A week into my fourth Edinburgh Fringe and I am marvelling at how differently I am approaching things this time around. I am doing a full run of 24 shows (in 25 days) of my new stand-up comedy show Shattered. I’ve done a full run before (of my debut show) at the Edinburgh Fringe in […]

Is reviewing of any value anymore?

Notes from an open space session at Devoted and Disgruntled 2024 at Slung Low, Leeds, UK, 16th March 2024. Theatre producer Chris O’Grady emphasized the enduring value of reviews, especially when conducted by respected but lesser-known reviewers, as they can aid in both promoting a show and securing funding. Traditional paid reviewers are dwindling in […]

Devoted and Disgruntled 2024

So, what is to be done about theatre and the performing arts? This is a question that has been asked 18 times at the Devoted & Disgruntled conference organsied by Improbable, “pioneering improvisers, theatre makers and conversation facilitators”. Described as a self-organised conversation which uses an approach to meeting called Open Space Technology, a few […]

The Globe is wrong.

Let’s be fair. When she arrived, Michelle Terry said as the Artistic Director of The Globe that she would not be directing. She was always going to be, ironically, an acting Artistic Director. Some of us therefore thought the title was odd. But then she began. There were productions which were the first at the […]

Guest blog at Edfringe 2023: Fringe Fever by Paloma Nieri

Edinburgh exudes culture, art and community during August at the Festival Fringe. This was only my second Fringe, my first was pre-pandemic in 2019 and I marvelled at this event that encourages theatrical experimentation and has more shows on offer than you could ever possibly watch. That time my experience was expertly curated by friends […]

Images from the Fringe 2023

2023 photographs – More Galleries Show Pictures Clearing the Backlog I can’t really believe how quickly the last couple of weeks have gone by as I sit at my computer updating picture galleries, reviewing and sorting photographs to upload. As you may suspect I’m drawn to visually interesting shows and I feel lucky to have […]

Five #firsttimefringers as spotted by Kate Saffin

There’s a first time for every Fringe writer, performer, director, producer… and sometimes they are they are all the same person! Those pre Fringe nerves will all be tingling as they get ready for their first show. Will the set/costumes/props last the month? Should we have made more cuts? And the big one, will anyone […]

Kate Saffin’s five solo shows by women

Solo performers probably outnumber every other group at the Fringe if you include theatre, comedy, spoken word and music. The 262 solo theatre shows listed this year offer diverse work across every genre and style, every venue and every imaginable topic (well, possibly not every one but certainly a great range!). Many are new writing, […]

Gillian Lacey-Solymar is a first-time Fringer at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Gillian is the Bookwriter and Lyricist of IrrePRESSible: The Musical and she talks to Jo Tomalin about how and why she is inspired to create the show. Gillian’s career includes working as a consumer affairs correspondent at the BBC and as a senior […]

From Scotland: Another Fine Show To Follow…

In December 2022 I went off to watch, in the Southside of Glasgow, a disabled theatre company – handily called the Southside Group –I had seen virtually online and had loved their work. With the return to live performance getting the opportunity to see them up close was too good to miss. Here we hear […]

They’ve ignored my press release! Whether you are bringing a show to a Fringe festival or simply trying to get media coverage for a show at any time of the year, these tips are for you. There could be a number of reasons why your press has been not responded to by potential reviewing publications. […]

OPINION: Unfussy Curtain Calls

Get the **** off stage!   Here is a bit of as personal and despesarte plea to theatre makers at this year’s Brighton Fringe… So, the lights fade slowly and we are ready for a fairly silent, dare I suggest, stunned exit. Before even five seconds have elapsed since the final blackout, the lights shoot […]

When I began to work with Fringe Review, I opined that I hated the Edinburgh Fringe. Over the years I have softened and my old joke that people believe we have a cultural supermarket each August, and think it is Sainsbury’s when it is actually Aldi or Lidl has been used so often it is […]

Antonio Vega is artistic director of Por Piedad Teatro (Mexico | USA) and he is co-creator of DJANGO IN PAIN with Por Piedad Teatro founder and artistic producer, Ana Graham. Jo Tomalin talks to Antonio Vega about his background in theatre, and how he developed this show during the pandemic. DJANGO IN PAIN is digital […]

Erin B. Mee talks to Jo Tomalin about directing theatre in innovative spaces and her latest digital show, Tree Confessions, written by Jenny Lyn Bader. Tree Confessional is a digital audio play, site-specific and self-scheduled, presented on demand through the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2023, January 4-15. “While it is obvious that we need to […]

Lockdown for many theatre companies was one of the most challenging times, however for some it was an opportunity to spread their wings and do some new things. And there was something stirring in the Southside of Glasgow, where a learning disabled group took to the internet and showed themselves off with a wonderful piece […]

Angry Black Woman 101: Jo Tomalin talks with Kathryn Seabron about developing her show about Misogynoir and a recent work experience

Angry Black Woman 101 takes a introductory dive into the microaggressions,tropes and stereotypes Black women grapple with daily. Using slides, videos, music and history this storyteller deftly illustrates misogynoir and it’s effects. This show is couched in a truthful and hurtful work situation during her tenure at TechSoup, a nonprofit. Twitter @JuicyDLight Facebook

Potato Topos by Andomifevin comprised of Andrew Rose, Dominique Nigro, Fenner Merlick, and Kat Countiss A poet, a dancer, a clown, and a clarinetist bring you their first collaboration, a multi-sensory poem-play about potatoes. An hour long show with themes of nostalgia, fantasy, and expansion. The modalities include performance, light, sound, textiles, and language. The […]

Bipolar Disorder and Solo Show: Jo Tomalin talks with Bennet Caffee about his latest show exploring his own experiences and creation of My First Miracle — adventures in bipolar disorder

“I’m a San Francisco based solo performer. My shows are about my experiences with bipolar mood disorder, which I’ve managed to keep private the majority of my life. For the most part my mood swings have been mild enough to hide, but I’ve had a few full on manic episodes that have led to some […]

Comedy, Storytelling, Clown and Dramedy: Jo Tomalin talks with Kazu Kusano about starting out in Stand-Up and her solo show Pretty Beast at San Francisco Fringe

Kazu Kusano (Producer, Writer, Performer) is a comedian, actress, and writer. She has a Japanese accent, crazy physicality, a dark sense of humor, and hot flashes. Kazu immigrated to America all alone in her thirties to do comedy. Kazu can be seen on Comedy Central UK’s Cannel Hopping as a Japanese correspondent. Also, she is the […]

Christina Augello’s Bio from The EXIT Theatre Website: Christina Augello is the founder and artistic director of EXIT Theatre and is an actress, arts activist and arts administrator. She has been involved with American theater for over 50 years, growing up in the 1950s as the daughter of the proprietor of a famous theater saloon and […]

Fringe Views

When I’ve had the chance I’ve taken a few pictures around the fringe, late at night and during the day. Here are a few in a slideshow. Note to self: Must get out and about more!

Preparing to leave the fringe

Final few days Friday of the last week opened to a dreary Edinburgh with rain in the air. Fortunately the rain cleared as I made my way to the final ‘FringeReview’ gathering for this year. These are one of my favourite mornings of the fringe as I am guaranteed to have a good chinwag. Today […]

Czech Cirk La Putyka on tour: Lenka Capova and Ethan Law talk to Jo Tomalin about the company from Prague and their new show Runners

“Award-winning contemporary circus company returns with an extraordinary show looking at the hectic pace of today’s world. In a unique set design featuring a giant treadmill, four performers and two musicians mix dance, running, cyr-wheel acrobatics and original live music, while running almost a whole marathon. This UK debut for Runners marks the company’s fourth […]

Pat Silver’s a Cappella shows to see in the last week at Edfringe 2022

Innovative, entertaining, and fun – that’s a cappella at this Fringe This year the Fringe is sporting at least 23 a cappella shows, ranging from barbershop to choral to contemporary a cappella.  My original story profiled the genre and some of the upcoming shows.  / Now at the Fringe, I had a chance to review […]

Sarah-Louise Young is a theatre maker with 26 years’ experience at her 17th Fringe with her 40th production and the 13th show she has created. Which is nicely serendipitous because it’s also the first show she has made telling a very personal story. We found what we thought would be a quiet corner of Summerhall… […]

Actor, Samara Neely Cohen talked to Kate during Edfringe 2022 about 9 Circles, 9 Circles by Bill Cain asks how can a soldier be trained to be a cold-blooded killing machine while clinging on to the threads of humanity? A Dantesque descent into the conundrums, contradictions and hypocrisies of war through the eyes of a […]

Sarah talks about her journey to embracing the chronic pain she has lived with since her teens and how she developed Pain and I. She describes it as a bold exploration into chronic pain experience, featuring playful choreography, experimental dance, intimate autobiographical text, and original classical music composition by Alicia Jane Turner. In addition to […]

Edinburgh Week One: Resolved into a dew

By David Visick The ghost staggers into the light, head down, eyes up. The things those eyes have seen. As the daylight finds it, it falters, then rallies and comes again. It opens its mouth as if to speak, but no words come. The face is liquid, the once solid flesh having resolved into a […]

@ theSpaceUK

With All Jew Respect Cyril Squirrel Grounded Self Service The Sound of Mucus

Fourth Wall’s musical show Fruit Flies Like a Banana comes in two flavours for their first Edfringe: one for children and a longer one for adults (not that there is anything unsuitable for children in the longer version, it is just framed differently). It’s a show that combines extraordinary physical acrobats with virtuoso musical skill […]

“How do you live your best ho life? Have you accidentally become your parents? These are the questions NYC-based comedian Ann Chun (SF Chronicle, Timeout) explores in her solo show about an immigrant coping with the dissolution of her parents’ marriage in Thailand, while learning how to be a fuccboi in America. Ann’s immersive storytelling […]

Emilienne Flagothier creates contemporary dance, directs non-theatrical text theatre and performs in street theatre, a solo show and more. At the 2022 Edinburgh Festival Fringe she directs a new show called We Should Be Dancing, based on observations of children playing, working with her collective from Brussels.

“Triple Fringe First and Olivier winning Fishamble, in association with Fringe First winning Sunday’s Child, return to Summerhall with the 2019 hit show Mustard by Eva O’Connor. A darkly comic play about heartbreak, madness and how condiments are the ultimate coping mechanism. When the man of her dreams, a professional cyclist, leaves E, she plummets […]

“Pluto and Vector have been dating for almost a year now, but as they hike up the mountain where the Greek god Prometheus was bound as punishment, their relationship hits its breaking point. The myth of Prometheus looms large over the mountain’s cold peak as Pluto and Vector confront their differences, their fears about their […]

Gilded Ballon Press Launch

Thursday 4th August MC: Lou Conran Maise Adam Mythos Ragnarok James Roque Finlay Christie Elf Lyons Tehran Von Ghasri Grant Buse Basil Brush Pete Firman Kylie Brakeman Just These Please

2022 Underbelly Launch

Thursday 4th August – McEwan Hall A selection of photographs of the press launch. Featured shows Dragons and Mythical Beasts Rhys Nicholson Caligari Emmanuel Ja’mime La Clique Balloon Myra Dubois Rob Madge La Clique – Charlie Wheeler Cyr Camille BOOM

2022 Greenside Launch Show

Riddles Court – 12:00pm Thursday August 3rd The morning following my arrival at this year’s fringe I eased myself into the round of venue launches. Here are some photos I took at the Greenside Launch held at their ‘Riddles Court’ venue at the top of the Royal Mile. Following the welcome we saw excerpts from: […]

The Importance of Being An Earnest Reviewer – Kind of…

(With apologies…Kind of…) In April of this year, the Oliviers were back. After three years of not celebrating those who have got to the be seen as the best in theatre … We celebrated them publicly and without Zoom. But… There was one story that was deep in my heart. It reminded me that the […]

2022 theSpaceUK Press Launch

theSpace Triplex theSpaceUK bounced back into 2022 with what they claim to be ‘the biggest new writing programme of the fringe’. Here are a selection of photographs from the shows previewed. Featured Shows – Compered by Fraser Brown Hip-Hop Orchestra Experience Crossing the Void Apartness Prejudice and Pride Merrill Means Well Brother’s Keeper The Mistake […]

2022 Assembly Launch Show

40th Anniversary Festival Gala – Assembly on the Mound Gathering in the courtyard of the Mound I prepared to photograph this show. When we were allowed in they ushered us to a specially prepared space for photographers. Yes we had an unobstructed view, but I like to select my vantage point from where to photograph. […]

Verbatim Theatre at the Edinburgh Fringe

“Verbatim is a type of documentary theatre constructed from the words of real people responding to a particular theme or a real event. These words might be taken from interviews or testimonials, or even from media or news footage.”. (Naomi Joseph) There are always verbatim theatre productions at the Edinburgh Fringe and, if you haven’t […]

Improvised Comedy and Theatre at the Fringe

Improvised performance tends to be mostly comedy-based at the Fringe. Yet there is also a smattering of improvised music and theatre as well. There are news shows on offer each year and the quest for a novel angle is always at the forefront as compnaies and performers try to win the audience battle. There are […]

Science Fiction at the Fringe

I have to admit I am disappointed at the lack of science-fiction at this year’s Fringe. Despite it being a comeback fringe with less shows, there are still well over three thousand to choose from. Could it be that our worst sci-fi nightmares have arrived in the present, with environmental catastrophe and AI Hell already […]

Aca-cool ! A cappella is the Edinburgh Fringe

Theatre maker, musician, clown and reviewer Pat Silver shares her thoughts on this popular fringe niche. NEW! Pat Silver’s shows to see in the last week for Edfringe 2022. Aca-cool! “But where is the music?” “ I don’t see the drummer but I hear one.” “I sing in a group. Is it ok if we […]

Kate’s five solo shows to see at Edfringe 2022

Making sense of life: Age is a Feeling From Haley McGee, a new show, that is different every day, inspired by interviews with hospice workers, interactions with mystics and trips to the cemetery. Age is a Feeling is a story about the glorious and melancholy unknowability of human life that charts the seminal moments, rites of passage […]

Richard Daniels Edinburgh Fringe 2022

I’m very happy to be back at the ‘Fringe’ this August with my camera for FringeReview after a couple of years absence.  Looking back Enjoyable as it is, this will be very different time for me, because my good friend, the well known fringe performer, “Lynn Ruth Miller” will never be with us again. Sadly, […]

Joe’s comedy picks for Edinburgh Fringe 2022

Now that Edinburgh Fringe is back, here are some of my comedy highlights. My apologies for the length of the list, there is so much good stuff to see! I haven’t posted show links; if you’re reading this, you will already know where to find them. The shows are in no particular order. Paul Currie […]

Brighton Fringe is back and with it, lots of great comedy. Here are my top tips for some of the best comedy around. Just to make it easier, I’ve included links to each of the shows. First up Shaggers, hosted by Nik Coppin. I was lucky enough to review this show last year, and I […]

Anti-semitism – Still a Stain…

I write a column or many for an American website. One of the articles I used to write included a man we got to call the Mango Mussolini. Donald J Trump, for it was he gave people a new reason to be stupid. He emboldened huge numbers of people who were challenged by Velcro. I […]

Keep em keeping on…

I wear a mask. I always have. I possibly always will do. I also have had COVID. Most of those closest to me have also had the positive test from the throat and back of the nose jobby. It was unpleasant and it was uncomfortable, but it was a reminder of how easily we can […]

Alyssa Mitchel, Dancer/Choreographer/Artistic Director/Teacher based in San Francisco talks with Jo Tomalin about how she chose to be a choreographer and her influences, after training in tap, jazz, ballet and rhythmic gymnastics. She presents a new show Here. Now. outdoors at the Exploratorium, San Francisco in November, 2021. Listen to our interview with Alyssa Mitchel […]

Scottish Pakistani actor, writer and stand-up comedian talks about how she started writing and performing with Jo Tomalin. Lubna presents Tickbox – her latest theatre/comedy/storytelling show at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2021. “Tickbox is a semi-autobiographical, one-woman play, in Scots-English and Urdu. Describing a Pakistani woman’s journey from a middle-class life in Pakistan to Govan in […]

Writer, performer mandla rae talks to Jo Tomalin about their work, how they started writing and performing and their show: mandla rae -as british as a watermelon. “‘My name is mandla. It means power. I gave it to myself’ – mandla rae has a selective memory and they are scrambling to piece together their life. […]

Pete Wells and Rabiah Coon talk about comedy

It’s Sunday 6th of June, and I find myself sitting the Caroline of Brunswick. I’m here for a comedy show, and fall into conversation with Pete Wells and Rabiah Coon. It was an interesting and free ranging look at comedy from different perspectives. Rabiah is starting out, Pete is more experienced (and runs London’s Comedy […]

By Lori Hamilton At last it’s confirmed – the 2021 Edinburgh Fringe is happening! I’m SO EXCITED. And I’m so grateful. The importance of the Edinburgh Fringe: When I was in college at UCLA, one of my favorite classes was Modern British Drama, where we learned about the incredible impact of the Fringe on the quality and […]

Joe Angella talks to Rabiah Coon about her first show at Brighton Fringe

In a rather noisy pub, I talk to Rabiah Coon about bringing her first show to Brighton Fringe. For any new comic, it is a thrilling experience to get on stage at your first fringe festival and hope that the audience like it. Here, Rabiah gives us a brief insight into why you’d do that! […]

The Coily Dart Theatre Company produces parodies of Gilbert and Sullivan themes and comedy musicals. Director, Sue Ellerby, who is also author of the company’s scripts speaks to Jo Tomalin about the Gilbert and Sullivan genre, Coily Dart’s focus in the latest production on the lesser known Helen Carte, the parody comedy style of Coily […]

Bunker Teatro from Spain presents their show Land If You Can! at the Brighton Fringe 2021. This is an interactive role-playing play where the audience not only experiences the mystery story first hand, but also the improvisational style. Jo Tomalin speaks to the cast Auba Ramos and Juan Sanchez, and Gracia Rios (book, director and producer […]

Actor and writer Christopher Tajah from Resistance Theatre Company talks to Jo Tomalin about his career so far, and writing and performing his latest solo play at the Brighton Fringe 2021, 14 – 27 June 21 & The Space Theatre, East London 17 & 18 August 21. “‘Under Heaven’s Eyes’ is a new 60-minute solo performance exploring the […]

It’s almost time to see the show!

Can you feel it? Taste it? Do your senses tingle? Is your heart pounding and brain fizzing? Are you regretting last night’s curry? Scrap that last one. It’s happening; the Government hasn’t pulled the plug, and the Fringe is going ahead. Brighton Fringe has announced over 25,000 tickets sold so far. Social Media has been […]

Between Two Waves (We’re back)

By Luke Ofield for Unmasked Theatre ‘Daniel is a climatologist and he knows bad weather is on its way. Fiona knows the glass is half empty but is determined to make the absolute best of it. What neither of them knows is whether all they’ve built together can survive the coming storm and if you’ll […]

Amused Moose proudly present a ‘Comedy Concepts for TV’ Showcase

As you know, one of the pleasures of contributing to Fringe Review is that I get to review Amused Moose shows, acts and judge on their comedy awards. Personally, getting to see loads of cracking stand up comedy isn’t much of a hardship.  Like everyone else, the last year has been quiet on the Amused […]

Apart from shooting crazy videos in front of romanesque churches in this period I’m also interviewing various people from the physical theatre world. It’s a new project which I’ve called FISICO Lounge. Here’s the latest one with James Donlon. I kept it short and sweet: one and half hour long…. however James had a lot […]

Top Comedy Picks for Brighton Fringe 2021

Finally, shows and festivals are coming back to life. I won’t bore you with all the welcome back stuff as that is someone else’s job. A couple of weeks ago, Paul asked me to do some recommendations, highlights and things to look forward to at this year’s Brighton Fringe. So, in no particular order, here […]

FISICO 2021 – Against all odds

Tomorrow marks a big day here in Italy. The country is easing lockdown restrictions and in theory (underline that) theatres will open up again. Sounds good? Well, a bit too good to be true given the fact we have half a million covid positive active cases (make that one million). Let’s see what happens. In […]

Unique Derique (aka Lance McGee) is a performer from the San Francisco Bay Area. As a professional clown Derique has performed his unique physical comedy show to audiences of all ages in the US and internationally. He is also a Trauma-Informed Wellness Consultant, Drama Therapist, and Mindfulness Coach providing support to Oakland, CA middle-school educators, administrators, […]

On the occasion of Hanane Hajj Ali receiving The League of Professional Theatre Women’s (LPTW) Gilder/Coigney International Theatre Award 2020, in February 2021, we are bringing back into focus our audio interview with Hajj Ali: Hanane Hajj Ali, writer and performer of Jogging: Theatre in Progress, talks with Fringe Review’s Jo Tomalin about the development […]

Faithless, Faith

Over the last week or so the tribunal has judged actress Seyi Omooba’s case against venue and her former agents. She lost. I could have guessed what the outcome would be. Predicting the result was as obvious as case was fascinating. There are emerging themes which I think are quite unnerving. Firstly, Omooba admitted that, […]

Stream man

Gosh. I’ve just realized I have been a lazy boy not posting here for a while. Or maybe it’s just the opposite. Been incredibly busy on multiple fronts. Among the many our next edition of FISICO (Alba International Physical Theatre Festival) which should take place at the end of May 2021. Given the fact we have […]

The place may go, but the feeling remains…

The other day I went past the Citizen’s Theatre in Glasgow. It is my favourite place of theatrical magic. Since being a very young lad, I was transfixed by the venue, at one point buying my son a birthday present of the same seat for a season of productions at a venue where I saw […]

  Anne Rabbitt planned to perform her one person show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe last summer. But when the pandemic made this impossible she quickly adapted and reinvented her work to a new short film format. Jo Tomalin talks with Anne about her creative process and new work: I Know the Truth. Listen to […]

Online theatre is like sex over the phone

Tonight I literally stayed in front of my computer all day. Given that it’s been a splendid sunny day outside I’m not too sure if I have wasted my time altogether. Indeed, I probably live in one of the best places in the world, imagine something like the Napa valley but much warmer and with […]

So much to do… so little time

November… As it was to be expected we’re now entering the real storm (something that was easy to predict as I had written in one of my posts). However, despite the stream of bad news we are receiving daily I’m more than optimistic about the future. Yes, we will have to do double Cape Horn […]

We can’t can we? Or should we?

When the world shifts from should we to we can’t, it becomes a dangerous place. There has been a lot of noise around should we. Should we follow up the applause with proper pay for NHS staff? Should we put money into furlough schemes for workers? Should we save all the artists as well as […]

  Manual Cinema performs Frankenstein as part of Cal Performances at Home, streaming premiere Thursday, October 29 at 7pm PDT; Performance will be available on demand until January 27th, 2021. Pictured left: Sarah Fornace (credit: Drew Dir). Pictured right: Creature and Victor. Sarah Fornace is one of the five Co Artistic-Directors of Chicago’s Manual Cinema and […]

Live Theatre, surely not?

Last Friday, at The Grove Theatre in Eastbourne, we did our first live show in months. To an audience of 40, plus staff and crew, Tim Marriott performed Shellshock. Short notes, Tim was brilliant, the audience loved it and venue were delighted. Hooray, joy all round. Apparently, there are still people who want to see […]

It is what it is

I haven’t been blogging lately as about three weeks ago I suffered a tragic loss. My mother suddenly died (we were very close) and I was in a foggy state of mind up unable to focus on anything in particular. Fortunately enough she didn’t suffer too much and did not die of covid. I’m saying […]

Mini-Reviews of Online Fringe

Over August I have been watching online content. Not all of these shows are long enough to warrant the full Fringe Review experience but are good, and interesting enough to be talked about. Whilst the review criteria are the same, the brevity is a whole new experience. Anyhow, here are my thoughts on these shows. […]

Theatre Returns? A Tribute?

I once wrote a tribute to tribute bands. It was not my best work. It was in many ways simply a tribute, but the tribute fell away When I started to look at how they were copies and how they weren’t the same, I decided I wouldn’t call them out, And I wouldn’t mention them […]