Cathedral Bach before Bed

Cathedral Bach before Bed

Spread over four evenings, John Bryden's consummate performance of the Well-Tempered Clavier's second book is the perfect way to unwind after a frantic day at the Fringe. Up until relatively recently, the Well-Tempered Clavier was predominantly known as a technical work and not without reason... 

Bach Cantatas and Concertos

Bach Cantatas and Concertos

Combining some of Bach's most popular music with a few lesser-known pieces, the Bach Ensemble of Edinburgh provided a hint at the composer's stylistic breadth by performing a refreshing range of his cantatas and concertos... 

Casual Violence: Om Nom Nominous - Free

Casual Violence: Om Nom Nominous - Free

Like so many shows at the moment, Om Nom Nominous lures in punters with a ridiculous name. Although the sheer number of entertainers trying to survive at the Fringe makes this tactic completely understandable, the quality of Casual Violence's sketch comedy probably makes their chosen title slightly superfluous... 

Mozart Requiem

Mozart Requiem

Surely one of the most outrageous Oscars ever given is the 1984 Academy Award for Best Sound. That year, the Academy decided to award the plaudit to Amadeus, the biographical blockbuster loosely based on the life of Mozart... 

Between Empires

Between Empires

Immortalised in the books of authors like Kipling and Forster, British India has become a staple of our literary heritage. Between Empires, then, explores well-trodden ground. It examines Anglo-Indian relations through the prism of a love affair between an aristocratic local girl and a naive British officer at the turn of the 19th century... 

Loving Dick

Loving Dick

Don't get too excited: the eponymous Dick is simply a shortening of Richard and not the male sex organ. Still, it's probably worth mentioning that Richard's anatomical namesake still features heavily in this charming tragicomedy... 

Eat a Queer Foetus 4 Jesus

Eat a Queer Foetus 4 Jesus

Despite its outrageous name, Richard Coughlan's romp of a show proved that though the popularity of gentler, more modern comedians continues, the gag-filled anecdotal performer can still prove hilarious... 

Traditional Piano Music from Scotland and Ireland

Traditional Piano Music from Scotland and Ireland

Like other communities in Europe that have historically suffered political repression the Celtic peoples of the British Isles have for centuries expressed their culture through music... 

Bach Cello Suites

Bach Cello Suites

Up until the 20th century, with a few notable exceptions, the cello was seen as decidedly inferior to the violin. This was irrevocably changed when the great Catalan musician Pau Casals stumbled upon a dusty score of Bach's cello suites while visiting a bookshop in the backstreets of Barcelona... 

Comedian? No. Just Italian

Comedian? No. Just Italian

Although Italy's economy and political system have of late appeared to be on the verge of total collapse, at least her sixty-odd million citizens can take solace in the fact that they're just more relaxed than their cousins north of the Alps... 

A Young Man Dressed As a Gorilla Dressed As an Old Man Sits Rocking in a Rocking Chair for Fifty-Six Minutes and Then Leaves... 5

A Young Man Dressed As a Gorilla Dressed As an Old Man Sits Rocking in a Rocking Chair for Fifty-Six Minutes and Then Leaves... 5

Before this show, every time I walked past the nondescript sign on Nicolson Street imploring me to give the Scientologists a try, I was tempted to stop. Although I've never joined a cult, I've always been fascinated by them - we've all heard the stories about naked dancing and ecstatic sex with strangers... 

The Canterbury Tales

The Canterbury Tales

Due to the fact they lived such different lives to our own, it is perilously easy to dismiss our medieval cousins as having absolutely nothing in common with modern Britons. The stock image of austere fanatics flagellating themselves and butchering their heretical neighbours has been so ingrained in our historical bloodstream that it has survived relatively unscathed across the centuries... 

Beethoven for Breakfast

Beethoven for Breakfast

For most of his fifty-seven years, to call Ludwig van Beethoven a tad troubled would be an understatement. Spurned by the women he loved and suffering from illness for many years - and that's without including his infamous deafness - Beethoven's travails are reflected in much of his music, which can be characterised as violently angst-ridden... 

Peter Searles: Bolivia & Beyond

Peter Searles: Bolivia & Beyond

Leading his audience through a trip he took to South America in 1986, Peter Searles' vivid physical expression and knack for detail ensure that what could have been a show exemplifying the worst aspects of by-the-numbers travel journalism turned out to be thoroughly entertaining... 

Bach for Solo Violin

Bach for Solo Violin

Thanks to their eager adoption by Pau Casals during the early decades of the 20th century, Bach's cello suites have grown to become a crucial pillar of the classical pantheon, even among more casual fans... 

Kreutzer Sonata

Kreutzer Sonata

Although Beethoven's ten chamber works for piano and violin are now commonly known as 'Violin Sonatas', they were initially called 'Sonatas for Pianoforte and Violin', and not without reason... 

Impromptu Shakespeare

Impromptu Shakespeare

Having been a stalwart of English-language culture for over four centuries, William Shakespeare's favourite dramatic motifs are surely common knowledge to at least most of the country's population... 

JS Bach's B Minor Mass

JS Bach's B Minor Mass

Commissioned by a devoutly Catholic prince and covering the whole range of the Church's liturgy, the Mass in B minor could be seen as something of an anomaly, for it was composed by a life-long Protestant who is perhaps most famous for writing a huge number of Lutheran cantatas over his long career... 

Nicholas Parsons' Happy Hour

Nicholas Parsons' Happy Hour

Nicholas Parsons has been such popular and uncontroversial figure in the British entertainment industry for so long that I could say almost anything about his show and he would still sell out a venue every night... 

Synagogue Slut

Synagogue Slut

An intriguing twist on the old formula for Jewish humour, Emily Rose's act attempts to make the synagogue, and not the archetypal comedy character that frequents it, the star of the show... 

Sex With Animals

Sex With Animals

The top deck of a disused city bus late on a Tuesday night is not where you might expect to find one of the most thoughtful shows I have seen at the Fringe so far, especially considering it's entitled Sex With Animals... 

Neil Delamere: Smartbomb

Neil Delamere: Smartbomb

For a country of barely four million people, Ireland has gifted us with a disproportionate number of comedians. From Dara O'Briain to Ed Byrne via Dylan Moran and Graham Norton, the Emerald Isle has played an exaggerated role in making British audiences laugh over the past few years... 

Steve Richards' Rock 'n' Roll Politics 2

Steve Richards' Rock 'n' Roll Politics 2

What with the febrile state of British society at the moment, Steve Richards' canter through our political parkland seems perfectly timed. The first coalition government since the war, a raft of controversial spending cuts and two referendums with the potential to utterly transform Britain's constitution (covering Scotland and the EU respectively) are just a few of the big issues that Richards' can draw upon... 

Manos Kanellos: Greekonomics

Manos Kanellos: Greekonomics

He introduces himself as 'Manos from Samos' though he's lived as an expat for the past twenty years. It's his ability to thoughtfully compare his experiences in both Britain and his Greek homeland that make Manos Kanellos' show as engaging as it is... 

Jimmy Savile: The Punch and Judy Show

Jimmy Savile: The Punch and Judy Show

You can imagine how it might have happened. Down at the pub a few months back. A couple of friends sat downing the dregs of their third pint. Someone switches the bar’s TV over to the news... 

The Room

The Room

Much like karaoke or clubbing, The Room is not an event that should be experienced either alone or sober. So much of the show's allure is derived from the bizarre form of camaraderie that develops through mocking such a dreadful movie that it would be a real shame to go along without a friend, or at least a cheap bottle of wine... 

Quiz in My Pants

Quiz in My Pants

The difficulty with reviewing a show like this is that because the comedians change from day to day, the quality of the comedy and the direction the show takes is impossible to predict... 

Josh Widdicombe: Incidentally...

Josh Widdicombe: Incidentally...

Josh Widdicombe begins his set by confessing that he was just short enough to be eligible to play the eponymous Hobbit of Peter Jackson's latest epic trilogy. Happily, Widdicombe's physical stature is not matched by his comedic talent... 

Bobby Mair - Obviously Adopted

Bobby Mair - Obviously Adopted

Just before the start of his set, a pre-recorded message by Bobby Mair warns 'everyone easily offended' to leave the premises immediately. For anyone who's left, 'welcome to my world... 

Old Jewish Jokes

Old Jewish Jokes

Jokes that everyone's heard before are always the hardest to make funny, so spare a thought for that most venerable of comedian: the 'Jewish comic' who has decades of comedic folklore and pub banter just waiting to be repeated... 

Ethiopia

Ethiopia

It is with the long and idiosyncratic Christian tradition of Ethiopia in mind that one must approach the small exhibition of devotional art at Galerie Mirage. Uniquely for sub-Saharan Africa, Ethiopians were exposed to Christianity just a few decades after the Crucifixion and by 330 AD had officially adopted it as their state religion...