Reviews

Review: Lisa Alvarado, Alex Olson and Daniel Sinsel Rating 67%

Review: Lisa Alvarado, Alex Olson and Daniel Sinsel

Within young gallery, Mary Mary Gallery, situated in the heart of Glasgow’s centre, sits an ambitious three-person exhibition, three painters that seek to ambitiously present ideas in a non-conformity fashion. Vibrant, and experimental, all three are not obviously linked but certainly share these approaches, as the three root themselves in a more textural application of paint.

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Review: Taupe Rating 70%

Review: Taupe

Taupe describe themselves thusly: “a Newcastle-upon-Tyne based trio specialising in razor-sharp polyrhythmic play, exploratory improvisation and raw, high energy live performance.” In person, they’re a spare, suburban-looking three piece group, led by Jamie Stockbridge on the sax, with Mike Parr Burman and Adam Stapleford on guitar and drums. They played Edinburgh’s Jazz bar to a gradually thickening Thursday-night crowd, ending their set with a packed house.

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Review: Hamish Hawk – Swannanoa Rating 85%

Review: Hamish Hawk – Swannanoa

For his third release, Edinburgh-based singer-songwriter Hamish Hawk has capitalised on the great promise of his earlier recordings to produce a finely-crafted and coherent set of songs which represent a step-change in his song-writing development. Essentially, Swannanoa is a collection of three beautiful piano ballads, written during Hamish’s tour of the USA earlier this year. Each song bears the Hamish Hawk trademarks of warmth, wit and wordsmithery; and together they conjure up a sense of the space and wonderment one might experience in the course of a US road-trip.

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Review: Cinderella Rating 90%

Review: Cinderella

I’ll admit it – I love panto. Done well, it’s absolutely brilliant. And to those who say, “Oh no it isn’t!” don’t worry. I have done my utmost to ensure that this is an impartial review, free of catchphrases and corny one-liners. How, you ask? My response – take someone to the show who most decidedly DOES NOT want to come. Okay, he’s not quite five years old and doesn’t even properly know what panto is, but still. He’s not going, my opinionated companion tells me, and that’s that.

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Review: The Arabian Nights Rating 79%

Review: The Arabian Nights

Why have one story in your Christmas show when you could have a whole collection of them? In Suhayla El-Bushra’s new telling of The Arabian Nights at the Lyceum, directed by Joe Douglas, a stubborn and resourceful young girl named Scheherazade – played very likeably by Rehanna MacDonald – must use her storytelling to save her mother and the other inhabitants of Baghdad’s marketplace from imprisonment by the Sultan. There’s intrigue. There’s shadow puppetry. There’s a sock genie and dogs making fart jokes. In short, it’s everything you could want from a fun, charming night at the theatre.

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Review: Perfect Blue Rating 95%

Review: Perfect Blue

Twenty years on from its initial release, the late Satoshi Kon’s debut feature still dazzles and disturbs like few other films. This tale of Mima (Junko Iwao), a young pop singer turned aspiring actress whose mind begins to unravel under the strain of both exploitative people and a medium that encourages it, carries extra resonance today with the recent revelations regarding historic abuse from powerful men in Hollywood.

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Review: How the Sun Got to Coco’s House by Bob Graham Rating 85%

Review: How the Sun Got to Coco’s House by Bob Graham

Bob Graham’s most recent title, How the Sun Got to Coco’s House, was highly commended for the Charlotte Zolotow award, and it’s easy to see why. As the title suggests, it relates how the sun travels around the world during the Earth’s orbit, eventually finding its way to the home of a little girl called Coco and illuminating her day playing in the snow with her friends.

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Review: Seamus Fogarty and Alabaster dePlume Rating 83%

Review: Seamus Fogarty and Alabaster dePlume

An evening of sublime encouragement, Lost Map’s Alabaster dePlume kicked off the evening at the Hug and Pint telling his audience, “You’re doing very well” before he kicked into his formidable, sinister and yet astute set. Seamus Fogarty and band headlined the evening, performing tracks from Domino release, The Curious Hand.

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Review: Protomartyr Rating 81%

Review: Protomartyr

Protomartyr singer Joe Casey cuts a diminished figure as he shuffles onto the CCA stage; one that the Tumblr page ‘Descriptions of Joe Casey’ has long celebrated in the most evocative language. With such high praise of Casey as “an inverse Bono”, “an insurance salesman” and “an agitated salaryman who had one drink too many at happy hour” having already preceded this review, it’s difficult to know what more I can offer.

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Review: La Clique Noel Rating 90%

Review: La Clique Noel

Thirteen years after its conception by director David Bates, La Clique Noel is still going strong and it’s no surprise. The Underbelly delivers once again with this kaleidoscopic whirlwind of a show – think ‘best of the Fringe’ – the finest in their field of entertainment have been cherry-picked to make this a whopper of a show, which shrewdly caters to all tastes when it comes to entertainment.

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Review: Legally Blonde Rating 75%

Review: Legally Blonde

The point of Legally Blonde – or at least this version of Legally Blonde, directed by Anthony Williams – isn’t so much what happens, as how it feels. Personally, I think that’s one of the things that makes theatre different from other modes of storytelling – the experience of being in a room with the rest of the audience, the rest of the performers, and sharing the feelings, the electricity. And this production goes all out, precisely as it should do: there’s technicolour set, dozens upon dozens of costume changes, frequent full-company dance breaks, glitter balls over the auditorium. The lighting designer has clearly had a field day. The result is exuberant, lively, and just all round a really great room to spend three hours in.

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