REVIEW: Tom Brace: Eat, Sleep, Amaze, Repeat | Play People Productions

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Magic, Reviews

Aug 11-14 | 5pm | Underbelly George Square | Learn More about his upcoming UK Tour

In any other year, there is no way Tom Brace would be in Underbelly George Square. But this year at the Fringe is different. This year has given the underdog an opportunity in the big venues, to play to the biggest crowds they’ve ever performed in front of and to grow their following and reputation. It’s a delight to see and it’s exactly what the Fringe should stand for.

This is why seeing Tom Brace was an absolute joy!

A family entertainer who is redefining what a magician is for a new generation, incorporating personal videos through projection, TikTok Challenges and loads of opportunity for audience participation.

Tom has a wonderfully relatable and infectious personality which creates instant engagement with the audience. A new kind of magician for the new normal.

The Arts Business Top Tips:

  • Just go for it! Especially at a time where no one else is. This Fringe has been like no other. With limited in-person performances, it means smaller acts who might ordinarily have been in smaller venues desperately flyering for a crowd have received upgrades. Regardless of whether the audience is there because they have chosen your show or because there is literally nothing else on it has still worked out as being great exposure for the performers, especially if you have provided a great quality show like Tom Brace.

REVIEW: FunBox: Back to the Fringe | DH Promotions

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Reviews, Theatre

Aug 11-15 | 10.30am | Multistory | Get Tickets


As the only live children’s show I could find at the Edinburgh Fringe this year which is catering to kids from age 0+ I booked this primarily for my friend’s 9-month-old baby knowing very little about it, and the thing I learnt is that Funbox are an utter delight.

I’m reliably informed by my Scottish friends that FunBox bring back all the memories and nostalgia of The Singing Kettle which (for those of you as uninformed in Scottish Children’s entertainment as myself) are a folk band who have a BAFTA for Best Children’s Television Show and had multiple successful theatre tours around the whole of Scotland.

Filled with sing-a-long songs, jokes for both grownups and kids and flamboyant characters this show really caters to every age, which you could see from the active engagement of all the children present.

Whether it was the bright colours of larger-than-life Bonzo the dog mesmerising the bairns, the hilarious audience interaction enchanting the older kids or the ridicule of Dominic Cummings for the adults, this show is the epitome of fun for all the family.

Come and turn the key to open the FunBox and see what you might find!


The Arts Business Top Tips:

  • This show is traditional children’s entertainment at its absolute best. Kevin Macleod essentially gives a masterclass in the art form so if you want to understand how to entertain children of all ages you should take inspiration from this show.
  • Funbox has created a brilliant show format that can be easily updated for new tours with new material whilst maintaining the general structure of the production. This basically means once you’ve come up with your first show the research and development is all in place for all future performances. It’s a clever bit of construction. The audience also becomes familiar with the format and keeps coming back for more!

REVIEW: Arthur J Peabody | Amanda Dempsey-Laughlin

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Reviews, Theatre

Aug 6-30 | On Demand | Fringe Player | Get Tickets

A young girl admires a bird perched on her window wondering what his story might be… until he begins to talk.

Join legendary bird Arthur J Peabody as he tells the tales of his adventures in the circus, his flights around the world and just how he ended up at this small farmhouse in Canada.

Clearly created from zoom with the use of green screen and multiscreen to recreate locations from Arthur’s travels it worked well with simple animation techniques used to explain more elaborate plot points.

The show is led by talking bird Arthur, confidently played by Arthur Baxter wearing a phenomenally, elaborate magpie costume designed by Laura Vradenburg.

Something has to be said about the bravery and commitment of a man in his home office set up for a hard day’s work dressed as a bird! In the battle to create productions during covid, I defy anyone not to picture this and smile!

An original children’s play told simply but effectively.

The one thing I would consider is lowering the age range to allow for families to watch all together. It is more suited for the 4-8 age group.

The Arts Business Top Tips:

  • It doesn’t matter where you or your team are in the world, using basic, mainstream technology you can bring them together completely online to tell a story together. Long may these types of performances continue post the pandemic.
  • Amanda Dempsey-Laughlin uses classic storytelling techniques to tailor this show for family viewing. If you’re creating shows for children keep in mind the rule of three, whether that be three separate stories in one (like we see here) or the importance of a beginning, middle and end.
  • If ever in doubt, stick in a minute of a dancing bird at the end! Hilarious! Including outtakes can or a credit sequence reminds audiences they are watching theatre and make them feel as though they’re a bigger part of the action.
  • This show used extras to add depth to certain scenes, for example, a sleeping passenger in the back of a train carriage waking up at various shocks in the dialogue. I loved this! Such a nice touch and a great way to evoke in the viewer how it may be performed in a theatre in the future.