Edinburgh review: Everything I Do – Summerhall

First published in The Times, Friday August 23 2019

Three Stars

Zoe Ní Riordáin’s solo show is one of those Fringe oddities that defy neat classification. From the moment the doors to Summerhall’s Demonstration Room open to reveal the performer wearing a gleaming spacesuit and bouncing on a trampoline, we know we’re in for something a little out of the ordinary.

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Edinburgh review: Bystanders – Summerhall

First published in The Times, Wednesday August 21 2019

Four Stars

Cardboard Citizens has been making theatre for and about people with experience of homelessness for 25 years. Lately the company’s work has acquired an increased sense of urgency. In a poignant moment during this new show the cast passes around a list of the nearly 600 people who died on the streets or in temporary accommodation in England and Wales in 2017.

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Edinburgh review: Conspiracy – Underbelly Cowgate

First published in The Times, Saturday August 10 2019

Two Stars

Occam’s razor — the philosophical principle that the simplest explanation is the most likely — is increasingly going out of fashion. Conspiracy theories abound, fuelled by online communities and jet-propelled by a growing distrust of conventional news and a general sense that the world is going to hell in a handcart, steered by shadowy powers with sinister agendas.

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Edinburgh Review: House of Hundred – C Aquila

First published in The Times, Friday August 9 2019

Three Stars

Chronicling 100 years of Turkish history in a single hour is a tall order. This multimedia piece created by Yesim Ozsoy packs enough material into its running time to fuel a dozen Fringe shows. If the premise is ambitious, the storytelling is unconventional. Ozsoy’s history lesson is delivered through the prism of an Istanbul mansion, with the writer-performer incarnating everything from furniture to ornaments to create a layered, multifaceted narrative.

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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: Kin – Underbelly Cowgate, Edinburgh

First published in The Times, Saturday August 18 2018

Two Stars

Over the past couple of Fringes, Max Dickins has built a reputation as a master of storytelling theatre and a shape-shifting performer. His new play is something of a departure from his previous acclaimed works, The Trunk and The Man on the Moor, not least because the writer-performer does not appear, instead bequeathing the stage to a couple of his fellow actors.

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Review: The Aspirations of Daise Morrow – Assembly George Square, Edinburgh

First published in The Times, Wednesday August 8 2018

Three Stars

Down at the Dump is the forthright title of the Patrick White short story on which this intimate piece by Australia’s Brink Productions is based. Change of name aside, the show remains strikingly faithful to the work of the Nobel laureate. Indeed, the stated aim of Chris Drummond, the company’s artistic director, was to “take on White’s incredible text holus-bolus rather than whittling away at an adaptation”.

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Review: Sugar Baby – Roundabout at Summerhall, Edinburgh

First published in The Times, Friday August 18 2017

Four Stars

Fringe venues can be hot, cramped and unwieldy, but occasionally one finds a setting that seems tailor-made for a performance. The circular stage of the Roundabout could, at a push, accommodate a handful of actors at any given time. Yet Alex Griffin-Griffiths, playing Marc in this new play by Alan Harris, fills up the space, and reaches deep into the audience.

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Review: The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk – Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

First published in The Times, Friday August 18 2017

Four Stars

The painter Marc Chagall often depicted himself and his first wife, Bella Rosenfeld, as lovers floating through the air. An equally poignant image is that of Bella “with white collar” as a giant standing over a pastoral landscape. Chagall would outlive his great love by some 40 years, but her vitality and quiet strength would loom large in his work until he died.

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Review: Goody – Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

First published in The Times, Thursday August 17 2017

Three Stars

Roll up, roll up – the circus is back in town. The music as we enter the big top may be full of fanfare, but an air of melancholy pervades the atmosphere backstage. Having dragged his uncomprehending charges around the states of 1930s Dustbowl America for more years than he cares to remember, trainer Francis (played by Jesse Rutherford) is dejected, lonely, spent. He longs for one final perfect routine from his performing chimpanzee (Lucy Roslyn).

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