Reviews & features: Issue 684

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Tim Key interview: the poet discusses Edinburgh, Alan Partridge and 'sexy baths'

21 Sep 2011

Comedy Award winner brings his Masterslut show to the 2011 Fringe

The List has just presented Tim Key with two pages of facts about himself. ‘This is a very good piece of research,’ he says, commending the 16-year-old work experience person who compiled them. ‘I didn’t get to do anything like this on work experience.

The Edinburgh Festival comedy shows incorporating High Art

29 Jul 2011

Hannah Gadsby, The Horne Section, New Art Club and Vikki Stone

Sean Lock once likened media coverage of comedians to that of strippers, none too respectful of something that involved divesting so much. Despite comedy’s current boom, scrutiny still tends to focus on comics’ television careers or transgressions…

Interview - Heath McIvor and Randy

29 Jul 2011

The purple-faced puppet is clean, sober and ready to entertain

What were the circumstances behind your first alcoholic drink? After 32 hours in labour I was exhausted and absolutely furious about being wrenched from my sac of amniotic fluid. Only a scotch would do. Name a famous puppet that could drink you…

Steven Berkoff interview - Oedipus set for Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2011

29 Jul 2011

Anita Dobson stars as Jocasta in Steven Berkoff's Sophocles adaptation

Actor. Playwright. Director. Fringe darling. Big-screen bad guy. Steven Berkoff is all these things and more, a singular talent who has ploughed his own furrow. But for all his unique qualities, the 73-year-old says he is every bit the company man. This…

Fringe 2011: Comedy sketches with an edge

29 Jul 2011

Late Night Gimp Fight, Christmas for Two, McNeil and Pamphilon and The Three Englishmen

With the near-veteran likes of the Penny Dreadfuls and Pappy’s opting not to appear in their collective forms this Fringe, it’s a golden opportunity for some of the newer sketch acts to make a mark. But with ever-increasing competition at their level…

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Fringe 2011: Five dance shows based on true-stories

29 Jul 2011

Real life events provide inspirational for several Fringe shows this year

Falling Man. Who can forget the horrific image of a man falling to his death from the World Trade Center during the 9/11 attacks? This haunting solo by Dundee-based dance company Smallpetitklein was inspired by the ubiquitous photos capturing the…

Circolombia bring Urban show to Edinburgh Festival

29 Jul 2011

South American acrobats and anecdotes

Their lives may have started in adversity, but when the performers of Circolombia step on stage at this year’s Fringe, it’s as fully fledged professionals. All the members of the troupe grew up on the streets of Cali in Colombia, facing a daily round of…

Snow Play bring snowball fight to 2011 Edinburgh Festival

29 Jul 2011

Children's show features interactive battle of the seasons

When Snow Play enjoyed a sell-out run at the Lyric theatre in London last December, the timing was perfect. Outside, children played with snow on the ground – then stepped inside the venue to find the same weather conditions represented on stage. The…

Federer Vs Murray

29 Jul 2011

Gerda Stevenson’s play about conflict gets timely revival at 2011 Edinburgh Fringe

‘You don’t often get a chance to do something over again in theatre,’ says Gerda Stevenson, ‘to go back, once you know the text and feel comfortable with it. It’s a great opportunity.’ Stevenson’s play Federer versus Murray originally ran for a week…

Mr Benn brings 1970s TV classic to Edinburgh Festival stage

29 Jul 2011

Kids show from makers of The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom

Anyone who has seen The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom or any of the other wonderful shows Tall Stories has staged over the years, will know that the company is no stranger to adaptation. This time, however, they’ve moved away from children’s picture books…

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Lloyd Langford - True of false?

29 Jul 2011

Some made-up facts about Edinburgh - and one real one

Hello there. My show this year is called The Cold Hard Facts of Life. It’s all about trivia. To that end, I’ve compiled the below list. Every entry, except one, is a complete lie. The question is, can you separate out the lone fact from this manifest of…

Fringe 2011 comedy: 5 shows about parents

29 Jul 2011

Scott Capurro, Tom Rosenthal, Catie Wilkins and Des Bishop

Scott Capurro. In 2009, the San Francisco comic wrote movingly and warmly about the death of his mother, Donna. Now he’s turned his pain into Who are the Jocks? a show about his ‘best friend and coke dealer’. Pleasance Dome, 556 6550, 6–29 Aug (not…

Bubblewrap and Boxes turns cardboard boxes into children's show

29 Jul 2011

Playing around with the post at 2011 Edinburgh Festival

As any young child will tell you, there’s no end of things you can do with a cardboard box. Melbourne-based theatre company Asking For Trouble discovered it too, when they turned a pile of unwanted boxes into packages and parcels to create award-winning…

Cloud Man combines puppetry and storytelling for 4-7-year-olds

29 Jul 2011

Edinburgh Festival children's theatre show based on clouds

Sometimes they’re white and fluffy, more often than not they’re full of rain - but there’s something about clouds that holds our interest. The latest in a long line of artists to be inspired by the natural phenomenon is puppeteer Ailie Cohen, with her…

Interview - Muirne Bloomer and Emma O’Kane of The Ballet Ruse

29 Jul 2011

Ballerinas swap the barre for the bar

The origins of The Ballet Ruse, by seasoned Irish dancers Muirne Bloomer and Emma O’Kane, are simple. ‘In 2009 we were both single and decided to make a groundbreaking piece about dating,’ remembers Bloomer. But things took a turn in the studio. ‘We…

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Tim and Light children's show all about playing games and puppets

29 Jul 2011

Burton and Miyazaki-inspired puppetry at 2011 Edinburgh Festival

Tim and Light is the second children’s show from Tucked In, following 2007’s lauded Jackajack. In this adventure, which has been touring UK theatres and festivals this summer, a boy called Tim and his cat Light board a train from Brighton that doesn’t…

The Incredible Book Eating Boy - five-minute show for one adult and one child

29 Jul 2011

Oliver Jeffers’ book-munching tale comes to life in tiny Pleasance venue

In The Incredible Book Eating Boy, by award-winning children’s author Oliver Jeffers, a little boy called Henry gobbles up books like chocolate. At this year’s Fringe, Bootworks Theatre will stage an adaptation of this quirky but touching story in their…

Jailbird - The Segue Sisters interview

29 Jul 2011

Three-part harmony group bring sexy and witty musical comedy to Edinburgh

‘It was a moment of drunken inspiration, which we spend every second of our lives regretting.’ Via email, three-part harmony group The Segue Sisters collectively explain how their charming, sexy and witty brand of musical comedy came about.’We actually…

Surrealism and stupidity of Dr Brown Brown Brown Brown Brown kids show

29 Jul 2011

Absurdist comic Phil Burgers a refreshing antidote to corporate Fringe

Anyone who saw last year’s late-night Fringe anarchy from Dr Brown may raise an eyebrow to learn that he’s now doing a kids’ show, as well as another full-on physically comedic adult hour. To the man behind the mask, absurdist American comic Phil…

Fringe 2011 comedy: 5 musical comedians

29 Jul 2011

Isy Suttie, Steve Pretty, ATF?, Pistol & Jack and Gareth Richards

Isy Suttie. Dobby (from Peep Show not Harry Potter, silly) brings us Pearl and Dave, another heartwarming multi-character tale. With his Perfect Mixtape, Pretty recalls the tunes played at his own wake in 2005 (there’s a story there) and wonders what…

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Agnes and Walter (A Little Love Story)

29 Jul 2011

A Walter Mitty-inspired dance performance that reclaims the power of daydreams

Poor old Walter Mitty. Since James Thurber published the Secret Life in the 1930s, his name has become synonymous with deranged fantasising. However, a newly-established dance company has decided to rescue him from the sniggers of history. ‘Something…

The Velveteen Rabbit children's show from Backhand Theatre

29 Jul 2011

Much-loved children’s tale takes to the stage at 2011 Edinburgh Festival

Following the success of 2010’s Greek Myths for Kids (which returns for another run this year), Backhand Theatre are back at the Fringe with a new adaptation of Margery Williams’ 1922 novel, The Velveteen Rabbit. One of six shows presented by the…

Fringe 2011 comedy: five free shows

29 Jul 2011

Featuring Hatty Ashdown, Jody Kamali, Paul Foot, Norman Lovett and Gadd, Kirk and Winning

Hatty Ashdown ‘Hatty Ashdown’s brain is made up of funny molecules,’ claims Friday Night Dinner creator Robert Popper with what is presumably deemed as a compliment.

Beatbox and a capella artists at 2011 Edinburgh Festival debut

28 Jul 2011

Shlomo, Beardyman Fork and Soweto Entsha cover many musical genres

‘The dynamic of the voice fascinates me,’ says UK beatbox artist Shlomo. The London-based ‘World Loopstation’ champion, also known as Simon Khan, has collaborated with Jarvis Cocker and Björk, and his oral simulations of percussion, electro and…

Dance Marathon - Edinburgh show where audience provides the action

28 Jul 2011

3-hour long participatory show inspired by They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?

It’s over three hours long, inspired by that celluloid study of Depression-era desperation They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, and you, the audience, provide the majority of the action. Doesn’t sound like a great night out on the surface, but Dance…