Category Archives: As it happens

Brighton Fringe 2017 – as it happens

Friday 26th May: Okay, that’s it. All packed. Off to Brighton tomorrow.

Before I get too stuck into Brighton, one last look back at the north-east. I will aim to get my new list of what’s worth watching up shortly, but before then, I am going to wholeheartedly recommend The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. I don’t make recommendations of Newcastle Theatre Royal or other big theatres, where the big budgets often go into flashy staging rather than good stories, but this one is exceptional. Many good reasons to watch this, but the main one off the top of my head is that the director, Marianne Elliott, is the one responsible for War Horse, and the staging here is just as good, if not better. It begins on Tuesday and has a two-week run. I can’t get the Newcastle Theatre Royal website to work right now, so for further information you can read this page instead.

Bed time. 6 a.m. start tomorrow. Bugger.

Thursday 25th May: So with my journey to Brighton looming imminently, I can stop talking about other reviews and look at my own. So, a reminder of the ground rules:

Every play I see is eligible for review. If it’s good, or it has potential, it will get a review here in the live coverage for immediate reaction, and a more considered review when I do my roundup. Beyond that, I do not make any attempt to select notable plays and what I see is entirely decided by what I want to see as a punter.

However, you are welcome to invite me to review your play, and if you supply me with a press ticket, I will normally prioritise seeing you over other plays. If I get a large number of requests I may have to say no to some reviews, but I do not expect that to happen in Brighton. (It may happen in Edinburgh, and I’ve set some categories of things I won’t review there, but I’ll talk about that closer to the time.) Please be aware, however, that you get no other favours for supplying a press ticket. I might decide you’re great, and if you’re really good I might bang on about you for years to come, but you won’t get better feedback just because I got a free ticket. That’s the summary. If you want the full rules, they are here and here.

A reminder that I’m around 27th-30th. (I’m returning to Durham on the 31st but I won’t have time to see things before then.) Regardless of what you do, I hope you give me a lot of reasons to be positive over those four days.

Wednesday 24th May: Right, where were we?

Grist to the Mill are coming back with their final showing of The Unknown Soldier and Gratiano, one each. Gratiano got a Highly Recommended from Fringereview earlier in the month, but I’d heard nothing from The Unknown Soldier until yesterday when a review came through quite a while after their most recent performance. Normally this would be no big deal is this play is already drowning in praise from Edinburgh, but this one is a 4* from The Independent. Now, that is something. Reviews from the broadsheets (or websites formerly circulating as broadsheets) at the Brighton Fringe are virtually unheard of, with most looking at Brighton Festival. Very big deal to get their attention, let alone the good review.

Changing the subject a little, another successful show that’s left the Brighton Fringe is Mobile and that is now coming to Sunderland on Friday and Saturday. There are details here, but I’d advise getting a move on because two of the twelve showings are already sold out and another two are going fast.

And it’s not long until I’m coming now. Saturday’s not that far off. Oh heck. Continue reading

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Edinburgh Fringe 2016 – as it happened

REVIEWS: Skip to: Bite-Size Lunch HourStack, Waves, Swansong, The Jungle Book, Le Bossu, Cosmic Fear, The Trunk, Sacre Blue, The Steampunk Tempest, ‘Tis a Pity She’s a Whore, Made in Cumbria, Boris & Sergey, Ruby and the Vinyl, Boris: World King, BEASTS, Police Cops, Adventures of a Redheaded Coffee Shop Girl, The Life and Crimes and Reverend Raccoon, Communicate, The Unknown Soldier, Bite-Size Breakfast, E15, Northanger Abbey, Unnatural Selection, Notflix, Unveiled, The Club, Overshadowed

This was my coverage of the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe as it happened, featuring snap reviews with my instant impressions of shows. For the more measured reviews written at a more leisurely pace, see my Roundup.  Here, however, you can see what I was thinking at the time. Continue reading

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Brighton Fringe 2016 – as it happened

REVIEWS: Skip to: Something Rotten, The Sellotape Sisters, The Bookbinder, Gran Consiglio, 1972: The Future of Sex, Morgan and West, The Tale of Tommy O’Quire, Dancing in the Dark, Fool

This was my live coverage of my thoughts of plays at the Brighton Fringe, along with other interesting developments that broke during the festival. For the final list of reviews, sorted in working order, please read the Brighton Fringe roundup. To see the order in which it happened, read on … Continue reading

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Edinburgh Fringe 2015 – as it happened

This was my live coverage of Edinburgh Fringe in 2015, featuring my thoughts as the festival went along. All the plays mentioned here are reviewed in my roundup, when I had more time to think over what I thought. But if you’d rather read what I thought of these plays at the time, read on …

Monday 3rd August, 6.45 p.m.: Welcome to my live coverage of Edinburgh Fringe 2015. This is where you will find all of my snap reviews of Edinburgh fringe plays as and when I see something I recommend. I’ll be at Edinburgh this year on the 8th-10th August and again on the 17th-19th August. Until then, here is a five-day warm-up.

I am planning to publish four articles about the Edinburgh Fringe, on various topics to be announced. But  I might write a fifth if I see something so brilliant I feel it deserves a whole article itself saying how brilliant it is. So far, only two articles have ever held this honour: Caroline Horton with Mess and Dugout Theatre with Inheritance Blues. (Sparkle and Dark would also have got one for The Girl With No Heart had I not already written about it in preview.) Could you be next? Continue reading

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Brighton Fringe 2015 – as it happened

This was my live coverage of Brighton Fringe in 2015, featuring my thoughts as the festival went along. All the plays mentioned here are reviewed in my roundup, when I had more time to think over what I thought. But if you’d rather read what I thought of these plays at the time, read on …

Wednesday 20th May, 9.00 am: Welcome to my live coverage of the Brighton Fringe. This is where I will be posting updates of what I’ve seen in Brighton from tomorrow until Sunday evening. And then – you lucky lucky people – you get an extra two days of coverage from London where I’m stopping over before I head home.

Interim reviews of plays I liked will be posted here as soon as possible after I’ve seen them. As always, I will write up everything in a roundup after the fringe is over, but it you can’t wait for my verdict, here is where you’ll see it first. Continue reading

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Edinburgh Fringe 2014 – as it happened

This is an archive of my live coverage of the Edinburgh Fringe 2014. All plays reviewed below have been written up in my roundup of Edinburgh Fringe 2014. However, I have retained this as an archive of what my thoughts were at the time …

Thursday 07/08, 9.15 p.m.: Hello, and welcome to my coverage of Edinburgh Fringe 2014. This is where I’ll be giving updates throughout my visit to the Edinburgh Fringe. Continue reading

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Brighton Fringe 2014 – as it happened

This was my running coverage of the Brighton Fringe whilst I was down there. I have now summarised my reviews in the roundup of Brighton Fringe 2014. However, here is my archive of what I was thinking day by day.

Continue reading

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