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Brighton 2010: Reviews Archive

These are archived reviews from the Brighton Fringe in May 2010.  We keep archived reviews online as a courtesy to performers, and to help members of the public researching the history of a show. 

We've picked seven of the very best shows for our Editor's Choice awards this year.  Read about our winners >>



 
Masculinity: My part in its Downfall
Published on Monday, 10 May 2010

Matt Rudge's show probably has my favourite title of any in the Festival. And its premise sounds brilliant: after losing half his manhood in a have-a-go-hero incident, Rudge goes on a quest to discover what really makes a man. I was expecting a thought-provoking and entertaining night of stand-up. But sadly, for me, the show didn't live up to the promise.

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Call Mr Robeson
Published on Sunday, 09 May 2010

Last night’s audience stamped their feet as they applauded Tayo Aluko’s easy performance, capturing the life of black actor/singer Paul Robeson. Robeson is renowned for his 1920’s rendition of Ol’ Man River in the musical Showboat, and accompanied by piano, Tayo Aluko delivered this and plenty of other songs from the deep south.  Performed in a beautiful bass voice which surely did justice to Robeson’s, the songs were carefully chosen to complement the narration, and enhanced this thought-provoking evening’s entertainment.

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Five Clever Courtesans
Published on Sunday, 09 May 2010

A packed Fringe programme requires a discerning choice of event, if you’re not to miss out on the best that’s on offer. This performance will not disappoint; it’s a combination of excellent writing, confident and talented performance, and food for thought which you’ll savour long after it’s finished. In short, it’s first-class entertainment.

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Lovers Walk
Published on Sunday, 09 May 2010

A man and a woman with matching bags and umbrellas are waiting for us in Pavilion Gardens.  We’re dropped straight into the narrative, and I’m instantly gripped: the lovelorn Matt is trailing the unattainable Rosie, furtive yet somehow wanting to be seen.  And then, just as it’s getting really interesting, we’re on the move – striding towards the Lanes and the next episode in their embryonic romance.

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Winter at Rushton Manor
Published on Saturday, 08 May 2010

According to the programme which accompanies Winter at Rushton Manor, this period-piece parody is comedy for comedy’s sake; “a dialogue-driven script in which not a great deal actually happens on stage”.  Ah, but there’s the rub.  Sad to say, I fear writer-director Dan R Martin has penned a potential hit – but badly flubbed it with languid staging.

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The No. 9 Bus To Utopia
Published on Saturday, 08 May 2010

It’s a long way to Utopia – and there’s a bloody great hill along the way.  But the bus trip and hike out to the super-sustainable Earthship is a fitting way to start this show, itself a thoughtful and amiable departure from the rat-race of the Fringe.  I stuffed my iPhone and its urgent warblings to the bottom of my pocket; I breathed in the fresh air of Stanmer Park, and for the first time since I arrived in Brighton, truly enjoyed the freedom of the open sky.

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When All the Crowds Have Gone
Published on Friday, 07 May 2010

Lucy Nordberg’s play belies expectation.  I was unsure whether this tale, of self-made mogul John differing with his biographer on the theme of his life story, would be sufficient to capture my attention.  Surely a conflict between biographer and subject is what everyone expects?  However, the familiar themes of sibling rivalry and the (ab)use of money to exert power are set within an entertaining exposé of John’s personal drama. The more I reflect on the play, the more I’m convinced it brings a fresh perspective to the human dilemma.

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Farewell to the Tooth Fairy
Published on Friday, 07 May 2010

I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Lynn Ruth Miller was at first unprepossessing; at 5ft tall, her frail 77-year-old frame was not enhanced by top-to-toe turquoise. Contrary to initial impressions, though, I quickly felt as safe relaxing into her confident narration as I was curled up on my own grandmother’s knee.  She cared to tell her history, and I listened as though it was my own.

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Tuesday by Edward Bond
Published on Friday, 07 May 2010

This is a play about courage: the courage it takes a soldier to go to war, the courage to face the horrors he’s seen and the courage to confront the greater horrors which lurk behind his eyes.  It must have taken courage, as well, to work with as formidable a playwright as Edward Bond; not merely staging his script, but updating it for the conflicts of our own generation.  But from the intense, believable opening right through to the cruel finale, it’s clear that fortune has favoured the brave.

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All-Male Cabaret from Der Wunderlich Revue
Published on Thursday, 06 May 2010

In the space of little more than a year, Der Wunderlich Revue has become something of a Brighton institution.  It’s a joyous, fast-paced show which combines male cabaret acts with kitsch male strippers – “Boylesque” – producing something fun and uplifting, and a refreshing change from the usual cookie-cutter cabaret.

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FROM OUR ARCHIVES

These are archived reviews of shows from Brighton 2010.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.