FringeReview UK

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FringeReview UK 2019

#We Are Arrested

Peter Hamilton Dyer carries this celebration of the conscience to be fully human

4.48 Psychosis

Do see this bold, beautiful attempt on Kane’s masterpiece

A Day in the Death of Joe Egg

Over 50 years on, this still sets benchmarks. Its power to enthral, to appal can never date.

A History of Water in the Middle East

Hugely absorbing it’s entertaining too.

A Kind of People

Bhatti nails truth to the doors of injustice. It’s well we heeded it.

A Letter to a Friend in Gaza

Amos Gitai’s curating hope from the ruins, impelling the audience to construct a narrative.

A Life Twice Given

Can science give back the life that was lost?

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

A carnival riot of joy – with enough misdirection to evoke moonshine

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

This surely is the greatest Dream since Peter Brook’s landmark 1970 production.

A Very Expensive Poison

Prebble’s one antidote for these distracted times.

Abigail’s Party

This is a superb revival; its tinted mirror keeps burnishing.

Absurd Person Singular

With vintage Ayckbourn funny is devastating. Vintage BLT too.


It grips from start to finish… a huge achievement.

Adam Heron Piano Recital

A truly outstanding young talent

After Edward

This has to be the smartest debut from this venue since Jessica Swales’ Bluestockings: no wonder the playscripts sold out early.


It’s conquered both sides of the pond. We need this.

Agnes Colander

A revelation. At twenty-two Granville Barker’s a master in the making. Naomi Frederick’s sovereign in the title role.

Ali and Dahlia

A phenomenally well-written first play

All About Eve

Absorbing. A must-see.

All My Sons

Convinces you All My Sons is even greater than we know.

All’s Well That Ends Well

Hannah Morrish’s Helena shines in this achingly desperate, quietly beautiful production.

Alvin Moisey Recital

An exceptionally interesting, exceptionally delivered programme

American Idiot

It’s still revolutionary.


An exciting initiative showcasing new work by womxn


Did I say sucker-punch? It’s what the Orange Tree do every time.

Angry Alan

Funny, sassy, disturbing, necessary.

Anon Look About You

Exceptional and vibrant, the company prove it’s one to revive.

Antonio Oyarzabal Piano Recital

These intelligent programmes make Antonio Oyarzabal’s recitals an occasion.


A play that can only deepen with each production.

As You Like It

A heartwarming revival. Jack Laskey, Bettrys Jones and Nadia Nadarajah have made a space for this As You Like It well beyond its initial moment last year.

As You Like It

For Lucy Phelps and Sophie Khan Levy above all, this is a joyful As You Like It.


A well-written and beautifully staged new play

Avenue Q

A first-rate revival

Bartholomew Fair

If only one could see it twice: but try it at least once.

BBC Prom 44 Koechlin Varese Walton

It’s Rattle’s genius for the fresh and new that endures.

BBC Prom 46 Howell Elgar Knussen Weinberg

Sheku Kanneh-Mason is thrillingly intimate, matched by Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla’s lucid, energetic readings throughout.

BBC Prom 47 Bach Organ Works, Bruckner Symphony 8 in C minor

Bach’s organ works on the Willis are thrilling in Michael Schonheidt’s hands. Andris Nelsons is exemplary, the Leipzigers uninhibited, agonized, overwhelming in Bruckner 8

BBC Proms 69

An immensely satisfying traversal into darkness.

Belladonna: Sue Mileham Soprano, Jane Plessner Clarinet, Nicola Grunberg Piano

With clarinet piano and soprano, a gloriously rich vocal recital

Benidorm Live

Heartwarming. It has the brash conviction of it origins, out and proud of it.

Berberian Sound Studio

Thoroughly absorbing, full of walking shadows who throw vivid questions.

Blood Knot

With Angela Smith’s phrase ringing in our ears, there’s not going to be a better play anywhere that answers it. Do see it.

Blood Wedding

In several ways, this is about as good as it gets.


Still masterly, and in this rare revival, a must-see.

Braimah Kanneh-Mason and Konya Kanneh-Mason

The whole family’s rightly going to stardom. Here’s two of the seven.

Bunch of Daph’s Recital

The ensemble’s exuberant variety and panache never fails.

Calliope, Flute and Accordion Recital

Beguiling and barnstorming in equal measure.


Convinces here far more than any production I’ve seen.

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

There’s something special and extraordinary here too: a voice.

Chapel Royal Caroline Tyler Piano Recital

A revelatory, stunning recital.

Chapel Royal Clelia Iruzun and Yoko Ono Four Hands Piano Recital

A superb recital of mainly rare but fascinating repertoire

Chapel Royal Ellie Blackshaw and Yoko Ono Viola and Piano

Two viola masterpieces in the hands of a new viola and piano duo already long-seasoned.

Cherry Soup

True, and not so true, tales of the South Downs.

Christina McMaster Piano Recital

Magnificent. It alters the settled world of this music.

Clelia Iruzun Piano Recital

Iruzun’s a master and this recital was a revelation.

Club Tropicana The Musical

They deliver, in Costa Blanca spades.


You must see this.


We’re unlikely to see a better production of this still rarely-performed disturber of ourselves.

Cyprus Avenue

Devastating drama about the DNA of bigotry; and it all starts in surreal farce.

Dark Sublime

Renders complex sexual feeling and friendship with the grace of the everyday

David Soo Piano Recital

A stunning solo debut.

Dismantle This Room

Dismantle this space? Yes. This theatre at least can take it.

Don’t Dress for Dinner

For a farce there’s only one spot of monotony. That’s how uniformly outstanding this is.


A masterly, unsettling play that in this production never puts a foot wrong. And wrong-foots us all.

Edward I

Could this be staged any more convincingly? Superb.

Edward II

A flinty lesson, not to be missed.

Eight Gigabytes of Hardcore Pornography

A fine piece, skidding along silicon into our dark

Elephant’s Graveyard

Our Town gone mad. It’s in NVT’s best American vein.


Ned Bennett’s thrilling production breaks out Equus from its leather bondage


Europe’s border challenges have rarely been realized with this power.

Faith, Hope & Charity

Grounded in quiet with a huge howl


An enchanting speed-read of our connectedness, a reminder that a fiver can change your life. Irresistible.


Original, raw, brilliantly funny and devastating. This production is Fleabag neat. Its harrowing streak of genius burns like a healing scar torn.

Florisma Baroque Recital

Five-star already, a stunning Brighton and Hove debut

Flute, Violin, Piano Recital

Unexpected repertoire, played with panache and sensitivity.

Fours Company

We really need this quartet back.

Fumi Otsuki Violin Sarah Kershaw Piano Recital

Hope of some distinction, particularly in rare repertoire

George A Greene, The Pinner of Wakefield

We now know more of Greene than upstart crows


You’ll know the film. Despite the volume, you should know this.

Gin Jazz Trio

A unique, consummate line-up

Glass. Kill. Bluebeard. Imp.

For a time you feel that beyond Churchill’s world, nothing else quite seems to exist.

Glengarry Glenn Ross

Riveting must-see revival of Mamet's breakthrough play




A masterfully conceived vehicle to stalk politics now


You must queue to see this. It’s quite wonderful.

Henry IV Part 1 or Hotspur

A soaring remix of how the play settles a succession on congealed blood.

Henry IV Part 2 or Falstaff

The triumph of this newly-energized production is bringing the darker Falstaff to a diverse audience

Henry V

The enormous energy Sarah Amankwah brings proclaims greatness in the making

How Love is Spelt

Absolutely recommended.


An exemplary, scrupulous production so starkly contemporary, it makes Hunger contemporary forever


In all the flurry of Fringe, don’t miss this gem.

Ingrid Cusido Recital

A pianist of integrity and gritty lyricism

INK Festival Feast From the East

I’ve not seen a festival of short plays to compare with these.

Inside Bitch

Visceral and sometimes very very funny. Then not. Essential viewing.

I’m Not Running

Compelling dissection of what hampers the mindset of our main progressive party.

John Collins Organ Recital

Another superb Collins recital

John Collins Organ Recital

Another absorbing Collins recital

John Greening The Silence

The Crypt organisers as well as John Greening really have hit on an ideal recitation.

Lance Mok Piano Recital

A pianist bristling with oblique lyricism – an ideal twentieth century interpreter.

Laundry and Bourbon/Lone Star

Yet again NVT deliver small gems of Americana. See it.

Little Baby Jesus

Anyone seeing this play will be grateful they’ll never feel quite the same way about London, young people or language again.

Little Miss Sunshine

It’s a quiet heartbreaker, with stoicism and love the only answers. Do see it.

Loving Androids

A beautifully-constructed play, small in compass, big in scope and deft at managing the transitions

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

An Unmissable Harrowing Halloween Treat

Mary Stuart

It must be seen

Mary Stuart

Again, it must be seen

Mary’s Babies

Maud Dromgoole’s proved more than adroit, skilful, and deliciously risk-taking. A must-see.

Measure for Measure

An outstanding production

Michele Roszak and Lynda Spinney: Filial Relationships

Vocally adventurous yet again, a joy to hear

Midnight Movie

What we have is absorbing

Mike Hatchard Piano Recital

A composer one delights in

Miss Julie

It’s unlikely we’ll get a cleaner version, or a more absorbing production any time soon

My Brilliant Friend Parts One and Two

Cusack and McCormack give the performances of their lives

New Music Brighton Jon Rattenbury and Brian Ashworth Guitar Duo

Exhilarating. Time to celebrate all the artists here.

Noughts & Crosses

A must-see cry for love and tolerance

Oliver Nelson and David Way Violin and Viola Recital

Consummate and distinctive music-making with repertoire nearly forgotten.

On Bear Ridge

Absorbing and horribly timely.

Other People’s Money

A superb revival.

Out of Water

Anything Zoe Cooper writes now must be keenly anticipated.

Outlying Islands

A first rate-revival of a small classic. Do seek out this rare, dream-like play.

Oyarzabal, Besselaar, Nigl Piano Trio

A superfine ensemble, who would be welcomed back to play such exciting repertoire.


A searing arc of a drama based on true events

Pal Banda Bach Cello Suites 1, 5

I’ve heard no interpretation remotely near it.

Paul G Terry Piano Recital

Terry has his own accent, should be enjoyed by many. Mesmerising for a summer’s day.

Paul Gregory and Yoko Ono Guitar and Piano Recital

An elegant case for this unique repertoire and its sovereign performers.

Peter Gynt

In McArdle’s irresistible performance you’re not likely to see a finer Gynt.

Peter Sulski, Solo Viola

We need more concerts like this.


Elinor Cook’s always worth a diversion for. This drama deserves friends and revivals.

Plaegan Piano Trio

We’re very lucky to be here.


Unsettling enough to avoid instant classic status, but outliving many that court it. A superb revival.


I’m hooked. We need more of this.

Present Laughter

The finale is grounded in silences; an almost tragic awareness of the nature of the Essendines’ love. Outstanding.

Richard II

A savage anointing, a revelatory reading.

Richard II

A searingly precise essay on the corruption of entitlement.

Richard III

This production could draw out the poison of being dead serious in terminal bursts of laughter


They compel attention, they demand we follow every sigh


Rotterdam’s an outstanding play about sexual identity, choices, and above all what it means to transition.

Rutherford and Son

Terrific revival goes at the speed of twilight

Sadness and Joy in the Life of Giraffes

Rodrigues is a dramatist we need to see far more of.


We’re offered ‘salt to heal, salt to remember… above all for your wounds.’ Take it.

seven methods of killing kylie jenner

‘What are you gonna do now…. clap?’ Yes, standing.


Speaks with a fierce innocence

Sharon Elizabeth and Paul Lewis Recital

‘Best three pounds I’ve ever spent’


A superb ensemble piece. Of all dramas on these interesting times in America, it’s the one truly necessary.


If you’ve an appetite for exceptional new writing, just see it.

Small Island

A reboot for the future, a passport for change.

Small Island

A reboot for the future, a passport for change.

St Nicholas Constance Chow Piano Recital

It’d be wonderful to see Chow back

Stones in His Pockets

What better way to spend 105 minutes in the city?


A searing new talent.

Sussex Flutes Recital

You won’t hear anything like this, and you should, next time.


No wonder this play’s just extended its run. Don’t even read this before you try booking.

Sweet Charity

It’s a powerful beat.


A Hilliard rather than Holbein, it’s the velocity of Elizabeth’s survival that enthrals

Tabby McTat

It really is purrfect for summer


Prepare to be Tartuffed.

The Affair

A lovelorn lothario with ants in his pants meets his match in a knockabout clown play

The American Clock

It’s imperative to see this production.

The Antipodes

Baker pushes dangerously at just what theatre is.

The Brighton Scratch Night 2019

Six new pieces - one of which will be produced at next year's Fringe

The Decorative Potential of Blazing Factories

A daft sublimity in its downright seriousness

The Dismissal of the Greek Envoys and The Laments

In nearly every way an outstanding pair of productions.

The Doctor

A triumph for all concerned. Juliet Stevenson even gains in stature. Icke’s last production could hardly go better than this.

The Duchess of Malfi

The scalpel and scruple of class and coolness breaks into tragedy and gifts us three outstanding moments

The Dutch Lady

A consummate production of a memorably dark comedy

The End of History…

A play you want to return to.

The Father

Florian Zeller's masterpiece, in a production and central performance that would do it justice anywhere.

The Flies

There’s nothing like the Exchange’s approach: their bi-lingual virtuosity burns questions.

The Full Monty

Unmissable in this – er, newly enhanced production.

The Girl On The Train

Superb entertainment

The Glass Piano

A bewitching mix of deconstructive magic and fabulous therapy, it’s above all Grace Molony who brushes distinction into this already distinctive production.

The Hammig String Quartet Schubert in G D887

Seek them out, whatever they play.

The House on Cold Hill

Sleep as well as you can. The house won’t.

The Hunt

An outstandingly theatrical re-visioning of a film

The Ice Cream Boys

A deeply satisfying play

The Kelleth Piano Trio

Consummate and wholly satisfying.

The Lady From the Sea

A groundbreaking production. Even outside its unique terms it’s outstanding.

The Language Archive

We need NVT to continue presenting us with plays like this.

The Lehman Trilogy

Almost stupefying, but outstanding.

The Malcontent

Outstanding theatre.

The Merchant of Venice

A feminist take on a Shakespeare classic

The Merry Wives of Windsor

The most cogent, most fun at the Globe this year.

The Mikvah Project

A brave and beautiful play

The Ministry of Biscuits

It is the definitive musical about biscuits

The Mousetrap

A finely-judged, neatly-rendered romp of a classic.

The Night of the Iguana

More nearly a masterpiece than you’d think

The Price

An outstanding production, rescuing a classic from attic shadows.

The Pride

Don’t wait for another West End revival see this one.

The Rubenstein Kiss

If you care for grippingly argued, passionate theatre, you must see this.

The Sad Shepherd

A necessary production you’re unlikely ever to see anywhere else.

The Seven Ages of Mam

13.10 is a good lunchtime to watch a Mam’s legend in.

The Son

An explosively powerful play

The Taming of The Shrew

Highlight how good the play is just where we’re not looking for it

The Taming of The Shrew

Highlights how good the play is just where we’re not looking for it

The Winter’s Tale

One of the finest LLT productions I can remember

Three Sisters

This absorbing production keeps growing in the mind, like to take root.

Three Sisters

This spectacular production beats with a fervour and purpose few adaptations achieve. Ellams has made Three Sisters new.

Top Girls

It doesn’t get much better than this.

Total Immediate Collective Imminent Terrestrial Salvation

The most consistently satisfying work of Tim Crouch I’ve seen.


A really worthwhile production with a few missed opportunities

What Girls Are Made Of

Cora Bissett’s set the bar thrillingly high for a new genre. Who could follow her?

When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other

This cast’s exemplary dedication deserves watching for their sheer performative belief.

While the Sun Shines

An outstanding revival.

White Pearl

The finest new play from the Court this year, gleaming and deadly

Wit and Science

They render a faint scroll alive with wit

With Memories

A wonderfully evocative dementia themed concert for local charity Memory Lane

Youth Without God

We’re launched into a necessary world

Yvonne Patrick and John Bruzon Soprano and Piano

An exemplary, deeply satisfying recital.


Compelling and bleakly miraculous

‘Master Harold’… and the boys

A mostly terrific revival.