Joseph Morpurgo is unlike other comedians. Every year he marks himself out with wildly inventive shows that keep the audience gripped from start to finish. Each show follows the same basic format: a flawed character telling his story using excellent multimedia effects, but so far they have all been wildly, inventively different in every other regard.
Review by Elsa Maishman originally published at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2017 |
LadyFace is in situ awaiting our arrival, swigging Fanta and eating Hula Hoops from her fingers as retro music plays. Clad in leotard, tutu and silver cowboy boots – and with a cardboard box on her head – it's a joyously childlike scene. This box, together with a cardboard sign and washing airer stacked with more cardboard boxes, are the first nod to her refuse-based props and set. It's a sweet and sour mixture of girly fluffiness and everyday earthiness, which complement one another.
Review by Tamarin Fountain originally published at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2017 |
Playwright Steven Berkoff described East as “a scream or a shout of pain” – and certainly, this portrayal of the East End of his childhood is a brutal and uncompromising one. But still, this is an entertaining and enjoyable production, thanks both to Berkoff’s writing and the slickly-delivered efforts of a talented ensemble. The end result might tend more towards comedy than darkness, but the five characters’ stories still prove thought-provoking and, sometimes, poignant.
Review by Richard Stamp originally published at the Brighton Fringe in 2016 |
Memories are all we have in the end; so says our ageing raconteur. But he has Alzheimer’s disease, and is in a bid to record his life story before he forgets everything.
In this engaging and funny solo show, writer and performer Dylan Cole becomes Austin Michaels, former Scrabble World Champion. Where once Michaels knew literally thousands of words, now he resorts to writing singular nouns on Post-Its – "granny", "house" – and speaking into a dictaphone to record events he wishes to remember.
Review by Catherine Meek originally published at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2017 |
Fishhouse Theatre were the word-of-mouth hit of last year’s Buxton Fringe, with their tender play Cloaks. This year, ambitiously, they're back up at the Lee Wood Hotel with three shows each day. Being Julie Andrews features one of the stars of Cloaks, Lesley Emery, in a deeply personal story – her own. As she puts it at the start, she wants to share her story so she can get on with her career as an actress, telling other people's.
Review by Stephen Walker originally published at the Buxton Fringe in 2017 |