Why do some reviews have a different-coloured star rating? This year, we're re-publishing selected reviews from earlier runs of the same show – for example, if we reviewed the same production at last year's Edinburgh Fringe. Find out more.

Jeu Jeu La Foille’s Frontal Lobotomy

3 stars

Jeu Jeu La Foille’s Frontal Lobotomy sounded like just the thing for that last weekend of the Fringe, when we're all feeling slightly jaded. La Foille describes herself as a maverick burlesque artist – with some justification, as her show also incorporates elements of music, spoken word, and even lecture. It doesn’t quite come off entirely, but it is never less than intriguing.

Review by Stephen Walker published on Friday 4 August | Read more

Cat Got My Tongue

3 stars

Described as "a love story about a body and its elusive voice, separated by social anxiety", Cat Got My Tongue is a departure from the other plays from Fishhouse Theatre I’ve seen in Buxton. Featuring clowning and mime, it’s a brave choice, and its short running time has caused some consternation. But it’s a fascinating piece – and properly Fringe.

Review by Stephen Walker published on Saturday 22 July | Read more

Lace Curtain Irish

3 stars

In 1892, Andrew and Abby Borden were murdered in their home – victims of a gruesome axe attack. Lizzie Borden was acquitted of her father and step-mother's murders, but no-one was ever found guilty; it's become a notorious case in American legal history, and through the years there have been many theories about what might have happened. This short play by American playwright Carolyn Gage is told from the perspective of the family maid, Bridget, looking back over thirty years later.

Review by Stephen Walker published on Saturday 22 July | Read more

Being Julie Andrews

4 stars

Fishhouse Theatre were the word-of-mouth hit of last year’s Buxton Fringe, with their tender play Cloaks. This year, ambitiously, they're back up at the Lee Wood Hotel with three shows each day. Being Julie Andrews features one of the stars of Cloaks, Lesley Emery, in a deeply personal story – her own. As she puts it at the start, she wants to share her story so she can get on with her career as an actress, telling other people's.

Review by Stephen Walker published on Friday 21 July | Read more

Bouncers

3 stars

Over the years, Sudden Impulse Theatre Company have reliably delivered top-quality performances to the Buxton Fringe, and shows like Departure Lounge and The Zoo Story live long in the memory. A combination of their record and a modern English classic promised much – but while the performances are as excellent as expected, the play itself has not aged well.

Review by Stephen Walker published on Friday 21 July | Read more

Beerey

4 stars

Six years ago, Jon Beere and four friends were convicted of a plot to smuggle drugs – using a fishing boat to collect bags chucked off a container ship in the middle of the English Channel. In the verbatim play Beerey, actor-playwright Lois Temel tells Beere's daughter Elle’s story, describing her life without her father alongside video clips about the campaign to prove the men's innocence.

Review by Stephen Walker published on Wednesday 19 July | Read more

Watch This. Love Me. It's Deep

4 stars

Nathan Cassidy has become one of the most popular stand-up comedians at the Buxton Fringe, coming here year after year and regularly getting rave reviews. But this year is a little different: alongside his stand-up show, he's also brought this new play. Watch This. Love Me. It's Deep appears an idyllic love story, but is it too good to be true?

Review by Stephen Walker published on Tuesday 18 July | Read more

We Lost Elijah

4 stars

Caught amidst the London riots of six years ago, a budding teenage reality star loses sight of his little brother. As the hours stretch to days and Elijah is nowhere to be found, the consequences ripple through his family, his school, and his community. Has Elijah been taken, has he run away… or is the truth more sinister still?

Review by Richard Stamp published on Monday 17 July | Read more

Super Hamlet 64: Parody DLC

3 stars

Part animation, part one-man show, Super Hamlet 64 is an audacious rework of a Shakespearean classic in the style of an old-school video game. In writer-performer Edward Day's alternative world, Hamlet's dad was Mario – but he's dead now, just a Boo on the battlements, while Princess Peach throws in her lot with the evil Uncle Luigi. If you don't understand why that's funny, you may as well stop reading and move on. But if you get the joke, you'll enjoy where Day goes with it – and fans of Zelda, Monkey Island, or even Zork will find just as many sly references to enjoy.

Review by Richard Stamp published on Monday 17 July | Read more

Persuasion Transposed

4 stars

If you could go back and time and meet your younger self, what would you choose to tell them? Which youthful follies would you warn them to avoid? When 27-year-old Anne Elliot – heroine of Jane Austen's Persuasion – realises she's sharing a stage with her 19-year-old self, she wastes no time in dispensing advice: seize your chance of happiness, reject the strictures of society, send that meddlesome godmother packing… and above all else, marry Captain Wentworth.

Review by Richard Stamp published on Sunday 16 July | Read more

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