Reviews & features: Theatre

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Catherine Bennett is a Credible Likeable Superstar Role Model

10 Jul 2013

The new show from performance artist Bryony Kimmings attempts to create an alternative popstar

Catherine Bennett is a young pop star with a purpose. ‘CB’ doesn’t wear skimpy clothes and lots of make-up or sing about boys and sex and dancing in nightclubs, or anything else you might hear being bandied around in the charts. Instead, she works in a…

Physical theatre production BLAM! promises 'Die Hard meets The Office'

10 Jul 2013

The Danish production is coming to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013

An elevator pings. Throaty laughter drifts round the corner and four beaming faces appear. ‘Coffee. We need coffee, please.’ Twelve hours ago, these caffeine-craving cohorts enjoyed a rowdy standing ovation in Reykjavik’s main theatre. Six hours ago…

Top five European theatre productions at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013

10 Jul 2013

Featuring works from Belarus Free Theatre, Akhmeteli Theatre and Spain's Centro Dramático Nacional

Trash Cuisine Belarus Free Theatre’s first show entirely in English is, unsurprisingly, banned back home for its attack on human rights violations under the rule of Alexander Lukashenko. Partly taking the form of a grotesque cookery show, it takes in…

Andy Arnold resurrects his production of James Joyce's Ulysses for Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013

10 Jul 2013

Arnold is working from Dermot Bolger’s 1994 adaptation of the novel

Andy Arnold’s decision to direct Dermot Bolger’s 1994 version of Ulysses is clearly an act of love. Joyce’s novel had never been put on any stage before, because his family never allowed it, but Arnold took the bull by its horns, even taking the…

Top 5 cabaret shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013

10 Jul 2013

Featuring Russian company blackSKYwhite, singer Bremner Duthie and a tribute to Yvette Guilbert

OMEGA Only a Russian company (blackSKYwhite) would offer such apocalyptic cabaret pleasures. Dark, unsettling and stunning. Assembly Rooms, 31 Jul–25 Aug. ’33 (a Kabarett) Opera-trained Bremner Duthie sings the decline of a Weimar…

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The performers celebrating their birthday at the 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

9 Jul 2013

We ask how they plan to celebrate their birthdays

For many, the month of August is a time for jollity what with Edinburgh being so thoroughly festive. And for some, there’s an extra reason to celebrate as they grow a year older during that month. We ask some birthday girls and boys what they will be up…

The International acts appearing at the 2013 Edinburgh Festivals

9 Jul 2013

Just 36 of the countries represented by acts appearing at the world's biggest arts festival

1 Argentina. Rodrigo Abd is a World Press Photo prizewinner (Politics). 2 Australia. David Quirk is a deadpan leftfield comic (Fringe)

Performance artist set to run 26 marathons in 26 days at 2013 Edinburgh Fringe

9 Jul 2013

Vicki Weitz will run up and down the city's Royal Mile during her Fringe run

Performance artist Vicki Weitz is all set to run 26 marathons in 26 days, traversing the Royal Mile repeatedly from 7am daily until she reaches her target. Using highly dubious mathematics, we’ve calculated that her total running time will roughly…

Attention 2013 Edinburgh Fringe shows looking for coverage: Send us your bribes

9 Jul 2013

A selection of the best bribes received by The List over the years

Yes, we can be bought! Every year, The List dedicates a small part of its weekly festival coverage to promoting one happy-go-lucky show in exchange for nothing more than some big, fat payola. Here’s a selection of the best bribes that have been left on…

The David Bowie connection: shows at 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

9 Jul 2013

Musicians, artists, comedians and choreographers with a connection to David Bowie

He may not be here in the flesh at this year’s festival, but there are plenty musicians, artists, comedians and choreographers in town with a connection to the Thin White Duke. Douglas Gordon painted Self Portrait of You + Me (David Bowie)

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Full programme announced for Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013

30 May 2013

New shows from Ontroerend Goed, Michael Nyman and Brendon Burns among highlights

After a month of being drip fed nuggets, the full Fringe feast has been revealed, with a whopping 2,871 shows performed by 24,107 artists in 273 venues across Edinburgh up for grabs. From X-rated puppet musicals and guerrilla style pop-ups to the London…

Wonderland

30 Aug 20122 stars

Vanishing Point investigation into dark erotic fantasies and internet porn is a huge disappointment

Vanishing Point's latest production finds the Glasgow-based theatre company in combative form, delving into internet pornography's seedy demi-monde and confronting audiences with their own desire for erotic titillation. Despite some stylish moments…

The Idiot at the Wall

28 Aug 20123 stars

Promising debut from English/Gaelic company

Elspeth Turner’s play was inspired by Gaelic folktales and songs and there’s certainly something comfortingly old-fashioned and fable-like about the storytelling here. The familiar enough premise – the culture clash between metropolitan sophistication…

Unmythable

28 Aug 20123 stars

Infectiously energetic trio enthralls kids and adults alike in hour-long sprint through classical my

The action opens on the Argot where an overly zealous Jason, and his less competent shipmates, is on his way to fight the man-eating dragon that never sleeps and claim the golden fleece in order to prove himself to be a hero. Along the way, the…

The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs

28 Aug 20123 stars

Powerful but rather static monologue

There’s no denying the power of American monologuist Mike Daisey’s one-man show. A one-time worshipper at the altar of Apple, the writer’s desire to learn more about the human beings assembling his favourite gizmos inspired a trip to the Chinese…

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Seeing Double: Figures

24 Aug 20124 stars

High concept two-pronged show is the perfect slice of Fringe fun

Seeing Double: Figures and Vision are a pair of thoroughly modern farces playing out different sides of the same story. While the Pleasance Hut and Baby Grand are rather small venues for the large audiences the shows have been drawing, their proximity…

Les Naufragés du Fol Espoir (Aurores)

24 Aug 20125 stars

Théâtre du Soleil's debut production at the Edinburgh International Festival is a coup de théâtre

The first ever Edinburgh International Festival production by the great French company Théâtre du Soleil promised to be an unforgettable event. And so it proves. The brainchild of Théâtre du Soleil’s founder and director Ariane Mnouchkine, Les…

Grit

24 Aug 20124 stars

Powerful and quietly moving depiction of children in conflict

The new show from Scotland’s Tortoise in a Nutshell is barely three-quarters of an hour in length. Yet the journey it takes its audience on, both geographical and emotional, is extensive. The piece draws on real-life accounts by war correspondents to…

Encounters series offers insight into themes running through the Edinburgh International Festival 2012

23 Aug 2012

2 for 1 deals on Encounters talks during the last week of 2012 EIF

The Fringe/Book/International Festivals are coming to their various ends, but there's no need to dissolve into a flood of fest regrets: there are still gems to be found, and we can help you locate them. Encounters is a series of lectures and talks…

The Rape of Lucrece

23 Aug 20124 stars

Bold interpretation of Shakespeare's poem from Edinburgh favourite Camille O'Sullivan

It’s not every performer at the Edinburgh International Festival that enters to applause and finishes to a standing ovation but, then, Camille O’Sullivan is not just any performer. Having built an impressive following over the years as a mesmerising…

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Macbeth on Inchcolm Island

23 Aug 20124 stars

Production transcends limitations through spectacular and unique location

To sacrifice five hours of your evening for one festival show it has to be something pretty special. Fortunately this unusual production Of Macbeth on Inchcolm Island does not disappoint. Packed on to a coach with excited, anorak-clad festival goers you…

Daniel Kitson: As of 1.52 GMT on Friday April 27th 2012 , This Show Has No Title

22 Aug 20124 stars

Stand-up playwright returns with meta-play monologue

A week after this new play from Daniel Kitson opened, The Telegraph ran a two-star review, describing it as ‘a sorry waste of his undoubted talent – and our time’. Kitson knew someone would do that though. At one point in his one-man play – a…

Interview: Mike Mcshane on Mon Droit at 2012 Edinburgh Fringe

22 Aug 2012

Show draws from story of American Royal obsessive

What drew you to the story of Robert James Moore (an American who came to London because of his obsession with the Queen and ended up dying alone in St James’s Park)? The lack of details about his life contrasted with the hard facts about his death.

Tam O’Shanter

22 Aug 20124 stars

Earthy, energetic riff on Burns’ masterpiece

‘When chapman billies leave the street / And drouthy neibours, neibours meet’. It’s the best-kent pair of opening lines in Scots poetry, but if you were hoping for a straight rendition of Burns’ masterpiece, Communicado theatre company are more than…

Return of the Close Up Magician

22 Aug 20124 stars

Phenomenal close-hand tricks from a consummate performer

Close-hand magician Lewis Barlow is a likeable performer. Unlike Derren Brown and his ilk, Barlow creates a show where magic is not swamped by the overbearing personality of the performer, but rather one where magic takes the centre stage. Beginning…