilla Mari… 

There Were Two Brothers

There Were Two Brothers

Part confessional monologue, part lecture and part nostalgic trip back to the days of the BBC’s Jackanory, there’s no doubt that There Were Two Brothers is a funny, personal—… 

Stand By

Stand By

There’s a real sense of excitement in the run-up to Stand By, not least thanks to the slightly-unusual venue—inside an Army Reserve Centre in the north of the New Town. 

A Charlie Montague Mystery: The Game's a Foot, Try the Fish

A Charlie Montague Mystery: The Game's a Foot, Try the Fish

What would an unpublished Agatha Christie mystery be like if, by some strange quirk of fate, its editor had given it over to P G Wodehouse for a final literary polish? Well, thanks… 

(More) Moira Monologues

(More) Moira Monologues

Time has not withered Moira Bell, Alan Bissett’s 2009 tribute to the hard-working, hard-playing, straight-talking working class women of Scotland, and Falkirk in particular. 

Bella Freak: Unwritten

Bella Freak: Unwritten

Unwritten, according to the flyer, is ‘a secret history of Scotland’; specifically, though, it uses the individual experiences of three disabled people to talk about Inclusive … 

Rhinoceros

Rhinoceros

Time and again during Zinnie Harris’s new adaptation of Eugène Ionesco’s famous farce, people tell each other not to be absurd. 

Who, Me

Who, Me

It’s four years since Rob Lloyd first brought this autobiographical, Doctor Who-related show to Edinburgh. 

Geoff Norcott: Right Leaning but Well Meaning

Geoff Norcott: Right Leaning but Well Meaning

There’s one point during Geoff Norcott’s latest show when it really flies, when you sense he really has most of the audience on his side — even though at least one or two of … 

Meet Me At Dawn

Meet Me At Dawn

Zinnie Harris has five plays on in Edinburgh this August, including two within the Edinburgh International Festival’s theatre programme. 

Mia: Daughters of Fortune

Mia: Daughters of Fortune

This startling, if indistinct production from Mind the Gap, England’s largest learning disability theatre company, gets straight to its point, with cast members slipping into ‘… 

Jamie MacDonald: Designated Driver

Jamie MacDonald: Designated Driver

Given that so much of the stand-up comedy you’ll find on the Fringe is blatantly autobiographical—at least to some extent—it’s not surprising that a lot of Jamie MacDonald… 

Gordon Southern: That's a Fun Fact!

Gordon Southern: That's a Fun Fact!

Upbeat Gordon Southern may dress like the kind of supply teacher that the kids love to bully (his words) but, despite his repeated mantra of ‘Not Laughing, Learning’, his lates… 

Blank Tiles

Blank Tiles

It might seem all-too-witty for a SCRABBLE World Champion, when asked by the media for “a few words” on his victory, to admit ‘I don’t really know any’. 

Caravaggio: Between the Darkness

Caravaggio: Between the Darkness

“I need more light,” our protagonist Caravaggio says at one point, and it’s fair to say that the 16th century Italian’s use of light and darkness is one of his paintings’… 

Colin Hoult / Anna Mann in How We Stop the Fascists

Colin Hoult / Anna Mann in How We Stop the Fascists

Anna Mann is, according to herself, the greatest actress of her generation—a quote she can now legitimately edit for future Fringe posters with no fear of censor. 

5 Guys Chillin'

5 Guys Chillin'

Many an article’s been written on how the gay scene appears dominated by drugs and sex. 

The Amorous Ambassador

The Amorous Ambassador

There’s nothing that says ‘Edinburgh Festival Fringe’ quite like the portrayal of sex on stage: that said, compared with many of the thousands of shows in Edinburgh this August, … 

Letters to Morrissey

Letters to Morrissey

Confession time: I’ve never been a fan of The Smiths or Morrissey. 

The Road That Wasn't There

The Road That Wasn't There

The truth about fairy tales, all too often forgotten by us grown-ups, is that the best ones are meant to be scary, albeit in an ultimately reassuring context. 

Performers

Performers

One figure doesn’t appear in Performers, Irvine Welsh and Dean Cavanagh’s new play inspired by some of the behind-the-scenes stories surrounding the making of 1970 cult film Pe… 

Knock Knock

Knock Knock

It’s 54 years since the last conscripted British citizens returned to civilian life after completing their National Service. 

Snowflake by Mark Thomson

Snowflake by Mark Thomson

Snowflake, a new play written and directed by the former Artistic Director of Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum Theatre, Mark Thomson, feels a necessity to explain its title right from th… 

Scott Agnew: Spunk on Our Lady's Face

Scott Agnew: Spunk on Our Lady's Face

Burly Glaswegian stand-up Scott Agnew has for many years joked about “blow-job knee”—wear and tear arising from too much time on his knees providing oral sex. 

Matt Abbott: Two Little Ducks

Matt Abbott: Two Little Ducks

Wakefield’s poet son may have a self-confessed tendency for lewd social observation but Matt Abbott is also an unpretentious recorder of life in the raw, with a talent for coming… 

Lilith: The Jungle Girl

Lilith: The Jungle Girl

This acclaimed show from award-winning Australian theatre company Sisters Grimm clearly aims to put the “lion” back in George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, through a startlingly … 

Andrew Doyle: Thought Crimes

Andrew Doyle: Thought Crimes

Andrew Doyle has, allegedly, lost quite a few friends this last year. 

Victorian Gothic

Victorian Gothic

Thanks to the numerous adventures of Sherlock Holmes, we arguably don’t have the best impression of the Victorian Police Detective—especially when it comes to either their inte… 

I Can Make You Tory

I Can Make You Tory

When you see Leo Kearse — and you should — there’s a very good chance it’ll be a four-star experience. 

The Lying Kind

The Lying Kind

“O, what a tangled web we weave,” Sir Walter Scott wrote in his epic poem Marmion, “when first we practise to deceive!” It’s a life lesson we can only hope unfortunat… 

The Waves on the Seas

The Waves on the Seas

A marriage isn’t just the joining of two people, or even two families—it marks the coming together of two communities. 

Bounce!

Bounce!

It’s fair to say that Bounce!, created and performed by French company Arcosm, is a delightfully playful blend of music and dance, performed with real skill and alleged wild a… 

Falling Dreams

Falling Dreams

Recent years have seen a significant rise in the number of (usually) London theatre productions being transmitted live to cinemas and other venues across the UK. 

Glory on Earth

Glory on Earth

At one point during Glory on Earth, its two main characters—stage right, the young, romantic Mary, Queen of Scots; stage left, the firebrand Protestant preacher John Knox—ar… 

Music Is Torture

Music Is Torture

“Keep going,” actor Andy Clark says repeatedly to the musicians behind the glass screen in the unsubtly-named Limbo Studio created on stage, ensuring that we find our seats … 

Daphne Oram's Wonderful World of Sound

Daphne Oram's Wonderful World of Sound

In 1983, the BBC published a retrospective about “the first 25 years” of the by-then globally famous BBC Radiophonic Workshop. 

Joan Eardley: A Private View

Joan Eardley: A Private View

The London-born artist Joan Eardley, who settled in Scotland to study and whose artistic career was cut short when she died—aged 42—in 1963, is best known for two very diffe… 

The 306: Day

The 306: Day

The 306: Day is the second of a three play trilogy instigated by the National Theatre of Scotland, inspired by the stories of the 306 British soldiers that we know were executed… 

Travels With My Aunt

Travels With My Aunt

This is a homecoming, of sorts; the revival of a play, first performed at Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre back in 1989, which subsequently enjoyed successful productions in the West … 

Shirley Valentine

Shirley Valentine

“I used to be Shirley Valentine,” explains the focus of Willy Russell’s 1986 one-woman play; a 42 year old Liverpudlian woman who, now that the children have flown … 

Charlie Sonata

Charlie Sonata

There’s much to admire, to even love, in Douglas Maxwell’s new play at Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum; a script full of humour and subtle characterisation, if not always … 

Monstrous Bodies

Monstrous Bodies

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s debut novel has become so iconic in Western culture that the word “Frankenstein” is now used pejoratively to describe any scientific o… 

Confessional

Confessional

The comedic tone of David Weir’s Confessional is clear from the start; as Schubert’s beautiful Ave Marie fades into silence, “Good Catholic” Kevin—or, as he puts it, th… 

Orlando

Orlando

If the usual writerly advice is to always “show, not tell”, then biography is arguably one of the few artistic forms where a certain amount of direct author-to-audience expl… 

The Edinburgh Easter Play

The Edinburgh Easter Play

The Biblical narrative that is the foundation of the Christian faith has been described, on numerous occasions, as “The Greatest Story Ever Told. 

One Man Shoe

One Man Shoe

Children’s entertainer Jango Starr is a total clown, but that’s certainly not meant as a criticism; sans white-face, he instead relies on a pair of trousers just sufficientl… 

Zombie Science: Worst Case Scenario

Zombie Science: Worst Case Scenario

Almost at the start, Gilchrist Muir—here inhabiting the tweed suit of our lecturer, Glasgow University-based Theoretical Zombiologist Dr Ken House—insists that Zombies are no… 

A Stone’s Throw

A Stone’s Throw

A young girl, annoyed by being made fun of by her seven older brothers, joins in the family’s evening game of throwing stones and unintentionally shatters the sun from the sky… 

Isaac’s Eye

Isaac’s Eye

From the start of his exploration of the scientific method, through the prism of the 17th century rivalry between Isaac Newton and the now little-remembered Robert Hooke, playwr… 

A Number

A Number

In one sense, this Lyceum revival of Caryl Churchill’s 2002 play is exactly the “dynamic two-hander” described in the programme: the only actors on stage are Peter Forbes,… 

Girl in the Machine

Girl in the Machine

The symbolism is hardly subtle; when we enter the Traverse Theatre’s principal performance space, we have to choose which side of a massive shipping container we sit next to. 

Dr Stirlingshire's Discovery

Dr Stirlingshire's Discovery

I’m not a fan of promenade performances, especially those involving the audience being led in a group from one set piece to another. 

Cosmonaut

Cosmonaut

There’s always a risk attempting to present previously “unknown” stories as theatre. 

The Nether

The Nether

Science Fiction isn’t the most common genre you find on stage; ironic, really, since it was Karel Čapek’s 1920 play R. 

Hay Fever

Hay Fever

Dominic Hill, artistic director of Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre, apparently doesn’t like to constrain any theatrical experience with the blunt instrument of a rising or falling c… 

Girls Like That

Girls Like That

Evan Placey’s Girls Like That (first performed at London’s Unicorn Theatre three years ago) came to Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre—courtesy of the neighbouring Lyceum Thea… 

The Play That Goes Wrong

The Play That Goes Wrong

The old showbiz adage that “the show must go on” is usually invoked—in the aftermath of some behind-the-scenes calamity—before curtain-up, but the point of The Play That… 

The Beaches of St Valery

The Beaches of St Valery

Three-quarters of a century on, there are still stories of the Second World War that aren’t as well known as they should, but Stuart Hepburn’s new play—while promoted as t… 

La Cage Aux Folles

La Cage Aux Folles

There’s much to love about this new touring production of La Cage Aux Folles; gloriously Technicolor™ sets, gorgeous costumes, tight choreography, clearly enunciated sin… 

Allan Stewart’s Big Big Variety Show

Allan Stewart’s Big Big Variety Show

There’s one deliciously unique—sadly never repeatable—moment during the opening night of Allan Stewart’s Big Big Variety Show, when Stewart introduces the singer Susan B… 

Death of a Salesman

Death of a Salesman

The writer and historian James Truslow Adams once defined the “American Dream” as the potential for life to be “better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity … 

The House of Bernarda Alba

The House of Bernarda Alba

If politics is about people—specifically the ever-fluctuating power imbalances between people in different situations—then Federico García Lorca was right to focus his “po… 

The Winter's Tale

The Winter's Tale

Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale has all the characteristics of a Tragedy, as we speedily witness the horrendous consequences of King Leontes’ groundless jealousy for pregnant … 

69 Shades of Gay

69 Shades of Gay

“I’m so excited”—that iconic 1982 hit by the Pointer Sisters—is an apt intro to a show with a predominantly female audience that’s already wound up to have a good ti… 

Cirque Berserk!

Cirque Berserk!

“Not a circus, it’s a Berserkus!” Cirque Berserk! boldly comes with two USPs. 

Dusty Won't Play

Dusty Won't Play

18 years after her death, “blue-eyed soul singer” Dusty Springfield remains many things to many people—not least a gay icon, thanks to her emotional fragility and memorabl… 

Thoroughly Modern Millie

Thoroughly Modern Millie

There is, ironically enough, a lot that’s incredibly old-fashioned about Thoroughly Modern Millie; it’s a feel-good, song and dance show about a young gold-digger who, while se… 

Wonderland

Wonderland

Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland isn’t known for its plot; in fact, it’s essentially a succession of wonderfully fanciful sketches which happen to share … 

We're Going On A Bear Hunt

We're Going On A Bear Hunt

You can always feel a particular kind of excitement in an auditorium, before “curtain up”, when a significant proportion of the audience are (a) less than five years old, an… 

Picnic at Hanging Rock

Picnic at Hanging Rock

As titles go, Picnic at Hanging Rock is a fine conflation of the innocent and disturbing, although the cultural impact of Joan Lindsay’s novel is arguably more down to Peter W… 

Last Christmas

Last Christmas

“I can be pretty dim, sometimes,” says Sion Pritchard as Tom, an office-working film school graduate who doesn’t, initially, come across as particularly sympathetic. 

Hansel and Gretel

Hansel and Gretel

Scottish writer Stuart Paterson now has a back catalogue of sufficient scale to warrant a revival or two; his adaptation of Roald Dahl’s George’s Marvellous Medicine is curre… 

Snow White and the Seven Wee Muppets

Snow White and the Seven Wee Muppets

Inside Out Theatre’s second pantomime for relatively news arts venue Websters (located in Glasgow’s Kelvinbridge area) is another self-consciously low-rent production which … 

Cinderella

Cinderella

Pantomime, as we’re reminded by the Ambassador Theatre Group’s pre-show video (narrated by Brian Blessed), is a peculiarly British theatrical tradition, although it’s a sha… 

Mamma Mia!

Mamma Mia!

Reviewing Mamma Mia! almost feels like a lost cause; it’s an unstoppable global phenomenon and, if this touring production—setting up home in the Edinburgh Playhouse for Chri… 

Black Beauty

Black Beauty

It’s a brave show which starts with the words: “I don’t like it. 

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

As a rule, the best children’s stories—be they novels, comics or TV shows—all inspire the same question: “What on Earth were they taking when they came up with that?” … 

Jack and the Beanstalk

Jack and the Beanstalk

There’s no doubting the energy in Edinburgh’s King’s Theatre before this show starts; many kids are already singing along to a soundtrack of current chart hits. 

George’s Marvellous Medicine

George’s Marvellous Medicine

“Small boys are not to be trusted,” says the titular George’s gleefully malevolent Grandma in this new production—by Dundee Rep’s Associate Artistic Director Joe Dougla… 

Green Tea

Green Tea

The master of the English ghost story, M R James, once described Irish author Joseph Thomas Sheridan Le Fanu as “absolutely in the first rank” among supernatural storyteller… 

The Rivals

The Rivals

First performed in 1775, Sheridan’s The Rivals remains surprisingly relevant, not least thanks to its inter-generational conflict. 

Grain in the Blood

Grain in the Blood

For at least some of its audience, it’s enough that Grain in the Blood reunites actors Blythe Duff and John Michie—long-time compatriots on STV’s Taggart. 

Jumpy

Jumpy

You get a strong sense of what Jumpy is going to be like from Jean Chan’s impressive set—two jumbled piles of household goods, surrounded by an off-kilter frame of plain wall… 

Invisible Army

Invisible Army

It’s not every play that starts with a reaffirmation of one of the basic fundamentals of theatre: that things which aren’t true can be imagined, and that what can be imagine… 

Dr Johnson Goes to Scotland

Dr Johnson Goes to Scotland

A risk when putting any historical figure on stage—let alone a writer and thinker of the calibre of Dr Samuel Johnson—is that using their own words makes them appear less a … 

Him

Him

“It’s quite comfortable being old,” 80 year old actor Tim Barlow tells us at the start of his latest one-man show, a work co-devised with the writer Sheila Hill. 

Walking on Walls

Walking on Walls

There’s no hanging about with Morna Pearson’s Walking On Walls; when the lights come up, we see a bespectacled woman observing a man who’s bound on an office chair, tape a… 

A Gambler’s Guide to Dying

A Gambler’s Guide to Dying

This one-man show, written and performed by Gary McNair, won lots of praise during its initial run as part of the 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. 

Frost/Nixon

Frost/Nixon

It was the head-to-head that, even at the time, seemed almost unthinkable; a televised face-off between British chat-show host David Frost—certainly at the time not exactly kn… 

Crude: An Exploration of Oil

Crude: An Exploration of Oil

Edinburgh-based Grid Iron Theatre Company has long specialised in creating immersive, site-specific theatre. 

The Shape of Things

The Shape of Things

Children are often said to be the most “difficult”—or, to put it another way, most honest—theatre audience performers are ever likely to face: they’re not “adult” … 

Mischief

Mischief

We’re somewhere among the Western Isles, and at least a thousand years back in time. 

The Suppliant Woman

The Suppliant Woman

In ancient Greece, it was the practice before any theatrical performance to name those citizens who had financed it, and for a respected citizen to give “the libation” to th… 

[title of show]

[title of show]

If you’re a student theatre company with somewhat limited resources, but still want to try your hand at a reasonably successful Broadway musical, then [title of show] is argua… 

Breaking The Ice

Breaking The Ice

It’s fitting, in the weeks running up to the latest Arctic Circle Assembly (running from 7-9 October in Reykjavik, Iceland) that the team behind A Play, a Pie and a Pint opted… 

The Course of True Love

The Course of True Love

Among the gifts bestowed on the world by the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the one-hour slot, into which everything—stand-up, spoken word, circus, dance or drama—has become s… 

Journey's End

Journey's End

R C Sherriff’s Journey’s End, inspired by his own experiences of life in the trenches during the First World War, stands as an authoritative exploration of men “in extremis… 

Dame Nature – The Magnificent Bearded Lady

Dame Nature – The Magnificent Bearded Lady

Apparently, even circuses nowadays feel a need to satisfy the public’s desire to glimpse behind the scenes, to smell the greasepaint and discover how the magic happens. 

Laurence Clark: Independence

Laurence Clark: Independence

Some things never change; despite more than a decade performing stand-up, Laurence Clark still opens his set by drawing attention to his cerebral palsy: “This is just how I talk. 

Trash Test Dummies

Trash Test Dummies

There’s an anarchic edge to the Trash Test Dummies – as might be expected from a circus troupe who go on to perform a succession of tricks and humorous gymnastics using that mo… 

Jonathan Pie: Live

Jonathan Pie: Live

Pretend news reporter Jonathan Pie – the creation of actor Tom Walker – has risen to public attention, during the last year, thanks to a succession of videos on YouTube which a… 

Tom Neenan: Vaudeville

Tom Neenan: Vaudeville

Tom Neenan appears to be making his way through the genres with his one-man/many characters shows: Edwardian ghost story in 2014, and 1950s-styled British science fiction thriller … 

Expensive Shit

Expensive Shit

Theatre audiences are, for the most part, quite comfortable with their self-assigned role of secret voyeurs of the people on stage who go about their lives with no apparent knowled… 

Bricking It

Bricking It

Several years ago, a couple of wannabe stand-ups decided to do a Free Fringe show based around some of the odd things their respective fathers had said and done down the years. 

Arthur Conan Doyle – Man of Mystery

Arthur Conan Doyle – Man of Mystery

There’s something wonderfully uncluttered and unpretentious about this particular wander down literary lane from the Mercators, one of Edinburgh’s oldest amateur drama clubs. 

The Man Who Knows Everything

The Man Who Knows Everything

It’s pretty clear what kind of show we’re about to see when – as it becomes obvious that there isn’t actually a sufficient number of seats for all of the audience that’s … 

Aidan Goatley: Mr Blue Sky

Aidan Goatley: Mr Blue Sky

Aidan Goatley’s stand-up show isn’t, despite its title, about ELO; indeed, there’s no obvious guarantee that he will get round to telling us why he chose one of that band’s… 

Will Franken: Little Joe

Will Franken: Little Joe

There are two ways to reach the small room where UK-based American character comedian Will Franken is performing. 

Wayne Carter Teaches You to Be Fabulous

Wayne Carter Teaches You to Be Fabulous

The word “fabulous” is defined as being extraordinary and wonderful, and having no basis in reality. 

Jo Caulfield: Pretending to Care

Jo Caulfield: Pretending to Care

It’s clearly an uncomfortable time of life for Jo Caulfield; a succession of musical heroes have died, she’s moved from middle-class Morningside to somewhat more “cosmopolita… 

Colin Hoult / Anna Mann: A Sketch Show for Depressives

Colin Hoult / Anna Mann: A Sketch Show for Depressives

There’s surely no better sign that mental health issues – and depression in particular – are becoming more openly discussed than for the likes of Colin Hoult to come along an… 

Poggle

Poggle

“Poggle’s not scared of climbing trees,” we’re told early on in this beautifully clear and uncluttered piece of vibrant dance theatre aimed at very young children. 

David Mills: Shame!

David Mills: Shame!

The sharp-suited David Mills is already seated on stage when his audience comes in, chatting with us, riffing along to a Barry Manilow hit; while he later insists that the role in … 

Scott Agnew: I've Snapped My Banjo String, Let's Just Talk

Scott Agnew: I've Snapped My Banjo String, Let's Just Talk

Scott Agnew is looking good, these days; whether that’s down to him drinking less is unclear, though it’s clearly a bit of a culture shock on the night of this review as it’s… 

Geoff Norcott: Conswervative

Geoff Norcott: Conswervative

Geoff Norcott, as he points out quite early on in his set, has not been seen on television. 

John Gordillo: Love Capitalism

John Gordillo: Love Capitalism

Despite the commanding tone of his show’s title, John Gordillo doesn’t actually come across as a fan of Capitalism as an economic and social system. 

The Amazing Bubble Man

The Amazing Bubble Man

Underbelly’s largest venue is the huge tent – shaped like an purple cow tipped onto its back – that this year has been transplanted into the western half of George Square Gar… 

Doug Segal: I Can Make You Feel Good

Doug Segal: I Can Make You Feel Good

It’s apt, if a little predictable, that the pre-show music Doug Segal selects for his latest Fringe show is the classic James Brown track I Feel Good. 

Samantha Pressdee: Sextremist

Samantha Pressdee: Sextremist

“Every woman is a riot,” is roughly painted on the wall behind the stage area of this hidden-away New Town bar’s seldom used attic space. 

Andrew Doyle: Future Tense

Andrew Doyle: Future Tense

Andrew Doyle has now brought five solo shows to Edinburgh, each noticeably different in style and tone; even Doyle’s on-stage persona has shifted somewhat from one year to the ne… 

Fraxi Queen of the Forest

Fraxi Queen of the Forest

Some stupid adults, having forgotten what it’s actually like to be children, are often surprised, disturbed and horrified by the serious issues lurking in the heart of the most s… 

Last Dream (on Earth)

Last Dream (on Earth)

While categorised in the Fringe programme under theatre, this work – created and directed by Kai Fischer with contributions from its cast – is certainly not a play, at least in… 

Dani Girl

Dani Girl

Trust me, Fringe magic still happens. 

Larry Dean: Farcissist

Larry Dean: Farcissist

Male stand up comedians from certain parts of Glasgow often face a significant impediment; they can’t help but sound like Billy Connolly, and so inevitably find themselves compar… 

Joe Jacobs: Orthodox Joe

Joe Jacobs: Orthodox Joe

“Orthodox”, according to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, is an adjective that suggests “following or conforming to the traditional or generally accepted rules or belie… 

Mikey and Addie

Mikey and Addie

Mikey and Addie is a story about two pre-teen kids who couldn’t be more different – Mikey’s life is all about imagination and play, while Addie’s is focused on enforcing rule… 

Johnny Cochrane: Appeal

Johnny Cochrane: Appeal

When life gives you lemons, those with an optimistic, can-do attitude invariably suggest you make lemonade. 

The Hairy Maclary & Friends Show

The Hairy Maclary & Friends Show

Making a musical out of poetic animal stories aimed at children is nothing new but, while Andrew Lloyd Webber opted to turn T S Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats int… 

Tales From The Hanging Captain

Tales From The Hanging Captain

If theatre is all about holding a mirror up to ourselves, then Tales From the Hanging Captain certainly makes the grade – it’s the first performance piece arising from the thr… 

The Wee One

The Wee One

The Wee One starts with a scenario familiar enough from numerous television sitcoms – a couple well into middle-age who appear to be stuck with an adult child who has failed t… 

What Now?

What Now?

There’s a definite shift in the second play in this double bill from Edinburgh-based theatre company Strange Town. 

What Next?

What Next?

Strange Town is an Edinburgh-based company which offers opportunities for young people between the ages of five and 25 to fulfil their creative potential though drama and perfor… 

Fluff – A Story of Lost Toys

Fluff – A Story of Lost Toys

There’s a simple idea at the heart of Australian company cre8ion’s show Fluff; rescuing and giving a new home to lost and abandoned toys. 

The Great Illusionist

The Great Illusionist

Part of the attraction of seeing magic tricks performed well – beyond the sheer spectacle – is trying to work out how they’re done. 

Broken Dreams

Broken Dreams

“The here and the now is wow!” we’re told at the start of Broken Dreams. 

Walden

Walden

On 4th July 1845 – Independence Day, suitably enough – the young Henry David Thoreau went into the woods at Walden Pond, near the town of Concord, Massachusetts, and lived t… 

The Story of the Little Gentleman

The Story of the Little Gentleman

The physical core of the The Little Gentleman is a large wooden crate, addressed to the show’s venue, which is slowly revealed to include numerous small doors and openings from… 

Traces

Traces

Traces is a theatre show with no obviously clear-cut beginning or end; if there’s a start at all, it might be when the two principal performers – Marko Werner and Michael Lur… 

Constellations

Constellations

Sometimes words feel unworthy of the task when it comes to describing and reviewing a performance, especially a dance-piece as vibrant, colourful and joyous as this. 

Tales of a Grandson

Tales of a Grandson

There is much more to history than just learning dates and facts. 

Thon Man Molière

Thon Man Molière

Never, ever underestimate the stupidity of the rich and powerful; that’s certainly one of the obvious lessons you can get from Liz Lochhead’s brilliantly funny take on the sc… 

George Egg: Anarchist Cook

George Egg: Anarchist Cook

Touring stand-up George Egg has spent – and, presumably, continues to spend – a lot of his life in hotels the length and breadth of the UK. 

Living Like a Moth

Living Like a Moth

There are some incredible strengths in this latest production from Edinburgh’s most inspiring new theatre company. 

Role Shift

Role Shift

Glasgow-based Birds of Paradise Theatre Company continues to lead the way in producing theatre that’s fully accessible to people with physical and/or sensory impairments, both … 

Dirty Dusting

Dirty Dusting

I must admit to feeling a tad confused after experiencing Dirty Dusting. 

Avenue Q

Avenue Q

All theatre requires some degree of “suspension of disbelief”. 

Gods Are Fallen And All Safety Gone

Gods Are Fallen And All Safety Gone

During the 2008 Spring Season of “A Play, A Pie and A Pint” at Glasgow’s Òran Mór, writer and director Selma Dimitrijevic presented audiences with a delicate, poignant e… 

Second Hand

Second Hand

It’s not immediately obvious where Second Hand is located; Jonathan Scott’s set for this latest production in the Spring 2016 season of “A Play, a Pie and a Pint”, at Gl… 

This Restless House

This Restless House

Theatrical serendipity currently means that, after some masculine brutality set during the latter stages of the ancient siege of Troy (in the Royal Lyceum’s new adaptation of H… 

The Iliad

The Iliad

It says something about us as a species that one of our oldest myths, crystallised in the form of Homer’s epic poem Iliad, is about war – specifically the bloody climax of th… 

Mary Barnes

Mary Barnes

As a playwright, David Edgar long ago sped past the number of plays written by Shakespeare, but it’s fair to say that – while often making a big impact at the time – not m… 

Right Now

Right Now

First lines are important; as attention grabbers, but also as indicators of what’s to come, tonally at least. 

Ring Road

Ring Road

Ring roads are not usually places you go to; they’re a means of avoiding congestion, of giving a wide berth to somewhere. 

Neither God Nor Angel

Neither God Nor Angel

There’s are plenty of laughs in this imaginary conversation between King James VI of Scotland – preparing in March 1603 to make his stately progress south from the Palace of… 

Lost at Sea

Lost at Sea

On 10 January 1992, the container ship Ever Laurel, several days out from Hong Kong en route to Tacoma, Washington, hit a storm in the North Pacific Ocean. 

The Silent Treatment

The Silent Treatment

It has become traditional for Lung Ha Theatre Company – Scotland’s principal theatre group for people with learning disabilities – to present at least one large show every… 

Uncanny Valley

Uncanny Valley

In the near-century since Czech writer Karel Capek first gave us the word “robot” (in his play R. 

Little Red and the Wolf

Little Red and the Wolf

Most of us come to fairy tales – folk tales in general – courtesy of their so-called “traditional” retellings by Disney or the local panto. 

The Air That Carries The Weight

The Air That Carries The Weight

It is a tad ironic that, initially, the most overpowering element in this new show from Stellar Quines Theatre Company – established in 1993 to “celebrates the energy, exper… 

International Waters

International Waters

David Leddy’s apocalyptic fable International Waters certainly starts as it means to go on; loud and bold, with the memorable image of four gas-masked figures performing a tab… 

An Evening with Phil Differ

An Evening with Phil Differ

Phil Differ is not someone you’d immediately recognise. 

Rapid Departure

Rapid Departure

Most theatre audiences have an anonymous – some might even suggest voyeuristic – role, viewing the action on stage from the safety of a darkened auditorium. 

For the Love of Cousins

For the Love of Cousins

In one sense this latest production from Edinburgh-based Blazing Hyena Theatre Company is nothing more than a theatrical game in which writer Jack Elliot creates a succession of… 

Iphigenia In Splott

Iphigenia In Splott

In Greek mythology, princess Iphigenia is the eldest daughter of King Agamemnon, sacrificed to the goddess Artemis in order to allow her father’s warships to sail off to Troy. 

King Lear

King Lear

At the risk of sounding ageist, an immediate concern with any student theatre company taking on Shakespeare’s tragedy of tragedies, King Lear, is that it is in many respects a … 

The Destroyed Room

The Destroyed Room

With typical modesty (not), Glasgow-based Vanishing Point describe themselves as “Scotland’s foremost artist-led independent theatre company, internationally recognised and … 

Witness for the Prosecution

Witness for the Prosecution

Arguably, the most important part of any Agatha Christie play doesn’t happen on the stage at all; it takes place in the rest of the theatre during the interval, when there’s… 

Purposeless Movements

Purposeless Movements

There’s a beautiful symmetry to this new production from Glasgow-based Birds of Paradise Theatre Company; the start and end deliberately remind us that the four disabled men o… 

At the Mountains of Madness

At the Mountains of Madness

I’ve long been a fan of Howard Phillips Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness, in which an Antarctica exhibition uncovers the still-living legacy of a previously unknow… 

Village Pub Theatre LGBT Innovators 2

Village Pub Theatre LGBT Innovators 2

The Village Pub Theatre’s second evening of short new dramas at the Traverse, in celebration of LGBT History Month, came with a wonderfully louche vibe, thanks to the easy MC-i… 

Village Pub Theatre LGBT Innovators 1

Village Pub Theatre LGBT Innovators 1

The playwrights, directors, and actors who constitute the loose confederation that is the Village Pub Theatre once again moved in to the more upmarket, city central Traverse Thea… 

The Crucible

The Crucible

In the face of something terrible, we can either laugh or cry. 

My Name is Saoirse

My Name is Saoirse

Outside of the almost factory-like default setting of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe’s one hour time-slot (long-since exported around the world), it actually feels somewhat odd… 

Cock

Cock

In the run-up to Mike Bartlett’s play Cock opening at the Tron Theatre, a lot of people – myself included – clearly couldn’t help have some innocent adolescent fun with … 

Blood Brothers

Blood Brothers

All theatre requires a certain suspension of disbelief, musical theatre even more so. 

Endgame

Endgame

“Finished, it’s finished, nearly finished, it must be nearly finished. 

A Murder is Announced

A Murder is Announced

Coming to a “classic” Agatha Christie whodunnit after a full day’s binging on the latest series of the BBC’s Silent Witness – oh, the life of a reviewer! – is, frank… 

CauseWay

CauseWay

“A dastardly attempt was made in the early hours of yesterday morning by suffragists to fire and blow up Burns’s Cottage, Alloway, the birthplace of the national poet,” rep… 

The Weir

The Weir

If there’s one moment in this new production of Conor McPherson’s The Weir that encapsulates the quality of its cast and director, it’s towards the close when a moment of … 

Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs

Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs

The Glasgow King’s Theatre panto, which last year marked its half century, is a much-loved institution in the city. 

Aladdin

Aladdin

Strange Town is a theatre company based in Edinburgh which aims to “enable young people to fulfil their creative potential”, by providing five to 25 year olds with the opport… 

Tracks of the Winter Bear

Tracks of the Winter Bear

At a time of year when most theatres across the land are bursting with colour, raucous laughter and the panto spirit, it’s typical of Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre, long-esta… 

James Plays Playwright Rona Munro does Christmas at the Traverse

James Plays Playwright Rona Munro does Christmas at the Traverse

Rona Munro, writer of the three James Plays – critically acclaimed and popular with audiences at the 2014 Edinburgh International Festival – has a new collaboration with Stephe... 

Rapunzel

Rapunzel

Like most of Scotland’s producing theatres, the Citizens Theatre does not, as a matter of principle, “do” panto. 

A Belter of a Cinderella Story

A Belter of a Cinderella Story

When it comes to retelling Cinderella, two of the three most important roles in terms of plot and audience participation are Cinders’ best pal Buttons and her Fairy Godmother. 

Ali Bawbag and the Four Tealeafs

Ali Bawbag and the Four Tealeafs

Pantomime is arguably the most self-aware and self-mocking of theatrical forms, with the most successful shows seeing cast and audience mutually shattering any metaphorical four… 

Cinderella

Cinderella

“Smells like Seton Sands” is precisely the kind of line you expect in a pantomime at The Brunton theatre in Musselburgh; it’s hooked on local rivalries, and grounds the ubi… 

To Breathe

To Breathe

To Breathe starts with its six performers standing in a circle, staring at the audience, just breathing. 

One, Two, Three, Yippee

One, Two, Three, Yippee

There is an intrinsic roughness to this latest production from Edinburgh-based Blazing Hyena productions: performed “in the round” in a student bar within city’s Art College, th… 

The Bruce in Ireland

The Bruce in Ireland

“A truce is a truce, but war is war,” we’re told early on in Ben Blow’s history play focusing on the all-too-forgotten consequences of Robert the Bruce’s victory over … 

Cagebirds

Cagebirds

Leicester-born David Campton, who died in in 2006, was a prolific British dramatist, especially adept at writing thought-provoking one act plays that make us laugh as much as we … 

The Smallest Show on Earth

The Smallest Show on Earth

“Juke-box musicals”, which essentially use existing songs as their musical score, may strike you as a relatively modern theatrical phenomena – think Mamma Mia! or We Will … 

Hidden

Hidden

One of the strengths of the Royal Lyceum Theatre Company during the last half-century has been its ongoing commitment to providing quality drama education and performance opport… 

Panopticon

Panopticon

Panopticon, written and directed by second year University of Edinburgh student Liam Rees, is set in a women’s prison, into which well-meaning dramatist Julia comes to run a s… 

Loserville

Loserville

“One day every company will fear a geek in a garage,” we’re told early on in Elliot Davis and James Bourne’s Loserville. 

Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies

The first thing that strikes you about this new stage adaptation of William Golding’s classic dystopian novel is Jon Bausor’s astounding set: the huge section of a passenger… 

Lot and his God

Lot and his God

“I must learn to keep my mouth shut when there’s an angel in the room. 

Tribes

Tribes

The family at the heart of Nina Raine’s Tribes is liable, at least initially, to make you yearn for the exit. 

The MsFits: Fur Coat & Magic Knickers

The MsFits: Fur Coat & Magic Knickers

A criticism sometimes made about Edinburgh – especially by Glaswegians – is that, while the city appears sophisticated and morally upstanding, this is just a facade hiding a … 

Waiting for Godot

Waiting for Godot

There are many good reasons for launching the celebratory 50th anniversary season of Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum Theatre Company with a new production of Samuel Beckett’s Waiti… 

The Cheviot, the Stag, and the Black, Black Oil

The Cheviot, the Stag, and the Black, Black Oil

Arguably the most significant work of new theatre from “north of the border” in recent years is the National Theatre of Scotland’s Black Watch, an excellent example of inve… 

The Fallen Angel Show

The Fallen Angel Show

Vesper Walk describe themselves as a “quirky five to eight piece band performing art-pop music in a gothic style. 

Edmund the Learned Pig

Edmund the Learned Pig

Barry Bonaparte’s Travelling Circus is in trouble. 

The Misfit Analysis

The Misfit Analysis

Theatre is, for the most part, about telling stories with the aids of actors, scenery and props; in contrast, stand-up comedy is usually about a single person sharing their perspec… 

Donald Does Dusty

Donald Does Dusty

Donald Torr was, apparently, the best big brother any little girl could have, especially growing up on the outskirts of 1960s’ Aberdeen. 

Tom Neenan: The Andromeda Paradox

Tom Neenan: The Andromeda Paradox

Following last year’s generally well-received comic homage to the Edwardian Ghost Story (The Haunting of Lopham House), writer and performer Tom Neenan shifts his genre gaze forw… 

Dead Letter Office

Dead Letter Office

Where do letters and parcels go, when – because of an incomplete address, or lack of forwarding address – they can’t be delivered? According to Catherine Expósito and Marli … 

Rhymes with Orange

Rhymes with Orange

Every successful show needs a Unique Selling Point – or, put simply, a gimmick. 

Jean-Luc Picard and Me

Jean-Luc Picard and Me

Recent cinematic reboots notwithstanding, there’s arguably at least one generation of television viewers for whom Star Trek’s starship captain of choice is not James Tiberius K… 

Wendy Hoose by Johnny McKnight

Wendy Hoose by Johnny McKnight

Glasgow-based Birds of Paradise Theatre Company is arguably Scotland’s most innovative and ground-breaking theatre company when it comes to exploring disability and producing ful… 

Matt Abbott is Skint and Demoralised

Matt Abbott is Skint and Demoralised

Matt Abbott admits that poetry is a hard sell on the Fringe, impossible to talk about without coming across as pretentious – which may well explain why one of his bespoke marketi… 

Village Pub Theatre

Village Pub Theatre

For those of you not lucky enough to live in Edinburgh all year round, Village Pub Theatre (VPT) is a regular “let’s put the show on here” brand of new theatre based in the f… 

George and Co (the Solo Tour)

George and Co (the Solo Tour)

At first it’s almost as if George Dimarelos has chosen to counter any preconceptions about loud Australians by opting for the least dramatic stage entrance possible; he’s alrea… 

God's Waiting Room

God's Waiting Room

Many religions insist that humanity was created in God’s image; others argue that, throughout history, the process has been the other way round. 

CELL

CELL

There is something inherently heartbreaking about the small metal-framed chair standing centre-stage as the audience comes in, but no more so than when one of the show’s co-devis… 

Scaramouche Jones

Scaramouche Jones

‘God, what a day’ is the first thing said to us by Scaramouche Jones, the red-nosed, white-faced clown who – sensing the ghosts of an audience in his dressing room – decide… 

The Solid Life of Sugar Water

The Solid Life of Sugar Water

Graeae Theatre Company, according to the information sheet handed out before the start of the show, sees itself as ‘a force for change in world-class theatre – breaking down ba… 

Sweeney Todd

Sweeney Todd

Stephen Sondheim’s score for his self-described “black operetta” Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, must rank among his most complex and challenging works, if on… 

Block

Block

Block is a production that constantly surprises, though not always in ways that are comforting. 

I Went To A Fabulous Party...

I Went To A Fabulous Party...

During the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe, What A Gay Play gained a certain amount of attention, given that its late-night scheduling and blatant use of the cast’s flesh on the flyers sug… 

Trans Scripts

Trans Scripts

One of the challenges of reportage theatre – works in which the words and experiences of real people are edited and put into the words of actors – is to justify the process as … 

To Space

To Space

Dr Niamh Shaw is that relatively rare thing – a skilled and engaging stage performer who also happens to be a scientist and engineer, with both a degree and PhD to her name. 

Thief

Thief

Sailor – he had a real name once, but he believes “Sailor” suits him now – is a street hustler, thief and raconteur; the illegitimate son of a prostitute who has taken up h… 

Pip Utton: Playing Maggie

Pip Utton: Playing Maggie

Margaret Thatcher was – still is, two years after her death – a divisive figure, loved and hated in equal measure. 

Thrill-Seeking Pianist WLTM Like-Minded Audience for NSA Fun and Good Times

Thrill-Seeking Pianist WLTM Like-Minded Audience for NSA Fun and Good Times

Some cabaret performers attempt to lull you into a false sense of security about what they do, but thankfully any audience finds out quickly enough what they’re going to get from… 

Tales from a Cabaret

Tales from a Cabaret

The Creative Martyrs, that white-faced Laurel and Hardy of existential cabaret terrorism, are not men to be trifled with, as some rather talkative front-row audience members discov… 

Doris, Dolly and the Dressing Room Divas

Doris, Dolly and the Dressing Room Divas

“Just go with the magic,” says one of the three singers on stage to a slightly reluctant compatriot. 

Complex

Complex

A man is desperate for a job. 

39 Steps by Patrick Barlow

39 Steps by Patrick Barlow

It’s fitting that, given how this is the centenary of its original publication by Edinburgh-based publisher Blackwood’s, that at least one version of John Buchan’s classic th… 

May I Have the Bill Please? by Robin Mitchell

May I Have the Bill Please? by Robin Mitchell

Like every other animal on the planet, humans need to eat in order to survive, but arguably no other species has developed such complicated social etiquettes around the consumption… 

Choreographers Claire Cunningham and Ramesh Meyyappan talk Hieronymus Bosch and Madame Butterfly

Choreographers Claire Cunningham and Ramesh Meyyappan talk Hieronymus Bosch and Madame Butterfly

Acclaimed choreographers and performers Ramesh Meyyappan and Claire Cunningham bring two startling – and highly personal – shows to this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe. 

The Driver's Seat

The Driver's Seat

Described as “a metaphysical shocker” on its release in 1970, The Driver’s Seat was apparently author Muriel Sparks’ favourite amongst her own stories, in part thanks to th… 

When The War Came Home

When The War Came Home

It’s not often that I’m asked back to see a show, let alone because those involved have openly taken on some of the points I made in my review!When the War Came Home is a … 

Spring Awakening

Spring Awakening

German dramatist Frank Wedekind’s play Frühlings Erwachen – written around 1891 but not performed until 1906 – deliberately kicked against sexually-oppressive fin d… 

Three Minute Interview: Dandy Darkly

Three Minute Interview: Dandy Darkly

New York City's "rapid-fire raconteur of sex and death" returns to Edinburgh with a brand new show, where it’s fair to say he’s decidedly Trigger Happy! 

Stand

Stand

“This is not just about me,” says one of the cast at the start and close of Chris Goode’s Stand. 

Yer Granny

Yer Granny

Having enjoyed a relatively carefree childhood and colourful teenage youth during the 1970s, I’m often still annoyed by the apparent cultural consensus which dismisses those y… 

Persevere

Persevere

Site-specific works can be accused of relying on their location to do the heavy-lifting, theatrically speaking. 

The Venetian Twins

The Venetian Twins

For some, he was “Italy’s Shakespeare”, “the Moliere of Venice”; yet it’s only relatively recently that British theatre audiences have warmed to work by 18th centur… 

No Nothing

No Nothing

Alan Spence is not the first to imagine a meeting between two famous people from different worlds, though there’s certainly a whiff of wishful thinking in this thoughtful, if … 

Uisge-Beatha Gu Leòr / Whisky Galore

Uisge-Beatha Gu Leòr / Whisky Galore

On 5th February 1941, during heavy gales, the cargo ship SS Politician ran aground off the Island of Eriskay in the Outer Hebrides. 

Fools

Fools

Fools and their stories were the theme of this latest set of short plays, dramatic monologues and glorified sketches presented in rehearsed readings by the Village Pub Theatre t… 

The Woman in Black

The Woman in Black

Written very much in the tradition of the suspense-filled, atmospheric ghost stories by M R James, Susan Hill’s gothic novel, The Woman in Black, has been adapted numerous time… 

Boys

Boys

Even the greatest of parties end with the hangover of cleaning up afterwards. 

Broth

Broth

It’s fitting that, this Eastertide, a resurrection of sorts lies at the heart of this latest collaboration between Glasgow’s Òran Mór and Edinburgh’s Traverse theatre. 

Hedda Gabler

Hedda Gabler

Many of the world’s greatest Tragedies – Shakespeare’s in particular – are grounded on the character flaws of their titular characters: Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth, and so … 

The Strange Case of Jekyll and Hyde

The Strange Case of Jekyll and Hyde

No less a figure than Inspector Rebus creator Ian Rankin once insisted that the only author to ever “nail” Edinburgh was Robert Louis Stevenson in his classic 1886 novella, S… 

The History Boys

The History Boys

The History Boys – at least according to the programme notes accompanying this latest tour – is “generally regarded as Alan Bennett’s masterpiece”. 

Beating McEnroe

Beating McEnroe

Life was so much simpler, back in 1980. 

Edgar and Annabel

Edgar and Annabel

Only a clever or ignorant writer would deliberately choose to begin a play with that most egregious of sitcom clichés: “Hi Honey, I’m home. 

Chess - The Musical

Chess - The Musical

There’s one thing I hate about musical theatre, which is especially common with “amateur” productions – there’s seemingly no way of stopping audiences full of family an… 

Equus

Equus

There’s something particularly appropriate about experiencing Peter Shaffer’s Equus at the Bedlam Theatre. 

The Judas Kiss

The Judas Kiss

At one point in the first act of The Judas Kiss, Oscar Wilde admits to always having had “a low opinion of what is called action. 

The Caucasian Chalk Circle

The Caucasian Chalk Circle

There’s rumbustious joy aplenty in this new adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s infamous examination of legality and justice. 

Jekyll & Hyde

Jekyll & Hyde

Since its first publication in 1886, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde has been adapted for stage, cinema and television hundreds of times. 

Fleabag

Fleabag

Unexpected pre-show choice of “Easy Listening” music notwithstanding, Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag is an exciting theatrical ride, slipping from laugh-out-loud humour to… 

Netting

Netting

They say that, while you can choose your friends, you can’t choose your family; even when you pick a partner, you have no say about the family that comes along with them. 

When The Rain Stops Falling

When The Rain Stops Falling

Those who don’t know history, according to the Irish statesman Edmund Burke, are destined to repeat it, while the Bible insists more than once that the sins of the father will b… 

Village Pub Theatre: Bill Murray Night

Village Pub Theatre: Bill Murray Night

American film actor and comedian Bill Murray allegedly fields offers of work via a voice mailbox which, according to Wikipedia, “he checks infrequently”. 

The Real Inspector Hound

The Real Inspector Hound

When reviewing a play – especially one verging on farce – where two of the main characters are professional theatre critics, it’s hard not to become a tiny bit defensive … 

Butterfly

Butterfly

Men – especially working class men from the West of Scotland – are not known for expressing their emotions, instead hiding behind either brutish silence or dry humour. 

Filter's Macbeth

Filter's Macbeth

The “Scottish Play” is among Shakespeare’s shortest, but for critically acclaimed theatre company Filter to edit it down to barely more than 90 minutes, without missing an… 

Faith Healer

Faith Healer

Reality and performance lie at the heart of this solid production of Irish playwright Brian Friel’s Faith Healer. 

When The War Came Home

When The War Came Home

The First World War is often described as the first “total war”, that is involving the entire population, at home as well as on the battlefield. 

Slope

Slope

There’s a moment in Pamela Carter’s play Slope when the 19th century French poet Paul Verlaine, ensconced in a seedy London flat with his young lover Arthur Rimbaud, fears t… 

Cardinal Sinne

Cardinal Sinne

There’s a strong whiff of Farce about Cardinal Sinne from the off; only that particular genre, after all, requires quite so many doors in a set—in this case three interior d… 

Bondagers

Bondagers

“Nobody thought to save any of the roots,” says Sara towards the end of The Bondagers. 

The Gamblers

The Gamblers

Nikoli Gogol’s The Gamblers (premiered in 1843) is relatively rarely-performed, at least in comparison with the writer’s most famous work, The Government Inspector. 

Glasgow: Arches LIVE festival to present self-help theme this October

Glasgow: Arches LIVE festival to present self-help theme this October

Arches LIVE, the annual festival of new performances and artwork by some of Scotland’s most exciting creative talent returns to Glasgow’s The Arches this October. 

Kill Johnny Glendenning

Kill Johnny Glendenning

Kill Johnny Glendenning is a play of two halves; each a brutally funny, finely-tuned treatise on the various overlapping hierarchies of power and violence that, while shaping ou… 

James III: The True Mirror

James III: The True Mirror

If we’re to believe Rona Munro, the third James Stewart to rule Scotland was the country’s answer to England’s Edward II; a monarch who, while undoubtedly a man of culture… 

James II: Day of The Innocents

James II: Day of The Innocents

We don’t see one of the most important events in the life of James II, just its immediate consequences; a hurried, chaotic, almost dream-like explosion of fear and movement fo… 

James I: The Key Will Keep The Lock

James I: The Key Will Keep The Lock

This trinity of new plays by Scottish playwright Rona Munro are a timely study of nationhood, identity and the consequences of political actions. 

1984

1984

When a work of fiction becomes so iconic a cultural “classic” that it’s known and understood by people who have never read it, it’s unsurprising that a few inaccuracies cre… 

The Glass Menagerie

The Glass Menagerie

There are five characters in Tennessee William’s breakthrough “memory play” The Glass Menagerie. 

3,000 Trees: The Death of Mr William MacRae

3,000 Trees: The Death of Mr William MacRae

Sometimes, we can miss what’s important. 

David Kay

David Kay

Successful stand-ups usually have a memorable on-stage persona; it may be manic, taciturn or just ‘nice’, but it’s what they’re remembered for. 

merry christmas, Ms Meadows

merry christmas, Ms Meadows

During the last few years, the Belarus Free Theatre company has built a strong reputation in issue-based theatre, utilising a wide range of performance techniques to frame and ex… 

Kiss Me Honey, Honey!

Kiss Me Honey, Honey!

Kiss Me Honey Honey! appears to be attracting a decidedly local crowd of middle-aged women, at least if this performance is anything to go by. 

3,000 Trees by George Gunn

3,000 Trees by George Gunn

“When a man starts a war against the State, it’s a war he cannot win,” says our nominal hero Willie McKay at the point in this play when the writer presumes we will sympathis… 

Factor 9

Factor 9

If this show was a stick of rock, it would have “Anger” written all the way through it in blood red: specifically anger at the medical, commercial and political establishments … 

The Pure, the Dead and the Brilliant

The Pure, the Dead and the Brilliant

The Fringe’s late-summer position in the calendar means that few of those who visit the Scottish capital ever experience one particular form of indigenous theatre — pantomime… 

The Pitiless Storm

The Pitiless Storm

For all its claims of being a one-man show, the stage can get pretty crowded during The Pitiless Storm. 

Zombie Science: Brain of the Dead

Zombie Science: Brain of the Dead

Growing up as a kid in the 1970s, my first experiences of academic lectures were either snatches of TV programmes aimed at those studying courses with the Open University (thankful… 

Zombie Science: Worst Case Scenario

Zombie Science: Worst Case Scenario

“There has not been a single incidence of Zombieism anywhere in the world to date,” according to Doctor Austin of the Zombie Institute for Theoretical Studies, but “this does… 

Tom Neenan: The Haunting at Lopham House

Tom Neenan: The Haunting at Lopham House

“What is it that frightens you?” Tom Neenan asks at the start of this one-man pastiche of an Edwardian ghost story. 

Quentin Crisp: Naked Hope

Quentin Crisp: Naked Hope

This excellent one-man show from Mark Farrelly portrays the transformation of Denis Charles Pratt, born in suburbia, into Quentin Crisp. 

The Beta Males Sessions: Richard and The Storybeast

The Beta Males Sessions: Richard and The Storybeast

In addition to their main show at the Pleasance, the writer-performer foursome known as the Beta Males have split into pairs to do something a bit different in the afternoon. 

Stephen Bailey: Neon Heart

Stephen Bailey: Neon Heart

Stephen Bailey—all silver dickie bow tie, floral grey suit and camp demeanour—is clearly in love with love and romance. 

Des Clarke: The Trouble with Being Des

Des Clarke: The Trouble with Being Des

The Trouble with Being Des, according to Des Clarke, is that he has an inner demon man child inside him which makes him “weird”—not least within the context of growing u… 

Four Screws Loose in The Big Screw Up

Four Screws Loose in The Big Screw Up

“Are you ready to party?!” blares the PA at the start of the show and the audience roars in the agreement. 

God's Own Country

God's Own Country

“Gossip,” we’re told, “travels fast in a valley. 

18b

18b

Regulation 18b of the Defence (General) Regulations 1939 is a now little-remembered piece of legislation which came into force just before the outbreak of the Second World War. 

Playdough Face

Playdough Face

Scheduling is an often overlooked aspect of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, not least by venues attempting to squeeze in as many popular shows as possible. 

Laurence Clark: Moments of Instant Regret

Laurence Clark: Moments of Instant Regret

We all have them, if we’re honest; those moments in our lives where we’ve reacted without thinking and “put our foot in it”, slipping from innocent victim to outright offen… 

Andrew Doyle: Zero Tolerance

Andrew Doyle: Zero Tolerance

During the last few years, Andrew Doyle has made a name for himself as a frequently hilarious, sharply intelligent, and fearless comedian, ready to push his audiences’ tolerance … 

Scott Capurro Islamohomophobia: Reloaded

Scott Capurro Islamohomophobia: Reloaded

Age hasn’t softened Scott Capurro; nor, it has to be said, has marriage. 

Old Folks Telling Jokes

Old Folks Telling Jokes

As a card-carrying, paid-up member of the Grumpy Old Men squad, I occasionally look at all those fresh-faced stand-ups staring out from the posters plastered across the city like S… 

Casting the Runes

Casting the Runes

For several decades, it was the habit of the acclaimed medieval scholar Montague Rhodes James (who died in 1936) to entertain his Christmas guests with an especially composed tale … 

Jamie MacDonald: That Funny Blind Guy 2 - The Good, the Stag and the Ugly

Jamie MacDonald: That Funny Blind Guy 2 - The Good, the Stag and the Ugly

Being visually impaired, Glaswegian stand-up Jamie MacDonald definitely brings a new meaning to “observational humour”. 

Dane Baptiste: Citizen Dane

Dane Baptiste: Citizen Dane

Dane Baptiste is a confident performer. 

Aidan Killian: Jesus Versus Buddha

Aidan Killian: Jesus Versus Buddha

Irish comedian Aidan Killian certainly cuts a surprising figure with his new show; not so much for the long, simple robe he wears, but the fact that he’s shaved off half his bear… 

The Doctor Austin Three Minute Interview

The Doctor Austin Three Minute Interview

Doctor Austin of the renowned Zombie Institute for Theoretical Studies, based in the University of Glasgow, has come to educate the Edinburgh Fringe about the inevitable Zombie Apo... 

The David Leddy Three Minute Interview

The David Leddy Three Minute Interview

Described as a “theatrical maverick” with “a propensity for fearless experiment” by the Financial Times, writer-director David Leddy returns to Edinburgh with two productio... 

The Liam Rudden Three Minute Interview

The Liam Rudden Three Minute Interview

Game-keeper turned poacher? Liam Rudden may be Entertainment Editor for the Edinburgh Evening News, but he also has decades’ experience as a writer and director for the stage–i... 

Tragic Magic

Tragic Magic

Four times Scottish champion of close up magic Michael Neto is an assured and amiable stage magician, whose slight of hand is smooth, assured and doubtless the result of decades … 

In My Father's Words

In My Father's Words

Louis is one of Canada’s most respected teachers of classical literature. 

Lifeline

Lifeline

Phil Roach isn’t the first man to be dumped by his girlfriend and realise his life isn’t quite working out as expected but, as Julian Wickham’s “Lifeline” quickly shows, he’s pos… 

Pressure

Pressure

Us inhabitants of the British Isles can spend an inordinate amount of our time discussing the weather, yet it doesn’t automatically follow that our “four seasons in a day”c… 

The Libertine

The Libertine

“You will not like me,” insists John Wilmot, second Earl of Rochester, at the start of The Libertine; not so much presented an unreliable narrator, more the self-created bad … 

Dear Scotland

Dear Scotland

As part of its contribution to the many debates in Scotland during 2014—sparked into life, of course, by this September’s independence referendum—new National Theatre of Sc… 

The Beautiful Cosmos of Ivor Cutler

The Beautiful Cosmos of Ivor Cutler

When the Glasgow-born poet, playwright, song-writer, musician, cartoonist, humorist and story-writer Ivor Cutler died in March 2006, the nation’s obituarists remembered an “una… 

The Best of Village Pub Theatre

The Best of Village Pub Theatre

Edinburgh’s revered Traverse Theatre has, for many years, defined itself as “Scotland’s new writing theatre”, regularly giving over its stages to a variety of new voices … 

The Pitchfork Disney

The Pitchfork Disney

There’s no doubting that Philip Ridley’s debut play, even now, feels like a strange beast; a modern fairytale of two infantalised and orphaned twins, Presley and Haley, somehow… 

Union

Union

Big, bold and buxom; playwright Tim Barrow’s Union, directed for the Royal Lyceum Theatre’s artistic director Mark Thomson, starts as it means to go on, with blocks of “sce… 

This Wide Night

This Wide Night

A common factor in the best sitcoms–and dramas, for that matter–are situations from which the characters can’t escape, most notably from each other: the binds of family (t… 

Red Shoes

Red Shoes

Glasgow’s Tramway has a reputation for cutting-edge visual and performing arts; so it’s something of a radical change for them to join Glasgow’s other theatrical venues with … 

Enough Already

Enough Already

Written and animated by the alleged French “polymath” François Sarhan, Enough Already incorporates live music, theatre and film in a frustratingly pretentious, paralysingly du… 

In Time o' Strife

In Time o' Strife

The Pathhead Halls on the corner of Commercial Street and Broad Wynd, Kirkcaldy, Fife were built in 1882, originally as a theatre and music hall although one room was later used fo… 

Macbeth

Macbeth

Returning to, and re-staging, the “classics” is not without challenges, not least because they were often originally written at a time when actors were considerably cheaper to hire… 

Crime and Punishment

Crime and Punishment

There’s a brazen, wonderfully self-conscious theatricality in how director Dominic Hill approaches Chris Hannan’s new stage adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s iconic novel, C… 

Burton's Last Call

Burton's Last Call

Nearly 30 years after his death, Richard Burton still stands tall among the ghosts of Hollywood, the poor boy from a Welsh mining village whose acting talent and ambition took him … 

Everything That Happened in the 20th Century, Seen Through the Eyes of a Liar

Everything That Happened in the 20th Century, Seen Through the Eyes of a Liar

Mike Shephard likes his history and, as a cash-conscious volume-drinker, the prices of rounds of drinks have always easily segued for him into historical anecdotes from the relevan… 

Death Ship 666

Death Ship 666

Death Ship 666 is Airplane meets Titanic; an exuberant rollercoaster ride of humorous grotesques, which revels in its own clichés and absurdities. 

Our Father

Our Father

Honesty’s important in stand-up; so’s making stuff up, obviously, but audiences can generally sniff out if the person on stage doesn’t – at least for that moment – believe in … 

The New Age Labrador

The New Age Labrador

Singer-songwriter Shaun Shears sort of fancies himself as a 21st Century reincarnation of the medieval Troubadour, travelling the country performing his songs about life, love and … 

Young & Strange - Magic, Illusion and a Hate for Each Other

Young & Strange - Magic, Illusion and a Hate for Each Other

Most magic shows you find on the Fringe nowadays are necessarily intimate, close-up affairs – not least because of the size of the available venues, budgets and the ‘close magic’… 

Landfall

Landfall

The idea of some supernatural being falling down to Earth and helping change the lives of us mere mortals is a powerful myth that resonates down human history, from the biologicall… 

A Reason to Smile

A Reason to Smile

Two wooden chairs, some books, an otherwise empty stage. 

Matt and Ian's Improv Show

Matt and Ian's Improv Show

Comedy improvisers Matt and Ian are sensible enough to start their show with what the unkind might describe as their get-out clause; they admit, from the start, that they ‘might … 

Ginger Nation

Ginger Nation

Canadian Shawn Hitchins bounces onto the stage with puppy-like energy, rushing straight into a ‘blond, brunette and a ginger’ joke to make the point that, as ‘a person of primary c… 

Jon Ronson - The Psychopath Test and Other Real Life Mysteries.

Jon Ronson - The Psychopath Test and Other Real Life Mysteries.

Given that, at one point, Jon Ronson describes himself as ‘essentially [just] a humorous journalist out of his depth,’ you might be surprised that the Cardiff-born writer and docum… 

Way Back

Way Back

Beachy Head in East Sussex has the tallest chalk sea cliffs in Britain, offering some fabulous views along the south east coast and across the English Channel. 

A Hundred Minus One Day

A Hundred Minus One Day

Playwright Idgie Beau sets out the parameters of A Hundred Minus One Day quickly and economically; 20 year old Jen, who has lived away from home for many years, has returned to her… 

The Year I Was Gifted

The Year I Was Gifted

The anthemic song ‘We’ve Gotta Get Out Of This Place’ by The Animals sets the scene for this one-woman, biographical monologue by the writer and performer Monica Bauer. 

Kevin Shepherd: Confess Nothing - Free

Kevin Shepherd: Confess Nothing - Free

In the past Kevin Shepherd has apparently used his Fringe shows as a kind of confessional, finding thoughtful humour in his past social and legal misdemeanours. 

Story's End

Story's End

Even on paper, this ‘reconnaissance mission into the no-man’s land where death borders storytelling’ has the potential to be either really good or a recipe for self-indulgence; a… 

Rick Kiesewetter: Chink

Rick Kiesewetter: Chink

Identity is a complicated matter for Rick Kiesewetter; not least because, as he points out from the start, his Asian face doesn’t match most people’s expectations of his adoptive f… 

Gay Straight Alliance

Gay Straight Alliance

In some 4,000 High Schools across the US, you’ll find a Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) group. 

Easter Eggs

Easter Eggs

There’s an unfortunate earnestness to this short piece from the Bangor English Drama Society, as they attempt with both script and performance to be all grown up and serious about … 

We Are All Orange Ghosts

We Are All Orange Ghosts

Popular culture often gets derided by critics because, unlike many of the so-called ‘great’ works of art (you know, the ones that allegedly make you look good when ‘appreciat… 

French Kiss

French Kiss

One of the delights of the Fringe is that it can throw up the unexpected; so, for example, the first time I hear a delightfully bad-taste joke about a recent double suicide in one … 

The Ivor Novello Story

The Ivor Novello Story

‘A successful bachelor is always a puzzle to others,’ says the singer James Dinsmore, playing the composer and actor Ivor Novello. 

It Goes Without Saying

It Goes Without Saying

When Broadway veteran and world-famous mime Bill Bowers starts his show talking about sitting in a Hollywood make-up truck at three in the morning, with Hugh Grant to his left and … 

The Pyramids of Margate

The Pyramids of Margate

While the BBC’s iconic sci-fi series Doctor Who is currently one of the biggest, most popular shows on television at the moment - and it’s likely to be everywhere this November, wh… 

Poems and Pots

Poems and Pots

John Rivers is the first to admit he’s not an entertainer and that Poems and Pots isn’t a ‘show’ as such, but hopefully a relaxing opportunity to tease out and encourage the creati… 

The Perilous Botanical Expedition

The Perilous Botanical Expedition

In May 2013, David Piper - the modestly-titled ‘Global Ambassador’ for Scottish boutique gin producer Hendrick’s - accompanied master distiller Lesley Gracie and celebrated a… 

Scott Agnew - Something's Gotta Give

Scott Agnew - Something's Gotta Give

There’s a point in every show when stand-up Scott Agnew drops what he calls ‘the G bomb’; that is, he mentions that he’s gay. 

Alistair Green: Ping Pong

Alistair Green: Ping Pong

Ping Pong is an energetic game usually involving two or four people, but this latest stand-up show from Alistair Green is very much a one-man endeavour, with the only significant b… 

Other Voices: Spoken Word Cabaret

Other Voices: Spoken Word Cabaret

This all-female spoken word cabaret claims to offer ‘a veritable smorgasbord of poetry’; yet even though it is, to a certain extent, a daily-changing ‘sampler’ of numerous performa… 

Chris Coltrane: Compassion is Subversive

Chris Coltrane: Compassion is Subversive

Last year, with Activism is Fun, comedian Chris Coltrane explained how he had returned to political action after years of apathy, not least because – thanks to the likes of direc… 

Oliver Meech: When Magic and Science Collide

Oliver Meech: When Magic and Science Collide

Science reveals, magic conceals, but both can inspire a sense of wonder, according to stage magician Oliver Meech. 

Patrick Monahan and Bob Slayer Set a World Record!

Patrick Monahan and Bob Slayer Set a World Record!

It was wonderfully refreshing to come upon something on the Fringe that, by its very nature, had blown the one hour slot to smithereens; further, that tapped into a reserve of fun … 

Björn Gustafsson

Björn Gustafsson

From the start, I must point out that I fully accept that standing up on a stage, making people laugh in a foreign language, even if it’s the ‘lingua franca’ of the western world (… 

A Play With Songs ... and Music and Film and Dance

A Play With Songs ... and Music and Film and Dance

Playwrights’ Studio Scotland is an independent development organisation for playwrights, working with them across the country, including through its talent development programme. 

Roll It in Sequins

Roll It in Sequins

There’s a playful, rough-round-the-edges physicality throughout this new show by Megan Heffernan and Sophie Fletcher. 

Paul Dabek - Stand Up and Be Conjured

Paul Dabek - Stand Up and Be Conjured

According to the neat-suited Paul Dabek, the Magic Circle demands that all its members must include a card trick at some point in their act, otherwise there’s a terrible risk of ‘m… 

Magic Faraway Cabaret

Magic Faraway Cabaret

Now enjoying its third year in Edinburgh, the Magic Faraway Cabaret has a reputation for presenting the best burlesque, variety and sideshow skills available in the Scottish capita… 

Chops

Chops

Chops is not a piece of naturalistic theatre, but then that’s hardly to be expected, given that this ‘linguistic farce’ by Brooklyn-based artist Kirin McCrory, performed by an all-… 

Robin Ince - Importance of Being Interested

Robin Ince - Importance of Being Interested

The British geneticist and evolutionary biologist J B S Haldane once stated his suspicion that ‘the Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose’. 

Desperately Seeking the Exit / Free Festival

Desperately Seeking the Exit / Free Festival

Heard of screenwriter William Goldman’s rule about Hollywood? ‘Nobody knows anything. 

In Tune With Dementia

In Tune With Dementia

It has been said that the one ‘mercy’ dementia offers is that the person who has it doesn’t know they do; so it is with the emotive subject of this solo play written and perf… 

We, Object

We, Object

‘We, Object. 

That's Not How You Spell Pedantic

That's Not How You Spell Pedantic

Life’s not easy when you’re a pedant; not that you see yourself as being pedantic, according to Jim Higo, a self-described ‘punk poet, social commentator and general irritant’. 

Alexis Dubus - Cars And Girls (2013 version)

Alexis Dubus - Cars And Girls (2013 version)

I first saw Alexis Dubus perform in 2008, when his ‘A R*ddy Brief History Of Swearing’ provided an interesting spine on which to hang some very funny material – and a justificati… 

Kevin Dewsbury Out Now

Kevin Dewsbury Out Now

Kevin Dewsbury is a bloke. 

The Sunday Assembly

The Sunday Assembly

It’s said that the Devil has all the best tunes, but why shouldn’t the Godless also enjoy the fun and sense of community that comes from gathering on a Sunday morning to enjoy coff… 

Sandel

Sandel

‘I’ll save you yet,’ says the precocious Antony Sandel to the object of his desires, David Rogers. 

Luke Wright: Essex Lion

Luke Wright: Essex Lion

‘Officer don’t be a Benny/the thing we saw was MGM-y. 

Rob Lloyd: Who, Me

Rob Lloyd: Who, Me

This is not the first time Doctor Who has been put on trial. 

Dan Nightingale: Love in the Time of Cholesterol

Dan Nightingale: Love in the Time of Cholesterol

Dan Nightingale wants us to like him. 

Tyke Rider: A Yorkshire Lass's Driving Adventure from the City of Angels to Graceland via the Big Easy

Tyke Rider: A Yorkshire Lass's Driving Adventure from the City of Angels to Graceland via the Big Easy

It was the 13th century Persian poet, Islamic jurist and theologian known to the English-speaking world as Rumi who said that ‘travel brings power and love back into your life’… 

Let The Right One In

Let The Right One In

There is one word that, quite deliberately, is never uttered by anyone on stage during the National Theatre of Scotland’s Let The Right One In—vampire. 

Calum's Road

Calum's Road

Although based on true events, the story of Calum’s Road is so unique that it comes with a strong sense of some greater story being told, one of mythical proportions. 

Running On The Cracks

Running On The Cracks

Children’s and young adult’s fiction have long been populated by orphans, characters who are both usefully free from parental restraints while also cut adrift from the traditio… 

Harold and Maude

Harold and Maude

Inter-generational relationships are always controversial, especially when questions of predatory abuse arise in these Savile-dominated times. 

Any Objections?

Any Objections?

Can you do anything of theatrical note in under 10 minutes? Is there a place for a theatrical equivalent of flash fiction, whether as a testing ground for new writers or as a form … 

Markee De Saw & Bert Finkle

Markee De Saw & Bert Finkle

When does real life stop and the cabaret begin? Or the cabaret stop and real life return? On this occasion, Markee de Saw and Bert Finkle offer no simple or easy answers in this in… 

Arguments and Nosebleeds - Free

Arguments and Nosebleeds - Free

Arguments and Nosebleeds is becoming a little nugget of tradition, a one-off poetry performance — now in its third year — that gives a platform to a host of Scottish poets, alo… 

My Stepson Stole My Sonic Screwdriver

My Stepson Stole My Sonic Screwdriver

Like much of the comedy currently clogging up Edinburgh, Toby Hadoke’s latest show is fundamentally about the man on stage, about his life experiences and his personal relationsh… 

The Curious Couple from Coney

The Curious Couple from Coney

The exquisitely moustached showman Donny Vomit was just 14, visiting an Oklahoma County Fair, when he saw a man swallow a long balloon. 

An Audience With Tomás Ford - Free

An Audience With Tomás Ford - Free

From the start, you know that Tomás Ford isn’t your ordinary late night showman. 

The Long and the Short of It

The Long and the Short of It

From the start Richard Purnell (the short one) and Gary From Leeds (the horribly tall one) insist that their teaming up as ‘360 degree poetry consultants’ is not a gimmick. 

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Given that the original award-winning novel by Mark Haddon is told from the very singular, focused perspective of a 15-year-old boy on the autistic spectrum, it’s surprising that… 

Wild Allegations

Wild Allegations

Matthew John Curtis is famous. 

Gay Straight Alliance

Gay Straight Alliance

Nominally, a Gay Straight Alliance is a pupil-based group found in some (though sadly too few) US schools, which meets regularly to discuss issues around homosexuality in order to … 

Chris Cross: Loose Cannon 2012

Chris Cross: Loose Cannon 2012

There are many things you can say about Chris Cross; that he’s a shrinking violet is not one of them. 

Legs 11

Legs 11

In an increasingly categorised Fringe (this year added Spoken Word to an already multi-colour-coded Fringe programme), it can still be a delight to come upon a show that just doesn… 

Kin

Kin

Three tables, each filled with the paraphernalia of different daytime meals; on each table, there’s an hourglass, progressively smaller. 

Ward and Bartlett's Double Impact

Ward and Bartlett's Double Impact

If comedy often rises out of adversity, could this help explain how Northern Ireland has proved such fertile ground over the years — from Frank Carson and Roy Walker to Patrick K… 

Alan Bissett: The Red Hourglass

Alan Bissett: The Red Hourglass

‘O wad some Power the giftie gie us/To see oursels as ithers see us!’ wrote Robert Burns in his famous poem To A Louse, apparently inspired by seeing the insect roaming over th… 

Magic Faraway Cabaret

Magic Faraway Cabaret

Cabarets are, by their very nature, fluid and changeable beasts, especially those in Edinburgh which act as convenient samplers of what’s available elsewhere on the Fringe. 

Activism Is Fun

Activism Is Fun

Chris Coltrane is the first to admit that any political radicalism he might once have possessed had faded over time, thanks in part to a depressing sense of powerless after the UK … 

Scotland in Song

Scotland in Song

It’s no small challenge to summarise a country and its history in a single hour, which is perhaps why Carolyn Anona Scott and Jack Foster instead choose to pay ‘homage’ to Sc… 

Laurent Piron - Unusual Day

Laurent Piron - Unusual Day

Are our lives ruled by fate or chance? It’s hard to decide most of the time but even harder when a stage magician is making the seemingly impossible happen before your eyes. 

An Evening With Dementia

An Evening With Dementia

In his book about the onset of his wife’s dementia, former ITN journalist John Suchet explained that the one ‘mercy’ he could see about the condition was that the person with… 

Other Voices: Alternative Spoken Word Cabaret

Other Voices: Alternative Spoken Word Cabaret

Other Voices promised much — ‘comedy, politics, naughty lyrics, free sweets… And a veritable smorgasbord of poetry antics’, but the most significant terminology on its titl… 

Stories from the Middle

Stories from the Middle

Contrary to what some critics might suggest, it’s not a comfortable experience seeing someone ‘coming off the rails’ on stage, especially when they’re clearly talented and … 

Montmorency

Montmorency

There’s a long tradition of the gentleman thief - not least in Edinburgh, the city of Deacon Brodie - so it probably seemed apt to bring to the Fringe an adaptation of Eleanor Up… 

Re-Animator The Musical

Re-Animator The Musical

You know something’s different about a show when the people in the first three rows - also known as the slosh pit - are issued with cheap Scotland-branded ponchos. 

Murder, Marple and Me

Murder, Marple and Me

Despite a long and successful career in both British film and theatre, Dame Margaret Rutherford is now best remembered for a role she didn’t, initially, care for at all — Agath… 

Allotment

Allotment

At the heart of Allotment is a simple, visual metaphor: the burial and later uncovering of objects in the earth that clearly mirrors the suppression and later resurrection of memor… 

Casablanca: The Gin Joint Cut

Casablanca: The Gin Joint Cut

Casablanca: The Gin Joint Cut comes to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with a strong pedigree and reputation, built on its debut as part of Glasgow’s Òran Mór’s iconic A Play, … 

Nggrfg

Nggrfg

As a show, NGGRFG has one obvious problem: people are either uncertain how to say it, or are simply reluctant to say out loud the two words it represents, because — quite underst… 

Just a Gigolo

Just a Gigolo

Among the delights of the Fringe are the opportunities it occasionally presents to see quality performers in more intimate, personal projects. 

Have a Nice Life

Have a Nice Life

In these increasingly cash-strapped times putting on any musical on the Fringe is worthy of praise, even if — with a cast of six accompanied by electric piano and drums — the d… 

Irreconcilable Differences

Irreconcilable Differences

There’s one small, very special audience that most of us will be legally obliged to join at some point in our lives — a jury. 

Doug Segal: How to Read Minds and Influence People

Doug Segal: How to Read Minds and Influence People

If we believe everything we see, at least on the video screen, the stage mentalist Doug Segal can get from his hotel bed to the venue — stopping off mid-route to buy a lottery ti… 

When Holidays Attack

When Holidays Attack

Given the importance many people put on their annual holiday — the glittering gift to themselves for enduring the hard slog of everyday life for the rest of the year — there… 

Des Clarke: Final Destination

Des Clarke: Final Destination

Particularly when compared to the polite folk of Edinburgh, Glaswegians have a reputation for talking. 

Damien Crow: The World According to Damien Crow

Damien Crow: The World According to Damien Crow

Mid-afternoon, an audience of just 10 people is not what most standups would want to see in front of them. 

Alistair Green: Jack Spencer - Why Anything?

Alistair Green: Jack Spencer - Why Anything?

While Green’s professionalism for going ahead with his solo performance with a tiny audience is worth a mention, this shouldn’t distract from the most important point: that his… 

Sammy J and Randy - The Inheritance

Sammy J and Randy - The Inheritance

The Australian duo of musical comedian Sammy J and puppeteer Heath McIvor - best known for his purple puppet Randy - are now experienced Fringe regulars who, quite rightly, are mor… 

Paul Dabek - Nothing Up My Sleeve!

Paul Dabek - Nothing Up My Sleeve!

Can a magician’s hand really be faster than the human eye? Paul Dabek may well use that serious question as an excuse for a simple physical joke, but by the end of this excellent… 

Rob James: Magicana

Rob James: Magicana

The downside of performing in a multi-show venue must surely be that you may have very little time to set up a show beforehand — often little more than 10 minutes — while alway… 

From Houdini to Potter

From Houdini to Potter

Yorkshire-born Chris Cassells seems such a trustworthy young man that it’s somewhat disconcerting to realise that he’s already recognised as a rising star among the UK’s stag… 

The Last Days of Judas Iscariot

The Last Days of Judas Iscariot

Is Judas Iscariot the ultimate fall-guy, unfairly damned for his necessary role in what was once called The Greatest Story Ever Told? Is his sin — of “selling out the Son of Go… 

Age of the Geek

Age of the Geek

You know you’ve experienced a genuine one-man Fringe show when the guy who’s been performing on stage for the previous 50 minutes has to jump down, run to the tech desk at the … 

Xavier Toby: Binge Thinking

Xavier Toby: Binge Thinking

A dinner party and a stand-up comedy performance might not seem to have much in common - and, in social terms, they don’t - but Xavier Toby gamely welcomed his first Edinburgh au… 

Macbeth

Macbeth

Arguably the most famous Scottish story written by an Englishman is re-imagined as One Flew Over The Cuckoo Nest by the National Theatre of Scotland, and showcases a remarkable sol…