Fringe is what I am about (well that and the brussel sprout and cheese bake I am eating right now). Giving new voices a voice and new work a platform. I confess due to my own personal creative endeavours, I have not seen as much theatre as I did in 2015. This means accordingly, I only feel it is fair to have a top 5 Fringe shows of 2016, rather than 10 ( as I did last year) to put in this post.
BU21 at Theatre503
Transferring to Trafalgar Studios in January 2017, after its triumph in 2016 at Theatre503, the play BU21 was the ultimate for me, a masterpiece. Stuart Slade has really created something really quite unique, soul stirring and heartbreaking, as well humourous in equal measure. Set around the aftermath of a fictious terrorist attack on six Londoners, the writing and performances were impeccable, with a dryly funny stand out performance from Alex Forsyth, who was also nominated for an Offie for Best Male. Thalissa Teixeira also shone as a greiving PR Executive.
Underexposed Old Red Lion Theatre
I saw this evening of new writing in April and was very impressed by the theatrical works showcased. It was a real pleasure to see new works of such a high standard, varying from definitive drama to comedy, all in one production. The themes of the plays were underexposed stereotypes and these were certainly exposed brilliantly. Underexposed Theatre are a Theatre Company to keep an eye out for in 2017!
HERSTORY Festival at Theatre N16
Founded by the tour de force Nastazja Somers, the first HERSTORY Festival, that I was priveliged to attend back in August, has a big place on this list. An evening of honest theatre that transcends genre and boundaries, telling stories that need to be told, I was hooked. With an array of established and upcoming writers, it was a wonderful night of solidarity.
This Is Living Trafalgar Studios
OK, perhaps not technically fringe, but the debut play of Liam Borrett was an absolute revelation. With it’s two leads Tamla Kari and Michael Socha playing a couple torn apart by death, I was spellbound from beginning to end. This really is a masterclasses in finding the human element in tragedy, without being over sentimental and being well, just real. Tamla Kari was just sensational, she literally broke your heart in her role.
Big Brother Blitzkreig at King’s Head Theatre
Controversial, thought provoking and laugh out loud this comedy-drama play has it all. Written and directed by Hew Rous Eyre and Max Elton, this look at the past never being too far separated with the present, has Adolf Hitler finding himself transported to Big Brother. Both Hitler and housemates are oblivious to who the other actually are. Intelligent, witty and fantastic performances, especially by Stephen Chance as Hitler.