A whole lot of #tweetsizereview’s

A little collaboration for you all:

Show 1 of @edfringe: @DirtyProtest’s Last Christmas & what a cracker it was! Full of laughter & poignant storytelling! #tweetsizedreview

Really enjoyed @20sumthin’s 6: A new musical last night: brilliant lyrics, live band and clever staging @theSpaceUK! #tweetsizereview

Great to see a welsh language production @edfringe, Diolch yn fawr @CwmniFranWen, great performances in Dim Diolch! #tweetsizereview

Check out the thought provoking performance of Soldier Box @OneShotTheatre if you can: v.interesting & stylish production! #tweetsizereview

Wow. Tiger from @Barrowlballet was beautifully unconventional with a large dose of magic and talent #mustsee #tweetsizereview

Very much enjoyed my @ThePaperBirds double bill today: Blind and Broke both shows to see in the final week of @edfringe! #tweetsizereview

Really enjoyed the immersive & relevant production of Broke: flying chocolate bars would def be my cuppa tea! #tweetsizereview @ThePaperBirds

Amazing beat-boxing from Grace Savage in #Blind; something completely different, loved the blindfolded part! #tweetsizereview @ThePaperBirds

Brilliant busker riff off in @Group64’s Mind the Gap; catch them at @SpaceV45! #tweetsizereview #edfringe

Fantastic performances from the cast of Darkle @SurgeonsCourtyd tonight: especially Max! (@DarkleDog) #tweetsizereview

Loved @TheOutbackGames @SpaceV45 earlier: full of fun, smiles and charming music! Great start to the day! #tweetsizereview

Wow #LungsPlay: incredibly beautiful whirlwind of a script with two perfect performances to match #tweetsizereview @painesplough

Gritty, honest and well casted: really enjoyed #LaceUp @trigpoint13 this evening. Catch it @theSpaceUK! #tweetsizereview

Giggles galore in Last Chance Romance from @KitschnSync1 last night: all the single ladies put your hands up! @ZOOvenues #tweetsizereview

Brilliant range of characters brought to life by @Red_Belly_Black in Smoking Ban! Check it out @theSpaceUK #SurgeonsHall! #tweetsizereview

Cleverly staged and brilliant performances in The House of Bernarda Alba from @FourthMonkeyTC @theSpaceUK last night #tweetsizereview

Loved @Jenjencollier‘s show on the partybus: diolch for the fab dose of welshness, best comedy act I’ve seen @edfringe #tweetsizereview

Bottleneck from @_HighTide_ at @FollowTheCow: incredible example of a 1 man show, emotive, energetic, bang on throughout! #tweetsizereview

Taken aback by #TRAVESTIplay from @unbound_theatre: real, thought provoking verbatim theatre. Check it out @edfringe! #tweetsizereview

Loved @WeWereKingsPlay last night: a witty & engaging production from a brilliant team resulting in laughter & almost tears!#tweetsizereview

Check out the fab Piece of Paper Paradox from @bluemoon_tc: great performances! Final show today @SurgeonsCourtyd! #tweetsizereview

Beautiful visual storytelling in Feral from @TortoiseinaNut! Hooked audience from the moment the pen touched the page! #tweetsizereview

Feeling the urge to watch Pitch Perfect or sing constantly after a fab hour with @loveaccidentals! So much fun @theSpaceUK #tweetsizereview (The Accidentals: 99 Problems but a pitch ain’t one)

Lunchtime giggles galore from @IAmPippaEvans @freefringefest – she’s not posh! Def a show for @RealBrianConley! #tweetsizereview

Fab storytelling from @mulberrytheatre in The Domino Effect @theSpaceUK earlier today: a creative mix of raw-ness & love! #tweetsizereview

Brilliant, honest performance from @pluenflake in Llais/Voice @theSpaceUK – loved the live music too! Check it out! #tweetsizereview

Great show @TomDeaconComedy @the3sistersbar: big fan of anyone who will risk their life for a greggs pasty! @freefringefest #tweetsizereview

Loved the beautiful & funny Greatest Liar in All the World @ThePleasance from the fab @FamiliaDeLaNoch – One to watch! #tweetsizereview

Brilliant performance of Guttermouth from the Richard Burton co. @venue13 to start the day: incredibly written & devised! #tweetsizereview

Beautiful physical theatre from @ManicChord today: v.cleverly choreographed and performed! Check it out @bedlamtheatre #tweetsizereview (Don’t Let Go)

Loved @LaurenceOwen’s new & improved disney hit song in todays @_theratpack @the3sistersbar: evil queen is the way to go! #tweetsizereview

Freaking LOVED @LordsofStrut @AssemblyFest tonight! Go see! #chaos #tweetsizereview

Had brilliant fun @FourthMonkeyTC’s Treasure Island:full of giggles, songs & a treasure hunt! Def one to watch @theSpaceUK! #tweetsizereview

Hilarious toe tapping performance from @NowYouKnow14’s I love you, you’re perfect, now change! Check it out @theSpaceUK! #tweetsizedreview

Brilliant immersive lunchtime entertainment from @NotTooTame’s Early Doors! Join the fun at the Jinglin’ Geordie! #tweetsizedreview

Loved @BudJamesJones #hiraethshow @FollowTheCow – honesty, songs & welsh cakes: a truly lush performance! Diolch yn fawr! #tweetsizereview

Really enjoyed the physical theatre & ensemble elements of @HumanZooTheatre’s chaotic #TheHive earlier! #tweetsizereview

Before Us @FollowTheCow – Absolutely hilarious and beyond bizarre! Proper feel good mood now thanks to @StuartBowden! #tweetsizereview

Why is life like sparrows? was beyond bonkers and full of giggles, even when I got ejected! @venue13 #tweetsizereview

Laughter, tears and applause: Fringe highlights 2014

And that’s it, all over for another year… I am home, fed, watered and having slept for 12 hours: I’m definitely ready to be unbored again!

The Fringe festival flew by this year, and amidst the ‘I’ll just go for one drink’ nights out, the power-naps and the busy box office shifts, I managed to squeeze in exactly 50 shows! That’s right, 50! From stand up comedy on the top deck of a double decker bus, to a female accapella group agony aunt service, to an Australian musical in a Church hall, to a one man show based in a wheelie bin, I saw some incredible pieces of performance!

Although it’s incredibly difficult to narrow it down to one favourite, I’ve got it down to a top 5:

Lungs | Paines Plough:  No props, no set, no ensemble: just an incredible script, brought to life by two amazing performers. An honest, heartfelt and witty production which had the audience laughing and crying as one. My one standing ovation of the festival!

Tiger | Barrowland Ballet: A beautifully unconventional piece of dance and physical theatre which left my mouth in a Wow kinda shape. A magical production which was visually stunning with a huge dose of energy and talent!

Travesti | Unbound Theatre Company: Incredibly thought provoking and heartfelt verbatim theatre which knocked me sideways slightly: Female thoughts through male voices.  A very relevant, and brilliantly performed piece from Outbound Theatre Co.

Blind | Paper Birds: Something completely different but ultimately: amazing. Featuring beatboxing from the very talented Grace Savage in a fresh, creative and interesting take on finding your voice when the world keeps getting louder.

Bottleneck | High Tide Festival: A fantastic, fast paced yet emotive, one-man show which left me out of breath just watching. First class performance from James Cooney who is on the ball without as much as a blink out of place throughout.

As well as these, I had a fabulous time on the party bus with Jenny Collier in her hilarious, one hour stand up set (Diolch yn fawr!): definitely my favourite comedian of the Fringe! I also, loved the madness and the chaos of Lord of Strut for the second Fringe in a row and spending a fantastic lunchtime in the company of the Early Door‘s cast at the Jinglin’ Geordie. Fourth Monkey’s Treasure Island left me grinning and giggling away, as did Stuart Bowden’s performance in the beautifully bizarre Before Us Guttermouth was an incredible example of a one-man show and Feral was beautiful to watch as the puppetry was brought to life on stage. I managed to catch some great productions at Pleasance including The Greatest Liar in all the World which was wonderfully created and performed, and the engaging and thought provoking Broke from Paper Birds.  Back at theSpace hub, The Outback Games was full of fun and energy (I love a good musical!) and the funny yet moving We Were Kings, was beautifully performed and directed.

The Welsh companies really came in to their own this year, Dirty Protest’s Last Christmas was engaging and bang on the money, Llais/Voice was a brilliantly honest and raw performance, Hiraeth was fun, heartfelt and a total cwtch of a performance from non-actor Buddug, and Last Chance Romance was full of giggles and all the single ladies! There were brilliant reviews floating around for Land of the Dragon, The Future for Beginners and Wonders of the Universe as well, even though I sadly missed out on seeing them because there are just not enough hours in the day!

And that’s Edinburgh Fringe finished for another year: I was blindfolded, ejected from the theatre and joined by a pub full of people in singing the batman theme tune, I laughed, cried and held hands with strangers and sang… I had an absolute ball!

12 reasons to love Edinburgh during the Fringe

Just twelve of the gazillion reasons to fall in love with Edinburgh during the beauty and chaos of the Fringe festival, compiled over the month on Twitter…

1. The best church in the world. Venue 45: the heart of theSpace UK.

2. Signs like this one:

Not all who wander

3. The novelty of using a knife and fork and sitting at a table to eat!

4. Singing along to B*witched and High School musical in the Tron at 1am

5. Patisserie Valerie at midnight for a birthday treat!

6. Casually walking down the Grassmarket to the sound of bagpipes and fireworks

7. The meadows on a beautiful sunny day

8. Walking to the end of your road to be greeted by a circus tent (Kudos to the incredible Nofit State!)

9. Having to double take when seeing this… (The best thing I’ve ever seen)

InvisibilityCloak

10. Being able to play the ‘costume or real clothes’ game at every opportunity

11. Any show on the party bus (Courtesy of The Three Sisters, Cowgate)

12. All of the food places. All of them.

This time tomorrow…

That’s right it’s almost that time of the year again, this time tomorrow I will be in beautiful Edinburgh ready to start work on Monday for this years Edinburgh Fringe! After falling in love with the city and the festival last year, I swore that I would go back as soon as my feet touched back down in Bristol!

For the whole of August, I will be surrounded by numerous flyers and posters, actors, techies, other like minded people and the atmosphere is just indescribable! And there’s sure to be a lot of familiar faces up there this summer with a great welsh representation with the likes of Dirty Protest, Pluen Flake, Cwmni Fran Wen, Kitsch & Sync and many more!

Unfortunately I won’t have time to review everything I see as I plan on fitting is as many shows as possible! But I will be doing tweet sized reviews
(Follow me on @chaotickirstyy if you’re interested!) and a round up/top 5 when I come home to help me cope with the inevitable post fringe blues!

If you’re making the trip to Edinburgh too, give me a shout or if you’re taking a show let me know and I’ll do my best to check it out!

There’s a murderer on the loose…

And he goes by the name of Roberto Zucco. Based on the true life story of the Italian serial killer, August 012’s brings the unpredictable and chaotic world to Chapter Arts Centre’s studio space, where nobody is safe from the action!

As the audience are ushered in to the room, the cast and choir ensemble are scattered around, immediately placing everyone in a position of involvement, really proving that anybody in society could be a killer! The narrative features a number of episodes surrounding the killings, beginning with his escape from prison and going on to focus on his involvement with a family and his relationship with a young girl.

The narrative introduces us to all the characters involved in the Zucco case with three of the four cast members cleverly switching persona’s within seconds, from policemen to innocent bystanders, to the victims themselves. Zucco himself, played by Adam Redmore, is brilliantly vacant, encouraging the audience not to feel too much sympathy or empathy with him, but focusing on the lives on the everyday people effected by his crimes.

Although I felt the narrative was slightly messy at time, and I struggled a little to keep up with the multiple layers, after time to think and digest, I was able to appreciate the chaos a lot more! The set design cleverly allowed us to bounce back and forth between the various victims, with an echo from the community choir surrounding the audience at alternate sections of the piece. Constantly being aware (and panicking slightly!) that you could be pulled up as part of the action, however did pull us out of the mindset of Roberto Zucco slightly but definitely added a sense of unpredictable irrationality to the events!

The production was grim yet humorous in parts, with an added touch of a chaotic reality. A provocative piece of theatre from start to finish, allowing us access to the bonkers world of Roberto Zucco!

Playing at Chapter Arts Centre until the 19th July, tickets available here.

Parti yn llawn tryblith!

As much as I try and join in conversations in work, my Welsh isn’t great…. But I do try! And I was very proud of how much I understood of Theatr Iolo’s latest production this morning! At Chapter Arts Centre this week, Penblwydd Poenus Pete is full of laughs and chaos from start to finish.

With an audience full of incredibly excited school children, the studio at Chapter has been transformed into a family home and we are soon welcomed in to their lives. The initial introduction of hyperactive feline, Cadi, has the audience intrigued from the first dimming of the lights and the mess and family chaos soon unravels. When Dad decides he doesn’t want a fuss for his birthday, Mum and the twins do exactly that… Nothing… Of course, Pete is furious and with his feline sidekick, the peace is soon shattered with hilarious results!

Full of giggles, walking the plank, a huge mess and even a cream pie to the face… This production is pitched brilliantly to it’s family audience! The cast bounce off each other brilliantly, replicating the dynamics of any loving everyday family, and Meilir Rhys Williams portrayed Cadi with brilliant character, leaping and prowling around the set and purring in his sleep!

Even as a very basic Welsh Learner, I was definitely able to understand the gist of the story: much to my delight! A fun filled production for all the family, a real feel good performance from the creatives at Theatr Iolo once again: Llongyfarchiadau a diolch pawb!

Penblwydd Poenus Pete plays at Chapter Arts Centre this week until the 12th July and continues on it’s tour into August. For full dates and to book tickets, check out the Theatr Iolo website.

The demon barber of Fleet Street

The biggest open air festival in Wales,
Everyman is back this summer and they weren’t going to let a teeny bit of rain get in the way of their performance in the beautiful Sophia Gardens. Tonight was the turn of the first show of the festival, and Sweeney Todd was brought to life on the outdoor stage…

Now unfortunately Johnny Depp wasn’t involved this time, but this production of Sweeney Todd is nothing to be sniffed at. The audience are instantly catapulted back in time to Victorian England, and directly in to a murder investigation complete with modern day high-vis emergency service jackets and sirens! The demon barber is focused solely on revenge after wrongful exile and the loss of his wife and daughter, and using his talents, he and pie maker, Mrs Lovett concoct a evil yet brilliant business plan, allowing nobody to stand in their way!

Awash with songs, throat slitting and a brilliant set utilising the fading natural light at sunset, the production was cleverly created from start to finish. Brilliant performances from all involved, especially from Joan Hocter as Mrs Lovett, whose vocal talent proved itself with a deliciously witty accent throughout, and brilliant comic timing !

Full of gore and chaotic madness, with a touch of meat pies (no longer the worst pies in London…), the production is completely apt for the outdoor setting, with a little drizzle really adding to the grungy Fleet Street. There may be no place like London… But Everyman have done a brilliant job of showcasing the ever talented and incredible Cardiff!

Sweeney Todd continues until Saturday 12th July. Tickets are on sale for the show Everyman festival here and you can read my preview of the festival programme here