Infectious, inspiring and captivating, this is a show not to be missed.
With a string of awards under his belt and a sell-our run at last year’s Fringe, The Boy With Tape On His Face is back by overwhelmingly popular demand. Only able to communicate physically and with the help of his hugely expressive eyes, The Boy (Sam Wills) performs what can only be described as a kind of speechless sketch show in a unique world where almost anything goes – and the more random, the better.
If you haven’t really had much exposure to burlesque or cabaret, this show is a good place to start. Full of the weird and the wonderful, Kitty Cointreau’s BraHaHa is a variety showcase of Fringe performers in an evening of laughs, glitter and tassels in the eerie yet cozy intimacy of the Caves.
Through the many interpretations of his symbolism-heavy writings, Kafka’s inner-most self is most revealed not through his tales, but in his letter to his father. Adapted for the stage by director Mark Cassidy and performer Alon Nashman, Kafka and Son gives a unique and intimate insight into Kafka the man as opposed to Kafka the writer, bringing to life the letter that his father never read.
Having recently compered at the packed-out Gilded Balloon launch party, he proved to have huge amounts of energy and a commanding stage presence. Allen has more to offer than “just” a chat show, and it is both surprising and a shame that he isn’t showing off more of his talents in a dedicated stand-up set.
There can be absolutely no doubt that the Oxford Belles are extremely talented, and they clearly come from very musical backgrounds. Each piece having been adapted by members of the group, they create some beautiful sounds, and their harmonising is complex yet on the most part well tuned. Their skills are skin-tinglingly impressive for a group of students for whom this is presumably no more than a hobby, and the range of places they’ve visited off the back of their singing is envy-inducing.
All aspects of this production are of a very high quality; there has clearly been a lot of thought, effort and time poured into it. While many of the references will go over the heads of those unfamiliar with Davis and Crawford, Baby Jane fans will be delighted by the irony and the horror, making this a must-see for lovers of the silver screen.
With tickets at £17.50 a head, this is a very commercial operation and pretty steep when really you’re only seeing a couple of overgrown schoolboys exhibit themselves. That said, you’re unlikely to ever see anything quite as bizarre, and it certainly draws in the crowds. While men are by no means low in number, this is, unsurprisingly, the perfect start to a girls’ night out.
Insightful and alarmingly familiar, this is a powerful and highly topical piece of theatre. Originally written by Gogol and adapted for the Scottish stage by Catherine Grosvenor, the damaging potential of the banks is presented as ruthless, limitless and insatiably greedy, encouraging its customers to invest in ridiculous schemes and working its staff quite literally into the ground.
As is to be expected of someone with his reputation, Callow gives a sensitive and knowing performance, sometimes with specklings of humour, at others imbuing a feeling of helplessly inescapable sadness. Despite his physique being very unladylike, he quickly embodies his character to the extent that it is utterly believable that he is not just a transvestite, but really a woman.
Any show entitled Triple Threat has implications of something overtly macho; of a bald-headed tattoo-covered muscle man with piercings protruding from every orifice, pounding his chest as he chugs pints and roars at his puny audience. But alas, far from being such a creature, David Morgan is distinctly normal, and embraces his otherwise subtle camp-ness through his not-quite-like-Glee love of musicals and amateur dramatics.