Monty Don – Rhythms Of The Natural World

Monty Don – Rhythms Of The Natural World

Probably the most famous British gardener around (not wishing to offend Alan Titchmarsh), Monty Don presents an hour of spoken word in which he tells the stories of his own personal journey with gardening, including his experiences with writing about and presenting horticultural television programmes... 

YurtaKids! UnLeashed_Scaténàti

YurtaKids! UnLeashed_Scaténàti

Italian theatre company Scarlattine Teatro produce an alternative show based around sensory experience, and aimed at children under the age of five, as part of the Yurtakids! series... 

A Cut in the Rates by Alan Ayckbourn and Gray Matter by JD Farr

A Cut in the Rates by Alan Ayckbourn and Gray Matter by JD Farr

HomewoodRose Theatre produce two short plays, both of which challenge our preconceptions but which approach the issue from starkly different directions. Appearing as part of Laughing Horse Free Festival, this young theatre company produce an enjoyable hour of theatre, which does however verge on amateur dramatics at some points... 

Mitch Benn is the 37th Beatle

Mitch Benn is the 37th Beatle

Mitch Benn, musical satirist extraordinaire, delivers a thoughtful and incredibly funny combination of stand-up and comedy songs based around little-known facts about the Beatles, his own life story and how the two have collided to result in his being the 37th Beatle... 

Father Christmas Needs a Wee! The Musical

Father Christmas Needs a Wee! The Musical

TaleGate Theatre have adapted Nicholas Allan's beloved children's book into a new funny and energetic musical, which ticks all the boxes for a children's show, apart from the fact that it is a little odd to have a Christmas-themed show in the middle of August... 

Last Embrace

Last Embrace

Last Embrace, a folk musical based on Romeo and Juliet set in Northern Ireland in 1970 at the height of The Troubles, is a true masterpiece of theatre. Tree Shadow Theatre Productions, which specialises in new adaptations and writing, create a beautifully haunting tale with clever staging and excellent direction from Louisa Wilde, who also wrote the piece... 

The Dog, the Witch and the Wardrobe!

The Dog, the Witch and the Wardrobe!

Scotsman Bob Skeldon produces fifty minutes of storytelling and stand-up comedy that achieves a warm atmosphere, with the intimacy of a chat in his living room. However, the content of Skeldon's set, though some gags are very funny and light-hearted, is generally really quite offensive – especially to women – and would make you think that his brand of comedy is a bit old hat... 

Captain Alan of Canary Wharf

Captain Alan of Canary Wharf

London-based comedy group The Spider Blues make a splash with their brand new adventure comedy show, Captain Alan of Canary Wharf, in association with PBH's Free Fringe. The show is based around the 'World's Most Polite Man', Alan Beadle, played to perfection by Joshua Diffley, who has a disappointing work life at a legal firm and spends hours in his office playing pirate-based fantasy games on his computer... 

Little Red

Little Red

Big Mix Theatre combines clever animation with live action to bring to life a charming alternative take on the traditional children's story of Little Red Riding Hood. With witty writing, this show, put on as part of the Free Fringe, promises a vivid and exciting journey through the forest that forms the backdrop to a lesson about friendship, the breaking down stereotypes and the power of the imagination... 

Bulletproof Jest

Bulletproof Jest

Sketch comedy group Dead Secrets bring us Bulletproof Jest, 50 minutes of sketch comedy boasting excellent costumes, very funny concepts and a spot of pretty suspect dancing. Despite an array of sketch shows at the Fringe this year, Bulletproof Jest makes a bit of a splash because its parodies are so very well observed... 

Marlon Davis: Crackin' Up

Marlon Davis: Crackin' Up

Marlon Davies, in association with Off The Kerb Productions, presents an hour-long, whistle-stop tour of an episode in his life in which he 'cracked up' and almost brought about the ruination of a seven-year relationship... 

Simply the Jest

Simply the Jest

Exeter-based sketch comedy troupe Simply The Jest take another Fringe by storm in this hour-long sketch show, featuring clever parodies, general silliness and one very impressive finale song... 

Sofa Specific

Sofa Specific

Sofa Specific Productions presents an hour of wordless, clownlike comedy based around a two-seater couch with removable cushions. The show, suitable for all ages, revolves entirely around four men, who create various fantastical scenarios, including famous movie scenes such the iconic Titanic moments, and clown about with props like water pistols... 

Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales

Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales

Scamp Theatre presents an hour-long feast of storytelling that thrills children and parents alike. The show is based around the work of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, who famously brought us the Gruffalo, and features three charming performers and storytellers – Joseph Carey, Mathew Hamper and Maxwell James – who sing, play instruments, perform some amazing puppetry and generally leap about the stage... 

The Ugly Duckling

The Ugly Duckling

C Theatre brings us a charming, funny and sometimes quite dark production of Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale. Three performers play a myriad of funny and endearing roles, telling the story of the ugly duckling – played by a fourth actor – and his journey through a year of life and a harsh winter before he becomes a swan... 

The Dragon Who Hates Poetry

The Dragon Who Hates Poetry

Dommy B, eminent slam poet known to children for his appearance on CBeebies' Rhyme Rocket, produces a great free children's show which is designed to get even very young kids interested in poetry and rhymes... 

Maureen Younger: The Outsider - Free Show

Maureen Younger: The Outsider - Free Show

Maureen Younger presents a solo stand-up show, as part of the Scottish Comedy Festival, which is based around her view of herself as an outsider, both on the comedy circuit and generally in society... 

Shirley Gnome

Shirley Gnome

Shirley Gnome is a straight-talking, country-singing diva from Vancouver who spends an hour forcing a crowd of unsuspecting and bewildered fans between her comedy sheets. She even has a cowboy hat and boots to make the hat-trick of innuendo possible ('reverse cowgirl', and 'knocking boots' in case you weren't sure)... 

The Morning After Season: The Pink Bedroom

The Morning After Season: The Pink Bedroom

3BUGS Fringe Theatre presents a rare production of Tennessee Williams' one-act play The Pink Bedroom as part of their Morning After Season with fairly limited success. The play centres on the fraying relationship between a Man, played by Hal Geller, and a Woman, played by Clare Dodkins, who are conducting an extramarital affair... 

Seven Ages (featuring Kevin Tomlinson)

Seven Ages (featuring Kevin Tomlinson)

Kevin Tomlinson's Seven Ages is derived from a strong concept, but the resulting show is poor in comparison. Tomlinson presents, with the help of his assistant and of the audience, an improvised comedy show based around Shakespeare's conception of the seven ages of human life – including birth, love, and work – and uses lines from songs previously written down by the audience to provide most of his punchlines... 

Coffee With Guv

Coffee With Guv

Wells Junior Cathedral School have produced a hilarious and heartwarming musical about the establishment of London's first youth club in the 1950s in 'Coffee with Guv'. This is an incredibly professional production, crammed with truckloads of laughs and beautifully thoughtful moments... 

Whistleblower

Whistleblower

Whistleblower is a shrewd and topical show which makes a brave attempt at highlighting current issues such as national security, the rights of citizens, war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the plight of whistleblowers like Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden... 

Consequences

Consequences

Consequences, a new show from KinkyFish Theatre and Duncan Battman is an undiscovered diamond of a play. KinkyFish, who made their Fringe debut in 2010, portray a mournful yet uplifting story of friendship and loss... 

Hush

Hush

Hush, a new children’s show based around the perils of keeping and telling secrets, is an excellent showcase of the talents of young company Moon Mission Theatre. Three characters – friends Nosey and Chatterbox and lonely Princess – brilliantly decked out in colourful costumes, explore their own deepest secrets, and each others’ and take a trip to a magic land created by Princess in a dream... 

Greg Proops: The Smartest Man In The World

Greg Proops: The Smartest Man In The World

Is Greg Proops the smartest man in the world? Well, his 2013 Fringe show would certainly make you believe it. With a comedy IQ of at least 180, Proops presents an hour-long feast of Edinburgh-based anecdotes, hilarious commentary on current events, and good-natured heckling of the audience and the Festival staff... 

Diva Gigs

Diva Gigs

Sarah-Ann Cromwell, a Birmingham lass who has discovered that ‘you don’t have to be posh to sing opera’, chats and sings up a storm in Diva Gigs. Charting her opera journey, which has taken her around the UK and Europe, Cromwell summons several colourful characters to tell her story, including a disdainful opera coach and Rhydian, of X Factor fame... 

The Donfather

The Donfather

The Donfather is a well-written and funny show which suffers a little from shaky performances at the beginning. Phat Beavers deliver a 'surreal comedy', parodying American gangster films with some success, and after a slightly unpolished start, the four men, portraying multiple parts, get into their stride and drive home some strong punchlines... 

The Prima Party Scrapbook

The Prima Party Scrapbook

The Prima Party Scrapbook is a triumph for Fringe newcomers Tops and Tales, and particularly for one-man party Matthew Squance. This solo show recounts hilarious and heartfelt stories from the scrapbook of his life, and in particular, from a single night in London during which he went 'way past his limits' and became the monster he characterises as the 'party prima'...