Browsing Category



Interview: Company Here and Now on Perhaps Hope

Perhaps Hope uses skilled circus performance to explore one of the most pressing issues facing modern society – global warming. Having won the Original New Circus Award in its premiere season at the 2015 Melbourne Fringe Festival, the show (by experienced circus performers Company Here and Now) draws on inspiration from chaos theory and biomimicry to examine the stark reality of climate change and leave viewers with renewed optimism for what humanity can achieve.

I speak to co-founder Vincent van Berkel about the troupe’s inspiration and what we can expect from the rather unusual genre of ‘eco-apocalyptic circus’.
Continue Reading


Pick of the Edinburgh Fringe 2016

If there’s one thing the Edinburgh Fringe has, it’s a LOT of shows. Over 3,000 in fact.

Running from 5th – 29th August, you’d need to sit down for at least 125 shows every single day to see them all. Or, to put it in perspective, queue your way through a total of 5.2 shows every hour (for 24 hours) every single day until its close (and I thought my Netflix binges were bad). 

Don’t fancy crippling exhaustion and utter disappointment at the sheer impossibility of it all? I’ve hunted the online world for some of the gems I’m most looking forward to. Got anything to add? Let me know on Twitter!

Continue Reading


Review: BattleActs! (Free Sisters)

Originally published on StageWon. August 2012 – Edinburgh Fringe. (

Melissa Rynn reviews BattleActs! improvised comedy at The Free Sisters.


Two teams, one aim: to pulverise the other side to a hideously cruel defeat and achieve the coveted title of BattleActs! winner (until the next night, at least). An Edinburgh regular and steady Fringe favourite, BattleActs! toy with the concept of improvised comedy through a trademark competitive streak as the company are split into two and forced to fight it out against one another in a test of wit, speed, and acrobatic versatility that I’m sure even Cirque du Soleil would envy.

Aside from the notable in-house competition, what marks the talented troop away from scores of other improvisation groups is both the intelligence behind the work and the sheer energy each game is performed with. Imagine the knowing humour of Blackadder combined with a room full of coffee-fueled six year olds on Christmas Eve and you wouldn’t be far off the level of enthusiasm the team achieve each night. There’s lots of unplanned leaps and bounds yet the overall evening constantly builds, never wavering in its skillful display of theatrical spontaneity.

A new addition to last year’s programme, the show now includes two guest spots designed to introduce the audience to new shows and give the acrobatic actors a well earned rest for twenty minutes. A fantastic way to build the show, the standard of performance certainly never wavers; I was lucky enough to have none less than MTV persona and established stand-up Joel Dommett as well brilliant sketch trio Foil, Arms and Hog keeping the roof risen on the night I was there with unquestionably funny supporting ten minute sets.

As a free show you’ll hardly have to battle with your bank manager to pay a visit, instead you might just have to fight the crowds as the troop become ever more popular. However, as we’re reminded a the beginning of the show, we make the suggestions so if it’s not all that good, it’s the audience’s fault. I’m hoping that opening line works both ways and feel somewhat inclined to take just a little bit of credit for the success myself. I’ll accept thanks in the form of a drink or two…


Review: The Fantasist

Originally written for Stagewon, August 2012. Edinburgh Fringe.

Melissa Rynn reviewThe Fantasist at Underbelly Bristo Square.

Image: Dougie Firth


It’s hard to put into words a particularly queer dream; you can explain what happened and remember key points, but you can never quite touch on the feelings and the absurdity of what exactly takes place. A dystopian nightmare in its topic, The Fantasist is the theatrical equivalent to a full blown vision; both in the amazing standard of the production, and my lack of ability to find the right words to explain it.

Continue Reading