4 stars

When a sturdy jug of water and a delicate bag of flour love each other very much, what will emerge from their union? A baby made of bread-dough, obviously. It sounds a ludicrous premise for a show, but puppeteer Helen Ainsworth turns the jocular set-up into a telling parable for our times –tackling a series of important contemporary issues, with plenty of physical humour yet with emotional sensitivity, too.

Review by Richard Stamp published on Friday 6 July | Read more

The Unknown Soldier

5 stars (previous review)

If there was one thing I was certain we didn't need this Fringe, it was yet another play about World War One.  But this play is different: partly because actor-playwright Ross Ericson was once a serving soldier, and partly because it picks up the story where other scripts leave off.  The imagery you expect is all there – the claustrophobic billet, the hammering rain, the tales of chest-deep mud – but there's something unfamiliar too, something that doesn't quite add up.  So when it finally dawned on me just what this particular soldier was doing in the Somme, the desensiti

Review by Richard Stamp originally published at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2015 | Read more

The O.S. Map Fan Club

4 stars (previous review)

I love to look at Ordnance Survey maps: the iconic plans of the British countryside, which have served as faithful guides to generations of walkers. It's a form of geekdom I'm proud to admit to, and the nicest thing about this warm-and-fuzzy show was that it proved I'm not the only one. On the night I attended, the Dukebox was full of navigators of all ages – united by our readiness to laugh at jokes involving contours, and cheer at a shelf stacked with Landranger sheets.

Review by Richard Stamp originally published at the Brighton Fringe in 2018 | Read more