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: 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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Review: Our Fathers Rating 73%

Review: Our Fathers

As piped organ music sets a reverential scene, writer-performer Rob Drummond circles the audience, asking “Can you remember any of the 10 Commandments?” One woman shouts out, “Adultery!” Drummond shoots back, sharp-as-a-tack, “Not now, I’m working”.

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Review: Cabaret Rating 45%

Review: Cabaret

I arrived for the opening night of Cabaret at the Edinburgh Playhouse feeling utterly unequipped for the night’s proceedings having never seen the original film and knowing nothing about it. The only bit I remembered was that it featured Liza Minnelli using a chair incorrectly. The latest version sees Louise Redknapp pick up the Liza role and due to her and Will Young’s involvement my expectations were sky high. For my age range Louise Redknapp is an iconic figure held in higher regard than Geri from the Spice Girls. Who can forget the three page spread pull-out posters of Louise in Loaded back in the 90s? Not me, obviously.

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Review: Vaults Rating 80%

Review: Vaults

A haunted pub, a series of mysterious deaths that may be linked, and one long night; Vaults is a one-act play by actor and playwright Jonathan Whiteside, performed in situ at locations where ghosts are said to walk. This year it was the vaults beneath Edinburgh’s Banshee Labyrinth, but in 2018 Vaults will be touring at the Withorn Crypts.

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Review: Slava’s Snow Show Rating 60%

Review: Slava’s Snow Show

Hailed as a theatrical masterpiece, Slava’s Snow Show has been winning audiences across the globe for twenty-five years now. It’s creator, Slava Polunin, created the show with the aim of transporting adults back to their childhood dreams, saying, he wanted “a theatre on the edge between art and life, tragedy and comedy, absurdity and innocence… eluding all definition and uniformity”. I think we can safely agree that he has absolutely achieved his dream.

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Review: Paisley the Untold Story, The Spree 2017 Rating 80%

Review: Paisley the Untold Story, The Spree 2017

Having waited long enough for the doors to open, it is still surprising to hear none other than The Doors opening this celebration of all things Paisley. Fans of local club St. Mirren will need no explanation of the aptness of Love Street, a nod to their former stadium, particularly after a choice line from the song was immortalised as the title of a revered cult fanzine, in the 1980s. Tonight, where the creatures meet is Paisley’s magnificent 12C Abbey, historically the community’s more spiritual home.

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Review: Million Dollar Quartet Rating 75%

Review: Million Dollar Quartet

Million Dollar Quartet tells the true story of the legendary night in 1956, on which Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins all found themselves at Sun Records, the label which launched all their careers. The entire show takes place on the same set, unusual for high-end musicals, but entirely suitable for this. The set does change with lighting, while “outdoor” scenes take place in the foreground, but it’s the music and performances that are the focus and the detailed design certainly makes us feel as if we’re there.   

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Review: Cockpit Rating 86%

Review: Cockpit

The Lyceum’s gone all immersive! This apart from anything else is exciting: front of house is all decked out with sandbags and suitcases, the auditorium dressed up with banners and paraphernalia. There are ladders, trapdoors, audience seating on the stage. It’s all terribly thrilling.

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