Edinburgh Festival 2010: More Fringe show highlights
Some of the shows to look out for at the Fringe
This article is from 2010.
With over 2,400 shows to choose from at this years Fringe festival, it's all to easy to succumb to the paradox of choice. Here we present our picks for some of the smaller shows that are worth looking out for.
Fringe by the Sea
Over 50 performances are happening over a six-day period for those who want that festival feeling but can't be doing with the hustle and bustle of the Royal Mile. Among the acts here are Julie Fowlis, Mr Boom, Eddi Reader, the Nova Scotia Jazz Band, Scott Agnew, Pauline McLynn and the National Youth Choir of Scotland.
Various venues, North Berwick, 07500 772 720, 10-15 Aug.
An explosive combination of stand-up, variety and side-splitting comic performance with the emphasis on the chaotic. Miss Behave from Fringe icons La Clique presents a mixture of headliners and undiscovered gems.
Princes Street Gardens, Princes Street, 0131 623 3030, 7–29 Aug (not 16), 9.30pm, £13–£15 (£12–£14). Previews 5 & 6 Aug, £10.
Reginald D Hunter
The US-born comic now seems duty bound (like Tim Key and his ‘Slut’ shows) to get ‘Nigga’ into his Fringe titles. This year, he’s giving us a mean slice of Trophy Nigga.
Pleasance Courtyard, Pleasance, 0131 556 6550, 7–29 Aug (not 17), 8pm, £14–£16 (£12–£14). Previews 4–6 Aug, £8.
Penelope by Enda Walsh
Druid hook up with Enda Disco Pigs Walsh for this intriguing number about a quartet of men at the bottom of a swimming pool, facing certain death while trying to gain an impossible love.
Traverse Theatre, Cambridge Street, 0131 228 1404, 7–29 Aug (not 9, 11, 16, 23), various times, £12–£19 (£6–£13). Preview 5 Aug, 2.30pm, £12 (£6).
Fact and fiction blur in this affectionate look back at the 1920s, when ballet stars such as Anna Pavlova toured the world.
Dance Base, Grassmarket, 0131 225 5525, 12–22 Aug (not 16), times vary, £5. Preview 11 Aug, 1pm, £3.
Long Nose Puppets, the company who brought the wonderful Shoe Baby to the Fringe, return with this touching tale about a silent penguin who finds his voice.
Pleasance Courtyard, Pleasance, 0131 556 6550, 7–29 Aug (not 16, 25), 11.20am, £7–£8 (£6–£7). Previews 4–6 Aug, £5.
Bear in Heaven
Cosmic krautrock from Brooklyn, with added pop choruses and gentle rock riffs. The trio played Edinburgh and Glasgow earlier in the year, and make their way to the venue formerly known as The Ark.
Capital, Waterloo Place, 0131 623 7147, 23 Aug, 11pm, £8.
Just a pair of late-night dates from the innovative north American duo who are quite literally blokes appearing on stage in their jim-jams.
Assembly Hall, Mound Place, 0131 623 3030, 27 & 28 Aug, midnight, £17 (£15).
Scottish Dance Theatre
Two diverse shows, performed on alternate days, highlighting the wit, eloquence, intelligence and talent of Scotland’s national contemporary dance company.
Zoo Southside, Nicolson Street, 0131 662 6892, 7–22 Aug (not 10, 17), 7pm, £12.
Bud Take the Wheel, I Feel a Song Coming On
Deep in the English countryside, a gay son, a daughter who won't speak and a thatcher who hates Thatcher collide under the looming presence of a defunct paper mill. ‘Bud’ chews up rural entrapment, spits up countryside clichés and writes a twisted love song to a green and pleasant land.
Underbelly, Cowgate, 08445 458 252, 7–29 Aug, 4.35pm, £9.50–£10.50 (£8.50–£9.50). Previews 5 & 6 Aug, £6.
Tony Tanner’s Charlatan
The Sidewalk Studio Theatre presents a one-man show about Sergei Diaghilev, founder of the legendary Ballets Russes. Tanner portrays this towering figure in dance history through his meteoric success, the work with Stravinsky and Picasso, and a tragic love for Nijinsky. That’s the legendary ballet dancer, not the thoroughbred racehorse.
Assembly Hall, Mound Place, 0131 623 3030, 7–30 Aug (not 16, 23), 5.30pm, £10–£12 (£9–£11). Previews 5 & 6 Aug, £5.
The Real MacGuffins
Quite possibly the real deal when it comes to sketchy narrative trios, this lot have been touted as the new Pros from Dover. Which is good enough for us. Plus, they’ve got the comedy-director guru Cal McCrystal (Auto-Boosh, Office Party, The School for Scandal) on board.
Pleasance Courtyard, Pleasance, 0131 556 6550, 7–29 Aug, 10.45pm, £9–£11 (£7.50–£9.50). Previews 4–6 Aug, £5.
My Romantic History
The ‘office romance’ is a dangerous thing. But even if it goes well, what’s to say that your past affairs won’t come to haunt the present. A comic play by DC Jackson about love, loss and laminates.
Traverse Theatre, Cambridge Street, 0131 228 1404, 6–29 Aug (not 9, 16, 23), various times, £15–£17 (£6–£12). Preview 5 Aug, 6.30pm, £11 (£6).
The French just love putting a bit of slap bass guitar over disco beats, and sit at the funkier end of the rock spectrum. Pals with Air and Daft Punk, Phoenix will probably be insulted if you don’t dance at this one. Support comes from 25-year-old Hebridean radio-friendly folkster, Colin MacLeod AKA The Boy Who Trapped the Sun.
Picture House, Lothian Road, 08448 471 740, 28 Aug, 7.30pm, £17.50.
Guaranteed to be one of the best children’s shows you’ll see all Fringe, the wonderful Theatre of Widdershins returns with another beautifully-crafted puppet show for young and old.
Scottish Storytelling Centre, High Street, 0131 556 9579, 9–30 Aug, 1pm, £7.50 (£5). Preview 7 Aug, 1pm, £5.
The chap who has been linked throughout his career with Chris Morris and has worked with the likes of Bill Bailey and Stewart Lee makes his Fringe debut with Kevin Eldon is Titting About. The Fringe programme seems to indicate that his show is over eight hours long. A mistake? Or Kevin Eldon just titting about?
The Stand, York Place, 0131 558 7272, 6–30 Aug (not 16, 23), 2.30pm, £8 (£7). Preview 5 Aug, 1pm, £7 (£6).
It’s a big country, but this show does its best to capture the essence of Brazil with an hour of samba, acrobatics and, of course, football.
Udderbelly’s Pasture, Bristo Square, 08445 458 252, 7–30 Aug (not 16), 6.55pm, £12.50–£15 (£11.50–£13.50). Previews 5 & 6 Aug, 6.55pm, £8.
You may have spotted this quirky dame in Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up or her own Paper Heart. During August, she Dances on the Moon. Mentioned in dispatches as the new Demetri Martin. We’ll see.
Assembly Rooms, George Street, 0131 623 3030, 7–29 Aug, 7pm, £12–£13 (£11–£12). Previews 5 & 6 Aug, £5.
Quite probably the finest title of a stand-up show from any former Perrier winner in town this year, as the Irish lad gives us Ducks and Other Mistakes I’ve Made. We’re certain he’ll have the gags over the course of a very generous 75-minute show to back it up.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, Bristo Square, 0131 622 6552, 7–19 Aug, 8pm, £14–£15 (£12–£13). Previews 4–6 Aug, £10.
Hairy Maclary and Friends
Fans of Lynley Dodd’s canine-centred picture books will know how much mischief the eponymous Skye Terrier (from Donaldson’s Dairy) can get up to with Bottomley Potts, Schnitzel von Krumm et al in tow, so prepare for some musical doggy mayhem.
Assembly Rooms, George Street, 0131 623 3030, 7–29 Aug, 10.40am, £9 (£7). Previews 5 & 6 Aug, £5.
The Rap Guide to Human Nature
Former tree-planter Baba Brinkman returns fresh from his Fringe First-winning success last year for The Rap Guide to Evolution (which gets a short run this time around), to try and deliver us from evil with The Rap Guide to Human Nature.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, Bristo Square, 0131 622 6552, 7–30 Aug (not 9, 16, 23), 3.45pm, £9.50–£10.50 (£8–£9). Previews 4–6 Aug, £6.50.
Young folk wannabes take note. What this legendary guitarist doesn’t know about acoustic strumming, plucking and picking could be written on a postage stamp. The Glasgow-born musician plays a two-night stint.
Queen’s Hall, Clerk Street, 0131 668 2019, 26 & 27 Aug, 8pm, £18 (£16).
Delete the Banjax
Last year, DtB became one of the sleeper hits of Edinburgh with their free show. The quartet now does sketches and characters with a whole new bunch of expectations in tow.
Pleasance Courtyard, Pleasance, 0131 556 6550, 7–30 Aug (not 17), 5.45pm, £8.50–£9.50 (£7–£8). Previews 4–6 Aug, £5.
Bobby and the Grave Robbers!
Journey back in time to 19th century Edinburgh, when graves were either being dug up or sat on by famous dogs. A historical romp for 7–11-year-olds and their families.
Alba Flamenca, East Crosscauseway, 0131 226 0000, 9–29 Aug (not 14–16, 21), 11am, £6 (£5).
A no-holds barred American with jokes to kill for. If that’s your idea of fun.
Counting House, West Nicolson Street, 0131 667 7533, 5–29 Aug, 5.30pm, free.
Reel-to-Real: The Movies Musical
With an original story that travels from New York to China, we meet two siblings competing for their family fortune by taking on a quest devised by their father to decide who should inherit his movie empire. Clips from classic Warner and MGM musicals merge with live performance in this bold Fringe spectacle.
Pleasance Courtyard, Pleasance, 0131 556 6550, 7–30 Aug (not 10, 17, 24), 6pm, £13.50–£15 (£12.50–£14). Previews 4–6 Aug, £9.
Castle Rocks Breakdance Championship/Set it Off! Streetdance Championships
Moving in Circles present the 5th annual Castle Rocks Championship, where b-boys and girls battle it out for the coveted crown. Followed by their brand new streetdance extravaganza a week later. Always a sell-out, so book early.
Castle Rocks, 14 Aug, 1pm, £10 (£9); Set it Off!, 21 Aug, 1pm, £9 (£8). Both events at City Edinburgh, Market Street, 0131 226 0000.
My Hamlet with Linda Marlowe
Linda Marlowe collaborates with Georgian director Beso Kupreishvili and puppeteers from his Fingers Theatre in a condensed version of Hamlet which suggests that there’s a little bit of the Dane in all of us.
Assembly Rooms, George Street, 0131 623 3030, 7–29 Aug (not 14, 24), 5.20pm, £11–£12 (£10–£11). Previews 5 & 6 Aug, £5.
Belt Up Theatre
A busy old Fringe for the York theatre group as they take over the C soco with a bunch of shows, including Antigone, Lorca is Dead and Metamorphosis.
C soco, Chambers Street, 0845 260 1234, 4–30 Aug, various times and prices.
A solo show from the grunge-peddling grump, Mark Lanegan, once a member of Washington rockers Screaming Trees and Queens of the Stone Age. His unlikely pairing with Glasgow’s Isobel Campbell earned him a Mercury nomination for their CD’s startling ‘beauty and the beast’ alt-country balladry.
Liquid Room, Victoria Street, 0131 225 2564, 26 Aug, 7pm, £15.
Ventriloquism is still where it’s at for Tom Conti’s wee girl as she returns with a clutch of new hand-held characters.
Pleasance Dome, Bristo Square, 0131 556 6550, 7–30 Aug (not 16, 23), 8.30pm, £12–£13 (£10.50–£11.50). Previews 4–6 Aug, £6.
The Mole Who Knew it Was None of His Business
This lively show from Kipper Tie Theatre transfers Werner Holzwarth’s popular picture book to the stage with energy and wit. Be warned, you’ll still be singing the songs years from now.
C, Chambers Street, 0845 260 1234, 4–30 Aug, 10am, £6.50–£8.50 (£4.50–£7.50).
Long Live the King
August 1977. Elvis Presley has just met his maker. On that very same day, a heavily pregnant Indian woman, Meena, has touched down in Australia with an uncertain future ahead of her. Guy Masterson directs a tale of spice, soul and sunburn starring Ansuya Nathan.
Assembly Rooms, George Street, 0131 623 3030, 7–29 Aug (not 14, 24), 5.20pm, £11–£12 (£10–£11). Previews 5 & 6 Aug, £5.
The Voice of Wales gives nostalgic punters a second (or first) chance to relive last year’s sold-out show in Rhod Gilbert and The Cat that Looked Like Nicholas Lyndhurst.
EICC, Morrison Street, 08448 471 639, 21–29 Aug (not 23), 8pm, £18.50.
Haggis McSporran left the Highlands to become the king of comedy. Now he’s coming home for an interview on Jacobite Radio with his old pal Craitur Face Macleod, an interview with a proper celebrity, and a chance to catch up with the man he first met many years ago. This new comedy ii penned by Henry Adam (The People Next Door) and directed by Matthew Zajac (The Tailor of Inverness).
Udderbelly’s Pasture, Bristo Square, 08445 458 252, 7–30 Aug (not 16), 3.50pm, £12–£13.50 (£11–£12). Previews 5 & 6 Aug, £8.
Cape Dance Company
The South African neo-classical dance company makes a welcome return to the Fringe with works by renowned international choreographers.
Zoo Roxy, Roxburgh Place, 0131 662 6892, 15–29 Aug, 2.30pm, £12 (£10).
Those with memories like elephants will recall Barker storming the Fringe back in the late 90s. More recently he’s cropped up on Flight of the Conchords’ telly series.
Assembly Rooms, George Street, 0131 623 3030, 7–29 Aug, 9.20pm, £12–£14 (£11–£13). Previews 5 & 6 Aug, £5.
Merrill Grant: A Twentieth Century Fox
This New York sensation presents an homage to Hollywood legends such as Shirley Temple, Alice Faye and Julie Andrews in this elegant cabaret shebang.
Ghillie Dhu, Rutland Place, 0131 556 6550, 7–30 Aug (not 16), 2.45pm, £9–£10 (£8–£9). Previews 4–6 Aug, £5.
The Lunchtime Club: Class of 2010
Fancy a bit of talent-spotting? Here’s a bunch of newbies that you will be strongly advised to keep an eye on.
Tron, Hunter Square, 0131 226 0000, 7–29 Aug (not 16, 23), 12.30pm, £5. Previews 5 & 6 Aug, £2.50.
Lockerbie: Unfinished Business
David Benson moves away from impersonating the likes of Kenneth Williams and Frankie Howerd to delve into recent political history as he gets involved with this slice of verbatim theatre concerning the atrocity when Pan Am Flight 103 blew up over the Scottish borders.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, Bristo Square, 0131 622 6552, 7–30 Aug (not 18), 2.30pm, £9–£10 (£8–£9). Previews 4–6 Aug, £5.
One of the most popular acts of the 2009 series of Britain’s Got Talent presents its first full-length show, Chase the Dream. Expect stylish clothes and streetdance moves synchronised to perfection.
Udderbelly’s Pasture, Bristo Square, 08445 458 252, 7–30 Aug (not 16), 3.45pm, £13.50–£16.50 (£12.50–£15). Previews 5 & 6 Aug, £8.
When 18-year-old Katie’s boyfriend gets into a fight, his mates insist they track down the kid who attacked him. What starts as an adventure becomes more dangerous as Katie is thrust into a journey she’ll never forget. Skins and Shameless writer Jack Thorne delivers a complex coming-of-age tale.
Underbelly, Cowgate, 08445 458 252, 7–29 Aug (not 18), 2.10pm, £9–£10 (£6.50–£9). Previews 5 & 6 Aug, £6.
Tall Storrie and Wee Godley
Darling of the Scottish comedy circuit, Janey Godley teams up with daughter Ashley Storrie for an hour of storytelling, improv, games and music. Bring along an instrument and join the house band.
Pleasance Dome, Bristo Square, 0131 556 6550, 7–30 Aug, 12.45pm, £8.50–£9.50 (£7.50–£8.50). Previews 4–6 Aug, £5.
A two-trick pony, Zach Condon is equally comfortable updating Balkan gypsy party music with ukulele and trumpet, or creating throbbing, sunny electronica, as demonstrated on his split album, March of the Zapotec/ Holland. A bit pop, a bit oompah, there are two very distinct sides to his folktronica coin.
Picture House, Lothian Road, 0844 847 1740, 22 Aug, 7.30pm, £15.
We gave Phil’s new creation Bobby Spade a fat five stars last August and he’s thanked us by bringing him back for more beat poet jazziness.
The Stand, York Place, 0131 558 7272, 6–30 Aug (not 16), 6.50pm, £10. Previews 4 Aug, 10pm; 5 Aug, 7.40pm, £9 (£7).
After the success of previous shows Potted Pirates and Potted Potter, CBBC stars Dan and Jeff shoehorn seven classic pantomimes into 70 minutes of high-energy nonsense.
Pleasance Courtyard, Pleasance, 0131 556 6550, 7–29 Aug (not 18, 25), 2.50pm, £9–£10 (£8–£9). Previews 4–6 Aug, £5.
Brian Parks’ pen previously gave us Goner and Americana Absurdum, and here he seeks to delight once more with this surreal comedy about an elegant if cocktail-happy couple played by acclaimed duo, David Calvitto and Issy van Randwyck.
Assembly Rooms, George Street, 0131 623 3030, 7–29 Aug (not 14, 24), 5.20pm, £11–£12 (£10–£11). Previews 5 & 6 Aug, £5.
While You Lie
Two couples explore the threat of honesty and our often twisted need for it in this pin-sharp play from Sam Holcroft, one of UK theatre’s most exciting new voices. Zinnie Harris directs.
Traverse Theatre, Cambridge Street, 0131 228 1404, 5–29 Aug (not 9, 16, 23), various times, £11–£17 (£6–£12). Preview 30 Jul, 2.30pm, 8pm, £11 (£6).
The comic actress who fell out with Larry David over the proper pronunciation of her forename makes a highly polished Fringe debut.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, Bristo Square, 0131 622 6552, 7–25 Aug, 9.30pm, £14–£15 (£13–£14). Preview 6 Aug, £10.
My Name is Margaret Morris
Journey through the fascinating life of Margaret Morris, a leading force in Scottish dance for over 30 years, founder of a unique dance technique and wife of artist JD Fergusson.
Dance Base, Grassmarket, 0131 225 5525, 12–22 Aug (not 16), times vary, £5. Preview 11 Aug, 6pm, £3.
Last year, the sultry, fishnet-stockinged singer was The Dark Angel. This year she’s a Chameleon. Showing her versatility, the smoky cabaret singer drapes her silky vocals around covers of Nick Cave, Tom Waits and Radiohead.
Assembly Rooms, George Street, 0131 623 3030, 7–30 Aug (not 10, 17, 24), 10.25pm, £16.50–£18.50. Previews 5 & 6 Aug, £10.
The name sums their music up nicely: hazy and lazy. Until they decide to wig out, that is. Like Wooden Shjips with a suntan, this Santa Cruz group sound beautifully lethargic, with heavy moments of reverb sludge.
Capital, Waterloo Place, 0131 623 7147, 19 Aug, 7pm, £10.
Rhythms with Soul
A history of flamenco performed by one of the dance form’s hottest exponents, Miguel Vargas and his Flamenco Dance Theatre company.
New Town Theatre, George Street, 0131 220 0143, 7–29 Aug (not 17), 3.50pm, £11–£13. Previews 5 & 6 Aug, £7.50.
The internet sensation makes a Fringe debut with some of his youthful musical silliness.
Pleasance Dome, Bristo Square, 0131 556 6550, 7–29 Aug (not 16), 9.35pm, £9.50–£10.50 (£8–£9). Previews 4–6 Aug, £5.
Wee Willie Gray
Always an engaging storyteller (and one half of Wee Stories), Andy Cannon joins forces with musician Wendy Weatherby for this fun look at one of Robert Burns’ poems for children.
Scottish Storytelling Centre, High Street, 0131 556 9579, 9–30 Aug (not 16, 23), 10.30am, £7.50 (£5). Preview 6 Aug, £5.
A return of the headphone party, with zero noise pollution to annoy the neighbours. Two DJs play sets while he crowd silently goes wild.
Udderbelly’s Pasture, Bristo Square, 08445 458 252, 6 & 7, 12–14, 19–21, 26, 28 & 29 Aug, midnight, £10.
Seems like he’s a lucky man to be here given the near-fatal car crash he suffered in June. Best be nice to him and laugh lots. Which shouldn’t be much of a problem.
EICC, Morrison Street, 08448 471 639, 7–11 Aug, 8pm, £17.50 (£16.50).
An exotic songbird is captured by a ruthless logger in this musical tone poem, performed in the beautiful surroundings of the Botanics.
Royal Botanic Garden, Inverleith Row, 0131 226 0000, 19–28 Aug (not 24), 4.30pm; 20–22, 26–28 Aug, 1.30pm, £9.
Collins & Herring Podcast Live
Here are seasoned pros who know what they’re up to as they broadgram their improvised mayhem to a waiting world.
The GRV, Guthrie Street, 0131 226 0000, 11–22 Aug (not 16 & 17), 3pm, £5.
With a base in both Belgium and London, Retina Dance produces European contemporary dance with a unique flavour. Choreographed by Filip Van Huffel, this finds two wrestlers struggling to communicate.
Zoo Roxy, Roxburgh Place, 0131 662 6892, 15–30 Aug (not 23), 7pm, £12 (£9).
Late 'n' Live
Still the daddy of all multi-bill wee-small-hours comedy affairs on the Fringe. Reputations have been born and broken on this stage.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, Bristo Square, 0131 622 6552, 9–30 Aug, 1am, £13–£15 (£12–£14). Previews 6–8 Aug, £10.
Having shared stage time and the limelight with sketch team Superclump and other stand-ups in The Comedy Zone, this promising newcomer certainly has ideas around the place where her station exists: In My Head, I’m a Hero is her humble debut solo shot.
Pleasance Dome, Bristo Square, 0131 556 6550, 7–30 Aug (not 28), 3.45pm, £8.50–£9.50 (£7–£8). Previews 4–6 Aug, £5.
Directed by Kath Burlinson and written by Iain Finlay Macleod, this is a site-responsive exploration of the ecology, psychology and mythology of the human/wolf relationship, inviting us to meet ourselves as we travel with the pack.
The Caves, Cowgate, 0131 556 5375, 7–29 Aug (not 17), 12.15pm, £8.50–£9.50 (£7.50–£8.50). Previews 5 & 6 Aug, £5.
A full Stand run of Vegetable Stew is broken up by a one-off two-hour Festival Theatre extravaganza with guests and rabble-rousing hysteria.
The Stand, York Place, 0131 558 7272, 6–30 Aug (not 16, 18), 5.15pm, £10. Previews 4 Aug, 6.30pm; 5 Aug, 4.20pm, £9; Festival Theatre, Nicolson Street, 0131 529 6000, 18 Aug, 8pm, £17.50.
Tom Dale Company, the force behind the atmospheric Rise, return to the Fringe with this look at our human need to explore, set to a dub step and drum & bass soundtrack.
Zoo Southside, Nicolson Street, 0131 662 6892, 6–30 Aug (not 12 & 13, 17, 24), 4.20pm, £10 (£8).
The Ukulele Project
‘The ukes are coming’. We’ve been warned. This quartet takes that tiny guitar so beloved of hip-swaying Hawaiian girls, and creates a show around music from Elgar to Elvis via Lady Gaga and ‘Greensleeves’.
Underbelly, Cowgate, 08445 458 252, 7–29 Aug (not 16), 12.45pm, £9.50–£11 (£6.50–£10). Previews 5 & 6 Aug, £6.
The Besnard Lakes
Space travelling dream-pop from Montreal, fronted by husband-and-wife duo Olga Goreas and Jace Lasek. Majestic, warped melodies and not unlike the sound a melted Fleetwood Mac record might make if you played it at the wrong speed.
Sneaky Pete's, Cowgate, 0131 226 7010, 17 Aug, 7pm, £9.
Stick Man Live on Stage!
The highly acclaimed (and for good reason) Scamp Theatre turn Julia Donaldson’s colourful picture book into a lively stage show filled with puppetry, live music and song.
Udderbelly’s Pasture, Bristo Square, 08445 458 252, 7–30 Aug (not 16), 12.30pm, £10–£11 (£8–£9). Previews 5 & 6 Aug, £6.
Chinese Music: Old and New
Classical meets world music in this one-off concert, celebrating Chinese percussion and instruments. The bamboo flute, hammered dulcimer and violin lend delicate sounds to the programme of improvised, traditional and contemporary music.
Canongate Kirk, Canongate, 0131 226 0000, 28 Aug, 7.30pm, £10 (£6).
Climb inside the Pleasance Ark and spend 60 minutes in the company of one of Britain’s most engaging, inspired and off-the-wall poets. Beware though, with John Hegley, it’s interactive all the way.
Pleasance Courtyard, Pleasance, 0131 556 6550, 15–22 Aug, 5pm, £7 (£5).
The man who gave us the most under-rated sitcom in British history with 15 Storeys High opens us up to some staggeringly astute wordplay with Lockipedia.
Assembly Rooms, George Street, 0131 623 3030, 25–30 Aug, 7.25pm, £18 (£17).
Lovelace: A Rock Musical
In the rock operatic style of Tommy and Jesus Christ Superstar comes the story of the woman who went on to be the 1970s most iconic adult movie star. A life of abuse eventually led to her taking up an anti-porn stance and becoming a feminist pioneer. But could she ever truly escape the spectre of Deep Throat?
Udderbelly’s Pasture, Bristo Square, 08445 458 252, 7–30 Aug (not 17), 10.35pm, £11–£14 (£10–£13). Previews 5 & 6 Aug, £8.
Flamenco and tap dancing meet in this energetic display of synchronicity and rhythm, featuring four hoofers and four guitarists.
C plaza, George Square, 0845 260 1234, 5–30 Aug (not 17), 7.15pm, £9.50–£11.50 (£6.50–£10.50).
Little Black Bastard
Aboriginal Noel Tovey first came to the UK in 1960 with barely a button to his name having escaped prejudice and pain in his homeland. Yet soon he was dancing at Sadler’s Wells and sharing stage time with Steven Berkoff and Judy Garland. This is his remarkable story.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, Bristo Square, 0131 622 6552, 7–30 Aug (not 16, 23), noon, £8.50–£9.50 (£7.50–£8.50). Previews 4–6 Aug, £5.
A gentle collection of music, stories and surprises, specially created for 2–4-year-olds by one of Scotland’s finest children’s theatre companies, Catherine Wheels.
Scottish Book Trust, Sandeman House, 0131 228 1404, 6–29 Aug (not 9, 14–16, 23), 10.30am, 1.30pm, £6 (£5). Preview 5 Aug, £4.
A Wee Home From Home
Choreographer Frank McConnell, director Gerry Mulgrew and musician Michael Marra join forces for this acclaimed tale of one man’s return to Glasgow after many years away.
St Brides, Orwell Terrace, 0131 668 2019, 10–22 Aug (not 16), 5.20pm, £10 (£8).
Patti Plinko & the Boy
Like a female Tom Waits, the quiffed and tattooed chanteuse brings late night, booze-fuelled storytelling and dark, twisted – sometimes screeching – love songs with a set aptly called All is Unravelling.
Assembly Hall, Mound Place, 0131 623 3030, 12, 19, 26 Aug, 8.20pm, £10.
A late night cabaret show from the Aberfeldy-born Hollywood actor, intriguingly titled I Bought a Blue Car Today. He’s played the master of ceremonies in Cabaret on Broadway, scooped an OBE, and now wants to belt out his favourite showtunes.
Assembly Hall, Mound Place, 0131 623 3030, 13–15 Aug, midnight, £20 (£18).
The Sum of It All
Director Dan Shorten and Anomic Multimedia Theatre have created another visual extravaganza with this tale of a suicidal man recalling his past and trying to pluck out the highlights from a banal life.
Zoo Roxy, Roxburgh Place, 0131 662 6892, 8–30 Aug (not 14), 8.35pm, £10 (£7). Previews 6 & 7 Aug, £5.
Showstopper! The Improvised Musical
Jon Snow has been willingly dragged up on stage for this ad-hoc show which works best if you, the public, give the troupe some tasty suggestions to work with. And lo, before you will unravel a story with music and gags to make tears fall down your cheeks with merriment.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, Bristo Square, 0131 622 6552, 7–29 Aug, 10.50pm, £11–£15 (£10–£11). Preview 6 Aug, £6.
The caustic character from the mind of Pippa Evans, think Courtney Love in a bad mood. Loretta sings songs of pain and vengeance with a US band called DogVagina. Probably not one for your nan. Or your grumpy adolescent teen just in case they get ideas.
The Caves, Cowgate, 0131 556 5375, 7–29 Aug (not 16), 6.35pm, £9–£10 (£8–£9). Previews 5 & 6 Aug, £5.
The Last Miner
Tortoise in a Nutshell presents this original tale about life underground, told through atmospheric shadow puppetry.
Hill Street Theatre, Hill Street, 0131 226 6522, 8–30 Aug (not 10, 17, 24), 3pm, £7 (£5). Previews 5–7 Aug, 3pm, £5.
Doon Mackichan, star of Smack the Pony and A Very Social Secretary, delivers a one-woman show about the physical journey she has undertaken over three dark, painful and miraculous years and what it meant to survive.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, Bristo Square, 0131 622 6552, 7–30 Aug (not 10, 17, 24), 5.30pm, £11.50–£12.50 (£10.50–£11.50). Previews 4–6 Aug, £5.
A movement and movie double-bill from Dundee-based contemporary dance company Smallpetitklein, featuring Stiller, an uncompromising look at war, and dance film Unmoving.
Zoo Southside, Nicolson Street, 0131 662 6892, 8–14 Aug, 12.40pm, £10 (£8). Previews 6 & 7 Aug, 12.40pm, £5.
Rising stars of the improv/music game shove a Pic ‘n’ Mixtape into our grinning faces.
Pleasance Courtyard, Pleasance, 0131 556 6550, 7–29 Aug (not 17), 9.45pm, £8.50–£9.50 (£7.50–£8.50). Previews 4–6 Aug, £5.
Charlie and Lola's Best Bestest Play
Everyone’s favourite brother and sister team leap from TV to stage in this happy blend of live action and music.
Pleasance Courtyard, Pleasance, 0131 556 6550, 5–18 Aug (not 11), 10am, 11.30am, £10–£11. Preview 4 Aug, 11.30am, £9.
Not girls at all; actually a foursome centred around the songwriting of two San Franciscans making a wearier, blearier Beach Boys sound.
Capital, Waterloo Place, 0131 623 7147, 26 Aug, 7pm, £10.
A Betrayal of Penguins
One of the unheralded treats of last year’s Fringe, two young Irish jokers with chemistry like you would not believe, return with more sketchy silliness. But who can possibly argue with the title of their show: Don’t Run with Scissors? Hear, hear.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, Bristo Square, 0131 622 6552, 7–30 Aug, 2.45pm, £8.50–£10 (£7–£8.50). Previews 4–6 Aug, £5.
Hallogallo / Michael Rother & Friends Present the Music of Neu!
If Hallogallo 2010’s performance at May’s Primavera festival in Barcelona is anything to go by, this has all the hallmarks of a hypnotic glide through krautrock beats and woozy kosmische soundscapes.
Picture House, Lothian Road, 08448 471 740, 17 Aug, 7.30pm, £18.