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Reviews from the Edinburgh Fringe

Waiting for a review of your show?  We have a handful still to publish this year, mainly of shows we reviewed over the closing weekend.  They're coming in the next couple of days.

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Away From Home
Published on Saturday, 23 August 2014
3

3 stars

Zoo (venue website)
Theatre
2-10, 12-17, 19-26 Aug, 12:30pm-1:30pm
Reviewed by Lizzie Bell

 Family-friendly. Suitable for all ages.

Theatre With Teeth live up to their name, with this deep and sometimes dark show about dealing with a death you know is coming – and how science is changing and affecting this scenario. As a woman and her friends prepare for her inevitable demise, their story is interspersed with the science of stem cells and embryonic development. The Nobel prize mentioned in the title, and whose implications are explored, is that of Gurdon and Yamanaka in 2012 – who discovered that skin cells could be reprogrammed to become like stem cells, bringing hope for new treatments for a range of conditions.

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The Moth of August
Published on Friday, 22 August 2014
4

4 stars

Assembly George Square (venue website)
Theatre
1-12, 14-19, 21-26 Aug, 12:15pm-1:30pm
Reviewed by Richard Stamp

 Parents or guardians should consider the content of this show if children are attending.

“We shall not, we shall not be moved” blared the soundtrack from the Seekers, as we filed out of the theatre and into the lunchtime sun. Well, I beg to differ; at times I was deeply moved by this unlikely tale of rivalry and camaraderie, built around what initially seems the most improbable of themes. It’s a wry look back at the golden age of British wrestling – a time when, incredibly, up to twelve million people watched staged fights between overweight champions, shown live every Saturday on ITV.

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My Uncle's Shoes
Published on Friday, 22 August 2014
4

4 stars

Venue 13 (venue website)
Theatre
3-11, 13-24 Aug, 2:45pm-3:35pm
Reviewed by Richard Stamp

 Recommended for age 12+ only.

It happened ten years before I was born, but I’ve always known about the horror of Aberfan. At 9:15 one morning in October 1966, this Welsh mining village was engulfed by a landslide – a torrent of colliery debris, loosened by heavy rainfall but primed by the negligence of the National Coal Board. In a cruel stroke of timing, it swept through a junior school just after morning assembly, catching the pupils as they took to their desks on the very last day of term. 116 children and 28 adults died, buried among the coal waste and the soil.

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Back of the Bus
Published on Friday, 22 August 2014
3

3 stars

Laughing Horse @ The Counting House (venue website)
Theatre
1-11, 13-18, 20-25 Aug, 6:15pm-7:15pm
Reviewed by Richard Stamp

 Free and unticketed. No pre-booking required.
 Recommended for age 16+ only.

It took a certain amount of chutzpah to stride into this show, clutching my reviewer’s notebook in my hand. After all, it’s the real-life tale of how Peter Michael Marino’s musical version of Desperately Seeking Susan – with a soundtrack from Blondie! – closed after just four weeks on London’s West End. And if you believe the pre-show publicity, the critics who savaged Marino’s musical were very much to blame.

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Don't Let Go
Published on Thursday, 21 August 2014
4

4 stars

The Stand Comedy Club II (venue website)
Comedy
3-11, 13-25 Aug, 11:10am-12:10pm
Reviewed by Mathilda Gregory

 Recommended for age 14+ only.

In last year’s War Donkey, Bridget Christie talked about her new-found interest in feminism. Since then, she’s made a very funny radio show about the subject – and now has created a full hour on sexism, and how she thinks it ought to be tackled.

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Early Doors
Published on Thursday, 21 August 2014
3

3 stars

C venues - C (venue website)
Musicals
31 Jul, 1-12, 14-26 Aug, 12:15pm-1:55pm
Reviewed by Richard Stamp

 Parents or guardians should consider the content of this show if children are attending.

If you’re not a student of political philosophy, you’ve probably never heard of John Rawls. Don’t worry; I hadn’t, either. But I now know that he was a Harvard professor; that he wrote his magnum opus, A Theory Of Justice, in 1971; that it’s quite dull to read, but fairly well-regarded, and that it’s built on three key principles (creatively titled 1, 2a and 2b). I know all that as a result of watching this bizarre, brave, deranged, intelligent, creative and ever-so-slightly magnificent musical.

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Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo
Published on Thursday, 21 August 2014
4

4 stars

theSpace @ Surgeons Hall (venue website)
Musicals
12-17, 19-23 Aug, 2:15pm-3:45pm
Reviewed by Ellen Macpherson

 Recommended for age 12+ only.

For a student of politics and history like me, there could barely be a more appealing show than Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins. I know almost every political assassination like the back of my hand, and I’m a huge fan of musicals when I'm not stuck poring over my textbooks. Coupled with the fact that I’ve seen and loved Cambridge’s forays into Fringe theatre in the past few years, I got to Surgeon's Hall buzzing with excitement at this latest musical adaptation, which bridges the line between comedy and drama seamlessly. The only flaws I really found were not a fault of CUADC, but of the original musical itself (she says, as they cry blasphemy!)

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Chef
Published on Thursday, 21 August 2014
2

2 stars

Greenside (venue website)
Dance and Physical Theatre
12-16, 19-24 Aug, 6:40pm-7:25pm
Reviewed by Ellen Macpherson

 Parents or guardians should consider the content of this show if children are attending.

Entita Theatre have created the ultimate outlandish Bard adaptation – Shakespeare on a plane. In a forty-five minute whirlwind of a production, they have transformed the characters of The Tempest into gossip-mongering, flight-fearing, interpretive dancers. I was quite excited to see the results. Unfortunately, there’s not actually much to see; it’s more smooth cruising with a couple of bumps than the tempestuous and disturbing piece of theatre it could have been.

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Goodbye Gunther
Published on Thursday, 21 August 2014
4

4 stars

Greenside (venue website)
Theatre
2-10, 12-17, 19-24 Aug, 8:50pm-9:40pm
Reviewed by Ellen Macpherson

 Recommended for age 12+ only.

When you read the programme blurb for this production, it sounds more like Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein than Young Frankenstein. However, don’t be fooled. This production is a top-notch comedy about the effects of science on humanity, filled with physicality and high energy. Quirky, deep and witty, this production is one for those that love the odd mad scientist...or three.

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Eric's Tales of the Sea A Submariner's Yarn
Published on Thursday, 21 August 2014
4

4 stars

Pleasance Dome (venue website)
Theatre
31 Jul, 1-6, 8-17 Aug, 1:40pm-2:40pm
Reviewed by Richard Stamp

 Recommended for age 12+ only.

If I ask you to think about violence in Zimbabwe, you’ll probably picture the eviction of white farmers in the early 2000’s or the bloodshed and intimidation surrounding the presidential election of 2008. But the story goes back far further than that; and this intense one-man play from London’s Chickenshed Theatre throws the spotlight on another troubled period from the country’s past. Set during the dying days of Ian Smith’s government and the transition to black majority rule, it paints a bleak but vivid picture of young man caught between powerful forces, and of hope for the future turning to banishment and despair.

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