Reviews & features: Miles Fielder

180 reviews

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Interview: Christian Scott on his signature blend of styles ahead of 2014 Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival

15 Jul 2014

Grammy-nominated musician on customising his own instruments to get the perfect sound

‘I don’t know what it’s not like to be from here,’ Christian Scott says in response to a query about what it means to be a musician from New Orleans. ‘I will say that being born and raised here, I benefitted from the wisdom of a lot of really great…

Finding Vivian Maier

23 Jun 20144 stars

An amusing, poignant and disturbing documentary about a talented and secretive street photographer

By turns amusing, poignant and disturbing, this documentary investigation into the work and life of the previously unknown but now posthumously-celebrated street photographer is never less than thoroughly intriguing. Looking for some visual material to…

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…

Jigsaw - Jiggle It

22 Aug 20134 stars

A tight little sketchy bundle

From their entrance – charging onto the stage pursued by an unseen threat – to their exit 50 minutes later, Dan Antopolski, Tom Craine and Nat Luurtsema barely pause to catch breath while delivering a rapid-fire series of sketches that consistently hit…

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The Tiger Lillies

21 Aug 20134 stars

The 'Brechtian punk cabaret' godfathers show no signs of slowing or losing their wild creative edge

Despite the exploding popularity of cabaret at the Fringe (and beyond), this London trio remains the high watermark below which all others will inevitably sink and drown. Now in their 14th year, and widely considered as godfathers of the genre known as…

Mark Restuccia: The Diary Of A Serial Internet Dater

20 Aug 20131 star

Comedian's badly written and dreadfully delivered drivel on internet dating failures

Mark Restuccia’s show from last year was titled How to Succeed at Internet Dating and his follow-up might properly be (though isn’t) called How to Fail at Internet Dating. Having met upwards of 1500 women online, the comic found himself shut out of…

Shelby Bond

16 Aug 20133 stars

Easy-going, affable and inclusive stage persona is a late-night hit

Given he’s got a late night spot in a dingy subterranean room in a city centre drinking hole, one assumes this American stand-up will be loud and brash and foul-mouthed enough to deal with anything a difficult, drunk nocturnal crowd will throw at him.

Micheal Che: Cartoon Violence

16 Aug 20134 stars

The New York comic shows skill at delivering solid material in front of a tough crowd

At the end, this tough, young, sharp comic who came up from New York City’s projects apologises for it being a ‘strange show’. Michael Che is referring to the row of humourless hecklers in the front who piped up intermittently, occasionally in a…

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…

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John Lloyd: Liff of QI

14 Aug 20134 stars

Expert raconteur wields his massive brain

The veteran writer, director, performer, producer and founder of classic television comedy including Not the Nine O’Clock News, Blackadder, Spitting Image and QI looks back over the highlights of his extremely impressive career. Alongside Douglas Adams…

Colin Geddis

13 Aug 20133 stars

Northern Irish comic expands on I Am Fighter YouTube clips with well-delivered filthy material

Having secured enough hits with his online show I Am Fighter to be able to claim himself to be something of an internet sensation, the Northern Irish comic has come to the Fringe to mix his video material with some old school stand up. Geddis…

Brett Goldstein

13 Aug 20133 stars

Decent material and delivery in lively and likeable comic's rant against porn

The subtitle of the lively, likeable London-based comic’s show, Contains Scenes of an Adult Nature, alludes to both its theme (pornography) and its content (monologues about shagging). Goldstein’s thesis is porn, primarily internet-based material, is…

The Les Clöchards: The Boys are Back in Town

9 Aug 20133 stars

Scrappy Corsican covers band

The hobo-styled five-piece from a small island off the coast of Corsica make a return trip to the Fringe with another energetically performed set of upbeat acoustic rock. There’s a touch of The Pogues in Les Clochards’ punk posturing and folk styling…

Pick Me Up

9 Aug 20132 stars

Slightly lacking sketch fare

This sketch-based comedy features a familiar series of quick-fire, hit-and-miss, random vignettes performed with gusto, here by a cast of four game young chaps. There are sketches involving a playful attempt at GBH on a commuter train, a criminal…

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Eleanor Thom: I Am Bev

9 Aug 20134 stars

Style-over-substance creation par excellence

Eleanor Thom certainly convinces as Bev in this delightful piece of character comedy. Aiming her sights on a television career, Thom’s alter ego stages her first Fringe show in the hope of impressing a BBC talent hunter. Whether or not Bev would impress…

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…

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…

Ben Verth: What Is This Place?

5 Aug 20133 stars

Turning abuse into comic monologues, delivered with poise from local boy

Ben Verth sounds like a character from a Star Wars film, but he is, in fact, a likeable, self-confessed hairy fat bloke from Edinburgh (who does a striking impersonation of a wookie that really needs to be seen to be believed and is probably worth three…

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Carey Marx: Intensive Carey

4 Aug 20134 stars

A hilarious musing on his brush with death

Carey Marx would have performed his ninth Fringe show last August, except he had a heart attack (actually several of them) that almost killed him. On the strength of his triumphant return to Edinburgh this year, having a near-death experience has turned…

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…

Saxophonist Tia Fuller set for date at 2013 Edinburgh Jazz Festival

15 Jul 2013

Jazz sax warrior on roots, discipline and touring with Beyoncé,

On the opening night of the 35th Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, Tia Fuller aims to blow the roof off the Queen’s Hall. Best known outside jazz circles for touring the world with Beyoncé Knowles’ troupe, the young American has made a name for herself…

The Battle of the Sexes

19 Jun 20134 stars

A captivating documentary on Billie Jean King's eponymous historic game to fight for sexual equality

Some real-life stories are such a narrative gift for documentary makers you wonder why they weren’t filmed years ago. Co-directors James Erskine and Zara Hayes’ engrossing doc about the efforts of a few, pioneering female tennis players to bring sexual…

Dummy Jim

18 Jun 20134 stars

Matt Hulse’s second feature is both very beautiful and utterly bonkers

Dummy Jim is inspired by the book I Cycled into the Arctic Circle, James Duthie’s account of the three-month long bike ride he undertook in the summer of 1951 from his home in a small Scottish fishing village, through a big chunk of Europe and up into…