FringeReview UK 2024
Political history told in Mamet-fast satire, imagined conversations and accurate stats. What could be more thrilling? 82 minutes later you won’t ask why this three-hander is like curing New Year’s hangover with Red Bull, ice, something illegal and a vodka chaser.
Jacob Kay and Helen Baird are both exemplary and funny – there’s explosions of laughter. At 40 minutes there’s much matter hurled at the speed of dark. See it if you can, and check out the other Bitesize plays at Riverside.
It’s conquered both sides of the pond. Stunning, heartwarming, heartbreaking. We need this.
A pristine, heartwarming Valentine of a musical, it fully deserves its revival
An outstanding production.
A potentially terrific play
A necessary, engaging, original variation on finding your voice: and a theatrical coup. Acting, writing, directing, video, lighting and tech support, indeed singing are first class. A gem.
Cranford’s gone Wild West, via the Court and RSC. Cowbois is of course daft. But it’s magnificent in its silliness, contains wonderful – and truthful – moments. Deadly serious can have you rolling in the aisles and still jump up for the revolution.
Two hours 45 starts slowly but you feel Smith’s arc move with its casual, supremely naturalist conversation to moments where time stands still. Outstanding revival.
This brilliantly nervous, unresolved play of at least seven lives seeking balance is an astonishing feat, uniquely chronicling the lives of refugees only three months after Osborne’s equally rent-infused Look Back in Anger: and with the same unsettling refusal to closure. A must-see.
The Night Witches ride !
Highly recommended, it’s also essential.
Despite history’s caveats, O’Farrell’s core message isn’t about white saviours or pop stars but how ordinary people unite to change things.
This smouldering production – fast-talking or timeless - fully engages with the play. It makes almost perfect sense: and two families’ DNA ring true as rarely before.
This is possibly Ridley’s masterpiece. Always exercised by the spectral presence of something just out of eyeshot, he never lets that intrude. Scorching and necessary, Leaves of Glass delves into family toxicity, ceaselessly dragging us back into the past.
We should fall in love right here. A joyous must-see.
With institutional racism and trauma compounded in a feedback loop, this Othello’s a timely, and timeless broadside on everything toxic we inhale and expel as venom.
The end’s both poignant and visionary. A show to remember long after the Bear’s imagined batteries run down.
Beautiful Future engages throughout though the near future is where it beats quickest. Flora Wilson Brown’s play makes you wonder what life, not just the playwright, might do with her characters. Urgently recommended.
There’s so much to admire here that it’s a happy duty to urge you to see it, if you can, any way you can.
Do see this, preferably alongside its sometime co-runner The Beautiful Future is Coming. A dizzying theatrical gem.
A valuable corrective to anticipate both real events and Arthur Miller’s take on Abigail Williams
A playful, slight but absolutely authentic slice of travel living.
Even this early, it’s safe to predict we’ll look back at the end of 2024 and proclaim it as one of the year’s finest.
This six-hander is a 90-minute announcement of a major talent. An almost flawless play.
This is the greatest one-man performance I’ve seen, said a Chekhov-immersed director of 45 years’ experience next to me. Yes.