The 20 best shows at the 2014 Edinburgh Festivals

This article is from 2014

The 20 best shows at the 2014 Edinburgh Festivals

The James Plays

Stuck to know what you must see this festival? Here's 20 suggestions from across the festivals

Stuck to know what you must see this festival? From puppets to protests and jazz to gyms, this selection has everything you could possibly need

The James Plays

Edinburgh International Festival
Sofie Gråbøl, Blythe Duff and Jamie Sives are among the actors appearing in Rona Munro’s highly anticipated historical trilogy.
Festival Theatre, 10–22 Aug.

Tim Key

Edinburgh Festival Fringe
A couple of years ago, Key was messing about near a fully drawn bath. This time, he’s producing comedy-art in, on and beside a bed.
Pleasance Courtyard, 13–25 Aug.

Christian Scott

Edinburgh Jazz Festival
Claiming not even to be a fan of his chosen instrument (the humble trumpet), this New Orleans player will still be whipping up a storm with it.
Queen’s Hall, 27 Jul.

Mil’s Trills

Edinburgh Festival Fringe
New York entertainer Amelia Robinson charms the socks off kids and their grown-ups with an innovative music-centred show.
Pleasance Courtyard, 30 Jul–17 Aug.

John Byrne

Edinburgh Art Festival
Scotland’s renaissance man puts his play pen down for a bit
and picks up a brush for these two must-visit retrosepctive exhibitions. The Paisley boy has some Sitting Ducks out in a row at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, while at Bourne Fine Art, he’s reached a Dead End.
Bourne Fine Art, until 30 Aug; Scottish National Portrait Gallery, until 19 Oct.


Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Life is a cabaret, old chums. And the likes of EastEnd Cabaret (above), Dixey and the Voca People will be proving just that at the Fringe.
Various venues, 30 Jul–25 Aug.

Tony Parsons

Edinburgh Book Festival
The former music press enfant terrible has shifted loads of Hornby-esque novels. Now he’s set to do the same with crime fiction.
Charlotte Square Gardens, 9 Aug.

Akram Khan

Edinburgh International Festival
Having recovered from recent injury, the acclaimed choreographer and dancer will reconnect with his past and present for Gnosis.
King’s Theatre, 19–21 Aug.

Andy Bell

Edinburgh Festival Fringe
The Erasure frontman’s Fringe debut proves he can exist out of his comfort zone with this song cycle about a Dorian Gray type.
Assembly George Square Studios, 5–16 Aug.

Handspring Puppet Company

Edinburgh International Festival
Not just a satire on South Africa and its corrupt political systems, Ubu and the Truth Commission can be read as an attack on state tyranny wherever it rears its ugly head. From the people who brought us the epic War Horse stage show comes this stirring play based on the original Ubu Roi drama from Alfred Jarry.
Lyceum Theatre, 28–30 Aug.

Lenka Vagnerova

Edinburgh Festival Fringe
After glorious success back home, the Czech choreographer’s company arrives with a double-header of Riders and La Loba.
Zoo Southside, 1–25 Aug.

Soumik Datta

Edinburgh Mela
Committed to the noble art of collaboration, this sarod player teams up with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra for his movie-inspired The King of Ghosts. He certainly knows what working with other people is all about, given his past experiences with the likes of pop superstar Beyoncé and musical comedy behemoth Bill Bailey.
Leith Links, 29 Aug.

The Trial of Jane Fonda

Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Anne Archer plays Hanoi Jane in this piece recalling the fallout from Fonda’s anti-Vietnam war protests.
Assembly Rooms, 30 Jul–24 Aug.

Bridget Christie

Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Apparently, Christie had been giving some consideration to actually knocking this whole stand-up comedy game on its head. Funny what a prestigious comedy award can do for your confidence. Last year’s Fosters winner makes one of those glorious return things, and this time she’s An Ungrateful Woman. Expect some subtle satire.
The Stand, 2–25 Aug.

Festival of Politics

Edinburgh Festival of Politics
The ‘R’ word is writ large and the FoP aren’t going to avoid it. They have a lovely exhibition of tapestries too.
Scottish Parliament, 15–17 Aug.

Lauren Child

Edinburgh Book Festival
Charlie and Lola are bedtime reading for some, must-see TV viewing for others. Their creator pops by for a trio of events.
Charlotte Square Gardens, 9, 25 Aug.

The Pin

Edinburgh Festival Fringe
One of the top new double acts from last year’s Fringe, The Pin pair get set to make that superb chemistry do some more talking.
Pleasance Courtyard, 30 Jul–25 Aug.

Tamsyn Challenger

Edinburgh Art Festival
With Monoculture, Challenger tackles the cult of selfies and questions the supposed democracy that technology gives us.
Summerhall, 1 Aug–26 Sep.

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

A staple of the August calendar, this year celebrating home, friends and family.
Edinburgh Castle, 31 Jul–23 Aug.

Common Wealth

Edinburgh Festival Fringe
The site-specific pioneers take over a Craigmillar gym for a theatrical piece about young female Muslim boxers.
Sandy’s Boxing Gym, 18–25 Aug.