Twenty top shows at the 2012 Edinburgh Festivals

  • Edinburgh Festival Guide
  • 11 July 2012

This article is from 2012

Twenty top shows at the 2012 Edinburgh Festivals

Ballet Prelijocaj - Helikopter

Highlights from the Fringe, Book and International Festivals

Having scanned the 23.6m shows, exhibitions and events across the festival in late July, August and early September, we pluck out the ones that simply cannot be missed

An Incredibly Brief History of Political Satire

Those halcyon days of Spitting Image and Yes Minister are not the last word in satire as the likes of Armando Iannucci have proved. Let’s have a heated debate.
Scottish Parliament, 18 Aug.

Théâtre du Soleil

Ariane Mnouchkine once more produces some stark drama with this acclaimed and deeply committed theatre troupe.
Royal Highland Centre, 23–28 Aug.

Dr Brown

The clown prince is hot off the plane from an award-winning Melbourne run and hell-bent on challenging both adults and kids alike in his pair of largely silent shows.
Underbelly & Assembly George Square, 2–26 Aug.

Kristine Levine

Oregon’s newest cult comedy figure may have Doug Stanhope to thank for pushing her forward but Levine’s success is all down to a very personal vision.
Assembly Rooms, 2–26 Aug.


If you’ve seen the film, you’ll be well aware of the stomach-churning goings-on in this stage show. With Norm from Cheers, no less.
Assembly George Square, 1–27 Aug.

Mark Thomas

Everyone’s favourite political comedian gets personal with Bravo Figaro!, a show about putting on an opera for his dying dad.
Traverse, 3–26 Aug.

Camille O’Sullivan

The dark angel makes festival history by being the first headline act to perform Fringe and International shows in the same year.
Camille O’Sullivan: Changeling - Assembly Rooms, 4–7 Aug
The Rape of Lucrece - Lyceum Theatre, 22–26 Aug; The Hub, 25 Aug.

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

A spectacular staple of the August calendar, this year’s Tattoo celebrates the Diamond Jubilee and Creative Scotland.
Edinburgh Castle, 3–25 Aug.

Ballet Preljocaj

The French talents of choreographer Angelin Preljocaj and techno hero Laurent Garnier combine for a dance feast.
And then, one thousand years of peace
Helikopter/Eldorado (Sonntags Abschied)
Edinburgh Playhouse, 17–22 Aug.

The 27 Club

Of the three Fringe shows marking the notorious band of early rock‘n’pop deaths (Cobain, Winehouse, Joplin and co), Forever 27’s musical stramash looks especially intriguing.
Assembly George Square, 2–27 Aug.

Susan Philipsz

The Turner Prize winner tackles the iconic One O’Clock Gun for a sound art explosion across the city.
Various venues, 2 Aug–2 Sep.


Can a show merge football, dance, acrobatics and martial arts successfully? They can when it’s from South Korea, a country obsessed with all four.
Assembly Hall, 2–26 Aug.

Alan Davies

Back at the Fringe after too long away, the Jonathan Creek actor trawls some dark territory for his new show.
EICC, 9–14 Aug.

Sophie Bevan

Bevan sings with her sis at some of her gigs, featuring tunes by Bach, Handel and Purcell.
Bach: B Minor Mass
The Triumph of Time and Truth
Canongate Kirk, 8 & 9 Aug; Usher Hall, 13, 27 Aug.

Danny Wallace

Dave Gorman’s former partner in non-fiction japery gets all serious with his debut novel about chance.
Charlotte Square Gardens, 18 Aug.

NVA: Speed of Light

Angus Farquhar’s arts crew leads a team of runners across an Edinburgh landmark in an exciting fiesta of light and colour.
Arthur’s Seat, 9 Aug–1 Sep.

Billy the Mime

If you thought The Boy with Tape on His Face was the radical side of mime, you’d best catch the profane silence of this US satirist.
The Caves, 2–23 Aug.

Good with People/Letter of Last Resort

The two Davids, Greig and Harrower, team up for a double bill curiously linked by nuclear politics and sharp comedy.
Traverse, 5–26 Aug.

Horrible Histories

You’ll have read the books and seen the TV show, so now experience it up on stage.
Pleasance Courtyard, 3–26 Aug.

Cécile McLorin Salvant

The award-winning jazz singer gets intimate with both her audience and the work of Duke Ellington.
Salon Elegance, 26 Jul; Festival Theatre, 28 Jul.

Les Naufragés du Fol Espoir (Aurores)

  • 5 stars

In a dance hall in the spring before the First World War, a socialist visionary is shooting a silent film adapted from a Jules Verne adventure, using cooks and waiters as his cast. Long before the ship the Fol Espoir runs aground on Cape Horn, high idealism and base motives are vying for the souls of all on board. Ariane…