Reviews & features: Theatre, Miles Fielder

78 reviews

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Breaker

30 Aug 20134 stars

Spellbinding dark drama

This intense and emotionally charged two-hander really packs a dramatic punch. Set on a remote Scottish island, it turns on an encounter between a bewildered young man named Daniel (who has made the long journey from the mainland looking for answers to…

Kubrick3

22 Aug 20134 stars

Being Stanley Kubrick, the story of Alan Conway

During the early 1990s, a failed North London travel agent named Alan Conway successfully passed himself off as the famous filmmaker Stanley Kubrick. Despite looking nothing like the legendary director, Conway ‘conned’ several dozen people and…

Shit-faced Shakespeare

16 Aug 20133 stars

Enjoyable contrast between robustly delivered performance and cackhandedly mangled drama

Of all the comedy twists the works of the Bard have been given over the years, this inspired one is a potentially perfect fit for a late night at the Fringe. The idea is simple: a Shakespeare play is staged in an entirely serious manner by the cast…

Our Friends, the Enemy

6 Aug 20133 stars

Ambitious one-man, spoken-word WWI drama

The spontaneous and unofficial armistice that broke out along the Western Front over Christmas 1914 and briefly interrupted the mechanised bloodshed of the First World War forms the basis of this ambitious one-man, spoken-word show. The story of the…

You All Know Me – I’m Jack Ruby!

6 Aug 20134 stars

Killer portrait of Lee Harvey Oswald-murderer from writer-performer Clifford Barry

Do we really know the man who shot the man who shot President Kennedy? Was the eponymous Dallas nightclub-owner part of a Mafia-organised plot to whack Lee Harvey Oswald, as history generally credits him to be, or was Ruby acting under other…

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Dirty Water

5 Aug 20133 stars

Filthy Glasgow-set comedy

In this lewd, crude and very broad comedy set in an unnamed Glasgow housing scheme, four lads fiddle about day in and day out in their scummy, low-paid job working for an independent cleaning company. The company is called Eager Beaver Cleaners, which…

Kubrick³ and Colour Me Kubrick spin two stories around the same man: Kubrick impersonator Alan Conway

31 Jul 2013

The London real estate agent successfully impersonated the director in the early 1990s

Surely the most astounding – and hilarious – true story to be dramatised at the Fringe this year will be Kubrick³. The PIT theatre company production, written and directed by David Byrne (not that one), tells the story of a conman who passed himself off…

Rémy

16 Aug 20124 stars

Vivid Napoleonic re-imagining written and performed by talented Claire Gaydon

On the strength of this, the first show produced under the banner of newly formed theatre company Everything I Own, writer/performer Claire Gaydon is a talent to keep an eye on. Her historical drama, which unfolds in the aftermath of Napoleon’s reign of…

The Fantasist

16 Aug 20123 stars

Imaginative treatment of mental health

The visionary-idealist-romantic of the title is a French woman named Louise who is tormented by her bipolar disorder. As the show opens we find Louise in a hospital in England where she is receiving treatment. She’s got a good, caring nurse and a dear…

And the Girls in Their Sunday Dresses

15 Aug 20124 stars

This post-Apartheid era Zakes Mda adaptation has universal resonance

With its absurdist humour and metaphorical meaning, this clever, funny, political play is like a South African version of Waiting for Godot. As with Beckett’s luckless protagonists, two women (brilliantly played by South African comedians Hlengiwe…

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Panning for Gold

14 Aug 20123 stars

Well-conceived, simply staged play dealing with emotional trauma has fittingly dramatic climax

This heartfelt and heart-warming play unfolds at a support group where three young women meet with an older group leader and, over the course of a number of sessions, confront and attempt to deal with their related emotional problems. The cause of their…

It’s So Nice

10 Aug 20124 stars

Irreverent and beguiling history play

Part physical theatre, part clowning about, this bilingual show that takes a look at the relationship between Mary, Queen of Scots and her cousin Elizabeth I is an absolute delight. It takes the form of a history play-cum-lecture-cum-travelogue as…

Oliver Reed: Wild Thing

8 Aug 20124 stars

Rob Crouch paints a blazing theatrical portrait of the renowned boozer

In this excellent one-man show, the renowned hellraiser recounts his wayward life from beyond the grave and, appropriately, during the course of a mammoth boozing session. Rob Crouch does a superb job of playing the British film star of the 1960 and…

You Obviously Know What I’m Talking About

8 Aug 20123 stars

Intelligent comic theatre about obsessive-compulsive nerd is surprisingly good

This cleverly devised bit of comic theatre boasts a marvellous set. Good job, too, given it concerns an extreme obsessive-compulsive, a reclusive nerd named Winfield Scott-Boring, whose entire carefully ordered daily life takes place within the confines…

Half A Person: My Life as Told by the Smiths

7 Aug 20122 stars

A fair performance let down by clichéd, unimaginative writing

A twentysomething Smiths fan living in London tells of his brief encounter with a girl from Manchester and his friendship with a terminally ill gay man. Pivotal moments from the life of the young lad, who is of course called William, are underscored…

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Life is Too Good to Be True

6 Aug 20123 stars

Not quite the whole truth from show examining Stephen Glass, Barbara Ehrenreich and Lady Gaga

The place of truth, lies, delusion and self-realisation in our individual lives and within society as a whole is the big theme tackled in this one-man show that begins modestly and ends with a high-camp finale. Written and performed by Gable Roelofsen…

Just A Gigolo

6 Aug 20124 stars

A literate, bawdy, touching production about Lady Chatterlerly's real lover

Playwright Stephen Lowe’s DH Lawrence trilogy comes to a neat and naughty conclusion (following Fox and The Little Vixens and Empty Bed Blues) with this fine one-man show directed by Lowe and performed by veteran Scottish actor Maurice Roëves. Roëves…

One Rogue Reporter among the shows exploring journalistic ethics at Fringe 2012

28 Jul 2012

Ex-Daily Star hack Richard Peppiatt lifts the lid on journalism

It’s not at all surprising that this year’s Fringe programme should feature a cluster of shows about the purveyors of low-quality ‘reportage’ commonly and derogatively referred to as ‘hacks’. The high-profile and ongoing Leveson Inquiry into the…

Jus’ Like That!

16 Aug 20114 stars

Recreates Tommy Cooper's final performance

Eschewing a biographical narrative, this show about stage magician and comedian Tommy Cooper simply recreates his final performance in all its balmy, cheeky glory. It’s a crowd-pleasing celebration of the utterly unique variety show talent, and Clive…

The Wright Brothers

16 Aug 20113 stars

Conquest of flight given lively treatment

An interesting subject is given lively treatment in this show about American bicycle manufacturers-turned-amateur aviators Wilbur and Orville Wright’s conquest of the skies. The story of their protracted attempts to construct a powered flying machine…

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You Once Said Yes

12 Aug 20114 stars

Exhilarating interactive experience

This one-on-one interactive show is initially – and purposefully – disconcerting, but it swiftly becomes utterly thrilling, mysterious, funny and finally really quite sweet. It begins at Underbelly Cowgate, where single audience members are equipped for…

2401 Objects

8 Aug 20113 stars

Remarkable neuroscience story

This piece of devised theatre tells the story of the man with the most famous brain in the world, Henry Molaison, or patient HM as he became known to the international medical community that studied him for decades before he died. Molaison was born in…

Wondrous Flitting

8 Aug 20112 stars

Absurdist parable that doesn’t quite work

Inspired by Edinburgh College of Art teacher Ed Hollis’ book The Secret Lives of Buildings, Lyceum artistic director Mark Thomson’s first play for the Fringe since his much lauded Moving Objects is an absurdist-realist parable that doesn’t quite work.

One Night Stan

8 Aug 20114 stars

Excellent one-man show based on life of Stan Laurel

This excellent one-man show written and performed by Miles Gallant dramatises the life of Stanley Jefferson aka Stan Laurel of Laurel and Hardy fame. With his partner taken ill on the penultimate week of their 1954 UK tour, Stan looks back on his…

One Under

8 Aug 20113 stars

Energetic piece of devised theatre based on London Underground

Inspired by interviews conducted on the London Underground, this energetic piece of devised theatre looks beneath the sweat and stress of the cramped carriages to unearth the inner lives of people travelling on the tube. Their stories are variously…