Review Round-Ups

Edinburgh Festival 2018: all our reviews in one place

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe and International Festival are underway, here’s all our reviews from the Scottish capital

Jennifer Kidwell and Scott R. Sheppard in Underground Railroad Game
Jennifer Kidwell and Scott R. Sheppard in Underground Railroad Game

© Ben Arons

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Cold Blood, King's Theatre, times vary
Sarah Crompton: "They conjure wonders, using the hands of three dancers to tell their stories." Read more.

Mistero Buffo, Underbelly, Cowgate, 19.20
Matt Trueman: "This is, in short, a tour de force. Spooner, spinning between characters and sweating like a trooper, summons the spirit of Lee Evans as the lowly jongleur. It's a shapeshifting, body-popping, mesmerising performance."
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Ulster American, Traverse Theatre, times vary
Sarah Crompton: "What a brave, savage writer David Ireland is! There are moments in this play that are so shockingly provocative, so laugh-out-loud funny while simultaneously curl-into-a-ball-and cringe-worrying that I found my mouth was actually open." Read more.

Underground Railroad Game, Traverse Theatre, times vary
Sarah Crompton: "You can only admire the fearlessness of Kidwell and Sheppard, for their courage not only in creating so bold and unsettling a piece of theatre, but for their searing commitment to performing it." Read more.

Julie Hesmondhalgh in The Greatest Play in the History of the World
Julie Hesmondhalgh in The Greatest Play in the History of the World
© Sid Scott

★ ★ ★ ★

[Insertsloganhere], Zoo Charteris, 18.10
Matt Trueman: "Over a playful, gently probing hour, [insert slogan here] exposes advertising's tropes and techniques – partly to derail them, partly to put them to better use."
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A Fortunate Man, Summerhall, 16:30
Matt Trueman: "As quietly considered and unshowily sophisticated as its protagonist, A Fortunate Man is a show that takes care." Read more.

Angry Alan, Underbelly Cowgate, 15:20
Sarah Crompton: " It is a fierce, clear warning of what is going on, and it is utterly terrifying." Read more.

Big Aftermath of a Small Disclosure, Summerhall, 14:50
Matt Trueman: "Mark Weinman adds a vital comic touch as Sjon, but this is a serious examination of the state we're in." Read more.

Island Town, Summerhall, times vary
Sarah Crompton: "Katherine Pearce, Jack Wilkinson and Charlotte O'Leary mine every aspect of their complex characters. The result is a depressing but engrossing triumph of empathy." Read more.

It's True, It's True, It's True, Underbelly Cowgate, 14:50
Sarah Crompton: "What's brilliant about Breach Theatre's production is the way it uses a bare-bones aesthetic… Terrific stuff." Read more.

Kieran Hodgson: 75, Pleasance Courtyard, times vary
Sarah Crompton: "Hodgson makes you laugh, but he also makes you think. It's a tremendous show." Read more.

My Left/Right Foot – The Musical, Assembly Roxy, 18:10
Sarah Crompton: "The premise of this new show… that puts disabled artists centre-stage, is a cracker." Read more.

Nigel Slater's Toast, Traverse, times vary
Sarah Crompton: "It's hard to resist a show that features a "baked goods" supplier, hands out mini lemon meringue tarts and walnut whips." Read more.

The Political History of Smack and Crack, Summerhall, 17.30
Daisy Bowie-Sell: "While Ed Edwards' play for Paines Plough isn't exactly a thorough and extensive history of the origins of the titular opiates, it does manage deftly and persuasively to put the story of their rise in popularity in this country into perspective. " Read more

Stick By Me, Dance Base, 12:30
Matt Trueman: "As in Manley's previous Fringe hit White, there's something delightful about children's theatre that dares to stay small." Read more.

The Greatest Play in the History of the World, Traverse, times vary
Sarah Crompton: "Julie Hesmondhalgh is such a truthful actor… This monologue about life and love and time is a remarkable gift to her distinctive talent from her writer husband Ian Kershaw. It's just magical." Read more.

User Not Found, Traverse at Jeelie Piece Café, times vary
Sarah Crompton: "It is moving and challenging, with Goode's script finding an elegiac poise." Read more.

Vertical Influences, Assembly at Murrayfield Ice Rink, times vary
Sarah Crompton: "Wrap up warm and then sit back and just be thrilled by the majesty, the command and the sheer confidence of the whole thing." Read more.

Thor and Loki
Thor and Loki
© Geraint Lewis

★ ★ ★

Class, Traverse Theatre, times vary
Matt Trueman: "Thematically tidy and careful with its incremental dramas, Class is nonetheless rather contrived." Read more.

Coriolanus Vanishes, Traverse Theatre, times vary
Daisy Bowie-Sell "Coriolanus Vanishes is a case of style over substance. A compelling performance and some impressive designs don't manage to hide its flaws."
Read more

Don't Tell Me Not To Fly, Underbelly, McEwan Hall, 17:00
Sarah Crompton: "It is a durable format and should provide an enjoyable tea break for Fringe-goers." Read more.

Hunch, Assembly Roxy, 17.05
Matt Trueman: "Likeable and diverting, it's just lacking in guts." Read more.

Infinita, Pleasance Courtyard, 13:30
Alex Wood: "Stretched over 90 minutes the content may sometimes dazzle but frequently wears thin, with the hijinks sparsely spread." Read more.

Killymuck, Underbelly Bristo Square, 18:25
Matt Trueman: "Despite sporadic commentary sections that fold key sociological stats into the story Killymuck doesn't always stick to its own (enormous) question of social immobility." Read more.

Meek, Traverse Theatre, times vary
Sarah Crompton: "It's unfortunate for Penelope Skinner that The Handmaid's Tale has become such a worldwide TV phenomenon before the premiere of her play Meek, commissioned four years ago, with which it shares a theme and an aesthetic." Read more.

No Kids, Pleasance Courtyard, 15.40
Daisy Bowie-Sell: "No Kids is an up-beat and often very funny demonstration of the modern conundrum of whether or not to have children." Read more

On the Exhale, Traverse Theatre, times vary
Sarah Crompton: "Zimmerman's language detracts from the direct impact… and that straining for effect when his subject really does not need it, turns the play into a heartfelt melodrama." Read more.

Songlines, Pleasance Courtyard, 15.15
Daisy Bowie-Sell "Songlines will likely still melt most people's hearts. It's a quiet, classic Fringe gem – the sort of show you could easily recommend to pretty much anyone." Read more

Sparks, Pleasance Courtyard, 11:30
Sarah Crompton: "I came out humming, a sure sign of real promise in musical writers. These are women to watch." Read more.

Square Go, Summerhall, 20:20
Matt Trueman: "Undoubtedly, it's all a whole lot of fun." Read more.

Status, Summerhall, 19.55
Daisy Bowie-Sell: "It's layered and funny, with rocky guitar songs played by Thorpe interspersing his text. But where Confirmation really builds up a dramatic intensity, Status never reaches a similar climax." Read more

Sticks and Stones, Summerhall, times vary
Sarah Crompton: "Vinay Patel's script is spiky. It's a cartoon vision, but its targets are pointed and he hits them with skill." Read more

Thor and Loki, Assembly Roxy, 19.15
Sarah Crompton: "I hope Blake will go on to write better and more subtle shows that actually have something to say. But for now, this passes the time very entertainingly." Read more.

Toujours et Pres de Moi, Assembly Roxy, 15.00
Matt Trueman: "Erratica's wordless opera brings the technique into the present. Instead of real objects, tucked out of sight, it bounces projected images into empty space – two tricks of the light in one. " Read more

We've Got Each Other, Pleasance Dome, 22.50
Alex Wood: "It's one man, Paul O'Donnell, trying to make that show happen – alone. Imagine a low-budget cross between Bat Out of Hell and Strictly Ballroom performed solo, in a small upstairs venue, coming to you live from the West End (of east Edinburgh) with an Ikea lamp as a spotlight."Read more

What Girls Are Made Of, Traverse Theatre, times vary
Sarah Crompton: "It's all very enjoyable and quite moving… but for all its skill and charm… it feels a bit thin, unable to escape the specifics in order to point a more universal truth." Read more.


© Peter Dibdin

★ ★

Midsummer, The Hub, 20:00
Sarah Crompton: "The humour of the piece just about survives, but not the warmth. It all feels shouted and rather desperate." Read more.

There's no one-star reviews, yet.

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