Saturday, September 18

Scotland

Dark Spirits, Black Humour – Edinburgh Fringe
Scotland

Dark Spirits, Black Humour – Edinburgh Fringe

Billed as “a love letter to haunted stages, story-soaked speakeasies and the other strange places and lengths we go to find community”, ‘Dark Spirits, Black Humour’ is a one man show presented by InHouse Theatre and Assembly. The platform is Zoom so he can see us and we can all see each other. The setting is a low lit, atmospheric cocktail bar with our barman, played by Mark Jude Sullivan. He’s very personable and immediately likable. He spends some time mixing a (very strong) cocktail and speaking about the ingredients. He then encourages us all to share something or someone we would wish to commemorate from the past year and most of us do this, myself included. He offers condolences to those of us who wish to commemorate a lost loved one. He then goes on to tell a story from his l...
Fairytale: 20/20 – Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Scotland

Fairytale: 20/20 – Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Fairytale: 20/20, devised and performed by choreographer, Sarah Lee, and actor, Ella Jung, shows the creative process as two live performers try and transfer their skills into filmmaking. Opening with a typewriter sound effect and take 68 ¼, both Lee and Jung describe their usual roles in the creative process and what they bring when devising a piece of art. They are aiming to make a film called Happily Ever After, but before they can they need to agree what “happily ever after” actually means in order for them to capture it. It’s also important that whatever they produce isn’t pretentious as they want to avoid that. It quickly becomes clear that neither of them really know what they’re trying to achieve with the end product, so they go out to get input from others on what “happily eve...
Candy – Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Scotland

Candy – Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Reboot Theatre Company’s Candy is a tragic monologue about a man in love with his best friend’s drag alter ego. Written by Tim Fraser, and directed by Nico Pimparé, this unique piece of theatre gives a new slant to the star-crossed lovers story. The show opens with Will (Michael Waller) sneaking into the dressing room of an empty theatre. He gently caresses an abandoned blonde wig and microphone, before walking to the stage and attaching the mic. Beginning to speak, he is shocked by the high volume and wanders to one of the empty tables in the audience to tell his story. He says that he never believed in love at first sight before and when he first read Romeo and Juliet it struck him how impetuous they were to marry without having so much as a proper conversation about hobbies or an...
The Clones – Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Scotland

The Clones – Edinburgh Fringe Festival

“The Clones” are Lloydie James Lloyd and Liam Webber. They take an audience suggestion and weave a whole play around it, totally improvised and on the spot. With no set (except two chairs) and no idea of what the audience are going to suggest, this is the stuff of nightmares as far as I’m concerned, and I do think you must have to be some kind of masochist to want to perform improvised theatre. Tonight’s audience suggestion for the location was the International Space Station. I had assumed there would be other requested suggestions as to a vague storyline, characters etc but it was just the location. It took a little while to get going and there were a few long(ish) stretches of silence to start with, and I felt they struggled initially to get it off the ground. However, the per...
Call Me Elizabeth – Edinburgh Fringe
Scotland

Call Me Elizabeth – Edinburgh Fringe

Call Me Elizabeth, written and performed by Kayla Boye, is a sumptuous look at the life of Elizabeth Taylor shortly after she received her Oscar for Butterfield 8 and recovered from a bout the pneumonia which nearly killed her. A solo performance based around Taylor’s real-life conversations with biographer, Max Lerner, director Erin Kraft has created a piece of theatre which is both intimate and carefully guarded. Opening with a view of Taylor’s luxurious dressing table, the glamour and opulence which she exuded in public is made clearly a part of her persona even at this early point in her career. Stacks of gossip magazines with her face on the cover litter the coffee table and Boye elegantly stands, in a classic little black dress, with sparkling diamonds adorning her ears, before d...
Warhol: Bullet Karma – Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Scotland

Warhol: Bullet Karma – Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Garry Roost’s one-man performance of Andy Warhol starts at the point where he survived a murderous attempt on his life by Valerie Solanas, who was convinced that he wanted to steal her script. From there on Roost gives a breathless and sometimes overly hectic account of Warhol’s creative and emotional life. The screen is split into four smaller screens all in day glow primary colours to give the effect of Warhol’s iconic pop art structure and I must say it actually works very well indeed. The set is minimal and keeps to the pop art theme Warhol: Bullet Karma is so well written and researched throughout and Roost’s outstanding impersonations of that Warhol era are quite remarkable but on reflection I did feel it was a touch rambling in some parts and although it would definitely ...
Under The Floorboards – Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Scotland

Under The Floorboards – Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Simon Shaw’s unsettling one man horror show based on the infamous serial killer Ed Gein is one very intense ride. Gein (Shaw), who was mother dominated for most of his life, was the influence for Alfred Hitchcock’s classic movie Psycho and also inspiration for many horror films since then. As you would probably expect, this show is not for the faint hearted and Shaw pulls out all the stops in his powerful performance. During the course of the show Shaw’s character moves through many transitions and the attention to detail in Shaw’s well-judged performance is excellent throughout. This is totally gruesome stuff and quite unrelenting. If you are a horror fan (which I am) you’ll be morbidly fascinated by his “conversations” with his persistently screaming and angry mother as we beg...
Corona Cutie: A Digital Quest for Love – Edinburgh Fringe
Scotland

Corona Cutie: A Digital Quest for Love – Edinburgh Fringe

Part of this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, Corona Cutie tells the story of Claire who longs to be part of a fictional reality she cannot have and believes her problems can be solved by love. Claire is a hopeless romantic living in New York City who dreams of finding someone during the COVID-19 pandemic and decides to try online dating. Written and composed by Lucy Gellar, the songs are funny, catchy and entertaining. Annika Hoseth delivers a relatable yet sweet performance as the slightly awkward Claire as she attempts virtual dating whilst on a journey of self-discovery. Hoseth portrayal of the aimlessness and frustration of online dating during the pandemic through Claire is certainly relatable especially in “Whatever I Say” which delves into the pressure of creating the perfect bio. R...
My Left Nut – Edinburgh Fringe
Scotland

My Left Nut – Edinburgh Fringe

Based on a true story, this is a beautifully constructed and life affirming coming of age monologue set in Northern Ireland. Michael (performed and co-written by Michael Patrick) gives a magnetic and warm performance as a teenager who discovers that he has an enlarged left testicle. Having lost his father, he finds it difficult to explain his condition to his mother and even more so with his school mates. Michael’s story, even with its underlying health scare scenario, is both charming and significant. It’s basically a story about masculinity and the on-going battle to face up to personal trauma whilst still manoeuvring through those tricky and often awkward teenage years. Production shots by Peter Murray Director and co-writer Oisin Kearney gets a great physical performance f...
Angela – Royal Lyceum Theatre/Pitlochry Festival Theatre online
Scotland

Angela – Royal Lyceum Theatre/Pitlochry Festival Theatre online

Mark Ravenhill has taken us to some dark places over the years but none more so than with this unflinching account of his beloved mother Angela’s final dementia journey. But this debut audio collaboration between the Royal Lyceum Theatre and Pitlochry Festival Theatre is as much about class, thwarted ambition and shared memories as it is about a condition that affects nearly a million people across the UK. From the moment the young Angela – subtly played by Matti Houghton – changes her name from the too ‘common’ Rita to Angela you sense this is an intelligent working class woman with artistic ambitions. Her short am dram career is cut short by marriage to engineer Ted, and any ambition to take it further disappears. A pertinent point when the acting profession is increasingly posh a...