Edinburgh Fringe theatre reviews

The Time Out theatre team pass judgement on Edinburgh's theatrical Fringe Festival offerings

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The Bunker plays

  • Rated as: 3/5

It's an interesting premise, if a little arbitrary and a smidgen restrictive: stage three very different plays adapted from drama from wildly varied eras in a replica of a tiny bunker in a trench in world war one.

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Boris & Sergey II Perilous Escapade

  • Rated as: 3/5

A pair of diminutive Japanese-style bunraku puppets, Russian brothers Boris and Sergey made their debut last year in Flabbergast Theatre's 'Boris & Sergey's Vaudevillian Adventure', which achieved cult Fringe status.

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I Wish I Was Lonely

  • Rated as: 4/5

Hannah Jane Walker and Chris Thorpe's piece at the new Forest Fringe venue in Edinburgh looks at the way mobile phones and social networking has taken over the way we relate to people.

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Solfatara

  • Rated as: 3/5

Catalan company Atresbandes brings fresh meaning to the phrase: there are three people in this relationship. 

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My Pregnant Brother

  • Rated as: 3/5

Johanna Nutter's piece is less about Nutter's brother, who gave birth to a baby girl after changing gender and more about Nutter herself.

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L'apres-midi d'un Foehn

  • Rated as: 4/5

Company Non Nova's piece is basically just lots of plastic bags floating around in the air. But it's beautiful.

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Banksy: The Room in the Elephant

  • Rated as: 3/5

Tom Wainwright's script concerns another character whose life has been changed by an encounter with the anonymous graffiti painter Banksy. 

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Major Tom

  • Rated as: 3/5

It sounds like the premise for a particularly insane BBC3 documentary: urged on by friends and family, performer Victoria Melody decided to enter her enormous Basset hound Major Tom into the world of professional dog shows.

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Blam!

  • Rated as: 4/5

Denmark-based performer Kristján Ingimarsson and his physical theatre company Neander have tapped into  mischievous workplace urges in this completely bonkers dance piece 'Blam!'.

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Hag

  • Rated as: 4/5

The Wrong Crowd theatre company tell the dark tale of Baba Yaga, an old, haggard, revolting woman who promises to eat as many little children as she can get her hands on. 

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The Three Lions

  • Rated as: 3/5

Packing them in at the Pleasance, this jolly sort-of-satire is a farcical imagining of Britain’s doomed bid for the 2018 World Cup.

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Credible Likeable Superstar Role Model

  • Rated as: 5/5

The unexpectedly allegorical fruit of a yearlong project with very deep roots in the real world, ‘Credible Likeable Superstar Role Model’ is the fascinating new show from Bryony Kimmings, and perhaps her richest yet.

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Our Glass House

  • Rated as: 3/5

It's only after a 30 minute bus or taxi ride to the outskirts of Edinburgh that you'll find this show from theatre company Common Wealth which explores issues surrounding domestic abuse.

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Our Fathers

  • Rated as: 4/5

This show starts with a very modern fatherhood problem, but becomes an exploration of the timeless question of what it means to be a dad.

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Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs review

  • Rated as: 4/5

Shiver me timbers! Here's a show for kids with lots of heart, lots of fun and a little bit of fear. New theatre company Les Petits have adapted Giles Andreae and Russell Ayto's book which features the winning combination of pirates and dinosaurs.

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The Shawshank Redemption

  • Rated as: 4/5

One of the most popular shows on the Fringe this year is this new adaptation of Stephen King's novella, which was made into an Oscar-nominated film in 1994 starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman.

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There Has Possibly Been an Incident

  • Rated as: 4/5

Chris Thorpe’s new poetry play is an oblique, unsettling work that feels like it’s come quietly out of nowhere to crawl improbably close to the heart of the current political theatre zeitgeist.

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Metamorphosis

  • Rated as: 2/5

There's something very self-indulgent about this piece. Rather than a re-telling of Franz Kafka's extraordinary, surreal masterwork, the show is more of a highly personal interpretive reaction.

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Hamlet

  • Rated as: 4/5

The Wooster Group's mind-boggling mash up of their own take on Shakespeare's play and a 1964 Broadway production is as strange and technically dazzling a ‘Hamlet’ as you’ll ever see. 

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Leaving Planet Earth

  • Rated as: 3/5

Site specific theatre specialists Grid Iron’s latest show is a haunting sci-fi epic that purports to take us on a journey from our own, ravaged planet to the paradisiacal colony of New Earth. 

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The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning

  • Rated as: 4/5

John E McGrath’s dizzying National Theatre of Wales production comes across like ‘Black Watch’ jacked up on acid and technology.

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Fleabag

  • Rated as: 4/5

Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s one woman show ‘Fleabag’ is unbelievably rude, jaw-droppingly filthy and she’s almost certainly going to go to hell for it. It is also extremely funny.

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Quietly review

  • Rated as: 5/5

It’s March 28, 2009, Northern Ireland is playing Poland in a World Cup qualifier, and there’s tension on the streets of Belfast...

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The Secret Agent

  • Rated as: 2/5

This overegged vaudeville-style adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s great 1907 novel takes the source text’s concern with anarchy as a starting point and then takes a flying leap into the waters of borderline incoherence. 

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I'm with the Band

  • Rated as: 2/5

Tim Price’s new play with songs drags a conceit out over an entire play, one without the wit, the ambition or the tunes to even begin to fill 90 minutes.

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The Events

  • Rated as: 4/5

This extraordinary new work from playwright David Greig is scarcely more the ‘Anders Brevik musical’ of rumour than his current West End smash ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ is.

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Grounded

  • Rated as: 4/5

George Brant’s monologue runs for a season at Edinburgh’s Traverse before heading Londonwards.

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Squally Showers

  • Rated as: 3/5

‘Anchorman’ meets ‘Good Morning Britain’ in this bonkers new production from Little Bulb Theatre Company

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Chalk Farm

  • Rated as: 3/5

Kieran Hurley and AJ Taudeven’s ‘Chalk Farm’ has been talked up as a play ‘about’ the 2011 London riots

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Nirbhaya

  • Rated as: 4/5

South African director-playwright Yael Farber’s new show brings together a troupe of five Indian victims of physical and sexual abuse

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Visit our guide to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Discover which shows our critics think are unmissable (no matter how late that pub you wree in closed last night) and discover the best places to eat and get back on it with our Edinburgh Fringe Festival guide.

Visit our guide to the Edinburgh Festival


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