Edinburgh Festival

Theatre review: Umrao: The Noble Courtesan

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Umrao: The Noble Courtesan, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Billy Barrett. ★★★ Adapted by Simon Mundy from an 1899 novel by the Urdu novelist Mirza Hadi Ruswa, Umrao is the story of a young girl sold into sexual slavery in colonial India. Born Amiran and renamed by her captors, our heroine …

Theatre review: Umrao: The Noble Courtesan

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Umrao: The Noble Courtesan, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Billy Barrett. ★★★ Adapted by Simon Mundy from an 1899 novel by the Urdu novelist Mirza Hadi Ruswa, Umrao is the story of a young girl sold into sexual slavery in colonial India. Born Amiran and renamed by her captors, our heroine …

3
August 28, 2015

Theatre reviews: The Wendy House Trilogy

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: The Wendy House Trilogy: Edmund, Dorothy, Peter reviewed by The Scotsman’s Billy Barrett. The Wendy House Trilogy: Edmund ★★ The Wendy House Trilogy: Dorothy ★★ The Wendy House Trilogy: Peter ★★★ This triptych of interlinked, magical realist stories is staged in Jealous Whale’s purpose-built venue, the Wendy House – a …

Theatre review: Wojtek: The Happy Warrior

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Wojtek: The Happy Warrior, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Billy Barrett. ★★★ Remarkably, Quarter Too’s devised-theatre piece is one of two productions at this year’s festival telling the – even more remarkable – true story of a bear taken in by a Polish army platoon during the Second World War. Syrian …

Theatre review: Wojtek: The Happy Warrior

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Wojtek: The Happy Warrior, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Billy Barrett. ★★★ Remarkably, Quarter Too’s devised-theatre piece is one of two productions at this year’s festival telling the – even more remarkable – true story of a bear taken in by a Polish army platoon during the Second World War. Syrian …

3
August 27, 2015

Theatre review: Inglorious Insinuations of Insanity

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Inglorious Insinuations of Insanity, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Billy Barrett. ★★ One of the less sensitive shows tackling mental health at the Fringe, this madcap comedy explores the mind of a man who hallucinates a pair of troublemaking arsonists. Institutionalised for his symptoms, the patient sits through a series of …

Theatre review: Inglorious Insinuations of Insanity

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Inglorious Insinuations of Insanity, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Billy Barrett. ★★ One of the less sensitive shows tackling mental health at the Fringe, this madcap comedy explores the mind of a man who hallucinates a pair of troublemaking arsonists. Institutionalised for his symptoms, the patient sits through a series of …

2
August 27, 2015

Theatre review: Waking Beauty

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Waking Beauty, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Billy Barrett. ★★★ Once upon a time there was a beautiful young maiden who lived in a cabin in the woods with her mother and who was betrothed to a handsome prince. There was just one problem – she wasn’t really into men. This …

Theatre review: Waking Beauty

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Waking Beauty, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Billy Barrett. ★★★ Once upon a time there was a beautiful young maiden who lived in a cabin in the woods with her mother and who was betrothed to a handsome prince. There was just one problem – she wasn’t really into men. This …

3
August 26, 2015

Theatre review: To Kill a Machine

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: To Kill a Machine, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Billy Barrett. ★★★ The life of code-breaker Alan Turing – recently given the Cumberbatch treatment in the film biopic The Imitation Game – is examined in this inventively staged new play by Catrin Fflur Huws. Using the frame of a gameshow, it …

Theatre review: To Kill a Machine

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: To Kill a Machine, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Billy Barrett. ★★★ The life of code-breaker Alan Turing – recently given the Cumberbatch treatment in the film biopic The Imitation Game – is examined in this inventively staged new play by Catrin Fflur Huws. Using the frame of a gameshow, it …

3
August 26, 2015

Theatre review: The Effects of Solitude

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: The Effects of Solitude, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Billy Barrett ★★ The physical and psychological impact of social isolation comes under the microscope in this solo show about a scientific research project. Alex – played by writer Noni Townsend – submits to an ethically dubious experiment in which participants are …

Theatre review: The Effects of Solitude

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: The Effects of Solitude, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Billy Barrett ★★ The physical and psychological impact of social isolation comes under the microscope in this solo show about a scientific research project. Alex – played by writer Noni Townsend – submits to an ethically dubious experiment in which participants are …

2
August 25, 2015

Theatre review: Much Further Out Than You Thought

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Much Further Out Than You Thought, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Billy Barrett ★★★ “Daddy, what did you do in the Great War?” says the famous First World War propaganda poster. This contemporary monologue set around modern conflicts answers the question to a soldier’s son with brutal honesty, as Lance Corporal …

Theatre review: Much Further Out Than You Thought

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Much Further Out Than You Thought, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Billy Barrett ★★★ “Daddy, what did you do in the Great War?” says the famous First World War propaganda poster. This contemporary monologue set around modern conflicts answers the question to a soldier’s son with brutal honesty, as Lance Corporal …

3
August 25, 2015

Theatre review: Skins and Hoods

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Skins and Hoods, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Billy Barrett ★★★ Gustave Akakpo’s surreally allegorical French drama about racial tensions and diasporic identities is transposed from the banlieues of Paris to the streets of Glasgow in this adaptation by Scottish playwright Katherine Mendelsohn. In a magical realist premise, nine-year-old George reveals …

Theatre review: Skins and Hoods

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Skins and Hoods, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Billy Barrett ★★★ Gustave Akakpo’s surreally allegorical French drama about racial tensions and diasporic identities is transposed from the banlieues of Paris to the streets of Glasgow in this adaptation by Scottish playwright Katherine Mendelsohn. In a magical realist premise, nine-year-old George reveals …

3
August 25, 2015

Theatre review: Savage

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Savage, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Billy Barrett ★ Reading University Drama Society attempts to mine the comic potential of the student flat-share experience in this uninspired “tactical chunder”-filled snapshot of life as a Fresher. There are few laughs to be had with the lazy lad-banter, cliché-laden script, and the absence …

Theatre review: Savage

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Savage, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Billy Barrett ★ Reading University Drama Society attempts to mine the comic potential of the student flat-share experience in this uninspired “tactical chunder”-filled snapshot of life as a Fresher. There are few laughs to be had with the lazy lad-banter, cliché-laden script, and the absence …

1
August 25, 2015

Theatre review: Threesome

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Threesome, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Billy Barrett. ★★★ This laddish comedy starring April Pearson – best known for playing Michelle in the first season of the E4 teen drama Skins – has a brilliantly British awkwardness in its riff on bourgeois sexual mores. A mid-thirties couple go home with a …

Theatre review: Threesome

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Threesome, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Billy Barrett. ★★★ This laddish comedy starring April Pearson – best known for playing Michelle in the first season of the E4 teen drama Skins – has a brilliantly British awkwardness in its riff on bourgeois sexual mores. A mid-thirties couple go home with a …

3
August 24, 2015

Theatre review: Pramkicker

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Pramkicker, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Billy Barrett ★★★ Jude is in therapy because she kicked a yummy mummy’s pram across a coffee shop. Hard. And it fell down the stairs. Fast: bam, bam, bam. But don’t worry – the kid wasn’t in it; she was just getting out some repressed …

Theatre review: Pramkicker

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Pramkicker, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Billy Barrett ★★★ Jude is in therapy because she kicked a yummy mummy’s pram across a coffee shop. Hard. And it fell down the stairs. Fast: bam, bam, bam. But don’t worry – the kid wasn’t in it; she was just getting out some repressed …

3
August 24, 2015

Theatre review: No Strings

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: No Strings, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Billy Barrett. ★★ Carolyn Duffin’s romantic drama about the illicit hotel room encounters between a married man and woman plays out predictably destructively, as Jamie and Shona’s supposedly “no-strings” arrangement eventually ties them inextricably together. Duffin plays nervous, downtrodden Shona to George Drever’s ageing …

Theatre review: No Strings

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: No Strings, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Billy Barrett. ★★ Carolyn Duffin’s romantic drama about the illicit hotel room encounters between a married man and woman plays out predictably destructively, as Jamie and Shona’s supposedly “no-strings” arrangement eventually ties them inextricably together. Duffin plays nervous, downtrodden Shona to George Drever’s ageing …

2
August 24, 2015

Theatre review: How I Became Myself (By Becoming Someone Else)

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: How I Became Myself (By Becoming Someone Else), reviewed by The Scotsman’s Billy Barrett ★★★ What’s in a name? A documentary-maker-turned-performer finds out in this autobiographical show, blending recorded footage with confessional monologue, as Paula Varjack – born Sara Quin, or her Ghanaian name Akosua – describes her transformation from …

Theatre review: How I Became Myself (By Becoming Someone Else)

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: How I Became Myself (By Becoming Someone Else), reviewed by The Scotsman’s Billy Barrett ★★★ What’s in a name? A documentary-maker-turned-performer finds out in this autobiographical show, blending recorded footage with confessional monologue, as Paula Varjack – born Sara Quin, or her Ghanaian name Akosua – describes her transformation from …

3
August 24, 2015

Theatre review: CUT

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: CUT, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Billy Barrett. ★★★★ A shadowy man pursues a woman during a night-time flight. After landing, he stalks her through the airport arrival zone and the streets of an unnamed city. Or is it she who’s pursuing him? CUT smashes together the jagged fragments of a …

Theatre review: CUT

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: CUT, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Billy Barrett. ★★★★ A shadowy man pursues a woman during a night-time flight. After landing, he stalks her through the airport arrival zone and the streets of an unnamed city. Or is it she who’s pursuing him? CUT smashes together the jagged fragments of a …

4
August 24, 2015

Theatre review: Births, Deaths & Marriages

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Births, Deaths & Marriages, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Billy Barrett. ★★★ “Four young people. One long night”, reads the opening credits to this multimedia production,which is stylistically slick but borders on soap opera in content. Births, Deaths & Marriages delivers its title’s promise: a teenager worrying about his girlfriend’s unplanned …

Theatre review: Births, Deaths & Marriages

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Births, Deaths & Marriages, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Billy Barrett. ★★★ “Four young people. One long night”, reads the opening credits to this multimedia production,which is stylistically slick but borders on soap opera in content. Births, Deaths & Marriages delivers its title’s promise: a teenager worrying about his girlfriend’s unplanned …

3
August 24, 2015

Theatre review: Flight Lessons

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Flight Lessons, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Billy Barrett. ★★★ Intercultural identities and the strength of female bonds are the subject of this solo play written by Amy Jephta and performed by Saria Steyl, which captures the difficulties of maintaining long-distance connections over Skype and the often painful experience of settling …

Theatre review: Flight Lessons

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Flight Lessons, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Billy Barrett. ★★★ Intercultural identities and the strength of female bonds are the subject of this solo play written by Amy Jephta and performed by Saria Steyl, which captures the difficulties of maintaining long-distance connections over Skype and the often painful experience of settling …

3
August 20, 2015
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