Randy Writes a Novel

Randy Writes a Novel

Randy is a bald, bright purple Australian stand-up puppet with a really quick wit and a sharp tongue. In Randy Writes a Novel, Randy speaks to us from behind his desk, preparing himself to share the first draft of his magnus opus first novel, Walking to Skye... 

Notflix

Notflix

Waiting for the Call: The Improvised Musical’s Notflix has to be one of the best improv shows I have seen at the Edinburgh Fringe this year. And for such young improvisers, the standard is truly remarkable... 

Piaf and Brel: The Impossible Concert

Piaf and Brel: The Impossible Concert

Classically-trained Canadian singer Melanie Gall presents this one hour recital of the music of legendary Francophone singers Edith Piaf and Jacques Brel, with songs presented thematically to capture the different themes of their lives... 

Book Lovers' Tour

Book Lovers' Tour

Allan Foster, a writer whose name is practically synonymous with Edinburgh literary tourism, is our guide on the Book Lovers’ Tour, which specialises in introducing tourists to the literary haunts of some of Scotland’s most renowned writers... 

Giacinto Palmieri: Nietzsche, Women and I

Giacinto Palmieri: Nietzsche, Women and I

Italian comic Giacinto Palmieri, in this hour of comedy, tries to draw comparisons between himself and renowned misogynist and philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche in their approach to us womenfolk as romantic prospects... 

The HandleBards: Richard III

The HandleBards: Richard III

The Handlebards are a unique group, reinventing the concept of the company of travelling players. This summer they cycled the length of the country, carting around their bicycle-themed set and occasionally pitching up for performances before arriving at the Edinburgh Fringe... 

The Mikado

The Mikado

Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado is a work that is in many ways very problematic, due to its fetishising and cultural stereotyping of the Japanese, written at the height of the British Empire... 

Jane Eyre: An Autobiography

Jane Eyre: An Autobiography

Jane Eyre – An Autobiography has to be one of the most moving pieces of theatrical storytelling ever created; quite simply, it’s astounding. Hands down the best adaptation of Jane Eyre I have ever seen, in any medium... 

Shakespeare Tonight

Shakespeare Tonight

In Shakespeare Tonight, the famous playwright gives his first ever television performance on a talk show with host Martina, only to be confronted by his so-called ‘enemy’, humanist writer Francis Bacon... 

Vladimir McTavish: Scotland In Sixty Minutes

Vladimir McTavish: Scotland In Sixty Minutes

Scottish comedian and Fringe veteran McTavish has celebrated his 60th birthday this year, and has therefore adopted a more ponderous and docile approach in his set, instead of dedicating it exclusively to politics as he has done in previous years... 

Shit-Faced Shakespeare

Shit-Faced Shakespeare

The Edinburgh Fringe ‘smashed’-hit Shit-Faced Shakespeare returns in its seventh year to perform Measure for Measure in its unorthodox and unique inebriated manner. You might think that this “problem play” about nuns, corruption and threatened rape is already contentious enough without getting a member of the cast utterly plastered... 

Paul Foot: 'Tis a Pity She's a Piglet

Paul Foot: 'Tis a Pity She's a Piglet

For a comedian with such a cult following, renowned for surrealist originality, I was very excited about my first encounter with Paul Foot’s comedy. It is immediately apparent, however, that Foot divides crowds... 

Californians Dreamin’

Californians Dreamin’

Californias Dreamin’, performed by California Poly SLO’s company Smile and Nod, comprises a mixture of short and long form improvisation, based on audience suggestions.This particular show began with a single suggestion based on the prompt “a recurring nightmare”, without any real introductions or warming up of the audience as one might expect in this sort of show... 

Mixed Doubles: Fundraiser

Mixed Doubles: Fundraiser

Quartet, Mixed Doubles, have brought a comedy sketch show to this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, framed with four peculiar characters from the peaceful UKIP-voting Middle England village of Little Comberton, who are attempting to raise money within a fundraiser for a new village pavilion... 

Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother in the Case of a Study in Blood

Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother in the Case of a Study in Blood

Sherlock Holmes, true to its original with all the same characters and tropes that keep fans hooked, but with a twist. The famous detective becomes a Godot figure, never actually emerging on stage despite being central to the action... 

Mavericks: A Sketch Show (Of Sorts)

Mavericks: A Sketch Show (Of Sorts)

Mavericks: A Sketch Show (of Sorts) is the product of talented comedy duo and Cambridge Footlights members Ruby Keane and Luisa Callander. In their show, which consists of their rather unique brand of absurdist comedy, they perform a mixed bag of sketches, interspersed with their own peculiar banter, to varying degrees of success... 

Rebustours: Hidden Edinburgh

Rebustours: Hidden Edinburgh

You’d be forgiven for thinking this was a generic literary tour, because of the way it had been marketed in the Fringe programme. Instead, it turned out to be a two-hour tour of crime writer Ian Rankin’s Edinburgh, following in the footsteps of the eponymous character from the bestselling Rebus novels, presented by the jovial and amiable Colin Brown... 

My Ain Countrie: 17th-19th Century Songs of Scottish and Northern Emigration

My Ain Countrie: 17th-19th Century Songs of Scottish and Northern Emigration

This informal hour long recital, starring singer Elspeth McVeigh and fiddle player Gabi Maas, features a variety of folk songs, or ‘Broadside Ballads’, from 17th to 19th century musical traditions originating in Scotland, Ireland and Scandinavia... 

Kieran Hodgson: Maestro

Kieran Hodgson: Maestro

Simultaneously one of the funniest and most heart-warming acts at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, Kieran Hodgson is not to be missed. In Maestro, he tells of his ten-year effort to write a symphony, starting at the tender and precocious age of 13, after being inspired by his musical hero, the Austrian composer Gustav Mahler... 

Solo Shakespeare, Macbeth: Hecate's Poison

Solo Shakespeare, Macbeth: Hecate's Poison

Hecate’s Poison is a one-woman version of Macbeth, performed by Players Tokyo’s T. Sato. Through use of physicality and clever costume indications, Sato manages to create a mystical and atmospheric take on the Scottish play... 

Lady Shakespeare

Lady Shakespeare

This one-woman show by playwright Lois Blanco involves Spanish actress Paula Blanco alternately playing William Shakespeare, a range of Shakespeare’s individual female characters and Queen Elizabeth I, exploring issues surrounding womanhood and femininity in Elizabethan England and within the Bard’s plays... 

Vivaldi, Handel and Bach

Vivaldi, Handel and Bach

Presented by The Bach Ensemble of Edinburgh, the programme for this concert comprised of lesser-known and hugely underappreciated works by the three baroque greats: Antonio Vivaldi’s L’Estro Armonico Nos... 

Daniela Nardi's Espresso Manifesto

Daniela Nardi's Espresso Manifesto

Tucked away in the intimate and comfortable setting of the Scottish Arts Club, Canadian singer Daniela Nardi and her group Espresso Manifesto, comprising Ron Davis (piano), Chris Jennings (double bass), Neil Paton (drums) and Kevin Barrett (guitar/ musical director) treated us to an hour of smooth jazz, originating from the undervalued but rich repertoire of the Italian songbook... 

The Oxford Imps: Hyperdrive

The Oxford Imps: Hyperdrive

The Oxford Imps’ technologically-heavy Fringe show, Hyperdrive, perform a mixture of long and short form improvisation, using technology as stimulus. However, instead of being particularly cutting edge, this diluted and convoluted an already weak show, with an incredibly gimmicky quality... 

Men With Coconuts: Improvised Bond

Men With Coconuts: Improvised Bond

Edinburgh-based improv group Men with Coconuts present an entirely improvised Bond film, based on suggestions from the audience and using many familiar tropes and improvisation games to create an entertaining new adventure starring the world’s most famous spy and his colleagues at MI6... 

Shakin' Shakespeare

Shakin' Shakespeare

Shakin’ Shakespeare does an incredible job at presenting the playwright’s work in an accessible and side-splittingly funny way. The extremely talented cast, who are performing not one but three different plays at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this year, performed Romeo and Juliet the morning I attended... 

Rhapsodes

Rhapsodes

Improvised comedy at its most virtuosic, Sean McCann and Adam Meggido (of Showstoppers! The Improvised Musical and School of Night fame) are two masters of their artform, with an awe-inspiring level of verbal and imaginative prowess and wit... 

The Cambridge Footlights International Tour Show 2016: Lagoon

The Cambridge Footlights International Tour Show 2016: Lagoon

The Cambridge Footlights have such a reputation that their name is practically synonymous with the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Founded in 1883, the group has been the launching pad for countless comedy greats, from the Pythons to Mitchell and Webb, Emma Thompson, Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, and many, many others... 

Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppets Do Shakespeare

Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppets Do Shakespeare

Possibly the most ridiculous show at the Edinburgh Fringe, the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppets are in their ninth year and were greeted with a sell-out audience. Most of the crowd were returning fans, making the show feel a bit like being initiated into some sort of cult... 

Adventures of the Improvised Sherlock Holmes

Adventures of the Improvised Sherlock Holmes

Based on audience suggestions, the hour’s traffic of the stage is an improvised case which promises to be ‘the greatest Sherlock Holmes story ever’, The Case of the Lemon Posset... 

Impromptu Shakespeare

Impromptu Shakespeare

Every single audience member is given a ping pong ball with Shakespearean tropes written on them upon entry. The audience then have to throw these balls into the baggy breeches of one of the cast... 

Into the Shadows of Shakespeare – Free

Into the Shadows of Shakespeare – Free

The Tempest, retold by children whose first language isn’t even English. Into the Shadows of Shakespeare is a short performance of Shakespeare’s much-loved final play, with the addition of a frame story about Chloe, a young girl with a crush, and her disapproving mother... 

A Fool’s Paradise: 30 Shakespeare Scenes in 60 Minutes

A Fool’s Paradise: 30 Shakespeare Scenes in 60 Minutes

For a fast-paced, fun show filled with audience interaction, A Fool’s Paradise might be for you. This talented troupe of five women set themselves the terrifying task of performing 30 scenes from Shakespeare in an hour, having the audience shout out numbers and filling in bingo sheets provided, making it a rapidly paced, competitive and fun show to spectate... 

Shakespeare Shorts – Hamlet

Shakespeare Shorts – Hamlet

Shakespeare Shorts: Hamlet - Shakespeare’s Hamlet condensed into an hour by kids, for kids. Performed by eleven kids from Shakespeare at Traquair, this was a very entertaining piece with the script reduced and simplified to make it more accessible to youngsters... 

Nicholas Parsons' Happy Hour

Nicholas Parsons' Happy Hour

It was immediately evident upon walking into the jam-packed Cabaret Bar that I was significantly changing the demographic awaiting the arrival of radio and television legend and national treasure, Nicholas Parsons... 

The Ruff Guide to Shakespeare

The Ruff Guide to Shakespeare

Fun for parents and children alike, The Ruff Guide to Shakespeare is a brilliant introduction to Shakespeare: the man and his plays. Cleverly structured around the ‘seven ages of man’ from As You Like It, it entertainingly informs the audience about Shakespeare’s own life, in a dynamic and varied way that is reminiscent of BBC’s Horrible Histories... 

Ladies in Waiting: The Judgement of Henry VIII

Ladies in Waiting: The Judgement of Henry VIII

Ladies in Waiting, written by and starring James Cougar Canfield as the lascivious and misogynistic King Henry VIII, is a steamy, feminist critique of the most notorious of England’s kings... 

Music of Dowland, Purcell and the Stuarts

Music of Dowland, Purcell and the Stuarts

Countertenor James Laing, theorbo player James Akers and bass violist Susanna Pell’s hour long feast of Dowland was one of the most spectacular concerts I have attended in a while... 

Teatro Delusio

Teatro Delusio

Possibly the most beautiful show you will watch at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, Teatro Delusio is a marvel: original, stunningly choreographed, very funny and incredibly moving. This is physical theatre at its zenith... 

William Shakespeare's Long Lost First Play (abridged)

William Shakespeare's Long Lost First Play (abridged)

In a festival saturated with comedy shows about Shakespeare, the Reduced Shakespeare Company continue to reign supreme as the undisputed masters at reimagining the Bard into hilarious entertainment... 

Shakespeare for Breakfast

Shakespeare for Breakfast

What Edinburgh Fringe would be complete without a trip to Shakespeare for Breakfast? Now in its 25th year at the festival, the group have not lost their touch. Alongside their characteristic croissants and coffee, this year they’re presenting a comic retelling of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with an abundance of jokes, puns and gags to regale the audience... 

Bad Shakespeare

Bad Shakespeare

Something of a misnomer, Bad Shakespeare does not reflect the quality of the acting or of the performance. Instead, it explores and illustrates different aspects of the playwright’s villains from a number of plays and a variety of angles, showcasing the critical and performative talent of the group from the BFA Acting company at Oklahoma City University, under the direction of D... 

The Shakespeare Club

The Shakespeare Club

In the programme, The Shakespeare Club promises to be a somewhat cheesy, yet harmless play about finding oneself through Shakespeare’s characters. Instead, it’s a poorly-cooked mess of ideas... 

Showstopper! The Improvised Musical

Showstopper! The Improvised Musical

Showstoppers! have a strong reputation preceding them, made evident by the number of people in the packed auditorium murmuring excitedly before the lights go down. The atmosphere is similar to that of the West End of London, which makes sense, considering during their time there they won an Olivier Award... 

Shakespeare on Love

Shakespeare on Love

Shakespeare on Love offers a heartwarming performance given by a group of Milwaukee high school students: the brainchild of their two English teachers. To call it a play, as the programme chooses to, is perhaps a misnomer: the show is a variety performance that showcases the students’ Shakespearean scene work and musical aptitude, all under the blanket theme of ‘Love’, which is interpreted broadly and occasionally somewhat indirectly... 

Frankenstein

Frankenstein

As one of the most commonly adapted works in the English canon, Frankenstein often leaves one unmoved when he or she leaves the auditorium. However, this version of the tale brings both the monster and his maker to life in a way not seen before, maintaining the integrity and passion of the book whilst bringing something new and engaging to the table... 

Shakespeare Syndrome

Shakespeare Syndrome

In Shakespeare Syndrome, brought to Edinburgh by the talented Mermaidsgroup from the University of St. Andrews, some of Shakespeare’s most beloved and complex characters find themselves in psychiatrist Dr... 

Vivaldi for Breakfast!

Vivaldi for Breakfast!

Vivaldi for Breakfast is an interesting attempt to dramatise the enigmatic life of notorious Baroque composer, Antonio Vivaldi, as he worked in the famous Pietà orphanage for young girls in Venice...