Saturday, January 28

Scotland

Making a Murderer: The Musical – Underbelly, Bristo Square
Scotland

Making a Murderer: The Musical – Underbelly, Bristo Square

Making a Murderer: The Musical is a beautifully crafted, tongue in cheek, satirical show that at its  beating heart has a message of hope and social justice. From the opening I was hooked, Emma Norman was fantastic as Betsy the tour guide, we begin with a song that sets the scene and tempo for the whole show. The lyrics are smart and satirical poking fun at the American small town mentality and the discrimination that goes along with that. The casting is so on point and the ensemble of characters, and their portrayals is phenomenal, this is a talented set of performers! The show really highlights the incompetence of the police force in regard to the case in beautifully tongue in cheek chorus number. The set is simple yet sleek and stylish and the use of multiple media...
Are You Being Murdered? – Pleasance at EICC
Scotland

Are You Being Murdered? – Pleasance at EICC

What would happen if Agatha Christie met Father Brown? This seems to be asked by David Semple, the acclaimed writer of the famous series branded BBC ONE, in bringing to the stage the one man shows entitled "Are You Being Murdered?" A show focused exclusively on the talents of "Allo Allo" actor Arthur Bostrom, capable of bringing together comedy and mystery, suspense and social satire. Set in the golden age of old BBC sitcoms, the show proves to be marked by a glossy nostalgia that winks at a specific generation and targets that generation specifically. Although with its lively monologue and ready wit, the show seems to take up, like a dress worn out by too much use, certain stereotypes of a genre unable to speak to a contemporary audience with sharper and more irreverent tastes. Th...
Christian Brighty: Playboy – Pleasance Below
Scotland

Christian Brighty: Playboy – Pleasance Below

I wasn’t sure what to expect as I sat down to watch Christian Brighty: Playboy. I’d read the synopsis, a scandalous Lord in the 18th century falls for a duchess and must try and reform his rakish ways to win her hand. And I’d seen the poster, Lord Christian Brighty standing with an enormous padlock covering his crotch. But other than that, I was clueless. I thought I was in for something special when I was handed a ball of socks at the door and told it was a cannonball. If the audience weren’t aware of exactly what they’d got themselves into, it became apparent very quickly. Brighty entered covered in a hood as the sounds of an orgy played throughout the venue. He tells ‘naughty Susan’, a recurring character in the sketch, that he must sadly leave. I haven’t seen many a funnier start to a...
Drag Queens Vs Zombies – Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose
Scotland

Drag Queens Vs Zombies – Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose

A dragtastic, B - movie, comedy, schlock horror romp with a twist of cabaret! Kate Butch and Crudi Dench skilfully and hilariously take the audience on a ridiculous adventure through a queer pop culture, so- bad- it’s- good, zombie extravaganza. With quick fire jokes right out of the gate and some impressive vocal stylings this show has it all - stand up, audience participation, prop comedy, lip sinking, singing and more.  Drag Queens vs Zombies embraces traditional “Carry On “style British comedy and plenty of nostalgia but adds a sharp modern update and a biting edge. Whether you're a seasoned drag fan or if this is your first foray into the drag scene, you will find yourself in safe hands as these queens expertly guide you through this hysterical journey.  As a B- movie cult ...
Flesh – theSpace @ Surgeons Hall
Scotland

Flesh – theSpace @ Surgeons Hall

Flesh is a campy, fun jaunt through some of the darker side of Edinburgh’s history! This tale starts at the point of Burke and Hare are arrested for the Westport murders before we travel back in time and follow them on their whirlwind killing spree. Both Jeremy Fraser and Roddy Macleod did an excellent characterization of the infamous killers, and the supporting cast were fantastic! I personally highly enjoyed Anna Scott as Mag, she did a great job at portraying the kind of character you love to hate, and Alison Henry as Nell had a fantastic voice. Frank Burr was a delight in the role of Dr Knox. The costumes were well made and added to selling the look and feel of the piece. The big chorus songs were a highlight of the show, and the composition was upbeat, catchy and well perfor...
Almost Adult – Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose
Scotland

Almost Adult – Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose

Actor and creator Anne-Tilley combines comedy and drama as her character Hope tackles both coming-of-age issues as well as the more serious ones that unfortunately confront women in particular. Hope thinks she's escaped the north of England for the bright lights of London, only to find the capital, and adulthood come with their own challenges. Though well-meant, timely and heartfelt, the uncomfortable nature of these issues and Anne-Tilley's natural strengths as a performer make the more dramatic parts of the show much more successful than the comedy ones. Though the two stars given here might suggest there is more that doesn't work than there is, that very much isn't the case, as it's more a question of imbalance. Had comedy been more the icing than the raison d'etre, Anne-Till...
Something About George – Assembly Rooms Spiegeltent
Scotland

Something About George – Assembly Rooms Spiegeltent

The songs of George Harrison are something of an enigma to many. More known as a member of The Beatles, the ‘greatest band in the history of the world’, than a solo artist. This show aims to set the record straight, and does a pretty good job of that, although it falls short on other fronts. Through songs like, All Things Must Change, Something and My Sweet Lord, Daniel Taylor, tightly accompanied by Jon Fellowes on Guitar and backing vocals and Jon Thorn on Keyboards takes us at a swift pace through Harrison’s extensive solo repertoire.  Along the way Taylor also fills in many of the blanks that few of us were aware of – his difficult marriages, his legal battles, his part in the creation of the worlds first super group, The Travelling Willburys his work in film production, and h...
Kathy and Stella Solve a Murder – Summerhall Roundabout
Scotland

Kathy and Stella Solve a Murder – Summerhall Roundabout

BFFs Kathy and Stella are true-crime fans hosting a podcast on the subject in Hull. With it, they dream of making the big time (and avoiding their other problems) but their best chance is blown when their favourite investigator-author is murdered. Building on the skills they've no doubt absorbed through osmosis, they resolve to crack the case themselves. Making good use of the venue's theatre-in-the round mise en scene, Bronté Barbé, Rebekah Hinds, Jodie Jacobs, TJ Lloyd and Imelda Warren-Green (in particular) are energetic, funny and likeable, navigating effortlessly between the humour, drama, and, of course, singing, ably accompanied by live keyboards, with the lighting underlining well the mood, punctuating the joke and energising the scene transitions. However, the show is s...
The Queen’s Cartoonists – Assembly Roxy
Scotland

The Queen’s Cartoonists – Assembly Roxy

The Queen's Cartoonists are six jazz musicians currently part of the New York City jazz scene (the eponymous Queen's being the location over there, rather than the person over here). Their show aims to make jazz music more accessible by performing a live soundtrack (which sometimes involve folley too) to classic and contemporary animation, synchronized with the projected films. With a seemingly extensive repertoire of music and shorts, their Fringe show feature prominently Classic Warner Bros cartoons, accompanied by some (probably less well known here) shorts from Russia and Korea. For their British audience they have also teamed up with Aardman Animation to include four of their pieces starring their three most famous characters, a no doubt canny move judging by the awed murmur which...
Something About Simon – Assembly Rooms
Scotland

Something About Simon – Assembly Rooms

The songs of Paul Simon are embedded in all of us - The Sound of Silence, Homeward Bound, The Boxer, and of course Bridge Over Troubled Water. Gary Edward Jones turn musical shaman as he draws Paul Simon classics from our very souls, in the almost mystical surroundings of the Assembly Rooms George Street Spiegeltent. Perhaps the only things missing are giant beanbags and joss sticks to make this a truly heavenly experience. There is no doubt that Jones has an innate talent for relaxing his audience – his measured, almost whispered, hypnotic delivery and his great stillness anchor him in front of a rapt audience. You could see this retelling working equally well – perhaps even better - in a church. There is a reverence here, and it is not lost. Having spent twenty years as a singe...