Two Tired for Shakespeare? Try the Handlebards Energetic Cycling Performances

Two Tired for Shakespeare? Try the Handlebards Energetic Cycling Performances

It’s been 400 years since William Shakespeare shuffled off to wherever he is now, and the Fringe guide is filled with his plays—possibly even more productions than usual, which would be saying something... 

Near Gone

Near Gone

This award-winning devised piece from Two Destination Language clearly deserves its second festival run. This intimate, small-scale work focuses on a single moment yet manages perfectly considered emotional clarity and visual profundity... 

An Invitation...

An Invitation...

Bodies are awkward, difficult things. Even trained dancers struggle with the unpredictability of possessing a body — it can so easily betray us and make us laughable. Jo Fong takes on this most human of conditions in An Invitation, a smart, playful piece which regretfully never quite finds its balance... 

The Richard Alger and Tina Kronis Extended Interview

The Richard Alger and Tina Kronis Extended Interview

Award-winning company Theatre Movement Bazaar, (Anton’s Uncles, Track 3), returns to this year’s Fringe with their new show Hot Cat, an inspired take on Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof... 

She Loves Me

She Loves Me

“Good morning, good day!” So begins the best classic musical you’ve never heard of. And to quote a musical you probably have heard of: “And what a lovely morning!” (cue tap dance)... 

Dazzle Contemporary Jewellery Exhibition and Paul Furneaux Japanese Woodcut Prints

Dazzle Contemporary Jewellery Exhibition and Paul Furneaux Japanese Woodcut Prints

The centrally-located art gallery, Dovecot Studios, has provided a lovely break from the madness of fringe with its current offering of exhibitions. In addition to the contemporary jewellery and woodcuts, there are other works of art on display, most notably the pieces from the Australian Tapestry Workshop on display in Dovecot’s own beautiful weaving studio... 

Champagne Tutored Tasting

Champagne Tutored Tasting

If the idea of tasting various French champagnes at an extremely shiny table in a marble Georgian library sounds appealing, well, here you go. There’s also lunch involved. Lunch is an excellent concept... 

Extremely Bad Dancing to Extremely French Music

Extremely Bad Dancing to Extremely French Music

This is not for everyone. This is some weird, weird business. This is also excellent.Extremely Bad Dancing to Extremely French Music is one sense exactly what it says on the tin. It’s also a somewhat self-indulgent and very self-aware look at the concept of dancing to accompaniment and the entire concept of “extremely... 

Eggs Collective Get A Round

Eggs Collective Get A Round

Like many Free Fringe shows, this one is hard to categorize. It might be theatre, it might comedy, it might be cabaret. It’s probably somewhere between the three, but that’s a hard flyering job... 

Anything Goes

Anything Goes

KD Theatre’s Anything Goes is cheerfully cheesy, well-done Cole Porter in an hour and a half. It’s a little sad to have to miss out on some of the good stuff— Anything Goes is one of the most perfect musicals ever written but if you’re craving Cole during Fringe this is a quick, satisfying fix... 

Liz Lochhead: Somethings Old, Somethings New

Liz Lochhead: Somethings Old, Somethings New

Liz Lochhead’s solo spoken word show at Assembly Rooms opens with songs from Joni Mitchell’s delicately moody album ‘Blue’ on the sound system; appropriate not only for her first poem of the afternoon, Old Vinyl, but also for Lochhead’s themes of lost love and lost time... 

Rumours

Rumours

Neil Simon’s comedies are wonderful, but quite a few of them have aged badly. Some very perplexing updates were made for Arkle Theatre Company’s production of Rumours and the show suffers for it... 

Chalk About

Chalk About

Performers Christine Devaney and Hendrik Lebon polled a group of children on what they’d like to see in a show. They got lots of suggestions: “Blood!” “Dinosaurs!” “Zombies!” “No kissing!” “Beyoncé!” “Please, please, please…NO PUPPETS... 

The Importance of Being Earnest

The Importance of Being Earnest

This particular Earnest is a serious comedy by very young people. Beath Stage Productions, a school group, made a gutsy move in bringing such an over-performed show to the Fringe — most professionals wouldn’t even try... 

Dinner is Swerved

Dinner is Swerved

Dinner is Swerved starts at 11:30 pm, so it isn’t really dinner — more like a midnight snack. This is fitting though — most of the food served on the night I attended was either sweets or breakfast food — what else would you eat at midnight?Don’t come to this expecting dinner theatre — Dinner is Swerved is simply an experience... 

Oleanna

Oleanna

This production of David Mamet’s play Oleanna is almost unwatchable, which is to say it’s excellent. Mamet’s play made audiences uncomfortable when it premiered in 1992 and, despite many years and scandals since, this drama about sexual harassment remains unbearably tense... 

Kava Girls

Kava Girls

You really, really want to like this little musical. Its heart’s in the right place, the subject matter is fascinating and the performers do try. Unfortunately, the music is forgettable and the script’s a snooze... 

Dim Diolch

Dim Diolch

Words of warning: this production is entirely in Welsh (the title means “No thank you”). There are subtitles, but only to an extent. It’s a biopic of the American scientist George Price, who discovered the altruism gene, and mainly focuses on the man’s difficult marriage and inner conflicts... 

Siddhartha, the Musical

Siddhartha, the Musical

You’ve probably seen the posters featuring a half-naked man covered in oil- exactly what Herman Hesse had in mind when he wrote his classic philosophical novel. That alone should give an idea of how little this production has to do with its source material- if you’re a philosopher, a Buddhist, or anyone with a modicum of taste you will find this show deeply offensive... 

The Virtuous Burglar

The Virtuous Burglar

Farce is easy to laugh at and difficult to perform. There needs to be precise order and timing behind the chaos for each joke and pratfall to land squarely. Imperial College Dramatic Society has gamely attempted a spritely production of Italian playwright Dario Fo’s farce The Virtuous Burglar... 

Doctor Marigold's Prescriptions

Doctor Marigold's Prescriptions

Charles Dickens’ works adapt beautifully into one-man/-woman shows. It’s all pure narrative and comes alive perfectly in the hands of a great storyteller. There’s really no need for any involved theatrics... 

Marijan

Marijan

There are some excellent one-woman shows out there, but this one doesn’t have much to offer. The script is weak and dull and Ciara McGuinness’ performance as Serbian artist Marijan Kockovic’s wife, Slobodanka Djokic-Kockovic, is disappointingly unsympathetic... 

Speech Sucks: The Future Signs

Speech Sucks: The Future Signs

In all the noise and bustle of Edinburgh during August, this was a refreshing and quiet event. The Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas regularly puts on open debates headed by university professors... 

Hamlet and Ophelia Go Swimming

Hamlet and Ophelia Go Swimming

This show has an attractive title and a premise brimming with potential: a series of scenes between Hamlet and Ophelia in the years prior to the events of Hamlet, combined with dialogue and correspondence from the playwright’s own life... 

The Duchess of Malfi

The Duchess of Malfi

For a minute, I thought I’d walked into a puppet theatre version of The Duchess of Malfi. UCLU Runaground have decided to suggest a general royal setting with a small wooden palace lurking in the background... 

Back to the Hills!

Back to the Hills!

Danny O’Brien is genial stand-up, although the standard for geniality in comedians is pretty low. He isn’t wilfully negative or aggressive, possibly because his material is too middle-of-the-road... 

Conversations with Boring, Ugly People

Conversations with Boring, Ugly People

A decent show is worth the price of a ticket and a bad show isn’t, but in the case of Conversations with Boring, Ugly People, I’d pay good money not to have to watch this exercise in pointlessness... 

Sunday Morning

Sunday Morning

This new one-man show from South African theatre company Hello Elephant is by turns heartfelt, amusing, and pleasantly evocative of a morning run through Johannesburg. While Nick Warren’s script is occasionally trite and all too quick to gloss over deeper social issues, it is at heart a kind and affecting piece... 

The Hollywood Ten

The Hollywood Ten

Hats off to 8pB Theatre Company’s extremely young cast. They’ve formed their own theatre company and written, directed and performed a show about a challenging historical event — all before leaving school... 

I'm Thinking of Leaving Facebook

I'm Thinking of Leaving Facebook

It’s a rare thing when the venue is more intriguing than the performance. This one-woman show is performed on the top deck of a converted vintage bus, and the fairy light décor is a twee but welcome distraction from a poorly written monologue on Lolly Jones’ relationship with Facebook... 

The Post Show

The Post Show

We’ve all been there—the post-show discussion that goes on for too long or goes nowhere at all. We’re all in need of the toilet and/or a stiff drink, please stop holding forth about your artistic process... 

Beijing Cake

Beijing Cake

Some cakes are just disappointing and better left unmade. Beijing Cake may have once stood a chance but this new show by Rachel Kauder Nalebuff hasn’t got anything interesting or funny to say about American and Chinese cultural exchange... 

The Trilogy

The Trilogy

The Improsarios pride themselves on doing improv that’s not just comedic. Their show The Trilogy takes audience suggestions to create three short plays in an hour—some serious, some comic, some a little bit of both... 

Next Door

Next Door

Outstanding Danish and Finnish comedy duo Ivan Hansen and Pekka Raikkonen look like two schoolteachers. Hansen, with his wild hair and squeaky voice, is the batty chemistry teacher you worry will blow up the lab one day... 

Return to the Forbidden Planet

Return to the Forbidden Planet

People like Star Trek. People like The Tempest. People like the greatest hits of the 1950s and 60s. This doesn’t mean they like, want, or need all three of them together. Return to the Forbidden Planet is a cult 1950s sci-fi film that really, really never needed to be a musical... 

Masters of Drip

Masters of Drip

Two good things: this show is free and the Masters of Drip, Michael Friederich and Gavin Rankin, don’t seem to have dripped anything on their immaculately clean white shirts. It’s not fall-off-your-seat hilarious, but some of the short sketches are amusing and bonus points for laundering skills... 

Kafka’s A Report to an Academy

Kafka’s A Report to an Academy

Warning: this show opens with a man middle-aged man clad only briefs. Don’t worry; he later changes into a gorilla suit, which is more comfortable for everyone involved…except him... 

Entertaining Mr Orton

Entertaining Mr Orton

Entertaining Mr. Orton, by the Tower Theatre Company, is the Tin Man of shows: brains but no heart. This documentary-farce (that’s a hyphenation no one should ever have to make) is witty but doesn’t treat a true story with any kind of compassion... 

The Story of Little Dombey

The Story of Little Dombey

What with the recent Les Miserables fever, everyone has been fussing over Victor Hugo and ignoring that other cheerful scribe of poverty and dying children - our very own Charles John Huffam Dickens... 

A  Funny Valentine

A Funny Valentine

American jazz with a Scottish accent? Well, why not? Go sample this strange but still palatable cultural fusion in the basement of the Valvona and Crolla café. In this pleasant blend of storytelling and live music, Edinburgh local Mike Maran relates the life and death of legendary jazz trumpeter Chet Baker from the perspective of Maran’s ‘constant companion’... 

The Cow Play

The Cow Play

The Cow Play is a trivial comedy about serious things. Like the award-winning American playwright Sarah Ruhl, writer Ed Harris understands that sometimes absurdity is the only approach worth taking... 

Running With the Firm

Running With the Firm

From the title, I thought this show might be like Glengarry Glenn Ross with more jogging. For the benefit of any fellow confused Americans out there: this is about a very different kind of firm... 

The Road to Qatar!

The Road to Qatar!

If you’re going to offend, you’d better do it using a massive chorus, a few good tap numbers and a rousing finale. See: The Producers. Musical theatre, with its protective coating of shmaltz, is often the perfect medium for some good, potentially offensive satire... 

Bonk!

Bonk!

During a sex scene in the film Annie Hall, Woody Allen’s character announces from beneath the sheets, ‘This is the most fun I’ve ever had without laughing.’ Crowtown Theatre Company’s production of Bonk! isn’t much fun and I didn’t laugh... 

The Hat, The Cane, The Moustache

The Hat, The Cane, The Moustache

Don’t worry, this is indeed a show about Charlie Chaplin. It consists of a man reciting a poorly-written biography of Charlie Chaplin. Start worrying. I desperately wanted to like this show... 

Made for Each Other

Made for Each Other

Fred Astaire singing ‘Night and Day’ is a good way to start anything. Made for Each Other, a one-man comedy about modern love and marriage, is served with a generous helping of Cole Porter... 

Godspell

Godspell

I appreciated Forth Children’s Theatre’s stunning production of this mess of New Testament musical. This young cast is terrifyingly talented and better than many professional companies... 

After What Comes Before

After What Comes Before

After What Comes Before is a Dr. Strangelove of shows: odd and manic but seriously amusing for those in on the joke. This mad scientist tour de force features frenetic physical comedy, lightning-fast wordplay and expert sleight of hand... 

Juliet: A Dialogue About Love

Juliet: A Dialogue About Love

The image of Shakespeare’s Juliet, awakening from her sleeping draught to gaze upon her dead lover, is unforgettable. In this vein Hungarian playwright Andràs Visky has imagined his mother Julia awakening in the morgue of a communist-era Romanian gulag, the victim of a largely forgotten atrocity... 

The Boy Who Lost Christmas

The Boy Who Lost Christmas

The Boy Who Lost Christmas, by The Young Actors Company/Engineerium, is an absolutely lovely piece of children’s theatre. The tale of Crispin Cattermole, The Boy Who Lost Christmas, is superbly told by a charming and adorable group of young amateurs from Cambridge... 

A Body to Die[t] for

A Body to Die[t] for

If musical theatre was a sandwich, plot would be the pickle artfully placed on the side of the plate. Always a nice thing to have, interesting when done right, but ultimately not all that necessary...