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Glory on Earth

A vibrant, youthful and feisty Mary Stuart duels verbally with a dark, dour and determined John Knox. But when you suddenly realise that the harp playing on stage is actually rendering Party Fears Two, an '80s Associates song,  you realise that this play is here to remind us that history can still deliver a definitively contemporary message. Although born in Scotland, Mary Stuart lived in France for most of her [...]

By | May 25th, 2017|4-star|0 Comments

Hay Fever

L-R: Rosemary Boyle, Susan-Wooldridge, Charlie Archer. Photo credit-Mihaela Bodlovic Noel Coward was, and still is known for his fast wit, and for snappy dialogue in his writing, and Hay Fever is one of his most enduring works. But it’s difficult to follow a conversation when the dialogue is too fast. Unfortunately, that’s what’s taking place on stage right from the start. The actors playing siblings Sorel and Simon [...]

By | March 16th, 2017|3-star|0 Comments

The Winter’s Tale

Photo Credit: Mihaela Bodlovic If ever you wanted to know just how joyous and vibrant Shakespeare can be, come see this production. But don't expect the cast to be leaping around in tights and cod-pieces. The shift of costume is to the 21st century, and to a very Scottish place - it also has a shift of language and attitude that, like the best of Shakespeare's work, makes [...]

By | February 22nd, 2017|5-star|0 Comments

Picnic at Hanging Rock

Picnic at Hanging Rock - Photo: Pia Johnson There’s a volcanic rumbling beneath this deftly staged production, and the stark minimalism of the set design and staging add to the sense of something dark, primal and unstoppable at work. The story at the heart of Picnic at Hanging Rock centres on the unexplained disappearance of three schoolgirls and one of their teachers on Valentine’s Day, 1900, based on [...]

By | January 16th, 2017|4-star|0 Comments

That 2,500 year old feminist

There are a few things that immediately set this production of The Suppliant Women apart. One is the libation at the start - a local politician is invited to use a bottle of wine to anoint the thrust-forward, open stage. Real politician. Real wine. The names of those who have contributed financially to the play are read out at the start. Real names. Real numbers. And the chorus, being the [...]

By | October 2nd, 2016|5-star|0 Comments

Isabelle Georges – Oh Là Là

Oh boy - can this lady sing! And move. Isabelle Georges is a force of nature - and it’s a very specifically Parisian force of nature. From the very start, she dominates the room with her stage presence and her voice and movement. You’re in the presence of a brilliant performer, with a brilliant band to accompany her - piano, double bass, drums and sax/clarinet. It’s a 7:45 show, but [...]

By | August 27th, 2016|5-star|0 Comments

Can I Stop You There?

In this show, the compères interrupt the comedians. Several times over. And every night, it’s a new set of comedians and a new set of interruptions. Add to this the fact you’re in an intimate venue, it’s after 11pm, and many of the audience are ‘quite receptive to laughter’ or ‘a wee bit drunk’ and you have a promising recipe for success. Jo Caulfield and Stuart Murphy are our hosts, [...]

By | August 25th, 2016|5-star|0 Comments

Jo Caulfield – Pretending to Care

I’m not sure Jo cares about show reviews. And I’m not sure this reviewer cares that she cares. But I have to report that her show is tight, funny, focused, and may occasionally make you snort, titter, wet yourself or cause you to cast your spit on the person in front of you. That is, if you’re anything like the person sat behind me. I can’t be 100% sure about [...]

By | August 18th, 2016|5-star|0 Comments

Christine Bovill – Paris

It's a good job it's dark inside the Spiegeltent, because nobody could see the tears that kept appearing out of the corner of my right eye. Hrumph. Must have been a bit of grit in there. Christine Bovill. Photo by @nazipova Christine Bovill is probably best known for her iconic Piaf perfromances, where she devastates with the shimmering, sonorous and tremolo quality that Piaf's voice had. Paris is a more [...]

By | August 13th, 2016|5-star|1 Comment

Viv Groskop – Be more Margo

For those young enough not to have seen the TV series ‘The Good Life’, which ran from 1975-1978, this is the Wikipedia entry for Margo Leadbetter. “Margo cannot understand her neighbours' lifestyle, but their friendship is important to her. As a child, Margo Sturgess, she was bullied at school for having no sense of humour. A social climber, staunchly Conservative and unafraid to challenge anyone who gets on her nerves, [...]

By | August 6th, 2016|5-star|0 Comments