Slipskin

4 stars

What exactly does "slipskin" mean? Sami Stone's touching show – part stand-up, part storytelling, part lament for things lost – does advance several suggestions. But the true definition is saved till the very end… a fitting sign-off for a story about words and their meanings, the things we teach our children, and how simple pleasures can often be best.

Review by Richard Stamp published on Friday 8 June | Read more

Other People's Teeth

3 stars

Billed as a "romantic crime thriller", Other People's Teeth is the tale of two interlocking relationships. One is conventional rom-com fare: the feisty Joss is dating the geeky Simon, who attempts to woo her with convoluted mathematical reasoning and games of chess. But the other relationship is between Joss and her boss Sol, and that partnership is anything but everyday. Because Sol is a hitman, Joss is his right-hand woman… and Sol isn't about to let the newcomer Simon get in the way.

Review by Richard Stamp published on Friday 8 June | Read more

Pibroch Tales

2 stars

There's one thing I dearly wish I'd known before going into Pibroch Tales: you are supposed to find it funny. I guess the opening is clue enough, with its sense of solemn ritual marred by noisy clattering and clumsy moves. But I think I was entitled to be confused: the flyer promises "a vibrant blend of storytelling, dance, comedy and bagpipe music", and what I actually got was something approaching a pastiche of high art.

Review by Richard Stamp published on Monday 4 June | Read more

Falkland: The War the World Forgot

3 stars

In 1982, a voice-over tells us, "a tiny island went to war… but nobody noticed". A controversial claim maybe, but certainly – when it comes to Fringe theatre – the Falklands conflict remains relatively unexplored. Set mainly on a remote farm on these remote islands, Falkland: The War The World Forgot aims to show the impact of the war, both on local people and the servicemen sent to liberate them. It also places the events in historical context, stretching back to the Troubles in Northern Ireland and even the Blitz in London.

Review by Richard Stamp published on Sunday 3 June | Read more

Bon Ami

4 stars

If you believe the programme blurb, Bon Ami is about social isolation, loneliness, and the risks of living alone. Which is sort-of true, but that sounds so very heavy; I'd prefer to spin it around. Bon Ami is a sharp artistic parody, a hilarious physical comedy, and – most importantly – a joyful celebration of friendship in all its many forms.

Review by Richard Stamp published on Saturday 2 June | Read more

Bully Beef

3 stars

"Bully beef" is a type of canned meat: flesh encased in metal. So there's grim humour in the title of this newly-written play, set inside a prototype British tank stranded between the front lines of the First World War. The crew, trapped inside, can't leave their iron prison; but the German army sense the chance to commandeer this frightening new war-machine, and daren't risk deploying heavy fire. The stage is set for a deadly stand-off, where the nature of duty is hotly debated, and passions both inside and outside the tank run high.

Review by Richard Stamp published on Saturday 2 June | Read more

Margo & Mr Whatsit

5 stars

When you grew up, did you have an imaginary friend? I never did – but Sophia, the young girl at the centre of this big-hearted tale, makes up for my omission by having two of them. This funny yet meaningful show is really meant for children, but it's charming and spirited enough to awaken the child in us all; it tackles some huge and difficult topics, yet every moment is filled with magic, ebullience, and joy.

Review by Richard Stamp published on Saturday 2 June | Read more

Brighton Queen of Slaughtering Places

4 stars

Murders, and murderers, seem to fascinate us all. We can't get enough of true-crime stories – the more gothic and grisly the better. A couple of centuries ago, we'd have scratched that itch by attending public hangings; in this more enlightened age, we simply go to Fringe shows. Brighton, Queen of Slaughtering Places is well aware of that irony, gently critiquing its own genre even as it tells a satisfyingly bloodstained tale.

Review by Richard Stamp published on Friday 1 June | Read more

Griffin and Jones: Trickorice Allsorts

4 stars

It can be so frustrating, reviewing magic shows. The very best thing about this one – the thing which utterly fooled and confounded me, the thing which made me gasp with delight – is the one thing I absolutely mustn't reveal. But I can safely tell you that Trickorice Allsorts is one of the most outright-enjoyable magic shows I've seen in years: packed to bursting with high-quality illusions, and topped up by unforced comic banter.

Review by Richard Stamp published on Friday 1 June | Read more

Magnus Volk's Electric Train of Thought

4 stars

Magnus Volk's Electric Train Of Thought is a little piece of theatre: only 20 minutes long, performed in a tiny room, for an audience of just a dozen or so. But size isn't everything. There's a lot packed into this miniature package – some local history, some genuine science, and an insight into the character of a late-Victorian pioneer.

Review by Richard Stamp published on Wednesday 30 May | Read more

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