Reviews & features: Reviews

4,440 reviews

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Tender Napalm

14 Aug 20143 stars

Malta’s Unifaun Theatre give a confident rendering of Philip Ridley’s tale at the Edinburgh Fringe

Tender Napalm, as its title suggests, is a piece characterised by the exploding, the sharp, the intimate, and the human sensitivity to pain. This fantastical two-hander written by Philip Ridley takes its characters through a series of increasingly…

Civil Rogues

14 Aug 20144 stars

Laurie Davidson and Lowrie Amies star in hilarious 17th century drama at the Edinburgh Fringe

It is 1649, and Oliver Cromwell's Roundheads are rounding up theatre actors, declaring them 'civil rogues'. Problem is, the actors in question, playing Shakespearian women, are rather too fond of their feminine counterparts, and the soldiers woefully…

Sophie Willan: Novice Detective

14 Aug 20142 stars

A mish-mash of theatrical narrative and comedy skits at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Sophie Willan presents a theatrical hour about the search for her estranged father. The detective genre is her theme, and the opening set-piece is a campy nod to the genre from Inspector Clouseau to the board-game Cluedo. After a promising opening…

Danny Mcloughlin Feels Alright

13 Aug 20142 stars

'Competitive dad'-themed 2014 Edinburgh Fringe show doesn’t really cut it

It’s wholly fitting that Danny McLoughlin should be performing Feels Alright in the basement of a pub. His stand-up could actually act as the template for the ‘funny guy entertaining his mates down the pub’ sub-genre that perfectly does the business in…

True Brits

13 Aug 20143 stars

The trials of gowing up Gujarati in Blair’s Britain, staged at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

True Brits switches between narrator Rahul’s experiences at school in 2005 and the 2012 Olympics. Juxtaposing the shock of the terror attacks on 7/7 against the national unity of the games seven years later, the script uses these iconic moments to…

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Mark Cooper-Jones: Geography Teacher

13 Aug 20143 stars

Edinburgh Festival Fringe performance showing a love of learning

Mark Cooper-Jones would like you to know that, actually, he chose to perform in the tiny Globe pub because its name encompasses the theme of his show. A former supply teacher, he's here to share his contagious enthusiasm for geography. The pub's cramped…

Night Bus

14 Aug 20142 stars

Linda Marlowe & Sarah-Louise Young examine the life of a night bus at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Taking the world of late-night transit as their petri dish of humankind, Linda Marlowe and Sarah-Louise Young examine the ragtag lot who take a London bus on any given night through a series of vignettes, using a minimal set and only a handful of props.

Spencer Brown

14 Aug 20142 stars

Repetitive sex obsessed show becomes tiresome at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Spencer Brown reads as a sex-obsessed thirty-something offering a whole load of gags about doing the deed laced with an exposé of contemporary society. Naturally, all this is framed with observational anecdotes about his wife, young daughter and dinner…

Beefheart 'n' Cheeze - Henry's Cellar Bar, Edinburgh, Sun 3 Aug 2014

14 Aug 20144 stars

Orange Claw Hammer pay tribute to avant-garde weirdo rocker, Captain Beefheart

Captain Beefheart has become synonymous with avant-garde rock. An innovator who rejected the boundaries of genre, an explorer who blasted into the sonic soundscape. 1969's *3Trout Mask Replica*2 has become the go-to album for lovers of the weird and…

Lady GoGo Goch

14 Aug 20144 stars

Frankie Fox combines music and theatrics to explore her Welsh heritage at the Edinburgh Fringe

Performed mainly in Welsh and a smattering of English, Lady GoGo Goch blends traditional and contemporary song with theatrical performance and live instrumentation to create a fluid, intense, and ultimately trippy exploration of Welsh culture. Funny…

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Come Heckle Christ

14 Aug 20143 stars

Josh Ladgrove's Edinburgh Festival Fringe comedy show is entirely dependent on audience interaction

You get no prizes for guessing that Come Heckle Christ is a show dependent on the quality of its audience. Character comedian Josh Ladgrove props himself on the cross for (almost) the entire duration, responding to a mix of insults, theological queries…

Soweto Afro-Pop Opera

14 Aug 20144 stars

Slow jams and joyful bursts of township song from South African a cappella group at Edinburgh Fringe

Walking onto the stage decked out in sharp grey suits with crisp white shirts, the four tenors of this South African a cappella group look every inch the 90s R&B act, and while their Soweto Afro-Pop Opera confirms that they do love a good slow jam, they…

Ganesh Versus the Third Reich

13 Aug 20144 stars

Thoughtful, elegant show unfolds its ideas slowly at the Edinburgh International Festival

Ganesh and the Third Reich has all the ingredients for controversy. A Hindu god represented on stage, actors with disabilities, Australians appropriating Indian mythology and a European holocaust, a series of arguments between director and actors…

Six Billion Suns

13 Aug 20143 stars

Poignant experimental theatre about Alzheimer’s disease at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Directed by Eva Rysová in conjunction with the Czech Centre London and Theatre NoD, Six Billion Suns is a brave and experimental production exploring the terrifying reality of living with Alzheimer’s disease, from diagnosis to death and all the…

Tom Rhodes: Colussus

13 Aug 20143 stars

American funnyman delivers confident performance at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

With the swagger of an over-confident prize-fighter, American comic Tom Rhodes roams his stage ready to land punchline after punchline. But first he has some business to attend to regards his history with the Gilded Balloon, reminiscing the time he…

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Dan Schreiber: C*ckblocked from Outer Space

13 Aug 20143 stars

Lively and engaging hour of geek comedy at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

The term ‘geek’ has enjoyed singular meanings in the past, such as a sideshow act involving biting the heads off chickens, which draw on its etymology as meaning ‘fool’. This flipped in the latter half of the 20th century, becoming a pejorative term for…

One Man Breaking Bad

13 Aug 20143 stars

A mixed bag of meth-based comedy

Miles Allen’s commitment to Breaking Bad cannot be over-estimated. He claims to have become almost Jehovah Witness-like in his devotion, doorstepping strangers to tell them the good news about his favourite show. Luckily, he’s preaching to the converted…

Winter is Coming

13 Aug 20142 stars

Messy non-tribute to Game of Thrones is simply all over the place

Edinburgh has officially gone Game of Thrones crazy. Jack ‘Joffrey’ Gleeson is in town with his theatre sketch group, Diana Rigg will be discussing bad theatre reviews and George RR Martin is popping up at the Book Festival.

Tony and Mike - The Country Owl and the City Squirrel

13 Aug 20142 stars

Confused reworking of the Town Mouse and The Country Mouse at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Fringe First winners Tom Frankland and Laura Mugridge return to Edinburgh with their first attempt at children's theatre. In theory, this has taken its inspiration from The Tale of The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse, but equally it may well have taken…

Mr Swallow: The Musical

13 Aug 20144 stars

Hysterically funny and relentlessly silly musical of Dracula

With the unstoppable force of monstrous nature that is Mr Swallow having pretty much obliterated the competition in Nick Mohammed ’s canon of characters, the next step was almost inevitable: starring in his own musical of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Not that…

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I Killed Rasputin

13 Aug 20143 stars

Free-wheeling style and strong cast in Richard Herring play at 2014 Edinburgh Fringe

Comedian/writer Richard Herring's new play has the free-wheeling style of a Marx Brothers comedy, playing fast and loose with historical accuracy- and film noir tropes. Stephanie Williams' gorgeous, ornate set, with large screens which cunningly…

Super Tramp

13 Aug 20143 stars

Michael Rivers delivers one-man show of homelessness and tragedy at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

This one man show is based on the true life story of Shane Fox, a schoolboy who ended up living on the streets after his dad was imprisoned for shooting his Mum during a drunken argument. Starting with a speech of regret at a hospital bedside, solo…

Dr. Longitude's Marvellous Imaginary Menagerie

13 Aug 20144 stars

Magnificent family show channelling carnival, puppets and a hallucinogenic toad

Ever wanted to run away with the circus? Les Enfants Terribles have created something special here: a magnificent carny sideshow, with cool puppets for the little 'uns, bawdy gags for adults and an appealing, colourful set design for both. A fantastic…

Hooray for Ben Target

13 Aug 20143 stars

Oddity and uniqueness lift curious hour and make for a breath of fresh, daft air at Edinburgh Fringe

The gentle, kind demeanour of Ben Target masks the vicious reality that he is a cold-hearted cynical comedian seeking to destroy both entertainment as we know it and his audience’s fragile confidence. Well, probably not, but it’s difficult to know…

Vive Le Cabaret

13 Aug 20143 stars

A riotous cavalcade of the cabaret and burlesque world

Vive le Cabaret pulls together some of the weird and wonderful from the Fringe. The rotating hosts meant on this occasion it was the irrepressible Jonny Woo, who, in the guise of Mary Portas, managed a difficult crowd and a thrusting Liza Minnelli drag…