Reviews

Fri, 22/09/2017

The press night vibes at the New Wimbledon Theatre last night was noticeably electric pre-show. With Will Young reprising his West End performance as the Emcee, joined by current national sweetheart, Louise Redknapp as the troubled Sally Bowles; the theatre was packed with excited theatre goers and theatricals looking for a thrilling time. 

Young's performance is arguably the best Emcee the U.K. has seen since Alan Cumming at the Donmar Warehouse in 1993. The painted face enhancing the manic facial expressions which come and go in the blink of an…

Sat, 19/08/2017

Darkfield are back with a third venture into what can be achieved through binaural sound. David Rosenberg and Glen Neath’s latest creation, ‘Séance’, is a 20 minute experience undertaken in the complete darkness of a closed shipping container. With a running time, shorter than that of their previous production, ‘Fiction’, I wondered if this year’s offering would be able to create the same impact as the former. The answer to that, for me anyhow, was a resounding yes!

At first appearance the white shipping container, with a suited mannequin perched…

Sat, 19/08/2017

Luca Silvestrini has remounted ‘Border Tales’, originally staged in 2014, at a most poignant time. Without a doubt it was just as relevant then, but as we enter the transition of Brexit, and continue to see too much race related violence and crime in this country, it most certainly carries as much impact now as it did then. What the 2017 cast of seven performers at this year’s Fringe succeed in performing is the perfect balance of hard hitting reality and comic satire focusing on what life is like in today’s multicultural Britain. Despite the beauty of…

Fri, 18/08/2017

I flew solo attending ‘Hammerhead’ and upon rejoining colleagues was overjoyed to discover that the first thing to come out of my mouth was ‘I have no idea what just happened!’ I have since processed and can safely say that Pleasance Two is arguably housing the best comedy show at this year’s Fringe. I am new to Morpurgo’s work and based on this year’s offering, have come away with the idea what he can best be described as the lovechild of Samuel Beckett and Rupert Goold! (Work that one out once you’ve seen it!)

‘Hammerhead’ is theatrical satire…

Fri, 18/08/2017

Rhys James lets us know he is a millennium baby before he even gets on stage. His audio visual opening plants him firmly in the world of social media and use of his parents in voiceover indicates he’s not quite far enough along the path to manhood to have fully cut the umbilical cord. That said, once he starts talking, James proves to be an intelligent, opinionated young man, with a mind geared into the construction of guaranteed laughs. 

‘Wiseboy’ is a well structured hour, full of insightful observations made comical by James’ tendency to…

Fri, 18/08/2017

Back with another frenetic hour of back to back jokes, Adam Hess explodes onto the stage immediately establishing the awkward, nerdy character we have come to know. This year’s show, Cactus, establishes itself with Hess’ ‘getting to know you’ opener, a handful of facts only he could think of, and the manic explanation that the hour ahead would be ‘very very funny’. It’s a hysterical combination of a teenager in front of their headmistress and an enthusiastic graduate desperately proving his worth in a five minute interview; except it’s an hour, so strap…

Tue, 15/08/2017

2 Magpies Theatre are back at Summerhall for the first time since ‘The Litvinenko Project’ and ‘Ventoux’ in 2015. ‘Last Resort’ takes its small audience to the holiday resort of Guantanamo Bay, usually known as a military prison, where torture and trauma are commonplace and, worst still; legal under America’s counter terrorism policy. However, on our arrival to the resort, we are greeted with a Cuba Libre and ushered to deck chairs with our own bucket of sand to sink our feet into. This might seem welcoming enough, but coupled with the glazed smiles of…

Mon, 14/08/2017

“Harry” examines the impact of pop culture and fandom on friendships. Two teenagers, Caitlin and Sophie, meet at university and become best friends who spend all their time together cultivating their mutual love of One Direction, and conceiving a plan to meet their favourite, Harry Styles. The early scenes depict the kind of behaviour most young girls have exhibited at some stage in their adolescence; googling the object of their affection, plastering their walls with posters and naively imagining what they might say if they ever met them. The two…

Mon, 14/08/2017

Returning to the Liquid Rooms, Stuart Goldsmith invites us into the joys of married life and new parenthood. The teething problems of fatherhood, and adapting to married life have given Goldsmith a show so routed in inner truth that from the outside, it’s his most structured to date. By ‘structured’, I don’t mean formulaic; more with each observation and story, his stream of consciousness seems so fluid that the asides and after thoughts come thick and fast. In short, Goldsmith’s seems to be in complete control and despite his complaining, is enjoying…

Sun, 13/08/2017

John Robins has had a pretty bad year. His long term girlfriend has dumped him and he’s now living alone (at the self named Grief Mansions), contemplating his increasingly bleak future. It’s the perfect setting for his trademark sarcasm, and this year’s show delves into a kind of self loathing that is both cringeworthy and evocative of sympathy. The material contained in this part of the show is well structured and accessible, and Robins draws the hour together with a clever reference to how the old Halifax commercials ought to be more honest about where…