Wednesday, December 7

Scotland

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...
PASH – Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose, Edinburgh
Scotland

PASH – Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose, Edinburgh

Seemingly Wholesome Productions PASH is about the bisexual, Max (Olivia McLeod). She is turning twenty-five in a week and, thanks partly to her own idealised and Hollywood-inspired notion of what A First Kiss would feel like, she hasn't had one yet. So, she embarks on a quest to change that before her big quarter-century anniversary, punctuating her chronicles with anecdotes of her friends’ (much earlier) first kisses. The show is parked somewhere between a stand-up set and a monopolylogue, the former because of the “relatable” blurring between character, performer and audience and the latter through its structure, props and use of space, sound and lighting. Because of this, it rests almost entirely on the shoulders of creator / performer Olivia McLeod, who rises to the challeng...
Jeremy Sassoon’s Mojo: Musicians of Jewish Origin – Assembly Checkpoint, Edinburgh
Scotland

Jeremy Sassoon’s Mojo: Musicians of Jewish Origin – Assembly Checkpoint, Edinburgh

Following a one week run in the 2021 Fringe, Jeremy Sassoon's Mojo returns this year for a full run. The show tells the story of a 100 years of Jewish songwriting in 75 minutes, from Irving Berlin to Amy Winehouse and beyond, through covers (and anecdotes) of the most iconic of these songs, with vocals and piano by Sassoon; double bass, electric bass, and vocals Nicola Farnon; and drums by Phil Johnson. To a gentile such as myself, it's an eye-opening experience. Even for the artists whose religion one already knows, this isn't necessarily the lens one is used to view them through, and when grouped together their collective impact is impressive, as Sassoon's medley of classic Christmas songs alone plainly demonstrates. The show also fits into a larger narrative, charting the evolut...
Footloose – King’s Theatre Glasgow
Scotland

Footloose – King’s Theatre Glasgow

It’s time to cut loose and head to the King’s theatre to see a show that will have you up on your feet. Footloose tells the iconic story of a boy who finds himself in the town of Bomont, where it is deemed illegal to dance due to an incident years prior. Being the new guy in town, Ren (Joshua Hawkins) causes a stir within the small community with this cheeky attitude and passion for dance. This juke box musical is not the only adaption of the original Footloose film (1984) with a remake of the classic released in 2011. However, the musical manages to merge the old with the new – paying homage to the unforgettable moments from the films while bringing its own identity to the stage. The production has a range of talented performers within its ranks. Lucy Munden, making her professi...
Footloose – Edinburgh Playhouse
Scotland

Footloose – Edinburgh Playhouse

Footloose tells the musically infused tail of wayward Ren and his journey from Chicago to rural backwater Bomont. A town tragedy involving the loss of the preacher’s son results in a town-wide ban on dancing in the bible-led town. Really? Oh yes. For newly arrived Ren and the preacher’s rebellious daughter Ren, this is devastating, especially as romance blossoms and the desire to dance ensues. But more interestingly, Ren embraces Christianity and uses a newly gifted bible to argue his cause for dancing which is a rather impressive move. Footloose is your classic jukebox musical complete with hits of the day spattered throughout the production for some dramatic and often comic effect. West-End star Darren Day relishes the spotlight as tough preacher Rev. Shaw Moore. In fact, his perform...
Dreamboats & Petticoats – King’s Theatre Glasgow
Scotland

Dreamboats & Petticoats – King’s Theatre Glasgow

On the hottest day ever (so far!) I hauled myself along the M8 to Glasgow to this touring show. The question was – would it, could it, bring back the good times at the King’s this week? The third instalment of Bill Kenwright’s Dreamboats and Petticoats franchise, set in the mid 1960’s and following the trials and tribulations of rock ‘n roll band, Norman and the Conquests, from youth club dive to Butlins at Bognor Regis, aka ‘bonking by the sea’. At the centre of the story is the ongoing relationship of Laura and Bobby played by Elizabeth Carter and Jacob Fowler, can their love survive a Summer apart, can Bobby resist the wall-to -wall crumpet of Butlins and will Laura escape the clutches of Frankie Howard where she is booked for the Summer season at the Palace Theatre Torquay? This...
Radio Ghost – An Interactive Experience
Scotland

Radio Ghost – An Interactive Experience

A team of covert undercover hunters infiltrate a Glasgow mall in hopes of uncovering the hidden ghosts that haunt the area. Instead, what they discover bring to light are harsh truths that hide in sight and are all too easily ignored and forgotten. Welcome to Radio Ghost. An interactive story that sees you and two other teammates join the team as three new hunters. You are tasked with finding the ghost stories of days past. Set in an everyday shopping centre with an energetic 80’s soundtrack, feel fully immersed in the hunting experience. Once the mission is underway, it is soon discovered that the ghosts and the stories they have to tell are more frightening than previously thought. Looking back at the horrors of humanity, the ghosts of previous hunters tell tales of the exploit...
Zog & The Flying Doctors – Edinburgh Festival Theatre
Scotland

Zog & The Flying Doctors – Edinburgh Festival Theatre

Another reliable bedtime tale from the Julia Donaldson canon, the one thing you’re sure of is rhythm and rhyme carrying the story along to its denouement with an unerring pulse. Our 9-year old gave this show 7/10, observed ‘the book was better’ declaring; ‘it shouldn’t have been like a musical’. It’s possible he was older than the target demographic, but he had a point. Fair, creating an hour of theatre from a book that takes fifteen minutes to read requires some embellishment. Colourful, bouncy and energetic it was but this felt bulked out and overloaded, the original ‘script’ lurking but ultimately submerged beneath the new music and material. Unfortunately, possibly due to an imbalance betwixt the music/mics volumes, the lively initial ‘re-cap’ of Zog’s dragon training (from the first,...