Review: Picasso’s Women – Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh

First published in The Times, Friday August 24 2018

Three Stars

If Picasso’s Women were an exhibition, it would fill several enormous galleries. Brian McAvera’s play for Flying Elephant wisely restricts its focus to three of the artist’s lovers and muses. The white walls and pillars of the performance space at Edinburgh’s Fruitmarket Gallery make a fitting backdrop for this triptych on a theme of passion and degradation.

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Review: Gut – Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

First published in The Times, Friday April 27 2018

Three Stars

Clearly, there is something in the zeitgeist. From Outnumbered to Motherland, there has been a steady trickle of television sitcoms in recent years lampooning the chaos, guilt and tedium of modern parenting. Frances Poet’s latest play occupies the same gaudy terrain of soft play centres, nurseries and adventure playgrounds. Yet, aside from one amusing sequence involving a tussle between two adults over a Kermit the Frog figurine, its mood never strays far from the dark end of the spectrum.

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Review: The Naked Magicians – Pleasance, Edinburgh

First published in The Times, Wednesday August 31 2016

One Star


Be warned: there is a lot of padding in this show and we’re not just talking about the stuffing in our hosts’ underwear. The tacky love child of Paul Daniels and Magic Mike opens with the two buff Aussies launching a giant inflatable phallus into the front row and asking that we bounce it around the auditorium until the music stops and the first audience participant is chosen.

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