Dave Fargnoli

Dave Fargnoli is a critic with Three Weeks Edinburgh. This account has been auto-generated, and does not indicate that this person is an active member of Show-Score.com. That said, if you "follow" this member, you will automatically be updated whenever s/he writes a new review.

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Reviews (44)
Patriots (London)
Islington
The Stage (UK)

"Morgan tells the story with methodical, cerebral coldness. While there’s a dose of suitably dry humour in the smart script, its slow pace and short, episodic scenes rarely generate enough conflict to really captivate." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

[This] offbeat black comedy loses focus despite meaty performances from David Harbour and Bill Pullman. Director Moritz von Stuelpnagel ... bulks up the text with plenty of purposeful non-verbal cues. Full Review

Britannicus (London)
Hammersmith
The Stage (UK)

Strong central performances can’t lift this fussily staged revival of Timberlake Wertenbaker’s historical adaptation. Standing out among an uneven cast, Sirine Saba is excellent as the coldly manipulative Agrippina. Full Review

The Stage (UK)

[The] text is a little arch in places, with much of the show passing in a flurry of neat scenes broadly summarising significant developments across the subcontinent. Director Indhu Rubasingham handles the play’s grand scope and serious themes with great flair. Full Review

Middle (London)
Waterloo
The Stage (UK)

The ferociously low stakes rob the piece of any dramatic energy generated by the committed performances it showcases. Director Polly Findlay sets a plodding pace, lingering on long, sad silences and awkward flat beats. Full Review

Clybourne Park (London)
Finsbury Park
The Stage (UK)

In two taut, vividly rendered scenes separated by 50 years but set in the same Chicago home, Bruce Norris’ Pulitzer-winning play Clybourne Park examines themes of gentrification and embedded inequality with biting humour and forensic clarity. Full Review

All My Sons
Hornchurch
The Stage (UK)

Set in the aftermath of a generation-defining crisis and examining the deleterious effect that personal greed and ruthless self-interest can have on a community, Arthur Miller’s stinging asocial commentary All My Sons remains intensely relevant today. Full Review

The Stage (UK)

Capturing the darkness and dreamlike strangeness of Neil Gaiman’s bestselling 2013 novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a pacy fantasy thriller occasionally overloaded by its own ambitious exuberance. Full Review

10 Nights
Shepherds Bush
The Stage (UK)

Zaqi Ismail brings heaps of casual charisma to his portrayal of Yasser, his affected indifference barely concealing his emotional fragility or his imposter syndrome. Full Review

Beginning
Hornchurch
The Stage (UK)

Beginning is a tender comedy full of well-observed detail and recognisable emotional vulnerability. Attempts to build emotional bridges keep on fizzling, but the energy remains reasonably steady. Full Review

Last Easter
Richmond
The Stage (UK)

There’s a warmly humane story buried somewhere in Bryony Lavery’s Last Easter, a chaotically written meditation on grief and the quiet magnificence of love, which remixes the medieval passion play as a kitchy road movie cut with end-of-life melodrama. Full Review

The Stage (UK)

for a previous production Christina Bennington is terrifically energetic as protagonist Veronica, skilfully navigating a clumsily written part that positions her as both the show’s sardonic narrator and its conflicted emotional heart. Full Review

Under The Mask
Camberwell
The Stage (UK)

Doctor and playwright Shaan Sahota’s play Under the Mask is an unfocused yet warmly humane audio drama documenting those surreal days. Drawing on personal and professional observation, there’s a real sense of authenticity to the dialogue... Full Review

The Stage (UK)

for a previous production Born with spina bifida, Trigg channels a wealth of personal experience and a pleasingly off-beat comic perspective into the story of Juno, a young woman navigating the emotional ups and downs of her 20s while living with the complex condition. Full Review

Beat The Devil
London Bridge
The Stage (UK)

Ralph Fiennes narrates with effortless charisma...But for all the play’s damning enumeration of our government’s well-documented failings, Hare never hits the full, indignant stride of his polemical best.' Full Review

The Stage (UK)

Though tightly written and populated by a large cast of compelling characters, the story’s rapidly shifting focus can leave the production feeling breathless...' Full Review

The Stage (UK)

There’s an extraordinary restraint in Zeldin’s writing, much as in his direction, plus a willingness to let time pass and allow silence to saturate the performance gradually...Grim yet galvanising.' Full Review

The Stage (UK)

While the tone wobbles uneasily from infantile to downright grisly, and though the pace tends to drop off during the ponderous costume changes, things bounce back during a handful of excellent songs. Full Review

Radio
Dalston
The Stage (UK)

A gripping performance by Adam Gillen...Al Smith’s Radio is a heartfelt monologue about the paradoxical fragility and resilience of the American dream.' Full Review

Scary Bikers
West End
The Stage (UK)

It may be daft, and at times simplistic, but there’s a truthfulness in Don’s blustery swings between complete disrespect for a self-regarding political class, and a need to believe in a better future. Full Review

The Stage (UK)

for a previous production "By turns heart-warming and heart breaking, Mikel Murfi’s 'I Hear You and Rejoice' is a gentle, elegiac multi-character monologue about grief and love in later life...The world Murfi conjures is luminously clear, if somewhat narrow in scope. Given Murfi’s sweet-tooth for sentimentality, it is unsurprising that the piece sometimes wobbles towards the mawkish. However, a backbone of truthfulness, humour, and tremendous warmth supports the show." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

for a previous production "Murfi is a special case, a masterful storyteller who can enthral with nothing more at his disposal than a few assorted shoes...A delight to watch, Murfi has a rare ability to switch between voices and mannerisms at speed while keeping several characters distinct as they chatter, interrupt, and occasionally throw shoes at one another...By turns silly, surreal and sentimental, this is an ambling and somewhat aimless tale – it is the warmth and skill of the telling which makes it so enjoyable." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

"Making her official West End debut, Emilia Clarke captivates as aspiring ingénue Nina, full of warmth and unguarded naivety when the play begins, but hardening around an icy core of deep disappointment by the time the final act rolls around." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

[A] knotty interrogation of truth in fake news era. Director Lucy Morrison fills the play with unspoken menace. Full Review

The Stage (UK)

Sami Ibrahim’s unrestrained and unwieldy script ... is cluttered with compelling yet underdeveloped threads. Director Omar Elerian injects heaps of energy into the ponderously slow-moving story. An effective, uncluttered set by Rajha Shakiry leaves them plenty of space to work with. Full Review

House of Ife (London)
Shepherds Bush
The Stage (UK)

Though much is left underexplored, the straightforward story is packed with ideas. Michael Workeye gives a scene-stealing turn as ... Yosi. Full Review

The Stage (UK)

The story, from playwright and actor Alexis Zegerman, introduces plenty of big ideas to the febrile if familiar set-up...But the script feels slowly paced and shapeless, lacking a clear dramatic thrust. Full Review

The Stage (UK)

Grappling with the complexities of what is potentially Shakespeare’s most problematic play, director Abigail Graham’s bold production of The Merchant of Venice never pulls its punches. Full Review

The Stage (UK)

Garnett cranks up the characters’ dysfunction into outright, caricatured hostility, shifting the already comically heightened tone towards the cartoonish. For the most part, it’s a choice that works effectively. Full Review

The Stage (UK)

This isn’t a show that’s trying to be nuanced or even, for the most part, articulate. It’s a raw roar of rage, knowingly undercut by daft humour, beating a symbolic effigy of one of the wealthiest people to have ever existed. Full Review

NW Trilogy
Kilburn
The Stage (UK)

Directed by Taio Lawson and Susie McKenna, the show is packed with energy and movement. Though there’s no narrative connection between the three plays, music ... by composers Ben and Max Ringham [helps] to tie the show’s disparate pieces together. Full Review

Anna X
West End
The Stage (UK)

Part slow-burning crime drama, part dissection of the precariousness of success and self-worth in the digital age, Anna X is a smart, stylishly told story from former journalist Joseph Charlton. Full Review

Extinct
Stratford
The Stage (UK)

In attempting to encompass the enormity of the challenges facing our species, the play loses focus, inundating the audience with facts, figures and partly formed narratives. Full Review

and breathe...
Islington
The Stage (UK)

David Jonsson plays Junior with great sensitivity, extrapolating a wealth of wit, wry humour, flashing anger and undisguised upset from the crisp text. Full Review

Public Domain
West End
The Stage (UK)

Receiving an in-person West End premiere after an initial digital-only run was live-streamed during lockdown, Public Domain is an ambitious, hyperbolic, but somewhat shallow new musical based on text harvested verbatim from the internet. Full Review

You Are Here
Elephant and Castle
The Stage (UK)

You Are Here is a low-key, low-stakes musical that follows lonely housewife Diana as she abruptly sets out on a late-night walk to experience something new after decades in a stultifyingly dull marriage. Full Review

The Stage (UK)

...Slow-burning and cerebral...Shepherd sets a turgid pace, dwelling on the, admittedly, keenly-observed rhythms of each developing conversation...The show gets a significant lift from some spot-on performances...' Full Review

Great Expectations
Elephant and Castle
The Stage (UK)

...an engaging if unadventurous adaptation...takes in all the necessary beats while peppering the dialogue with insightful, often amusing asides that efficiently sketch out the supporting character’s backstories.' Full Review

How Love Is Spelt
Elephant and Castle
The Stage (UK)

...an intricate and intriguing character study. Delicate, dreamlike, yet keenly observed, the subdued, intentionally slow-moving script has lost none of its potency since its 2004 premiere.' Full Review

The Illusionists
West End
The Stage (UK)

A mash-up of styles and performance skills, the production runs at a breathless pace, with director Neil Dorward allowing each of the show’s seven performers only a brief segment or two in which to demonstrate their specialities. Full Review

The Stage (UK)

for a previous production Significantly reworked from its Broadway incarnation, Michael Fentiman’s Amélie sticks closer to the tone of Jeunet and Laurant’s beloved 2001 movie, and the result is undeniably charming. Full Review

Replay
Midtown E
The Stage (UK)

for a previous production "A thoughtful character piece from writer and performer Nicola Wren...A warm, expressive performer, Wren conveys her nameless character’s conflicting emotions with clarity, slipping smoothly between the loose-limbed openness of a precocious child and the intense, ambitious adult she becomes. Her script has a pleasingly naturalistic rhythm, complete with a tendency to ramble, but nonetheless packed with smart callbacks and loops of repetition." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

for a previous production "The show has a pleasingly overblown quality which shrewdly diffuses the story’s gruelling, graphic sadism without blunting its message...Spencer-Jones preserves its striking physical aesthetic. Gang brawls are rendered in balletic choreography while the athletic, all-male cast crawl and cavort around the stage as lithe and predatory as feral cats...Stylish, stylised, and drenched in sweat, the show has a breathless, exhilarating energy." Full Review

Nirbhaya
East Village
Three Weeks Edinburgh

for a previous production "At times this is intensely uncomfortable viewing...Like the women at its heart, this is a powerful and fearless production." Full Review