Features Published 11 June 2015

The City That Broke All the Rules

The results of Exeunt's annual caffeinated trawl through the Edinburgh Fringe programme.
Natasha Tripney

Welcome to Paradise.

Riots are everywhere.

War fever grips the town.

A man who has lost everything. A woman who doesn’t know what to believe. An undead clown. A crack-addicted rent boy. A Blackpool joke shop proprietor. A group of goblins. An increasingly cunning ghost. A lonely fish fanatic. A Romanian immigrant. A schoolgirl jihadi. A mousey audio typist. An evangelical exorcist. And his prized heifer. Connected by DNA. Eating too much cheese. Pretending to be in love. But is she a monster? Who will reign supreme?

A strange tree grows. Among the Antarctic ice floes. In a room filled with unfinished books. In the city that broke all the rules. In the chambers of the mind. In the land of the downtrodden. In today’s perfection-hungry world. In a century of conflict. In the internet age. In the world of high finance. In farcical disarray. In total darkness. In a secret location. In a cheesecake.

Strange unpronounceable people. Real dead animal puppets. Estranged twin brothers. Giant squirrels. Sexy anxious sluts. Stunning 3D actors. Unruly maids. Life’s flotsam and jetsam. Classic séance chills. Mausoleum mayhem. Mesmerising medieval stand-up. Borrowed from biblical poetry. Dripping with mystery. On the edge of revolt. An accident involving a pigeon. A pool of blood. Metafiction and plot twists. Radicalisation and disenfrachisement. Drama and dirty dishes. Gout and buggery. Featuring beatboxing. Director: Guy Masterson.

An all-male cast. An all-female cast. Two infamous queens. Seven performers in a perfect line. A celestial squabble. A whimsical journey. A wold of folklore and fairy tale. A visual haiku. A bareback ride. A somewhat unconventional dinner party. A physical twist and tumble. A final act of desperation.  Acutely emotional. Chronologically jumbled. Based largely on true stories. Peppered with live jazz. Wreathed in coloured lights. Half party, half hangover. High camp, low brow. Foot-stomping bluegrass. Filled with fake smiles. Contains moderate sexual reference. Confronts stereotypical attitudes. Littered with witty retorts. Served with tasty nibbles.

An expensive private school. An outsourced economy. Our relationship with money. The chaos of modern life. The bloody mess beneath. Employees of the system. The disillusioned masses. The monsters we have created.  Rehearse the Thatcherite era.  Morph from one body to another. Their intentions are less than benign.  Will anyone come to their rescue? Will they ever see daylight again?

Besieged by unresolved spirits. Saturated by vivid memories. Nerves begin to fray. With every toss of the blade. The tide turns. Whisky materialises. Anarchy ensues. Extreme turbulence.  With a tiger loose. Dreams tip into nightmares.

Some secrets are better left hidden.

Bring wigs. Bring tissues.

Beware the storm.


Natasha Tripney

Natasha co-founded Exeunt in 2011 and was editor until 2016. She's now lead critic and reviews editor for The Stage, and has written about theatre and the arts for the Guardian, Time Out, the Independent, Lonely Planet and Tortoise.



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