Edfest Bouquets 2016




It’s been another amazing August for us at Bouquets & Brickbats. We’re exhausted after a month of non-stop theatre and comedy! We have seen some absolutely fantastic stuff, covering a huge range of ideas. Here’s our pick of the best we’ve seen at this year’s Fringe:

Drama Bouquets

  1. Neontopia / Wales Millennium Centre – A Good Clean Heart by Alun Saunders
  2. Aurora Nova – The Blind Date Project by Bojana Novakovic
  3. Rainbow Class by Vivienne Acheampong
  4. Gaggle Babble / National Theatre Wales – Wonderman by Daf James
  5. Something for the Weekend – Royal Vauxhall by Desmond O’Connor

Monologue Bouquets

  1. NJC Productions – The Way the City Ate the Stars by Will Greenway
  2. George Dillon – Stunning the Punters (& Other Stories) by Berkoff, Sproat and Dostoevsky
  3. Lorenzo Novani – Cracked Tiles by Lorenzo Novani
  4. Impi Theatre Company – The South Afreakins by Robyn Paterson
  5. Berk’s Nest – Vaudeville by Tom Neenan

Stand-up Comedy Bouquets

  1. Bridget Christie – Mortal
  2. Sarah Kendall – Shaken 
  3. Loyiso Gola – Dude, Where’s My Lion?
  4. Garrett Millerick – The Dreams Stuff is Made Of
  5. John Robertson – Arena Spectacular

‘Ones to Watch Out For’ Bouquets

  1. Phosporos Theatre – Dear Home Office
  2. Chris Dugdale – Full Circle
  3. Flabbergast Theatre – Tatterdemalion
  4. Teateri – Evil by Jesper Arin
  5. Amy Howerska – Smashcat




Spotlites, Edinburgh

Evil is nobody’s idea of a fun day out at the theatre. It’s an emotionally demanding piece.

A searing monologue, adapted by Benny Haag from a novel by Jan Guillou, it’s brilliantly performed by Jesper Arin. It’s the story of Erik, a young Swedish boy who has been systematically brutalised by his father (‘the old man’ as Erik habitually refers to him), ritually beaten on an everyday basis. When the chance finally comes for him to escape to a prestigious boarding school, Erik jumps at the chance; but it isn’t long before he realises that the institution – Stjarnhov near Stockholm – is every bit as vicious as the place from which he has recently fled.

Arin is a compelling actor – he lays out the story in a cool, matter-of-fact tone, never flinching from detail, drawing us completely into the narrative. Perhaps it’s the fact that I had a school background that was horribly similar to the events outlined here, that made this story so personally affecting; or perhaps its simply that it’s so beautifully written, it would have the same affect on just about anyone. Whatever the case, this is a remarkable piece of storytelling that deserves to be seen by as wide an audience as possible.

Just don’t expect to come out laughing…

4.6 stars

Philip Caveney