Searching through the Fringe guide for a show worth seeing is a job that could perhaps be likened to archaeology – you spend hours carefully probing, sorting the dross from the d…
Character comedy is a difficult discipline at the best of times and, with a trope as thoroughly picked-over as the oblivious action-hero, it asks at lot from a performer to find so…
One of the hardest calls for a reviewer to make is where to draw the line between production and play.
Though now a household name thanks to a semi-final place in last year’s Britain’s Got Talent, singing impressionist Jess Robinson is a familiar face of the Fringe.
One of the most valuable functions of theatre is to offer us a way to explore difficult issues without fear of blame without fear of censure.
As a huge number of the entries in the Fringe programme could tell you, the life of a stand-up is a tough one – hours and hours of unpaid work just to get a decent set together a…
In For A Penny is Libby McArthur’s true-life tale of the unforeseen consequences of an unpaid parking ticket - how one person can fall foul of a system that sees only the facts a…
If there’s one thing the majority of people at the Fringe can empathise with, it’s how hard the life of a jobbing actor can be.
Free speech is a right fiercely protected in today’s society.
With the advent of the internet, smartphones and social media, today’s politics happens under an unprecedented level of scrutiny.
An enigmatic title is the hallmark of many Fringe shows – I’m sure no one knows quite what to expect from Duckpond: An Element of Mystery in Umpteen Samples or Lights Over Tesc…
There are books which are called seminal largely because so many people have read them.
Home is a powerful concept.
With Hollywood’s recent adaptation of his works, the name JRR Tolkien has come to be associated with huge spectacle and epic scope.
Much as it is a pleasure to discover a hidden gem amongst the mass of shows in Edinburgh, there’s also something very reassuring about having a list of reliable prospects.
The art of the comedic double act is a difficult one and its success largely based on chemistry between the two performers.
Victor Hugo once said “You can resist an invading army; you cannot resist an idea whose time has come.
A two-woman show starring only one woman – not a typo but the conceit at the centre of the latest show by Canadian actress and interactive artist Laurence Dauphinais.
Theatre today increasingly falls into one of two broad camps.
In 2011, Charly Clive and Ellen Robertson were women without a mission.
The show’s stated theme is a philosophical discussion of how we end up where we end up, In actual fact this thread isn’t really followed up.
Almost twenty years ago, Guy Ritchie changed the landscape of British cinema with his love letter to the charismatic psychopaths of the East End underbelly Lock, Stock and Two Smok…
There’s a certain size and scale that one gets used to at the Fringe.
When deciding on a show to bring to the Fringe, you have two main choices: one, a piece of new writing - exciting and impactful but harder to market - or two, a take on a classic -…
New work is at the heart of the Fringe experience; new work by new companies all the more so.
The gamut of performers at Fringe brings with it a spectrum of experience; from shiny new student companies, powering forward on naive enthusiasm and off-brand energy drinks, to ve…
Just one glance at this year’s stuffed-to-bursting wedge of a programme is enough to see that there are bewildering array of performance disciplines represented at this year’s …
I’m sure we’re all used to growing the Fringe brochure and seeing shows with enigmatic titles which tell you nothing about the eventual content.
Improv comedy is a tricky beast - when it’s good, it’s very, very good; when it’s bad, it’s pointless.
Puppet pioneers Flabbergast Theatre have made an interesting move this year, establishing their own dedicated performance space, The Omnitorium, within the confines of Assembly Ge…
There are some shows that you just get a good feeling about from the moment you step into the theatre.
The Fringe is a place for new discoveries – the freshest, young talent rubbing shoulders with the world’s best at their craft.
It’s easy to get lulled by the constant flow of shows at the Fringe, to give in the mid-afternoon slump and the heavy-eyed semi-slumber.
This play tells the story of Benji and Alf, next-door neighbours becoming best friends, bonded by their love of the titular ‘Fairly Tales’.
Despite being one of Jack London’s more obscure works, his 1915 novel The Star Rover or The Jacket is one that feels oddly contemporary.
When boredom threatens at the Fringe, a hero will rise.
The legend of Faustus, the man who sold his soul for knowledge, wealth and power is one which has been in the public consciousness for over 500 years.
As anyone who’s ever dealt with a three-year-old can tell you, keeping
their attention can be a Herculean task.
I’ve often wondered how Edinburgh locals truly feel about the Fringe - is it a huge party or just a massive disruption? Given the wealth of subjects from around the world being d…
Newton’s Cauldron is an unexpected gem, a brisk little piece which mixes storybook, history book and textbook deftly and amusingly.
There’s a sort of delicious irony to queuing for a show about rationing whilst watching one of the cast frantically stuffing their face with crisps.
Free Fringe comedy can be a risky prospect but it can be a risk worth taking in service of finding a night worth seeing.
Science-theatre is in vogue at the moment.
There’s a particular pleasure in seeing someone do their job incredibly well.
My first clue should have been the warmup.
Billed as ‘Comedy (mime, physical theatre)’ I was a little unsure about what to expect from Kraken, but whatever it was that I had been expected was soon proven to be way out.
Edinburgh stalwarts Dan and Jeff are back for another energetic hour and, following Potted Potter, Potted Pirates and Potted Panto, it’s the turn of Baker Street’s own Sherlock…
David O’Doherty is one of those rare stand-ups who is a familiar face without being plastered everywhere, who is successful without being packaged.
Standing centre stage in a dress and a dodgy blonde wig, Mark Grist jokes that this is what two guys with Arts Council funding really look like.
It’s heartening to see a deserving standup successfully transfer from the Free Fringe to the larger potential audience of the mega-venues.
In themselves the Beasts’ sketch personas are fairly standard; the nutcase, the buffoon and the straight man.
As Ethel Merman famously sang in Gypsy, ‘you gotta get a gimmick
if you want to get ahead’.
Lord of the Dance Settee marks Richard Herring’s 23rd Fringe show, an accumulated
Edinburgh residency of just under two years; enough, as he himself points out,
to make him mor…
One of the best things about the Fringe is the energy and ingenuity of the young companies performing here and these are both words that apply perfectly to Double Edge Drama, creat…
‘BABY/LON’, the second work by Hackney-based theatre company
The Big House, is a big story; one of homelessness, violence, motherhood on the
lowest rungs of society and the strug…
Double act comedy is very difficult.
Slaves of the Kingdom is a new musical based around the Bible story of Moses and the Exodus and it’s one hell of an ambitious undertaking.
For me, female acapella is really difficult to get right.
I have to admit, I was not convinced by Gavin Crawford to begin with.
There are two rules to improvised comedy: One, you’re only as strong as your weakest member and two, never, ever say no.
When you’re looking for a kids’ show at the Fringe, there are a few names which ought to be a safe bet and, of these, none more so than Roald Dahl.
Folk is a big deal at the moment, with bands such as Mumford and Sons bringing English traditional music to the stadium stage, while American artists such as Alison Krauss enjoy a …
Picture, if you will, your idea of a swing band leader.
Christian Reilly is on a mission to save the world through music.
The story of the Fringe is a story of the periphery.
I’m not a morning person at the best of times.
In the right hands, theatre is an immensely powerful tool for taking large issues and bringing them down to a manageable level.
To a certain generation of British people, Adam Buxton is a bit of a legend.
It’s official – science is now sexy.
It’s likely that, when you think of France at its coolest, there are certain figures who spring to mind –Francois Truffaut, Jean-Paul Satre, Brigitte Bardot.
Watching Ellis and Rose in the dank damp of the Bunker gives a moment of odd synchronicity.
Often high marks are awarded to those companies who create a new world in the theatre through their use of advanced set, puppetry, props or movement so it is good to sometimes be r…
Rik n Mix is actually a showcase of three comedians combining their short sets to make an hour long show compered by Rik Carranza.
My favourite thing about the Edinburgh Fringe is the sheer concentration of talent in creates in the city, an array of people with skills that I can only dream of having.
We see a lot of Rich Hall on panel shows these days: QI, Have I Got News For You?, Eight out of Ten Cats, Never Mind The Buzzcocks.
Music, video, comedy and theatre? A physical performance and an eBook? Attempting to tackle the subject of the apocalypse? From reading the show description of ‘The Flood’, you…
The Islanders tells the simple tale of a young Dorset couple, Amy and Eddie; the beginnings of their love, the slow disaster of their living together and the titanic struggle of or…
Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.
I’m sure any fringe veteran worth their salt has had the experience of seeing a famous face from their childhood appearing out of an Edinburgh side-street to bring back a flood o…
Katie Goodman absolutely delivers – a gutsy comedian with a satirical side and a fairly foul mouth.
Ensconced in an inflatable dome, in the children’s area of the Pleasance, bravely struggling through a voice ravaged by cold and flyering, Jay Foreman does not have an easy job o…
Ivo Graham is posh.
Sotho Sounds in the band’s current form is four men: cheerful front-man Khuti, guitarist Tankiso, string-player Josepha and frowning powerhouse percussionist Paseka.
I often revisit companies and venues at the Fringe, simply because I know that their work works for me.
The Phill Jupitus Experiment.
The Fringe isn’t always the best place for magic.
Mime and physical theatre can be risky aspects of a comedy show.
One-man fringe shows tend towards extremes.
A one-man show about a spare British poet - a challenging prospect for a sweaty Sunday in a tiny black box theatre.
Character comedy is one of the most difficult types to do well.
I’ve a confession of my own to make; when I chose to review this show I thought it was something entirely different.
Barry and Ian are two estranged brothers in their late middle-age.
Too often, fringe theatre can be overly serious and overly worthy.
In a Fringe increasingly dominated by comedy it can be difficult for stand-ups to stand out.
The things we love as children stay with us forever.
Structuring a review is basically fairly straightforward.
Right, listen here.
As a rule, I’m not always the biggest fan of ‘issue’ theatre.
I haven’t been to the circus for a while and there’s a reason for that.
Palimpsest One is a bit of an odd beast.
I’m upside down, the blood’s rushing to my head and I’m swinging madly like some sort of unwieldy pendulum.
There’s a reason Charles Dickens’ stories endures in popularity.
We all live our lives within walls.
The Camden Fringe is home to many different types of performer; opera singers, musicians, burlesque dancers and poets.
Tania Edwards is a strange sort of stand-up for the Fringe.
Taking up the action with Kate’s harassment by the rakish Sir Mulberry Hawk and Nicholas and Smike’s return to London, this second half of Space Productions’ revival of the R…
There’s been a bit of a pattern to Fringe children’s theatre over the past few years.
Sat atop a hill in Highgate town, beneath the clouds but throned over London’s starry spread sits a gem of Fringe theatre and a pleasure unrestrained.
I feel a little drained after seeing this show but in the best possible way.
We live in the age of the cultural mash-up, of old names reimagined into new forms.
There’s basically no-one who doesn’t like Roald Dahl – he’s been a cornerstone of kids’ literature for 50 years and with good reason.
Few talents serve a stand-up better than audience rapport and I’m happy to say that Matt Tiller has it in spades.
Five stars only go to a show that is to all intents perfect, that wakens something inside you and keeps you utterly captivated for an entire hour.
There are many things that make for a successful comedian.
British folklore is packed with some of the most iconic figures anywhere in the world.
On its face, ‘It’s a Puppet Life’ seems like a fairly straightforward concept.
There’s a certain type of show that prompts a degree of fatigue in me.
Sketch comedy is, by its nature, a slightly hit-and-miss affair.
Everyone remembers storytime – that happy time at the end of the day when the hard work of colouring in and sticking bits of paper to other bits of paper could be safely put behi…
This summer’s clutch of blockbuster popcorn-bait has been dominated by the four colour heroes of the comic book.
Bad things shouldn’t happen to nice people.
‘Andrew and the Pony’ is, oddly enough, the story of how performer Andrew Bridges has always, since early childhood, desperately wanted a pony and of all the bizarre situations…
Tim FitzHigham is a true eccentric and a sucker for a challenge.
God, I love talented people.
Joe Bor stands out by sheer force of personality.
Few would argue that the Fringe isn’t all about showcasing up-and-coming talent.
There’s something about the marriage of the arcane and the amusing, the faux Victoriana of shows like ‘Bleak Expectations’, that I always find enjoyable.
It’s a funny thing - children’s TV has changed a lot recently.
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