Reviews

Review: Wil Greenway – These Trees the Autumn Leaves Alone, Fringe 2017 Rating 55%

Review: Wil Greenway – These Trees the Autumn Leaves Alone, Fringe 2017

“If this is not the show you are looking for then go out, it’s out there somewhere,” says Wil Greenway at the close of These Trees the Autumn Leaves Alone. “I’m sorry if you didn’t like the show, we tried our best.” This is not my show and I didn’t like it. But I also know that they – they being Greenway and indie folk duo Kathryn Langshaw and Will Galloway – tried their best and that this most certainly someone’s show and they will love it. Maybe it’s you. Maybe you think I’m being cynical or unfair. Maybe I am. But these people were kind to me and I want to reciprocate, hoping that I can help them find their audience. Call me Cupid, why don’t you?

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Review: Teju Cole, EIBF 2017 Rating 98%

Review: Teju Cole, EIBF 2017

There are some people who are simply a pleasure to listen to and learn from, who exude such easy intelligence and warmth that you leave their presence with renewed hope about the power of art and writing – Teju Cole is such a person. The multi-award winning, American-born Nigerian writer of Open City, returned to Edinburgh International Book Festival to discuss his new work, Blind Spot, a cross-genre work featuring photography and text which explore the worlds of vision and writing.

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Review: Julia Hobsbawm, EIBF 2017 Rating 90%

Review: Julia Hobsbawm, EIBF 2017

From the outset, Julia Hobsbawm’s chutzpah is apparent. In age of endless data creation and manipulation, of speed and deadlines, of efficiency and complexity, here stands a business woman saying, ‘wait, a second – what on earth are we doing?’ Her book, Fully Connected, argues not to return to a time of wistful nostalgia, to those pre-internet days when apparently we all got on and understood one another, but instead to pause for a moment and reassess whether the route we are going down is an altogether healthy one (she points to how global productivity is stagnant, for instance).

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Review: Johan Norberg, EIBF 2017 Rating 85%

Review: Johan Norberg, EIBF 2017

The event begins with the chair, Julia Hobsbawm, asking the audience to raise their hands if they currently felt optimistic about the world, and predictably only a few hands fly into the air. Johan Norberg, a Swedish academic and author of Progress: Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future, smiles knowingly. He knows this is the case and knows that this is why we are all here: because we want to be convinced otherwise. 

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Review: Fránçois and the Atlas Mountains – NEHH, Summerhall Rating 89%

Review: Fránçois and the Atlas Mountains – NEHH, Summerhall

Fránçois and the Atlas Mountains prove time and time again that they are an adaptable, versatile, yet always energetic band of talent, and this time round it was in Edinburgh’s Summerhall that they did so, playing as part of the Nothing Ever Happens Here programme of events. Supported by their friends, the duo known as RAZA, Fránçois Marry, Amaury Ranger, Gerard Black and the guys played to a crowd psyched to catch them in the Dissection Room of Edinburgh’s old veterinary college.

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Review: Harry Giles and Katherena Vermette, EIBF 2017 Rating 90%

Review: Harry Giles and Katherena Vermette, EIBF 2017

“This is a nice way to meet the audience!” trills our host, Ryan Van Winkle, as he passes out little red books to a roomful of expectant listeners. Inside, excerpts of ten writers’ work. Five are Scottish, and five are from the Americas. The Outriders project, of which this book is just a small part, saw these writers paired together not only to share stories, but to travel together in different corners of the New World, which of course is the Old World too, though this is often forgotten. 

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Review: Limmy, EIBF 2017 Rating 75%

Review: Limmy, EIBF 2017

The Edinburgh International Book Festival is fabulous for throwing some curveballs into their programme, and this event was precisely that, bringing in a different audience than usual and keeping things live, fresh and damn right funny.

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Review: Last Clown on Earth, Fringe 2017 Rating 88%

Review: Last Clown on Earth, Fringe 2017

Walking out of the Last Clown on Earth, there is little in the way of words to describe what we had just seen; an assault to the senses, which began with what looked like a beggar scrambling over our heads to make his way to the stage. Celebrating twenty years since their Fringe debut, award-winning Russian physical theatre company Derevo return with their solo masterpiece, which immortalises the notion of the clown, a mimed cycle of self-sacrifice and rebirth.

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Review: TUTU – Dance In All Its Glory, Fringe 2017 Rating 80%

Review: TUTU – Dance In All Its Glory, Fringe 2017

“Dance in All Its Glory” is how the TUTU men are pitching their Fringe performance and glorious it is. It is also joyful and funny and beyond energetic. Tutus and tulle do feature heavily, and it transpires that they are a surprisingly versatile materials. You can go classic (with briefs) or down to the ankles in frills to create an almost bear like lower half, or even put it on your head to become a fruit of some kind.

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Review: Chris Dugdale – Up Close!, Fringe 2017 Rating 85%

Review: Chris Dugdale – Up Close!, Fringe 2017

After a bold entrance, Chris Dugdale uses his magic to stun and mesmerise the crowd, proving he is that one step quicker and more in tune than the rest of us with this show that incorporates audience participation, a subtle introduction to how the tricks are performed and a full list of information on how to get kicked out of any casino in Las Vegas. A dab hand at card and observational tricks, Dugdale continuously shocks the audience in this sold out show, converting even the most cynical punter. 

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Review: Courtney Act – The Girl From Oz, Fringe 2017 Rating 90%

Review: Courtney Act – The Girl From Oz, Fringe 2017

As I sit down to write this I wonder how much of my word count I can waste talking about Ru Paul’s Drag Race. The answer is probably a lot but in truth I’d rather focus on the wonderful show I’ve just seen. Things get off to a good start, opening with a rendition of Olivia Newton-John & ELO’s Xanadu while Courtney tumbles around the stage on a pair of red sequined rollerskates that I am more than a little jealous of.

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