Love Letters from Blackpool & My Kind of Michael, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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by guest critic Rebecca JS Nice

Four years ago, Ruth Cockburn pulled me off the street from the misery of the rain and the festival blues and into the bottom of a tapas restaurant. Cockburn was glowing amidst the bright yellow and blues of the slightly odd venue typical of the fringe festival and she manged to charm an audience more intent on sheltering from the rain than anything else. She became one of my magical fringe finds who touch your heart by chance.

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SHIFT, Edinburgh Fringe Festival

by guest critic Rebecca JS Nice

Barely Methodical Troupe members Louis Gift, Esmeralda Nikolajeff, Elihu Vazquez and Charlie Wheeller​ are bound together by their reliance on each other to lift, and catch so that very little happens independently. SHIFT plays with balance, direction and suspension by adding an object to the ensemble that has the strength and flexibility to bear weight and change gravitational paths. A giant elastic band acts as a naughty fifth body and limb, changing up the choreography and providing endless opportunities for play and experimentation.

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A herd of Zoo shows, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

by Laura Kressly

Over the last few years, Zoo has been quietly building its reputation as a venue, breaking the stranglehold that the Big Four and Summerhall have on high-quality work. With a loose focus on physical theatre and performance, they boast a programme varied in style, but also in quality.

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Queens of Sheba, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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by Laura Kressly

In 2015, four black women were turned away from the nightclub DSTRKT for being ‘too black’. It temporarily drew attention to systemic racism, but black women still encounter racism everywhere. In schools, work places, social situations and in public spaces, black women must conform to standards of behaviour and appearance that are dictated by white people. 

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Mengele and Gulliver Returns, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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by Laura Kressly

Misogyny is everywhere, even in stories that aren’t about misogyny. A mysterious woman saves a drowning man who treats her like scum, and a beleaguered wife tolerates a torrent of abuse in the name of genius, but these scenarios lie within stories with more dominant narratives. 

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Status, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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By Laura Kressly

Chris Thorpe has a parasitic worm somewhere under his sternum that is as much a part of him as he is of it. It’s not something he used to really notice but since Brexit, he feels it deep within his chest. He’s now had enough of it and now would do anything to get it out of his body. 

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