To thine ownself be careful with your opinions?

By Scottish Editor, Donald C Stewart It was last year that I was compelled to write about the case of Seyi Omooba. Seyi was the actress sacked or let go, depending upon your point of view, as she had expressed feelings on homosexuality that many, I among them, found incompatible with playing the central role […]

Turning a living play into a listening experience

“Start a blog,” Paul says, “it will be fun,” he adds, before finishing with “don’t worry it won’t take long”. Whenever Paul ‘suggests’ you give something a go, there is always a point when you think to yourself, ‘why did I agree to this?’. Then you wander around for a bit, scratching your head and […]

Summer? Cancelled…

My summer is finished. It didn’t even begin but now it has come to a stuttering end. The Fringe is aff. Not just a wee bit aff, not just a little delay, not even just a postponement whilst we think of something a little more creative. It’s done, dead, no longer and ceased for 2020. […]

Stepping into the unknown

I recently met the writer, director and actress, Sam Chittenden, who kindly invited me to see her latest work, Unquiet Slumbers – The Haunting of Emily Brontë at Sweetwerks, Brighton. As a much younger man, I tried to read Brontë, and it’s fair to say I didn’t find it to my taste. Not enough guns, […]

A series of unrelated events leading to an unexpected conclusion

Last August I reviewed Paul Currie’s Edinburgh Fringe show, Trufficle Musk. It was one of my festival highlights, a joyous trip through the absurd and ‘a brilliant hour of bonkers comedy that makes you happy’. As well as reviewing shows I was working as a producer on Mengele and Judas at Assembly. There was a […]

Whatever Happened to Jaggy Nettles Interview

Scottish Editor, Donald C Stewart caught up with Alan and Carly to talk about their new play by a care experienced ensemble that will bring punk back centre stage in February in Glasgow!! “We’re a punk band. A politically motivated Marxist punk band that want tae bring doun the rich by any means necessary!” It’s […]

Peril at Perth…

“I would like to thank both Mark and Robert for their service and commitment during their time with us … and wish them every success in the future.” * No such announcement comes when there is a parting of the ways with Boards of artistic companies. Resignations and leaving for a mutually acceptable reason seem […]

Oh Theatre of Scotland – Can You Hear Me???

The last season of Silent Witness on the BBC was again heralded by the appearance of Liz Carr in a central role. Such a mainstream win for a disabled actor and activist was seen as evidence that the tide was turning; we were becoming more inclusive. For years on the Archers on Radio 4 there […]

Out from the Shadows Comes…

The results are in, the shutter down and Edinburgh, the Festival city is getting ready for whatever extravaganza is happening next – Hogmanay anyone? And the hidden things that people don’t see have had their fanfare. What has been hidden? This year during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019, 85 sensory packs were provided for autistic […]

Up The Junction!

It would be easy to over exaggerate and suggest that there is not a year goes by without yet another creative tragedy as this project, that venue or this company have folded due to THE CUTS. I have performed and directed in venues that are closed from the Civic Theatre in Ayr to the Ramshorn […]

Theatrical Clown: Jo Tomalin talks to Áine Donnelly, producer/author/performer from San Francisco about Theatre Infinite and developing her clown character and show Hi. (Jean-Luc Godard). “Inspired by Jean-Luc Godard, clown Rodeo Debbie conducts an aesthetic investigation, where symposium meets jam session, and the audience contributes vital material. Mr. Godard knows a lot, but you are […]

How and why do we set ourselves challenges.  Jo Tomalin talks to producer and performer Natacha Ruck about her work telling other people’s stories – and writing and telling her own story in a solo performance You’re good for nothing. I’ll milk the cow myself. “Natacha stepped into her French grandmother’s kitchen to pick up […]

What does it take to write and perform a solo show? Jo Tomalin talks to memoirist, published essayist, actor and and lecture agent Jamie Brickhouse about creating solo shows and his latest show: I Favor My Daddy. “Daddy Poo adored bikinis and martinis as much as his homosexual alcoholic son. Was he a sodomite lush too? […]

Jo Tomalin talks to Comedic Storyteller Colleen Hindsley from NYC about what is special to her about performing at different fringes, developing new material, and developing and performing That’s Not How it Happened. Listen to our interview with Colleen Hindsley Visit our audio interviews page Visit our main San Francisco Fringe page for reviews

There are many Fringe Festivals in North America and they are coordinated by different organizations. How can fringers find out about them? Jo Tomalin talks to Grant Knutson, a fringe consultant and Managing Director of Minion Productions, who helps independent artists find out about fringe festivals, how to fringe in North America and about the […]

Shakespeare’s plays are just as relevant today as they were when they were written hundreds of years ago, and adapting Hamlet from Hamlet’s own point of view is a fascinating project. Jo Tomalin talks to San Francisco based Laurel Scotland-Stewart about her academic background in philosophy and The Readiness Is All: A Solo Hamlet by William Shakespeare; adapted […]

How does a performer develop a one person show? Jo Tomalin talks to James Sundquist about his creative process, performance style and AEON. “AEON by James Sundquist is the last chapter of good-humored resilience and personal pain that has been explored in EXPEDITIOUS INTENT (2017) and MINGALABA (2018). Minimalist, Paired Down Monodrama. I’m excited to […]

Telling a personal story is often more difficult to tell than a fictional one. Jo Tomalin talks to Jonathan Euseppi, a comedian and storyteller from Chicago about wanting to create a one person show about his dad, how he couldn’t get started and how he developed Grief is Horny. Listen to our interview with Jonathan Euseppi […]

Bars and Craft Cocktails in San Francisco! Jo Tomalin talks to Brian Waksmunski from Oakland, CA about crafting his experience in this industry and his inspiration for creating and performing his first solo show A Decent Negroni. “Abandoned by another waitress, our bartender takes inventory of his stock.” Listen to our interview with Brian Waksmunski Visit our audio […]

A survivor is always healing. Jo Tomalin talks to Nicia De’Lovely from Oakland, California about her healing process, the community workshops she conducts, theatre as a therapeutic tool and Get Uncomfortable. “Get Uncomfortable is a provocative performance addressing taboo subjects that have been normalized by traumatized silence within our marginalized communities. This one woman recital is […]

Jo Tomalin talks to pioneer lesbian playwright and actress Terry Baum about her work and Hick: A Love Story, Based on Eleanor Roosevelt’s Letters to Letters to Lorena Hickok, written by Terry Baum who also plays Lorena Hickok – Hick. “When Eleanor Roosevelt became First Lady in 1933, she had a lesbian lover — Lorena […]

  The Intrepid Theatre Company in San Diego produces plays for all audiences. Jo Tomalin talks to Sean Yael-Cox, the company’s founding artistic director about the importance of outreach in the community, producing plays that have a message and The Thousandth Night by Carol Wolf, performed by Sean Yael-Cox. “One Actor, 38 roles. It’s Paris, 1943. […]

Here are some pictures of Ian performing his show ‘Looking for Wolverhampton’s Latin Quarter’. With some delightful anecdotes from his youth as he found out about working life and the world around him, waiting to be discovered for his creative endeavours. A charming piece that brings back memories of growing up in the 70’s. Return […]

Zero Waste Fringe: BoxedIn get creative at the Greenhouse

A rather casual conversation at last year’s Edfringe about all the waste it creates led to the question ‘could we do it differently?’ and it turns out we can. Or, at least, BoxedIn Theatre can. They have created a zero waste venue, The Greenhouse, and an eco themed programme. It was a bit of a […]

Sir David and His Animals

When you’re a real celebrity there must be many demands on your time, and when you’ve got something really important to say then how do you find any time at all. This was the root of the problem for Clownfish Theatre as they had booked the great man himself to present an anthology of his […]

I photographed Viviana at the Space Triplex Studio venue 38 where she performed a delightful set of songs associated with Marilyn who had captured her heart. This is a homage to her. The show finishes on the 17th so there are only a couple more opportunities to catch this. Return to Richard’s Gallery

Will You Photograph My Show?

My Photography at the fringe I know that I may get it in the neck from the professional photographers here at the fringe but I believe that in general terms a show does not need a paid photographer. There are quite a few photographers in Edinburgh during festival time and probably more than you know. […]

Stand-up Poet – Greg Byron

One of Fringe Review’s must see shows. Occasionally through the performance I found it difficult to concentrate on taking photos as Greg entertained me and the rest of the audience. Several times I had to prevent the camera shaking as he performed his poems. Giggling throughout I have to concur that it is a great […]

Délicieux – Seckford Theatre

I must declare an interest in this theatre group, I always photograph them while I’m here, which is every two years. Seckford Theatre is part of my old school, which incidentally I left 5o years ago this year. 1969 was a wonderful year for those of you that may remember it. Travelling up from Woodbridge […]

World War II recommendations

There is always a goodly sprinkle of shows at the Fringe with a focus on war. These are three that I found around World War II that intrigued me, as telling an unknown story or taking a look behind the scenes of an iconic generation defining moment                 […]

Here are a selection of pics from ‘Mallets‘ a show at Surgeons’ Hall, Theatre 3 that I photographed on Tuesday. A delightfully light, piece of fast-paced comedy showing the underlying currents swirling around during the afternoon of an eagerly anticipated croquet match. Return to Richard’s Gallery

The end approaches

When I arrived on the 30th July those all around the fringe were busy, setting up, briefing the troops and all the other things necessary for this year’s fun. I wandered around watching what was happening and planning my schedule. Now I was onto the Press Launches and selecting shows to photograph. That was then […]

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 […]

Here are a few pictures from last Saturday’s Meet the Media. Performers; Publicists and others? queue from early morning to take the opportunity to pitch their shows to members of the media. Lasting all afternoon the orderly queues slowly disappear as the enthusiasm diminishes. However, patience and commitment is necessary to interest these reviewers. Return […]

theSpaceUK Press Launch at the Edinburgh Fringe 2019

Click on the image to see pictures of the Press launch. Introduced by John Rowe this show featured: Teach; Cello on Fire; A Tribute to Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill; Jeremy Nicholas What Are You Talking About?; Rust; The Good Scout; Predictably Irrational; Microbodyssey; Space Junk; Dream of a King; Lorca: A Theatre Beneath the […]

On Tuesday I was fortunate to go to the sixth annual ‘Death on the Fringe‘ this presentation showcased a few shows which are part of what they describe as a ‘Festival within a Festival. Robert Peacock the director of this alliance introduces over 40 shows in the programme. Have a look at the pictures in […]

Following the international success of Testosterone, exploring the culturally and socially different world a transperson has to learn to navigate, Kit talks about his new play, Passengers, described as: ‘A dark comedy about the epic battles and alliances within the psyche and the beautiful power of the mind to protect itself from pain. Max wants […]

The Female Role Model Project: Kate Saffin talks to the creator, Tjasa Ferme

Tjasa Ferme talks about this ground breaking mix of theatre and multi-media exploring the science of the brain. She describes how the idea emerged and developed into an interactive experience as much as a ‘show’ using live neuroscientific monitoring and recording which the audience see and hear as video and soundscape. And volunteers from the […]

It runs in the family: Kate Saffin talks to Joan Lawrence and Christian Gittings about Gilbert & Sullivan

Sometimes things just run in families and it was quite by chance that I learned that Joan Lawrence who sang with the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company from 1956 to 1962, would be watching her grandson, Christian Gittins, perform in Coily Dart’s Gilbert and Sullivan’s Improbable New Musical: Less Miserable The Spaces. Here they talk about […]

Best of the fest from Oxfordshire theatre makers

  Some best of the fest shows coming from the lively, innovative and dynamic theatre making going on in, and around, Oxford. Selected by Kate Saffin, Fringe Reviewer reviewer. If you’re looking for: Work by an all female company (with a mouse who is A therapist-cum-confidant-cum-philosopher) Beyond: Sugar Mice at Paradise Green 15.20 to the […]

Kate Saffin talks to Jeremy Nicholas about… talking (in public)

Jeremy describes himself as the 11th most famous Jeremy at the BBC and has many years experience as a broadcaster and as an international speaker. Last year he shared some of his most colourful moments at the BBC. This year it’s stories of public speaking. He describes the show as for anyone who ever listens […]

Objectivity Discussed

I know one or two people who will stop short (but only just) of physically attacking me if I use the word “objectivity” in a sentence. They don’t believe in objectivity. They say “objectivity is both impossible and arrogant”. Subjectivity is all there is. We have only our point of view, from where we stand. […]

Launches. . . Launches. . . Launches. . .

These are a selection of my galleries featuring the Press Launches held during the first week. theSpaceUK Press Launch – hosted by John Rowe featuring a few of more than 440 shows at ‘theSpaceUK’ Assembly Press Launch The patient audience awaits the start of the performance which previewed many of the shows at the Assembly […]

What happens when the glass slipper doesn’t fit? Kate Saffin talks to Michelle Madson and Lizzie Shakespeare about Bait: Kill the Princess

Described as a ‘savagely playful subversion of identity’ talk about the stereotypes of princesses that all little girls face and their different experience of growing up with those stereotypes. They discuss how the work developed as they explored whether you can kill the princess or whether she will always reappear in a slightly different guise. […]

Fourteen years of breakfast and short plays: Kate Saffin talks to Claira Watson-Parr and Billy Knowelden of the Big Bite-Size Breakfast Show

It isn’t always easy becoming a Fringe institution. Claira and Billy reveal some of the work behind creating and growing such a rare and valuable plant (with a total of 15 short plays across a rotating programme of three menus I reckon I can mix a few metaphors). This year sees the company take a […]

Greenside – Press Launch at the Edinburgh Fringe

  The Greenside Press Launch was the first of these at the fringe this year. This was the introduction to 19 of their 173 shows accross their fringe venues this year. Click on the image to see the gallery Return to Richard’s Gallery

Donald Stewart talks to Simon Weir about Benny Lynch

Donald talked to Simon Weir. Listen to Donald Stewart’s interview with Simon Weir It’s always an immense pleasure to catch up with one of the most enthusiastic theatre makers in Scotland and Simon never disappoints. Following his hit tour of The Benny Lynch Story I caught up with him for over an hour of hearing […]

Listen. People Aren’t Going to Buy Tickets to Your Show. They really aren’t. If you assume they will, you are heading for a fairly empty house. Your friends may well come to your show, though don’t even count on that, if their only commitment is an “Attending” or a “Maybe” on your Facebook event. Facebook […]

Hitting the ground running is all about making use of every moment of the first stages of an event in your life. It’s about arriving with the engines already running, with the soul already warmed up. It’s about avoiding stumbling,panic and fire-fighting. Hitting the ground running is an effective way to arrive at the Edinburgh […]

A Performer’s Guide to Having a Depressing Fringe

It is very easy to ensure your experience as a Fringe performer is dire and spirit-crushing. Just follow these top five tips and you’re sure to hit the bottom quickly and effectively… 1. Make it all about money. Become fixated on making a profit and ensure every empty seat is a sign of your personal […]

All you need to know about the much neglected art of putting flyers into flat surfaces and other angles of attack … (Warning: May contain humour) Vertical flyering is done standing up. The flyerer and the flyeree are both on their feet. It takes place mostly on the streets, and occasionally in queues and crowds. […]

The Mystique of Flyering – Six Tips

Here are a few tips for successfully flyering at a Fringe Festival. There are, of ciurse, many more nuggets of fringe wisdom you will pivk up on your fringe journey. These are the half dozen that I have picked up again and again since my first fringe in 1999… 1. Make your flyers useful (include […]

Here are my top ten recommendations for shows in the dance genre at Edfringe 2019. There were many to choose from…   BalletBoyz: Them/Us    All male award-winning contemporary dance company in their Edinburgh Fringe debut combining innovative choreography and versatility of movement. Underbelly, Bristo Square.     Ensemble   Five performers in their 30s […]

Thanks to the eerie magic of the Wayback Machine, FringeReview’s maiden year of reviewing has not been lost to posterity. Our first web site was home made by yours truly who knew bugger all about web design. It was a one page web site with reviews in alphabetical order. I knew not what hyperlinks were! […]

FringeReview Awards Memory Lane

FringeReview was founded in 2006. I was looking through a clunk old hard disk drive this evening and came across a few images of our hand-painted, much coveted FringeReview teapots – the trophy of the Outstanding Theatre Award… Below is out teapot scrap book covering Fringes from Edinburgh. Brighton and beyond. Not all of the […]

My 10th Year at the ‘Fringe Festival’

Each August in Edinburgh over the last 10 years I have had a wonderful time here in Edinburgh. Since 2009, when I came here in support of a ground-breaking show, ‘The Strong Breast Revolution’. Not quite knowing what I was going to find I dived in to the madness of the Royal Mile. I tried […]

The Edfringe July Performers’ Checklist

With a month to go before the start of the Edinburgh Fringe, this is your vital checklist to ensure you stay on track and hit the ground running. FringeReview’s Paul Levy offers some helpful advice…             Edinburgh Fringe July Performers’ Checklist (Click on the player and right click your mouse […]

I Start to Get to the 1%

The postman walked away much lighter afterwards… The letterbox groaned, just a little as it swallowed it up… Before spewing it onto a mat which became less heavy after it was lifted up… It’s here and it is hefty. We are but two months way from the opening weekend and it has new venues, new […]

Thankfully, let there be no forgiveness…

Saturday 8th June 2019 The headline did it for me. “ARTISTIC DIRECTOR DAVID LEDDY ENDS HIS THEATRE CAREER.” Surely, say it is not so, I thought…And yet, who can blame him? I, theatrically, grew up in an age of Wildcat, 7:84 Theatre Company, Borderline and the continuation of cash that was the annual Scottish Arts […]

So, Brighton Fringe 2019 comes to an end and I am not going to name drop or specifically hyperlink – partly because I can’t be arsed and mainly because this isn’t about this show or that show; it is about the Fringe beast as a whole. There has been some very reflective work – some […]

I Got Taken Somewhere and It Was Lovely…

There was much gnawing of teeth and gnashing of brows when the Arches closed their doors thanks to the overbearing and ridiculous decision to refuse a licence to the venue for fear of further drugs deaths when the venue had been at the forefront of trying to prevent them. It deprived the theatre world of […]

BREXIT – the 5 ingredients of Populism

We’re finally in Brighton. Today I’ve been walking about flyering a little bit while enjoying the city at the same time. Given that yesterday I woke up at 5 am and didn’t go to bed until 2 am of the following day I’m feeling a bit weak, to say the least. In any case, I’m […]

After a successful run of his second solo show, Canoe at the 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Matthew Roberts talks about developing his latest show TEACH, working with director Helen Tennison and returning to the Edinburgh Fringe, August 2019. Canoe is about universal ideas of love and loss through the lens of a gay couple who […]

          Paul Levy talks to Faynia Williams from Brighton Theatre about Mozzz! “A highly topical, 5* tour-de-force from Festival Best Production Award Winners, director/designer Faynia Williams and actor/playwright Richard Crane. “A one-day-old male mosquito looks forward to joining the mile-high club. He invites you to donate a sip of your blood […]


It’s that time in the frozen north, whilst FringeReview is down in Brighton, we get something like the following from those hoping to be a hit in August: – Dear Fringe Reviewer person, The company who have employed me because they have enough money to spend on me sending emails in the hope that you […]

I guess hello is always good to lead with.   So. Hello. I’ll start with my name… I’m Caitlin. You can call me your Tour Guide or Blog Facilitator (imagine me in a safari jacket and one of those cream hard-hats tour guides always wear). It’s my job to keep you up-to-date on our latest […]

                  What are we going to do about the Arts in Brighton and Hove? That was the question posed by FringeReview’s Paul Levy and Brighton Spiegeltent’s Adrian Bristow. (You can read Paul’s thoughts going into the event here).                   […]

As people descend at 6pm on the Brighton Spiegltent as we approach the midpoint of Brighton Fringe 2019 for a gathering exploring the question “what is to be done about the Arts in Brighton and Hove?” I wonder why we keep asking this question year after year after year. It could be that there is […]

Paul Levy talks to Sam Chittenden from Different Theatre about Sary and Clean. “Different Theatre create intimate work with a strong theatricality. Past shows include ‘Metamorphosis’, ‘Sary’, and ‘So You Say’”. In this interview, Sam talks about where her ideas and creative impulses come from and how she makes her theatre. Sary       […]

    Paul Levy talks to Adam Potrykus about The Nordic Season at Brighton Fringe 2019 at The Old Market “Fancy some Daddy Issues from Sweden? Intergalactic adventures from Norway? Your most secret desires from Finland? Virtual reality theatre from Iceland? A performance lecture from Denmark? Or maybe some Scandinavian burlesque, dance, folk song, site specific […]


Award season is rife for most of the arts and we have BAFTA things going on the TV. It’s exciting for people and not to be outdone, Scottish theatre have their own awards night and ceremony for the “best” in Scottish theatre coming up soon. I have best in italics for a simple reason. The […]

Subsidy Junkies or Toadies… Or Sirs of the Realm…

At what point is it all right to bite that hands that feeds you? I remember many years ago I spent a weekend in Fintry in a log cabin. It was a weekend of working as a volunteer Tory – I know… The local MP was Mike Forsyth, arch Tory and Thatcherite and he was […]

          Paul Levy talks to roleplay game fan and show maker David McIver about Teleport. “Come! Escape into the Kingdoms of Ashgorn, where you can level up, complete quests, defeat monsters and watch a very cheeky young man doing some really stupid character comedy. That’s right my friends, it’s another big […]

  Paul Levy talks to Luke Olfield from locally based Unmasked Theatre. Unmasked Theatre bring two shows to this year’s Brighton Fringe. Further Education is their own creation,  a winner from the highly successful Brighton Scratch Night at Rialto Thatre. “1985: Frank the miner likes doing his job and reading the Sun. Unfortunately, Maggie is after […]

          One Beautiful, Enormous, Historical Flat Pack? Paul Levy talks to Izzy Tyndall Bristow and Sam Rush about Brighton Spiegeltent at Brighton Fringe 2019. This perennial Brighton Fringe hub goes up quicker than you might think. This year it is as packed as ever with Fringe varety. Paul Levy caught up […]

Step lightly, step carefully and watch what you pack

Most of the large Fringe venues are close to each other, within 10-15 minutes walking distance. The Brighton Spiegeltent, The Warren, Sweet Venues, Junkyard Dogs, Komedia and The Rialto can all be easily strolled to. Do take care you don’t get run over, by a car or a bike. Also sort your tickets in advance […]

            Paul Levy talks to co-author and director Amy Whitington from Gauntlet Theatre about devised theatre piece My Life Closed Twice which she co-wrote with writer and performer Joseph Hand. “After being diagnosed with schizophrenia aged 20, Joe’s life becomes a cacophony of visions, voices and questionable media stereotypes. From the […]