Every Time A Bell Rings

Every Time A Bell Rings

The phrase "Every Time a Bell Rings" is well known and resonates especially at Christmas time: straight away we expect a link to the classic It’s a Wonderful Life, and … 

Talk

Talk

Set in 1854 in the criminal wing of Bethlem Hospital for the Insane and being about the birth of psychotherapy, you would be forgiven for assuming this play will be heavy going. 

The Amazing Adventures of Little Red

The Amazing Adventures of Little Red

Brighton company JW Productions approach this inventive and fresh re-imagining of the old Little Red Riding Hood saga with gusto. 

Quentin Crisp: Naked Hope

Quentin Crisp: Naked Hope

The minute he walks calmly onto the stage and surveys the audience you know you’re in for something very special. 

Numbers

Numbers

It is extremely unusual to see something completely new and fresh in theatre, let alone something surprising, but Numbers is just that. 

This Noisy Isle

This Noisy Isle

Even before it starts you are drawn in as you are given a bag with a story booklet inside, and you are invited to decorate your bag with the coloured pencils provided. While some people may not have a chance to read it before the performance begins, the booklet itself is really lovely, with richly, well-written text and sometimes funny short pieces… 

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast

In a retelling of the classic Beauty and the Beast saga aimed at small children, four players multi-role in an uncomplicated and pleasant way. The stage is covered with boxes and items wrapped in brown paper… 

Ogg 'n' Ugg 'n' Dogg

Ogg 'n' Ugg 'n' Dogg

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

Frankenstein the Pantomime

Frankenstein the Pantomime

Frankenstein and pantomime are two words which should not go together, but in this brilliant mashup, they curiously do. It opens with energy - music, singing and dancing - and sustains this throughout with fast paced story-telling, even though, as they regularly remind us, they only have an hour… 

A Steady Rain

A Steady Rain

Biilled as a dark duologue between two Chicago policemen and you would be forgiven for thinking that A Steady Rain might be categorised as 'niche' theatre. In a stripped back stage with two chairs and some empty beer cans and bottles, the audience first experiences the steady rain from the title, as it rains throughout: it is literally a curtain of rain which even makes the air moist… 

Those Magnificent Men

Those Magnificent Men

An intriguing tale made more interesting by the telling, Those Magnificent Men is both delightful and funny from beginning to end. You would expect quirky quality from The Foundry Group and the founders of The Ornate Johnsons and this definitely delivers… 

Ross & Rachel

Ross & Rachel

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

The Goose Who Flew

The Goose Who Flew

The Goose Who Flew is a short, but delightfully told, allegorical tale of a dispossessed goose in a strange new land. The young children in a semi-circle are introduced to Goose, who loves to play with his friends and family in the summer time, and looks forward with excitement to his first turn of leading the flock to warmer lands for the winter… 

Trench Brothers

Trench Brothers

Trench Brothers opens with a lone Indian Army First World War soldier walking slowly in spotlight through the audience. Above the stage sit over 100 primary school children, flanked on both sides by other primary school children… 

Por Favor

Por Favor

Set against the backdrop of a school production of West Side Story, this is the story of Mr Taylor, a teacher in charge of putting on the production. It also features Jodie, a troubled pupil at the school, who nevertheless turns out to be the most naturally gifted actress that Mr Taylor (Jeff) has ever worked with... 

James Dean Is Dead! (Long Live James Dean)

James Dean Is Dead! (Long Live James Dean)

Springing up from the wreckage of his famous car (a Spider), James Dean talks honestly, candidly and sometimes with discomfort about his life. He makes no apologies as he discusses his childhood, issues with his father and the death of his mother when he was a mere nine years old... 

From Today Everything Changes

From Today Everything Changes

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

Beep

Beep

Beginning in a frightening dystopia with five people wearing surgical masks manhandling one other as the audience enters, then as the show starts transforming to a happy young party student crowd is a little unsettling... 

Alan Bennett's Say Something Happened

Alan Bennett's Say Something Happened

Alan Bennett is a national treasure, and his writings are justly well respected. Say Something Happened was originally broadcast on BBC television in 1982, and this production manages to capture the feel of the 1970’s incredibly well... 

3 Years, 1 Week and a Lemon Drizzle

3 Years, 1 Week and a Lemon Drizzle

This is an intensely personal, sometimes funny, sometimes uncomfortable window into the relationship of two sisters at the toughest point of their lives so far. Alexandra and Kate Donnachie play themselves in this piece which as they say is written by Alex and Kate but mostly by Alex... 

This Boy Tom

This Boy Tom

An original musical about school bullying with only children in the cast might not seem a first choice for top Fringe viewing, but it absolutely is. The production buzzes with energy from beginning to end, the show oozes talent from the young cast, the music is original and the choreography is tight... 

Cooked

Cooked

With the teaser image of a banana on a plate and a blurb that includes previous accolades listed on its promotional material, Cooked promises to be a darkly comic rom-com where a new beau on the first date meets the new date's ex who has reluctantly agreed to cook them dinner... 

Goldilock, Stock & Three Smoking Bears

Goldilock, Stock & Three Smoking Bears

If you ever wondered what a fantastically dark comedy musical mash-up of the traditional tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears and the classic 1998 film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels would be like, then look no further... 

The Gingerbread Man

The Gingerbread Man

If you want a wonderful retelling and reimagining of the classic tale, told by two talented performers on a deliciously simple, yet complex, set, then look no further. This is a children’s show that holds the audience and builds the story in the imagination of both young and old...