Vivaldi: The Four Seasons

Vivaldi: The Four Seasons

There was barely an empty seat in Canongate Kirk for this concert and the Bach Ensemble of Edinburgh rose to the occasion with a programme to match the unsettled Edinburgh weather.Vivaldi’s series of concertos was a safe bet for the newly-formed group’s one-off Fringe performance... 

Of Mice and Men

Of Mice and Men

With an apology for being faithful to Steinbeck’s racist language both written in the programme and announced at the start, the team behind Of Mice and Men are clearly concerned about causing offence... 

This Arthur's Seat Gala Belongs to Lionel Richie

This Arthur's Seat Gala Belongs to Lionel Richie

As hour-long, mountain-top, star-studded, musical comedy extravaganzas go, this was a rather low-key affair. Much was made of the breathtaking location but quite apart from that, it was a very friendly, entertaining gig... 

Perfectly Bananas

Perfectly Bananas

Wes Zaharuk is a man with experience. He has taken his baffling comedy antics all over the world and it shows in this slick performance.It is equally clear, however, in the tiredness of the routine... 

Dracula

Dracula

It is either brave or it is foolish to attempt to put on such a well-worn classic as Dracula in pursuit of success at the Fringe. In this case, it was the latter. Conserve’s production is no more than an underwritten, underperformed summary of the novel... 

Noël Coward's Tonight at 8:30

Noël Coward's Tonight at 8:30

This group of students from Oxford’s Trinity College presumably came to the conclusion that you can’t go far wrong with Noel Coward. And they were right. This is a charming and satisfying production that won’t have you on your feet at the end, but may well delight your grandmother... 

My Wrestle Mania

My Wrestle Mania

Stan Skinny admits that this show is a work in progress, having only started writing it a matter of weeks ago. At times it shows, but usually just because the actors are clearly still thoroughly enjoying themselves... 

Bhundu Boy Rise Kagona

Bhundu Boy Rise Kagona

The Jazz Bar is not what first comes to mind as a Fringe hotspot but this small, classy venue continues to offer the eclectic, high quality gigs it programmes throughout the year. This appearance by Rise Kagona, former member of the Zimbabwean band the Bhundu Boys and his new outfit is an excellent example of this... 

Double Edge's Flames Over New Jersey

Double Edge's Flames Over New Jersey

Double Edge provides excellent entertainment here in the damp, sweaty attic of Underbelly, the ideal venue for their immersive piece set in a 1930’s Princeton speakeasy. It is the quality of the music from the eight-piece jazz band that is worth the ticket price and that stands out in an otherwise solid but unremarkable play... 

Listen! The River

Listen! The River

This show is narrated by a cat. A cat called Turbo, portrayed with human-like facility by Wendy Pearce.Too human-like, unfortunately. New Yorker Pearce misses the opportunity for much interesting physicality and character work and instead Turbo comes across as a selfish, grinning, irritating person (unless disbelief is suspended) abandoned several streets away and forgotten about... 

Mark Thomas: Bravo Figaro!

Mark Thomas: Bravo Figaro!

Mark Thomas’ new show is certainly a departure from his usual lambasting of politicians and furious campaigning. But he is no less aware of his audience. Probably because it’s more or less the same one... 

Beethoven's Violin Sonatas

Beethoven's Violin Sonatas

The Royal Overseas League on Princes Street is well-known for showcasing up-and-coming musical talent. It was surprising, then, to discover Lawrence Dunn, the violinist for this concert, to be far from young and in possession of a tremendous white beard... 

Hot Chocolate at 10

Hot Chocolate at 10

Doubtless the lure of this event is the promise of hot chocolate to round off the day and it doesn’t disappoint. This is the rich, almost pure melted chocolate in a cup that is usually only found on the continent... 

Ryan Withers - One Woman Showe - Free

Ryan Withers - One Woman Showe - Free

‘Just had a moment of self-awareness there,’ Ryan Withers stopped halfway through a joke to announce. ‘I’m on stage as a woman.’ The young Australian seems almost as confused as we are as to why... 

Paul Foot - Kenny Larch Is Dead

Paul Foot - Kenny Larch Is Dead

There are actually plenty of comedy options at the Fringe if you want to avoid the ‘affable young bloke in jeans and a t-shirt telling jokes’ but perhaps none further removed than Paul Foot, a weird old bloke in a silver suit who, for an absurdly brilliant hour of comedy, doesn’t really tell any jokes... 

Les Impossibles

Les Impossibles

Belfast company At Large Theatre’s new production is good fun at times but it’s unclear - I think even to the actors - who it’s for and why they are performing it.The play supposedly ‘questions the obstacles we as artists put in our way to achieving Les Impossibles’, whatever we take the significance of the French title to be... 

A Theory of Everything - Free

A Theory of Everything - Free

Someone should tell Danny McChrystal that having a blokish demeanour and a regional accent doesn’t make you a comedian. You need some jokes.Far from providing a theory of everything, Scouser McChrystal’s show is merely a theory of how not to do stand-up... 

Key 89

Key 89

This is Glasgow-based pianist Sebastian Thirlway’s third Fringe appearance and he clearly enjoys being here. Undeterred by the small audience in the newly-refurbished St Mark’s Church, the affable Thirlway put in a committed and strong performance of a tremendously varied and interesting programme... 

Bernard the Ferret (Happy to be Himself!)

Bernard the Ferret (Happy to be Himself!)

Doubling as a launch for her new book about her Norfolk-dwelling protagonist and his ferret friends and as a one-woman performance for young children, Eve Stebbing’s show is doing the rounds of Edinburgh libraries this week and next providing a fun hour of storytelling and puppet-making... 

Elephant Man

Elephant Man

Elephant Man was born in Benoit Hattet’s mind some 25 years ago and his devotion to the project - he is the writer, director, designer and actor - is clear in every aspect of this remarkable production... 

Meat

Meat

Young writer Tim Foley is an exceptional talent. After his highly-praised Fringe debut last year, he returns with his new dark comedy, ‘Meat’, a production as deliciously satisfying as the meal served within it... 

Overexposed: A Slightly Awkward Peep Show

Overexposed: A Slightly Awkward Peep Show

‘How do you come out as straight?’ Dan Student asks the early evening audience at Fingers Piano Bar. With difficulty, apparently. How do you make a show about your sex history relevant to your audience? With difficulty, apparently... 

Freedom Family Circus

Freedom Family Circus

‘Sorry I dropped the knives a couple of times,’ Perico Circus Express winces. ‘I just arrived from America, I should be asleep.’ Let’s give him, and the rest of the Freedom Family Circus, the benefit of the doubt... 

The Pajama Men's Improv Show

The Pajama Men's Improv Show

Sticking with the name that they have made famous over the last 20 years but going for what they described as ‘more casual’ jeans and shirt attire, The Pajama Men’s Improv Show is also a departure from their much-loved scripted sketch comedy... 

Frank and Ferdinand

Frank and Ferdinand

The magnificent Merchants’ Hall on Hanover Street provides a setting too grandiose in the extreme for Best Rest Theatre Company’s production of their new play, ‘Frank and Ferdinand’... 

Mr Snot Bottom's Stinky Silly Show

Mr Snot Bottom's Stinky Silly Show

A sizeable crowd took the brave decision to bring their 6-year-olds to the Gilded Balloon for an hour of bum jokes on Sunday morning. ‘Just because we’re seeing Mr Snot Bottom doesn’t mean you have to be Mr Snot Bottom’, one wary parent warned... 

Isolated Isle

Isolated Isle

Old St Paul’s Church Hall is the understated setting for this musical’s week-long run and there is no venue more appropriate for a show with no pretentions of grandeur. It is reminiscent of a school play, with primary aged children as young as four outnumbering the adults in an 18-strong cast... 

The Maroon Balloon

The Maroon Balloon

A boy finds a balloon on the streets of Paris. They become friends, spend the day together, and then part ways. The story is beautiful in its simplicity.Smash Productions’ idea to adapt Albert Lamorisse’s 1956 film for children’s theatre is inspired and the resulting show is full of physical energy and wit... 

Hardcore Pawn With Mick, Lewis and Shaun

Hardcore Pawn With Mick, Lewis and Shaun

From the bewildering title to the closing dance number, this show is an hour of surprises, both comic and moving.Shaun Shears is the undisputed star of the show. The Southampton-based songwriter has long dreamt of performing at the Edinburgh Fringe but his condition – he has cerebral palsy and arthritis, and is in a wheelchair – has made it difficult... 

Hangman

Hangman

Reprising their 2007 Fringe First show, Hangman, influential dance-theatre company Do-Theatre, part of Assembly’s Russian Season, must be confident of similar success five years on...