I went to see Life is a Dream as part of Edinburgh International Festival. This play was funny and well acted with catchy music. It focuses on themes such as family, pride and illusion through its complex themes and symbolism.

The writer uses his creativity to ask questions such as how do we know when we are not dreaming. Although these questions and themes make the play seem more mysterious, the complexity in the storyline can make it hard to understand, so I advise that you read up on the plot before going to see the play. This also might be a good idea because this version had fast subtitles translating Spanish to English, making the dialogue not very easy to follow. Plus some of the cast were hard to see from the upper seats in the audience. Props and costumes were used to help to correspond to themes of the play and the time it was set in.

It isn’t on now but if it is ever on again I would recommend it to those with stamina as it is 2 hours long without a break.

Reviewer: Amy McCombes

As part of the Edinburgh International Film Festival I went to see Afire. Someone working for the Festival came to the front with a person involved in making the film to allow the audience to know a bit about the ideas which led to making this film.

The subtitles that were used were often easy to follow which allowed it to be more accessible to those who don’t speak German. I found this film funny and emotional in a variety of ways, particularly the relationships portrayed verbally and through actions. Some bits at the start I found slightly boring but it became mysterious and dramatic as the pace sped up. I enjoyed that the film included footage of scenic beaches and forests. Towards the end, it takes some unexpected turns which I found quite shocking. Good acting made it clear that these unexpected events changed the characters and their relationships. Some lessons could be learned from the characters’ reactions to what happened, especially ones connected to themes explored throughout the film such as friendship and self- discovery.

This film is no longer on at Edinburgh International Film Festival but I would recommend it if it is ever on elsewhere.

Reviewer: Amy McCombes

Gyles Brandreth Can’t Stop Talking! is a pure comedic delight, with lots of laugh-out-loud moments.

His charm, wit and grace is evident from start to finish, and with his charismatic voice he takes (and talks) the audience through stories from his childhood, royal encounters, his personal life and his huge and varied career.

But unlike Just A Minute he does not do this without hesitation, deviation or repetition. This was such a great show to see, and what a gentleman he is.

Don’t hesitate! See today. Don’t deviate, don’t miss Gyles while he is in town.

Reviewer: Nicky Tuxworth

I went to see 2020 The Musical as part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe. This show focused on the
recent history of the pandemic, using comedy to portray how it affected politics, the NHS,
theatre, social media and relationships. Although it follows experiences many have lived
through, it still managed to surprise me by how interesting it could be to hear from different

I found the narration funny and informative as it helped explain what happened
to the characters plus it made the events during the pandemic sound more comical. Many of
the fictional events seemed very realistic, personal and emotional as they represented
extremely touching family and romantic relationships. They portrayed the consequences that
happened because of Covid together with the positive events which took place during the
pandemic to create a hopeful and uplifting story.

The performers were so talented that they managed to portray quite a large number of characters with a very small cast. The costumes were often very simple but they told us a lot about the characters’ lifestyles during the lockdowns. Upbeat, humorous music written especially for the show along with elaborate dance routines made the choreography unique.

I would definitely recommend this show which was on until the 27th of August at Underbelly Bristo Square.

Reviewer: Amy McCombes

A pure mix of high glamour & talent, with a catwalk-like stage that brings you the spectacle of the fabulous world of The Lady Boys Of Bangkok.

It’s a truly unique and marvellous show – with stunning songs, dance and great laughter throughout. This show is a wonderful delight for all senses. I cannot praise it enough, it was so much fun and such a great atmosphere to be in. The cast are superb and super friendly, they make you feel like part of show.

This show has been the highlight of my festival year. A must-see show!

Reviewer: Nicky Tuxworth

Dimanche is a show that is the very definition of breathtaking!

This stunning show combines humanity and environmental elements with beautiful puppetry, mime, video and soundscape artistry that truly transports you from your seat in the audience to the transitional perspectives of so many different worlds and lives, both human and animal, and into the powerful force of Mother Nature herself.

We are truly all small parts of a much large element of life, and what similarities and challenges we all face together whether or not we are all the same species!

The show speaks in many ways, even louder that our own voices ever could. This show is not to be missed…

See now! And let’s change the world for a better today, tomorrow and future.

We are not powerless to help, to change the damage done to the Earth we all share.

The show was presented as part of Edinburgh International Festival. The run has ended.

Reviewer: Nicky Tuxworth

As part of the Edinburgh Art Festival I went to the Grayson Perry exhibition. I found this very
accessible with useful audio recordings about each piece of art, sharing the artist’s ideas and
inspiration which influenced his work. These are for selected works in different rooms, and you
need to take headphones to listen to them. He tells of how some of the artwork is personal to
him or perhaps are influential and relatable to our modern society and culture. He explains
reasons why these things inspired him by talking of how his pictures and sculptures connected
his ideas through the use of symbolism and creative language.

Through this use of his imagination, his work highlights important issues such as class, politics, relationships, nationality and identity. Many pieces of his work in exhibition become very complex with the combination of his ideas and influences in one image or series of artworks. I would definitely recommend it, although as it has some sexual content some visitors may need to consider if it is appropriate for certain ages. It is on at the National Galleries of Scotland until the 12th of November.

Reviewer: Amy McCombes

Lament for Sheku Bayoh, Edinburgh International Festival

The Lyceum, on now until 28 August


A powerful ensemble, an emotionally charged script and incredible music come together as one in Lament For Sheku Bayoh. Sheku is a man who in 2015 died in police custody.

The ensemble of four performers take on a hard hitting, brutally honest script which is performed in a matter of fact way therefore letting the audience know very quickly that this piece is not a story of Sheku Bayoh as such but more a grief stricken lament as the ensemble take on the conversations and whispers of the public around the time of the event and also the newsreaders matter of fact sense of such events. Such a script is performed effortlessly by the cast. With incredibly moving musical moments composed and performed by Beldina Odenyo and a fantastic script by Hannah Laverty. Lament For Sheku Bayoh is a piece of theatre which does not require the audience to lose themselves in a story but asks them to think about their own life choices and decisions they might make.

Contains very strong language and descriptions of brutality and racial violence.

If you’d like to book a ticket for the show, follow this link: https://www.eif.co.uk/events/lament-for-sheku-bayoh#dates-and-times

Written by Gavin Yule