Reviews & features: Edinburgh Festivals

7,455 reviews

Sorted by popularity / date / title / rating

Josie Long: Cara Josephine

17 Aug 20144 stars

A flawless hour, unequivocally delightful

Josie Long’s handcrafted blend of upbeat whimsy, curiosities and earnestness has attracted a lot of ardent fans and netted her the Best Newcomer award in 2006. Detractors dismissed her as too fluffy and then, when she started to take on more political…

Marie-Michelle Deschamps: Don’t trip over the wire!

17 Aug 20143 stars

An information overload undermines deliberately enigmatic work at the Edinburgh Art Festival

Marie-Michelle Deschamps’ Don’t trip over the wire! is the latest work produced for the Collective Gallery’s ‘Satellites Programme,’ a development programme for emergent artists in Scotland. Deschamps has produced a sound installation, which emanates…

Miranda Sings

17 Aug 20143 stars

Colleen Ballinger performs deft, tone-deaf character comedy at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

‘Haters back off!’ screams the back-drop before Colleen Ballinger aka YouTube superstar Miranda Sings takes to the stage. Later, the scatty Miranda will read out some of the nastier comments that have accompanied her online videos, which have to date…

Nathan Caton: Teenage Mutant Nathan Caton

17 Aug 20144 stars

Edinburgh Festival Fringe comedy show exploring what it means to be a man and a role model

At the top of the show Nathan Caton chats to the crowd making amiable jokes about a few topical subjects such as Scottish independence, the Commonwealth Games and UKIP. It looks like we're in for an hour of solid and accomplished club-style stand-up.

New Media Scotland: Alt-w

17 Aug 20143 stars

Works by Donna Leishman, Calum Stirling and Mehrpouya and Powell on show at Edinburgh Art Festival

Bringing traditional aesthetics and digital programming together, the artworks showcased in Alt-w approach ‘new media’ in a variety of ways. Two large sculptural works by ~ in the fields are first over the threshold, though they sit uneasily in the…

back to top

Title and Deed by Will Eno

17 Aug 20144 stars

Brilliantly unsettling piece of Edinburgh Fringe theatre questioning the essence of humanity

In 2005 the New York Times described American playwright and Pulitzer Prize winner Will Eno as a Samuel Beckett for the Jon Stewart generation. Almost a decade on, it seems Eno lives up to that weighted description with his monologue Title and Deed, a…

Twins

17 Aug 20144 stars

Laidback, freewheeling comedy from Annie McGrath and Jack Barry at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Annie McGrath and Jack Barry patently aren't twins. This misguided assumption that people can't tell them apart is a running joke throughout their show. It's simple and silly but they just about manage to keep the notion weird and quirky rather than…

Victoria Crowe: Real and Reflected

17 Aug 20144 stars

Solo show transforms the Scottish Gallery into a tranquil haven at the Edinburgh Art Festival

Stepping in to Victoria Crowe’s exhibition out of the bustle of Edinburgh mid-festival is like finding an oasis of calm. Her delicate, multi-layered paintings, with titles like ‘Considered silence’ and ‘Ordered Reflection’, are still and thoughtful…

21 Things You Should Know About Toronto's Crack-Smoking Mayor

17 Aug 20143 stars

Rob Ford-themed political theatre at 2014 Edinburgh Fringe that credits audience with intelligence

Canadian politician Rob Ford had a non-existent profile on the world stage until May last year, when clickbait news website *3Gawker*2 published evidence of him smoking crack cocaine. When Ford’s eventual admission only made things worse (‘Yes, I have…

Albee Vector the Sound Collector

15 Aug 20144 stars

Engaging storytelling adventure for all the family at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

In the already thrilling surroundings of the Hispaniola, littered with caged skeletons and other Treasure Island artefacts, Greenlight Theatre create a level of entertainment of which even RLS would approve. Albee Vector and his love, Andromeda, are…

back to top

Alfie Brown: Divorced from Reality (And My Wife)

15 Aug 20144 stars

Comedian is back on top form with intoxicating, meaningful comedy at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

It would be rude to say that Alfie Brown had a gap year last Fringe, but after a blinding 2012 hour, something didn’t quite seem right about his follow-up. For those of us who trumpeted him loudly as one of the natural torch-bearers for stand-up’s…

All at Sea

15 Aug 20142 stars

Weak script lets down fearless acting by trio at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Intuitive Creatures' All at Sea employs a huge amount of audience interaction, and nowhere in the room is safe. During one skit they even come in from the back and mingle with the people hanging around casually at the bar who were mistaken in thinking…

Augustin Rebetez: Heart (Meteorite)

15 Aug 20143 stars

An enigmatic mixed-media installation from Swiss artist Augustin Rebetez

If this is hell, it’s a very playful corner of it. Somewhere deep in the bowels of Summerhall, Swiss artist Augustin Rebetez has taken over a room and transformed it with a multi-media exhibition which unnerves as much as it entrances. A wooden frame…

Bill Clinton Hercules

15 Aug 20143 stars

Pleasant enough character show that shies away from making any new insights

Bill Paisley nails Bill Clinton’s down-home patter and renowned charm in this new show from Guy Masterson and Rachel Mariner. The former US President’s story is ripe with dramatic potential – but this show is fairly unexciting. As the audience files in…

Camille O'Sullivan: 10

15 Aug 20142 stars

An inoffensive Edinburgh Festival Fringe show of cover versions camouflaged in glamour

Camille O'Sullivan has become one of the mainstays of the Edinburgh festival. This year marks her tenth at the Fringe and in that time she’s racked up an impressive collection of five-star reviews and sold-out shows. Backed by a trio of musicians, she…

back to top

The Capone Trilogy: Vindici

15 Aug 20144 stars

Betrayal and brutality in Chicago fuses Jacobean melodrama and film noir

Jethro Compton has become a firm Fringe favourite over the past few years: Vindici, part of his Capone Trilogy, is a fine example of his ability to bring together diverse influences into a coherent whole. The audacious melding of Jacobean melodrama and…

Counterpoint

15 Aug 20143 stars

Eclectic mixed-media works from eight contemporary artists

Waiting plays a big part in the Talbot Rice's compendium of eight relatively off-piste artists for their EAF show. Nowhere is this more evident than in Ellie Harrison's 'After The Revolution, Who Will Clean Up The Mess?', an installation of four…

Darling Ghost

15 Aug 20143 stars

Dark avant-garde musical cabaret is fascinating to witness, despite not always cohering

As the doors open you are greeted by four wind musicians at the front, a pianist with horns dressed in period costume and two women seated at a table to the left. Darling Ghost is hard to categorise; think free jazz meets Tori Amos or Regina Spektor at…

Dystopian graphic novel IDP 2043 events set for 2014 Edinburgh Book Festival

15 Aug 2014

Collaborative work featuring contributions from Irvine Welsh, Denise Mina and Pat Mills

Charlotte Square went mad for comics last year – so much so, they’ve collaborated with Freight Books on a new graphic novel. David Pollock finds out more.

Ellie White: Humans

15 Aug 20142 stars

Good moments and stand-out characters but not enough original material at this Edinburgh Fringe show

Character comedian Ellie White’s venue is a curse and a blessing. In the basement of a Mexican restaurant, the taco-stand aesthetic is super-cute, and recurrent references to her surroundings manage to ground her roster of characters and give the show…

back to top

Every Brilliant Thing

15 Aug 20143 stars

Depression has never been so charming in this slightly-too-short play at the Edinburgh Fringe

Paines Plough’s travelling Roundabout Auditorium is probably the loveliest venue at the Fringe. Tucked away in a cosy corner of Summerhall, this Tardis-like theatre is bright, colourful and a comforting antidote to the festival’s any-space-will-do…

Five things we learned about George R R Martin

15 Aug 2014

Unusual facts about Games of Thrones author revealed at 2014 Edinburgh International Book Festival

He's heavily influenced by Scottish history. A number of Scotland's historical events have moulded elements of Game of Thrones, with the infamous Red Wedding scene inspired by the Glencoe Massacre. Beyond events, he admits that The Wall was inspired by…

Genesis & Lady Jaye Breyer P-Orridge - Life as a Cheap Suitcase (Pandrogeny & A Search for a Unified Identity)

15 Aug 20144 stars

Exhibition documenting embarking on Pandrogyny project in a bid to look identical to each other

From 1960s arts collective COUM Transmissions to the industrial band Throbbing Gristle and beyond, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge was the ultimate self-created deity. So when he and partner Lady Jaye embarked on their Pandrogyny project in a bid to look…

The Great Gatsby

15 Aug 20143 stars

The American classic gets a Broadway makeover at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

There are many literary parties that catch the imagination and inspire dreams of what it might have been like to be there. Satan’s Ball in The Master and Margarita and Kitty’s first dance in Anna Karenin stand out but the lavish scale of the extravagant…

The Initiate

15 Aug 20143 stars

Tense Edinburgh Fringe drama about the effect of Somali pirate kidnapping on London community

This intense, snappy drama from Alexandra Wood is an affecting tale of how the high profile Somali pirate kidnappings have affected London’s Somali community. Andrew French plays a cabbie who has lost his job for ‘talking too much’ – though it’s implied…