Below follows a selection of press coverage and reviews to date, grouped by production and year.
We are constantly adding to this page.
DROLL: The MUMMERS, 2018
"The company quickly win us over to their rowdy, feral world. They perform four different mummers plays over the hour, taking us all back to our rugged ancestral roots. The show is rough around the edges in the best possible way; the un-choreographed fights, ad lib improvisations, and what we’ll call ‘travelling’ accents (at one point we started in Sweden, ended up in Wales, and then back to Sweden again, I think…) were all part of its sophomoric charm. Drawing influences from original Shakespearean Original Practice, and it seems a bit of commedia dell'arte, it’s impossible not to be swept up by the lusty immersive experience."
"The raucous atmosphere is in effect from the moment we enter the room, with the company handing out shots of sherry and a definite Morris-dancing vibe to the costumes. They get properly underway with a song, and then the Falstaffian master of ceremonies gives us a rundown on what to expect from a Mummers play ... they are clearly not the drunken illiterate peasants history demands they should be. But they attack the performances with gusto, and make full use of the stage in the round, emerging from within the audience at times and appealing to the crowd for support. There is no small degree of skill in their ability to wave their staffs around without putting the audience in danger, and I liked the introduction of a couple of contemporary references, something which surely must also have happened all those centuries ago."
A Yuletide DROLL, 2017
"If you want to get into the spirit of Christmas, a real old English Christmas, this is just the thing ... an uproarious programme of Christmas mummer plays linked by director Stratford with a little information about them. It’s presented with great spontaneity in a style that is traditional and, like their predecessors visiting homes and hostelries, they burst in from the street demanding a welcome and perform the first of their plays.
With an audience warmed up by joining in a Christmas song and becoming vocal, helped perhaps by a libation offered to all by the company, there is great interaction, which leads to some impromptu improvisation. The result is general jollity ... It is a cast that make watching their plays into a party. I don’t think I have seen an audience and actors so relaxed with each other since the Mystery Plays in the Cottesloe thirty years ago and both thoroughly enjoying themselves. Treat yourself!"
"It’s hard to find words that accurately describe what DROLL exactly is, let alone just how good it is. I suppose a good place to start would be to imagine a literature seminar, delivered by the coolest professor around, which then descends into utter anarchy, before looping back around to reveal intellectual pearls of wisdom at its close.
The style of DROLL is utterly ridiculous and yet weirdly charming. It’s unashamedly chaotic with characters being broken, lines forgotten and almost constant audience interaction. It’s all over the place, but that’s how it’s intended to be and the result is an endearing, rib-tickling farce. The chaotic nature should not be mistaken for a lack of care, however. It seems that creating an entertaining and enjoyable production is the top priority for DROLL, whether that comes through a cohesive production or an unashamedly messy farce is somewhat irrelevant. This is theatre which feels alive, it feels fresh, responsive and different every night, unafraid to be silly or weird as long as it creates an entertaining show."
"Subversive clowns from the English underground ... this revival is both hilarious and valuable, and Stratford points out that the legacy of the drolls can be seen in music hall, contemporary comedy and restoration theatre. But it is as a late-night Fringe performance that the drolls are more than an academic project, and become a living, entertaining show that has a common touch, a party atmosphere and space for wild humour."
"it’s good shit, something organic and wild that we’re tickled to be a part of."
The Play's the Thing
"ad-libbing, plenty of corpsing and working around the audiences’ constant laughter ... Everything becomes more farcical and over the top as the play goes along, and it’s just a pleasure to watch."
The Edinburgh Guide
"Every so often, perhaps only once in a Fringe, away from the mega-venues and their pre-packaged performances, one stumbles doon a close or up a stair and realises the essence of the Fringe is alive and kicking in some wee back room. It surely is here ... If you enjoy your comedy on the rare side (in all the best senses) hie ye to this one."