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BBC Radio 4 star LACH joins UA to produce shows at Fringe 2016. The founder of Antifolk music and arts, host of New York City’s The Antihoot and executive producer of NYC’s largest nightclub, Webster Hall, LACH says "expect some legends and a lot of surprises... lots of well-known names but it’s the Fringe, so they’re going to be doing something a little unexpected"


16 March 2016

Lach Named Associate Producer with Universal Arts and New Town Theatre for Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2016


Universal Arts announced this week that they are thrilled to be bringing BBC Radio 4 star Lach on board to produce and programme shows at New Town Theatre (96 George St) for The Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2016.


Universal Arts programmes and manages two prestigious Fringe venues located in the heart of the city – New Town Theatre and Hill Street Theatre. Over the last twenty-seven festivals, UA has introduced literally thousands of artists from around the world to UK audiences, winning the Herald Archangel Award in 2009 for a 20-year track record of top international theatre at the Fringe. “dedicated to quality” Daily Telegraph; “a long record of welcoming quality international work” The List


Lach is the writer and star of the hit BBC Radio 4 comedy series The Lach Chronicles. Now in its third season, the show has earned Top Radio Pick Hit from every major UK paper including The Times, The Observer, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail and Radio Times. Lach is also the founder of the Antifolk music and arts movement that has been cited as a major inspiration for such diverse performers as Suzanne Vega, Beck, Jeff Buckley, Regina Spektor and countless others. Additionally, Lach hosted New York City’s longest running open stage, The Antihoot, and was the executive producer of NYC’s largest nightclub, Webster Hall before moving to Edinburgh in 2011.


“I became involved with UA through a series of amazing coincidences that would make a Fringe show in and of itself!” Lach says. “New Town Theatre is a true champion of what has become regarded as “classic Fringe”; international touring theatrical productions. They have that nailed down so I’ll be concentrating on putting together performances featuring some friends, some legends and a lot of surprises.  We will be featuring lots of well-known names but it’s the Fringe, so they’re going to be doing something a little unexpected. My motto for 2016 is ‘classic Fringe made modern’.


Tomek Borkowy, Universal Arts CEO and Artistic Director, says, “We’re incredibly excited to be working with Lach, his vision and contact-book will bring something new and exciting to the Fringe. We will begin revealing our programme over the coming weeks on the website – universalartsfestival.com – and via Facebook and Twitter where you’ll be the first to know.”


further information, images and to arrange interviews, please contact Chris Lord 07771 694 502  |  chris@universal-arts.co.uk

03 June 2014

2nd June: Thief Brighton Festival Fringe Award for Best Theatrical Performance 2014


"I can not express how proud I am of Matt Robertson, Edward Cory, Will Blake, Erik Tricity and everyone who helped make it happen" – Liam Rudden

09 May 2014


23 August 2013


FOUR STARS for Gulliver Bell in THREEWEEKS: "a lively engaging experience ..."



23 August 2013


Olga Kostertina – a four-star "standing ovation" from RussianArtandCulture.com:



22 August 2013


"It is a rare talent Haley McGee has, to meld such fancy, humanity, exhilaration and charm into this poem of a play which will leave you pondering the beauty of its scars for some time to come.... Her fearless performance swoops through every possible emotion leading the audience to a stunned: “Oh my"."



18 August 2013

The WINNER of the 2013 Golden Cockerel is WHY IS JOHN LENNON WEARING A SKIRT, on of two Claire Dowie shows at Hill Street. The judges also highly commended DILEMMA by OLGA KOSTERINA and BRACE by DONAL O’KELLY.
The first HILL STREET SOLO THEATRE COCKEREL AWARD was presented to the best show at Hill Street as chosen by a panel of judges comprising Liam Rudden (Entertainments Editor at Edinburgh Evening News), Keri Wormald (Director & Teacher of Acting & Theatre Production, Virginia, USA), David Maclellan (Artistic Director of A Play, a Pie & a Pint, ex-7:84) and Jemima Levick (Co-artistic Director at Dundee Rep). 

The judging panel released the following statement:

“The judges of the inaugural Cockerel Award for Solo Theatre were unanimously impressed by the creativity, talent, skills, dedication and commitment shown by all the artists who presented audiences with such a wonderful variety of one person theatre at Hill Street during this year’s Festival. To go onstage alone and perform for an hour takes a particular courage as an artist and the quality of the works is a testimony to the success of all the participants.

As Judges we would also like to thank Tomek Borkowy and Colin Watkeys for curating this wonderful showcase for solo theatre and we think that in creating this programme and the Cockerel Award they would be justified in feeling they have a great deal to crow about."

17 August 2013

Olga's DILEMMA is a four-star HOT SHOW in this morning's Scotsman – "WOW INDEED" – we'll provide a link to review when Scotsman get around to putting it online!

16 August 2013


A quick reminder about  two meetings that we are holding at hill street with two directors of international solo theatre festivals - both are looking for products for their next years festivals. 
17 August 10.00 - meeting with Suraj Dhingra the director of Going Solo brand new international solo theatre festival in India.
19 August, 10.00 – meeting with Viivika Orula, festival director of the Pärnu International Theater festival MONOMAFFIA in Estonia.
Please note time has changed to 10:00am and NOT 10:30 as advertised previously. 



15 August 2013

15 August 2013

praise from FEST for Haley's "dark little comedy"

15 August 2013

"everybody needs good neighbours but not everyone gets them as Louise's piece proves." THE STAGE on Annoying the Neighbours

15 August 2013

Upopirates Theatre’s Caryatid Unplugged is a solo show by a young Greek woman, Evi Stamatiou. It’s a chirpy piece of work that marries good comic writing with effervescent and engaging performance, using ‘poor theatre’ tools (a mop puppet, a talking hat, a packing crate). She tells the story of an immigration officer John facing up to Rita, a Greek woman who doesn’t want to be deported, and Caryatid – a Greek statue who does. You and I might see Caryatid as one of the Elgin Marbles but she doesn’t see herself that way – Lord Elgin seemed like a nice enough chap, seducing her into running away with him to England, but he deceived her and locked her up in the British Museum, and now she wants to go home, back to the Parthenon. It’s a clever idea – a very entertaining hour with a bit of an edge to it. Oh, and featuring a very lovely take on shadow theatre, using a shower curtain, to the pulp song Common People. All together now: ‘She came from Greece she had a thirst for knowledge / She studied sculpture at Saint Martin’s College…’

15 August 2013

Evi poses among the marble statues in the Neoclassical Sculpture Court at ECA. Her show, Caryatid Unplugged, is at Hill Street Solo Theatre each night at 9.45pm. (Not today)

15 August 2013

TOTAL THEATRE thumbs-up for the solo programme: "I should mention here that Hill Street Theatre (the Fringe’s oldest venue) have taken a decision that from this year on they will only programme solo theatre shows – with a stated desire to make this lovely little theatre the hub for solo performance of all sorts (theatre, dance, live art – anything but stand-up, basically. An interesting development in the Fringe landscape."

15 August 2013


This Saturday – 17th August – at 11pm, The first HILL STREET SOLO THEATRE AWARD will be presented to the best show at Hill Street as chosen by a panel of judges comprising Liam Rudden (Entertainments Editor at Edinburgh Evening News), Keri Wormald (Teacher of Acting & Theatre Production at Thomas Dale High School, Virginia), David Maclellan (producer A Play, A Pie & A Pint, ex-7:84) and Jemima Levick (artistic director at Dundee Rep). All welcome


This Saturday – 17th August – at 11pm, The first HILL STREET SOLO THEATRE AWARD will be presented to the best show at Hill Street as chosen by a panel of judges comprising Liam Rudden (Entertainments Editor at Edinburgh Evening News), Keri Wormald (Teacher of Acting & Theatre Production at Thomas Dale High School, Virginia), David Maclellan (producer A Play, A Pie & A Pint, ex-7:84) and Jemima Levick (artistic director at Dundee Rep). All welcome


11 August 2013



"... equally punchy. Writer and performer Haley McGee, in character as a nameless stray who wore bloody clothes and broken glasses, recounted a catastrophe involving a dropped statue and a fat dog. McGee's curious outfit began to make sense as this Curious Incident-like narrative evolved. It was about grieving, and neglect, and the easy way that deadpan modern manners can mask interior wounds. "Oh this bit," sighed the narrator, like any sardonic millennial, about to push into an unusual and upsetting finale."



11 August 2013


Edinburghspotlight.com says Olga Kosterina's DILEMMA is "a delight to watch" read more:



10 August 2013


OH MY IRMA ... "grabs us by the throat and forces us to tremble, horrified"



10 August 2013

OH MY IRMA "McGee’s energetic performance vividly brings the scene to life and you’ll be left hanging on her every word, movement and facial expression. - See more at:http://www.threeweeks.co.uk/article/ed2013-theatre-review-oh-my-irma-never-mind-the-noise-derrick-chua-haley-mcgee/#sthash.5mseZavZ.dpuf

09 August 2013

Fionnuala wins SCOTSMAN FRINGE FIRST award


"The joy of the play is that it tells the same truth in a style so wryly magical, and so full of energy of story, that every second it entertains, at least as much as it warns, alerts and informs." JOYCE McMILLAN

08 August 2013

Viivika Orula, festival director of the Pärnu International Theater festival MONOMAFFIA in Estonia will talk about her Festival on 19th August at 10.00am as part of the HSST talks programme:

07 August 2013

Colin Watkeys assesses the first week of activities at the Hill Street Solo Theatre Festival


In the first Festival presentation on Sunday Jolanta Sutowicz introduced the Thespis Monodrama Festival from Kiel, Germany, the oldest festival of its kind in Europe. Festival Director Jolanta explained how her festival came into being as a result of her passion for the artform. Every two years the festival brings together artists from all over the world to see each other's work and exchange ideas. Jolanta outlined her criteria for selection: solo performers should possess a unique spark or special quality which makes their work demand to be seen by a wider international audience. Additionally the festival attempts to present as wide a variety of work as possible. The Thespis Festival is very much Jolanta's own solo performance. She relies upon five extraordinary volunteers for support.


Tomek Borkowy was at the last Thespis Festival as a member of the jury and I was there with Claire Dowie's H to He (I'm turning into a man). We met in the taxi between Hamburg airport and Kiel and immediately started planning a Solo Theatre Festival for Edinburgh. Jolanta said how she wanted her festival to inspire new ideas and Hill Street Solo Theatre has reaped the benefits of this through ongoing conversations ever since.


This Friday (9th August) at 10.30 at Hill Street, I will be talking about my Face to Face Festival of Solo Theatre in London


On Sunday (11th) at 12.30 at Fringe Central I will take a participatory workshop - Introduction to Solo Theatre


On Monday (12th) at 13.30 at the Traverse Theatre Claire Dowie will be discussing The Body Politic with Jo Clifford and others


And, of course, there are award winning shows from Thespis as part of the Hill Street Solo Theatre Festival :


Olga Kosterina's Dilemma at 13.00


Haley McGee's Oh My Irma! at 18.45 and


Claire Dowie's H to He (I'm turning into a man) at 20.35


We hope to see you there!


07 August 2013


**** for Bill Bowers in Scotsgay. 
Bill tells it straight and from the heart, with much skill and art. This is a show where you can end your festival day in real communication with a great guy, and leave into the night with a cheerful smile. Recommended. 



25 July 2013

"it will be a highlight of the Festival..." – read the Huffington Post's glowing review of Bill Bowers' It Goes Without Saying:

16 July 2013

Grace’s New York preview get’s standing ovation – here’s a selection of audience responses:


“Your show yesterday was magical. So moving. So many women but not only women can find themselves in that story”


“You are a beautiful and radiant actress and you move with the elegance of a dancer. It truly felt like watching Grace Kelly up there”


“What a real tour de force"


“Awesome writing, wonderful performance. We were enchanted, transported”


“LOVED your show! What a story. And to embody all those facets of her story in an hour is really time well spent!”


“You found more levels to Grace Kelly than most of us ever knew existed and brought her to life for us tonight in a very honest and bittersweet way and without compromising her mystique as a movie star. bravo!”

09 July 2013

Louise Wallinger impresses at Face to Face before her Fringe performances: "a unique and truly engrossing piece of theatre, and a surprising peek into the tribulations and quirks of the people next door. Theatre doesn’t get more truthful, personal, or fascinating than this" - Whats Peen Seen

09 July 2013

Gulliver Bell impresses at Face to Face with a short extract from his Edfringe-bound show:

"an entertaining and thoroughly wacky monologue by Martin Stewart, a dysfunctional district-council worker obsessed in equal measure by the time-travelling doctor and a Polish colleague, Annie. A humdrum night out with work colleagues is transformed into a date, of sorts, and an epic trawl through the protagonist’s favourite episodes of Dr Who.
Stewart’s fast-paced, energetic delivery sees him bound across the stage, using nervous hand gestures to good effect, and makes a genuine connection with the audience in the process. It is part of a longer piece, The Pyramids of Margate, which he is performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this summer." - Plays to See

09 July 2013

FIVE-STAR review from Face to Face for Claire:  "A part rant, part laughing look at gender, can it really still be as explosive and relevant now as it was over two decades ago? The short answer is, yes, and absolutely, yes ..." Whats Peen Seen



04 July 2013

Longing for Grace meets funding goal!
congratulations to Grace Kiley – though her Kickstarter campaign, Longing for Grace is able to make its way to Edinburgh! NYC followers can catch the show before it takes off at http://59e59.org/moreinfo.php?showid=123


04 July 2013


Bill Bowers' hit show is selling out fast at East to Edinburgh in NYC:



04 July 2013

04 July 2013

Two late additions to the Hill Street solo Theatre programme – from Tblisi, Georgia's leading theatre artist Keti Dolidze with 'Self-portrait of My Generation' and Tamara Bziava with hit show "The Diary of A Dress' – tickets on sale from mid-July – more info:http://universalartsfestival.com/by-show/The-Diary-of-a-Dress.html

04 July 2013


Already creating a buzz ahead of performances at Face to Face, Gulliver Bell's event page for the Hill Street Solo Theatre shows is live:



04 July 2013


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