Reviews

Review: The Cure, Glasgow Summer Sessions 2019 Rating 96%

Review: The Cure, Glasgow Summer Sessions 2019

It was 20th July 1989. At seventeen I was dressed appropriately in a biker’s leather atop a miniature-flower laden black shirt, skin-tight black jeans with laces up each side, scuffed-up basketball boots and a mop of dishevelled dark hair, short at the back, long fringe. I took a bus to Birmingham with some friends. It was The Cure’s Disintegration Tour at the NEC. They opened, as the album does, with Plainsong, followed by Pictures of You. It was awesome. Little was I to know at the time that Disintegration eventually defined them as a band. No punk, no pop, pure goth in Smith’s genre-leading interpretation.

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Review: Police Cops – Badass Be Thy Name, Fringe 2019 Rating 93%

Review: Police Cops – Badass Be Thy Name, Fringe 2019

It’s 1990s Manchester, at the height of the Manchester rave scene. Clubbers are being killed by vampires on the orders of Satan himself. The police don’t want to get involved. Manchester’s night life can only be saved by Tommy (a call centre worker by day, Mad-For-It clubber by night) and Father Badass, a defrocked priest.

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Review: Mouthpiece, Fringe 2019 Rating 92%

Review: Mouthpiece, Fringe 2019

“Art is anal produce, art is anal produce,” a comic but key line in Kieran Hurley’s new play, Mouthpiece, uttered by Declan, performed by Angus Taylor. After a critically acclaimed London run, the powerful Traverse Theatre play about class, culture and appropriation hits the Fringe with a strong casting. Shauna MacDonald, as Libby, the playwright transformed by her friendship with disenfranchised Declan, performs a complex role, not only as protagonist and some degree of rational thinking, but also as antagonist and narrator. Evocatively fierce, both Angus and Shauna shine in this work of Hurley’s.

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Review: Drone, Fringe 2019 Rating 90%

Review: Drone, Fringe 2019

Drone is not an easy performance to summarise, let alone assign a numerical value to. It was a long time before my thoughts had settled enough to write this review. Drone is not a light show, to be seen casually or on a whim. Harry Josephine Giles delivers each line with the gravitas and articulacy of a born performer: even watching Giles do something as simple as drink a glass of water is utterly arresting. There is bravado in their delivery, and humour, and above all vulnerability, that draws the viewer in, inviting you to listen and watch with as much of yourself as they give of themself.

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Review: La Galerie, Fringe 2019 Rating 90%

Review: La Galerie, Fringe 2019

It must be tough running a circus in a PC world where (quite rightly) animals may not be exploited, and children are more interested in pixels than sawdust. No wonder so many have had to fold up their tents for the last time. So what happens to all those jugglers, strongmen, unicyclists, acrobats, and clowns pouring out of circus schools every year, looking for work?

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Review: Fishbowl, Fringe 2019 Rating 100%

Review: Fishbowl, Fringe 2019

Fishbowl is an award-winning French mime show, but don’t let that put you off. It is brilliant.
The set is a row of small apartments, seen in cross section. Each interior reflects the distinct character of its occupant: the obsessive compulsive businessman lives in sterile white minimalism; the scruffy hoarder lives in a mess of cardboard boxes; and the clumsy free-spirit has gone with Womb-Pink as her signature colour.

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Review: Ed Byrne – If I’m Honest, Fringe 2019 Rating 50%

Review: Ed Byrne – If I’m Honest, Fringe 2019

Let’s start with some gentle racism: the Irish are affable, always ‘up for the craic’, charming tellers of tales, foul-mouthed poets with a talent for the surreal. I dare you, name an Irish comic who doesn’t fit that mould*: from Dave Allen to Dara O Briain, Spike Milligan to Mrs. Brown, Irish comedians have a major advantage before they even step on the stage. Tonight, Ed Byrne bounces on stage (in a red lame jacket).

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Review: Christine Bovill – Tonight You Belong To Me, Fringe 2019 Rating 95%

Review: Christine Bovill – Tonight You Belong To Me, Fringe 2019

Want a show that takes you on a seamless journey across the Atlantic to New York of the roaring 1920s from the renaissance of jazz after the Great War right through to the Great Depression and the Wall Street Crash then this is it! Entertainment on a level to be expected by a Scottish singer whose previous shows at the Fringe gained her The Spirit of the Fringe Award in 2017.

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Review: The Journey of (Tini) Martini Enlightenment, Fringe 2019 Rating 90%

Review: The Journey of (Tini) Martini Enlightenment, Fringe 2019

The Hendricks Gin experiences have been an annual fixture at the Fringe for some time. A few years ago I was lucky enough to get a seat on their bus, disguised as a giant cucumber no less, for an amusing and highly enjoyable elegant gin tea combined with a comedy guided city tour. Tickets were priced ridiculously low (it included a gin cocktail in a teapot, G&T and macaron for a few pounds), perhaps as it was being used chiefly as a marketing vehicle. Then last year they offered a brief free gin tasting comedy experience at their pop up in Assembly Gardens. In 2019 they have launched a paid and ticketed show.

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