Fringe highlights: The Scotsman critics choose 30 great shows to see
this is brasil

The world’s biggest arts festival now has over 3,000 shows. Here, The Scotsman’s team of critics pick the one per cent they’re most excited about

the nualas
[The Nualas – picture: Marc O’Sullivan]

Cabaret

MISS BEHAVE’S GAME SHOW

Miss Behave (La Clique) is sideshow royalty but there’s nothing snooty about this gloriously lo-fi venture – a cardboard cavalcade that insists you get your phone out. BW

Heroes @ Bob & Miss Behave’s Bookshop, 9:20pm, 31 July-25 August, more info

CHRISTEENE: THE CHRISTEENE MACHINE

Christeene isn’t for the faint-hearted. But get past the trashy vibe and this Texan drag rapper delivers great tunes, tight moves, outrageous laughs and a warm glow. BW

Underbelly Cowgate, 10:10pm, 31 July-23 August, more info

Children’s Shows

THE COMEDY OF ERRORS

Bristol Old Vic Theatre School returns with another Shakespeare classic re-worked – and if last year’s 5-star Romeo & Juliet is anything to go by, it will be a rare treat. KA

Assembly George Square Studios, 11am, 31 July-16 August, more info

THE CAT IN THE HAT

The National Theatre’s 2009 adaptation returns, with interactive fun for ages three and over. KA

Pleasance Courtyard, 12:05pm, 30 July-25 August, more info

HUFF

Huff is a brilliant and innovative piece of installation theatre designed for children aged over eight, based on the story of the Three Little Pigs. JM

Traverse Theatre, time slots from 10:30am-7pm, 1-24 August, more info

Comedy

Rob Newman
[Rob Newman]

DANGERFIELD: SEX WITH CHILDREN

In a Fringe always oozing irritating, soidisant bad boys with dangerous show titles, Chris Dangerfield is the real deal. Articulate and appealingly appalling. KC

The Hive, 9pm, 4-23 August, more info

A VARIETY OF THINGS IN A ROOM – DANIEL KITSON AND GAVIN OSBORN AND F***STORM 3001 – DANIEL KITSON, ALUN COCHRANE AND ANDY ZALTZMAN

UK stand-up’s greatest cult draw performs with regular musical collaborator Osborn, before reuniting with Cochrane and Zaltzman for “three men showing off and shouting over each other. JR

The Stand, midnight, 3-24 August

THE NUALAS IN ‘HELLO AGAIN, WE’RE THE NUALAS’

The Nualas enjoyed six sell-out runs in Edinburgh between 1996-2001, before semi-retiring. The glamorous trio perform deceptively dark, twisted and wonderfully witty songs. JR

Assembly George Square Studios, 6:30pm, 30 July-25 August, more info

LUISA OMIELAN … AM I RIGHT LADIES?!

Omielan’s 2012 solo debut, What Would Beyoncé Do?!, was a Free Festival smash. Her follow-up promises a fun, frank, free alternative to the cynicism of so much middle-aged, male stand-up. JR

Laughing Horse @ The Counting House, 10:15pm, 1-24 August, more info

WHAT DOES THE TITLE MATTER ANYWAY?

A first live outing in the UK for Whose Line Is It Anyway?, the popular Channel 4 improv show from the 1990s, with original host Clive Anderson. JR

McEwan Hall, Underbelly, Bristo Square, 9pm, 6-19 August, more info

ROBERT NEWMAN’S NEW THEORY OF EVOLUTION

If you’ve nodded over the pages of The Selfish Geneprepare to have your understanding of the world devastated by a man who combines comedy and intellect. KC

Stand in the Square , 8:30pm, 1-25 August, more info

Dance, Physical Theatre and Circus

this is brasil
[This Is Brasil]

BRAZOUKA AND THIS IS BRASIL

The latest lambazouk craze from Brazouka, and live samba sounds, capoeira and freestyle football in This is Brasil. KA

Brazouka: Assembly Hall, 5:30pm, 31 July-25 August, more info
This is Brasil: Pleasance Courtyard, 8pm, 30 July-25 August, more info

CIRCA: BEYOND

Contemporary Australian circus troupe who think outside of the box, whilst still dropping jaws. KA

Underbelly Bristo Square, 7pm, 30 July-25 August, more info

THIS IS CONTEMPORARY ICE SKATING

Canadian renegades promise a performance “more dynamic, clever [and] sophisticated…than anything you’ve ever seen on an ice rink”. And yes, it’s a real one. SS

Murrayfield Ice Rink, 5:15pm, 6:15pm, 10:15pm, 10:45pm, 3-23 August, more info

Music

King Creosote
[King Creosote]

MEURSAULT

Edinburgh musician Neil Pennycook puts his Meursault alias to rest with this final date. Part of Edinburgh label Song, By Toad’s Pale Imitation festival, an essential primer for the city’s best music. DP

Queen’s Hall, 8pm, 13 August, more info

KING CREOSOTE

The singular folk troubadour arrives fresh from his mesmerising From Scotland With Lovealbum, the soundtrack to the excellent film. DP

Queen’s Hall, 8pm, 15 August, more info

GLEN MATLOCK: I WAS A TEENAGE SEX PISTOL

The Sex Pistols’ original bassist shares memories and music (most of which he wrote) from his time in punk’s most notorious iconoclasts. FS

Assembly George Square Gardens, 7:30pm, 31 July-6 August, more info

Spoken Word

YOU WILL BE TAKEN FROM THIS PLACE

Eloquent and intense, Wil Hodgson is a man of passions, from My Little Ponies to executioners. KC

Cabaret Voltaire, 12pm, 2-23 August, more info

OWEN O’NEILL RED NOISE

Nobody tells tales like Owen O’Neill, in verse or prose. A lifetime fraught with incident and accident, distilled into an hour of delight. KC

Assembly Rooms, 3:45pm, 31 July-24 August, more info

Theatre

torsten
[Andy Bell as Torsten]

NO GUTS, NO HEART, NO GLORY

Last year, Common Wealth won acclaim in Edinburgh for their brilliant site-specific show about domestic violence. This year, they explore another range of unheard female voices, based on interviews with young female Muslim boxers. JM

Sandy’s Boxing Gym, 2pm, 18-25 August, more info

JANIS JOPLIN: FULL TILT

Written by Peter Arnott, directed by Cora Bissett, this powerful short playwith-songs offers a subtle, memorable, and musically thrilling study of a troubled woman in flight from smalltown America. JM

Assembly Checkpoint, 9:50pm, 31 July-24 August, more info

SHOW 6

For months, the unannounced, instant Secret Theatre season at the Lyric Hammersmith has been the talk of the London theatre scene and now Edinburgh has a chance to see a brandnew show by Mark Ravenhill – as yet unwritten and untitled, but likely to be one of the events of the Fringe. JM

Summerhall, 2:15 pm, 30 July-25 August, more info

RIVERRUN

Based on the final chapter of James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake, Olwen Fouere’s new solo show was the outstanding hit of last autumn’s Dublin Theatre Festival. JM

Traverse Theatre, 2-24 August, times vary, more info

TORSTEN THE BAREBACK SAINT

This one-man song cycle stars Erasure frontman Andy Bell in his Fringe debut as the enigmatic title character. FS

Assembly George Square Studios, 6:30pm, 5-16 August, more info

CUCKOOED

Comedian and activist Mark Thomas writes and performs this “comedy of betrayal” about a friend who spied on him on behalf of Britain’s biggest arms manufacturer. FS

Traverse Theatre, 2-24 August, times vary, more info

THE GENERATION OF Z: EDINBURGH

There are plenty of zombies in the theatre, usually in the most expensive seats. In this interactive show they’re trying to kill you. SS

Assembly George Square Theatre, 9pm and 11pm, 31 July-25 August, more info

RETURN TO THE VOICE

Polish vocalists Song of the Goat were commissioned by Summerhall to travel Scotland and work with local song traditions to create this new work. SM

Summerhall at St Giles Cathedral, 6-25 August, times vary

THE CAROUSEL

After its Fringe First-winning play The List, Stellar Quines brings the second part of the trilogy to the Traverse with Maureen Beattie in the title role. SM

Traverse, 29 July- 4 August, times vary, more info

LETTERS HOME

Theatre company Grid Iron present the work of four leading Commonwealth writers in this site-specific work inspired by letter writing. SM

Charlotte Square Gardens, 6:15pm, 9-25 August, more info

A WALK ON THE EDGE OF THE WORLD

Acclaimed performer Ian Cameron (half of the team who made White) stars in this one-man show about a scientist by Magnetic North’s Nicholas Bone, which begins with a 20-minute silent walk. SM

Summerhall at The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, 5pm, 1-24 August, more info

Originally published in The Scotsman

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