Reviews & features: Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: 5 sex-themed theatre shows

29 Jul 2014

Featuring 50 Shades: The Musical, Oleanna, Naked in Alaska and Deep Throat Live

50 Shades: The Musical! Determinedly a parody of the publishing sensation, the BDSM best-seller gets the musical theatre treatment, via an overly interactive book club. Assembly Hall, 623 3030, 31 Jul–25 Aug (not 13), 10.30pm, £10–£15.

This is Brasil - The Show set for 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

29 Jul 2014

Music, dance, film and football in an exuberant production celebrating the spirit of carnival

The World Cup may have dampened the spirits of Brazil’s residents, but as audiences will witness this August, triumphing over adversity is in the country’s DNA. Led by Brazilian singing sensation, Magary Lord, This is Brasil – The Show brings…

Dance show Missing set for series of performances in 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

29 Jul 2014

Poignant duet about lives left in limbo by Dublin-based CoisCéim Dance Theatre

An average of 8000 people are reported missing in Ireland every year. While the majority are found, those who remain untraced leave behind a sea of heartbreak and unanswered questions. Dublin-based CoisCéim Dance Theatre is known for its engaging…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: 13 Sunken Years explores family ties in an isolated rural setting

29 Jul 2014

The drama is a collaboration between Finnish National Theatre, Stellar Quines and Lung Ha

Fifteen years after moving to Scotland, Finnish-born director Maria Oller is bringing a piece of work from her native land to the Scottish stage. A co-production between Finnish National Theatre, Stellar Quines and Lung Ha, 13 Sunken Years is set in an…

Award-winning dance show Athletes set for 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

29 Jul 2014

Unconventionally beautiful choreography by Riccardo Buscarini to great Hitchcock score

This beautiful, unconventional trio by Riccardo Buscarini won the 2013 Place Prize, a London-based gong sometimes described as the UK dance equivalent of the Turner Prize. It’s a strange, striking work featuring females encased in tight, white…

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Cross-disciplinary show Malasombra set for series of performances in 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

29 Jul 2014

Dark fable from Spanish company has toured host of countries including Brazil, Iran and Iraq

Cross-disciplinary shows may be standard Fringe fare these days, but few pieces can boast the line-up of Malasombra, which combines theatre, dance, video art, cartoon-techniques, shadow effects and heavy metal to tell a dark, fable-esque tale. ‘I…

Fusion dance show Tabularasa set for 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

29 Jul 2014

Young Birmingham dance-maker thinks outside the box using Angolan kizomba dance in innovative way

A sensual, athletic mix of African and contemporary dance, this 40-minute performance from Keneish Dance springs from choreographer Keisha Grant’s interest in how people function and connect to others. ‘Relationships, work and pleasure motivated it. But…

Italian dance duo to perform Maria Addolorata piece at 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

29 Jul 2014

A moving exploration of the universality of human suffering through dance

It’s an old cliché that artists have to suffer for their discipline. But Italian dancers Chiara Taviani and Carlo Massari are pushing this notion further than most, in a show that aims to investigate the experience of human suffering. ‘We find it…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: South African theatre shows

28 Jul 2014

Featuring David Mamet's Race, Mbongeni Ngema's The Zulu and Magadi: The Bride Price

'It's great to be able to present a range of work from this very vibrant country,' says William Burdett-Coutts, artistic director of Assembly Festival, who are presenting their third South African season. 'There is a range of talented theatre people…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: three Scottish theatre productions

28 Jul 2014

Homegrown Fringe theatre highlights include MacBheatha and referendum satire Spoiling

Scotland Befitting a nation deciding its future shape, Scottish theatre is thriving, as evinced by the diversity on offer at this year's Edinburgh Festivals. Whether provocative, crowd-pleasing or challenging, there are grand, universal themes being…

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Edinburgh Festivals 2014: three stage productions from New Zealand

28 Jul 2014

Highlights include Arthur Meek’s On the Upside Down of the World and Lemi Ponifasio's I AM

In the popular view of the northern hemisphere – and indeed, much of the country’s neighbours – New Zealand is a remote idyll populated by hobbits and sheep where not very much ever happens. Yet history tells us that a country so young is unlikely to be…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: top 5 thought-provoking shows

28 Jul 2014

Five theatre productions tackling sensitive issues, including far right politics and sex trafficking

Blood Orange A frank exploration of the alarming rise of the new far right in modern Scotland. When his father’s business fails, a young man blames local Asian market sellers, forcing him to violently confront issues of race, religion, faith and…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: CineFringe presents 'possibly the world’s first literal “pop-up” cinema’

28 Jul 2014

The short film mini-fest also features the talents of Susan Calman, Josie Long and Superfan

Now into its fifth year, small-scale short film festival CineFringe doesn’t exactly look set to fill the sizeable gap left in August by the rescheduling of the Edinburgh International Film Festival to June. Yet the fact it exists at all adds a welcome…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: 5 autobiographical theatre shows

28 Jul 2014

Shows tackling abuse, emigration, feminism and high school from a personal perspective

Jamaica Farewell Debra Ehrhardt escaped Jamaica for America, using the romantic aspirations of a CIA agent: a witty thriller from an experienced storyteller and directed by Joel Zwick who happened to direct the highest grossing romantic comedy ever, My…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: Andrew Maxwell takes on the Scottish Independence referendum

28 Jul 2014

'Nationalism is folly, it always ends in violence... Borders and flags are just false nonsense'

The comic with arguably the Fringe’s ‘most quintessential Edinburgh name’ is grasping the thistle of Scottish independence, with his show title, Hubble Bubble, a misquote from Shakespeare’s Scots play, adding ‘an extra layer of bullshit’ that Andrew…

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Unsung Hero: a behind-the-scenes look at the people who make the Edinburgh Festivals happen

25 Jul 2014

This week, The Stand's Kenny O'Brien: 'My wife’s birthday is in August, apparently'

What’s your job title? Tough one: I’m area manager for the Stand Comedy Clubs and a director of Salt’n’Sauce. Tommy Sheppard (Big Boss) has taken to introducing me as ‘Operations Manager’. Not sure why or what that might mean. I work for the…

Opinion: Comedians at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 - please actually write a show

25 Jul 2014

Being funny is more about sheer hard work than self-indulgence

There are hundreds of shows at the Fringe. Statistically they cannot all be brilliant. And that’s ok. Seeing, or indeed being in, a proper turkey is a rite of passage in Edinburgh. That look you give your friend that says, ‘I think we’re close enough to…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: Miles Allen delivers his One Man Breaking Bad

25 Jul 2014

'I’m glad I get to be a part of that experience: you can come up and say “bitch” at me all you want'

Miles Allen is doing all the voices and I’m wondering how I’m going to write it down. ‘Yo, it’s kinda my thing, bitch,’ he says, with the back-of-the-throat stoner growl of Aaron Paul’s Jesse Pinkman. Then he switches: ‘One of the characters I didn’t…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: Ivo Graham discusses Bow Ties and Johnnies

25 Jul 2014

The Old Etonian tackles his public schooling and having 'a genuine relationship with issues'

Show titles Ivo Graham has reluctantly rejected include Privately Educated, Sexually Active and the brilliant Eton Mess. His debut, Binoculars, traced the 23-year-old’s distinct lack of success with girls and was, according to his father, his ‘one…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: comedian Katherine Ryan considers the choice we make

25 Jul 2014

'In the UK, you actually have a choice to put your tits away. And, well, maybe you should’

Katherine Ryan has come a long way since making her Fringe debut in 2011. Having made a name for herself with 20-minute sets packed with song parodies and frank material about her own life and the celebrity landscape she viewed all around her, Ryan…

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My Edinburgh: comedian Simon Munnery gives us his guide to the capital during the Fringe 2014

25 Jul 2014

My first Edinburgh Festival experience was … Losing my cherry up Arthur’s Seat. Every year I go back to look for it. Edinburgh’s unique selling point is … It’s very handy for the M8. I am likely to be found … Because I am terrible at hiding.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: 5 shows about death

25 Jul 2014

Featuring Jim Davidson’s Funeral, Tony Law, Lost Voice Guy and Robin & Partridge

Jim Davidson’s Funeral Having faked a fight to get publicity last year, Ellis & Rose walked off with the Malcolm Hardee Award for their spirited endeavours. This year, they’re dancing on the Fringe’s grave by hosting a night of various japes in a…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: 5 hotly-tipped sketch comedy debuts

25 Jul 2014

Featuring Aunty Donna, Gein's Family Giftshop, Massive Dad and zazU

Aunty Donna. Not, in fact, a polite family lady, but a trio of quite-rude, variably hairy Aussie chaps called Broden, Zachary and Mark. That nation’s Herald Sun said they produced ‘uproarious, high-octane comedy’. Gilded Balloon Teviot, 622 6552, 1–25…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: Alan Davies sees the importance of Little Victories

25 Jul 2014

The comedian and QI regular's second comeback show is a reflection on childhood

Alan Davies recently announced that his forthcoming Edinburgh gigs will contain no material whatsoever on the independence referendum. Unless people want to have a show of hands, that is. Given the right royal stooshie that occurred when he previously…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: bon vivant and raconteur Tom Allen

25 Jul 2014

'It's about being happy with yourself. And not holding back. And wearing bigger hats'

Erudite raconteur Tom Allen comes to Edinburgh fresh from supporting Sarah Millican on tour. ‘It’s an interesting experience to step out in front of 2000 people who haven’t come to see you and to convince them that you’re worth watching,’ says the…