Reviews & features: Theatre

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: actor/playwright Michael Puzzo on The Dirty Talk

30 Jul 2014

'I don't think you can put a label on it. It is not a light piece, but I think it is funny'

Michael Puzzo was already an established actor with the New York-based Labyrinth company when he finally turned his hand to playwrighting. 'The writers were always encouraging me to write, but I was worried that it would be shit,' he laughs. 'But every…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: Colette Garrigan on Sleeping Beauty

30 Jul 2014

The Ken Loach-inspired reinterpretation deals with gritty issues of drugs, abuse and delinquency

‘I ended up putting myself at the centre of my own fairy story. What comes across in this show is me as a teenager, growing up in a broken home in Liverpool, and all these years later living and working as a puppeteer in France. How did that happen?…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: David Leddy offers a double whammy of political intrigue and horror

30 Jul 2014

The Scottish theatremaker returns to the Fringe with Horizontal Collaboration and City of the Blind

David Leddy is looking for actors. As his new play, Horizontal Collaboration, requires a fresh cast of four for every performance, he needs about 120 of them to see him through the Fringe. And no one can do it twice. Leddy, whose works include the…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: Lucy Benson-Brow discusses Cutting off Kate Bush

30 Jul 2014

'I vividly remember "Wuthering Heights" ... Her music lends itself so well to dramatisation'

With Kate Bush touring for the first time in 35 years, Cutting off Kate Bush arrives at the right time. Lucy Benson-Brown channels the Gothic undertones of Bush’s music to create a new take on family politics. Young Kathy has had to return home and is…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: Pete Livingstone and Nina Kareis on Klip

30 Jul 2014

The pair, from Danish company Livingstones Kabinet, experiment with anarchic live sketches

By inviting potential audiences to discover 'what happens inside the head of a chicken', and how to 'dance a meat advert', Livingstones Kabinet are claiming the surreal, comic high ground that trails back through British comedy, like the…

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: Simon Reade on Private Peaceful

30 Jul 2014

The director discusses Michael Morpurgo's WWI tale and 'Michael Gove's jingoistic revisionism'

To mark the centenary of the beginning of World War I, Scamp Theatre's award-winning adaptation of Michael Morpurgo's Private Peaceful makes a welcome return to the Fringe. Charting the life of young soldier Tommo Peaceful (Andy Daniel), a Devon-born…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: Tamsin Clarke on Manuelita

30 Jul 2014

Manuela Saenz, lover of revolutionary Simon Bolivar, is 'part fact, part fiction and full of fancy'

'As a South American, you somehow automatically know about Simon Bolivar,’ says Tamsin Clarke. 'He is a hero and an ingrained part of history. However, I had never heard about Manuela Saenz. She was supposedly his lover and companion for many…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: Theatre Ad Infinitum's George Mann on Light

30 Jul 2014

‘There seems to be this weird complacency about surveillance, a lack of urgency or alarm'

Though equally brilliant, Theatre Ad Infinitum’s last two Fringe shows couldn’t have been more different: 2011’s Translunar Paradise was an exquisite, romantic piece of mime, while last year’s Ballad of the Burning Star was a bold, brash cabaret act…

Big Red Bath & The Snow Dog children's theatre shows set for 2014 Festival Fringe

30 Jul 2014

Double helping of imaginative fun for kids by Full House Theatre to include a live husky on stage

Full House Theatre has been devising family theatre for more than ten years, and this year it’s bringing illustrated children’s book Big Red Bath to the stage. Over the last decade, Julia Jarman and Adrian Reynolds’ book has become a modern classic with…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: 13 Sunken Years explores family ties in an isolated rural setting

29 Jul 2014

The drama is a collaboration between Finnish National Theatre, Stellar Quines and Lung Ha

Fifteen years after moving to Scotland, Finnish-born director Maria Oller is bringing a piece of work from her native land to the Scottish stage. A co-production between Finnish National Theatre, Stellar Quines and Lung Ha, 13 Sunken Years is set in an…

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: 5 sex-themed theatre shows

29 Jul 2014

Featuring 50 Shades: The Musical, Oleanna, Naked in Alaska and Deep Throat Live

50 Shades: The Musical! Determinedly a parody of the publishing sensation, the BDSM best-seller gets the musical theatre treatment, via an overly interactive book club. Assembly Hall, 623 3030, 31 Jul–25 Aug (not 13), 10.30pm, £10–£15.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: top 5 Free Fringe theatre shows

29 Jul 2014

Featuring Death Shall Have No Dominion, Playback Impro and The Secret Life of Francis Bacon

Death Shall Have No Dominion WWI meets Richard III as this Welsh company looks at how easily reputations can be destroyed on the battlefield. Divided into two parts, it follows the tale of Shakespeare’s delicious villain and a Welsh battalion accused…

Big Fat Fringe Bribe blog 2014: Whoever Fights

29 Jul 2014

Triad Pictures secure some free publicity for their Free Fringe boxing drama

While we at The List always appreciate an edible bribe, we were left a bit bloated and immovable following the consumption of an entire cheese house. Thankfully, Triad Pictures' delivery of a board game and puzzle book (with a free pen!) meant we could…

Big Fat Fringe Bribe blog 2014: Swiss Cheese

28 Jul 2014

Bawsoot Theatre Company swap some cheesy craftsmanship for valuable exposure

There was a marked contrast between the last bribe we received – Gary from Leeds' ultra-minimalist Yeti Action Pack – and our most recent arrival: a painstakingly assembled cheese house. Hand-delivered by two members of Bawsoot Theatre Company, the…

Edinburgh Art Festival 2014: experience music and poetry in arty environments with Festival Detours

28 Jul 2014

Luke Wright, Meursault, Eilidh MacAskill and John Osborne prepare to perform in gallery settings

Detours is a series of live shows by music, poetry and theatre artists taking place in galleries across the city. As part of Edinburgh Art Festival, it aims to bring a new audience to visual art by transforming the traditional gallery space. This…

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: South African theatre shows

28 Jul 2014

Featuring David Mamet's Race, Mbongeni Ngema's The Zulu and Magadi: The Bride Price

'It's great to be able to present a range of work from this very vibrant country,' says William Burdett-Coutts, artistic director of Assembly Festival, who are presenting their third South African season. 'There is a range of talented theatre people…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: three Scottish theatre productions

28 Jul 2014

Homegrown Fringe theatre highlights include MacBheatha and referendum satire Spoiling

Scotland Befitting a nation deciding its future shape, Scottish theatre is thriving, as evinced by the diversity on offer at this year's Edinburgh Festivals. Whether provocative, crowd-pleasing or challenging, there are grand, universal themes being…

Edinburgh Festivals 2014: three stage productions from New Zealand

28 Jul 2014

Highlights include Arthur Meek’s On the Upside Down of the World and Lemi Ponifasio's I AM

In the popular view of the northern hemisphere – and indeed, much of the country’s neighbours – New Zealand is a remote idyll populated by hobbits and sheep where not very much ever happens. Yet history tells us that a country so young is unlikely to be…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: 5 autobiographical theatre shows

28 Jul 2014

Shows tackling abuse, emigration, feminism and high school from a personal perspective

Jamaica Farewell Debra Ehrhardt escaped Jamaica for America, using the romantic aspirations of a CIA agent: a witty thriller from an experienced storyteller and directed by Joel Zwick who happened to direct the highest grossing romantic comedy ever, My…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: top 5 thought-provoking shows

28 Jul 2014

Five theatre productions tackling sensitive issues, including far right politics and sex trafficking

Blood Orange A frank exploration of the alarming rise of the new far right in modern Scotland. When his father’s business fails, a young man blames local Asian market sellers, forcing him to violently confront issues of race, religion, faith and…

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: Kim Noble discusses performance and mental health

24 Jul 2014

The comedian and performance artist is working with 'the vacuum cleaner' on new play Mental

An audience member tried to have him institutionalised and he once filmed his own arrest for stalking, but controversial comedian and performance artist Kim Noble is back in Edinburgh with not one but two shows. Five years after he discussed his own…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: theatremakers Rachel Chavkin and Chris Thorpe on Confirmation

24 Jul 2014

‘The last thing that I want this piece to be is a narrative retelling of my adventures with a Nazi'

Separately, Rachel Chavkin and Chris Thorpe have been behind some of the most exciting Fringe shows of the past decade. As artistic director of New York’s the TEAM, Chavkin’s impressed audiences and critics alike with genre-bending triumphs like…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: Poland's Song of the Goat immerses itself in Scotland's vocal music traditions

24 Jul 2014

Theatrical choral performance Return to the Voice will be performed in St Giles Cathedral

The great Indian cultural theorist Homi Bhabha writes of ‘hybridity’, a cultural phenomenon in which artists bring together aesthetic influences from different times and different places to create new art forms. It is an idea that could almost have been…

Longlist announced for the Edinburgh Fringe Sustainable Practice Award 2014

23 Jul 2014

The award recognises Fringe shows that encourage audiences to consider their environmental impact

The shortlist for the Edinburgh Fringe Sustainable Practice Award, which celebrates the greenest and most sustainable shows of the fringe that encourage audiences to take responsibility for their own environmental impact, has been announced, with 22…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: 5 family-friendly circus acts

22 Jul 2014

Featuring The Little Big Show, Freedom Family Circus and Comedy Allsorts

The Little Big Show A global assortment of clowning and comedy promising ‘ginormous laughs’ in a small space. For ‘kids and very big kids’. That’s you lot. Assembly George Square Gardens, George Square, 0131 623 3030, 31 Jul–24 Aug, 10.45am, £10…