2015 Edinburge Fringe

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by Moises Kaufman and Members of Tectonic Theater Ensemble
Cochrane Theatre London
C Venues, 34 Edinburgh Scotland

"This kind of theatre is not easy.  When it is bad, it panders to a Jerry Springer-style true confessions sensationalism; at its worst, it is like irresponsible journalism, a lie that misrepresents people and their lives. When it is done with care, as it is here, it places theatre at the centre of a public debate about what kind of society we live in and would like to live in.  The true test is when you take it back into the community from which it was born. 

The fact that the piece is performed by non-professional high school students, all of a similar age to Shepard, gives the piece an extra emotional layer. The 90 minutes has a grave simplicty over which rise small balloons of laughter.  Moving without being mawkish, it sens you back out into the world feeling that as an individual you can make a difference."

Lyn Gardner, The Guardian, 2003

Warwick Thompson, Metro, 2003

"The result is an extraordinary 90 minutes of theatre that makes no judgements but simply allows people to reveal themselves by speaking for themselves.  It is a piece of enormous integrity that tells much of hate, but also much of love and forgiveness. 

This production has an added poignancy because it is played by fresh-faced students, most of whom are about the same age as the protagonists. I DOUBT THERE IS A MORE ESSENTIAL PRODUCTION ON THE FRINGE."

Lyn Gardner, The Guardian, 2002

"There are going to be plenty of shows on this years Fringe in which young Americans try to understand America; but I doubt if there will be many as powerful, timely and moving as this production by the young Red Chair players of New York State."

Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman, 2002

"From Connecticut comes this remarkable ensemble of teenagers who present Moises Kaufman's heartbreaking docudrama about the inhabitants of the town of Laramie and the murder of 21 year old gay student Matthew Shepard.  Completely connected to their material, THIS IS YOUTH THEATRE AT ITS BEST.

Passionate, versatile, full of nuance and tenderness, these teenagers conjure up a world, and draw you in.  Using only kep props and video camera, they make you catch breath, empathise, laugh and finally shed tears of sorrow.  Simultaneously they grapple with what hate, compassion and tolerance means.  This production is what the Fringe should be all about, but rarely is. UTTERLY SUPERB."

John Binnie, The List Festival Guide, 2002



by William Mastrosimone
C Venues, 34 Edinburgh Scotland
Edinburgh Fringe 2004

"It has the same memorable qualities, above all, a sense that theatre is most alive when it tackles head-on those aspects of our society we find most troubling, frightening and inexplicable. ... Linda Ames Key's production is a model of swift, professional, minimal staging for a company of 12, and the killer, Josh, is disturbingly well played by Philippe Bowgen."
Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman 2004  

"For some shows, booming sound effect and clever stage props are the backbone of their power.  Others -- like Bang Bang -- deal with subject matter so raw and sincere that they need no such frills.  Stemming from a father's real-life horror after the American high-school shootings of 1998 and 1999, the play is billed as a 'free gift' to schools and youth groups; an educational tool aimed at promoting understanding and empathy."
Katy Monson, Fest 2004



by Anna Deavere Smith
C Venues, 34 Edinburgh Scotland
Edinburgh Fringe 2006

"Confrontational, shocking, & dramatic ... This is a thought-provoking historical documentary that should not be forgotten."
Three Weeks Daily Edition

“Over at C Venue, meanwhile, the Red Chair Players -- an award-winning college group from Connecticut -- present a strikingly similar analysis of America's condition in Twilight Los Angeles: 1992, Anna Deveare Smith's powerful drama about the Los Angeles race riots of 1992.  Linda Ames Key's 24-strong student cast seem heartbreakingly young and fresh-faced, as they tussle with a complex gallery of characters caught up in the riots.  But the image of a society trapped between darkness and light, and somehow unable to avoid projecting that profound psychic split on to the black-white divide of its racial politics is central to Deveare Smith's play.  Hence the title, and hence too, the passion with which this gifted group of young Americans lay some of their country's darkest moments open to the light, in the hope that healing can begin."
Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman, 2006