So, how was it for you?


The Fringe festival is over for another year. The awards were announced yesterday, but what did
our critics think: and what star rating would they give this year’s festival?

Fringe Picks: World’s End Lane, As You Are Now So Once Were We, Berlin Love Tour, Little Iliad, Fight Night, My Husband is a Spaceman, Liffeytown

Most memorable moment: Robbie O’Connor, turning his head during one startlingly disturbing sequence in World’s Ends Laneto say, “Are you going to let this happen, Peter?” The precise moment my heart stopped beating.

Would like to see more of: Companies – and this year’s festival has been a ringing endorsement of the company model – putting as much development time and consideration into their ideas, big or simple, as Anú Productions, Playgroup and The Company did this year. When it comes to making work of exceptional quality, it seems there’s no rush.

But less of: Microphones onstage. This live art cliche needs to be unplugged, for crying out loud. Either that, or the weird media fetish for Fringe reviews with star ratings.

Star rating for the Fringe: Sigh...

****** – with a two-star margin of error.


Fringe Picks: World’s End Lane; Berlin Love Tour; Liffeytown; As You Are Now, So Once Were We; Medea; I Alice I; and The Ballet Ruse.

Most memorable moment: There were a few, but the most extraordinary was sitting during Louise Lowe’s production of World’s End Lanewatching actor Niamh Shaw playing a ruthless madam slowly, slowly turn around to fix me with a sneer of cold-hearted loathing. All the time she almost lasciviously fingered the knife she clutched. I had a bottle of meths shaped like the Virgin Mary in my coat pocket, because actor Una Kavanagh while filling a table full of them had asked me to get one for her, then fled. I actually pilfered an actor a bottle of meths. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to. It felt like the closest I had ever come to death. And it was a piece of theatre.

Would like to see more of: Unusual, innovative ideas for performance that change the way I look at the world and myself, such as Berlin Love Tour, World’s End Lane, As You Are Now, So Once Were We, True Enough!

But less of: Self-indulgent, self-congratulatory work that sorely needs dramaturgical rigour and challenge to achieve even mediocrity. Also the seating (or lack there of) at Smock Alley.

Star rating for the Fringe:


A Fringe exceptionally full of artistic variety and earnest, quality production and performance.


Fringe Picks: I Alice I: deceptively complex piece of documentary theatre that stirred the heart as well as the mind.

Most memorable moment: Feeding giraffes after the Escape From the Dead Zoo!

Would like to see more of: Free family events.

But less of: Teenage angst.

Star rating for the Fringe: