Top 3 theatre 2018

I was incredibly lucky to see an array of Edinburgh fringe festival performances, therefore instead of 3rd place have honourable mentions for the following from the fringe: From today everything changes, Good vibes, First dates, Bottled Up, Beakers Place and Brenda’s got a baby.

2nd: Everyone is talking about Jamie, which I saw again live in London in January. This was the second time after premiere in London. Then I loved it enough to see a third time at cinema broadcast from London.

1st Mission Her which I saw at the fringe, which really spoke to me.

All of the shows mentioned, I reviewed earlier in the year.

September Summary


There were coincidentally couple of themes to the book titles inSeptember; Sisters and seasons (Summer and Autumn)

Liverpool Sisters by Lyn Andrews. About a young women and her involvement with the suffragettes. Pleasant enough read but, did not go into the detail I was looking for in terms of suffragettes.

Sister Sister by Sue Fortin. A thriller about what happens when a long lost sister returns.  Good pace, the twist was maybe slightly unbelievable. Spoiler alert at bottom of post have put why, think that.

Autumn 🍂 by Ali Smith

Most people at book club enjoyed reading despite, it perhaps being whimsical, not making sense in places and not climaxing. Apparently as well as the literary references, the pop artist and paintings mentioned are real.

Autumn 🍂 Dickens

The Summer Book by Tove Jansson. Each chapter is like a separate short story about the same characters. They are pleasant enough to read set on a isolated Scandinavian island, as you would imagine from the author who wrote the whimsical moomins. Together they don’t fit together to form a story arc, there is not suspense between chapters, so in that sense not a page turner.


Alice in Wonderland



Steel Attempts to contrast a woman in local politics within labour party in the 80s with one in 2016. The same two actors are used in both timeframes; which can make it difficult to follow. Illustrates the importance of steel in both timeframes in the area it is set in; around Sheffield. Thee were interesting points raised during the play, but none were poignant enough to stick in my mind from two weeks ago.

Still Alice

Still Alice

Kylie and Jason Weekend

Jason Donavon. Pity those around did not realise it was an audience with rather than a gig; they marred the gig by continuously chatting. Loved seeing Jason do a spin in his Technicolour dream coat from Joseph; it is an amazing garment to spin in. Jason has needed botex due to voice problems, and you can hear the rasping of his voice was he speaks. However, luckily his siging voice has not been affected and that sounded good for the singing he did.


Her 32nd show at Manchester arena, where she has done more gigs than anywhere else.Amazing looks and moves for a 50year old. Created intimacy by chatting to audience. Lots of costume changes which interrupted momentum.


Sister sister Discussion point / Spoiler: If he was so in love with her why had he patiently waited around whilst she married and had not 1 but two children.

Still Alice, Sheffield Theatre

I have not seen the film or read the book, so did not have them to compare to. I knew it was about a lady, with early onset dementia. I imagine the book features some first person, so Alice voices what is in her head. In this play, there is an actress following the character of Alice who voices some of the thoughts in her head. This device was used sparingly. To some extent it needed to be, because the voice of her thoughts could not overlap, the other characters talking on stage. However, it did not give depth to her thoughts and reflect how complex someone’s thinking is.

The play was an hour and a half straight through, therefore limited time to develop characters and plot. It was a pleasant watch, but for me lacked poignancy.

A previous post about early onset dementia.

Liz v Upcastle Downcastle

These two shows are both on tonight at tomorrow night at 9.05pm at The Space on Northbridge. They both have historical settings with modern jokes thrown in.

Upcastle downcastle centres around King Arthur, Lancelot and the holy grail. It is a pantomime for adults.

Liz is centred around Elizabeth 1 it is a comedy musical. It could easily work on a bigger scale, but it was good to be so close to a musical.

Having seen both, I would recommend seeing both. Go to both prepared for a little silliness.

Rainbow 🌈 Baby (Edinburgh fringe review)

Rainbow baby is the term for a child born after a miscarriage, still birth or soon after birth. In this case the term rainbow baby also relates to the rainbow 🌈 colours used to represent gay pride. It looks at a lesbian couple’s journey towards having a baby. To add another layer of interest they are v logging their journey. Therefore the show looks at reactions to this type of vloggimg; both negative and positive. It also looks at the difficult situation of handling the loss of a pregnancy which has been widely publicised on social media when then want privacy.

Beep; a show about men beeping if tell a lie (Edinburgh fringe review)

The premise is that all men are fitted with implants that beep if they lie by government ruling. Of course got to suspend the disbelief at how quick government are able to pass and implant men. But it is a really fascinating concept. It reminded me of Patrick Ness The Knife of never letting go where men’s thoughts are audible.

In this show the focus is 6 late teens / early 20s; 4 men who get the implant and two girl’s. One of the girls is in a relationship with one of the men but, has just slept with his best mate one of the other three; so there is the pressure of keeping that secret which brings suspense to the show. There are some good performances and a cast of 6 allows different permutations of the group to be on stage at different times which adds interests. As well as drama there is also comedy.


Interestingly it actually the girl in the love triangle, rather than the man that is more feeling urge to blurt out the truth. When she, eventually does it has fatal consequences. The blood of the murderer pulling out his implanted chip is very realistic.

Jennifer Lack Narratively Speaking; exploration of representing mental health in arts (Edinburgh Fringe review).

Used the setting of an author giving a book tour talk,as a vehicle to discuss mental health and representing mental health in literature. For the show letters to Virgina Woolf, had been constructed to be read as extracts, from the fictional book at the centre of the show. The letters were like diary extracts, for the fictional books protagonist; a teenage girl grieving for her Grandmother her committed suicide by drowning like Virgina Woolf. The show explores how difficult, it is trying to linerase someone’s mental health. I have not said; mental health problems because everyone has mental health and like physical  health sometimes it is good and sometimes it is not. The letters were brought to life by the dramatisation, in a way that they would not have been if had just been reading a book. Interesting to think about how mental health issues can be represented in arts. During the Fringe a good representation of anxiety was Mission Her and Brawn gave an insight into male body dysmophia.

Mission Her for anyone suffering with anxiety or supporting someone suffering with anxiety…. (Edinburgh Fringe Review)

Brawn – A story of male body dismorphia (Edinburgh fringe review)

Jennifer Lack Narratively speaking is a good show to see for anyone interested in mental health or the process of book writing. It is akin to a book club, with author present to discuss book; apart from don’t bget tyo discuss during show, but it leaves you with thoughts to ponder.

It is at The Space at Jury’s inn, until Saturday.