Friday, 17 May 2013

Brilliant Adventures start here

Pssst... while Keith has nipped out of Fringe Towers to have a coffee, a cigar and get his feet nibbled in those fish tanks I've grabbed control of the blog.

We like to tell people that the Fringe is a great place to see new young talent as it starts to make itself known. We offer the opportunity to see tomorrow's bright young things today. It's also pretty gratifying to us when we can say "hey, we spotted them and knew they were going to be great!" So when we have an example of that, it's nice to shout about it.

On now at the Royal Exchange in Manchester is Brilliant Adventures, a new play by Alistair McDowall, which won the 2011 Bruntwood Prize for playwriting and is getting some great reviews from The Guardian and on BBC Radio 4's Front Row (about 11mins in), where Charlotte Keatley says 'Any really great play breaks stereotypes..this takes them apart'.

Back in 2009, Alistair received the Buxton Fringe Award for New Writing for his play Eighteen Stupid Reasons Why I Love You Lots and Lots which was about a man using his new-found ability to time travel to keep hold of his memories of his girlfriend, it was funny, innovative and touching. I saw it twice, and as I wasn't reviewing that meant I paid both times - that's a pretty good recommendation from me.

Brilliant Adventures also uses time travel, and explores the relationship between science genius Luke and his hard man brother Ben in a near-abandoned Middlesbrough housing estate.

Playwright Simon Stephens (Punk Rock, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) says "Alistair McDowall is, I think, the most exciting playwright to emerge out of English theatre in the past five years. BRILLIANT ADVENTURES is a bold, touching play."

Definitely looks worth a trip into Manchester, it's on until May 25th.