This year's Fringe programme is bursting at the seams with colourful hi-jinks, scientific explosions and moving theatre for the whole family
Families are better catered for than ever at this year's Fringe, with everything from slapstick to serious theatre, game shows to comedy. Here are some of the shows we're most looking forward to seeing …
Balloonatics Scottish comedian Chris Henry may not be a master craftsman at balloon modelling, but he sure knows how to work a crowd and reel in the laughs. Read our glowing 4 star review from last year. Balloonatics, Underbelly, 2–14, 18–19. 25–26 Aug.
Beowulf Take Thou That (aka students from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School) always make a strong impression at the Fringe, most recently with The Ruff Guide to Shakespeare and Jason and the Argonauts. This year they're tackling this tale of Anglo-Saxon heroes, mixed with the troubles of a young girl living in present day. Underbelly, Bristo Square, 3–17 Aug.
Brainiac Live This live version of the popular TV show has been making an explosive mess in venues across the UK for the past 10 years, to great acclaim. Making its Fringe debut, prepare to see science brought to life in the most weird and wonderful ways. Underbelly, Bristo Square, 1–27 (not 13) Aug.
Charlie Baker presents the Greatest Goat of All Time Comedian Charlie Baker and Sam Battersea of CBBC's Class Dismissed arrive at the Fringe armed with songs, jokes and a shy plastic goat. We're expecting lots of silliness. Assembly George Square Gardens, 2–26 (not 21) Aug.
Chores Here's a show we can all identify with – drawing inspiration from Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, Australian duo Derek Llewellin and Julian Roberts play two boys who come up with countless ways to avoid tidying their room. Assembly George Square Gardens, 2–26 (not 13, 20) Aug.
Balloonatics Circa: Wolfgang One of the finest circus troupes to visit the Edinburgh Fringe each year, Australia's Circa brings something a bit different this time, and we can't wait to see it. This family show is packed with Circa's usual impressive acrobatics, but this time it's bringing the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to life. Underbelly's Circus Hub on the Meadows, 4–25 (not 8, 13, 20) Aug.
David Baddiel's AniMalcolm This new musical from Fringe favourites Story Pocket Theatre, takes David Baddiel's popular book about a boy who can't stand animals (until he turns into several of them) and turns it into an energetic musical comedy. Gilded Balloon Teviot, 1–19 (not 13) Aug.
Dick and Dom: Dick v Dom From Children's BBC to Dick and Dom in da Bungalow and Diddy Movies, Richard McCourt and Dominic Wood have made fools of themselves on the small screen for decades – and now they're here to do it in person, with this hour of interactive mayhem. Underbelly, Bristo Square, 1–12 Aug.
The Dragon and the Whales Modest Predicament, the talented Glasgow-based team behind last year's Erin, Errol and the Earth Creatures, return with this tale of a dragon who drops her egg in the ocean, told through puppetry, poetry, music and storytelling. Assembly Roxy, 2–27 (not 13, 20) Aug.
Four Go Wild in Wellies Indepen-dance 4, Scotland's only inclusive professional dance company, pitch their tents and pull on their bobble hats for this playful and funny look at friendship. Dance Base, 3–26 (6, 13, 20) Aug.
Dick and Dom: Dick v Dom The Gruffalo, the Witch and the Warthog with Julia Donaldson In 2015, children's author Julia Donaldson pulled in the Fringe crowds with her charming, funny and (courtesy of some lively young folk accompanying her) energetic re-telling of some of her most popular books. This time around, Room on the Broom, The Magic Paintbrush, The Gruffalo and new book, The Cook and the King are just some of the stories she'll unfold live on stage. Underbelly, George Square, 2–27 (not 15) Aug.
John Hegley: Morning Wordship In case you mis-read this show's title, and didn't see that cheeky extra 'd', this isn't a morning of prayer and song – it's a chance to spend a daft but hugely enjoyable hour with one of Britain's finest performance poets. Praise be. Pleasance Courtyard, 4–5, 9–12, 16–19 Aug.
Kaput This gorgeous slapstick show is no stranger to the Edinburgh Fringe, having been here before in 2012 in the 'Comedy' section. Happily, Tom Flanagan – a true master of silent clowning – realised how popular his show is with families and put it in the 'Children's Shows' section this time. Read our four-star review from when it was here the first time 'round. Assembly George Square Gardens, 2–26 (not 8, 15, 22) Aug.
The Showstoppers' Kids Show Seen this show before? It doesn't matter – it's never the same twice. The remarkably talented team behind Showstopper! The Improvised Musical prove they're just as good at making up songs and choreography on the spot, when inspired by the often bizarre suggestions shouted out by an audience of children. Pleasance Courtyard, 1–19 Aug.
Wilde Creatures Tall Stories, one of the UK's finest theatre companies for families, celebrates its 21st year at the Fringe with arguably its finest show to date. We gave Wilde Creatures a whopping five stars when it played London last Christmas, and can't wait to see this witty and moving re-working of Oscar Wilde's tales again. Pleasance Courtyard, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 24, 26 Aug.
Children's show with comedy, acrobatics, juggling and more, inspired by the slapstick of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. Two brothers play in their messy bedroom, but must quickly tidy up when they hear their mum approach.
Julia and Malcolm Donaldson
Following a sell-out season in 2015, the UK's best-selling author Julia Donaldson returns to Edinburgh with a brand-new show featuring Room on the Broom, The Magic Paintbrush, The Ugly Five, Superworm, The Gruffalo and newly released The Cook and the King. The cast of five, including husband…
Once upon a time, there was a little dragon who was born under the sea, and she grew up amongst the kind-hearted whales. But all dragons' feelings come from the fire in their hearts, and because the baby dragon is born underwater, her fire cannot burn. She is swept by ocean currents into the depths…
Underbelly, Dan Colman Creative Ltd and Incidental Colman
Strap on your safety goggles. Due to popular demand, science's greatest and most volatile live show arrives with a vengeance. The West End and international touring favourite celebrates its 10th anniversary year with its first appearance at the Edinburgh…
Brett Vincent for Get Comedy
Are you ready?! The multi BAFTA-winning legends Dick and Dom are coming to Edinburgh for the first time in 2018. They are bringing their fast-selling, insane UK tour to the Fringe for a comedy experience that the whole family will never forget. The audience is split in half and you lot in…
Koral Chandler Presents
The hilarious multi award-winning hit show for young and old returns to Edinburgh! Starring the larger-than-life, elegant buffoon Tom Flanagan, Kaput is slapstick and silent clowning at its absolute finest. Watch the hapless romantic projectionist take one step forward and two steps back in this…
Take Thou That
He's the bravest of the Anglo-Saxon heroes, fighting flesh-eating monsters and fire-breathing dragons in the defence of Hrothgar, King of the Danes. Nine-year-old Sophie knows the story of Beowulf well. She has shared it many times with her mother, a professor of Old English. Together, they have learned…
Underbelly and Circa
Straight from the score and onto the stage, the man known as Mozart appears amidst a puff of powder, wigged and ready to throw musical madness into a crescendo of dives, swoops and twirls. Featuring mischievous acrobats and musicians, Wolfgang reinvents the composer's magical music with circus…
Off the Kerb Productions Ltd.
World premiere of this fresh, funny, fantastical story starring award-winning comedian, singer and dancer Charlie Baker (Harry Hill's Tea Time, Dog Ate My Homework, Doctor Who) and BAFTA-winning CBBC Class Dismissed actress Sam Battersea. Live clip-clop hip-hop soundtrack accompanies our…
Showstopper Productions and Something for the Weekend
Fringe favourites and Olivier Award-winning improvisers, The Showstoppers, take your kids' ideas and transform them on the spot into interactive musical adventures. Harry Potter in space? Done! Dora and the Gruffalo meet dinosaurs under the sea? No worries! Kids…
So Comedy and Broken Robot Productions by arrangement with Troika
Join the morning chorus of clappy, clippy, cloppy, floppy, flappy sing-song and poem pong. All is shipshape with the crew of creatures that visit Squirrel Island. Dig deep into a wealth of stories, japes and verses with plenty of healthy vocab for both…