Rigoletto

Aris Argiris as Rigoletto and Lina Johnson as Gilda. Scottish Opera 2018. Photo: Julie Howden

Rigoletto’s daughter Gilda is an innocent who is first deceptively seduced, then kidnapped, and raped – behind this are powerful men acting with complete impunity and treating a woman as nothing more than a disposable object for their pleasure. Written in 1850, Rigoletto was perhaps the first opera to deal openly with the issue of…

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Cyrano de Bergerac

Cyrano de Bergerac. Photo: Mihaela Bodlovic

Yon Cyrano has a muckle great neb, and this yin’s a pure dead brilliant show. You’re immersed from the start in glorious rhyming Scots with Edwin Morgan’s seminal translation, and it combines with the semi-industrial but inventive set design pulls you into this cracking piece of theatre completely. Brian Ferguson as Cyrano dominates almost effortlessly…

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Twelfth Night

Guy Hughes and Dawn Sievewright. Photo credit Mihaela Bodlovic

Gender-bending, gloriously psychedelic, and deeply, madly groovy. This is a riot of music and colour carried off by a stellar cast, bringing this complex story to life with an energy and flair that is jaw-dropping, and includes the most show-stopping second half opener I have seen in years. The action opens in a debauched 60s /…

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Passionate Machine

Rosy Carrick in Passionate Machine

The evidence about the reality of time travel builds steadily in this engrossing, fabulous story: the book about Mayakovsky really was written by Doctor Rosy Carrick, she really does have a tattoo with a Bowie lyric on her wrist, and she really is wearing a CERN t-shirt. Could all of these seemingly impossibly surreal facts…

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Viv Groskop: Vivalicious

Viv Groskop: Vivalicious

A show about self-help in the coming age of President Oprah Winfrey. Everything seems to be about reinvention, and Viv Groskop wants to be the best possible version of herself. So why is that so hard? Does there come a time when you should just give up and accept you are not that great a…

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Jo Caulfield: Killing Time

Jo Caulfield Edinburgh Festival 2018

Jo Caulfield walks on to stage, sizes up the audience in moments, and proceeds to question, mock and taunt them. The venue offers a welcoming bar at the side of the room, and is packed out even this early on in the run – early booking would definitely be prudent to make sure you catch…

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More Moira Monologues

Alan Bissett as Moira Bell in More Moira Monologues

Bisset, male, author. Plays Moira, female, cleaner. Completely straight. And she’s a foul mouthed, deeply funny, chain-smoking delight. It’s easy to see why this show won a Fringe First in 2017. This is deeply confessional, but still light as a meringue, and all at the same time, covers acres, hectares of difficult, sensitive and tricky…

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The Moira Monologues

Alan Bissett as Moira Bell in The Moira Monologues

Falkirk. Or tae be mair exact, Fawkirk. This is a sheer classic, and is both theatre and comedy, making a welcome return 8 years after its first appearance at the Fringe in 2010. And it’s still fast, fresh and very funny. The language is explicit lowland Scots, Fawkirk variety, and Bisset plays Moira Bell, a…

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Preview: The Sacrifice Zones by James O’Brien

James O'Brien

A small, intimate venue, a healthy crowd, and an understated, eloquent performance of searing political poetry. O’Brien is not new to stage performance, but is best known as a theatre director, having brought  his legendary GIRO Theatre Company to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe on several occasions in the 1980s and 1990s. Although the company performed internationally…

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Meeting Jim

Meeting Jim

I’ve invited myself to Sunday dinner at Jim Haynes’ Montparnasse atelier at least four times.  Hold on. What kind of jackass invites themselves to dinner? Well, since he first started his dinners in 1978, there have been about 200,000 such jackasses visiting Paris by Jim’s reckoning. He says he has a mission to introduce everyone…

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