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South East Reviews

BRIGHTON FRINGE: Last Night at the Circus – The Warren: Theatre Box 

Creator: Jane Postlethwaite Reviewer: Simon Topping As Last Night of the Circus begins the audience are treated to some fabulous images of vintage circus performers, leading us to wonder what the enigmatic title of the show could mean we are about to witness. Just as this thought passes through the mind Jane Postlethwaite happily appears spotlit on stage, bedecked in ...

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BRIGHTON FRINGE: Waiting for Gandalf – Sweet Werks 1

Writer: Adrian Marks Reviewer: Simon Topping It is 2003 as the audience join the queue to meet Gandalf for the upcoming signing of the official movie companion to The Two Towers, due to take place the following day.  Front of the line is Kevin Brook, self-confessed fanatic of all things Lord of the Rings, a seemingly unassuming young man in ...

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This House – Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford

Writer: James Graham Director: Jeremy Herrin Reviewer: Alice Fowler The year is 1974 and Britain has a hung parliament. At Westminster, the Labour and Tory whips must employ every ounce of skulduggery and thuggery. Ahead loom a European referendum and the hornets’ nest of devolution. So far, so familiar? The beauty of James Graham’s excellent play This House, set from ...

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BRIGHTON FRINGE: Blue Sky Thinking – Sweet Dukebox

Creators: Pop Heart Productions    Reviewer: Simon Topping The venue is decorated in post-it notes, with anti-slogan business-speak like: Orange is NOT the new black and Business-Fart. Among the notes on stage are a single office desk and a couple of chairs. As the show begins we meet Penny, a writer of plays and a creative whirlwind, forced to apply for ...

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BRIGHTON FRINGE: Elf Lyons – Swan, Brighton Komedia

Creator: Elf Lyons Reviewer: Simon Topping Elf Lyons’ show Swan is too good to miss. Entering the stage in a parrot costume, bought from eBay for too much money, along with several other ill-advised purchases and speaking Franglish like a combination of Officer Crabtree from Allo Allo, with a pinch of Stanley Unwin, Lyons is already delighting the crowd. The night, we ...

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Merrily We Roll Along – Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford

Writers : Stephen Sondheim and George Furth Director: Charlotte Conquest Reviewer: Steve Turner Stephen Sondheim’s and George Furth’s 1981 musical about the fracturing of friendships and relationships has a somewhat unusual way of delivering its narrative. The action runs backwards in time, each scene set before the previous one, so instead of watching as things disintegrate, we see them at ...

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BRIGHTON FRINGE: I am Somebody – The Warren: The Hat 

Creators: Sirqus Alfon Reviewer: Simon Topping After some torchlight shenanigans and a "scan" of the Brighton audience in the dark, Sirqus Alfon burst onto the stage looking like vibrant circus militia, decked out in powder pink, yellow and blue army outfits, exuding energy and joy. Immediately immersing the crowd in what simultaneously feels like the 1980's and somewhere in the distant future, ...

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