Leo

5 stars *****

Which way is up? Are you sure?

Leo – we must assume that’s his name: there’s no one else to name him, and he makes only three vocal sounds (not words) in the entire show – arrives in a room where down is not where he expects it to be. That’s one half of the stage – a cut-away of Leo’s room, on its side according to how we see it. The other half is a huge screen on which is projected a live feed of the world (or room) as Leo perceives it.

Watch the screen, and be amused by the illusions possible with this set up. Watch the room, and be in complete awe of the physical strength and control needed to achieve them – for an entire hour. Minimal props (you’d be amazed what you can do with some chalk), a brilliantly choreographed soundtrack (it’s the 2nd movement of Beethoven’s 7th, if you come out wondering) and a single energetic performer make this show truly delightful.

Who says the Fringe isn’t thought-provoking?

Reviewed by Laura

St George’s West, 20:30 (1hr 5mins)

Until 29th August

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In The Pink: Fabulous All-Female A Capella

3 Stars ***

A capella singing has always been a popular choice of entertainment at the Fringe, and C Venue seems to have been the home of it for years. Certainly this group fromOxfordUniversityhave performed there for years in various guises.

The troupe of 2011 consist of 13 women all dressed in black dresses with a pink ribbon in deference to their name, perform a variety of songs in their 45 minute set.

The lead vocals were shared amongst the group, as numerous mash-ups together with complete songs were pleasantly performed, but where they slightly lacked over other groups was occasionally the lead vocal, although beautifully in tune, was drowned with over enthusiastic backing ensemble.

Being picky I would like to have seen rather more and more complex choreography would have raised the interest more. Still all in all a creditable show that was a gentle start to a Fringe day.

Reviewed by Geoff

C Venue 34

14 to 29 August

13:15 to 14:00

Fringe Brochure P 207

LOL

3 Stars ***

In this day and age internet dating is very much an integrated part of the dating game Rosalind Adler has created this play containing three diverse female characters who at least have a more than passing interest in the process.

The characters are Mags, a wife and mother who is somewhat put upon, Lucinda, a vamp who eats toyboys for breakfast every day and Sarah, who has been a carer for many years and is looking for more in her life.

Each character is developed over series of short scenes interspersed with a series of recorded messages left by men on dating services, and Ms Alder flits from one character to the others with consummate ease.

While this is certainly a well written and performed play, I felt it was slanted somewhat cynically. It felt perhaps that some of the characters both, female or recorded male were desperately flawed, which is not necessarily normal for the average user of such sites.

Reviewed by Geoff

 Pleasance Cellar V33

3 to 29 August

12:55 to 13:55

Fringe Brochure P 276

A Day in November

2 Stars **

A Day in November with Rumen Gavanozov of Theatre Atelie presents a piece of how we bid farewell to our last day, with a one hundred year old man, played by a puppet.

During the course of the piece he reveals his obsession for cucumbers, argues with his reflection and looks out a window. Unfortunately this is all that really happens

The character is interesting but is not given anything else to expand it.

The puppetry does have moments of grace and characterisation and could be noted for it’s cuteness but the pace is extremely slow throughout and never truly engages us.

People might find it enjoyable and quirky but it has no drive or coherent narrative.

Reviewed by Andrew Gourlay

Shh…The Musical

2 Stars **

Shh…The Musical, is presented by Right Here Productions.

It follows a young group of eight friends who hang around in a bookshop in Edinburgh. As the shop struggles to maintain business and the owner starts to accept his feelings for his girlfriend’s sister the group dynamic is tested and results in eventual tragedy.

The production weakens through the dialogue scenes which are long and tangle with the flow of the piece and the acting is not as strong as the singing, but the cast make the character’s clear from beginning to end.

The songs are the strength of the production, they are enjoyable and they develop the character’s really well with clarity and more of them instead of the extensive dialogue scenes would tell the story more effectively.

However, the audience enjoyed it and it is a very audience friendly piece.

Reviewed by Andrew Gourlay

Murder at Warrabah House

3 Stars  ***

Murder at Warrabah House is a one woman murder mystery from Australia, with a strong resonance of Agatha Christie.

Written by May Jasper and Sam Wilson, it follows Hattie Parish, the sister of Arthur Parish, the renowned consulting detective, as a summer house retreat becomes the setting for an intriguing murder mystery.

Felicity Hopkins maintains the complexities of a murder mystery, burdened on one person, with clear characterisations and an interesting psychological insight to her main character as the plot develops. Her storytelling is enjoyable and compelling.

Not wanting to spoil the plot I wont give anything away but fans of the genre will have their expectations toyed with as the classic structure get’s twisted on it’s head and if your not a fan of the classic genre this piece might help you confront it.

Reviewed by Andrew Gourlay

Fear and Misery of The Third Reich

4 Star ****

Fear and Misery of the Third Reich by Bertolt Brecht, translated by John Willet is presented by the Lincoln Company.

Sections of life about the violence and oppression during the reign of the Nazi’s, Brecht’s harshly satirical take on this period in history is a well balanced mix of humour and tragedy.

The group work as a company with swift pace, cutting film like between the scenes and creating an open relationship with the audience. Their energy and passion make it more than just a period piece but enjoyable, thought provoking and powerful as any realistic drama on the Nazi’s.

The fantastic venue is used to spectacular effect with solid technical work helping to create convincing tableaux images. With puppets, songs and bold character’s the group involve the audience before we’ve even taken our seats.

First time Brecht audience should find this appealing and enjoyable and Brecht fan’s should be content with the achievement.

Reviewed by Andrew Gourlay