Thor and Loki

Thor and Loki

Thor and Loki is a wildly silly parody adaptation of the Ragnarok myth that is heaps of fun – even if it does go on a bit. If you came here for Marvel-style men with rippling muscles and male power fantasies you will be disappointed – unless you are into older gentleman then you have Odin, dressed in boxing gear... 

Quines

Quines

When joining Gerda Stevenson for a performance of extracts from her poetry book Quines, you might be expecting an afternoon of her simply reading her excellent poetry. In fact, Stevenson weaves together singing, music, history, guest-performance and poetry together into a stellar show... 

Grace

Grace

Katie Reddin-Clancy’s solo show has the potential to be fantastic – with a delicious, sharply observed script that is slickly performed. It is a show that appropriately evades simple labels, a mix of character comedy, cabaret, variety, new writing, monologues, solo-show and theatre, all wrapped into one... 

Status

Status

Chris Thorpe's solo show for this year is about grappling with national identity as a white british man. It uses a mix of storytelling music, song, wonderful visuals and projection, to tell us the story of struggling with your national identity when your nation does something you fundamentally disagree with... 

A Life on the Silk Road

A Life on the Silk Road

The National Theatre of China have brought their visually stunning production of Life On The Silk Road to Zoo Southside. It is a physical theatre feast, beautifully performed with mesmerising choreography and it is worth making the time for its slightly longer run time of 80 minutes... 

She-Wolves

She-Wolves

Laura Careless’ solo show, inspired by the book and BBC series of the same name by Helen Castor, is an intricate, forceful and nuanced production examining the life of five different pre-Elizabethan English queens... 

Sirens

Sirens

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if figures from Greek myth were around today? Well, Zoo Co Theatre Company have got you covered. In Sirens, three of the half-bird, half-woman creatures are transplanted to modern day Hastings... 

Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens

Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens

Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens is the plastic-and-glitter-wearing spiritual sister of shows such as The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Durham University Light Opera Group (DULOG) are the team behind this year's version of the classic Fringe musical: although they have brought buckets of enthusiasm to the loopy space opera, sadly overall the show feels unfocused, under-rehearsed and underwhelming... 

Orpheus

Orpheus

Alexander Wright, our poet for the evening, tells us that this piece was written in The Meadows – the park not very far from Summerhall where they are performing now. Both the barefoot boys, Wright, with his long hair and hat, and Phil Granger with his patchwork harem pants and acoustic guitar, look like they could have been freshly plucked from the locals regularly seen strewn across the grass... 

Flight

Flight

Darkfield – creators of last years Séance – have brought their shipping container back to Summerhall for their latest aeronautically themed immersive audio performance, Flight... 

Valerie

Valerie

Through the thick haze and wash lights, the three piece band of performers that make up Valerie can just be seen, shimmering like figures from the past. Clocking the guitars and drums, you can tell, this is going to get loud... 

Duckie

Duckie

Le Gateau Chocolat has brought his background in drag to this kids show, which is a solo act loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen's The Ugly Duckling. We follow along a duckling called Duckie, as they find their voice, literally... 

Yen

Yen

Gritty Theatre is living up to its name with their current performance of Anna Jordan’s Yen. If you want a dark play that weaves classic tragic love stories with modern themes – Yen is the perfect piece to choose to bring to life... 

A Different Way Home

A Different Way Home

In A Different Way Home we hear from two estranged members of the same family as they share their sides of a complex family story with us – chiefly how they manage grief after loss of a family member... 

The Staff Room

The Staff Room

It is really reassuring to see an honest piece about the hard work of being a teacher, whilst also avoiding a bland generic sanctifying of all teachers. The Staff Room, takes us behind closed doors where the kids can’t hear us, and shows a slither of the day to day life of teaching... 

The Sandman

The Sandman

This Victoriana adaptation of a gothic adaptation of a children’s fairy tale figure is not exactly breaking new ground. It could have come from any number of the white-shirt and braces wearing wacky student troupes here at Fringe... 

The Emily Triptych

The Emily Triptych

Emily Dickinson is flitting about the meeting room in the Quaker Meeting House. A beautiful room, with views spreading out from the huge windows, down Victoria street to Grassmarket and across to the National Library of Scotland on George IV Bridge... 

Anathema

Anathema

Anathema is a promising first piece of work from Bearded Dog Theatre, starting strong with difficult topics not often discussed on stage – specifically the issue of male rape. The show focuses on the horror, fear and fury that develops in response to rape: showing examples of when the subsequent emotional wounds and request for support, comes up against the dismissiveness and disbelief of the wider society... 

I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change

I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change

I Love you, You’re Perfect, Now Change is earnestly performed by a youthful and small cast – the reason for scraping the second star – but the uninspired script and the overall piece really struggles to succeed... 

Red Button

Red Button

Red Button is a quirky and peculiar piece of science fiction theatre that doesn’t quite find its feet. As it is sadly let down by a messy and ambiguous script.On a floating city above the war-torn land below where the mutants roam, Help Corporation is here for you providing you with drugs, running your radio stations, providing your daily doses of propaganda and giving out buttons that destroy the world out to couples they like... 

The Lulu Show: Life on the Never-Never

The Lulu Show: Life on the Never-Never

The Lulu Show: Life on the Never-Never is exactly what you want from a cabaret. Hilde Louside’s sly and sexy piece examines the financial crisis – via burlesque, jazz and sharp humour... 

Our Carnal Hearts

Our Carnal Hearts

Our Carnal Hearts is a wicked and totally absorbing cathartic purging experience, exalting the darker shades of humanity that dwell within us all. Particularly focusing on seething green-eyed envy and our burning desire for distraction... 

Trumpageddon

Trumpageddon

Trumpageddon has a strong premise – a facile Q and A with the man of the hour. It is enjoyable enough but occasionally struggles to be larger than life, particularly when the source material is himself so overblown... 

Pre-View

Pre-View

Traverse Theatre is currently hosting rehearsed readings of pieces from graduates at the University of Edinburgh’s Playwriting Masters course. The work of the emerging writers is performed and directed by professional directors and actors bringing the scripts to life – excellently... 

The Intimate Strangers: Mister Bond

The Intimate Strangers: Mister Bond

The Intimate Strangers: Mister Bond is one of those shows made up from two guys (most of the time), a collection of wigs, cloaks, scarves and, guns that are mixed together with a whole host of seemingly normal scenarios that rapidly get wildly out of hand... 

Avalon

Avalon

This is an insight into a piece of work in its infancy, and it does have a long way to go before it stands on its own two feet. This staged read though of Avalon is littered with clumsy tropes, a lack of consistency in its world building, and an ambiguity in what it is trying to achieve... 

Robin’s Hood

Robin’s Hood

C Theatre's production of Robin’s Hood is a silly pantomime style show featuring the classic characters. The show is earnestly, if not skilfully, performed with fun fight scenes, but even for a children's show, the plot is on the wildly convoluted side... 

Mavis Sparkle

Mavis Sparkle

There is more to Mavis Sparkle than meets the eye. The simple-seeming cleaner on her last day chats happily away as she finishes up her dusting, trying to decide where to go next. Mavis travels the country with her trolley of tricks, moving from one job to another and sprinkling glitter from her fingers, whilst accompanied by a bedazzled cuckoo clock and a shy but incredibly endearing hedgehog called Spike... 

Robin Hood

Robin Hood

This slick performance of Robin Hood by Manhattan Children’s Theatre (Edinburgh) will leave you laughing, humming the songs, and with a strange desire to shout ‘Hail King Richard... 

Brave Macbeth

Brave Macbeth

If you feel sceptical about the idea of Macbeth as a comedy for children, let me put your mind at rest. Startlingly, Brave Macbeth is a gleefully funny production – particularly all of the bits you might assume to be too dark... 

Joan

Joan

An unashamedly silly retelling of the story of behind St. Joan of Arc. Once it gets started it successfully combines subversive fun and poetic spirituality. The story follows Joan throughout her life, from early encounters with Saint Catherine as the Saint guided Joan and her journey from home after witnessing the death of her mother during an English raid... 

Bang! To the Heart

Bang! To the Heart

I you are looking for a bombastically visual hip hop dance show, and you don’t mind a nonsensical and cliché plot, this is the show for you.In a futuristic dystopia – looking like a vertical oil rig crossed with a shanty town, on the projection, and looking like a concrete jungle according to the set – two gangs, the Angels and the Zombies battle, for unclear reasons, then join together members mixing forming the Brothers, causing a love triangle plot to form... 

Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary

Timelines blur as Queen Mary Tudor stands reading the Financial Times in this capable performance that draws parallels between the purging reign of Bloody Mary and the policies of the Conservative party... 

God's Anointed

God's Anointed

Grace and Laurie are two friends who decide to become prophets, in order to disprove the dying words of their friend, Eve, who recently committed suicide. Reading Eve’s suicide note changes their world views entirely, in an attempt to dislodge the perceived haunting presence of Eve, they decide to attempt to disprove Eve’s belief that there is a God, and he makes people evil... 

Dreamcatcher

Dreamcatcher

This is a show that had so much potential in its material and utilised none of it. Most of the piece takes place inside the dreams of an amnesiac. The scenes of stilted dialogue performed very woodenly are broken up by short sections of lovely dance... 

Reefer Madness

Reefer Madness

Reefer Madness is an adaptation of a PSA film from 1936 of the same name – famous for being embarrassingly awful – that warned parents of the dangers of marijuana. It feels weird in this day and age, now the position of weed has moved from the “leafy green assassin” to a drug that is slowly being legalised... 

Beyond Price

Beyond Price

This is a wonderfully complex piece; part intertwining story, part vocalised ruminations of Jack Klaff, a Fringe veteran who gives a stunning performance. The production claims to be a collection of highlights taken from shows that could not make it to Summerhall this year... 

Immortal

Immortal

A splendidly constructed World War Two piece, that struggles to be heard.A group of American and British airmen are shot down behind enemy lines, one member of their crew is badly injured, so they take refuge in an empty school... 

I Used to Hear Footsteps

I Used to Hear Footsteps

A documentary style piece of storytelling which merges fact and fiction, past and present in an interesting tale, that sadly fails to curdle the blood.Jack Britton, our solo performer dressed in a lecturer’s jacket ripe for getting covered in chalk from that promising blackboard presents evidence for the presence of one or more ghosts in the house he grew up in... 

The Snow Child

The Snow Child

A short and well-formed chamber opera, which shows lots of potential, but needs to pick up on the details. This is an adaptation of The Snow Child by Angela Carter that stays very true to the original... 

Skrimshanks

Skrimshanks

“We have a reviewer in tonight” crows a tall, stunning, grotesquely padded and malformed white-painted clown. The audience and I laugh, but I skim the rest of the crowd looking for a sign on a fellow reviewer, trying not to look to guilty... 

Holmes & Watson: The Farewell Tour

Holmes & Watson: The Farewell Tour

Sherlock Holmes meets a theatrical farce in this intelligently written double act that sparkles like the Blue Carbuncle.The Farewell Tour introduces us to Holmes and Watson’s last joint adventure before Holmes retires to Sussex... 

Hurricane Michael

Hurricane Michael

Hurricane Michael is the kind of production I come to Fringe to see: a very specific, niche show, seemingly outside of my interests, that is found to be a surprisingly charming hour of entertainment... 

Journeys

Journeys

A Spaniard, a Frenchman, an Englishwoman and an Italian get on a train and treat us to a series of energetic and amusing clowning sketches that weave together the stories of the individuals as they travel on a very important journey... 

Finders Keepers

Finders Keepers

Hot Coals Theatre have put together a slick physical comedy, full of beat-perfect gags leaving you laughing out loud at the flick of an eyebrow, whilst some of the more grotesque may make you gag... 

As Yet Undecided

As Yet Undecided

As Yet Undecided is an intriguing piece of ‘nonfiction’ with a cast of characters including Doubt, Time and Procrastination. Join Jessica Walker, our abandoned solo performer, in this experimental, work-in-progress piece... 

Early Grave, Fashionably Late

Early Grave, Fashionably Late

Come and join Mr Cooper Sullivan as he tells the tale of how he became embroiled in a murder which takes him on a wild adventure that will have you giggling the whole way though. In this solo-performance Samuel Carroll recreates assassination attempts, cock-fighting, chases through the streets of Dublin onstage and plays a wide range of characters from seedy gamblers to the Queen of England (no not that one)... 

Beauty Of The Beast

Beauty Of The Beast

A slow burn performance, which builds to a surprisingly hard hitting climax, using a dance and self-aware comedy.Beauty of the Beast explores the complexities of male relationships; friendships, pack dynamics and teamwork, looking at the camaraderie, vulnerability and hostility produced by these interactions – an unlikely inspiration for a dance piece but made all the more interesting because of it... 

Tall Women in Clogs

Tall Women in Clogs

A surprisingly funny show made up of a series of bizarre vignettes including film, speeches, dance (there is some dancing in clogs, but nowhere near as you expect from the title), singing and shortbread all strung together into an amusing performance illustrating life as a modern woman – particularly a tall woman... 

Paradise Lost (lies unopened beside me)

Paradise Lost (lies unopened beside me)

I have never before been moved from laughing to tears pouring down my face – in the space of one sentence – until I saw this piece. This is a phenomenal show that draws a huge amount of pathos out of a dusty text... 

Dawns Ysbrydion / Ghost Dance

Dawns Ysbrydion / Ghost Dance

Ghost Dance, or Dawns Ysbrydion as is the Welsh title, uses three female dancers to explore the parallels between the displacement of Native Americans and the Ghost Dance of 1890 – a religious movement that became incorporated into multiple Native American belief systems – and the destruction of a Welsh village in order to allow the construction of the Tryweryn reservoir... 

Father Christmas Needs a Wee!

Father Christmas Needs a Wee!

An entertaining pantomime-esque show that is great fun for both adults and children. The show is based on a book of the same name by Nicholas Allan, designed to help children learn to count... 

Let England Shake

Let England Shake

Let England Shake is a dark and funny performance full of good ideas and performed by a great all-female ensemble. However, the show needs some more thought to make the separate stories sit together as a coherent whole... 

Flight

Flight

Flight is an incredibly impressive example of acrobatic theatre, if not a particularly interesting take on the story of The Little PrinceThe storyline follows the original as closely as you can without infringing on rights... 

Titania – A Solo Cabaret

Titania – A Solo Cabaret

A really specific, niche or academic inspiration for a show, adapted in a completely unexpected style that still absolutely suits the material with high levels of audience interaction for the brave among you... 

The Wendy House Trilogy: Edmund

The Wendy House Trilogy: Edmund

This is a show I really wanted to enjoy; each part of the production tries very hard to achieve an ambitious vision, but don’t quite make it.Despite marketing itself as a homage to Lewis Carrol, Edmund contains no reference to the story of Edmund from The Chronicles of Narnia – the closest it comes to this is when this show’s protagonist looks in a wardrobe and puts on a fur coat, flirting with the character of ‘Lucy’ (his sister in the Narnia books), in a situation which is surprisingly unaware of its incest... 

The Hobbit

The Hobbit

The American High School Theatre Festival brings a sliver of Tolkien’s Middle Earth to an Edinburgh stage in their very ambitious fantasy adaptation of The Hobbit, performed using huge quantities of inventiveness and fabric... 

Distinguished Gentlemen (But Really Just a Couple of ***ts)

Distinguished Gentlemen (But Really Just a Couple of ***ts)

This is a lewd, ridiculous and over the top show that will leave you stunned and cackling.It involves adultery, blackmail, and buggery, and is set in Georgian era England. Two distinguished gentlemen of the landed gentry fall for the same mystiques of an unattached young man, and proceed to court him in an extremely un-gentlemanly manner... 

Brush

Brush

This is a sweet and imaginative show that really draws you into the story that the delightful characters wish to tell.The show follows a family – Grandma, Mother, Father and Son- where the Son wants to have a brother to play with, so his Grandma tells him a story about the temple which he should visit in order to get a brother... 

This Much (or An Act of Violence Towards the Institution of Marriage)

This Much (or An Act of Violence Towards the Institution of Marriage)

This Much (or An Act of Violence Towards the Institution of Marriage), despite its lengthy title, is a fast-paced, intense and powerful piece of new writing, filled with intriguing characters... 

Correction

Correction

This is a mesmerising, funny and well-crafted example of modern choreography, which explores what you can achieve when you are put under restrictions.The dancers are unable to move their feet; they are tied into one spot on the stage, and placed in a line... 

To She or Not to She

To She or Not to She

A slow-burn comic piece of theatre about theatre, To She or Not to She will have you chuckling all the way though, and absorbing the deeply felt feminist message without notice.This solo show is an autobiographical account of one woman’s journey following her passion of Shakespeare and acting, from school plays, through drama school and into the theatre industry... 

The Periodic Fable

The Periodic Fable

Science and panto combine in this energetic family romp that means well, but ultimately fails to stick together as a whole.Two Glaswegian scientists, Dr Karen, also known as Big Pal, and Dr Erin, who has some amusing anger-management issues, are two scientists with spectacular lab coats, who are preparing for the big science conference... 

Wilde Without the Boy

Wilde Without the Boy

This is a haunting and powerful solo show that lingers with you long after leaving the theatre, sticking closely to Oscar Wilde’s signature style: simultaneously intellectual and accessible... 

Fourth Monkey's Grimm Tales: The Bloody Countess

Fourth Monkey's Grimm Tales: The Bloody Countess

Fourth Monkey are back with another stellar ensemble piece, providing late night gothic horror - even more frightening, as it is based on a real-life horror story.Countess Ezesbet Bathory was a Hungarian aristocrat who was the most prolific female serial killer in history... 

A Midsummer Night's Dream

A Midsummer Night's Dream

A solid and entertaining piece of Shakespeare that’s well handled by its young cast. In Flying High Theatre’s rendition of this classic comedy, the plot of the show is very quickly established: an exiled pair of lovers, Lysander and Hermia, attempt to escape the city, followed by a jilted suitor, Demetrius, and the friend of Hermia who also has an unhealthy love for Demetrius, Helena... 

A Very British Childhood

A Very British Childhood

We are invited into the supposedly idyllic lives of an average suburban family, where absolutely nothing is amiss. Honestly.However, as the endless summer sun beats down on them, the façade of being a perfect family begins to crack... 

Splitfoot

Splitfoot

Splitfoot by Piper Theatre tells the tale of the Fox sisters “Devil Daughters” who, in post-civil war New York, convinced the public that they could communicate with the dead. They became the founders of the Spiritualism movement and then publicly denounced it... 

Rent

Rent

A solid production of Rent that will entertain you for an evening but won’t remain with you.Young bohemians are struggling to pay the rent in AIDS-ridden 90s New York as characters collide on one Christmas Eve... 

Jekyll

Jekyll

Hypnotist Theatre have a story they wish to yell at you, loudly, while writhing in semi-darkness so we cannot actually see whose story it is. While this creates powerful moments, it loses its oomph after the third or fourth time, and the show as a whole fails to sustain its power... 

To Kill a Machine

To Kill a Machine

Performed by a superb cast, this is a painful and tragic exploration of Alan Turing’s life and the many attempts to break him as a person. The piece explores less of Turing's codebreaking successes of World War Two, focusing instead on his much more pioneering work in computer science, like weather machines that can think... 

Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park

The Park family screening of Jurassic Park goes awry due to a missing video tape. Not to fear, the three family members produce a rip-roaring, energetic recreation of the movie. Including all the iconic characters and beloved moments, with none of the budget and twice the innovation of the original... 

Dyspraxia and Politics: The Two Sides to Don Biswas

Dyspraxia and Politics: The Two Sides to Don Biswas

Learning difficulties, the truth in conspiracy theories and politics are the topics of a brave stand up. Don Biswas is indeed brave, he is a cool presence onstage casually looking back into the audience as he cracks his jokes, and whilst his patter is agreeable and interesting, the jokes are more miss than hit... 

Damsels in Success: Fairytales Retold

Damsels in Success: Fairytales Retold

Mum and Dad are out and it is time for a bedtime story with a twist. We are invited into a gorgeously decorated storytelling cove and, when we are all sitting comfortably on the scattered cushions, the stories begin... 

Butoh Beethoven

Butoh Beethoven

In a piece that is at times frightening, at times energising and constantly absorbing, solo-performer Vangeline is our white-collared conductor, guiding us through a piece which abstractly explores the work and legacy of Beethoven and Tatsumi Hijikata, the founder of butoh...