Medea

Medea

Many readers will be familiar with the experience of almost falling asleep in a lecture theatre; it is probably less common for the urge to arise while a Greek tragedy is in full s… 

Bridget Christie: Housewife Surrealist

Bridget Christie: Housewife Surrealist

When Bridget Christie bounds onto the stage in a bishop’s vestments and mitre, running around the audience distributing crackers and squeezes of water, and then a couple of minutes… 

Festival Folk @ The Oak/The Wee Folk Club

Festival Folk @ The Oak/The Wee Folk Club

Byrne’s material tonight takes in a range of styles and moods, but is mostly taken from poetry written in Scots dialect traditions, and there were clearly a number of jokes that I … 

Tim Turnbull's Tales of Terror - Free

Tim Turnbull's Tales of Terror - Free

It ought to be mentioned from the beginning that Tim’s Turnbull’s Tales of Terror aren’t particularly terrifying, but it soon becomes apparent that actual thrills and chills aren’t… 

Apples

Apples

Adapted from Richard Milward’s 2006 novel, Apples is a slice of teen life in all its grottiness, expanded to cartoonish proportions from a starting point of Northern reality. 

Phillipa and Will Are Now in a Relationship

Phillipa and Will Are Now in a Relationship

‘I wuv you with the intensity of a thousand suns,’ yells Will (Jack Swain) in Misshapen Theatre’s Phillipa And Will Are Now In A Relationship, a romantic comedy told entirely throu… 

Mandrake

Mandrake

The Mandrake charts familiar territory for a Renaissance city comedy – cuckoldry, trickery, and professional stereotypes – but as might be expected from a play by Machiavelli, th… 

Bashir Lazhar

Bashir Lazhar

French-Canadian drama Bashir Lazhar draws its tension from the point at which two forms of loneliness intersect – that of an Algerian immigrant trying to make his way in a new wo… 

Fee Fie Foe Fum

Fee Fie Foe Fum

Kids are a notoriously tough crowd. 

Threshold

Threshold

Some would say the journey is more important than the destination, but this rule doesn’t apply to 19;29’s Threshold, a choose-your-own-adventure psychodrama presenting the implosio… 

Allsopp and Henderson's The Jinglists

Allsopp and Henderson's The Jinglists

Comedy is subjective – a cliché the truth of which I’d never truly experienced before seeing Allsopp and Henderson’s The Jinglists. 

The National

The National

There’s something a little unusual about The National’s rise to power as a festival-filling headline band; their sound is so hushed, so intimate, so suited to a guttering candle an… 

Last Easter

Last Easter

Bryony Lavery’s Last Easter is a one-act comedy about cancer, euthanasia and the vestigial presence of religious imagery in our hopeless, secular lives. 

Richard Herring: What is Love Anyway?

Richard Herring: What is Love Anyway?

Love is a pyramid scheme, suggests Richard Herring, in an extended fifteen-minute segment of his strongly-themed set, in which he contemplates the devastating consequences of a lov… 

'Dream Man' by James Carroll Pickett

'Dream Man' by James Carroll Pickett

A word of warning: if an hour of explicit homosexual phone sex is the sort of thing that sends you running to complain to Mary Whitehouse, then look away now. 

The Tempest

The Tempest

Aces High promise a radical, multimedia, re-gendered re-imagination of The Tempest, but deliver a bit of a damp squib, something more like a light drizzle or a power shower when th… 

Isy Suttie: Pearl and Dave

Isy Suttie: Pearl and Dave

Some suggest that you have to like a performer to be able to laugh at their work. 

Lach: The Day I Went Insane

Lach: The Day I Went Insane

Previous reviewers have compared Lach to Woody Allen and Woody Guthrie, and while these two are good reference points I’d like to start by pointing out just how much he looks, and … 

Pink Noise by FORK

Pink Noise by FORK

There’s not a lot of pink in this show – the four Scandinavian singers who make up FORK spend most of it clad either in dazzling white or figure-hugging black leather – but the… 

Don't Call Us We'll Call You

Don't Call Us We'll Call You

Ring-ring! Ring ring! What’s that sound? It’s the sound of ten students from London trying to get to grips with an un-winable war. 

Stitching

Stitching

Various media have opted for sex as the defining theme of this year’s Fringe, and a number of the shows I’ve been able to see are characterised by a clear-eyed recognition of the d… 

Hitler! The Musical

Hitler! The Musical

Satirical portraits of Adolf Hitler have been around since Charlie Chaplin’s ‘The Great Dictator’, through ‘The Producers’, to the Mr T Experience’s ‘Even Hitler Had A Girlfriend’. 

Josie Long: Be Honourable!

Josie Long: Be Honourable!

Josie Long’s Be Honourable! is on some level about being nice – not the easiest subject for laughs, but one with which she succeeds partly by being such a shining example. 

Caligula

Caligula

Although his writing is poetry as much as philosophy, there is a danger that any performance of a work by Albert Camus might neglect the more intriguingly human aspects of his lite… 

The Degenerates

The Degenerates

In a dystopian future society where all homosexuals are ‘rehabilitated’ by being forced to have straight sex in a sinister hostel, one man and one woman do a lot of shouting in Rib… 

Project Adorno's Top Ten of Popular Culture

Project Adorno's Top Ten of Popular Culture

Do you like Art Brut? Half Man Half Biscuit? Have you ever heard of Ian Sinclair? If the answer to any of these questions is ‘no’ then you may be bemused, vexed and possibly appall… 

Chris Martin: No. Not That One

Chris Martin: No. Not That One

Three years ago, at my first Fringe, I saw Chris Martin do a fifteen-minute free set in a basement room. 

In This Lonely Town

In This Lonely Town

Andrianna Smela and her accompanist Maria Dessena are classically trained musicians playing cabaret music, and my main gripe with this programme of the songs of Kurt Weill and othe… 

Body of Water

Body of Water

There’s a comedy show at this year’s Fringe entitled All Young People Are C*nts. 

Damion Larkin: Cuddly Loser

Damion Larkin: Cuddly Loser

Early in his set Cuddly Loser Damion Larkin describes himself as ‘five foot seven and made of pies. 

Pork

Pork

David Egan’s Pork is an interesting stab at an interesting topic; set in a future dystopia where pigs live side by side with feral humans in a sinister charitable enclave known onl… 

Alfie Brown - The Love You Take

Alfie Brown - The Love You Take

This is a show which will divide audiences, causing disputes of both an interpersonal and internal nature. 

Henning Wehn - My Struggle

Henning Wehn - My Struggle

Henning Wehn might be the most bizarre stand-up comedian I have ever seen, but I think that’s intentional. 

An Evening With David Sedaris

An Evening With David Sedaris

While undoubtedly a good show by anyone’s standards - apart from someone who doesn’t like American men with high, nasal voices reading comic but ultimately touching stories, presum… 

Chris Addison

Chris Addison

Picture Chris Addison in your mind for a minute. 

Night Heron

Night Heron

If you’ve ever been anywhere near the Fens you’ll probably have realised that they’re fucking mental, but if unlike me you haven’t visited Spalding’s Springfields Centre for a fun … 

Ed Byrne: Crowd Pleaser

Ed Byrne: Crowd Pleaser

It’s hard to fault this set by Ed Byrne, although it’s very tempting to do so. 

The Gilded Red Cage

The Gilded Red Cage

I actually feel guilty about disliking this play so much. 

Andy Zaltzman: Armchair Revolutionary

Andy Zaltzman: Armchair Revolutionary

If you only see one stand-up comedy set at this year’s Fringe, it should probably be Andy Zaltzman. 

Carnivale

Carnivale

If you’ve ever seen or read JB Priestley’s An Inspector Calls you’ll be broadly familiar with the message of UnWish Theatre’s Carnivale, a dinner party with a difference where the … 

My Romantic History

My Romantic History

‘Isn’t memory funny?’, comments Amy, one of the two main characters of DC Jackson’s My Romantic History. 

Sherica

Sherica

Last year, Wednesday by Ian Winterton was one of my picks of the Fringe. 

Gary Delaney: Purist

Gary Delaney: Purist

Most comedy shows, like most reviews, come with some kind of inbuilt narrative, some trajectory from A to B that allows the performer to hook on their best jokes, anecdotes and obs… 

Withered Hand

Withered Hand

‘I’m Withered Hand, and these are my friends’, announces Dan Willson as his three-piece backing band join him on the stage of the Electric Circus. 

Belgrave and Manera's Music Club

Belgrave and Manera's Music Club

Over the last few years at the Latitude festival Robin Ince’s Book Club has been a runaway success. 

Wondrous Flitting

Wondrous Flitting

The title of Wondrous Flitting is a double reference: it stands for both the miraculous appearance in 24-year-old waster Sam’s house of the Holy House of Loreto, a medieval site of… 

Mr Kolpert

Mr Kolpert

Adapted from a 1990s German play by David Geiselmann, this student production is a thrilling race through the cruelty and aggression underlying social etiquette. 

Frisky and Mannish: The College Years

Frisky and Mannish: The College Years

I’m a newcomer to the Frisky and Mannish experience – a fresher, as they address me at one point – I came into this show lacking any point of comparison with last year’s smash hi… 

Grainne Maguire - We Need to Talk About Bonnets

Grainne Maguire - We Need to Talk About Bonnets

There are about ten people in a dank attic room for what Grainne Maguire repeatedly describes as a ‘late night bonnet show’, meaning that for the majority of her set she doesn’t ev… 

Bec Hill Didn't Want to Play Your Stupid Game Anyway

Bec Hill Didn't Want to Play Your Stupid Game Anyway

It’s easy to see where Australian comic Bec Hill is coming from in this set about refusing to conform to the pressures of adulthood. 

Spent

Spent

Have you ever seen a man sweat through the back of a business suit? If that’s an experience in which your life is lacking, it’s one of many reasons why you might be interested in s… 

The Meeting

The Meeting

Reuben Johnson’s The Meeting commands a strong central performance by Reuben Johnson, speaking the lines of Reuben Johnson under the keen directorial eye of Reuben Johnson. 

Henning Wehn No Surrender

Henning Wehn No Surrender

This is the second year running that I have seen a Fringe set by Henning Wehn – and although the man is a brilliant stand-up, the common threads running through his material are … 

Fever Chart: Three Visions of the Middle East

Fever Chart: Three Visions of the Middle East

War! What is it good for? Well, in this case, it’s good for about half of this Warwick University student production of Naomi Wallace’s The Fever Chart: Three Visions of the Middle… 

Wednesday

Wednesday

Brutality is hard to sustain onstage. 

Guilt & Shame

Guilt & Shame

Guilt and Shame is a sketch show about the failure of a sketch show, or more specifically its utter breakdown. 

Man Who Was Thursday

Man Who Was Thursday

There are few good things about international terrorism, but this show is one of them.