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.

The Brief Life and Mysterious Death of Boris III, King of Bulgaria: Part The First

5 stars

Let’s get one thing clear from the start: this play is not about Boris Johnson. It is not an allegory, it is not a pastiche, and it is not a political satire; it is not about Brexit. It is literally about Boris III, the erstwhile king of Bulgaria, who did a deal with the Devil in the shape of the Nazis but who maybe - just maybe - made the right call. It’s a dark and difficult story, shamefully unfamiliar to most of us… yet this show manages to tell it it with with humour, lightness, and song.

Review by Richard Stamp published on Sunday 15 March | Read more

Sugar Coat

4 stars

Sugar Coat, which bills itself as “a new gig theatre show about love, loss and lubrication,” mixes narration, action scenes, and original songs to tell the story of its protagonist’s sexual journey through her teens and twenties. There is open, honest and graphic discussion of subjects that should be discussed more, but the show rightly opens with a trigger warning.

Review by Annie Percik published on Friday 13 March | Read more


3 stars

Within the world of video games, there’s a challenge called a “speedrun”; and within the world of speedrunning, there’s something called a “glitch”. It’s a secret way to finish a level faster than you’re meant to, using an idiosyncrasy in the game’s code to jump straight to the end. Glitch is a monologue from a young gamer called Kelly, who’s excited to discover that a speedrunning contest is coming to her town. But Kelly has a glitch of her own - a part of her brain that doesn’t quite work in the way the world expects it to.

Review by Richard Stamp published on Friday 13 March | Read more

Ride: A New Musical

5 stars

“Everybody loves a show!” declares Annie Londonderry - the real-life Bostonian immigrant who, in 1894, accepted a wager to cycle around the world. And with this striking, fast-paced, thoughtful new musical, Bottle Cap Theatre deliver a show indeed. On the face of it, it’s a story of feminist empowerment - a celebration of a woman who had the confidence and chutzpah to out-balls the men. But there’s a flip-side to that brassiness. Given all that she’d genuinely achieved, why did she feel driven to tell so many outright lies?

Review by Richard Stamp published on Sunday 8 March | Read more


3 stars

V&V is a cleverly-constructed analysis of communication in relationships, presenting two pairs of lovers in different periods through the medium of their correspondence. It contrasts letter-writing with texting, and 1920s subtext with 2020 nude pics - but it also demonstrates that people haven’t really changed all that much in 100 years. All the emotion of human existence is here, but especially the excruciating awkwardness of trying to express your feelings about someone else.

Review by Annie Percik published on Thursday 5 March | Read more

How We Love

4 stars

Babs (a man) and Regi (a woman) are planning a wedding in London. But they’ve both left same-sex partners back in Nigeria, where it’s illegal to be gay. How We Love follows the preparations for their sham marriage, while they get intermittent updates from their real partners about how things are going back home. The show is hilarious and heartbreaking by turns, with a lot to say about LGBT rights and the difficulties faced by those who have to hide their true identity to survive.

Review by Annie Percik published on Saturday 22 February | Read more


3 stars

Tarot, a sensual circus performance, weaves together the mysterious and the acrobatic. With a mix of live music, tarot readings and of course circus performance, there is a lot of show to fit into a small space.

Review by Lizzie Bell published on Saturday 22 February | Read more

Bible John

4 stars

There is a woman. She’s always late, sat on her bed, clicking through article after article on serial killers; you probably know her, you might even be her.  She is one of four temps, each sitting quietly at their desk, all listening to the same podcast.  And they’re not a alone - a growing number of people (particularly women) are fascinated by serial killers, and a host of podcasts, TV shows and online articles recount and analyse cases solved and unsolved.

Review by Lizzie Bell published on Saturday 22 February | Read more

Coming Out Of My Cage (And I’ve Been Doing Just Fine)

4 stars

As a concept, it could be madness or genius: an hour-long celebration of Mr Brightside, the monotonic song with the driving beat that might just rank as the nation’s favourite earworm. It’s a funny, self-aware and ultimately touching tribute, dressed up as a podcast-style investigation. But you needn’t need to be a Killers fan to appreciate it, for this is a universal celebration - a salute to bittersweet memories and to experiences shared.

Review by Richard Stamp published on Sunday 16 February | Read more

[The Cobbled Streets of Geneva]

3 stars

A man stands outside a mosque. The imam brings him a cup of tea. A friendship is born. [The Cobbled Streets of Geneva] follows the developing interactions between the reserved, uncertain Adham and the assertively accepting Raushan, as they travel through Switzerland - a trip that gradually reveals their true feelings through the deception they present to the world.

Review by Annie Percik published on Thursday 13 February | Read more