Reviews

Review – Denim: The Reunion Tour

I’m not a fan of supergroups or reunions but put any reservations behind as the girls are back in town. We all know the names – Aphrodite, Crystal, Elektra, Glamrou and Shirley – and have missed them as they’ve gone off to their separate pursuits. The question is, can Denim: The Reunion Tour pull off a mixed audience in a hot, sweaty Edinburgh tent?

Review – From Today Everything Changes

This is a very sweet play. I know that sounds condescending or damning it with faint praise but that’s exactly what it is. This is a very human story but a tale well told and one I’m glad I saw.

Review – Phil Kay: Lighter Hour

The above show description only mentions about half the things Phil Kay covers during a breathless hour in Lighter Hour, while also not doing the performance justice. Kay runs through some of the events in the last year of his life, as well as some longer ago. As ever, he is a comic genius who is quick on his feet and able to interact with the audience.

Review – The Approach

The Approach features four coffee chats with three middle-aged Irish women, sisters Anna and Denise, plus their old friend Cora. The conversations take place just between two women at a time and go full circle.

Review – Check Up: Our NHS at 70

I see Mark Thomas every year and he never disappoints. This time though, he has excelled himself. How does anybody give you an 85 minute show that features a hefty amount of statistics while also making you glad, proud, horrified, hopeful and angry, while leaving you with aching sides from laughing and a desire to improve your own health? Simple, they have to be very, very good at what they do and on top of their game.

Review – Janis Joplin Full Tilt

I was really pleased to see that Janis Joplin Full Tilt was returning for this year’s Fringe. I saw this biographical play by writing/directing team Peter Arnott and Cora Bissett in 2014 and I was immediately tempted to see it again. When a friend said they wanted to go I jumped at the chance and I wasn’t disappointed.

Review – Calling My Tribe

You don’t have to be in your late thirties/forties or be a parent to enjoy this show, but it helps. What you do need though is an understanding of UK culture over the last twenty-five years and preferably have lived through them. You need to know what a Global Hypercolour T-shirt is and how it was such a mind-blowing idea.

Review – The Establishment: Fool Britannia

The Establishment return to Edinburgh with the school day condensed into an hour and what a very silly sixty minutes it is. If you like Monty Python, Vic & Bob or the Mighty Boosh then you will like this. If you think two men spouting nonsense at each other and barely managing not to laugh at themselves is a waste of your time then don’t go to see it. I howled with laughter and am very glad I went.

Review – Archie Maddocks: Matchstick

Having come across Archie Maddocks for the first time last August, I added him to my list of shows to look for this time round. I’m glad he did because this was a great way to spend an hour. For a start, I have never laughed so much at the use of the word amateur in my life. He appreciated that more than my fellow audience members though. He also revealed the most disgusting thing to do to a banana that I’ve ever heard about.

Review – Show Up, Kids!

Peter Michael Marino has returned to the Fringe with Show Up, which I reviewed last year, plus added a children’s version of his an improvised show, along with Sally the Silly Song Singer, who one way or another manages to add to the fun the audience has.

Previews – Returning Shows from 2017

I generally don’t preview shows, simply because I want to see them first hand myself, not praise them based on what other people have said or what is written in a press release. One of the beauty of the Fringe though is that shows come back, either to get a wider audience, because the performers enjoyed it so much they want to do it again or to wring more cash out of old material. The latter doesn’t apply to the following three shows, which I think are well worth seeing.