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.

10

4 stars

Five performers take turns to evoke ten different women from across history, in this whistlestop tour of untold or forgotten female stories. They have neither costumes nor props to help them - and only the long empty space between two rows of bench seats to use as their set. But we are left in no doubt that these women are both fascinating and important, and that their lives are worth celebrating.

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

The Limit

5 stars

The subject of this musical is Sophie Germain, a French mathematician who - at the turn of the nineteenth century - battled societal expectations to succeed in an almost wholly male-dominated field. Considering that it’s largely about gender discrimination and maths, the show is tremendously entertaining, and brilliantly staged. It provides an educational but also joyously triumphant picture of Germain’s early career.

Review by Annie Percik published on Thursday 7 March | Read more

Notflix

3 stars

Notflix is an improvised musical, built around popular movies, and devised each time based on suggestions from the audience. It’s a neat way to ensure a different experience every night, and an impressive feat of on-the-spot creativity by the energetic all-female cast. At times cringe-worthy, while at others reaching levels of pure genius, this is a show that’s guaranteed to include the unexpected - for the performers as well as the audience.

Review by Annie Percik published on Thursday 7 March | Read more

The Buzztones

4 stars

The Buzztones are a 12-man a cappella singing group, who mix energy and enthusiasm with an impressive and very funny repertoire. They have a ton of musical talent, but also bring a welcome sense of irreverence and self-mockery to their show. The focus is retro, covering multiple artists and styles from the 80s, 90s and early 2000s, combining nostalgia with a healthy dose of humour to create a highly entertaining hour.

Review by Annie Percik published on Thursday 21 February | Read more

April

4 stars

The star of April is a self-styled self-help guru, offering solutions to all your problems through the medium of positivity. The satirical tone maintains itself for most of the running time, ridiculing multiple aspects of those YouTube personalities who promise foolproof advice to improve viewers’ lives. But there is a lot more to Carrie Marx's solo show than that - and the script takes several unexpected and quite dramatic turns in the latter stages.

Review by Annie Percik published on Thursday 21 February | Read 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

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