FringeReview UK

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FringeReview UK 2018

4.48 Psychosis

An outstandingly imaginative, fearless recreation of Kane’s testament in another medium. It triumphs and is easily the most remarkable, necessary opera to have been produced in years.

Adam Le Clercq Chopin Recital

Readings of distinction. Le Clercq really is a recitalist to watch.

Albach Guitar Duo Recital

A highly distinguished duo, with a repertoire both intelligently chosen and superbly executed


Bennett’s exhorting us to fight back with laughter and rage in this riveting, timely play. It’s a sad and angry consolation.

All’s Well That Ends Well

This is an All’s Well to believe in, and plucks, just this once, a happiness Helena so richly deserves with a husband who equally doesn’t.

Animal Farm

A swift and telling production that’s quick-swerving on its feet with memorable vocal projection and physical acting that’s a delight and enticement. This outstanding outdoor version feels special.

Anthony Pleeth and Tatty Theo Baroque Cello Duo

It takes integrity to stick to such deeply reflective music and project it so well. More than worth spending an hour with.

Antony and Cleopatra

Supremely worth it to see these characters weighing equal in their own balance, perhaps for the first time.

Antony and Cleopatra

Supremely worth it to see a pair so famous weighing equal in their own balance, perhaps for the first time.

As You Like It

A ripping discovery, a spontaneity and transparent skin to the process makes this thrilling. An As You Like It for the moment, certainly. But a moment of change.

Bach and Stern Violin and Piano Recital

Altogether, we need players like Bach who understand what’s there to be discovered. Stern proves ideal.

BBC Prom 22 Haydn Symphony 104 in D; Vaughan Williams Symphony No. 2

The Haydn was excellent and we need more. The Vaughan Williams a revelatory cleansing and asserting its stature - which should be international.

BBC Prom 28 Mussorgsky, Benjamin, Ravel Ligeti and Debussy NYO, George Benjamin RAH August 4th 2018

An outstanding concert. We need George Benjamin to inspire young players to fall in love with modern works not least his own.

BBC Prom 33 Musgrave and Brahms Requiem BBC SO & Chorus, Richard Farnes RAH August 7th 2018

A superb reading of the Brahms Requiem. In Phoenix Rising, never before programmed, we find another Thea Musgrave classic.

BBC Prom 66 Dukas, Prokofiev, Schmidt Requiem Berlin Philharmonic, Petrenko.

BBC Prom 66 was - with the Berlin Philharmonic under Kirill Petrenko – at least as adventurous as anything Simon Rattle brought across with this band. Schmidt’s Symphony 4 though is the revelation.

Billy Bishop Goes to War

Overall though, it’s those songs.

Billy Bishop Goes to War

Nikolas Balfe gives the performance of his life so far.

Buck Brass Trio

When you see them back, don’t hesitate.

Chapel Royal, Paul Gregory and Peter Shulski, Bach and Schubert, August 7th 2018

Gregory and Shulski make both works seamless and I the Bach, powerfully truthful. And Gregory’s proved his point with this arrangement too: you see it in a new, summer-laden light.

Christina McMaster Recital

Christina McMaster confirms we hardly need the Wigmore if such artists travel to Brighton for the Chapel Royal and a few other venues.

Crazy For You

This is a blast of the purest kind. You have to see it. In terms of talent on display worked to a supreme ensemble pitch, this is quite simply the most stunning pure musical I’ve seen this year.

Cruft Robertson Pleeth String Trio

A superb trio and what unexpected, refreshing repertoire too. With such consummate musicianship, they should be on record.

Dirty Dancing

There’s a fitting heart-warming climax to a dream of production. And a surprise to those who think they know the film.

Doctor Faust

If this Wanamaker is hell, you should queue for two-and-a-half hours of it.

Duo Asteria Corinna Hentschel and Giulio Poggia

A highly distinctive, powerful duo. It would be wonderful to hear them again.

Eastward Ho!

This is one of the most exuberant and superbly orchestrated Read Not Deads I’ve seen.


As a gifted exploration of Electra’s themes and a transposition of them to 21st century values, this is as exhaustive, detailed and convincing as you’d wish.

Eliette Harris and Joshua Urben, Violin and Piano Recital

A tremendous burgeoning; I hope this duo continue.

Ellie Blackshaw, Yoko Ono, Paul Gregory Piano Trios

If you care about chamber music, and want to be surprised, this is the place to be.


This is a necessary, thrilling play, its energy and message spill straight into the audience.

Emma Halnan Flute, Heather Wrighton, Harp

Truly first class music-making, alluring and scintillating, but with heart and adventure too.

English Piano Trio

Consummate music-making. Definitive performances.


Evita lives.

Exit the King

We need such risk-taking theatre back. This outstanding production of Exit the King might just remind us how to get it.


A ringing, tolling end to a pioneering season. This play must have a life – and already possesses a miraculous importunity.


Excellent feelgood musical though there’s superabundant dance content.


It’s Joanne Clifton’s night. She lives Alex, dangerously pushing every routine with an extravagance, a hunger, sexiness and raw power that makes it one of the most memorable dance performances in a musical I’ve ever seen.

Gemma Kateb Piano Recital

Entrancing. It’d be good to see such a sensitive, searching musician back.

Gemma Kateb Piano Recital

Entrancing. A sensitive, searching and individual debut at Chapel Royal.


In Michelle Terry’s quicksilver, quick-quipping Hamlet, much has been proved, from interpretive to gender fluidity in tragic action, that sets a privilege on being in at a beginning.

Hammig String Quartet with Pianist Clare Wibberley Brahms Piano Quartet No. 2 A major, Op 26

The ensemble’s absolutely inside the music, and they all fit each other with unanimity and panache.

Harmonia Trio

Excellent, poignant, quietly unique.

Harmonia Trio Cara Barseghian, Daphne Elston, Elizabeth Shepley

Bracing, innovatively chosen repertoire makes the Harmonia Trio an essential part of music-making in the south.


Multi-instrumental, stratospheric vocalists. Simply exceptional music-making.

Hector Castro Guitar Recital

Superb recital at short notice.

Hector Castro Guitar Recital

Catch him next time. He’s the real thing.


Wow drama, the original Greek tragoidia. It invokes the same powers, almost the same gods.

Imogen Hancock and Jennifer Hughes

Trumpeter Imogen Hancock and pianist Jennifer Hughes gave an outstandingly vital recital at All Saints.

Into the Woods

This is an outstanding first-class revival, but more, it’s intimate knowing and innocent at the same time: it sports a residual wisdom beyond its brief.


You’ll have to see this if you care for music theatre at all. it’s unmissable.

James Osler and the Pillow Band

First-class crossover music-making for anyone who cares for music that stretches delight.

James Shenton, Paul Gregory Recital

An improvised concert doesn’t get much better than this.

Jamie Andrews Organ Recital All Saints

A burgeoning talent of some magnitude.

Janice Fehlauer Piano Recital

On the strength of this astonishing recital Janice Fehlauer should be at the Wigmore Hall and with a number of CDs to her credit.

Johan de Cock Piano Recital

Revelatory pianism from a composer pianist who proves classic and film music adaptations belong in the same repertoire.

John Bruzon Piano Recital

A Brighton-based pianist who deserves wider acclaim.

John Bruzon Piano Recital

A Brighton-based pianist who deserves wider acclaim.

Jon Byrne Piano Recital

An outstanding achievement.

Jon Rattenbury and Brian Ashworth Guitar Duo

Jon Rattenbury and Brian Ashworth one of the best-known guitar duos on the south coast enjoy a particular way with the classical guitar.

Jon Rattenbury and Brian Ashworth Guitar Duo

Jon Rattenbury and Brian Ashworth one of the best-known guitar duos on the south coast enjoy a particular way with the classical guitar.

Joseph Spooner and Glen Capra Russian Cello and Piano Recital

This is first rank cello and piano playing and we’re incredibly lucky these artists live amongst us.

Juliet Edwards and Yoko Ono Four Hand Piano, Ravel and Rachmaninov

From Yoko Ono’s sweeping glissandi in the Ravel through to Edwards taking her treble line in the Rachmaninov, the unanimity of their performance is really distinguished playing.

Julius Caesar

Together with several definitive and newly-founded interpretations, it’s Hytner’s lithe political thriller that emerges by contrast as a physical assault on the senses. From out of the smoke and flashes of this outstanding production, there’s jumpings-on and off as participants run up from all sides and even jostle people out of the way.

Karen Sharp Trio

A wonderfully mellow set of performances, and thoroughly recommended.

Katie Johnstone

Most of all you take away the sheer bravura of Georgia May Hughes’ throwing everything up in the air. She carries the energy to a cheery bleakness. And you want to cheer.

Lana Trotovsek and Yoko Misumi

Lana Trotovsek and Yoko Misumi are a compelling duo, and I’ve not heard violin playing of that force and character for a long time.

Legally Blonde

You must see this. Apart from the heroic production itself, if there’s one outstanding performer it has to be Lucie Jones with Rita Simons’ superb support. Jones' voice is stunning, stratospheric, above all characterful.

LIPS Wind Quintet

LIPS are a superb ensemble, and typical of the Chapel Royal team to have discovered them.

Losing Venice

A play we need, and a production that honours it.

Love’s Labour’s Lost

You really should see this.

Lucia di Lammermoor

This is a stunning pocket-sized opera-house quality Lucia. You won’t find a better-sung, more affecting Donizetti this year.


The one to see.

Madagascar The Musical

Highly Recommended for monkeys and lemurs of all ages – quite apart from lions, zebras, hippos and giraffes.

Maeve Jenkinson, Sarah Davison, Rachel Fryer Schubert Piano Trio No. 1 in Bb, D898

This is first-class music-making, the kind that persuades you you don’t need to travel up to the Wigmore Hall or wait for the Festival and fringe to enjoy all round music-making of this calibre.

Mary Thomas and Muriel Hart Songs

Thomas could afford to feel pretty wonderful by the end.

Medea Electronica

Like the recent Suppliants, in a very different way, Medea Electronica asks just what we mean by Greek tragedy, what our conceptions of drama without music are. An essential experience.

Meera Maharaj (flute) and Dominic Degavino (piano)

One of the most exciting flute recitals I’ve attended. Maharaj is back on September 20th at All Saints.

Michele Roszak and Lynda Spinney: Harmony in Love?

Vocally adventurous, a joy to hear

Michele Roszak and Lynda Spinney: Music in May

Michele Roszak’s as ever a richly engaging singer pushing her range through the soprano register. Always pushing new repertoire too she ranges widely here. Lynda Spinney’s acute understanding maximises their impact.

Mike Hatchard Piano Recital

Mozart would have been delighted wit what Mike Hatchard does with his Turkish March.

Niall O’Riordan and Anne Marshall Flute and Piano Recital

Enchanting territory, enchantingly and stratospherically played.

Olive Murray, Christopher Foreman, Soprano and Piano Recital

A delighted, delightful recital, exploratory and really worth hearing again.

Oliver Nelson and Vasilis Rakitzis Violin and Piano

Consummate playing. We shouldn’t be complacent about the luxury of such instrumentalists delivering programmes like these.

Organ Recital, All Saints

A superb double-recital to celebrate the return of the Hill organ.


Othello will never quite seem the same again; that’s an achievement and a marker.

Pam Crag and Maggie Grimsdell Four Hand Piano Recital

It’d be a delight to see these artists return.

Patrick Avery Guitar Recital

Exquisitely performed. It takes nerve and artistry to perform so consistently slowly till near the end: a fascinating career to watch.

Paul Richards Guitar Recital

Magical wholly Hispanically-inflected recital.

Phillip Dyson 60th Birthday Piano Tour

Dyson proves how supreme he is in conjuring orchestral sonorities in this stand-out recital bringing so-called lighter classics home where they belong.


Those receptive to those energies unleashed in the Ionesco, or more fitfully in Saint George and the Dragon will readily see Mullarkey’s almost unique position. What he writes next might define him.

Poet in da Corner

Exemplary, thrilling, adrenalin-shot and shout-worthy. There has to be a part two, and it ought to be soon.

Proms 17 Parry Vaughan Williams Holst Royal Albert Hall July 27th 2018

A revelatory programme, and fresh, flowing performances that pick up the keen lyricism and blow the fustian. A couple more masterpieces we can count on the strength of this one.


Like The French Lieutenant’s Woman, there are now two endings to Quartet. You must see this if you know the film only, or care about music, ageing, friendship and achingly lost love.


The theatre of Goat, its apotheosis into something else from its comedic opening, is stunning. It’s what the Rambert does; completely reinvent itself and the dance. this and the earlier ballet are outstanding in themselves. The Cunningham company are lucky to learn from them.


In a season featuring not before time several superb women dramatists – Enid Bagnold and Charlotte Jones follow – starting with tucker green is a proud moment for Chichester.

Rocky Horror Show

The Rocky Horror to see.

Romeo and Juliet

This Romeo and Juliet has all the pace and heart any production, modern-dress or period, demands. Karen Fishwick’s radiant Juliet is the soul that imprints itself on it.

Salad Days

Don’t miss it.

Sense and Sensibility

An adaptation to surprise and thrill you. Jessica Swale’s made Sense and Sensibility wholly hers, and quintessentially Austen at the same time. The cast render it a delight.

Shona Knight Soprano Recital

An outstanding debut.

Shostakovich 24 Preludes and Fugues

Powell makes more of the interconnectedness of this music perhaps than anyone since Tatiana Nikolayeva, and more lucidly than anybody ever. Acclimatising himself to the St Michael’s acoustics he delivered something extraordinary.

Son of a Preacher Man

Son of a Preacher man has real potential. It’s easily more than a cut above a jukebox musical, and Revel-Horwood’s work particularly coupled with Herbert’s musical arrangements is exemplary. As is the marvellous and marvellously hard-working ensemble.

St George’s Church Vote 100 Celebrating Women Composers

An outstanding, rousing and moving concert.

St Nicholas, Belladonna – Sue Mileham Soprano, Jane Plessner Clarinet, Nicola Grunberg Piano

With clarinet piano and soprano, a gloriously rich vocal recital

Still No Idea

Laughter’s the best start to killing ignorance. See it.

Summer Holiday

Stunning Ray Quinn and ensemble work their bobby-socks off with notable support from Rob Wicks and his band. Give No. 9 a proper MOT and it’ll strike gold too.

Sussex Flutes, All Saints

Beautifully consummate, with memorable repertoire, they’re a unique group who should be selling discs.

Tamzin Barnett and Nancy Cooley Soprano and Piano Recital

Tamzin Barnett’s already a remarkably versatile and mature artist. Where most was asked for she was at her most thrilling. Watch out for her.

The Boatswain’s Mate

About time this became standard repertoire.

The Double Dealer

I doubt if there’s ever been a production as good as this.

The Merry Wives of Windsor

Sparkling, a sassy, sexy, and sure-footed revival.

The Merry Wives of Windsor

Sparkling, a sassy, sexy, sure-footed revival. On its own terms, could it really be bettered?

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

It’s not shorter than before, but dare one say it, somehow Sparkier, conveying the author’s economy in a sinewy morality tale.

The Rape of Lucretia

Far from being just timely, this Grimeborn production reinvents how we might feel about this troubling, disturbed and absolutely contemporary piece in a time of #Me Too.

The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives

The genius of this production is to keep hilarity airborne whilst slipping in something poisonous. You must see this.

The Trench

A small masterpiece.

The Two Noble Kinsmen

We’re looking at a bright Book of Hours. Barrie Rutter’s done it profound service, adding a warmth and agency that opens up this pageant. This is hopefully just the first of many such he’ll bring to the Globe.

The Winter’s Tale

If Sicilia and its dense expressive syntax could rise elsewhere, this might be altogether remarkable. As it is, enjoy its slow burn.

The Woman in the Moon

This superb production has shifted our sense of Lyly’s pre-eminence still further. Lyly hugely influenced Shakespeare like no other writer. Lyly remains the Globe’s Read Not Dead greatest rediscovery, and this production underscores that more fully and emphatically than even before, in unexpectedly to this bold, necessary reading.

This Is Elvis

Inevitably this stands or falls by Steve Michaels, but it could only be outstanding if the whole production revs around it, and this one fires into life, never letting up. This Is Elvis. Elvis lives. End of.

Victoria Puttock and Mark Dancer, Saxophone and Piano

An exhilarating recital, from a duo who plan to return in January. Look out for them when you need winter blues blown away by the summer ones.

Wolfgang’s Magical Musical Circus

The performing brio is phenomenal, of a standard you’d be happy to see anywhere in the world. So would any child.

Yoko Ono Piano Recital

Another iridescent recital by an artist far too easy to take for granted.