The Call

2 stars

There’s a whole load of style, but regrettably little storyline, to this surreal and slow-paced “performative investigation”. It begins with an image familiar from countless thrillers and detective yarns: a well-dressed woman lies dead by her sofa, a telephone receiver just out of reach, and a dial tone buzzing into her lifeless ear. A pair of investigators begin to recreate the events which led us here – events which are duly played out on stage in a creative and genuinely surprising way. There’s a huge amount of promise in those opening scenes but alas, the work never progresses beyond there.

Reviewed by Richard Stamp on Thursday 11 September | Read more

Pand7090

4 stars

As I bobbed across the IJ, en route to the Fringe’s satellite Hub Noord, I had almost no idea what to expect from Pand7090. The programme entry’s inscrutable at best, and the faintly professorial gentleman who greets you at the door claims the title is too hard to translate into English. But actually, I think bemused ignorance is the best way to approach this joyfully barmy show – so if you’ll forgive me, I’ll skimp on the detail here, the better to save the surprise.

Reviewed by Richard Stamp on Wednesday 10 September | Read more

Ego 1.04

3 stars

Hanneke Kuijpers is a people-watcher. She starts her show with an assessment of her audience, done with enough warmth and interest that it feels like flattery; and she describes a series of love affairs, involving liaisons and break-ups with both men and women. But having spent so long examining other people’s lives, Kuijpers decided that one life of her own wasn’t enough. So, she’s spent the last few years on an intriguing project… producing visual art under the guise of seven entirely invented identities.

Reviewed by Richard Stamp on Wednesday 10 September | Read more

Mick Jagger is my nightmare

4 stars

We each have our private nightmare – but actor Marius Mensink’s seems more left-field than most. In this 30-minute show, already a cult hit from last year’s Amsterdam Fringe, we’re invited to watch him confront his improbable inner demon. Before our eyes, and over the full space of half an hour, Mensink gradually, inexorably, and apparently painfully turns into… Rolling Stones front-man Mick Jagger.

Reviewed by Richard Stamp on Wednesday 10 September | Read more

Rendez-vous

2 stars

We’re welcomed into Rendez-vous by a violin serenade, pitched halfway between the quirky and the soulful. And that, I think, is the tone they’re aiming for throughout this experimental piece – performed for the most part by two male actors wearing masks that cast them as a man and a woman. An exploration of frustrated sexuality and, perhaps, hidden emotional abuse, it scores highly for ambition but fails somewhat in its execution.

Reviewed by Richard Stamp on Tuesday 9 September | Read more

Man On Wire

4 stars

In 1974, Frenchman Philippe Petit strung a thoroughly-unauthorised tightrope between the twin towers of the World Trade Center – then performed a death-defying 45-minute aerial routine, high above the shocked commuters of Manhattan. Far from being prosecuted, Petit was widely praised, and this intriguing theatrical gig from electronic musicians Club Gewalt further celebrates his legacy. With keyboards, guitars, drums and (most importantly) their voices, the eight-member band tells a compelling story in a genuinely memorable style.

Reviewed by Richard Stamp on Tuesday 9 September | Read more

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