Cracked Tiles

Half Scottish, half Italian, and all heart, Lorenzo Novani’s solo show is well worth getting out of bed early for. Set in the stock room of his father’s fish and chip shop, he tells his own story: juggling two identities on top of family heartbreak and a failing business.

There are plenty of true-life stories at the Fringe, but there’s no doubt that Cracked Tiles will be the one that stays with you long after August is over.

The set is minimal, but does the job – Novani stands among sacks of potatoes and wooden pallets, and furthest downstage is an ominous cardboard box with just his name on it, scrawled in permanent marker. Through his aptitude for pinpointing character, Novani introduces us to a whole host of faces from his past and present - his family, his colleagues and his customers all come to life before the audience’s eyes. Though the story flips between past and present, Novani leads us through it with no trouble. There’s moments of hilarity too - Novani gives a warm performance as himself, but also brings stereotypes together from both sides of his background to create the lighter moments of the piece.

The real success of Cracked Tiles, however, is not in the adept performance. Novani’s story is true, and so the show is a genuinely special experience - with such a unique perspective and story to tell, it would have been mullered by another writer or another actor with Novani’s words in his mouth. Instead, the emotions avoid any sort of fabricated sentimentality - for a show that deals with bereavement and mental illness, it could have felt set up to deliberately pull on an audience’s heartstring, but it doesn’t. Novani’s just here to tell his story - if you cry when he cries (and you will), then that’s up to you.

There are plenty of true-life stories at the Fringe, but there’s no doubt that Cracked Tiles will be the one that stays with you long after August is over. 

Reviews by Caitlin Hobbs

Paradise in The Vault

The Cupboard

★★★★★
theSpace @ Surgeons Hall

#Realiti

★★
Scottish Storytelling Centre

Pirates and Mermaids

★★★★★
SpaceTriplex

Boys

★★★★
theSpace @ Jury's Inn

One Above

★★★
Spotlites

Cracked Tiles

★★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Saturated with vivid memories, it conceals family secrets and stokes inner demons. A young man sits alone in the back shop of his family chippy. Join this lonely soul as he wrestles with manhood, madness and family in an attempt to reconcile past and present. One-man play from a unique Scots Italian perspective.

Most Popular See More

Anything Goes

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Cinderella The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Back to the Future - The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets