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Kemble's Riot
Published on Monday, 16 July 2012
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preview

Pleasance Dome (venue website)
Theatre
1-12, 14-27 Aug, 4:00pm-5:00pm

 Family-friendly. Suitable for all ages.

With the arts convulsed by funding cuts, and financial corruption once again in the news, it’s an auspicious time to recreate Kemble’s Riot.  Two centuries ago, a Covent Garden theatre was closed by 66 days of popular uproar – kicked off by the failings of big business, and the price extracted from the common man.  It’s an intriguing tale, but this is no strait-laced historical drama.  Think of it more as a panto for grown-ups… where you’ll be called on to bellow, stamp, and behave very badly, all in the name of Theatre.

It’s a good-tempered but liberating experience, we wrote, in our five star review for the show’s debut in Brighton.  Guided by two whipper-uppers seated at the front of the audience, you’ll be asked to side with either the protestors or the management… though you may find your loyalties change, as uncomfortable truths unfold on-stage.  But it’s not all fun and games: the eponymous Kemble, caught in the midst of it all, cuts a lonely and tragic figure, too proud to renounce his preening ambition yet on the point of destroying all he holds dear.

It was that mix of bombast and poignancy which particularly impressed us, and we weren’t the only ones the feel that way – leading local reviewer Latest 7 gave Kemble’s Riot their prestigious award for the best theatre show of the Brighton Fringe.  Kemble himself has been re-cast in the time since then, so we’ll have to wait to see how new leading actor Richard Hansell performs.  But if it’s anywhere near as good as it was down in Brighton, we predict you’ll have a riot of a time.

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FROM OUR ARCHIVES

These are archived reviews of shows from Edinburgh 2012.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.

Edinburgh 2012 Five Stars

5 stars Comedy
Totally Tom


5 stars Comedy
The Magical Adventures of Pete Heat


5 stars Theatre
Bye Bye World


5 stars Comedy
Barbershopera: The Three Musketeers


5 stars Comedy
Truth


5 stars Theatre
The House of Shadows


5 stars Cabaret
Briefs


5 stars Theatre
Made for Each Other - Free


5 stars Comedy
Tony Law: Nonsense Overdrive


5 stars Comedy
Ivo Graham and Liam Williams


5 stars Comedy
Hannibal Buress: Still Saying Stuff


5 stars Comedy
The Blanks' Big Break


5 stars Theatre
A Clockwork Orange


5 stars Comedy
Richard Wiseman: Psychobabble


5 stars Comedy
Martin Mor: A Man You Donít Meet Everyday


5 stars Theatre
1984


5 stars Comedy
Swedenborg, the Devil and Me


5 stars Theatre
The Trench


5 stars Theatre
Casablanca: The Gin Joint Cut


5 stars Theatre
Joyced!


5 stars Theatre
An Evening With Dementia


5 stars Comedy
Scott Agnew: Tales of the Sauna


5 stars Theatre
Comedian Dies in the Middle of Joke


5 stars Comedy
Chris Ramsey: Feeling Lucky


5 stars Comedy
The Horne Section - Live at the Grand!


5 stars Theatre
How to Disappear Completely and Never Be Found


5 stars Theatre
The Life and Sort of Death of Eric Argyle


5 stars Theatre
Songs of Lear


5 stars Cabaret
Jonny Woo: Wonder Woo-Man


5 stars Comedy
Josie Long: Romance and Adventure


5 stars Comedy
10 Films With My Dad


5 stars Theatre
4.48 Psychosis


5 stars Theatre
As You Like It


5 stars Theatre
Appointment With The Wicker Man


5 stars Comedy
Jessie Cave: Bookworm


5 stars Comedy
Morgan & West: Lying, Cheating Scoundrels


5 stars Theatre
Hearts on Fire


5 stars Theatre
Rainbow


5 stars Comedy
Chris Dangerfield: Sex Tourist


5 stars Comedy
Chris McCausland: Not Blind Enough


5 stars Theatre
Chatroom


5 stars Comedy
Peacock & Gamble Don't Even Want To Be On Telly Anyway


5 stars Theatre
I Heart Hamas: And Other Things I'm Afraid to Tell You


5 stars Comedy
John Robertson - The Dark Room - Free


5 stars Kids'
Dr Brown Brown Brown Brown Brown and His Singing Tiger