Sweet have just opened a new, year-round 50-seater venue in their home base of Dundee. Regrettably, we’ve not had time to visit yet, but it sounds like a great little space and we’re sure to rectify that soon. But one thing’s for sure, it won’t be until after August, when their focus, and most of the arts world’s switches to Edinburgh, where, since 2010, Sweet have been running venues at the Fringe.
Their base is Sweet Grassmarket (normally the Apex International Hotel) where they run a programme which is roughly 50:50 theatre/other interesting stuff across five spaces ranging in size from a couple of dozen seats to the 115-capacity International 1.
Top of the programme by virtue of its title is 101 Reasons Why I #@%$ Katie Hopkins, a one-woman rant about the nation’s number one controversial crap-spouter. The only question is how it got edited down to just 101.
Meanwhile, towering above her in the country’s esteem are the Beatles, also subject of a solo show at Sweet. The story of the four boys who shook the world is well known, of course, but less so is the story of Neil Aspinall, road manager and ever-present in the lads’ life. A Life With The Beatles tells the Scouse foursome’s story through his eyes.
Some Sweet solo shows have a saucy side too. Cameryn Moore has three – Phone Whore reveals all about her five years working in the phone sex business, slut (r)evolution is her memoir about sex and relationships, while Smut Slam Cabaret promises the “finest filth on the Fringe”.
From a different era, but equally acquainted with the seedier side of life was Nell Gwyn, famous mistress of King Charles II. Hear her tell her story in Nell Gwyn: An Epilogue, a charming Restoration comedy by our own Laura Ingram (who has been keeping us updated in our Fringe diary series)
But theatre is not all at Sweet. Dean Friedman, a blast from the golden age of singer-songwriting in the 70s, performs his Songs For Grownups. Simply Blue have come all the way from Cape Town to entertain audiences with an a capella set of hits from Elvis to Imagine Dragons!
Imaginary Porno Charades have been persistent correspondents with The Wee Review on Twitter, so they deserve a shout-out. For now we’re keeping an open mind on their innuendo-filled show (sounds like we might need to) but we are sure one of our reviewers will be slipping in to give them a going over.
So, it’s all happening at Sweet. Sex, murder, Katie Hopkins. Combine them as you will.