five stars

FRINGE REVIEW – The Rising

*****

By Veronika Kallus One of the great joys for any fan attending a Bruce Springsteen concert is to witness his humanity and his humility. He is unassuming; he is one with the crowd, one of us. Not less and not more, even though he might look back on a extraordinary career spanning 40 years and […]

FRINGE REVIEW – Brand New Ancients

*****

By Danielle Farrow In Brand New Ancients, Kate Tempest shows a keen ear for rhythm, eye for observation, tongue for communication, mind for description, and heart for humanity. The sheer potential of people is magnificently explored, with pain, banality, joy, hope, fear, expectations, pressures, achievements and successes, and all is offered within a piquant narrative, […]

FRINGE REVIEW – Paper Cinema’s Odyssey

*****

An epic tale of gods, titans and heroes, laden with blistering action, special effects and spectacular locations…all made out of tiny pieces of cardboard? And so Paper Cinema create movie magic with Odyssey, an intricate spell woven from two-dimensional puppetry, video projection and a dynamic and creative live soundtrack. All the while, the executors of […]

FRINGE REVIEW – Hag

*****

By A MacDonald The Wrong Crowd reimagines the Slavic folk tale of Baba Yaga; a loathsome, monstrous woman with a penchant for the taste of children’s flesh. Baba Yaga, played here by the brilliant Laura Cairns, acts as the narrator of this deliciously dark story from a set framed with skulls and atop a pile […]

FRINGE REVIEW – The Trench

*****

Set in and below the trenches of the ‘war to end all wars’, Les Enfants Terribles’ multi-sensory fable is a masterpiece of theatrical storytelling which shows that, no matter how deeply buried, the redemptive light of the human spirit can never be extinguished. Returning after last year’s critically-acclaimed Fringe debut, The Trench tells the tale […]

FRINGE REVIEW – Cab-arette Cab

*****

You certainly get to know your fellow audience members quickly as you enter the genuine Edinburgh black cab which has been transformed into Cab-arette. Lola, your French host for (most of) the hour, has decorated her taxi for the evening, complete with disco ball, twinkly lights and red drapes. Music, tales and laughs all ensue and […]

FRINGE REVIEW – Sonica Presents Robbie Thomson’s Ecstatic

*****

By Jen McGregor If you ever have nightmares about a dystopian future in which the machines have taken over and are hunting for you, the last surviving human, the chances are you will find Ecstatic Arc utterly terrifying. Go and see it anyway. This installation piece, created by Robbie Thomson, is a thrilling opportunity to […]

FRINGE REVIEW – The Seer

*****

By Veronika Kallus Merde! Over, done, gone. Already, too soon. An hour and a bit – and art and beauty and wit and imagination are gone again, the show is over, Underbelly is still Underbelly, Fringe is Fringe again, Edinburgh stays Edinburgh, and rain just simply falls as rain. Gone are the faces and figures […]

FRINGE REVIEW – The Bridge That Tom Built

*****

By Mark Bolsover In a brilliantly written, cleverly staged and beautifully performed solo show, Dominic Allen of Belt Up Theatre’s 2012 Outland , tells his self-penned story of the life of Thomas Paine (1737-1809). Political activist, author and corsetmaker, Paine’s Common Sense is largely regarded to have been critical in laying the foundations of the […]

EIF REVIEW – The Poet Speaks

*****

“Hi!” Patti Smith gives the large projected photo of old friend Allen Ginsberg a cheerful yet poignant wave. Then, turning to face the Playhouse’s capacity audience, she rockets herself into an astonishing and incendiary reading of Footnote To Howl, accompanied by the relentless smoulder of Philip Glass’s piano. Animated as if the poem’s words themselves […]