Review: I Love You…But, Fringe 2018 Rating 67%

Review: I Love You…But, Fringe 2018

Many years ago, when I was writing a play about domestic violence I found a list on the internet titled something like “20 ways to know if you are being psychologically abused.” It was unpleasant reading, mainly because emotional abuse is often subtle and covert, and (for the one on the receiving end) imperceptible at first.

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Review: Big Love, Fringe 2018 Rating 52%

Review: Big Love, Fringe 2018

I’ve often wondered what or who the American High School Theatre Festival is or are. It seems they bring a bunch of shows and make their home in a single venue, formerly Church Hill Theatre and this year, Central Hall. I was drawn to one of their shows because, like all my Fringe reviews this year, it was longlisted by Amnesty International for the Freedom of Expression Award 2018.

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Review: Standing Up For Equality, EIBF 2018 Rating 87%

Review: Standing Up For Equality, EIBF 2018

With the theme Freedom this year, there was something very appropriate about walking into an event with Laura Bates, who is the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, which importantly pressured the government to make relationships and sex education compulsory, and pushed for guidelines for schools to stop children having to be placed with pupils who assaulted them. She was here to talk about her book Misogynation, which advocates that things like gender pay gap, wolf whistling, and more terrorising acts of racism are systemic.

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Review: A Grim State of Affairs, EIBF 2018 Rating 80%

Review: A Grim State of Affairs, EIBF 2018

Ada Palmer and Cory Doctorow are something of an intellectual dream team. Approaching issues of information control, technology, surveillance and free speech from seemingly opposite perspectives, their work often seems to be in dialogue with each other. Palmer, a historian who spends much of her time looking at historical documents to extract information about the time period, wrote her Terra Ignota series with a view to using science fiction to ask philosophical questions.

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Review: Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin Perform Their Greatest Hits, Fringe 2018 Rating 88%

Review: Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin Perform Their Greatest Hits, Fringe 2018

There’s a palpable feeling of excitement in Summerhall’s Dissection Room. This gig is something of a coup, with Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin playing four of their six 2018 UK shows (the other two are in London) during the Edinburgh Festival, and the crowd is filled with giallo aficionados and zombiephiles eager to witness this legendary soundtrack composer live. The band enter the stage one by one, the applause gradually increasing, until Simonetti himself appears to roars of approval, smiling graciously. Simonetti perhaps doesn’t look quite how you might expect a composer of cult horror soundtracks to look, a little more like your cool, eccentric uncle, in colourful suit jacket and red-framed glasses. The rest of the band more than pick up the gothic slack however, with drummer Titta Tani and guitarist Bruno Previtali both dressed smart (metal) casual in all black, and bassist Cecilia Nappo, who presents a statuesque centre stage presence throughout, looking 100% rock in black crop top, hot pants and a wide studded belt. Simonetti positions himself amongst his huge bank of synthesizers at the left of the stage, obligatory devil-horn hand signs are flashed, and we’re ready to roll.

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Review: Glasgow Garden Festival ’18 Rating 88%

Review: Glasgow Garden Festival ’18

“There’s more to this place than just a misplaced traffic cone.” Jamie Scott has created and curated The Glasgow Garden Festival ’18, celebrating the 30th anniversary of The Glasgow Garden Festival ’88. A long-forgotten event with hardly a mark left as proof of its existence, Scott’s record and event seeks to contextualise the impact it had on the city, what it could have stood for, and where Glasgow has gone in the years since.
Poet Liam Patrick Hainey, introduced as Glasgow’s makar, commences proceedings (alongside a Princess Diana lookalike and a bloke in a Prince Charles mask) with a class-conscious take on the notion that People Make Glasgow. Rousing and angry words are a brief overture of what is to come from an evening of city-wide introspection, remembering that behind the slogans and sheen, there has always been a people forgotten about.

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Review: Dreamgun – Silence of the Lambs, Fringe 2018 Rating 61%

Review: Dreamgun – Silence of the Lambs, Fringe 2018

The premise of Dreamgun sounds swell, and right up the alley of a previous film student (yes, I did consume movies to get a degree) so we took ourselves to the Underbelly Dairy Room, situated round the back of the Teviot building, an offshoot of Bristo Square, in one of those stunning University buildings. To put you straight this group of Irish comedians and actors take a film script, doctoring it to produce an hour long parody, performed by the same group of cast unrehearsed, which thereby has no shortage of adlib or a comic wit, it lends itself to that rather nicely.

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Review: Freedom to Write, EIBF 2018 Rating 80%

Review: Freedom to Write, EIBF 2018

The theme of freedom kicked off on Saturday with a discussion of the issues faced by today’s writers and publishers. Author and Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award judge Raman Mundair, board-member at Publishing Scotland, Moira Forsyth and Chair of Literature Alliance Scotland, Peggy Hughes, were joined by author Jan Carson, who was on the National Centre of Literature’s showcase last year.

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