Ilana Halperin: The Library

Ilana Halperin: The Library

The only ‘books’ in Ilana Halperin’s library are samples of glittering mica - so called by geologists because their flaking layers resemble the pages of a manuscript. In Halperin’s symbolic vocabulary, these stones provide a key to the entire exhibition... 

Zimbabwe Sculptures

Zimbabwe Sculptures

A shoal of fish are suspended in a synchronised leap. Each aquatic body flows seamlessly into the next, forming an undecipherable entity. Masterfully rendered in three dimensions, the thrashing fish become a latticed column of fluid dark stone... 

Sleepless Travellers

Sleepless Travellers

On a technical level, Teresa Cálem’s portraits are very good. Her series of larger-than-life watercolour faces on plain paper backgrounds is painted in an almost photorealistic style, with haunting eyes emphasised... 

Timurid Beasties - A Magical Menagerie of Furniture, Rugs, Artefacts and Jewellery

Timurid Beasties - A Magical Menagerie of Furniture, Rugs, Artefacts and Jewellery

The tigers, lions and elephants that strut their stuff in The Nomad’s Tent are a harmless lot – their ferocity having been harnessed for decorative ends and their forms playfully rendered across an exotic range of artefacts, from door-handles to jewellery boxes... 

Traverse Through Time: The Exhibition

Traverse Through Time: The Exhibition

How much do you know about the history of the Traverse Theatre? If the answer is ‘very little’, don’t expect to leave enlightened. If you’re familiar with the origins of this theatre-cum-gallery and its talented network of founders, patrons and associates, please put your summary on a postcard and leave it by the entrance – it will come in very handy for future visitors... 

A Note of Dischord

A Note of Dischord

Top hats off to Theatre Paradok for bringing something so unashamedly different to the Fringe. Their wacky steampunk tale won’t appeal to everyone and will prove tiresome to anybody not prepared to go along with the enthusiastic cast and the frankly ridiculous storyline... 

The Way of the World

The Way of the World

First performed in 1700, William Congreve’s quintessential Restoration Comedy has an appeal which defies the sillier conventions of its genre. Three centuries on, it is one of the period’s most performed works – and for good reason... 

Ruskin Live

Ruskin Live

In 1853, art critic John Ruskin caused a stir in polite society with a series of Edinburgh lectures lambasting the city’s architectural pretensions. Ruskin turned up his nose at the Neo-Classical style then favoured by city worthies, championing the Gothic style of highland castles and French cathedrals... 

Scotsman Best of the Fest

Scotsman Best of the Fest

Best of Fest presents five acts (and one emcee) crowned with four-or five-star reviews by the Scotsman newspaper. Not only are they critical darlings, they prove genuine crowd-pleasers as well... 

Hanging Bruce-Howard

Hanging Bruce-Howard

Hanging Bruce-Howard is a good old-fashioned piece of farce. So old-fashioned, in fact, that I am mystified by its presence at the Fringe. It’s as though the writer had followed to the letter a manual on how to construct a funny play... 

Edinburgh Printmakers at ROSL

Edinburgh Printmakers at ROSL

Constituting this exhibition of work by Edinburgh printmakers are a handful of understated prints hung up two flights of stairs at the Royal Over-Seas League. Production techniques on display range from lithography to screenprinting and relief, but with etchings always dominating... 

The Big Bite-Size Breakfast Show

The Big Bite-Size Breakfast Show

Don’t come for the breakfast. A wilted croissant, a cup of coffee and a handful of strawberries to be eaten without a plate in a dark auditorium do not make for a pleasant dining experience... 

Rough Magic

Rough Magic

Rough Magic is essentially pantomime for the Marvel Comics generation, a light-hearted urban fantasy which feels a bit like a pilot for a wacky teen series. The zany plot sees New York menaced by the original, evil inspiration for Shakespeare’s magician Prospero... 

Rites: A Children's Tragedy

Rites: A Children's Tragedy

Fans of Wedekind’s taboo-breaking original or its cult teen-rock musical spawn beware: this adaptation is never quite as wryly funny or as heart-wrenching. Rites: A Children’s Tragedy is a streamlined presentation of Wedekind’s Frühlings Erwachen (Spring Awakening), a drama revolutionary in its indictment of late 19th century prudishness and pedagogy... 

The Break-Up of Cause and Effect

The Break-Up of Cause and Effect

Poor Cause. No matter how hard he works, it’s his companion Effect who feels the results. Sick of dieting so that Effect can lose weight, or wooing ladies only for his other half to reap the rewards in the bedroom, Cause vows to break off their millennia-old relationship... 

The Penelopiad

The Penelopiad

Everyone knows Penelope. Faithful, chaste Penelope, Odysseus’ beloved wife who waited twenty years for his return from the Trojan War. Didn’t she spend a decade weaving a shroud and unravelling it by night, outwitting her suitors whilst her husband traversed the high seas and dallied with goddesses? Penelope was ideal... 

21st-century Poe

21st-century Poe

Marty Ross drags Edgar Allan Poe into a Glaswegian alley, knifes him in the back and shakes him down for drug money. What falls out is an insanely good piece of storytelling. With nothing but a tracksuit, a drum and a wickedly inventive mind, Ross creates a shocking tale for modern times... 

The Actor's Nightmare

The Actor's Nightmare

Take one confused accountant. Put him backstage with no idea of how he got there, and add a stage manager who insists that he is George Spelvin, called upon tonight to replace another actor in a Noel Coward play... 

Phoebe Anna Traquair Murals

Phoebe Anna Traquair Murals

In 1893 the Irish artist Phoebe Anna Traquair, a notable adherent of the Arts and Crafts movement, was asked to decorate the Catholic Apostolic Church on Mansfield Place. Completed eight years later, the result is an unexpected gem in the heart of Edinburgh: An exuberant meeting of Giotto and William Morris, devotion and modern embellishment... 

Witches & Wicked Bodies

Witches & Wicked Bodies

Goya, Dürer, Delacroix and Blake are amongst the artists tantalizing their viewers with dark fantasies of Medusas, soothsayers, satanists and Jezebels at Scotland’s National Gallery of Modern Art... 

The Cherry Orchard

The Cherry Orchard

When a production’s most memorable aspect is the costuming, you know you have a weak show on your hands. Whoever chose the clothes for this modern-day Cherry Orchard has a better handle on the characters than the actors themselves, who give some painfully stilted performances which cry out for firmer direction... 

Penthesilea

Penthesilea

Apparently there’s a fine line between desire and cannibalism. Once you get past the more mannered aspects of Heinrich von Kleist’s 1808 drama, you will find plenty that stuns and provokes... 

The Trojan Women

The Trojan Women

What happens to the innocent when a war is lost? Troy has fallen, the wooden horse has unleashed its deadly cargo, the men lie slaughtered and the Greek army stands triumphant. Yet for the noblewomen of the city, the siege never ends... 

Print Fusion

Print Fusion

Print is one of the most consumer-friendly art mediums around and this little display proves no exception. All the works displayed on the crowded gallery floor can be purchased. Prices range from the mid-thousands for large wall-mounted pieces by the likes of Andrew Mackenzie and Rebecca King, through to about £100-300 for smaller prints... 

High Plains (A Western Myth)

High Plains (A Western Myth)

The first few minutes of High Plains was like being cornered after last orders by a sad-eyed drunk intent on regaling me with a digression about his life. Moments later, I was utterly spellbound... 

The Vanish Inquisition

The Vanish Inquisition

It’s Six Characters in Search of an Author, except there are four of them and they have been abandoned by their actor, Richard, who spends most of the play as a cardboard cut-out... 

Mostly West: Franz West and Artist Collaborations

Mostly West: Franz West and Artist Collaborations

The Austrian artist Franz West, who died last year, was eager to form partnerships with his contemporaries. More than thirty artists contributed to the pieces on display at Inverleith House and yet you would be hard pressed to deduce this from the artworks... 

Through American Eyes: Frederic Church and the Landscape Oil Sketch

Through American Eyes: Frederic Church and the Landscape Oil Sketch

Previous visitors to the Scottish National Gallery will be familiar with Frederic Church’s Niagara Falls from the American Side, the only major work by this American artist featured in an European gallery...