Reviews & features: Reviews

4,449 reviews

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Genesis & Lady Jaye Breyer P-Orridge - Life as a Cheap Suitcase (Pandrogeny & A Search for a Unified Identity)

15 Aug 20144 stars

Exhibition documenting embarking on Pandrogyny project in a bid to look identical to each other

From 1960s arts collective COUM Transmissions to the industrial band Throbbing Gristle and beyond, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge was the ultimate self-created deity. So when he and partner Lady Jaye embarked on their Pandrogyny project in a bid to look…

Trainspotting

15 Aug 20143 stars

High energy theatre performed in promenade captures bleak, scatalogical humour and morality of novel

Twenty-one years since Irvine Welsh's iconic novel Trainspotting was first published, it's appropriate that young Scottish company In Your Face Theatre should now offer their stage adaptation to the "rich Edinburgh Festival cunts" so despised by Renton…

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…

The Great Gatsby

15 Aug 20143 stars

The American classic gets a Broadway makeover at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

There are many literary parties that catch the imagination and inspire dreams of what it might have been like to be there. Satan’s Ball in The Master and Margarita and Kitty’s first dance in Anna Karenin stand out but the lavish scale of the extravagant…

Augustin Rebetez: Heart (Meteorite)

15 Aug 20143 stars

An enigmatic mixed-media installation from Swiss artist Augustin Rebetez

If this is hell, it’s a very playful corner of it. Somewhere deep in the bowels of Summerhall, Swiss artist Augustin Rebetez has taken over a room and transformed it with a multi-media exhibition which unnerves as much as it entrances. A wooden frame…

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Bill Clinton Hercules

15 Aug 20143 stars

Pleasant enough character show that shies away from making any new insights

Bill Paisley nails Bill Clinton’s down-home patter and renowned charm in this new show from Guy Masterson and Rachel Mariner. The former US President’s story is ripe with dramatic potential – but this show is fairly unexciting. As the audience files in…

Sirens

15 Aug 20144 stars

Ontroerend Goed's symphony of female rage, staged at the Edinburgh Fringe, is impossible to ignore

If previous Summerhall favourite Silvia Gallerano's La Merda was a personal howl of anguish, Ontroerend Goed's Sirens is the symphonic rage of Everywoman. Using humour, song and a guttural roar rising to a blood-curdling scream, six women in evening…

The Pure, The Dead and The Brilliant

15 Aug 20143 stars

Entertaining if simplistic caricature of a complex political problem from Alan Bissett

Set in the fairy world, Alan Bissett's script conjures some convincing characters from popular myth and legend and places them in Scotland 2014 at the heart of the campaign for independence. With Bissett's own enthusiasm for a big yes well known, this…

Haruki Murakami - Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage

14 Aug 20143 stars

Welcome addition for fans, but one that never quite reaches the heights it could do

There aren't many writers whose novel launches can be classed as an event, but Haruki Murakami is one of the few who fit the category. When Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage, his 13th novel, launched in Japan last year it sold a…

Rhythmic Circus: Feet Don’t Fail Me Now

14 Aug 20145 stars

Joyous show fusing superb musicianship and slick dance routines raises the roof

It’s impossible to know for sure, but the final song in Rhythmic Circus’ set might just be the most joyful five minutes at this year’s Fringe. Admittedly, we’re already in a very happy place by the time they play it, having spent an hour in the…

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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…

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…

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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…

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…

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…

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…

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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…

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…