Reviews & features: Issue 608

110 reviews

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Office Party

31 Jul 2008

Party On

The medieval feast of fools was an event where established hierarchies were overturned, sexual and social proprieties were transgressed and the everyday laws of the culture were suspended. It’s the subject of academic study all over Europe, where…

Saddle up

31 Jul 2008

As a posse of spoof country and western acts rides towards the Fringe, Allan Radcliffe asks why songs about rednecks, guns and erections make for sublime comedy

Pajama Men - Night moves

31 Jul 2008

Their brand of unique, unhinged comedy has had critics and judges raving about the Pajama Men. Claire Sawers finds that they’re keeping the silly wigs firmly in the bag The voice on the phone sounds impossibly camp. It has a slick and persuasive way…

Drive-By Truckers - Evolution rock

31 Jul 2008

Drive-By Truckers may hail from America’s south but they do way more than your average redneck stomp. Doug Johnstone meets an ambitious rock band unafraid to take themselves and their audience to new highs

InvAsian Festival

31 Jul 2008

Culture shock

When, earlier this year, a BBC executive lamented the continued dominance of a ‘liberal, white, middle class elite’ across British television, his words could equally have been applied to Edinburgh in August. For all the Fringe’s variety, the number of…

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Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller

31 Jul 2008

Six different, self-contained installation pieces by hugely acclaimed Canadian artist partnership Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, which run a series of gamuts, taking in culture both high and popular, film, multimedia robotics and…

On the Waterfront - Steven Berkoff

31 Jul 2008

Fighting talk

Steven Berkoff’s position in the British theatre is a bit like that of the mysterious nail that seems to belong nowhere after you’ve constructed your Ikea bookshelf. On the face of it, he simply doesn’t belong, but somehow things don’t work without…

Polish theatre

31 Jul 2008

Poles apart

Sitting in a picturesque café in the heart of Warsaw – Poland’s capital and largest city – it’s easy to forget the turbulent history that has shaped this country’s place in the world today. The city has long had a reputation as a vibrant playground…

Three Billy Goats Gruff

31 Jul 2008

This is the third year in a row that the very wonderful Theatre of Widdershins has played the Fringe – and, rather appropriately, they’re doing a show all about threes: the eponymous goats, plus a few other fairytale characters such as Goldilocks’ pals…

Wisecrackin’ Mindsqueezin’ Behemoth - Big time

31 Jul 2008

Their first stage meeting involved simulated copulation. John-Luke Roberts and Nadia Kamil now make beautiful music in their Behemoth sketch guise. Brian Donaldson hears about the pair’s celebrity fans and those nasty critics

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Stage Oddities

31 Jul 2008

Death By Chocolate ‘Interview the suspects, sample the chocolates, solve the crime’ is the pitch for this interactive murder mystery night. The setting is a chocolate-themed singles’ night; the audience are given notepads and pens and encouraged to…

5 Questions: 2FaCeD

31 Jul 2008

What five words describe how a 2FaCeD DaNcE show makes you feel? High, energised, happy, wow, sexy. What four things have brought you back to the Fringe? The atmosphere, different venues, further opportunities, the challenge. Name three major…

5 Questions - Andi Neate

31 Jul 2008

One of Edinburgh’s most beguiling singer-songwriters gives us her lowdown on the festivities 5 words to describe your show Original, folk-rock, organic, origamic, neate! 4 shows you’re looking forward to seeing in Edinburgh this August Camille…

5 Questions - Joanne Brown

31 Jul 2008

Director of the Edinburgh Art Festival, takes stock of the programme. Five words to describe the Edinburgh Art Festival programme this year: Wide-ranging, exciting, challenging, colourful, fun. Four aspects of the EAF you’re looking forward to: Visiting…

5 Questions - Linda Marlowe

31 Jul 2008

Linda Marlowe is renowned for her mesmerising solo performances, from Berkoff’s Women to Believe. As she prepares to wow this year’s Fringe with The Time Step, she tap dances her way through our Q&A 5 words to describe The Time Step Wacky, cruel…

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Adam Riches

31 Jul 2008

A host of he-men and myriad of macho types flex themselves

Last Fringe, Adam Riches introduced us to Victor Legit, the musclebound bully who made a barely honest living as a surveillance officer for the Federation Against Copyright Theft. This year, Victor is joined by a host of other creations out of the…

Anderson/Smith/Cosker

31 Jul 2008

Nordic cool meets Scottish heat

Saxophonist Tommy Smith’s current relationship with the Norwegian bass maestro Arild Andersen dates from 2005, when they got together as a duo at the Islay Jazz Festival. It was by no means their first encounter, however – Andersen was one of Tommy’s…

Andrew Lawrence - Sit tight

31 Jul 2008

He may no longer be the stage psychopath with a killer tune and attitude to match, but Andrew Lawrence is still not exactly a cosy act. Marissa Burgess tentatively meets the man behind the growl Andrew Lawrence is a comedian in a state of constant…

The Art of Italy in the Royal Collection: The Renaissance

31 Jul 20084 stars

Treasure trove of Italian masters

You wonder what Prince William was thinking when he switched courses at university – when your Grandma owns art like this, studying Art History must have been a doddle. This exhibition, the first of two from the Royal Collection’s holdings of 16th and…

Bale de Rua

31 Jul 2008

Brazilian rhythm of life

Being short of cash can lead to some surprisingly good results. Back in 2004, when Brazilian company, Bale de Rua found themselves without a costume budget, they improvised with paint instead. Covering their skin with bright colours, the effect was…

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Barb Jungr sings Nina Simone

31 Jul 2008

Barb’s hymn to Nina

Barb Jungr has turned to the music of Nina Simone for her latest project, following the release of her Just Like a Woman album (a title that also neatly evokes her earlier Dylan project) with this live show dedicated to the woman whose voice and musical…

Barry and Stuart

31 Jul 2008

You may have seen these guys on the telly upsetting everyone from Christians to their female fans when they unleashed the plagues, walked on water, turned staffs into serpents and generally did lots of stuff that it’s in the Bible. Concocting more…

The Bird & The Bee

31 Jul 2008

Powerful double bill tells tales of star-crossed lovers

The young, it is sometimes said, are society’s canaries in the mine, the first to sense when something has gone awry. Few could have failed to be moved by the strange and tragic events at Bridgend in Wales, where, in the months to June this year, 22…

The Burma Play - A Comedy of Terror

31 Jul 2008

Burma’s political nightmare, from colonial times to the present day

The Fringe may be brimming with comedians cracking gags at the expense of politicians, but it would be fair to presume that few, if any, have tried out their material under the watch of a police state. The Burma Play, however, was inspired by…

Camille: the Dark Angel

31 Jul 2008

Some festival veterans would appear to be gluttons for punishment, others just seem to return again and again only to grow in stature. Dublin’s Camille O’Sullivan is very much of the latter category and is among the most celebrated and cherished of…