6 great shows we've seen!

Thursday, 21 August 2014 23:00 | Posted by 

This summer we've been both in Edinburgh scouting new shows and at Unity HQ preparing for our own Autumn season (which will be a cracker!). So I thought, as it's Friday, I'd tell you about some the theatre and comedy things that have excited me over the past month!

The Pianist

Edinburgh - Assemby Roxy
This was somewhat of an unexpected pleasure - there's something brilliant about taking a risk on a show and it turning out to be the best show you've seen in ages. A clowning and physical theatre show its one man attempting to play athe piano for the audience. It's silly and energetic but it had us transfixed, cleverly directed with an outstanding performance. We were a bit nervous when it started quietly as there were a few families in the room but about 5 minutes later he had us all and the time flew. Brilliant. More?

The Art Of Falling Apart

Edinburgh - Pleasance
Big Wow are a company who originated at Unity and this is probably their best show to date (although I must confess it's a narrow victory over their last show The Friendship Experiment) - it's fast-paced physical comedy mixed with brilliant scripting and multiple characters. There's a semi tragic feel at points but they all build to create a show that ends up being inspiring and uplifting! More?

Mark Watson: Flaws

Edinburgh - Pleasance
One of my favourite comedians, this his latest show was outstanding if somewhat surreal. We went to an 11pm showing which turned out to be raucous with a couple of hecklers dispatched after 20mins. Talking about flaws and how we overcome them it was a show I really connected with. There were a few shows (Daniel Kitson, David O'Doherty) I saw which were about life changes and reaching a precipice in life and this really hit the spot. More?

Will Adamsdale: Borders

Edinburgh - Underbelly
Will Adamsdale unexpectedly won the Perrier Award in 2004 (beating Chris Addison and Reginald D Hunter) and then, well, disappeared a bit. This show is introspective and retrospective mixing music, storytelling and standup. What's remarkable though is the warmth that you feel towards him as a performer. Sometimes you see someone and it takes a while to like them onstage and this was a  show I instantly wanted to work (not that I actively want shows to fail...). He brought the great musical The Victorian In The Wall to Unity a few years ago and this, like that, had a fresh, warm and funny voice. More?

Clybourne Park

Liverpool - Unity
I saw this show in London when it was produced by the Royal Court in the West End. To be honest I was dragged along to see it by my sister who'd bought tickets on a whim. It was a brilliant show. Hilariously funny with a dark undercurrent of prejudice and political correctness gone wrong it's the story of a house in a changing neighbourhood in the 1950s and today. It was one of those shows that proved that political, edgy theatre can be funny family dramas and that funny family dramas can also be incredibly poignant. So when Said&Done announced they were to produce the show at Unity I was thrilled. Their past work has been exemplary - cleverly designed and brilliantly directed. I cannot wait for this show! More?

My Perfect Mind

Liverpool - Unity
I wasn't a big fan of the first Told By An Idiot show I saw (I can't remember the title, sorry) - I think for my taste it was too random and off-the-wall and I struggled to find the core purpose and motivation of it. So when My Perfect Mind was coming to Unity last year I was, in all honesty, a little unsure. It was clearly a show with quality - Edward Petherbridge is one of the UKs greatest actors and Paul Hunter is a comedy genius, but still, one experience can influence you. So I was thrilled when the show was so good. It was telling the story of Edward, cast as King Lear, when a stroke hit and left him incapacitated but with all the lines for Lear still in his mind. It was darkly funny, clever, poignant and felt like a show with a clear purpose, motivation and vision - I can't wait for it to come back! More?

Other news...

  • In other news, we've replaced our old website with the glorious website you now find yourself on, we worked with a brilliant company called IVSO.
  • James Acaster who will be performing at Unity as part of Liverpool Comedy Festival has been nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Award.
  • We've been redecorated our bar and foyer area to look funky and cool - we'll pop some pictures up when it's complete!
  • Clybourne Park has started rehearsals at LIPA. The show is being directed by Gillian Lemon who also directed When The Rain Stops Falling and Bash: Latter Day Plays
  • Liverpool Comedy Festival has a new website - check it out here
  • We've added a chat function to our website so if you have any questions for box office you can live chat or e-mail them really easily (the icon is in the bottom right of the screen!)

Sam Freeman

Sam has been Unity's Marketing Manager since June 2010. He is also a freelance writer, director and occasional stand up comedian. His favourite performers are Daniel Kitson, Will Adamsdale and anything written by Tim Firth. Follow him on twitter @mrfreeman1984

Website: www.samfreeman.co.uk