Lucy Farrett: Lois

Lucy Farrett: Lois

Character comedy is a difficult discipline at the best of times and, with a trope as thoroughly picked-over as the oblivious action-hero, it asks at lot from a performer to find so… 

She Sells Sea Shells

She Sells Sea Shells

Searching through the Fringe guide for a show worth seeing is a job that could perhaps be likened to archaeology – you spend hours carefully probing, sorting the dross from the d… 

A Fortunate Man

A Fortunate Man

There are books which are called seminal largely because so many people have read them. 

The Cat's Mother

The Cat's Mother

One of the most valuable functions of theatre is to offer us a way to explore difficult issues without fear of blame without fear of censure. 

Phill Jupitus: Sassy Knack

Phill Jupitus: Sassy Knack

As a huge number of the entries in the Fringe programme could tell you, the life of a stand-up is a tough one – hours and hours of unpaid work just to get a decent set together a… 

Nigel Slater’s Toast

Nigel Slater’s Toast

One of the hardest calls for a reviewer to make is where to draw the line between production and play. 

Famous Puppet Death Scenes

Famous Puppet Death Scenes

An enigmatic title is the hallmark of many Fringe shows – I’m sure no one knows quite what to expect from Duckpond: An Element of Mystery in Umpteen Samples or Lights Over Tesc… 

Jess Robinson: No Filter

Jess Robinson: No Filter

Though now a household name thanks to a semi-final place in last year’s Britain’s Got Talent, singing impressionist Jess Robinson is a familiar face of the Fringe. 

In for a Penny

In for a Penny

In For A Penny is Libby McArthur’s true-life tale of the unforeseen consequences of an unpaid parking ticket - how one person can fall foul of a system that sees only the facts a… 

A Broad Abroad

A Broad Abroad

If there’s one thing the majority of people at the Fringe can empathise with, it’s how hard the life of a jobbing actor can be. 

Unsung

Unsung

With the advent of the internet, smartphones and social media, today’s politics happens under an unprecedented level of scrutiny. 

Sticks and Stones

Sticks and Stones

Free speech is a right fiercely protected in today’s society. 

The Gruffalo's Child

The Gruffalo's Child

Much as it is a pleasure to discover a hidden gem amongst the mass of shows in Edinburgh, there’s also something very reassuring about having a list of reliable prospects. 

Siblings

Siblings

The art of the comedic double act is a difficult one and its success largely based on chemistry between the two performers. 

Leaf by Niggle

Leaf by Niggle

With Hollywood’s recent adaptation of his works, the name JRR Tolkien has come to be associated with huge spectacle and epic scope. 

A Common Man: The Bridge That Tom Built

A Common Man: The Bridge That Tom Built

Victor Hugo once said “You can resist an invading army; you cannot resist an idea whose time has come. 

Britney in: John

Britney in: John

In 2011, Charly Clive and Ellen Robertson were women without a mission. 

Siri

Siri

A two-woman show starring only one woman – not a typo but the conceit at the centre of the latest show by Canadian actress and interactive artist Laurence Dauphinais. 

Séance

Séance

Theatre today increasingly falls into one of two broad camps. 

Brendon Burns and Colt Cabana Do Comedy and Commentary to Bad Wrestling Matches!

Brendon Burns and Colt Cabana Do Comedy and Commentary to Bad Wrestling Matches!

I’m sure we’re all used to growing the Fringe brochure and seeing shows with enigmatic titles which tell you nothing about the eventual content. 

Tatterdermalion

Tatterdermalion

Puppet pioneers Flabbergast Theatre have made an interesting move this year, establishing their own dedicated performance space, The Omnitorium, within the confines of Assembly Ge… 

Rory O'Hanlon – You Are Where You Need to Be

Rory O'Hanlon – You Are Where You Need to Be

The show’s stated theme is a philosophical discussion of how we end up where we end up, In actual fact this thread isn’t really followed up. 

The Master and Margarita

The Master and Margarita

There’s a certain size and scale that one gets used to at the Fringe. 

Ros & Guil R Dead

Ros & Guil R Dead

When deciding on a show to bring to the Fringe, you have two main choices: one, a piece of new writing - exciting and impactful but harder to market - or two, a take on a classic -… 

Not the Horse

Not the Horse

Almost twenty years ago, Guy Ritchie changed the landscape of British cinema with his love letter to the charismatic psychopaths of the East End underbelly Lock, Stock and Two Smok… 

The Life and Times of Lionel

The Life and Times of Lionel

New work is at the heart of the Fringe experience; new work by new companies all the more so. 

WWE Hall of Famer Hacksaw Jim Duggan’s 2x4 Tour One-Man Comedy Show

WWE Hall of Famer Hacksaw Jim Duggan’s 2x4 Tour One-Man Comedy Show

Just one glance at this year’s stuffed-to-bursting wedge of a programme is enough to see that there are bewildering array of performance disciplines represented at this year’s … 

Greater Belfast

Greater Belfast

The gamut of performers at Fringe brings with it a spectrum of experience; from shiny new student companies, powering forward on naive enthusiasm and off-brand energy drinks, to ve… 

Boris & Sergey: Preposterous Improvisation Experiment

Boris & Sergey: Preposterous Improvisation Experiment

Improv comedy is a tricky beast - when it’s good, it’s very, very good; when it’s bad, it’s pointless. 

What I Learned From Johnny Bevan

What I Learned From Johnny Bevan

It’s easy to get lulled by the constant flow of shows at the Fringe, to give in the mid-afternoon slump and the heavy-eyed semi-slumber. 

The Secret Life of Suitcases

The Secret Life of Suitcases

There are some shows that you just get a good feeling about from the moment you step into the theatre. 

Fairly Tales

Fairly Tales

This play tells the story of Benji and Alf, next-door neighbours becoming best friends, bonded by their love of the titular ‘Fairly Tales’. 

Dean Martin and Friends (Christmas Special)

Dean Martin and Friends (Christmas Special)

The Fringe is a place for new discoveries – the freshest, young talent rubbing shoulders with the world’s best at their craft. 

The Glorious Damnation of Eddie Small

The Glorious Damnation of Eddie Small

The legend of Faustus, the man who sold his soul for knowledge, wealth and power is one which has been in the public consciousness for over 500 years. 

Bat-Fan

Bat-Fan

When boredom threatens at the Fringe, a hero will rise. 

The Star Rover

The Star Rover

Despite being one of Jack London’s more obscure works, his 1915 novel The Star Rover or The Jacket is one that feels oddly contemporary. 

The Comedy Cow: Prime Cut

The Comedy Cow: Prime Cut

Free Fringe comedy can be a risky prospect but it can be a risk worth taking in service of finding a night worth seeing. 

Potted Sherlock

Potted Sherlock

Edinburgh stalwarts Dan and Jeff are back for another energetic hour and, following Potted Potter, Potted Pirates and Potted Panto, it’s the turn of Baker Street’s own Sherlock… 

A Journey Round My Skull

A Journey Round My Skull

Science-theatre is in vogue at the moment. 

The Worm - An Underground Adventure

The Worm - An Underground Adventure

As anyone who’s ever dealt with a three-year-old can tell you, keeping their attention can be a Herculean task. 

Mark Grist & MC Mixy: Dead Poets' Death Match

Mark Grist & MC Mixy: Dead Poets' Death Match

Standing centre stage in a dress and a dodgy blonde wig, Mark Grist jokes that this is what two guys with Arts Council funding really look like. 

David O'Doherty Has Checked Everything

David O'Doherty Has Checked Everything

David O’Doherty is one of those rare stand-ups who is a familiar face without being plastered everywhere, who is successful without being packaged. 

Kraken

Kraken

Billed as ‘Comedy (mime, physical theatre)’ I was a little unsure about what to expect from Kraken, but whatever it was that I had been expected was soon proven to be way out. 

Bloody Trams

Bloody Trams

I’ve often wondered how Edinburgh locals truly feel about the Fringe - is it a huge party or just a massive disruption? Given the wealth of subjects from around the world being d… 

National Loaf

National Loaf

There’s a sort of delicious irony to queuing for a show about rationing whilst watching one of the cast frantically stuffing their face with crisps. 

Newton's Cauldron

Newton's Cauldron

Newton’s Cauldron is an unexpected gem, a brisk little piece which mixes storybook, history book and textbook deftly and amusingly. 

Rachel Parris: Live in Vegas

Rachel Parris: Live in Vegas

It’s heartening to see a deserving standup successfully transfer from the Free Fringe to the larger potential audience of the mega-venues. 

Laika: A Space Dogyssey

Laika: A Space Dogyssey

One of the best things about the Fringe is the energy and ingenuity of the young companies performing here and these are both words that apply perfectly to Double Edge Drama, creat… 

BEASTS: Solo

BEASTS: Solo

In themselves the Beasts’ sketch personas are fairly standard; the nutcase, the buffoon and the straight man. 

Richard Herring: Lord of the Dance Settee

Richard Herring: Lord of the Dance Settee

Lord of the Dance Settee marks Richard Herring’s 23rd Fringe show, an accumulated Edinburgh residency of just under two years; enough, as he himself points out, to make him mor… 

The Twins Macabre: Small Mediums at Large

The Twins Macabre: Small Mediums at Large

As Ethel Merman famously sang in Gypsy, ‘you gotta get a gimmick if you want to get ahead’. 

Danny Bhoy: 12 Nights, 12 Charities

Danny Bhoy: 12 Nights, 12 Charities

There’s a particular pleasure in seeing someone do their job incredibly well. 

A Series of Increasingly Impossible Acts

A Series of Increasingly Impossible Acts

My first clue should have been the warmup. 

BABY/LON

BABY/LON

‘BABY/LON’, the second work by Hackney-based theatre company The Big House, is a big story; one of homelessness, violence, motherhood on the lowest rungs of society and the strug… 

Phoenix

Phoenix

As a rule, I’m not always the biggest fan of ‘issue’ theatre. 

Murder, She Didn't Write

Murder, She Didn't Write

There are two rules to improvised comedy: One, you’re only as strong as your weakest member and two, never, ever say no. 

Who Runs the World?

Who Runs the World?

For me, female acapella is really difficult to get right. 

Slap and Giggle: Recharged

Slap and Giggle: Recharged

Double act comedy is very difficult. 

Slaves of the Kingdom

Slaves of the Kingdom

Slaves of the Kingdom is a new musical based around the Bible story of Moses and the Exodus and it’s one hell of an ambitious undertaking. 

Danny the Champion of the World - Plays for Children

Danny the Champion of the World - Plays for Children

When you’re looking for a kids’ show at the Fringe, there are a few names which ought to be a safe bet and, of these, none more so than Roald Dahl. 

Gavin Crawford - A Bummer Abroad

Gavin Crawford - A Bummer Abroad

I have to admit, I was not convinced by Gavin Crawford to begin with. 

Superhero Snail Boy

Superhero Snail Boy

I’m not a morning person at the best of times. 

Ivo Graham: Binoculars

Ivo Graham: Binoculars

Ivo Graham is posh. 

Dick Lee's Swingtet featuring Ali Affleck

Dick Lee's Swingtet featuring Ali Affleck

Picture, if you will, your idea of a swing band leader. 

In the Pink - Fabulous Female a Cappella!

In the Pink - Fabulous Female a Cappella!

Kourtney Kardashian. 

Jay Foreman: No More Colours

Jay Foreman: No More Colours

Ensconced in an inflatable dome, in the children’s area of the Pleasance, bravely struggling through a voice ravaged by cold and flyering, Jay Foreman does not have an easy job o… 

Micheline Sings Brel

Micheline Sings Brel

It’s likely that, when you think of France at its coolest, there are certain figures who spring to mind –Francois Truffaut, Jean-Paul Satre, Brigitte Bardot. 

Christian Reilly: Songs of Praise

Christian Reilly: Songs of Praise

Christian Reilly is on a mission to save the world through music. 

Rik n Mix

Rik n Mix

Rik n Mix is actually a showcase of three comedians combining their short sets to make an hour long show compered by Rik Carranza. 

The Islanders

The Islanders

The Islanders tells the simple tale of a young Dorset couple, Amy and Eddie; the beginnings of their love, the slow disaster of their living together and the titanic struggle of or… 

Chris Dugdale - Magic and Mischief!

Chris Dugdale - Magic and Mischief!

The Fringe isn’t always the best place for magic. 

Rich Hall's Hoedown

Rich Hall's Hoedown

We see a lot of Rich Hall on panel shows these days: QI, Have I Got News For You?, Eight out of Ten Cats, Never Mind The Buzzcocks. 

BrainSex

BrainSex

It’s official – science is now sexy. 

Pajama Men - Just the Two of Each of Us

Pajama Men - Just the Two of Each of Us

Mime and physical theatre can be risky aspects of a comedy show. 

Katie Goodman: I Didn't F*ck It Up

Katie Goodman: I Didn't F*ck It Up

Katie Goodman absolutely delivers – a gutsy comedian with a satirical side and a fairly foul mouth. 

Sotho Sounds: Junk Funk

Sotho Sounds: Junk Funk

Sotho Sounds in the band’s current form is four men: cheerful front-man Khuti, guitarist Tankiso, string-player Josepha and frowning powerhouse percussionist Paseka. 

Esio Trot

Esio Trot

Often high marks are awarded to those companies who create a new world in the theatre through their use of advanced set, puppetry, props or movement so it is good to sometimes be r… 

Sam Rose in the Shadows

Sam Rose in the Shadows

In the right hands, theatre is an immensely powerful tool for taking large issues and bringing them down to a manageable level. 

The Tom Show: The Grand Tour

The Tom Show: The Grand Tour

The story of the Fringe is a story of the periphery. 

Adam Buxton: Kernel Panic

Adam Buxton: Kernel Panic

To a certain generation of British people, Adam Buxton is a bit of a legend. 

Oh My Darling

Oh My Darling

Folk is a big deal at the moment, with bands such as Mumford and Sons bringing English traditional music to the stadium stage, while American artists such as Alison Krauss enjoy a … 

Ellis & Rose: Big in Denmark

Ellis & Rose: Big in Denmark

Watching Ellis and Rose in the dank damp of the Bunker gives a moment of odd synchronicity. 

Will Seaward: Socialist Fairytales!

Will Seaward: Socialist Fairytales!

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin. 

Knightmare Live

Knightmare Live

I’m sure any fringe veteran worth their salt has had the experience of seeing a famous face from their childhood appearing out of an Edinburgh side-street to bring back a flood o… 

Andrew and the Pony

Andrew and the Pony

‘Andrew and the Pony’ is, oddly enough, the story of how performer Andrew Bridges has always, since early childhood, desperately wanted a pony and of all the bizarre situations… 

My Brother the Robot

My Brother the Robot

I often revisit companies and venues at the Fringe, simply because I know that their work works for me. 

Jamie MacDowell and Tom Thum

Jamie MacDowell and Tom Thum

My favourite thing about the Edinburgh Fringe is the sheer concentration of talent in creates in the city, an array of people with skills that I can only dream of having. 

Superbard: The Flood

Superbard: The Flood

Music, video, comedy and theatre? A physical performance and an eBook? Attempting to tackle the subject of the apocalypse? From reading the show description of ‘The Flood’, you… 

Too Cool To Care

Too Cool To Care

There are many things that make for a successful comedian. 

An Edam Odyssey

An Edam Odyssey

Sketch comedy is, by its nature, a slightly hit-and-miss affair. 

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol

There’s a reason Charles Dickens’ stories endures in popularity. 

The Shakespeare Conspiracy

The Shakespeare Conspiracy

We live in the age of the cultural mash-up, of old names reimagined into new forms. 

Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing

Sat atop a hill in Highgate town, beneath the clouds but throned over London’s starry spread sits a gem of Fringe theatre and a pleasure unrestrained. 

Full Stage Splash: A Comic Look at the Comic Book

Full Stage Splash: A Comic Look at the Comic Book

This summer’s clutch of blockbuster popcorn-bait has been dominated by the four colour heroes of the comic book. 

It's A Puppet Life

It's A Puppet Life

On its face, ‘It’s a Puppet Life’ seems like a fairly straightforward concept. 

Nick Hodder: Insert Comedy Here!

Nick Hodder: Insert Comedy Here!

The Camden Fringe is home to many different types of performer; opera singers, musicians, burlesque dancers and poets. 

Matt Tiller's Musical Messaround

Matt Tiller's Musical Messaround

Few talents serve a stand-up better than audience rapport and I’m happy to say that Matt Tiller has it in spades. 

Take Desire Away by Mansel David

Take Desire Away by Mansel David

A one-man show about a spare British poet - a challenging prospect for a sweaty Sunday in a tiny black box theatre. 

Bowlympics

Bowlympics

God, I love talented people. 

Will You Hold My Hand?

Will You Hold My Hand?

There’s something about the marriage of the arcane and the amusing, the faux Victoriana of shows like ‘Bleak Expectations’, that I always find enjoyable. 

Pretty When I'm Drunk

Pretty When I'm Drunk

Structuring a review is basically fairly straightforward. 

Palimpsest One

Palimpsest One

Palimpsest One is a bit of an odd beast. 

Scales of the Unexpected

Scales of the Unexpected

Too often, fringe theatre can be overly serious and overly worthy. 

The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby Part II

The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby Part II

Taking up the action with Kate’s harassment by the rakish Sir Mulberry Hawk and Nicholas and Smike’s return to London, this second half of Space Productions’ revival of the R… 

Brotherly Love - Free

Brotherly Love - Free

Barry and Ian are two estranged brothers in their late middle-age. 

King of Scotland

King of Scotland

One-man fringe shows tend towards extremes. 

Squirrel Party

Squirrel Party

It’s a funny thing - children’s TV has changed a lot recently. 

Tim FitzHigham: Gambler

Tim FitzHigham: Gambler

Tim FitzHigham is a true eccentric and a sucker for a challenge. 

The  Alchemystorium

The Alchemystorium

I feel a little drained after seeing this show but in the best possible way. 

One Man and His Masks - Boudicca: Britain's Dreaming

One Man and His Masks - Boudicca: Britain's Dreaming

British folklore is packed with some of the most iconic figures anywhere in the world. 

Wee Andy

Wee Andy

There’s a certain type of show that prompts a degree of fatigue in me. 

Joe Bor: In Search of the Six Pack

Joe Bor: In Search of the Six Pack

Joe Bor stands out by sheer force of personality. 

Mr Benn: The Extraordinary Adventures of an Ordinary Man

Mr Benn: The Extraordinary Adventures of an Ordinary Man

The things we love as children stay with us forever. 

Pistol & Jack – Smash.Glam.Sex.Music.

Pistol & Jack – Smash.Glam.Sex.Music.

Character comedy is one of the most difficult types to do well. 

The Phoenix: A Failure On a Mission

The Phoenix: A Failure On a Mission

Tania Edwards is a strange sort of stand-up for the Fringe. 

Steve Pretty's Perfect Mixtape

Steve Pretty's Perfect Mixtape

Bad things shouldn’t happen to nice people. 

Cu*ts

Cu*ts

Few would argue that the Fringe isn’t all about showcasing up-and-coming talent. 

Peter Pan - Learn to Fly

Peter Pan - Learn to Fly

I’m upside down, the blood’s rushing to my head and I’m swinging madly like some sort of unwieldy pendulum. 

Red Riding Hood and the Wolves

Red Riding Hood and the Wolves

There’s been a bit of a pattern to Fringe children’s theatre over the past few years. 

Time for the Good Looking Boy

Time for the Good Looking Boy

Five stars only go to a show that is to all intents perfect, that wakens something inside you and keeps you utterly captivated for an entire hour. 

The Cagebirds

The Cagebirds

We all live our lives within walls. 

Confessions of a Mormon Boy

Confessions of a Mormon Boy

I’ve a confession of my own to make; when I chose to review this show I thought it was something entirely different. 

Revolting Rhymes

Revolting Rhymes

There’s basically no-one who doesn’t like Roald Dahl – he’s been a cornerstone of kids’ literature for 50 years and with good reason. 

Brilliant Books for Kids

Brilliant Books for Kids

Everyone remembers storytime – that happy time at the end of the day when the hard work of colouring in and sticking bits of paper to other bits of paper could be safely put behi… 

Haverfordwest

Haverfordwest

Schooldays. 

Circus of the Orient

Circus of the Orient

I haven’t been to the circus for a while and there’s a reason for that. 

Pete Firman: Jiggery Pokery

Pete Firman: Jiggery Pokery

In a Fringe increasingly dominated by comedy it can be difficult for stand-ups to stand out.