Based on James Joyce's seminal novel, Ulysses, this is the tale of Leopold Bloom, an Irish philanderer, and his day in the city of Dublin, exploring his fears and familial insecurities. Set against the backdrop of a country on the verge of revolution, Glasgow's Tron Theatre Company bring one of the most studied books of the twentieth century to the stage in this exciting, vulgar and richly textured production.
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Let me be frank: if you think you know what you’re about to see based on the play’s summary, you’d be wrong. Described as a “fast-paced, brutally poignant coming of age story” the play is actually a lot more entertaining than it sounds. Two is the Beginning of the End is quite possibly the closest fiction can get to reality. Often blurring the lines between characters, actors, spectators and directors, the play is much like adolescence: short, energetic, awkward and nostalgic.
The Tower Theatre Company's production of 'Entertaining Mr Orton' by Martin Mulgrew imagines Joe Orton's story the way the playwright himself would have told it. Whilst this makes for interesting viewing, the very Sixties-led humour means that you end up glad that certain jokes are no longer in use.
Surreal staging meets Hitchcock’s bleak tale of the ‘The Birds’. This original work tackles four forgotten victims of the feathered fiends’ attack, now holed up in Coronet Cinema. These elderly ladies, played by the spritely Devon-based Jammy Voo company, trained at the prestigious Jacques Lecoq School of Theatre in Paris.
Summerhall's Victorian Anatomy Lecture Theatre plays host to the tale of one isolated woman, lost in tragedy and to the necessity of making lists.
The story begins with smoke. It ends with a little boy's grey face. Mark O'Rowe's sensational two-man play, now re-imagined as a one-man tour de force, bursts forth from actor Tom Vaughan-Lawlor like a fever.
David Cameron, David Beckham and Prince William, sharing a hotel during England’s bid for the 2016 World Cup. It should have been brilliant.
One of the most highly-anticipated shows of the Fringe, Making News is a fast-moving satire about the BBC. It is the latest production from Robert Khan and Tom Salinsky, writers of last year’s hit Coalition.
As the audience files into the darkened ballroom, the stage is already occupied: three men sit at three separate desks, writing letters. They are immersed in their tasks, unaware of the audience’s arrival. The lights dim further, and a recorded voice begins: a news report outlining the horrific crimes committed by each of the men: Ian Brady, the Moors Murderer; Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper; and Dennis Nilsen, the Muswell Hill Murderer.
Apparently, the average person lives for 29146.3 days (that's 79.8 years to you and me). Though 'On the One Hand' begins with this and other similar statistical assessments of human life, this fantastically moving production goes on to prove that we are much more than boxes we tick on forms, or the roles that life deals us.
Comparisons to The League of Gentlemen should be taken as well deserved flattery, though I suspect this young company are perhaps a little too cool to take on the mantle of Messrs. Dyson Gatiss, Pemberton and Shearsmith. There’s a bit of Tim Burton in there too along with a lavish helping of Grizzly Tales for Gruesome Kids (younger readers may miss that reference).
Missing is an astonishing blend of physical theatre, dance and puppetry, in which creator Amit Lahav displays a mastery over set mechanics and movement to rival that of Robert Lepage. Whilst each of these elements are singularly impressive, the company’s most significant achievement is that they never once let the production overwhelm its own narrative. Lily’s story is given the space it needs to breathe and is sure to strike a chord with anyone who has ever felt that a piece of them has gone missing – be it through depression, trauma, growing older or inattentiveness. It is rare to see such technical theatre wizardry serve so small and human a story so well.
Fight Night is the live theatre version of a Rubik's cube: a twisting, turning puzzle box that an audience can literally get its hands on. On entry, each audience member is given a device much like a calculator, before being addressed by tonight’s ‘host.’ He explains that over the course of the evening we will be given questions viewable on the screens hanging above his head, we will then be given a series of numerical options. The questions themselves relate directly to what’s happening on stage as we begin to vote which actors stay and which go.
Puppets, video footage and physical movement combine to make this adaptation of Kafka’s Metamorphosis both inventive and original. In this rendition, Gregor, the travelling salesman-turned-insect, is a young lady and instead of being transformed into a giant bug, she wakes up to find she has become an old woman.
The lights go up on a tiny black-draped stage to show a heavily-bearded Karl Marx bending over a desk, a handgun firmly in his mouth. Marx (Ben Blow, who also wrote the play) is a drunken syphilitic waster who frequents prostitutes and bullies his faithful but weak sidekick, Friedrich Engels, played by Mathew Jebb. While Europe is gripped by revolution, Marx gets drunk and has lots of sex, and Engels runs around doing whatever Marx tells him (“He said he’d hurt my Mum if I didn’t.”), with hilarious results.
Triggered by the brutal gang rape on a bus in Delhi last December of Jyoti Singh Pandey, nicknamed 'Nirbhaya' (the fearless one) by the press, women and men in their thousands came together at last to protest about the treatment of women and girls in India.
There was already a substantial queue for this lunchtime show very early on, and with the legend that is Steven Berkoff performing his new material, it’s no surprise that so many are impatient to see it, having predicted that it's bound to be a triumph.
An immensely provocative, uncomfortable and powerful production, stunningly played by the Badac theatre company, Anna tells the stories of the Russian journalist, Anna Politkovskaya, and those she interviewed during the second Russia/Chechnya war – victims of torture and abuse, parents of abducted children, soldiers overseeing the pits where prisoners of war were kept, trying to suppress her reports. The play builds inevitably towards her murder in the lift of her apartment block in 2006.
Scroobius Pip is enlightening spoken word for the masses. Bearded, brilliant and dressed in black, Pip introduces himself and announces that this is the first time he’s taken a tour to the Fringe. Pip has kindly made sure that his Pleasance room contains a bar, so that people might feel more comfortable as he recites his poetry.
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