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The Curse of Cranholme Abbey – Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

woman with book man with lantern

Writer: Tim Norton with Jo Billington Director: Tim Norton and Jo Billington with Ed Sayer and Kathryn Norton-Smith Reviewer: Tom Ralphs The Curse of Cranholme Abbey is a very well-written ghost story that spans several generations and mixes youthful optimism and naivety with dark history and unending curses. It evokes period dramas and the Woman in Black, as well as ...

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A Hunger Artist – Zoo, Edinburgh

emaciated man in vest and shorts

Writer: Josh Luxenberg from Franz Kafka Director: Joshua William Gelb Reviewer: Tom Ralphs Is it entertaining to watch someone starve themselves? There once was a time when crowds would go to theatres simply to marvel at men who hadn’t eaten for up to forty days. The appeal eventually ended, and the hunger artist became a mere sideshow attraction. Franz Kafka’s ...

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Alexander Bennett’s Terrifying Smile – Heroes @ Dragonfly, Edinburgh

man in a ripped black suit

Writer: Alexander Bennett Reviewer: Faye Hadley Alexander Bennett, winner of the 1993 ‘Most Beautiful Baby’s Smile’ competition at Butlins, has had a tough year. These two facts form the basis of his latest stand up show. While the details of why 2016 proved to be so difficult are scarcely revealed, the show remains deeply personal and, for the most part, ...

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Thom Tuck: An August Institution – Heroes @ Dragonfly, Edinburgh

man posing on a bed

Reviewer: Faye Hadley As his aptly titled show suggests Thom Tuck is a staple of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. This August, like many before it, he is appearing in numerous shows along with his solo stand-up. Embodying the anarchic spirit of the festival his performances encompass everything from indie band tribute acts to sketch shows. In his sixteenth consecutive Fringe and ...

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Breakfast Plays: Birth – Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

syringe, gun, pregnancy test, baby bottle with money inside

Reviewer: Emily Hall This year, Traverse Theatre’s breakfast plays were selected from a collection from The Birth Project, an organisation promoting discussion about global health inequality. Four plays make up B!rth, focusing on motherhood in the UK, the US, Syria and India respectively. This review covers Choices by Stacey Gregg, a poignant reflection on female experiences of birth in the ...

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The Other Guys: A Tribute to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons – C Venue, Edinburgh

four men in lih=ght coloured suits singing

Reviewer: Tom Ralphs The original boyband. For anyone who believes that choreographed dance routines behind microphones began with Westlife and Boyzone, the Other Guys show where they got the blueprint from, and provide an hour of sing-along nostalgia that leaves the audience smiling. Nick Martland, Joe Bishop, Raymond Walsh and Dickie Wood are the four singers, ably supported by a seven-piece ...

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Stand By – Army@TheFringe Summerhall, Edinburgh

man in police riot uniform

Writer: Adam McNamara Director:  Joe Douglas Reviewer: Tom Ralphs Four police officers sit in a riot van as a domestic dispute turns into a hostage situation that a negotiator is failing to resolve. The officers, and audience, have single-earpiece headphones, through which they’re kept informed about developments. It has all the ingredients for a tense, ticking clock, drama, but in trying ...

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Cathy – Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh

woman clearly upset poiting at someone out of shot

Writer: Ali Taylor Director: Adrian Jackson Reviewer: Deborah Klayman Inspired by Ken Loach’s seminal 1966 film Cathy Come Home and reimagined for the present day, Ali Taylor’s Cathy tells the story of a hard-working mum’s descent into destitution and homelessness, and of a system that seems to work against her rather than for her benefit. The eponymous Cathy (Cathy Owens) ...

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