Pleasance Bytes

Pleasance Bytes

With the aggressive promotion that is all too common at the Fringe sometimes the creative people involved lack the time to sit back a little and simply talk about the work they’re doing and engage in discussion purely for its own sake... 

The Boom Jennies: Mischief

The Boom Jennies: Mischief

Incompetent mountaineers sit alongside amateur online daters and the song and dance of building societies in Mischief, the sketch show by talented comic troupe the Boom Jennies, whose boundless enthusiasm blended with sharp, clever writing to give last night’s eager audience all the laughs they could have asked for... 

Far, Far From Ypres

Far, Far From Ypres

For one night only, a group of singers and musicians gathered in Queen’s Hall to honour the fallen of the First World War. From this rousing chorus of talented performers, the packed house was treated to Far, Far from Ypres, a labour of love that left everyone with the profound sense of loss associated with the so-called ‘war to end all wars’... 

The Chris and Paul Show

The Chris and Paul Show

Sketch comedy duo Chris O’Niell and Paul Valenti started last night with a bit of a mountain to climb. A slightly disgruntled audience were shepherded into the Fancy Room at the Caves for a ten-minutes-late start... 

Words and Women

Words and Women

Since the Free Fringe is so often dominated by comedy, a little free theatre can come as a pleasant surprise, especially when it’s good. Words and Women, a collection of monologues written and performed by up-and-coming female theatrical talent from London, is that kind of hidden gem - an hour of consistently interesting and enjoyable theatre tucked away below The Street Bar beyond North Bridge... 

Jim Smallman's Group Therapy

Jim Smallman's Group Therapy

Would you pour out your innermost secrets to three strange comedians? This is the premise of Jim Smallman’s afternoon show Group Therapy, which promises to solve all its audience’s problems in one dangerously under-qualified hour and manages to be entertaining even if it does want some more rigorous structure... 

Ship of Fools: Children of Twelchford

Ship of Fools: Children of Twelchford

Children of Twelchford is a rough and ready fifty minutes of free comedy from youthful quartet Ship of Fools, who claim to hail from the eponymous, unappealing and entirely imaginary town of Twelchford... 

Soddin Flodden

Soddin Flodden

This was not the sort of evening one normally spends at the Fringe. While history lessons aren’t exactly uncommon around here, they rarely involve all that much ludicrous headgear or songs by the Village People... 

Seeing Double: Vision

Seeing Double: Vision

Two shows played simultaneously in two adjacent venues, with video screens in each theatre displaying the goings-on in the other. It’s a novel idea, not to mention brave, with seemingly infinite potential for things to go wrong... 

Mess

Mess

Josephine is putting on a play and it’s really, really good. Mess is a play about an eating disorder, but it’s also more than that. It’s an autobiographical piece bursting at the seams with creativity, where outstanding acting meets pitch-perfect music to create something truly special... 

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre - Boo Lingerie

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre - Boo Lingerie

Socks playing guitar. Socks doing magic. Socks arguing over the meaning of the term ‘Halloween’. Socks making many, many puns. The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre, exactly what it says it is, is a loud, crude and very enjoyable hour of comedy in which a pair of socks seem to be able to do anything except stick to their script... 

Kiss Me and You Will See How Important I Am

Kiss Me and You Will See How Important I Am

Depression and other mental illnesses are often unfairly ignored in our society. They’re complex, different in every presentation, hard to know how to deal with. Thus they often get shunted to one side in favour of more tangible enemies... 

Shakespeare's Queens: She-Wolves and Serpents

Shakespeare's Queens: She-Wolves and Serpents

The prospect of Shakespeare at the Fringe is often met with a due sense of trepidation. It’s difficult to feel enthralled at the prospect of a group of first-year drama students mumbling a Sparknotes version of Hamlet in front of gaffer-taped black tabs... 

Ro Campbell: Midnight Meltdown

Ro Campbell: Midnight Meltdown

Even in comedy, the graveyard shift ain’t an easy one. Midnight at the Fringe is a strange place, and it’s difficult to be sure how many people you’ll get to turn out, or what sort of state they’ll be in when they do... 

The Magicians of Edinburgh

The Magicians of Edinburgh

Tucked away above Valvona & Crolla, The Magicians of Edinburgh may be well outside the normal radius of Fringe activity, but this charming slice of homegrown music and poetry demonstrates how rewarding a venture to the edge of the map can be... 

Soldier

Soldier

Some stories are better told without words. To this end, Soldier, a story of loss and redemption told entirely through the medium of dance, is lead by Industry veteran Dax O’Callaghan and a strong troupe of almost thirty young dancers from the London-based Pineapple Performing Arts School... 

Cracking Yolks - Free Range Comedy

Cracking Yolks - Free Range Comedy

The Yurt Locker is naturally intriguing as a venue and thus when the three performers of Cracking Yolks took to the stage they were playing to an almost full house of casual punters bearing pints, a turn of events that caught them somewhat off guard: ‘Are you all here to see us? Awesome!’ It’s indicative of the very casual atmosphere that helped keep the audience on side throughout a comedy hour that had its moments but ultimately raised fewer laughs than it could have... 

Sex, Lyres and Audiotape

Sex, Lyres and Audiotape

It’s a commonality between all civilisations, and tightly bound into our history, but something we rarely think about is where music has actually come from. What discoveries, fashions, rivalries and triumphs led us to the music we have today, and what could we have ended up with instead? With the aid of harps, lyres, a dulcimer, something called a ‘shawm’, and several more besides, Clare Goodall crafts forty-five fascinating minutes on the history of music that left her audience a little more interested, quite a bit more informed, and a lot more entertained... 

Walk Like a Black Man

Walk Like a Black Man

An honest, telling, but ultimately flawed piece of one-man theatre, Walk Like a Black Man is an autobiographical work by writer and performer Rafiq Richard, exploring the challenges he faced as a young man being half-black, half-Indian and, as he puts it, ‘100% confused’... 

Sexytime!

Sexytime!

Sexytime opens on a bit of a bum note: a prolonged, wordless re-enactment of one of the oldest stories of lust and temptation that goes on that little bit too long and makes the audience impatient for things to get going... 

Seymour Mace: Squeg!

Seymour Mace: Squeg!

Squeg is comedy show played out in daylight, set to the wafting of freely distributed paper plate fans and taking place in front of a tatty black curtain. By his own admission Seymour Mace is a man who favours the simple over the complicated and this hour of classically daft comedy shows how effective simple ideas can be... 

D'You Hear About Todd?

D'You Hear About Todd?

“D’you hear about Todd?” An innocuous question shouted over a bar inspires the better part of an hour’s worth of reflection on death in the modern age in this curious and charming blend of spoken word and music from the Free Fringe... 

Rob Beckett's Summer Holiday

Rob Beckett's Summer Holiday

Like a lot of comedians these days, Rob Beckett is quick to self-deprecate. Introducing himself as ‘all teeth no gums,’ scoring his first big laugh with a quip about comedy not being a proper job and blaming his working-class upbringing for his doomed attempt to read East of Eden, he’s a humble, unpretentious presence whose excitement to be here is self-evident... 

Pappy's: Last Show Ever!

Pappy's: Last Show Ever!

There is no such thing as a show that is too silly. That is a philosophy that Fringe veterans Matthew Crosby, Ben Clark and Tom Parry, who comprise award-winning sketch troupe Pappy, seem to have taken to heart...