FringeReview UK 2018
This is outstanding. See it.
Adult Orgasm Escapes from the Zoo. That title, from the 1983 version of one of the plays presented here summarises what you can expect. Sadly, subversion has to be rationed. Franca Rame and Dario Fo’s five short plays from 1977 Female Parts, get two outings – they’re joined in a similar bid for self-determination by OneNess Sankara’s The Immigrant, the first black woman in space. Go: it’s likely someone will vault over your head.
Original, raw, brilliantly funny and devastating. This production is Fleabag neat. Its harrowing streak of genius burns like a healing scar torn.
When you hear an opening like: ‘I met my husband in the queue to board an easyJet flight and I have to say I took an instant dislike to the man’ you relax. Too soon. Thus the chippy wit of Carey Mulligan’s opening of Dennis Kelly’s monologue Girls & Boys at the Royal Court Theatre Downstairs, directed by Lyndsey Turner stretches ninety minutes into something else. Fourteen years after her debut on this stage, it confirms Mulligan as a great stage actor.
‘Have you ever tried to sustain a relationship with a twat?’ Some debuts establish more than a new voice. Anoushka Warden’s My Mum's a Twat certainly revels in its compelling and sassy distinctiveness; but it nails to this a cause. Beyond this though is the thrill of a debut writer with the tang of their own voice stinging the air. As Warden says about something else: ‘You’ll have to take my word on that.’ So see it.
What makes this harrowing selection work is how Smith varies, gradates and paces her interviews; and builds a climax. It renders the experience a memorial; it’s what such artistry’s for. You will experience nothing like this and leave reeling.
This is as good as a one-person show of this kind gets. Andy Daniel should be up there above his own rows of five-star ratings.
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.
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.
A rare instance of an actor knowing exactly how to direct himself. It’s a super-Fringe show well worth reviving, and Welsh clearly puts his life into it.
Judy Rosenblatt’s reading irradiates Robertson’s and indeed Peggy Guggenheim’s rationale into a morphology, something felt along the gut. The appalled and occasionally appallingly purity of Peggy Guggenheim is laid bare. More widely, this work addresses the limits of patronage, of rescue, of greed and altruism, of comic high-Bohemianism and sexual affirmation before the sexual revolution. Which of course began in 1963.