FringeReview UK

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FringeReview UK 2018

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.


Bad Jews

This is a play supremely worth seeing: for its flayed comedy, acerbic wit, farce-dipped dynamics, monster roles, wincing and raw truths. It’s a triumph from all parties in the best NVT American vein. Don’t miss it.


Beyond Therapy

You want Bruce and Prudence to be happy till the lights go down, and to do that it needs a supreme breathlessness, then a slow exhalation at the very end. Worth seeing still.


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.


Eastward Ho!

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


Iolanthe

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


Jumpy

You begin to wonder how life, not the playwright, will treat these playhouse creatures. De Angelis has hit a true vein. You must see this delirious state-of-the-pause play.


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.


Losing Venice

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


Love’s Labour’s Lost

You really should see this.


Present Laughter

Gary Essendine’s rampant again. Will Liz Essendine with Miss Reed’s help work out a five-point peace plan as all the writhing lovers seemingly wish to embark on the same boat for Africa (pronounced Efrica, out of that Streep echo)? Will her blithe response to all latch key claimants that they spent the night at her flat make any difference? Do find out. A gem.


Quartet

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.


Rocky Horror Show

The Rocky Horror to see.


Salad Days

Don’t miss it.


Sara Pascoe: Lads Lads Lads

A one woman comedy stand up: break up sex, incest and being too 'tampony'.


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.


The Chalk Garden

Not quite the last drawing-room comedy. But the Janus-faced prophesy of plays that took thirty years to catch up. Chichester’s season of women dramatists is one of the treasurable things of 2018.


The Comedy About a Bank Robbery

A redefining farce in every way.


The Comedy of Errors

This is a light-footed, thump-fisted, limp-wristed and eye-poppingly uproarious production.


The Country Wife

A dazzling revival. If you don’t know the finale, with its superb resolution, this 1920s-style production is a memorable way in, with its clarity, its comedy and its last dangerous kiss. Stunning. Do see it.


The Double Dealer

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


The Little French Lawyer

Make friends with this troubling, deeply fascinating, vitally sour play.


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 Play That Goes Wrong

A play about amateurs no amateur company should even dare contemplate. There’s genius in the timing of all this. Outstanding.


The Way of the World

A triumphant revival. What’s striking isn’t just the clockwork plotting but the amplitude, even insouciant luxury Congreve allows his characters to unfold in. It comes together in this rich, endlessly self-fascinated masterpiece from a master of self-effacement.


The Wits

Exhilarating and fresh, this comedy shows just how singular Davenant is, deserving full-scale revival. You’d go far to find as spirited and sure-footed a cast as this.


Trial By Laughter

You won’t see a finer comedy till well into the new year.