What do the grey stars mean? This year, as an experiment, we're re-publishing selected reviews from earlier runs of the same show – for example, if we reviewed the same production at last year's Edinburgh Fringe. Find out more.

Jammie Dodger

4 stars

Jammie Dodger is a twisting tale of intrigue and murder with a comic tone, and the message that crime definitely does not pay. Five characters try to extricate themselves from a jam-selling pyramid scheme by bumping each other off in an attempt to be the one left alive to abscond to America with their ill-gotten gains. Chaos naturally ensues as allegiances shift and knives change hands.

Review by Annie Percik published on Friday 15 February | Read more

Call Me Fury

3 stars

Down among the audience, three women in bonnets and period dress sway to the music of a fourth on the stage, who plays the violin as the spectators file in. It’s an atmospheric start to Call Me Fury - which repositions the tales of historic witches to present the female point of view. The tone is didactic, punctuated with theatrical reconstructions and powerful music, but more expository than dramatic overall.

Review by Annie Percik published on Friday 15 February | Read more

Kings of Idle Land

4 stars

In Oldham, two teenage boys jump the fence into an old abandoned park; settling down to some cans and crisps, they hope to bide their time until the local skinheads disperse.  Through their quick wit and teenage banter we get to know Mike and Hamed, friends who go to the same school, live streets apart - but who because of their different races, inhabit entirely different worlds.  While at school they can barely acknowledge each other due to peer pressure, here they have the seclusion to really get to know each other. And we can listen in.

Review by Lizzie Bell published on Friday 15 February | Read more

Mancoin

3 stars

The protagonist of Mancoin is called Guy White, which gives a good indication of the theme and tone of the show. The presentation of Guy’s story is innovative; Guy takes centre stage in a white shirt with a spotlight, while three female cast members stationed around the edges of the stage are all in black. This effectively highlights some of the issues the show raises, but also makes it become the thing it is satirising; it’s a fine line to tread and only partially succeeds here.

Review by Annie Percik published on Friday 15 February | Read more

Infinity

4 stars

Infinity is a beautiful exploration of the isolation mental health problems can bring - and how much things can change, if you have the courage to talk before it is too late. Nessa Matthews has been talking recently - about dreams, about fears, and about how her mum sometimes avoids people by pretending she can't see them. And she had a recurring dream: of a lone astronaut hurtling through space, adrift but somehow still tethered to the far-off planet she called home.

Review by Lizzie Bell published on Saturday 9 February | Read more

Good Women

2 stars

The vaulted arch, pew-like benches and orders of service provide an immersive setting for Good Women, inviting the audience to form the congregation at an “evangelical dance prayer-athon”. The pre-show period is quite meditative, as the three performers sit in a circle on stage in their white dresses, eyes closed, surrounded by candles and flowers. But, while Good Women does have strong themes of self-reflection, it turns out to be a high-energy, high-emotion piece - which ridicules as much as sympathising with its characters, mostly through the humour of pain.

Review by Annie Percik published on Saturday 9 February | Read more

I Would Like To Get To Know You

3 stars

The play starts strongly. 80’s music sounds out, whilst Katherine Vince - sitting centre-stage, mobile phone in hand - scours the audience anxiously for her partner for the evening. Then George arrives, guitar in hand. And so the date begins…

There follows a series of scenes and musical numbers depicting the stages of a relationship, interspersed with recordings of people talking about what love means to them. We hear about their experiences of dating, being single, falling in love, lusting after another and being alone.

Review by Tig Land published on Saturday 9 February | Read more

Ringmaster

4 stars

This loose adaptation of Arthur Schnitzler’s La Ronde follows a circular chain of indulgence and infidelity, tracking the partners in a series of sexual relationships as they meet to enjoy their intimacy. Some of the hook-ups are illicit; some are anything but; some are gay, some are straight, some are casual and some are loving. The only common themes are the sex itself, and the heartbreak it occasionally causes.

Review by Richard Stamp published on Sunday 3 February | Read more

Queens of Sheba

4 stars

Queens of Sheba unfurl their flag early, treating the audience to We Are Family, Respect, and I’m Every Woman before the show even starts. And when it does, these four women certainly don't pull any punches. Nobody escapes their mocking ridicule and biting criticism, as they regale us with anecdotes from all aspects of their lives. "But where are you from from?" is a question they’re often asked, and they answer repeatedly that they are a mix of racism and sexism, making their theme intersectional as well as both hilarious and painful.



Review by Annie Percik published on Saturday 2 February | Read more

Womans (Like Romans But With a W)

4 stars

There’s a fair bit of audience participation in Womans - starting before the show as protagonist Annabella wanders around the auditorium, thanking people for coming and expressing her anxiety that things won’t go well. With a wide grin and obvious desire to please, she makes an immediately appealing character (though I question the use of a West Country accent to denote her not being the brightest bulb in the box).

Review by Annie Percik published on Saturday 2 February | Read more

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