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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

          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 […]

                  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 […]

          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 […]

Paul Levy talks to Guy Lloyd about his new solo comedy show, Guy Lloyd: Radio Blah Blah which premieres at Brighton Fringe 2019. Combining stand-up, storytelling, film, character acting and plenty of truthful reflection, Guy Lloyd talks about how he made this very personal fringe show. I saw a preview of this at the Marwood […]

The Week or So Before

This one one of my favourite Brighton cafes. Can you guess where it is.Here in the week or so before Brighton Fringe, I am at a preview show. Preview week, or Week Zero as it is known at the humungous Edinburgh Fringe is normal fare. In Brighton preview shows are a lot rarer. What are […]

Exploring the Human Condition at Brighton Fringe

There may be a dearth of political shows at fringe festivals (including Brighton Fringe) but there is no shortage of create work across all genres examining, exploring, describing and portraying what it i to be human, to be alive, the struggle of life, of staying well, sane and purposeful. Many fringe shows ask deep, quirky […]

Classic Writers and Theatre at Brighton Fringe 2019

If you are looking for classic writers and plays at Brighton Fringe, there are plenty to choose from this year. From modern to ancient, I am impressed with some of the offerings. Some are new on the Fringe, others are making a return, and more than a few are stopping off from other Fringes, particularly […]

                  Paul Levy guides you through the Brighton Fringe jungle. The Brighton Fringe Programme is huge. Hopefully publications such as Fringe Review help you to navigate your way through it. Even then it can feel overwhelming what to see, especially if you are on a limited budget […]

The Nordic Season at the Brighton Fringe

The international “seasons” which have become a staple of the larger Fringe festivals certainly involve a bit of international travel for some of the heads of those festivals. Is it all self-indulgent, or something more? the exchanges have certainly seen some fine and diverse fringe work arrive on our shores that would have probably not […]

Legends and Icons at Brighton Fringe 2019

Paul Levy offers some highlights and recommendations for shows that explore and celebrate icons and legends. Fringe Theatre has always been curious, celebratory and a fair bit opportunistic. Legends from entertainment, the arts and history are explored across the genres, to some success and occasional disaster. Here are a few of our highlights.   In […]

Devoted and Disgruntled 14: The Blog

I will be blogging at this vital open space conference which takes place 25-27 January 2019 at the Royal & Derngate Theatre in Northampton, UK.