Review: Tim Key – Megadate

As we file into Traverse 1, Tim Key is already pacing in wait. Pint in hand he eyes up his audience like prey. Not in a bad way, more in the manner of an eager, if slightly cocky, man in a bar on a Friday night, surveying his prospects. But of course, this is after all a Megadate and we are all on it with him.

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Review: Year Zero

Immerse Productions’ marketing is impressive. The blurb, social media hype, trailer and interviews suggest an exciting, modern and innovative experience that takes a look at political unrest combined alongside what might happen in a catastrophic international emergency scenario. It’s exciting to see immersive theatre happening locally (even during the Fringe the offering is relatively limited) and during the rest of the year it’s practically non existent. Unfortunately this production doesn’t do the genre the best service.

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Review: Wicked

It’s unlikely you’re reading this to find out if Wicked is any good. Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman’s musical has taken the world by storm, or should that be tornado, since its inception in 2003. The thousands of performances in the West End and on Broadway, as well as productions in fourteen more countries, speak volumes, and this touring production at the Edinburgh Playhouse is an unexpectedly brilliant piece of musical theatre. But there’s a lot more to Wicked than just superb production values, performances and hit songs.

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Review: The Persians

In actuality this play contains no Persian characters, but it does contain a Scotswoman and an Irishwoman walking into the office of an Englishman. Sound familiar? This may not be a pub, as the joke goes, but it pretty much turns into one over the course of the play and before long the joke is very much on this trio of hapless, yet strong minded, politicians.

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Review: Matthew Bourne’s Highland Fling

Scottish Ballet’s production of Matthew Bourne’s Highland Fling takes us to the urban back streets of Glasgow on the eve of a wedding. By ballet’s standards, the settings are gritty, although still a heavily sanitised, theatrically charming version of reality, that’s a far cry from actual tough and impoverished Scottish city life. James (Nicholas Shoesmith) and Effie (Roseanna Leney) are celebrating their upcoming nuptials in a rough and ready venue. Dance ensues: a mashup of contemporary, comic clubbing moves and a touch of the highland fling, an element reprised at the couple’s wedding reception the following day. Much is made of the comedy in this section, playing up the drunken behaviour of the revellers, achieving regular ripples of laughter from the audience along the way. It’s hard to emulate these kinds of goings on to a full orchestral soundscape, but here high brow meets low brow in a skilled and thoughtful way, under the careful direction and choreography of the master of ballet.

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