Tue, 20/09/2016
Photograph: Matt Martin

Sell A Door Theatre Company have created a vibrant production with a talented and committed cast of performers. Director Tara Louis Wilkinson has taken a fresh look at the roles made famous by the likes of Ellen Greene and Rick Moranis, and is not afraid to tone down the crazy in favour of a more naturalistic approach to characterisation. As a result, Sam Lupton and Stephanie Clift are able to draw upon their acting skills as opposed to the stereotypes which are often the stock option in this particular musical. Both performers deliver strong vocal performances,…

Tue, 13/09/2016
  Photograph: Nick Ross

A labour of love 3 years in the making, ‘27’ is brought to life through an exciting contemporary score created by Sam Cassidy and Matt Wills. The production is the all too familiar tale of the downfall of an artist put on a pedestal for a short stint in the limelight. There are more than a handful of moments where we are reminded of the likes of Jim Morrison (in a famous image taken from the Best of the Doors album of a bare-cheated lead, arms outspread) alongside the almost uncanny likeness between leading performer Greg Oliver to Skid Row’s Sebastian Bach both in…

Sun, 21/08/2016

Comedy sketch duo, Short (Rebecca Shorrocks) and Curly (Paul F. Taylor) have one aim over this wildly eccentric, manic hour of mayhem; to prove (especially Curly) that they can act. Even as we enter their sweaty intimate space, Curly’s CV lies on several seats, an awkward list of his theatrical achievements to date! He appears to have an obsession with ‘the greatest actor in the world’, Kevin Spacey; and in the original sketches and monologues which follow, does his utmost to showcase all he has learnt whilst idolising his hero. Cue Short (and her brilliant entrance!) She acts alongside…

Sun, 21/08/2016

ThIs year Stuart Goldsmith seems to arrive on stage fresh from a rom-com movie. He has left London to move in with his partner in the country, proposed marriage and now has a family to take care of, and so forms the structure of one of the most warm hearted, sincere hours of material you're likely to see at a festival full of artists preoccupied with pushing boundaries. If some say it’s a ‘safe’ hour, I'd be inclined to disagree; a simple structure and subject matter means the comedian has only himself to rely on, and Goldsmith excels. He begins with the admission that he is ‘trying to be…

Sat, 20/08/2016

Joel Dommett is going all out this year, throwing everything into this high energy hour filled with eccentric anecdotes, props and audience interaction. This year’s show is extremely well structured, using a variety of techniques to lift his audience and take them on a crazy ride. It begins with us literally accompanying him to the gig via a brilliantly thought out combination of ego, video and an audience ‘volunteer’. The ego element is revisited later, making these opening moments especially amusing. 

With yet another off the wall title, the ‘breadstick’ metaphor in this year's…

Wed, 17/08/2016

There is something inherently likeable about Tom Allen and it doesn't surprise me to find him greeting his audience pre-show, immaculately dressed bringing a sense of formality to proceedings which singles him out from the majority of his peers. He has a wonderfully elevated tone, and the audacity to confess to his delusions of grandeur shamelessly; that he believes himself to be better than everyone and announced to his classmates he was an emperor! Combine this with his snappy, bitchy wit and you would think Allen would be the the type of guilty pleasure that one finds incredibly funny…

Wed, 17/08/2016

When Adam Hess comes sprinting up the centre aisle, jumping onto his stage like Peter Pan through Wendy’s window, you know that what lies ahead will be pacy and energetic. However if you've never seen him before, you won't quite believe the extent of this chap’s persona. At times his nervous energy is so extreme it's almost impossible to fathom how the words unravel so cleverly, as surely at this speed it would be all too easy to completely lose your way and in doing so, lose your audience? Not so in the case of this show. 

Following his Best Newcomer nomination for the 2015…

Wed, 17/08/2016

It's difficult to praise this production fully when it falls so short of its publicised definition. Billed as an immersive piece, I remain baffled as to how it falls into this genre. An ensemble of performers in gas-masks floating around pre-show and lining the exit seemingly broken as we left, cannot possibly be the way in which the directors of ‘Ascension’ justify it as being immersive, surely? An audience, seated conventionally on three sides, fourth wall firmly in place, simply isn't fulfilling their objective. This said, we should consider the actual definition of what is on offer…

Tue, 16/08/2016

Set within the framework of having to enter witness protection following a scam involving buying and selling honey to a supermarket going wrong, James Acaster’s “Reset” examines what our lives might be like if we could start afresh. With 4 Edinburgh Comedy Award nominations for Best Show under his belt, could this year finally see the big win? Having spent an hour laughing myself stupid, I would have to say it would be a crime if 2016 wasn't Acaster's year. 

This show sees the comedian launching into his trademark preoccupation with the small trivialities of everyday life which…

Tue, 16/08/2016

I managed to catch up with comedian Joel Dommett on a little stone staircase outside the Pleasance Courtyard. He needed to remain close by as he had just finished a press launch and needed to go back in to collect his confetti cannon at some point! During our short time together, we talked about his creative process and Edinburgh shows to date, whilst also reflecting upon what succeeding as a comedian these days involves. During the interview, several of his peers passed by and Joel was quick to give them supportive praise for their work that morning. I quickly got the feeling I was in the…