REVIEW: More from the Colchester Fringe 2022

Last Updated on 6th November 2022

Teo Coroiu has reported back with further reviews from the Colchester Fringe 2022.

Colchester Fringe 2022

With so many shows to review at the Colchester Fringe 2022, we asked journalism students from the University of Essex to cast their critical eye over the weekend’s offerings! Welcome Teo!

Jacky! (5 stars)

Maybe one of the most emotional plays that I have watched lately. “Jacky!” is a very sensitive story about the healing process of self-discovery. Antonio is a very special young man who was passionate about dancing his entire life, until the accident. The accident changes his whole life and makes him doubt his abilities. Until one day when he realizes that he needs to get back to his daily activities so he can heal. Raised by his mother and grandmother, Antonio is learning how to fight with his own fears and how to re-live his life. I was impressed by how much the audience was touched by this performance. From laughter to tears, the audience was taken through what is meant to be Antonio’s life and experiences. A life sprinkled with love, and lots of music, but also difficulties. You should definitely grab some tissue before going to watch Jacky!

Saddle Sore (5 stars)

Saddle Sore written by Kevin Topple & Ian Hornett, a production of Bring me Sunshine, is a beautiful journey of memories about the “3 amigos”. Tells the story of two friends who are still trying to get over the loss of their best friend, Dave, who died of prostate cancer. As it’s difficult for Kevin and Joe to talk about their feelings, they find themselves very often in the position of making fun of each other. The show is dedicated to all those who are fighting with prostate cancer or who lost the battle. A very emotional piece that covers the discomfort of saddle soreness with the use of irony. The end of the show is full of hope that by investigating ahead of time and communicating with loved ones, you can more easily overcome life’s trials.

Schema (4 stars)

Schema is a good energizer for those who might feel a bit low. Katy Higgins is dancer, storyteller, an artist that explores for 45 minutes the connection that our brain has it with sounds through a fantastic mix of red-orange lights, and electric music. Katy is not giving us a lesson about neuroscience; she is creating dancing using sounds that we often find familiar. She creates an extraordinary symmetry of facial expression and vibrant body moves. What is schema? Is there just a mix of body movement and good music or is something more out there?

Reclaiming Harry (5 stars)

Reclaiming Harry, a Rich Watkins Production is a fabulous adventure for all Harry Potter fans out there. After J. K. Rowling Twitter scandal, as its fans started to give up on the story, Harry needs someone else to write his story, or he will be forever forgotten. The talented and passionate actors brought up on stage the famous characters this time in a different context that we we were used to see them. Not only you will notice references to bestsellers such as Narnia, Wizard of Oz, or Twilight, but the actors will take you on a more than interesting musical adventure. Eventually will be extremely hard for you to keep your laugh for yourself. Magic still exists and this will be the perfect word to describe the tone of the show.

Grimm’s “Fairer” Tales (5 stars)

What can be more fascinating than seeing your own kids playing in a theatre show? From Red Riding Hood to Rumpelstiltskin the narrator will take the audience to a captivating experience where your own kids can be part of it. Is a great opportunity not just for the kids in the audience, but even for the adults to challenge themselves by acting in the show. It gives you the chance to explore more your talents and to enjoy a performance in a totally different way. “Stories Alive” managed to bring on stage a very modern retelling of Grimm’s brother’s famous fairy tales.

Dreambag (4 stars)

Can you make the difference between a dream and reality? You might think you have the answer for this, but Abi Cunliffe’s Dreambag might change your views. Be ready to go on a lovely adventure through the world of dreams…and bags. Lots of bags. Different shapes, forms, colours. An installation of memories, fears, thoughts, honest answers, and dreams. You are going to enter to a world of dreams, so choose your favourite bag, close your eyes, and listen to her. She has a message for you. Take a deep breath, sit down, and listen. Are you comfortable enough yet?

Body: A work in progress (4 stars)

Pauline Eyre is here to show us her body, but hold on, not in the way you think she will do it. Do we really get to know our women, moms, daughters, grandmothers, nieces, aunts? Pauline’s stand-up comedy show is a real story about what it means to be a woman in your 50s learning to live maybe some of the most special and perhaps horrifying experiences of life. Her humour is extraordinarily infectious, and I can assure you that regardless of your age you will have a lot of fun. Grab your friends with you and go to watch Pauline Eyre’s body: a work in progress.

The Stock Cube (4 stars)

Shar Cooterie act was one of my favourites. I spent most of my time in tears, but tears of joy. Probably one of the most creative entertainment shows, with some of the most unique and out-of-the-ordinary games that everyone deserves to try at least once in their lifetime. Be ready to participate in those games and you will have a chance to win some “interesting” prizes. Interesting seems to be the right word to describe not just the prizes but the whole show itself. Music, even a bit of dance, and lots of jokes, it’s something that makes the performance more extremely natural and authentic.

Neurodelicious (4 stars)

Colchester Arts Centre presented on the last day of Fringe Festival an extremely remarkable performance assembled in a “delicious” collection dedicated to a very diverse audience. Neurodelicious was made by neurodivergent artists who provides to its audience a new form of art. Art is everywhere and we can find it in different situations. The package of artistic performances features many talents across poetry, music, dance, song, storytelling, film, or directing. There was a total of 10 acts where the audience engaged immediately with the artists and shows. These kind of arts shows that our world is full of people who might find some of them boring or they wouldn’t like their taste but what makes Neurodelicious special it is the naturalness with which these artistic acts were created and brought to the stage.


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