Ooof, I'm tired and it's not even the middle of middle week yet. Well, it's not when I'm writing this, even if it is by the time you are reading it. I'm writing this at the end of Week 1, and frankly, I just want to go to bed already. Then again, it is currently 4am as I type these words, such is the way with our Weekly Edition print deadlines, and I had a busy day navigating the Festival in the rain before I sat down to finish off the latest issue of our magazine.

It's a while since I complained about the Edinburgh weather (though stalwart Festival friends who've been Fringing for decades might well remember that I used to moan about it all the time) but I kind of feel the need to let off steam. Mainly because I keep ending up actually giving off steam, in warm venues, after getting wet on my way to a show. And seriously, I get sad when the rain won't stop, because it puts a damper on everything. It's sad to see flyerers looking deflated. Comedians down-beat. Actors unmotivated.

However, I can now reveal that the weather is going to improve dramatically by the time you read this. By the power of my mind. Though I did just sneak a peak at BBC Weather and it's saying Wednesday will be quite nice. So I hope you are sitting reading this outside, or by an open window, and making plans to walk to your next venue rather than taking another taxi.

And perhaps you might use the latest edition of ThreeWeeks to help you choose what that show might be. You will be able to pick that very magazine up all across Edinburgh for free today. Or you can download the PDF version (9MB) by clicking here, or check it out in digital form via this page here.

We've got plenty of reviews in this issue, plus features featuring the brilliant people behind some of the best shows happening at the Festival. That includes Sophie Willan, Erin Kamler, Rebecca Chill and Bradley Leech just for starters, plus comedian Chris Martin; spoken word type Lucy Ayrton; musical makers Scott Gilmour and Claire McKenzie; Tom Blackmore, creator of 'Dreams Of Peace And Freedom'; Curtis Uhlemann of 'The Warriors: A Love Story'; and 'Claustrophobia' writer Jason Hewitt.

Plus there's an article in which lots of comedians conspire to heckle Christ, and finally, cover star Janey Godley has a quick chat with her equally cover starry daughter Ashley Storrie.

That enough for you to get your teeth into? I reckon. See you next week.
Caro @ ThreeWeeks
Fringe legend Janey Godley, or "the slightly wicked godmother of Scottish comedy" if you want her own description, is back at the Festival. And this year's show 'Oh My Godley!' boasts not only outrageous stories a plenty, but also a Storrie, as in Ashley Storrie, as in Janey's award-winning comedian daughter. The awards being for the comedy, not the daughterhood I think.

With Storrie also hosting the late night show 'Pumped!' at The Voodoo Rooms this month, we thought this was the Festival to charge Godley with the task of interviewing her daughter about being a stand-up, and having one for a mum. Here goes... Click here to read the interview.
With Edinburgh 2014 hosting the Messiah himself (who may look rather more like Aussie comedian Josh Ladgrove than you might have thought) in a show called 'Come Heckle Christ', we invited comics from across the Fringe to shout out their own heckles (aka questions) to the Almighty via the pages of ThreeWeeks. Take it away JC... [click here]
Creativity is bursting from the seams of Edinburgh over the Festival, it's everywhere. And not just on stage, it's also in the PR and marketing of hundreds of shows. Barry Ferns, behind a few great publicity stunts in recent years himself, picks ten of the best from Fringe history. [click here]
Talking of publicity stunts, remember that time Kunt & The Gang distributed cock n ball stickers all over Edinburgh, ensuring every comedian with a poster stuck to a wall now had some male genitalia added to their printed face? Well, what if that happened to your poster this year? Who could be responsible? Short & Curly consider the suspects. [click here]
As we pass the half-way point of this year's Edinburgh Festival we are now heading into the awards zone with gongs aplenty due to be dished out in the coming ten days.

While most of those awards are for shows performing at the Festival, there are other cultural prizes that coincide with the festivities as well which cast their net wider when it comes to contenders. And that includes the James Tait Black Prizes, presented by the University Of Edinburgh.

These are the UK's oldest literary awards, though as of last year an additional prize was added for new playwriting, and it was this that was presented in Edinburgh on Monday. The winner was Rory Mullarkey, who won the award for his first full-length play 'Cannibals', a play set in an ex-Soviet war zone which was premiered at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester last year.

The new James Tait Black Drama Prize is judged by students and staff at Edinburgh University as well as reps from the Traverse Theatre and National Theatre Of Scotland. The Literary Manager of the latter, George Aza-Selinger, told the BBC of this year's awards and winner: "It was an incredibly exciting field from which to choose a winner this year, but 'Cannibals' stood out from the very first scene. It was one of the most heart-rending and truthful depictions of love I'd ever read".

The James Tait Black literary awards will now be announced at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on 23 Aug.

Dean Friedman's Smarty Pants (DBS Productions and Dean Friedman)
Familiar Fringe face Dean Friedman has in recent years added musical shows for kids to his Festival repertoire, and the result is very successful. 'Smarty Pants' has the simplest of plots in a setting familiar to small ones: a little girl has her first day at school and discovers that telling the other children that she knows loads about everything isn't the way to win friends and influence people. It's very much aimed at the children – this isn't really the kind of show that delights in sophisticated asides to the adults – but it nonetheless manages to engage everyone with some very catchy songs, and through the winning performances of a highly energetic cast who never drop the pace for a moment.
Sweet Grassmarket, until 24 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Caro Moses]

Jay Foreman's Disgusting Songs For Revolting Children (And Other Funny Stories) (Ditto Productions)
Some of Jay Foreman's songs really are truly disgusting and unpleasant, but, you know, if you know anything about kids, or even have one, you'll know that they relish any mention of poo, wee, death or dismemberment by the time they are seven. Or is that just mine...? In any case, the comedian does a great job of entertaining his crowd, keeping the rowdier ones in line with a succession of fierce looks, offering songs and poetry that perhaps skirt a little closer to the bone than some parents might be comfortable with; yet, my fellow child-wranglers laughed happily, probably even louder than their enthralled kids. My daughter chortled delightedly throughout, and has already treated me to many a sketchy reprise.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 24 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Caro Moses]

Sid's Show (Oscar Stardust Ltd)
If you've weaned your child on Cbeebies in the last decade or so, you won't have failed to come across the channel's longest serving presenter. His touring show very much reflects his recent career, not least because the show features the very catchy 'number raps' music, and is peppered throughout with references to Sid's Cbeebies friends. It's very much a show for that demographic, clearly designed to appeal to the 6-and-unders, and it very capably achieves its aim. Sloane's energy is infectious and apparently pretty much boundless, as he leads the audience on a fantastical journey in search of a missing pair of socks. As Sid left the stage, one of the children in the crowd shouted "I love you"; I think that accurately reflected the general feeling of affection in the room.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Caro Moses]

The Tale Of The Dastardly Defrost (As Told By)
I struggled initially with the concept of this show, the story of an assorted shelf's worth of fridge-stored foodstuffs threatened with extinction via the medium of an unexpected defrost. I found myself wondering just how long these characters were destined to live in any case... surely digestion would be imminent...? But I am not a child, and perhaps children don't overthink these things; this pint sized audience certainly seemed engaged by the company's committed and sprightly performances, giving their full attention, for the most part, to a hysterical can of whip cream, a very French bottle of champagne, a grumpy old Stilton and the romance being played out between chocolate and cheese. Not one for toddlers, this, but it should easily entertain your minus-9s.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 24 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Caro Moses]

Arabian Nights (Story Pocket Theatre)
This is a brilliant play for children of any age, and for their parents too. From the beginning the room was mesmerised by a cast of three highly talented actors who shifted ably from role to role, drawing us in with equal helpings of high drama and belly-laugh inducing comedy. The Story of Scheherazade and her king is well known, as are her tales of genies, lamps, secret caves and thieves, but there is nothing over-familiar or stale about this performance. Each vignette is briskly paced, and features well defined and beautifully rendered characters, while the well-designed and evocative set is slickly used to create a range of different environments. A top notch show with high production values.
Gilded Balloon, until 24 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 [Caro Moses]

Bec And Tom's Awesome Laundry (Gilded Balloon / Bec Hill and Tom Goodliffe)
How awesome, exactly, can a laundry based show be? Well, pretty awesome, actually, as it turns out. It's a deliberately shambolic-seeming affair (the set seems mostly to be made from cardboard and marker pens) that makes in-jokes of its own seeming-inadequacy, and in the process elicits delighted gurgles of laughter from a smallish Sunday crowd, who are more than willing to get interactive with their endearing, bubble-blowing hosts. There's a vague narrative: Tom, the stuffy one, has to make Bec, the silly one, face up to the responsibility of doing the washing, but all sorts of wacky things happen before the spin cycle ends. It doesn't feel like an hour - all over so quickly - what a pity there isn't time to stick on another load!
Gilded Balloon, until 24 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 [Caro Moses]


Chris Martin - Responsibilliness (Phil McIntyre Entertainments / Aura Talent Ltd)
More into Yahoo Answers than Wikipedia, Chris Martin is mainly interested in the inane questions web-users ask, rather than in any actual trivia the net can provide. Though he did inform us that the McDonalds staff rating system now rewards a maximum of four stars, rather than the former five. Quite how a Big Mac seller might earn these stars is a (very) loose theme for the show, punctuating a series of expertly delivered life stories, with a little drama here and there, and plenty of big laughs throughout (even and especially with his "shit routine"). Whether he earns his four McDonalds stars I won't say, but Martin easily gets four of mine (though we do still mark out of five).
Pleasance Courtyard, until 24 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Chris Cooke]

Chris Turner - Pretty Fly (Fluid Thinking)
However strong your passion for Dre, a career in hip-hop is going to be tricky if you're a privately educated white boy from suburban Manchester. Not because of race, you'll just likely lack the life experiences that make for credible rap. So hip-hop fanatic and decent rap-deliverer Chris Turner is wise to have instead turned to stand-up. Though if your comedy draws heavily on real life, as Turner's does, a few more life-dramas would be useful here too. Nevertheless, he makes good use of his limited story bank - disapproving mother, flunking college, first love interest - partly by scattering groansome (in a Tim Vine-style good way) puns throughout the proceedings. Certainly one to watch, and therefore worth watching now.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Chris Cooke]

Testiculating (Waving Your Arms Talking B*ll*cks) (Eric Lampaert / Free Festival)
A slightly noxious mix of jokes about Nazis and racism, coupled with a manic belief in his own ideas: Eric Lambert started upbeat, and the first few Nazi jokes came off, but as he wearied through the set the punchlines began to land on the wrong side of edgy and by the time he sang his exit number (accompanied by imaginary piano) about hating all people as well as people of other races, the joke was more worn than the blistered hands of a mass grave digger. The one plus was his physicality, which he used to hilarious effect but all too rarely. His testiculation flowed for a bit, but the scrotum of a friendly atmosphere soon contracted, shrinking his bollocks back into himself.
Laughing Horse @ The Counting House, until 23 Aug.
tw rating 2/5 | [Tom Bragg]

Foul Play. The F*cking Nasty Show (Brett Vincent for Get Comedy, TheProducersUK and Pleasance Theatre Trust)
Another late night comedy gig trying out an original format, this time promising acts the chance to deliver their nastiest material. However, with sets lasting just seven minutes, the comics couldn't interact with the audience and just delivered standard stuff, mocking their family or telling mildly edgy jokes. The compère, Paul Chowdhry, had time to lay into the crowd but he just picked on two guys in the front row ad nauseam. To top it off, Come Heckle Jesus – a man dressed as Jesus responding to heckles - was on last. He's probably the most non-nasty comic at the Festival, which would have been ironic if the rest of the show had fit into the format in any way at all. NB: The comedians were funny. Just not F*cking Nasty.
Pleasance Dome, until 23 Aug.
tw rating 1/5 | [Tom Bragg]

Chris Cook - Charlatan (Chris Cook Magic / PBH's Free Fringe)
So, other Chris Cook, what have you got? Well, an entertaining hour of tricks and patter, that's what, with enough magical twists to generate some post-show mental rewinds ("now, when did he set that up?"). It isn't the slickest magic show, for obvious budgetary reasons, though tricks can be better without the slick. True, some of the close-up magic was a little too close-up even in a smallish venue; that budget, when Cook gets it, could be spent on some kind of video set up perhaps. But the gasps from the front-row meant this wasn't too problematic. Cook's show may not yet warrant five stars, but it was certainly worth the five pounds I dropped in his hat on exiting.
Voodoo Rooms, until 24 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Chris Cooke]

Chris Kent - Uncorked
A video camera recorded me walking into this show. A documentary's being made we're told. And after an hour in Kent's world, complete with Mum, Dad, little brother and the family dog, it's a documentary I'd quite like to see. Kent's family and friends feature heavily in his always entertaining and often very funny stories of growing up in the rough end of Cork. And while you've no idea how much comedic license is employed, you do feel quite close to this clan by the show's conclusion. The evidence then produced of the events just described was a nice touch, even if it did feel like a bit of an after-thought. Nevertheless, 'Chris Kent: Uncorked' left you charmed and smiling.
Gilded Balloon, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Chris Cooke]

Richard Tyrone Jones - What the F*ck is This? (@rtjpoet / 'Utter!' / PBH's Free Fringe )
Conceptual comedy where the performer said nothing but "what the fuck is this?" for an hour. It had everything - comedy, tragedy; pathos, logos, ethos; a sprinkling of postmodernism. It brought to animated life how much can be communicated with just five words when the deceit of interpretation is broken down to its theory-laden fundamental components through a pre-structuralist approach to socio-linguistics. And, once you buy into the concept of a five-word show, it's a lot of fun. It was striking how much physical contact there was through the performance but it emphasised that discarding language (and associated differences such as race) and relying on normal human curiosity paradoxically brings people closer together.
Banshee Labyrinth, until 24 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Tom Bragg]

Susan Murray's F*ckwit Club (Susan Murray / PBH's Free Fringe)
Murray has done some seriously stupid things in her life and is now part of a club that meets on Sundays to compare the week's fuckwittery. Some of it we possibly got to see... she left the stage on the wrong side, meaning she wasn't at the door with a bucket when the full house exited her free show, plus her stage manager clearly hadn't screwed the light fitting in properly, so it crashed onto the stage five minutes before the end. But Murray had some good material, and fuckwittery's a fun theme, though she tends to fill the gaps between sections with comments like "so that was good", which immediately flatten the mood. Join the club if you're so inclined.
The Liquid Room, until 24 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Tom Bragg]

Pretending Things Are a C*ck (2hoots Productions / Free Festival)
The premise of this show is funny: a guy travels around the world for years, taking photos of things in positions that make them look like his cock. But that's pretty much the only joke of the hour-long set. Long periods are spent looking at a slide-show of the thousands of pictures he's taken, some of which are momentarily funny, but the tedium of repetition left this reviewer's eyelids heavy. Jon Bennett tried to spice things up by telling stories about some of the pictures, but ended up just taking the audience through long-winded and dull narratives about travelling - and how weird his family are - that had no real punchlines. Sadly, this show was half-cocked.
Laughing Horse @ City Cafe, until 24 Aug.
tw rating 1/5 | [Tom Bragg]


The Importance Of Being Earnest As Performed By Three F*cking Queens And A Duck (Out Cast Theatre)
A brilliant farce tracing the antics of four intrepid actors (one being a wooden bird) through rehearsal, the inevitable cast member love affair, the jealousy, the rivalry and the thrill of the first performance. The hour flew past, unlike the wooden duck, which made only a short aerial voyage in a moment of shocked alarm during their half-manic performance of the butchered Wilde classic. An enjoyable show that could only have been improved by a little more time spent on that actual finale performance. The build-up was magisterial and soaked in lines that tumesced outrageous expectation, but the fun of a farce is when the whole thing crescendos towards the end – in this one the crescendo was, disappointingly, a bit short-lived.
theSpace on North Bridge, until 23 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Tom Bragg]

Paradise Lost (Paul Van Dyke)
With this one man production of 'Paradise Lost' involving puppets and rudimentary CGI, Paul Van Dyke tackles John Milton's epic poem - about Satan travelling to the Garden of Eden - with gusto, carving out an easily digestible hour-long show. Yet despite a charismatic and flawless rendition of the material from performer and puppeteer Van Dyke, who should be commended for his performance, the show lacked any real imagination when interpreting the source material. Ultimately, the simple set-up and lacklustre effects (the show boasts "groundbreaking special effects" and this is simply not the case) just don't do justice to the complexity of the original. This show is best suited to newcomers to the piece, who would benefit from a simplistic adaptation.
Gryphon@WestEnd, until 16 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [James McColl]

Pomegranate Jam (CalArts Festival Theater)
This is a short piece depicting the story of Persephone from Greek mythology, the daughter of Demeter who marries the god of the underworld, dividing her time equally between her mother's domain and her husband's, bringing about the changing of the seasons. This show tells the classic story simply, sweetly and with beautiful use of colour; billed as a 'shadow ballet', it effectively mixes dancing silhouettes with intricate shadow puppetry. The music is emotive, despite remaining very similar throughout the different parts of the dramatic story, and the shadow puppetry is slightly lacking in precision, yet overall 'Pomegranate Jam' is a short, sweet and stylised piece of physical theatre.
Venue 13, until 23 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Vicki Baron]

First Class (Aulos Productions and Relief Theatre / Free Festival)
Epiphanies and train journeys collide in 'First Class', as three characters in three different time periods find ways to cope with the pressures of their lives. The script is very fast paced in places, with actors finishing each others sentences, and they switch characters at such a rate that the action can be hard to follow at times and so some important plot points get lost in the jumble of information. The show occasionally veers into melodrama, and some slightly hammed-up performances only emphasise this. Still, once the pace levels out and the show finds it footing, 'First Class' proves to be a solid production, with only a few delays in getting to its final destination.
Laughing Horse @ Espionage, until 24 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Patricia-Ann Young]

Silk Road (EH Productions)
'Silk Road' is the tale of a friendly, up-and-coming drug-lord, who lives with his nan and is hopelessly in love with a girl above his station. In an attempt to win over his uninterested lover, he revolutionises the grimy Northern drug world using the infamous Silk Road website, where drugs and other illegal goods could be bought anonymously over the Internet. Like a hybrid of 'Snatch' and 'Starter for Ten', this is both an adolescent adventure and a grotesque, criminal caper. Gritty and very well written by Old Vic New Voices playwright Alex Oates, 'Silk Road' is the best thing to come from its namesake. Unless you're into guns and drugs. Then it's just one of the best things.
Assembly George Square, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 [George Robb]

So What If I Dance? (Dragon Literature)
Most of us probably think we know the deal when it comes to strip clubs (even if we've never set foot inside one), which is why this frank, unapologetic monologue stands out as a mesmerising piece of theatre. This supremely confident solo performance by actress Chipo Kureya tells a dancer's side of the story, relaying comic statistics about the industry and voicing her anger at public preconceptions. As she's winding her body around a chair within inches of us, asking audience members if they've ever watched porn, it's a confrontational experience. But of course, that's the whole point: here's an intelligent, informed and powerful woman, who sees what she does as just another job and challenges us to judge her otherwise. Unforgettable stuff.
Sweet Grassmarket, until 17 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Laura Gavin]

Zelda - The Last Flapper by William Luce (The Women's Theatre Association IF)
This play, which sees Zelda Fitzgerald in a psychiatric hospital, recalling her life and marriage to F Scott Fitzgerald, is performed with the simplest of sets - a gauze curtain, the desk and chair of a doctor's office, a few blocks – but through imaginative direction and a very physical performance, each set piece effectively demonstrated a different element of the characters' pasts. The show was subtitled, with a beautiful translation from Romanian to English, but unfortunately this ultimately jarred, because it was sometimes evident that the words on screen did not really match those of the performer. A very competently and memorably executed piece of theatre, but difficult to watch on a practical level.
Hill Street Solo Theatre, until 24 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Vicki Baron]

Enigma – Emmy Goering (Hitler's Diva) (Modernes Theater Wien mit Karin Pettenburger)
Telling the disturbing and distorted story of Emmy Goering, wife of the infamous Hermann, this one-woman show relied on the charisma of an alarming character to maintain the audience's attention. Unfortunately, this performance was fairly flat; Emmy's moments of ludicity and insanity did not seem very different from one another, and the impersonations of Hitler and Goering were not directed with any thought to physicality or body language. The concept was interesting, looking at the Nazi regime through a different set of eyes, and the technical performance was accomplished, but it ultimately failed to make an impact. This show had great potential to charm or alarm, but sadly it couldn't seem to make up its mind to do either.
theSpace @ Surgeons Hall, until 9 Aug.
tw rating 2/5 | [Vicki Baron]

Little On The Inside (Clean Break)
Two women who meet in prison form a strong love and bond that helps them transcend the drudgery and loneliness of their lives in Clean Break's 'Little On The Inside'. The script is beautifully, poetically rhythmic, invoking such strong imagery that you almost forget the complete lack of any set or props. The two actors put in powerful performances, with Sandra Reid bringing a constantly engaging presence to her role. Estella Daniels puts in an incredibly dynamic and versatile performance, easily switching from docile to threatening, happy to heartbroken in a matter of seconds. In a show that's brimming with talent, simplicity and story are all that are needed to engage and move an audience.
Summerhall, until 24 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Patricia-Ann Young]

Simply The West (Cosmic Biscuit Theatre)
A humorously told tragic tale, Cosmic Biscuit's 'Simply the West' is an amusing, well performed production. Three physical theatre graduates from St Mary's University make up the majority of this ensemble, and their chemistry and kinship is effective and evident onstage. Using puppetry and clowning, they enact the story of a girl attempting to cross the Berlin Wall, and introduce the various characters she encounters along the way. The production is intimate, and full of laughter and charm; the actors make eye contact and speak to the audience directly. I would love to see the production developed more fully with a longer, more complex storyline, as the ending felt far too abrupt. A charismatic company that I would like to see more from in the future.
The Space @ Jury's inn until 23 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 [Keara Barnes]

My Name Is Saoirse (Sunday's Child)
If you are looking for a humorous and heart-warming small scale production this festival, you've found it. 'My name is Saoirse' centres on a young girl growing up in County Limerick. Beginning with childhood and easing into her adolescence, the piece is beautifully written, striking a mesmerising balance between touching and funny moments. The talented Eva O'Connor plays the part to perfection, convincingly portraying a young girl in the midst of a difficult transition; by making constant eye contact with the audience she reinforces the narrative, deepening the connection between actor and spectator. The various impersonations of family and friends throughout the piece adds just the right amount of theatricality to an otherwise sombre story. A captivating performance.
Scottish Storytelling Centre, until 19 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 [Keara Barnes]

Somebody I Used To Know (Everything I Own)
This show involves spending twenty minutes in a shipping container with just one performer. If you think this would be an intimidating experience, think again. The space is dressed with familiar and nostalgic teenage clutter, and on entry you are offered your choice of variety of sweets. The protagonist's story is one that we can all relate to: the minor tragedy of trying to maintain dearly-held friendships solely via social media. The piece is an insightful, poignant and emotionally involving experience. Gently encouraging us to question how we interact over long periods of time and across great distances, this is a simple but significant experience that is not to be missed.
Assembly Roxy, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Vicki Baron]

The Noctambulist (Raving Mask Theatre)
Taking on the popular topic of wasters and layabouts, 'The Noctambulist' depicts unsympathetic character Albert, a sleepwalker. He's trying to turn his life around through his new alter-ego - The Noctambulist - much to the dismay of his two flat mates. With the set-up of a mediocre sitcom, 'The Noctambulist' is a fairly contrived, unexplained and under-explored production that ultimately falls flat. It's a disappointing show that's unable to connect with its subject matter on any real level, instead opting for clichés and never quite finding its feet. It's devoid of emotional depth, despite having a strong cast that would seem capable of giving it some. The cast is unable to flesh out the two-dimensional characters that seem ill-suited for this piece.
Paradise In The Vault, until 17 Aug.
tw rating 2/5 | [James McColl]

The Duck Pond (withWings Theatre Company)
'The Duck Pond' may sound like a cut price version of 'Swan Lake' – indeed, the performers acknowledge this by making several jokes about not paying royalties - yet it is anything but. This production is a clever, playful retelling of the 'Swan Lake' story, which uses dance, physical theatre and intelligent comedy to convey the well known tale of love and tragedy. This is an immaculate piece; the only thing I can think of to compare it to is the perfect circus show. Not a toe is out of place, the timing is perfect, the audience participation is well considered, the acting is superb and, above all, despite the humour, it is still moving. In my opinion, flawless.
Bedlam Theatre, until 24 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Charlotte Taylor]

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