2 Become 1 Review

Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Wine Bar, Gilded Balloon Teviot – until 28 August


Jess thought that her relationship was as unbreakable as Brad and Jen’s, or Justin and Britney’s, but she was wrong. After being dumped, she just wants to stay in and watch Titanic, but her friends find the perfect way to cheer her up – speed dating!

Eclectic, alternative Molly ( KerrieThomason); flirty, feisty Charlie (Eliza Hewitt-Jones); decisive planner Amanda (Jessica Brady) and heartbroken Jess (Natasha Grainger) try their hand at telling both the men and each other what they really, really want from the opposite sex.

The whole show is one massive throwback to a time when Cosmo magazine’s advice was sacred, the cabbage soup diet was the latest fad, and smoking indoors was a thing. The four actresses (each present on stage throughout) do a great job of capturing the essence of the era

Familiar lyrics are quoted and, like every good musical, the cast burst into song at every opportunity: Shania Twain, All Saints, Britney, B*Witched and, of course, the Spice Girls are in the mix. With delivery ranging from karaoke queens to clean harmonies, depending on the laughs the cast are aiming for, you can’t help but sing along, and if you’re lucky, you could get pulled up to dance too.

Female empowerment seems to be a theme running through the Fringe this year and this show quite rightly empowers women.  Bringing back many memories of nights out, dancing and singing to all the songs in the show – this is both nostalgic and relevant to today.

Swiper Right Theatre Company have produced a fabulous show that really should not be missed

Ivan Brackenbury and Friends Review

Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Studio 3 Assembly George Square – until 28 August


Hospital radio DJ, Ivan Brackenbury is celebrating 10 years at the Fringe festival – a year late because the 10 year point was last year and he’s not very good at maths.

He is helped by his good friends Father Kenny, Sunderland Psychic Ian D Montford and ventriloquist Tom Binns and his dad.

Father Kenny kicks off the show with a few jokes before introduced to psychic supremo Ian D Montford.  Ian showed off his amazing powers with the help of his spirit mediums guessing the correct word out of a book (a laminated copy of Fifty Shades), surprising the audience and himself with his abilities.  We then meet Tom Binns (the incredibly talented comedian who is playing all the parts) who wants to be a ventriloquist but has neither the time or the inclination to practice, but with his puppet “Dad” he tells a few jokes but its the ridiculously funny with an audience member being the Orville to his Keith wearing a beak mask and singing “I wish I could fly”.  A moment of surreal genius.

And then it is time for the main man, Ivan Brackenbury – he’s bonkers.  Hospital Radio DJ he plays songs on the breakfast show sponsored by KY Jelly along with the tune “Love Really Hurts” and that sets the tone for the whole radio show.  A request for someone who has cataract surgery is “I can see clearly now”, for a suicidal patient we get “Jump”.

The songs and one liners come thick and fast and you can barely catch your breath from laughing -especially when you see the joke coming – The introduction to “Please Release Me” as he solemnly announced about a euthanasia meeting was a special case in point.

This is more than a 5* production its comedy at its finest, so funny it hurts.  If you see no other show at the Fringe this year – you must see this one

Fringe Festival Diary Day One

It was an early start for both me and Jo yesterday as we set off on our trip to Edinburgh.  We were due to arrive into Waverley at roughly the same time as I got the train and Jo flew from down south.  As it was I arrived into Waverley and Jo was on a tram coming from the airport.  She got off, according to the tram driver 2 seconds away from the station but in a surreal phone conversation as we both described what we could see, we realised we had no idea where the other one was.  I did what any one would – I got a taxi and told him to find Jo – and he did.

We eventually got a twin room, unpacked what we needed and set off to pick up tickets, press passes and flyers – lots and lots of flyers.  We know today we need to buy a bag for all the flyers.

The Royal Mile was empty considering but it was afternoon and the first day of the fringe so some artists may have been performing and prepping and hopefully today will be busier.

We saw three shows yesterday – ranging between magnificent and meh and you can find the reviews on here and decide for yourselves what we enjoyed most.

Today is a typical example of Edinburgh Fringe weather with hailstones the size of wee Scottie dogs against a beautiful blue sky

The adventure continues

Buzz the Musical https://fairypoweredproductions.com/buzz-the-musical-review/

Lady Macbeth and her pal Megan https://fairypoweredproductions.com/lady-macbeth-pal-megan-review/

Trainspotting Live https://fairypoweredproductions.com/trainspotting-live-review-2/

Trainspotting Live Review

Edinburgh Fringe Festival

EICC – until 31 August.  Reviewed by Jo Gordon


In Your Face Theatre

As you enter the venue, neon wristbands issued and hardcore dance music, laser lights and Glosticks reminiscent of an 80s underground rave you can feel the palpable excitement of the audience.

From the word go you are immersed into a world of drug fuelled chaos, heartbreak and the hard hitting reality of this group of friends, lovers and dealers. Going quickly from scene to gritty scene, portraying the downward sliding lives of Renton (Gavin Ross) and his friends Begbie (Chris Dennis), Tommy (Greg Esplin), Sickboy (Michael Lockerbie) and Alison (Erin Marshall).

We see the horrific death of a baby, domestic violence, HIV, and for me one of the best scenes, how a junkie hating man is eventually gripped by Heroin and dies alone on a filthy mattress. There are lighter more amusing moments involving vaporub, stomach churning ones inside the dirtiest toilet in Scotland and numerous members of the audience having various bodily parts thrust upon them, soiled sheets and condoms of dodgy usage…..BE WARNED its immersive theatre to the max!

A brilliant production that I would see time and time again leaving with the advice “choose life” embedded into my psyche.

I give it a full 5 stars ,

Lady Macbeth and her pal Megan Review

Edinburgh Fringe Festival


C Venue 34 – until 31 August




It takes a special kind of person to stand on stage and carry a one woman show.  Even braver when the cast almost outnumber the audience.  But with Lady Macbeth and her pal Megan, Megan Gogerty interweaves the worst moments of her life with the life of Lady Macbeth.  A journey of discovery for her and the audience.

Married with two children, Gogerty find herself turning 40 and struggling with the with all that entails.  Working in a male centred profession as a  comedian, she struggled with being too young at first to do the job well, taking ten years out to marry, have a child and teach before she attempts comedy again.  

Through the course of the hour, we learn about her breakdown, struggles with alcohol and pretending to be 28 when she was 40 and almost having a fling with a not unattractive 24 year old – who ran off when she revealed her real age.

Intertwined with her life is her belief that she is Lady Macbeth, a misunderstood character from Shakespeare but as the monologue continues Gogerty discovers she is not Lady Macbeth but a witch, part of the coven, for there are 3 witches and there is strength in numbers.

There are some very funny bits in this but its more well crafted rambling than hilarity.  However this is the Fringe and there is always something for someone.  Its an hour – you may enjoy it

Buzz – The Musical Review

Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Pleasance 2 – until 31 August


Buzz – The Musical is like an adult’s only episode of Horrible Histories, telling the history of the vibrator through songs and sketches.  Intertwined with the story of Angie, newly dumped and on her journey of self-discovery to self- love.

Allie Munro captures a sweet naiviety in her role as Angie.  Her boyfriend Mark (George Lock) was her “first” and she’d never been into an Ann Summers, she is more M&S than S&M.  Her best friends Chrissy (the exceptionally talented Robyn Grant who also wrote this fabulous show) and Simon (Andrew Dillon – the leggiest Aphrodite ever) set her off to find out how to empower the female – holding her hand at the beginning but following in her wake by the end.

And we are joined on stage by Roman Soldiers and Cleopatra who tell of her bee filled gourd.  Victorian Ladies queuing up for a cure for hysteria from a Doctor, Land Girls who did it for themselves and various medical professionals who lost their jobs due to trying to do research on female sexuality.

Directed by Cat Robey and choreographed by Matthew Ives, this incredibly young and talented company give us the audience, a wonderful, hilarious and educational look at women and how to embrace their sexuality.

Room on the Broom Review

The Lowry Theatre, Manchester – until Sunday 27th August.  Reviewed by Alison Fearon

The production is an adaption of the best-selling book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler by theatre company Tall Stories, it is 55 minutes long without an interval and recommended for children aged 3+ years.

From the minute you enter the theatre the curtains are open and the children’s imaginations start to unfold about how the story is going to come to life. The production starts with the theatre lights up and the four cast members walking around the audience, talking to the children, explaining they are on a camping trip. The audience are already hooked by this point and when the actors snoring and pretending to sleep, you can hear children giggles around the theatre.

The lights are then dimmed to indicate the start of the performance; the story unfolds about the witch and her faithful companion the cat, they meet the other animals along the way as the witch loses various items from the sky including her Hat, Bow and Wand. The bird, frog and dog are all eye-catching puppets which are mesmerising to watch, each of them having a personality to keep the young ones imaginations captivated.

Once all the characters are together on the broom they are off to find the dragon, but when the broom breaks in two, out comes the dragon to have his ‘witch with chips’. At this stage I was a little concerned the dragon may scare some of the children (including my three year old who was with me). This certainly was not the case, the dragon was a fun, dancing dragon that played the character to the age appropriateness of the audience. The dragon is then defeated by the other animals that transform into a monster from the muddy bog and scare the dragon away.

This is where audience participation of creating a new broom draws the children’s attention back again, chanting the witches spell and with a puff of smoke out appears the new broom.

The production then carefully changes back to the friends camping and once again the issue with snoring is wiped out through a magic spell.

A fantastic performance which kept the audience engaged throughout, with humour, puppetry and audience participation.

Drama returns to Wimbledon in 2018

Selladoor Productions in association with The Marlowe Theatre present

Drama returns to New Wimbledon Theatre in 2018 with the great American classic Of Mice and Men from Selladoor productions in association with The Marlowe Theatre Canterbury, as part of a 10-week UK Tour opening at Marlowe Canterbury on 22 January 2018.

Selladoor productions in association with The Marlowe Theatre Canterbury, announce a 10-week Uk Tour of the landmark Steinbeck classic Of Mice and Men opening at Marlowe Canterbury on 29 January 2018.

Written by Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck and based on his own experiences in the twenties, Of Mice and Men tells the story of George and Lennie, two migrant ranch workers who dream of owning their own ranch. With nothing but the clothes on their back and a dream, the wily and bright George aspires to independence, to be his own boss and most importantly to be ‘somebody’. Gentle Giant Lennie aspires to be with George and join him in his Eden, but as the saying goes – the best laid schemes of mice and men, often go awry

Set in the trying times of the Great Depression, when millions were forced to travel in search of a job and their dreams, Of Mice and Men is a powerful portrait of the American spirit and a heart-breaking testament to the bonds of friendship and what it means to be human.

Considered a challenging and controversial play this brand-new adaptation promises to bring to the stage a magical and imaginative story about trying to hold on to your dreams and friendships during fiercely tough times and a faceless destiny. A tale still relevant to modern times.

Guys Unsworth, Director says:

Of Mice and Men is one of the great American stories that has stood the test of time. It’s not only about the Great Depression in 1930s rural America but a timeless tale of loyalty and the struggles for survival in a cruel and competitive world. For me it is also one of the most beautiful stories ever told – both heart-warming and breaking at the same time. I fell in love with it when I studied it as a teenager, so it’s always been on my bucket list to direct, and when I mention the title, so many people have a great fondness for it too. I can’t wait to bring it back to the stage

David Hutchinson, Executive Creative Producer of Selladoor Productions says:

We are delighted to be bringing this timeless classic on a brand-new tour across the UK alongside such an exciting creative team. Giving people the chance to revisit this unforgettable story whilst also bringing it to the stage for a whole new generation of theatre goers

Directed by Guy Unsworth with design by David Woodhead, with cast still to be announced, discover Of Mice and Men at a theatre near you visit www.selladoor.com for more information and full tour details. Find us on Twitter: @MiceMenPlay and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Of-Mice-And-Men-2018-482633915421246/

New Cast Announced for THE WOMAN IN BLACK











PW Productions are delighted to announce that from Tuesday 29 August 2017, Susan Hill’s THE WOMAN IN BLACK at The Fortune Theatre, London will star Terence Wilton as ‘Arthur Kipps’ and James Byng as ‘The Actor’.

Terence Wilton’s recent theatre credits include ‘Lord Lonsdale’ in “William Wordsworth” (Theatre By The Lake); “Cat On A Hot In Roof” (Theatre Royal Northampton) and “The Sound of Music” (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre). For the RSC he recently played ‘Baptista Minola’ in “The Taming of the Shrew”. His television credits include “Revelations – End Of Days”, “The Crusades: The Crescent and the Cross”; “The Forsyte Saga”; “Inspector Alleyn Mysteries”; “Henry VI part 1”; “Some Distant Shadow”; “Dial M for Murder”; “Vanity Fair” and “Doctor Who”.

James Byng’s previous theatre credits include ‘Toulouse-Lautrec’ in “Moulin Rouge!” (Secret Cinema); ‘Edgar Rychenkov’ in “Noël” (National Opera House, Ireland); “Philip Pullman’s Grimm Tales” (Bargehouse, South Bank); ‘Group Captain Mandrake’ in “Dr Strangelove” (Secret Cinema); ‘Nick Willow’ in “Carries War” (UK Tour); ‘Posner’ in “The History Boys” (West Yorkshire Playhouse/Theatre Royal Bath UK Tour); ‘Frodo’ in “The Lord of the Rings” (Theatre Royal Drury Lane); “Les Misérables” (Palace Theatre); “Oliver!” (London Palladium); “Hey! Mr Producer” (Lyceum).

Now in its 29th year, Stephen Mallatratt’s adaptation of Susan Hill’s best-selling novel, THE WOMAN IN BLACKtells the story of a lawyer obsessed with a curse that he believes has been cast over his family by the spectre of a ‘Woman in Black’. He engages a young actor to help him tell his story and exorcise the fear that grips his soul. It begins innocently enough, but as they delve further into his darkest memories, they find themselves caught up in a world of eerie marshes and moaning winds. The borders between make-believe and reality begin to blur and the flesh begins creep.

THE WOMAN IN BLACK is directed by Robin Herford, with designs by Michael Holt, lighting by Kevin Sleep and sound by Gareth Owen.




Russell Street, London, WC2B 5HH

Performance Times:     Tuesday to Saturday at 8.00pm; Tuesday and Thursday at 3.00pm and Saturday at 4.00pm

Tickets:                         Prices are from £19.50 to £49.50 (Premium Seats are also available)

Box Office:                   0844 871 7626

Currently booking until 3 March 2018



New Northern football play Deadline Day comes to Theatre N16 in September

Deadline Day

August 30th – September 16th, 7.30pm, Theatre N16


BAFTA Rocliffe winning writer John Hickman and Steve Robertson’s new play about class, the North-South divide and the beautiful game premieres at Theatre N16 this Autumn, directed by Theatre N16 associate director Sarah Chapleo.

“The thing about football – the important thing about football – is that it is not just about football” Terry Pratchett

It’s the last day of the transfer window. United, the North East’s biggest club, have put their star player up for sale, and a super-rich London club have bid. You’re United’s biggest fan and the driver transporting the player down south. What do you do?

Deadline Day will star an all Northern cast, including Middlesbrough football club chairman’s daughter Victoria Gibson.

John Hickman is a screenwriter, director and author based in Newcastle upon Tyne. As well as being selected for this year’s prestigious Guiding Lights mentor scheme, he has successfully completed a BBC Drama shadow scheme, and is now writing for a number of BBC series. His children’s television script The Things was a winner of the BAFTA Rocliffe and BBC Writersroom children’s writing competitions and his children’s book Freaks United was shortlisted for the James Reckitt Children’s Book Award. Formerly a social worker, John has an MA in Creative Writing as well as a PhD with a focus on the onscreen fictional depiction of children.

Theatre N16 is a trailblazing London fringe venue, focused on producing and programming top quality new writing and selected existing works. Theatre N16 is proud of their commitment to the welfare and development of creatives, operating under an Equity Fringe Agreement. This promoting and nurturing of talent means that Theatre N16 is a bastion for development within the context of a society in which the arts are increasingly struggling to stay afloat.