Fringe Reviews 2018

Edinburgh Fringe 2018: Show Rankings

Now that those pesky reviews have FINALLY all been written. I can, as is tradition, at last officially rank all 51 shows I saw at this year’s Fringe in descending order from those I enjoyed most to those I enjoyed least.

As ever, just based on my opinions, remember:

Continue reading “Edinburgh Fringe 2018: Show Rankings”

5-⭐ · Fringe Reviews 2018 · Reviews · Theatre Reviews

REVIEW: ‘RENT’ by Captivate Theatre

5 Stars

(Performed in August 2018 – Review published in November 2018)

There’s a reason I left this review until last. This was one of the most special experiences of my 2018 Edinburgh Fringe. The word I’d use is the same one my friend, Nancy did; “cathartic”. Probably nothing can better encapsulate it for you than the mental image of Tom, Nancy, and Myself, all sat in the front row, holding hands and teary-eyed as we watched Roger sing ‘Your Eyes’ to Mimi. 

Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘RENT’ by Captivate Theatre”

5-⭐ · Fringe Reviews 2018 · Reviews · Theatre Reviews

REVIEW: ‘Cream Tea and Incest’ by Benjamin Alborough

5 Stars

(Performed in August 2018 – Review published in November 2018)

Another show I’ve seen and reviewed before. This year I think I saw it about three times. It became something of a meme amongst my cast this year, it was one of the first shows we saw at this festival, and we were still quoting it to each other up until the coach journey home at the end of the month.

Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Cream Tea and Incest’ by Benjamin Alborough”

4.5-⭐ · Fringe Reviews 2018 · Reviews · Theatre Reviews

REVIEW: ‘Murder She Didn’t Write’ by Degrees of Error.

4.5 Stars

(Performed in August 2018 – Review published in November 2018)

I’ve reviewed this company and show last year. And saw them the year before that. I know they’re good. They’re never not good. And I’ve said a lot about why they’re so good, and why Murder She Didn’t Write works so well as a show. But I’ll have a brief go again for this edition.

The new twist I saw from them this year was “Mass Murder She Didn’t Write”, their new late night concept. It’s good to see them still doing things to keep it fresh (even if I did miss the drag a little). Luckily the mass murder concept increased the onstage mayhem five-fold and resulted in yet another beautifully chaotic evening.

The cast remain as strong and talented as every with some of my favourite like Caitlin Campbell, Peter Baker, Tessa Gaukroger, and Lizzy Skrzypiec still being among them. I still don’t think I’ve seen improv talents that have matched them.

For more on my opinions on this show, please see my reviews from last year:

HERE.

2.5-⭐ · Fringe Reviews 2018 · Reviews · Theatre Reviews

REVIEW: ‘Love on a Blue Canvas, 1890’ by The Blue Moon Theatre Company

2.5 Stars

(Performed in August 2018 – Review published in November 2018)

There is a place for melodrama in the theatrical world, but it is perhaps the easiest style of drama to mess up. I myself have flubbed melodrama with a fringe show before now (you live and learn), and know how tawdry and painful things can get if you’re not careful.

Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Love on a Blue Canvas, 1890’ by The Blue Moon Theatre Company”

4.5-⭐ · Fringe Reviews 2018 · Reviews · Theatre Reviews

REVIEW: ‘World in Progress’ by Merde! Theatre Company

4.5 Stars

(Performed in August 2018 – Review published in November 2018)

You know? I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like that before. I’ve probably called a lot of shows “unique” in my time, but sometimes you see a show that’s so uniquely unique that its unique uniqueliness hangs around in your head for a long while after (more than two months after, at time of finally writing this review). World in Progress really was one of those unique shows, that I’m likely to remember for a long while yet. 

From quaint folk music with pagan overtones to an evangelical gospel bop about the Earth’s impending immolation, and all apparently composed the same astoundingly talented composer, Colm Molloy, there was a delightful smorgasbord of music to be had here. There’s something so beautiful about different voices coming together in harmonious song, and the voices of Nicola Demosthenous, Rosa Lennox, Hannah Baker, Patrick McHugh, and Ben Everett Riley made for some particularly gorgeous harmonies. 

One of my great regrets in life is that I’m not very musical. I adore it but can’t play anything to save my life, and my co-ordination disorder has always made it tricky for me to learn instruments. As such, I am forever in awe of the furious talent and dedication it takes to be as musical as this group were, with each having a flawless command of at least two instruments (by the best of my recollection anyway).

The show had an important underlying message about environmentalism (one we need more than ever what with recent warnings) but never got to preachy about it. It was a celebration of a planet we’ve neglected but nevertheless remains beautiful in its suffering. If nothing else can make you realise we need to save our planet, the way this group be this group sang about it just might.

5-⭐ · Fringe Reviews 2018 · Reviews · Theatre Reviews

REVIEW: ‘Kids Play’ by Boys of the Empire Productions

5 Stars

(Performed in August 2018 – Review published in November 2018)

My very last show from Fringe 2018. I tried numerous times to see it for free using my SpacePass but to no avail. There were never tickets left. On the last they of the run, I decided to bite the bullet and pay in advance, ending up second in the queue behind an elderly Scottish man who seemed very angry about a lot of things I didn’t quiet understand. Having seen Boys of the Empire’s show Lord Dismiss Us last year (also written by Glenn Chandler) I had quite high hopes for Kids Play. The rest of my cast had hyped it up to me, and I went in expecting to see a great play. And a great play I did indeed see.

Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Kids Play’ by Boys of the Empire Productions”

1.5-⭐ · Fringe Reviews 2018 · Reviews · Theatre Reviews

REVIEW: ‘Reigen’ by Cambridge University Amateur Dramatic Club

1.5 Star

(Performed in August 2018 – Review published in November 2018)

Oh dear sweet Dionysus, why? When I saw CUADC last year, they were here with a brilliant new translation of the all-but-lost Kulish play, Maklena (Grasa).That was one of my highest rated shows from last year, so I admit I did expect the same standard from this production, itself apparently a new translation of a 1903 “scandalous” Austrian play by Schnitzler. 

Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Reigen’ by Cambridge University Amateur Dramatic Club”

2.5-⭐ · Fringe Reviews 2018 · Reviews · Theatre Reviews

REVIEW: ‘Beep’ by Afterthought Theatre

2.5 Stars

(Performed in August 2018 – Review published in November 2018)

Beep was…well it was a play with issues, and quite a lot of them I think. It felt very much a work-in-progress in need of some heavy revision and rethinking. The premise of all men being fitted with a chip that beeps when they lie was very promising but fell rather flat in the end.

Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Beep’ by Afterthought Theatre”