Can I Start Again Please - Bells

Can I Start Again Please at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2015 ...

... has received the most incredible critical and audience response here at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, with one Five Star review and all others no less than Four. All of the critical responses have been acute and intelligent with each of the writers responding to the themes of the work by producing high quality writing. 

The performance was awarded a Total Theatre Award in the category of 'Innovation, Experimentation and Playing with Form'.


The Sunday Times, picking up on the content of the work, allied it with Simon McBurney's The Encounter by saying "sound is the star in two of the biggest festival hits".  You can see the full review from the Sunday Times here.

Our very first review came from Lyn Gardner in The Guardian who wrote:

" MacLaines challenging, devastating and devastatingly good piece, in which she speaks of her own experience of abuse, raises pertinent questions".  Lyn likens the piece to Beckett's 'Happy Days'.

Dorothy Max-Prior from Total Theatre magazine wrote a most wonderful review (or rather creative response) of the work, the wonderfulness comes not just from what she wrote but how she wrote it.  She described the work thus

"Sue MacLaines Can I Start Again Please is a gorgeous piece of theatre, using a mesmerising mix of verbal, visual and physical languages to tell its story."

The writer Larry Bartleet continued to demonstrate a deep understanding and appreciation of the work  gave the piece 5 stars in Broadway Baby. The review began...

"Pay attention as this breathtaking production desiccates, then dissects childhood trauma via its exploration of Wittgenstein and semantics" 

The Festival opened on August 7th and during the first week Can I Start Again Please was reviewed by Matt Trueman for The Fest magazine.  I have long been an admirer of Matt's writing and so it was great to have his eyes, for the first time on the work.

Arts Award Voice is connected to the Arts Award programme for young people and so I was particularly pleased to be reviewed by Jo Nead who is currently a student.  She wrote

"Can I Start Again Please is a beautiful piece of theatre that drew in and moved every single member of the audience within the opening moments of the show."

Another review that was not a review but described rather as a diagnosis came from The Sick of the Fringe, an initiative funded by the Wellcome Trust that describes itself as 'a curated programme of events aiming to inspire collaboration between science and the arts.'

Their response to the work was, for me, immensely powerful to read and offered an insight into the work which is much appreciated.  

The List magazine is a very well respected publication here in Edinburgh and so I was delighted in their response to the work with Jordan Shaw describing it as

" A beautiful examination of the power of language and the language of power"

The most recent review came from The Independent by Holly Williams who wrote a beautiful summary of the show as the last paragraph of her review:

"This is a clever, and cleverly constructed, show. Go with brain engaged, ready to make meaning"

A review from A Younger Theatre also awarded 4 Stars.

Can I Start Again Please - Bell and BSL