FringeReview UK

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FringeReview UK 2024

A Chat With Adonai

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.


Afterglow

It’s conquered both sides of the pond. Stunning, heartwarming, heartbreaking. We need this.


Before After

A pristine, heartwarming Valentine of a musical, it fully deserves its revival


Blood On Your Hands

A potentially terrific play


Boy In Da Korma

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.


Casserole

One of the finest small-scale plays to come out of Arcola’s Studio 2 recently. Do see this.


Dream of a Ridiculous Man

A definitive telling of that rarest thing, an uplifting Dostoevsky tale. It’s unlikely to be rendered better than this.


F**king Men

A must-see.


Good-Bye

Wholly absorbing, wholly other, it’s a gem of the Coronet’s dedication to world theatre.


Hide and Seek

An absorbing two-hander with as unexpected an ending as Lauren Gunderson’s I and You


Jab

Highly recommended, it’s also essential.


Just For One Day

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.


King Lear

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.


Leaves of Glass

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.


Life With Oscar

Nick Cohen’s exceptional powers as writer and performer are mesmerising


Othello

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.


Rika’s Rooms

Emma Wilkinson Wright manages the narrative as an odyssey punctuated by screams. It’s a pretty phenomenal performance and the actor is so wholly immersed in Rika you know you’re in the presence of something remarkable.


Stitches

The end’s both poignant and visionary. A show to remember long after the Bear’s imagined batteries run down.


The Beautiful Future is Coming

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.


The Duchess of Malfi

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.


The Pursuit of Joy

A playful, slight but absolutely authentic slice of travel living.


Till the Stars Come Down

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.


Vanya

This is the greatest one-man performance I’ve seen, said a Chekhov-immersed director of 45 years’ experience next to me. Yes.