Lords of Strut: Chaos

Lords of Strut: Chaos

If you were the kind of kid that rocked out in your room with hairbrush in hand (or if you do it to this day), you'll like Lords of Strut: Chaos. Likewise, if you're a sucker for bright lights and shiny things, these boys will be your jam... 

Will Seaward's Spooky Midnight Ghost Stories!

Will Seaward's Spooky Midnight Ghost Stories!

On a dark and stormy night at the Fringe, Will Seaward's Spooky Midnight Ghost Stories will warm your cockles rather than chill you to the bone.Seaward himself is spellbinding and instantly endearing: Booming and bombastic, he bounds about like the lovechild of Brian Blessed and Jonathan Creek, all velvet, vocals and mad, mad hair... 

John Robertson: The Dark Room

John Robertson: The Dark Room

Returning to the Fringe for the third year running, this text adventure game-gone-big seems to have more lives than it gives its players. Compered by a spectral head that glides through the gloom (or rather, by John Robertson with a maglite and an X-Box controller strapped to his chest), the show sees the audience become adventurers as they "awake to find themselves in a dark room": volunteers must locate the light switch by puzzling through screen upon screen of riddlesome predicaments... 

Knightmare Live - Level 2

Knightmare Live - Level 2

For fans of the original kids' show, Knightmare Live - Level 2 is a dream come true. For novice adventurers it's pretty great too: Even if you don't know your Sword of Justice from your Shield of Liberty, this is a rollocking ride through swords, sorcery and spelling challenges... 

Bulletproof

Bulletproof

"What happens when you think you’re being hilarious and other people just think you are causing anarchy?" Despite beginning with a gripping premise about censors, sensitivity and shows in Pakistan, Shazia Mirza's show doesn't leave me any more enlightened on the issues she poses... 

Thünderbards: Seconds

Thünderbards: Seconds

With a show based around time travel, Thunderbards make a whole hour zip merrily by. What is most impressive about sketch comedy duo Glen Moore and Matt Stevens is the sheer pace of their humour: The utter number of jokes, dropped non-stop, almost make one wonder whether their uber-watches really can warp time to their whim... 

Beth Vyse: Get Up With Hands!

Beth Vyse: Get Up With Hands!

Hands down, Get Up With Hands! is the funniest thing I've seen at the Fringe this year. Staunchly in the vein of funnywoman Karen Taylor's Valerie D'Enton, Vyse's show tells the tale of Olive Hands - a kind of leopard print-clad Corrie-kitsch Cruella de Vil - and her mad scramble to save her ITV9 daytime telly show... 

FanFiction Comedy

FanFiction Comedy

Big-time book nerd Lev Grossman once told Time magazine that "fan fiction is what literature might look like if it were reinvented from scratch after a nuclear apocalypse by a band of brilliant pop-culture junkies trapped in a sealed bunker... 

Lee Griffiths: Post Traumatic Sketch Disorder

Lee Griffiths: Post Traumatic Sketch Disorder

Lee Griffiths: Post-Traumatic Sketch Disorder lays out the comic’s psyche by following Freud (just about) through funny family hang-ups by way of kid's books, cock lengths and cream-spattered cowgirls... 

Sparks

Sparks

It is either apt or ironic that a show whose set recreates a building site feels a little messy. A one-hander telling the tale of a day in the life of Jerry the electrician, Sparks attempts to shed light on “the loss of sense of identity in the face of economic collapse and how unreliable our personal narrative can be... 

Darius Davies' HBÖ Special Uncensored

Darius Davies' HBÖ Special Uncensored

Davies is a dynamo and a wonder to behold on stage. As he rails on “the rules of life,” his delivery is akin to a performance poet’s; rhythm, pitch and pause feel studied in every word, and Davies repeats and repeats his subject like an old-school orator... 

The Full Bronte! Literary Cabaret

The Full Bronte! Literary Cabaret

“Faster than pen can set it down, came panic, rushing, crushing—a blind, selfish, cruel chaos.” So wrote Charlotte Brontë about the fire that engulfs a theatre in her novel, Villette... 

A Career in Theatre Management

A Career in Theatre Management

To present such a talk upon the ins and outs of theatre at its bare business-driven bones is both innovative and opportune during the fracas of the Fringe, when an attentive audience is sure to be had... 

CineFringe Film Festival 2013

CineFringe Film Festival 2013

CineFringe is a small affair, yet its efforts to fly the filmic flag at the Fringe are admirable. Following the shift of the Edinburgh International Film Festival from August to June in 2008, CineFringe stands alone among a sea of stagecraft... 

The Epicene Butcher and Other Stories for Consenting Adults

The Epicene Butcher and Other Stories for Consenting Adults

The art of kamishibai - a Japanese form of ‘paper play’ in which tales are told with illustrated slides drawn one by one through a central frame both physical and fictional - is one unlikely to find much representation at the Fringe and certainly unlikely to be better represented than it is by Jemma Kahn’s The Epicene Butcher and Other Stories for Consenting Adults... 

Foodies Festival

Foodies Festival

The Foodies Festival largely delivers what it promises: ‘Artisan producers’ - check; ‘Michelin-starred chefs cooking live’ - check; ‘the best in fine food and drink’ – probably about as close to the truth as can be given that this fine fare is peddled from the back of shacks out in the middle of the field... 

Coming into Fashion: A Century of Photography at Condé Nast

Coming into Fashion: A Century of Photography at Condé Nast

The title ‘Coming into Fashion’ proves incredibly appropriate for this exhibition. One of the key strengths of the collection lies in an excellent process of curation, by which individual snapshots of haute-couture clothing and avant-garde art direction are allowed to tell as much of a tale as any text... 

The Bob Blackman Appreciation Society Bonanza / Free Festival

The Bob Blackman Appreciation Society Bonanza / Free Festival

A mad mish-mash of absurdism and warped nostalgia, encountering the Bob Blackman Appreciation Society felt more akin to my psyche bleeding out into the back room of an old boozer than attending an hour of free fringe comedy: this is by no means a bad thing... 

Art of Alison Kinnaird - Luminesce

Art of Alison Kinnaird - Luminesce

Aptly for an exhibition of graphite and glasswork, Alison Kinnaird’s Luminesce is a gentle and delicate affair. Housed in the small spaces of Gallery 369 – sadly soon to become yet another office block – this exhibition pleasantly ponders upon the fragility and value of both human nature and the natural world... 

City of the Dead Haunted Graveyard Tour

City of the Dead Haunted Graveyard Tour

It could be deemed ironic that our group was thrice threatened with murder before our tour had kicked off. Unfortunately, potential humour was stopped stone dead by its conjunction with a rather peremptory warning of a three-strikes rule against chit chat; our host automatically generated a somewhat ill-boding atmosphere, but for all the wrong reasons... 

Get Conceptual

Get Conceptual

The concept of a conceptual art discussion, held in a faux-Victorian salon-style parlour is the epitome of metaphorical marmite: some people would love a chance to languidly wax lyrical upon art, the universe et al, et al, et al... 

The Hour

The Hour

Littered with pickled brains and collectible little curios, Hendrick’s Carnival of Knowledge feels as much an absinthe-addled emporium of wonders as it does a gin-slinging sales pitch... 

Uncle Henry's Happy Hour

Uncle Henry's Happy Hour

Claiming to have made millions with an 80s boomtime business in the corrugated iron industry (before subsequently nose-diving into bankruptcy), Uncle Henry is certainly rather rich in humour... 

Edinburgh: A Literary City

Edinburgh: A Literary City

It is difficult to discuss Allan Foster’s talk, Edinburgh: A Literary City, in division from its glorious venue: the ostentatiously oddball Hendrick’s Carnival of Knowledge. This oh-so-Boho salon - packed to the rafters with cocktails and curios - is a glorious little gem, tucked away within towering Newtown streets... 

Terror Tour

Terror Tour

The name Auld Reekie Tours, our intrepid tour guide informs us, is taken from an old affectionate nickname for Edinburgh herself; it refers to the stench and smoke of olden-day roads, running thick with muck and all things unspeakable... 

Nitekirk - Free

Nitekirk - Free

Setting up within the whitewashed walls of Greyfriars Church, Nitekirk is a gentle affair. This admirable project provides calm, care and community to those wayfarers wearied by the trials of the fringe through a number of interactive meditation stations... 

From Death to Death and Other Small Tales

From Death to Death and Other Small Tales

A few hours spent interrogating From Death to Death and Other Small Tales - the Scottish National Gallery’s brilliant new exhibition - feels as much like a psychic regression session as it does a cultural activity... 

Mary, Queen of Scots

Mary, Queen of Scots

In precisely the same manner as is the sumptuously propagandist portrait that opens it, this exhibition is one transparently motivated by an effort at pure populism. Whilst this is, of course, by no means a cause for criticism in itself, the quality of the Scottish National Gallery’s exhibition on Mary Queen of Scots was evidently disregarded in order to merely amass enough stuff to warrant a ticket-price... 

For the Trumpets Shall Sound

For the Trumpets Shall Sound

If Siegfried Sassoon had written Brideshead Revisited, the result would likely resemble Another Company’s original piece, For The Trumpets Shall Sound. Here, the now-near-pulpified trope of the familial love triangle is re-kitted in a military uniform, as the intra-trench love affair between fellow soldiers Jamie and Robert is endangered by the perils of war and the oppressive edicts of a bygone society...