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The Edinburgh Fringe has nearly come to an end and yet, there are still some fabulous shows to be caught before it breathes its last for another year.

Take Cracked Tiles, for example. This beautifully crafted monologue, written and performed by Lorenzo Novani, is the downbeat tale of a young man who inherits a Glasgow fish and chip shop from his father Aldo. The place has been there for decades and Aldo spent every spare hour there, so much so, that as a child, Riccardo barely ever saw him. Now, after years living away from home, he returns to discover that what everyone regarded as ‘Aldo’s little goldmine’ is anything but that. One look through the accounts suggests that things have been going downhill for years…

This play is about the fractured relationship between a father and son. It has the unmistakable ring of truth about it and Novani is quite staggering as Riccardo, as he switches effortlessly from character to character, portraying old Italian-Scottish relatives and cantankerous customers with ease.

The play’s heartbreaking conclusion had me in floods of tears. If you’re looking for something special to finish off the Fringe on a high note, please consider this little gem. It’s an absolute delight.

Reviewer: Philip Caveney
Reviewed: 27th August 2016

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Just as other symbols of community seem to be disappearing from our streets and neighbourhoods, the local fish and chip shop is also in danger of becoming an outmoded and obsolete form of kinship that transcended class, age and wealth.

A trip to the chippy was for many the chance to catch upon the gossip and talk of the area, especially if they didn’t want to spend time in the public house, it was the place to eat cheaply but with respect and in the dark days of World War Two it was the only food source that wasn’t rationed. The local fish and chip shop seemed indestructible and yet as Lorenzo Norvani shows in his delightfully poignant production, Cracked Tiles, the days of the community enjoying such a valuable resource are fast approaching a critical juncture.

Haunted by the death of his father, a second generation Italian chip shop owner, troubled by questions of the past and worried for the future of those who continue to use the family business, the young man starts to sift for the records, the invoices and the memories of all that he surveys.

It is only to be expected that the sentimental should come through in such reminisce but what Lorenzo Novani does is turn it into a pointed stick, it is one where as the character he is able to poke himself out of becoming too engrossed in the situation and whilst never being truly able to withstand the sight of ghosts that smile from behind the counter, that point out all the major defects in the building that has suffered from neglect, he is at least able to understand that the past sometimes has to be let go.

Cracked Tiles is one of those achingly beautiful monologues that comes along every so often and in which the audience catches their breath for a while as if it is the only way to suggest comfort in a world that is rapidly changing beyond recognition.

Fish and chip shops were never completely about food, like the public house and the newsagent, they were meeting houses for the ill informed and the disadvantaged, the extroverts and the social keepers, in the end it seems we are all prone to Cracked Tiles in which our lives slowly disappear away. Hauntingly beautiful, Lorenzo Novani has created something impressive.

Reviewer: Ian D Hall
Reviewed: 14th August 2016
Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Lorenzo Novani

Cracked Tiles

Cracked Tiles @spotlites @edfringe

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Preview: Thurs 4th August Sat 6th - Sun 28th August 2016 (not Fri 5th, Sun 14th, Fri 26th)

5:10pm (1 hour 10 mins)

From Scotland

His father is dead now but for Riccardo the past is just coming to life.
Riccardo has inherited the keys to the family chip shop, a run-down chippy in the east end of Glasgow.
Saturated with vivid memories, opening the shop stokes a journey of discovery in Riccardo, guiding him to a series of compelling questions about his father.
Do the shop’s grease-stained walls hold the answers? Riccardo is about to find out.

'Beautiful' *****(
'Powerful, moving and bitterly honest' (Scotsman).
'An emotional rollercoaster' (Sun).
'A must-see' (

Performer's website



Previews Thurs 4th: £7.50

£8.50 (£8 Concession)

Group discount: 10% off for groups of 10+
2for1 on Mon 8th & Tues 9th

Friends of Fringe: 2 for 1 anytime – only available from Fringe Box Office

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Venue Box Office: 0131 240 2784

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