… and the pick of the Festival Fringe
Black Mountain This psychological thriller by up-andcoming playwright Brad Birch keeps you guessing right to the end, said Ann Treneman in The Times. Superb performances, and sure direction from James Grieve, mean we are never quite certain whose side we’re on. The show is “a step above much of the Fringe. After Edinburgh, it goes on tour. Do catch it if you can.” Roundabout at Summerhall, until 26 August; then tours to Salford, Kendal, Margate, Lincoln, Darlington, Poole, Stoke-on-Trent and Richmond (www.painesplough.com).
Nassim There are many shows on this year’s Fringe dealing with xenophobia and racism, said Joyce McMillan in The Scotsman. “I doubt whether any of the writers involved approach the subject more gently, or with more quietly transformative effect, than the Iranian writer Nassim Soleimanpour.” His brilliant show involves a new actor at each performance to help tell the story of a little boy, Nassim. Traverse Theatre, until 27 August.
Salt Slavery, racism and “the pit-of-the-stomach churn these subjects induce are tackled on stage shamefully seldom”, said Maxie Szalwinska in The Sunday Times. This piece from writerperformer Selina Thompson, which retraces the slave triangle from Britain to Ghana to Jamaica, is “as emotionally generous as it is stinging. It shows us an unhealed wound and a touch of grace.” Northern Stage at Summerhall, until 26 August.
Letters to Morrissey In Gary McNair’s “nicely judged, just the right side of nostalgic solo show”, we get a touching account of growing up in urban Scotland, and a “reverential (but not humourlessly so) tribute” to the Smiths frontman, said Dominic Cavendish in The Daily Telegraph. Traverse Theatre, until 27 August.
Adam There are several shows at this year’s Fringe with transgender themes, including You’ve Changed at Northern Stage at Summerhall, and Testosterone at Pleasance Courtyard. The pick of them, in terms of theatrical sophistication, is Adam at the Traverse, said Lyn Gardner in The Guardian. It’s a “sensitive and clever crafting” by Frances Poet of the true story of Adam Kashmiry, who “not only had to journey across the border controls erected around gender, but also the borders of countries”. This is a journey from Egypt to Glasgow. Traverse Theatre, until 27 August.
Gary McNair’s show Letters to Morrissey: “nicely judged”