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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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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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

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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Eugene Onegin - Scottish Opera

Eugene Onegin towers over the Russian literature of the 19th century, and Tchaikovsky’s decision to create an opera based on a text which is still widely read (and regularly re-read) by Russians today was highly audacious. It is a sign of Tchaikovsky’s brilliance that the Opera, rather than the novel in verse it was based…

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Esin Harvey and Oguz Kaplangi in Rhinoceros. Photography by Mihaela Bodlovic.

[This is a #TwoReviews™ Review – Two different reviews of the same performance] #TwoReviews is a literary creation owned by EdinburghFestival.org Rhinoceros by Catherine Carnie Rhinoceros by James O’Brien For David Greig (Artistic Director of the Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh) the morning after the Brexit referendum was a moment of discombobulation – he felt odd … “as odd…

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Mr Blue Sky

Mr Blue Sky is a piece of stunning, vibrant and life-affirming theatre that had me horrified, aching, and laughing, and by the end, I felt like simply getting up and dancing. The raw (and sometimes dark) humour coming from the stage was like a bolt of electricity. Mr Blue Sky. Photograph by Andy Catlin. Image…

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(L-R) John Ramage, Nicola Roy, Grant O'Rourke, Helen Mackay, Richard Conlon, John Kielty in The Belle's Stratagem. Photo credit Mihaela

Oh, this is a gem. A pure, brilliant sparkling gem! This is glorious and hugely enjoyable. The Lyceum has restored a toweringly funny and important comedy to the stage, and it is something you must witness. The term ‘restoration comedy’ has been rewritten here to cement the reputation of along-neglected playwright Hannah Cowley and that…

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The Arabian Nights

Christmas: Children. Stories. Magic. Farting Dogs. Chess Playing Monkeys. The Arabian Nights has it all, and it’s a delightful, beautiful and thoroughly enjoyable bit of theatre for all the family. The staging and scenery (and even some of the magical scenery changes) are quite spectacular, and the dialogue is fast, funny and spellbinding. It has all the…

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Richard Dmearco and Aletia Upstairs

When I last met Richard Demarco, he was talking about retiring, stepping back from the gesamtkunstwerk which is his life and persona. He said ‘…there were no more five year plans.’ Of course this was a rueful reflection on his unique contribution, not only to to the arts in Edinburgh, but his advocacy of the…

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