FringeReview UK 2021
Even more than 2019, a carnival riot of joy – with enough misdirection to evoke moonshine
Absorbing. With such an acting masterclass the play’s a bewitchingly-voiced fugue on the limits of belief and betrayal.
Consummate, the complete Dolly-d up experience.
A play gently subverting all expectations. Feeling Adventurous? You should.
A sovereign tribute. If you know Flanders and Swann, you’ll know Bednarczyk.
Yomi Sode’s hybrid theatre is a compelling immersion of witness and poetry: we need more of it.
The nearest we’ll come to meeting Chekhov. In Pennington’s masterclass.
Dazzling: wise, clever twists about choice, male determination, and consequence.
If you can beg a chair from the rafters, see it.
A pristine, heartwarming Valentine of a musical, starring a pair of real-life lovers, it deserves a real-life run
Another hugely stimulating triple-hit from Creative Associates.
Three very fine and one outstanding work, Scratches – the best kind of play on depression, self-harm, black holes. Because it’s screamingly funny and deeply connected to why we do theatre.
Issy Van Randwyck brings seven divas to life in this paean to tragic fulfilment.
Writer/performer Hannah Kumari leaves you alert and exhilarated
Engrossing, it should provoke. Sudha Bhuchar absolves us by being bloody funny.
Charlotte Emmerson and Sian Phillips make their parts indelible, and add to Beckett’s stock of pity, stoicism and a window on death. Outstanding.
Just wait for the second act.
In rapid, elegant, idiomatically kerned language, Giles Terera proves himself a superb expositor of where it happens.
Jumbo’s Hamlet strips out accretions and ghosts you into asking who or what Hamlet is. See it if you possibly can.
Don’t miss the chance to see this transcendent actor prove she possesses another dimension altogether.
Ends in a hush of absorption as you lean in for every word.
Its potency lies in a fine peeling apart by Adrian Lester and Danny Sapini, and the language that bridges it.
Flawless, a stunning pocket-sized musical you really must see.
After all the gods and their lack of choice, we come to the final instalment, the human dimension. Where we have one. A heartfelt, satisfying finish.
A finely-calibrated solo play of what it’s like to enter that tunnel of near-undiagnosable but very real illness. Corinne Walker’s both authoritative and quicksilver. Do catch it.
They’re live. And Orange Tree. Catch them.
A stunning, preternaturally timed production
One of the wittiest but also truthful comedies about love, identity, sexual politics and gefilte fish I’ve seen
After all the uproar, it’s a quiet blinder.
This haunting 45-minute tale is a superb small gem from Jermyn Street’s Footprints Festival.
Stoppard’s written out his theatrical testament. Outstanding.
An adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's classic novel Little Women by all-female performance art collective Figs in Wigs
Hot off Sloane Square a team of writers, actors and creatives twist the news to truth
We need this. Watch.
Like all the Royal Court’s Living Newspaper series, we need this. Watch.
Like all the Royal Court’s Living Newspaper series, we need this. Watch what this does with the future
Like all the Royal Court’s Living Newspaper series, we need this. Watch a group of young dramatists take on the future
Four fine lockdown plays on zoom
Another five fine lockdown plays on zoom
An absorbing drama, absorbingly acted and produced.
The finest drama to emerge from the pandemic
A consummate, intimate homage to theatre
Building out of Macbeth a recurring epic of structural violence not ended with one overthrow, sets the seal on this outstanding production.
The overriding sense, not surprisingly with these actors, is joy.
A cross between cheerfully-spun recital and quicksilver treasury
A warm-hearted yet sharp-witted peek at how the Pooter half live
On the roof, balcony and terrace, a brass extravaganza
As we saw in March, don’t be lulled by friendly colours and fluffy fonts. Queens of Cups again proves they’re a company to revel with and wait for heart-stopping reveals
Don’t be lulled by the friendly colours and fluffy fonts. Queen of Cups is absolutely a company to watch, and its showcase productions are literally unmissable
A gem of an incarnation.
On Arriving takes sixty minutes it seems we’ve been immersed in a Greek Tragedy of ninety. See it.
A profound parable for co-existence and its sometime impossibility, perpetually skewed by others’ disruptions.
A terrific reinvention, bringing gods and heroines up from the death of myth to an altered world.
As with Inside, Outside not only fits us, they help us to move on, and become in their modest, unassuming and utterly transcendent way, part of how we learn to.
The most educative stand-up and a thrilling presentation. Oh and bloody funny on the tragedies.
A sleeping classic in the making
Dazzling: wise, clever twists about choice, male determination, and consequence.
A truly absorbing series. And free to stream on Soundcloud.
A true Pre-Raphaelite gem-lit recital.
At 65 minutes it’s worth anyone’s time and emphatically money.
A quietly thrilling evening, after it goes off with a bang and a bear.
The most profound reinvention of this particular myth I’ve seen
Absorbing. Rare Earth Mettle has found its time.
With his new production director Robin Herford, most associated with this play, brings pace, panache, and more than a dose of Ayckbourn’s generosity of spirit
Do see this work of understated virtuosity, rich in character, substance, a shape-shifting singularity.
As ever consummate, fine performances, and probing memorably into women Romantic poets
A fleet, brilliantly upending, wholly relevant take on the Verona-ready toxicity feeding male violence and young depression
A revelation, superbly written and acted. Comparisons have been made with A Girl Is A Half-formed Thing. I can think of no higher praise either. You must see this.
A remarkable one-person play, performed to literal fever pitch by its creator.
Shane Ritchie’s phenomenal energy and slidings in and out of tongues, mesmerises.
Utterly refreshing, breaking new ground.
A joyous, heady and oh-so-welcome return to this intimate yet high-kicking theatre. An absolute must-see.
If you’ve an appetite for exceptional new writing, just see it.
A first-rate revival of a play that with its ostensible shock-value in aspic, reveals subversions and a clever structure so unsettling we should all look in the mirror and wince.
An important, scorching revival, Statements explores the limits of love in a forcing-house of oppression and racism.
Once you tune in, you’ll be held all the way to Carlisle.
Naturally enriched by living with Shakespeare Michael Pennington unearths local habitations and names for him.
Grab it while you can
Michael Conley’s stunning stand-alone glows in the dark
If you ever need a kick-start to theatre, this is it.
Andrews vividly conveys what it is to be an undone thing, someone unravelling tales to live.
The finest musical in stream-town. Don’t miss this gem.
Do visit this exquisite production.
An enormously satisfying traversal
A dramatic sense of arrival the way the Odyssey here ended: a clash of even vaster ferocity, keening, treachery, humour, mischievousness, sacrifice and grief, joy and the agency of women.
An outstanding revival. If you see one play this autumn, make it this one.
As spellbinding as Circe and Calypso in one
The definitive way to experience this troublingly great, disturbingly unresolved poem
A wryly consummate musician.
See it again!
Heartstopping. There’s an absoluteness here we need. We must prove desperate for it or die ourselves.
Another sovereign tribute. Stefan Bednarczyk brings Tom Lehrer swaggering out of retirement.
Again the most educative stand-up and a thrilling presentation. Oh and bloody funny on war, male sexuality and the Bechdel Test.
With Michelle Terry as Viola, one of the most touching and truthful Twelfth Nights I’ve seen.
The glaring energy of this piece can’t disguise how it strikes profundity in its funny-bone.
An original off-kilter approach to elegy, tribute and becoming yourself.
Vespertilio marks Barry McStay’s emergence as a writer of distinction. Anything he writes now should be looked out for.
Amy Berryman’s Walden is a remarkable play where the earth itself’s at the cross-planet, and travellers in space have inner and outer choices.
Churchill’s anatomy of grief is what abides. Its emotional plangency and pulling the future open is unique.
An outstanding revival. Again.
A jewel of inhabiting
An ideal inhabiting of Blake