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Review: Derren Brown's Underground

16th September 2017 | Theatre

Review: Derren Brown's Underground

If you are a fan of Derren Brown then chances are you will enjoy his latest show – ‘Underground’, at the Playhouse Theatre. If you are a super-fan then chances are you may end up feeling rather bored…

As ever, Derren kindly requests that audience members keep tight-lipped about the contents of the show. However, due to the nature of this Greatest Hits-style evening, we sort of can.

The show is made up of old material – all from previous live shows. It’s nothing short of impressive that Derren can churn out a brand-new show every two years. It’s therefore only fair he might want to take a break. But rather than going on a hiatus, he has selected a series of items which seamlessly flow into a mystifying and entertaining evening.

The show works brilliantly if you are relatively new to Derren. Or even if you have only seen him on TV. Aficionados will instantly recognise pieces from previous shows: ‘An Evening of Wonders’, ‘Enigma and ‘Svengali’ to name but a few. There’s everything you would expect: laughs, pure showmanship and moments of jaw-dropping dumbfoundedness.

Setting the production in a smaller theatre than usual – the Playhouse Theatre (seating 780 people) compared to the Palace Theatre (seating capacity 1,200 people) where his previous production ‘Miracle’ was set – meant that even if you had seen the routines before, you got a fresh look on them at a closer distance.

It also works as a good introduction to the performer. Having just made his American stage debut, the time is ripe for a new generation to be introduced to his talents. Here, they get the opportunity to see some of his best material.

We must admit it was a little dispiriting to…

Review: Harry Potter and The Cursed Child

6th November 2016 | Theatre

Review: Harry Potter and The Cursed Child

5 years after the release of the last movie in the Harry Potter franchise, The Cursed Child was a breath of fresh air and new storylines that I had only dreamt about. I have the practically impossible task of describing my experience without ruining it for you. I have to, after all, #KeepTheSecrets.

Showing the spells and magic in the play was probably, I think, the trickiest part. However, any issues I thought about were completely unfounded, as you shall see if you do get the chance to go and see the play itself. With the little bits of magic being as powerful as the larger bits of magic, the play leaves you wondering why you had any doubts in the first place.

I was, as were many people, a bit sceptical about the portrayal of Harry, Ron, Hermione and Draco by actors who were not the ones I grew up with, but the production blew all my fears out of the water. Harry Potter, played by Jamie Parker, was stunning and brought forward all the quirks we knew Harry had in the books and the movies. Hermione Granger, played by Noma Dumezweni, was a fierce character in the books and the movies, and it was brought to life in the production itself. Ronald Weasley, played by Paul Thornley, reminded us about everything we loved about Ron, dipping us in nostalgia and laughter alike.

Ginny Weasley, played by Poppy Miller, resembled book-Ginny more than the film adaptations; her strength shone through; as did her love for her children. Draco Malfoy, played by Alex Price, is striking in his poise and arrogance. Albus Potter, played by Sam Clemmett, came through as a very relatable character but Scorpius Malfoy, played by Anthony Boyle, stole the show. His witty repartee…

Review: Edinburgh Fringe 2016

1st September 2016 | Theatre

Review: Edinburgh Fringe 2016

As a first time Fringe festival-goer, my expectations for the weekend were high but unfounded, so I boarded my 9.30am bus (which actually turned out to be 9.50am because it’s always too much to ask that public transport runs on time) at Victoria Coach Station on the 19th of August and embarked on an 11-hour ride to the capital of Scotland for what could have been a really terrible time.

Luckily for me though, it honestly turned out to be an amazing experience filled with laughs, tears, a lot of rain and even more tears.

It was an experience that I want to relive next year, and the year after, and maybe even the year after that. I saw such a fantastic variety of arts and performance across the weekend it’s difficult to pin-point any highlights but, having said this, there were a couple of pieces that really stuck with me, for good reason, that I’d recommend seeing if you want a good cry. So, here we go, why did I cry so much at Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2016?

Firstly, something that made me cry with laughter. Comedy quintet, THE NOISE NEXT DOOR, returned to the Fringe for their sixth year in a row, bringing with them quick wit, a lot of energy and some serious talent to create hour after hour of unpredictable and fresh improvised comedy. These boys also brought with them a strong work ethic as they were doing two shows on each performing day, the most popular of these, and therefore the one which had sadly sold-out across the weekend, being the more explicit, adult evening COMEDY LOCK-IN at Venue 33, Pleasance Courtyard. But, on a positive note, I managed to steal a seat for their family-friendly REALLY, REALLY GOOD AFTERNOON…