'Theatre', Jeffrey Smith / CC
Arts & Culture

The Jennifer Tremblay Trilogy: The List @ Assembly Roxy

Stella Quines Theatre Company present The Jennifer Tremblay Trilogy as part of Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Each show can be viewed as stand alone pieces but they are interlinked to create a powerful trilogy. Written by Jennifer Tremblay, translated by Stellar Quines, and performed by Maureen Beattie The List examines themes of family, loss, and regret. (Read More)

Moyan Brenn, Edinburgh Festival / CC
Arts & Culture

The Girl Who Fell in Love with the Moon @ Pleasance Dome

The Girl Who Fell in Love with the Moon is physical theatre with a lot of heart using live music, dance, movement, and a little bit of puppetry. Stranded at night in the woods a group of performers perform their show to the ‘non existent audience’. This show is comprised of shorter shows which all follow a celestial pattern written by Luna, the leader of their troop, played by artistic director Florence O’ Mahony (Read More)

Moyan Brenn, Edinburgh Festival / CC
Arts & Culture

Review: What Would Spock Do? @ Gilded Balloon

This is a show for every geek out there who has ever felt ashamed, embarrassed or isolated within their love of a fandom. Especially Star Trek. Sam Donnelly takes us through his intense love of Star Trek and the bullying he endured because of it, tales of his grandfather’s role in his obsession and his decision to suppress it, through to the love story between him and the girl who has her very own Spock Day. (Read More)

Moyan Brenn, Edinburgh Festival / CC
Arts & Culture

Review: The Lonely Poet @ Sweet Grassmarket

There are two types of experiences to be had during this performance, one is to view it as an audience member and the other is to be selected to have the entire piece performed to you as if they were the only one there. Both have their perks, and possibly their drawbacks. This is definitely unique in my experience, because it raises the question if you can really break the fourth wall if only for one audience member. Perhaps Tim Honnef has just created a hole in the wall instead. (Read More)

Moyan Brenn, Edinburgh Festival / CC
Arts & Culture

Review: Bat-Fan @ Pleasance Courtyard

If you love Batman you will love this show. Using songs, musical parodies, and some slightly glitchy graphics to accompany his Bat-lecture James Wilson Taylor has created an outlet for his enthusiasm and frustrations surrounding this popular franchise. (Read More)

Moyan Brenn, Edinburgh Festival / CC
Books

Evie Wyld and Joe Sumner @ Edinburgh Book Festival

As part of Edinburgh International Book Festival 2015 Joe Gordon chairs the discussion with author Evie Wyld and illustrator Joe Sumner. Together Wyld and Sumner have created the graphic novel ‘Everything is Teeth’ which is a memoir of Evie’s childhood growing up in Australia and her fixation and fear of sharks. This project began as a short story by Wyld and has taken 6-7 years of collaboration to become what it is today. (Read More)

'Theatre', Jeffrey Smith / CC
Theatre

Review: Fever Dream: Southside

Fever Dream: Southside is vivid, imaginative, and well staged. It is also packed with stereotypes and cliches, and does not give the broad representation of the Southside of Glasgow that is expected. Each character is an – often offensive – stereotype, from the smart asian boy to the quirky, attention seeking performance artist, with not much room for any development. The racism wrapped in humour is unnecessary and creates an obviously white, middle class production which is a shame given the setting of the piece. (Read More)

'Theatre', Jeffrey Smith / CC
Theatre

Review: Woman In Black

Still touring after 25 years The Woman In Black, adapted from the novel by Susan Hill, is a ghost story with sharp shocks and eerie shadows. The show within a show follows Arthur Kipps, the writer of a story he is desperate to tell, and an actor who helps him tell it as they rehearse in an empty theatre. (Read More)

'Theatre', Jeffrey Smith / CC
Theatre

Review: The Straw Chair

The Straw Chair is based upon the story of a true historical figure of Lady Rachel Grange and her banishment to a secluded island by her husband after their divorce. Lady Grange was ahead of her time and did not act as women were told they should in the 18th century. For this she was left upon an island that drove her half mad with it’s isolation and total contrast to the Edinburgh life she had known. (Read More)

'Theatre', Jeffrey Smith / CC
Theatre

Review: Lippy

As part of Behaviour Festival, Dead Centre bring ‘Lippy’ to Citizens Theatre. Based upon the true events of four women who seemingly starved themselves to death in County Kildare, Lippy is a confusion of elements lacking any sort of main point that would pull the performance together to create something meaningful. In trying to say so much it fails to say very much at all. (Read More)

'Books are power' / CC
Books

Review: “The Palestinian Hamas: Vision, Violence, and Coexistence” by Shaul Mishal & Avraham Sela

Among Israeli politicians and the media there has been a tendency to project a one-sided image of Hamas as being merely a terrorist cell, driven by religious fundamentalism and ready to pursue its stated aim of destroying Israel at any cost. “Islamic and national zeal, bitter opposition to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and strategies of terror and violence against Israel have become the movements hallmark” write Shaul Mishal and Avraham Sela in The Palestinian Hamas: Vision, Violence, and Coexistence. (Read More)

Theatre

Review: Truth, Lies, Diana

‘Truth, Lies Diana is a ‘factional’ drama containing sensational new information about the death of Princess Diana presented in a thrilling unique theatrical format.

With meticulous forensic research, revelations from previously silent sources and access to Police witness statements and court transcripts, the nine handed performance uses the actual words spoken by a cast of characters including James Hewitt, Piers Morgan, Paul Burrell, Mohammed Al Fayed, members of MI6, witnesses to Diana’s crash, and the British Royal Family.’ (Read More)

Books

Looking Back at the Rack # 4 – Decimation

Stan Lee proposed what he calls a “lazy” approach to an origin story: mutants. Lee would often get bored or stuck having to write longwinded superpower back stories for characters. His now timeless solution was to invent mutants, using ‘genetics’ as the springboard for new characters. (Read More)

Photograph: Pexels
Film & TV

Review: Wolf Hall

Because most of us live through television, sometimes it seems that the Second World War never ended and that the Tudors still reign. Of course, the appeal of both is that they’re damn’ good stories, capable of sustaining and surviving endless reinvention. Whether they will eventually become mythical, like Robin Hood and King Arthur and Clause IV, remains to be seen. However good the current incarnations may be, you know there will be others. (Read More)

Books

Looking Back at the Rack #3 – House of M

What House of M does differently is that it turns a novelty into a reality on a much more industrious scale. It’s like a ‘what if’ comic that’s actually canon. Scarlett Witch with all her reality altering craziness pretty much turns the world inside out and mutants become the dominant ones, and humans are the ones living in the shadows as the inferior species. That’s pretty much what Magneto has wanted to do for years anyway. And everyone just believes the back-story that’s been created for the world. It’s well written and I particularly like the vision of what that world might look like. You’re probably already asking questions like, ‘so no more sentinels?’,- no they are still included – ‘and S.H.I.E.L.D?’. Sort of, kind of still there. (Read More)

Photograph: Pexels
Books

In which the New Year begins, and the author tries to cut down

At a guesstimate, I’d say I own something upward of a thousand books, say around 1,200. That’s only 200 more than Montaigne, though I will assume the great man struggled on without the benefit of Fior, Son of the King (Scripture Union, 1981), The Windlesham/Rampton Report on ‘Death on the Rock’, or the April 1975 edition of Fantasy and Science Fiction. The inability to get rid of books is not uncommon, and is of long standing, to judge from Carl Spitzweg’s painting The Bookworm, in which the eponymous figure is not only confronted with more volumes than he’s ever going to read, but more than he can physically handle. (Read More)

Photograph: Pexels
Edinburgh Festival

Politics, Distraction and the Digital Inferno

Every year for the past eight years I’ve spent August at the Edinburgh Fringe, seeing shows and writing a few reviews. As founder and editor of FringeReview I have had the opportunity to observe at first hand the changing nature of marketing at the Fringe. Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile is still packed each day with thousands of hopeful artists handing out paper leaflets – the famous ‘flyers’ – in the hope of gaining an audience for their production.

In parallel, the rise of social media has led to Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, Pinterest boards, Linkedin groups to name but the most famous (or infamous) ones. (Read More)

Books

Looking back at the rack #1: Planet Hulk

People frequently ask me “I want to get into comics, what should I read?” If I were to answer honestly and carefully consider a response for each individual person, I would undoubtedly get it wrong. Everyone is different and everyone’s exposure to comic book universes varies. I’m familiar with a lot of the Marvel universe, but I would hardly consider myself well-read enough to know every little detail or reference in every issue. But what I can do is tell you what I do know. So, looking back at my comic book rack, where should we begin? (Read More)