Reviews & features: Lauren Mayberry

27 reviews

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Davey Anderson's coming-of-age tale The Static mixes superheroes and ADHD

24 Jul 2012

Quirky physical theatre show from Scottish talent developers ThickSkin

ThickSkin Theatre has a hard-earned reputation for developing new Scottish talent. The company returns to this year’s Fringe to showcase the skill of Glasgow-based playwright Davey Anderson before heading off on a UK tour in the autumn. The Static is a…

Theatre show Confessions of a Grindr Addict explores modern age dating

24 Jul 2012

Sex is easy, dating difficult in 2012 edgy Edinburgh Fringe Festival show

What does a guy actually do on a date these days that doesn’t involve sex? This is the question posed by dark but comical one-man show Confessions of a Grindr Addict, written and performed by Australian Gavin Roach. Grindr, for anyone unfamiliar, is a…

Dan Canham: 30 Cecil Street

23 Aug 20113 stars

A theatre's story told through unusual interpretation

Canham tells the story of a now dilapidated theatre in Ireland through movement and actions, set to a soundtrack of voices, everyday sounds and ambient noise. An unusual piece of dance-theatre with a surprising amount of humour, even if the recorded…

Andy Zaltzman: Armchair Revolutionary

23 Aug 20113 stars

Political comic never short of a dad-style gag

Political comic Zaltzman is in his element this year, and covers the London riots, Arab Spring, Angela Merkel and most things in between. He is never short of a dad-style gag which delights many but could make equal numbers recoil. Marmitey. The…

Auntie Netta And The Trouble With Asian Men

17 Aug 20113 stars

Show of two halves from East is East producers

Playing on the stereotype of hyper-caring Asian mother figure often ridiculed in the likes of Goodness Gracious Me, Auntie Netta is incredibly endearing. Offering around snacks, she explains her outlook on British life from Loose Women to Cameron and…

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Translunar Paradise

16 Aug 20114 stars

Moving portrayal of the pain of bereavement in dance, accordion and voice

Backed by accordion and voice, two dancers play out a relationship using only actions and mime, covering courtship, pregnancy, miscarriage and the after effects of war. A moving and evocative portrayal of the pain of bereavement, highlighting how…

The Sexual Awakening of Peter Mayo

16 Aug 20113 stars

Quirky characters and quick-fire dialogue

This is sex for a generation of awkward Brits who relate to Mark Corrigan more than they might like to admit. Quirky characters and quick-fire dialogue are let down only by technical gaffs with house lights, not to mention backstage staff who talked…

Phillipa and Will Are Now in a Relationship

16 Aug 20113 stars

A university relationship conducted via Facebook

A university relationship is tracked via a Facebook wall-to-wall, read aloud by actors backed by a screen with dates to contextualise comments. This is comedy which could be related to by anyone who has ever repeatedly refreshed a profile page that was…

The W. Kamau Bell Curve – Ending Racism In About An Hour

14 Aug 20113 stars

Race-related comedy that avoids cliché

Ending racism in ‘about an hour’ might seem like a bit of a challenge to set yourself. Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela were at it for a lot longer and they still didn’t eradicate the hate, but W Kamau Bell’s Fringe show is still a…

Brotherly Love

14 Aug 20112 stars

Tensions high and voices loud feels uncomfortable

Two very different brothers are all grown up but still harbour resentments in this hour-long play. Tensions are high and voices loud throughout but it feels uncomfortable, like walking in on an argument between people you barely know. Special points for…

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Chris Cox

14 Aug 20113 stars

Odd-looking comic successfully combines magic and comedy

Finding the middle ground between a traditional magician and stand-up, Cox wins over even the most reluctant of audience participants with an engaging, geeky charm. Extra bonus points for highlighting his resemblance to the love child of Sue Perkins and…

Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov

12 Aug 20112 stars

Depressing tale of decay of the upper classes in Russia

Adaptation of one of the later plays of the influential playwright, focussing on the decay of the upper classes in Russia. Depressing tale where everyone is perpetually dissatisfied, most characters are selfish or unrealistically idealistic and all the…

Bones

11 Aug 20114 stars

Honest examination of real life on the dole

Nineteen-year-old Mark has just been released from prison to find himself in a world that’s almost as grim as the inside. Drink, drugs, violence and abuse are commonplace, as well as an unhealthy disrespect towards women and authority – likely a result…

Edinburgh arts institution the Forest Cafe gears up for its final Fringe

10 Aug 2011

Edinburgh's rough and ready creative hub closing down

Many Edinburgh-dwellers agree that it will be a sad day when the Forest Café finally closes its doors at the end of this summer. The rough and ready creative hub will be badly missed, but at least it’s staying open long enough for the Forest Fringe to…

Frisky and Mannish: Pop Centre Plus

8 Aug 20114 stars

Wry ribbing of pop culture

For those still unfamiliar with Frisky and Mannish, where have you been? It’s time to get up to speed with the flamboyant cabaret sensations. The pair, who have previously had great success at the Fringe with 2009’s School of Pop and 2010’s follow-up…

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Interview: Naoko Yamano - guitarist and lead vocalist of Shonen Knife

8 Aug 2011

The Japanese lo-fi punk girl group get ready to return to the UK

‘We have been to Edinburgh a few times but all of them were in the 90s. The first time was with the Nirvana tour, I think,’ says Naoko Yamano, guitarist and lead vocalist of Shonen Knife. Yamano, the only remaining member of the original 1981…

Death Song

8 Aug 20114 stars

Intense story of loss and secrets

Focusing on a bereaved father and daughter in the 1980s, Death Song is engaging and impeccably performed. Juan, a single father following the death of his wife, is a Mexican immigrant in America struggling to get work and keep his daughter safe, when a…

It’s Uniformation Day

8 Aug 20112 stars

2001: A Space Odyssey got weird

Surreal from start to finish, It’s Uniformation Day aims to analyse ideas of happiness, human frailty and relationships in modern life. Other than that, it’s hard to say what happened. The three actors are our representatives on a strange rocket mission…

Scary Gorgeous

8 Aug 20113 stars

Girls gone wild

2010 Fringe First winners RashDash ask why girls allow themselves to be defined by their sexual prowess in the mess that is modern femininity. Two classic ‘frenemies’ and bandmates, Helen and Abbi, demonstrate the difficulty of being a ‘normal’ young…

The Billie Holiday Story

8 Aug 20113 stars

Enjoyable insight into a unique talent

Under the pretence of a gig, actress Nina Kristofferson uses the ‘stage patter’ sections of the show to provide narrative about the singer’s tragic life, whilst nailing down Holiday’s voice and mannerisms. Enjoyable insight into a unique talent, plagued…

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Dream Pill

8 Aug 20113 stars

Poignant insight into the unsettling reality of sex work in the UK

Produced by Clean Break and based on real experiences, this minimalist performance focuses on two young girls trafficked from Nigeria. The two actresses adopt child-like language and mannerisms to provide a poignant insight into the unsettling reality…

Andi Osho: All the Single Ladies

8 Aug 20113 stars

Confidently breezing through hour of self-deprecating enjoyable comedy

Although potentially predictable subject matter to those familiar with her persona, Osho is as affable live as she appears on television. Self-deprecating with a sailor’s mouth, she confidently breezes through an hour of female-focussed comedy equally…

Jessica Fostekew: Luxury Tramp

8 Aug 20113 stars

Observational humour with a confessional edge

Fostekew is a down-to-earth posh bird. Luxury Tramp pertains to the grotty habits which conflict with her plush background, such as eating a kebab washed down with Dom Pérignon. This is observational humour with a confessional edge. Gilded Balloon…

Theatre shows using digital media at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2011

26 Jul 2011

Incorporating Skype and mobile apps into theatre shows

Digital media is being embraced by theatre companies at this year’s Fringe, but is this a passing fad or a great way for theatre to keep in step with modern technology? Lauren Mayberry investigates

Casablanca: The Gin Joint Cut

21 Jul 20115 stars

Morag Fullerton's stage adaptation is a charmingly chaotic classic

It’s almost impossible to tell that the team behind Casablanca: The Gin Joint Cut have not staged their increasingly lauded production in the Tron before tonight. Originating as part of Òran Mór’s Cult Classics series during its pint/pie-filled…