Thursday, October 6

Scotland

Age is a Feeling – Anatomy Lecture Theatre Summerhall Festival
Scotland

Age is a Feeling – Anatomy Lecture Theatre Summerhall Festival

A gem of storytelling and insight. Haley McGee, writer and performer, delivers tenderness, wit and sensitivity to a captivated audience in the Anatomy Lecture Room at Summerhall. It is an apt setting, since she is dissecting our stages of life. The semi-circular auditorium cradles the simple set which is carefully lit (Don Carter-Brennan) to cast soft shadows as you exit pondering the imprint our lives do or do not leave behind us. Age is a Feeling questions the veracity of Time and how our internal clock fights with chronology. Directed by Adam Brace this very personal piece invites the audience to choose which episodes of life to recount, leaving out others, as happens in life. Nobody really knows us is the premise which the set (Zoë Hurwitz) creatively and cleverly represents. The n...
Love Them To Death – Underbelly Cowgate — Big Belly
Scotland

Love Them To Death – Underbelly Cowgate — Big Belly

What a joy to witness a two-hander of such quality. What an absolute joy to see a serious psychological disorder handled with such pace, such honesty. Exploring parent/child problems could lead to preaching. We could be judgemental. The text could be burdensomely heavy, but Max Dickins’ writing is sharp, well-informed and sprinkled with humour. Its authenticity speaks loud and clear. Claire-Louise Cordwell (School Attendance Officer, Kelly) and Helena Antoniou (Gemma) perform with unwavering conviction from the start. Director, Hannah Eidinow has a clear handle on human foibles and these two actors do her proud. The initial soundscape (Michael Woods) in the black cave of the Big Belly suggests joy, vitality and safe childish play in contrast to the forthcoming tense exchange between...
Psychodrama – Traverse Theatre
Scotland

Psychodrama – Traverse Theatre

Emily Bruni knocks your socks off in Psychodrama. Playing a talented actor with middling past success who now works in a boutique while taking acting jobs here and there, she finds herself enmeshed in a murder case. Bruni walks us through the events leading up to the incident and what a walk it is! The audience is taken into her confidence. You are genuinely convinced she is telling you personally. This woman can turn on a sixpence: one minute meek and fragile, the next filled with power, dancing carefree and wild. It is awesome to observe and the standing ovation she received is well deserved. Matt Wilkinson’s script requires a fully-rounded performer. It scopes the entire range of personality traits - a palette of such breadth and depth that we hungrily anticipate what comes next....
I Wish My Life Were Like a Musical – Gilded Balloon
Scotland

I Wish My Life Were Like a Musical – Gilded Balloon

Enjoyable jaunt through Musical Theatre Tropes. 'I wish my life were like a musical' from Composer and lyricist Alexander S. Bermange is a slick, jazz hand heavy musical revue returns to the stage in Edinburgh after a storming run in 2019. The cast of West End Wendy's take us on a journey from a traditional Opening Number through to an obvious encore, weaving through the journey of a musical theatre actors life. The very blonde heavy cast are exactly what you imagine a West End star would look like - cleverly playing into stereotypes from the start. All of the team are highly skilled vocalists which are showed off no end through the compositions and the choreography is sleek and recognisable. The out of breath tap number was a choreographic highlight - the Performers deliberately...
Happy Meal – Traverse Theatre
Scotland

Happy Meal – Traverse Theatre

Happy Meal from writer Tabby Lamb is a gloriously nostalgic feel-good fringe must-see. From the moment we enter the audience are transported back to 90s penguin digital world, meeting the cast during incoming. The soundscape from Eliyana Evans is redolent perfection throughout the show and ensures transition to this millennial world is easy. The space is dominated by two giant Happy Meal boxes with projections, the use of projection throughout us incredible and enhances audience experience throughout. Lamb skilfully uses identifiable pop culture throughout to create connection with the audience and ultimately the story. From MSN, Twitter, MySpace, Leeds Fest, Limewire, Busted and loads more were bombarded by references but they never feel forced, just used as a toll to unite. ...
Will Tell and the Big Bad Baron – Gilded Ballon Patter Hoose
Scotland

Will Tell and the Big Bad Baron – Gilded Ballon Patter Hoose

Theatre Fideri Fidera is an Anglo-Swiss theatre company, and their production of Will Tell and the Big Bad Baron aims to shed a UK limelight onto the famous European character, Wilhelm Tell, the “Swiss Robin Hood”, probably most famous to laypeople for shooting an apple off a child's head with a crossbow. This children's play refocuses the story around his daughter, Wilhelmina Tell (Natasha Granger) who disguises herself as a night and embarks on a quest against the evil Baron Boris von Bummelkrachenhofer (Jack Faires) to rescue her father and the Baron's daughter Edeltraut (Jack Faires) from the evil man and his crow (Jack Faires). Image: Chloe Nelkin Consulting The workmanlike script is elevated by Colin Granger's direction, and the enthusiastically over-the-top performances by...
The Importance of Being… Earnest? – Pleasance Courtyard
Scotland

The Importance of Being… Earnest? – Pleasance Courtyard

“A show goes wrong” is a theatre staple (see Noises Off, The Real Inspector Hound) and, coupled with the equally popular genre of improv-comedy, nowhere is the resulting sub-genre more popular than at the Edinburgh Fringe. Here, it seems, one cannot throw a stick without hitting a shit-faced Shakespeare, musical, or a show that was supposed to run normally until somebody threw a stick at them. To this “[Insert IP] but it goes wrong” genre comes The Importance of Being... Earnest?, as the “Oscar Wilde But It Goes Wrong Show”. And it's a lot of fun, both in how it uses its audience members and how it gives its own actors characters, arcs and jokes to play with through-out the show. It's not every improv related show designed to be different every night that has through-lines and gags...
This is Paradise – Traverse Theatre
Scotland

This is Paradise – Traverse Theatre

Michael John O’Neill’s This is Paradise takes place in 1998 in Belfast, just as the Good Friday Agreement is signed bringing supposed peace to the nation. However, away from the political turmoil, O’Neill’s play explores the life of Kate, swapping countrywide tragedy for that of the personal kind. The one-woman monologue follows Kate, played by Amy Molloy, a woman entering her thirties, who is thrust back into the life of an ex-partner after a phone call regarding concerns for his welfare. O’Neill’s beautifully crafted text allows Kate’s story to unravel, exploring the various relationships that still haunt her. Undertones of the impact of the IRA and Orange Order are subtly placed throughout the story, certainly adding to it but not overshadowing it, instead allowing Kate’s own strugg...
Receptionists – Summerhall Old Lab, Edinburgh
Scotland

Receptionists – Summerhall Old Lab, Edinburgh

Kallo Collective's physical comedy Receptionists appears in the Fringe as part of Start To Finnish, an annual showcase since 2011 to promote Finnish performing arts at the Edinburgh Fringe. Clowns and (show creators) Inga Bjorn and Kristiina Tammisalo star as two receptionists in a five-star hotel for whom every day actions, such as waiting for customers or answering the phone, quickly escalate into huge physical challenges and situations. Taking a simple situation and wringing every ounce of physically comedic potential over an extended period of time is an art, and a difficult one. For proof of that, one need not look any further than Rowan Atkinson, a lifelong fan of comedians such as Jacques Tati, whose past classics such as Mr Bean haven't stopped him more recently faltering with ...
Something In The Water – Summerhall, Edinburgh
Scotland

Something In The Water – Summerhall, Edinburgh

The appropriately named Scantily Glad Theatre company presents Something In The Water, starring Grumms, a person who transforms from a normal girl into a squid monster. The show describes itself as Creature from the Black Lagoon meets The Muppets. Personally, I'd say it's like a child who hasn't seen The Shape of Water snorted a bunch of coke and then tried to explain the story using whatever they had in their bedroom. But in a very good way, unlike a child doing hardcore drugs. Both descriptions cover the important roles within the show played by plastic Barbie and Ken dolls, as representatives of what is “normal”, and the squid puppet, as the “monster”, with the sets being made from a hand-drawn picture book, a projector and a fish tank, the combination being simultaneously quite sop...