Mon, 15/08/2016
Photo: Fever Dream Theatre

When glancing through the list of theatre productions for this year's fringe, ‘Wrecked’ was one I had extremely high expectations of and was looking forward to. The idea of an audience of six, confined to a car suggested something tense and claustrophobic; but sadly in this case I was left completely cold, wondering why so many exciting creative opportunities had been missed through the devising process.

The premise is simple enough. A young woman wakes up at the wheel of a car with no idea what has happened, or even who she is, and has to piece together…

Sun, 14/08/2016
Courtesy of DanceTabs Flickr © Foteini Christofilopoulou

Ockham’s Razor are an aerial theatre company focused on storytelling through a combination of circus skills and visual theatre. “Tipping Point” is their fourth production with Turtle Keys Arts with whom they have been collaborating since 2006, and what a moving, provocative work it is. Emerging from an exploration of circles, the performers take us on a journey full of emotion; the vulnerability of relationships shown through a selection of extraordinary contrasting set pieces. 

The performance takes place with the audience…

Sun, 14/08/2016
Rula Lenska and Lee Latchford Evans

As the lights go down and the crazy begins, you've already been given your country's flag to wave (it appears I've gone Norwegian for the evening!), Eurobeat’s first number immediately congers up the Eurovision buzz it's about to tribute. There's nothing particularly ground breaking about the production, but that's not what the show is aiming for. What the audience is after is an experience somehow akin to what they see on TV year upon year. 

The evening takes place in Moldova and is hosted by Niko, their nation’s ageing reality talent show (Lee…

Sat, 13/08/2016

Fern Brady’s 2016 offering, “Male Comedienne” is full of irony. Her delivery is, for the most part tough and aggressive, with a touch of neuroses; offering tales of mistaken gender, and an exclusion from the female comedian’s Edinburgh fringe brunch, amongst others. The thing is, despite her frustration and confrontational style, and although she informs us that she doesn't really have any close female friends; what is revealed in this hour is an honest, straight talking young woman. A positive female role model who would sooner point out her ‘flaws’ and share her insecurities than play on…

Mon, 08/08/2016

Norris & Parker fall into the sketch comedy genre, creating over the top characters through a melodramatic, physical approach. Their style maybe dark and surreal, but their fusion of sketches and songs go a long way to cultivating mayhem and drawing the audience into the bizarre world of their characters. 

Katie Norris and Sinead Parker return to this year's fringe following the cult success of last year's offering, All Our Friends Are Dead, and their grotesque and surreal characterisations continue to engage this year. There is something of the French and Saunders in the duo,…

Mon, 08/08/2016
Photo: Steve Ullathorne

Patrick Monahan knows how to make his audience feel a part of the fun. Known for his audience interaction and animated storytelling, it is easy to see how his reputation as ‘everyone's mate’ came to be, and why he is a ‘go-to’ for guest appearances on TV. His positive outlook and high energy delivery is almost medicinal and encourages you to escape the realities of the everyday for a more joyous place where ultimately you believe everything will be alright in the end. This year's offering is no exception. This 80s Show is a collection of anecdotes from his…

Sat, 06/08/2016
Photo credit: Manuel Harlan

This new production of Half a Sixpence has been updated with some new music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, and what strikes me first when composing my thoughts is that, as someone who never saw the original, I could not detect the new material; such was the skill used to write it and slip it into the show. I tend to have reservations where nostalgic, period pieces are concerned, especially in musical theatre, but director Rachel Kavanaugh and her team have created a highly polished piece which is low on ‘twee’ and brimming over with positivity and…

Sun, 31/07/2016
Photo: Tristram Kenton

On arriving at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester’s smaller venue, for a play about fracking I was certainly unsure whether the subject matter would be something able to hold my attention. I'm not one for current political affairs at the best of times, especially within the field of science; and although the topic of climate change is something I am fearful about, I was conscious on this occasion that I might find myself plodding through a lecture drawn from scientific research and political arguments. I could not however have been more wrong! Alistair Beaton’s well…

Thu, 28/07/2016
Photo: Pamela Raith

On paper I was extremely excited by the synopsis of Exposure. An exploration of the power of photography, linked in with the idea of capturing the seven deadly sins. Having seen Jamie Lloyd’s interpretation of Dr Faustus earlier in the year I was really interested in how the dark side of temptation would manifest itself in this musical. These days new musicals are produced less often, and a plot focusing on both contemporary (the power of the media) and age old themes (the pressures of a father/son relationship) attracted me to this one in particular. 

On this…

Tue, 26/07/2016
Photo: Manuel Harlan

Whilst critics are battling with the decision of how much to reveal about this year's most anticipated theatre event, I understand as a keen enthusiast of the novels and the story of the Boy Who Lived, that JK Rowling’s plea to #KeepTheSecrets has been at the very heart of plot since its conception. When the first book was released in 1997, readers worldwide embarked on a journey which led us to understand the nature of trust, friendship and protection on such a level that with each subsequent release, we waited for our peers to finish reading before we discussed. In…