Scotsman Edinburgh Festival reviews: The top rated shows of 2015
scotsman reviews

The Scotsman’s team of professional critics sees a huge amount of shows during Edinburgh Festival season.

Want reviews that you can trust? Here you will find an overview of every Scotsman festival review published in 2015, arranged by star rating.

This guide covers comedy, theatre, music and much more, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Edinburgh International Festival and Edinburgh Art Festival.

Looking for a particular show? Use Ctrl + F to search the title.

Alternatively, read the latest reviews as they’re published.

★★★★★ (five stars)

Cabaret

The Lipsinkers: Evolution of the Fags

Children’s Shows

Shakespeare Untold: Titus Andronicus (The Piemaker’s Tale)

Comedy

Tom Binns: The Club Sets
Martha McBrier: Pigeon Puncher
Lewis Schaffer is Free until Famous, £5

Dance

Sylvie Guillem – Life in Progress
Underneath
Barbu electro trad cabaret
Vertical Influences
Seven

Music

Nash Ensemble
The Harmonium Project
The Rake’s Progress
Angela Hewitt
Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra
Budapest Festival Orchestra Soloists
Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique/Symphonie Fantastique
Sarah Connolly/Malcolm Martineau
Worbey & Farrell’s House Party
Iestyn Davies & Ensemble Guadagni
St Lawrence Quartet
Max Richter
The Jazz Rites of Spring
St Lawrence Quartet
Zehetmair Quartet

Opera

The Magic Flute

Theatre

Hotel Paradiso
The Encounter
The Man Called Monkhouse
Captain Morgan 2: The Sea of Souls
Lanark

★★★★ (four stars)

Cabaret

Puddles Pity Party
We Can Make You Happy
The Gideon & Hubcap Show
Tales from a Cabaret
Dillie Keane
Lynn Ruth Miller: Get a Grip
Phil Nichol’s Cray Cray Cabaret
Dive and Summerhall present… C U Next Tuesday Cabaret
Twonkey’s Stinking Bishop
Le Haggis
K’rd Strip: A Place to Stand

Children’s Shows

The Last of the Dragons
A Pocketful of Grimms
Gruffalos, Ladybirds and Other Beasts – With Julia Donaldson
Alfie White: Space Explorer
Shakespeare Untold: Romeo and Juliet (The Party Planner’s Tale)
Funny Bones Trash
The Overcoat
The Falcon’s Malteser by Anthony Horowitz
Annabelle’s Skirting Board Adventure
The Bookbinder

Comedy

Joseph Morpurgo: Soothing Sounds for Baby
John Robertson : Let’s Redecorate
Phil Jerrod: Neanderthal
Natasha Noman: Noman’s Land
Nish Kumar: Long Word… Long Word… Blah Blah Blah… I’m so Clever
Will Durst: Boomeraging from LSD to OMG
Tina C: Herstory
Kyle Kinane: Ghost Pizza Party
Dane Baptiste: Reasonable Doubts
Felicity Ward: What If There Is No toilet?
Bridget Christie: A Book For Her
Al Porter is Yours
Jonny Pelham: Before and After
Sarah Franken: Who Keeps Making All These People?
Butt Kapinski
Jimmy McGhie – Winged Goddess of Victory
Ed Gamble: Lawman
Mark Thomas: Trespass – Work In Progress
James Acaster: Represent
Katherine Ryan: Kathbum
Live In The Staff Room (Sex, Fairy Tales, Serial Killers and Other Stuff)
Corey White: The Cane Toad Effect
Alistair Barrie: No more stage 3
Ahir Shah: Distant
Miss Behave’s Gameshow
Mark Forward presents Mark Forward
Jellybean Martinez: Mr Saturday Night TV
Michael Brunström: The Golden Age of Steam
Tim Renkow: Kim Jong-Un, Muhammad, Jesus and Other Power Hungry Maniacs
Gary Little: Just Trying to Be Friendly
Daphne Do Edinburgh
Tom Parry: Yellow T-shirt
David Elms: Mister Boy
Alfie Moore: A Fair Cop Stands Up
Tony Law: Frillemorphesis
Phil Nichol: I Don’t Want to Talk About It
Jamie Kilstein: Sober Song Rants and a Cat Story
Paul Sinha: Postcards From the Z List
Ed Aczel: The Random Flapping of a Butterfly’s Wings
Mark Steel: Who Do I Think I Am?
Sarah Callaghan: Elephant
Richard Gadd: Waiting for Gaddot
Adam Hills: Clown Heart
Patrick Monahan – The Disco Years
Abnormally Funny People
Alex Edelman: Everything Handed to You
Laurence Owen: Cinemusical
Carl Donnelly: Jive Ass Honky
Massive Dad 2.0: Step Up 2 Massive Dad
Minor Delays
Trygve Wakenshaw: Nautilus
Max and Ivan: The End
Jena Friedman: American C***
Sam Simmons: Spaghetti for Breakfast
Pierre Novellie is Anxious Peter
Tom Stade: You’re Welcome!
Spencer Jones Presents: The Herbert in Proper Job
Nick Cody – Beard Game Strong
Asp
Al Murray: The Pub Landlord’s Summer Saloon

Dance

Nijinsky’s Last Jump
Between Us & Hunting Dust
Paradise Lost (lies unopened beside me)
L’Enfant qui…
Pole
Liberation
Correction
Ockham’s Razor: Arc & Every Action
Les Inouis
Self and Others
TAO Dance Theatre
Yerma
360 ALLSTARS
Close Up
4×4 Ephemeral Architectures
Leodo: The Paradise
Feast
Plan B For Utopia
Wings in My Heart
Ponies Don’t Play Football
Beauty of the Beast
Matemáticas de lo Jondo Redux
Smash It Up
Ballett Zurich: Kairos and Sonett

Music

Opening Concert: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Chilly Gonzales & Kaiser Quartet
Classical Guitar – Jonathan Prag
Tallis Scholars
Celtic Dialogues
Quatuor Modigliani
Rudolf Buchbinder
C’mon Meet The Ugly Bug Ragtime Three
Transformer
Valentina Nafornita/Roger Vignoles
Le Concert Spirituel
Blues! Roots of the Blues
King Creosote: From Scotland With Love
Trio Zimmerman
Brian Kellock Trio
Royal Scottish National Orchestra
All Rise – A Joyful Elegy For Fats Waller
Alien Lullabies: Songs from a Decaying Future
Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra 2
Richard Egarr
Rudolf Buchbinder: Beethoven 6
Simon Thacker’s Svara-Kanti
Mozart’s Requiem – Budapest Festival Orchestra
Philharmonia Orchestra: Berlioz’s Grande Messe des Morts
Oneohtrix Point Never: Magnetic Rose
Lang Lang
Mike Vass: In the Wake of Neil Gunn
Sol Gabetta/Bertrand Chamayou
Mitsuko Uchida
FFS
En Avant, Marche!
Noseda Conducts Mahler
Promise and Promiscuity: A New Musical by Jane Austen and Penny Ashton
In The Mood: The Music of Glen Miller
Aceh Meukondroe
Cathal McConnell and Friends
Mike Whellans
Alexi Murdoch
Arcanto Quartet
San Francisco Symphony 1
Township Voices
Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons: The Mutter Virtuosi
Rudolf Buchbinder: Beethoven 9
Virgin Money Fireworks Concert

Opera

The Marriage of Figaro
Orpheus and Eurydice

Spoken Word

Shift/ – A Best Of Spoken Word
The Tobolowsky Files
Loud Poets

Theatre

A Gambler’s Guide To Dying
Pardon/In Cuffs
The Last Hotel
Going Viral
Antigone
The History of the World Through Banalities
Key Change
Brute
On Track
Frankenstein
Cracked Tiles
The Soaking of Vera Shrimp
Citizen Puppet
The Jennifer Tremblay Trilogy Part III: The Deliverance
A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing
Swallow
Allie
My Friend Peter
The Christians
This Much (or An Act of Violence Towards the Institution of Marriage)
Giant Leap
Jamie Wood – O No!
Cornermen
The Wonderful Discovery of Witches in the County of Lancaster
The Letter: To Be or to MBE
Jack Rooke: Good Grief
Chicken
Mitch’s Movie Pitches
501 Things I Do In My Bedroom
Ndebele Funeral
Ventoux
The Orchid and the Crow
Kieran Hodgson: Lance
Dragon
Labels
887
Little Thing, Big Thing
Eating Seals and Seagulls’ Eggs
The Eulogy of Toby Peach
Hula House
The Titanic Orchestra
What I Learned from Johnny Bevan
Trans Scripts
Jethro Compton presents Sirenia
RAZ
I Got Dressed in Front of My Nephew Today
Impossible
Heartbeats & Algorithms
The Hampstead Murder Mystery!
The Great Downhill Journey Of Little Tommy
Undermined
Can I Start Again Please
John Lennon: In His Own Write
Hooray For All Kinds of Things
What Would Spock Do?
The London 2012 Games Closing Ceremony Closing Ceremony
Le Gateau Chocolat: Black
Light Boxes
Rap Guide to Climate Chaos
Police Cops
Ross & Rachel
CUT
Garden
Jethro Compton’s Frontier Trilogy: Blood Red Moon
Jethro Compton’s Frontier Trilogy: The Clock Strikes Noon
Jethro Compton’s Frontier Trilogy: The Rattlesnake’s Kiss
Heads
Paul Bright’s Confessions Of A Justified Sinner
The Gospel According to Jesus Queen of Heaven
This Will End Badly
Lisa Gornick’s Live Drawing Show
Traverse Breakfast Plays: Tomorrow
The Solid Life of Sugar Water
Magdalen
The Fabulous Punch and Judy Show
Hair Peace
Two Sore Legs
17 Border Crossings
Hearts of Folk
Heartlands
Katie O’Kelly’s Counter Culture
This is Mary Brown
A Game Of You
Echoes by Henry Naylor
Iphigenia In Splott
We May Have to Choose
Walking The Tightrope
A Reason To Talk
Penny Arcade: Longing Lasts Longer
The Unknown Soldier
Now Listen To Me Very Carefully
Tonight With Donny Stixx
Forever Young

★★★ (three stars)

Cabaret

Ecce Homo
The Church of Malcolm
Dandy Darkly’s Trigger Happy!
La Clique and the Famous Spiegeltent presents Velvet
Smack, Crackle n’ Pop!

Children’s Shows

Eeejits and Hissy Fits
Katie and the Mona Lisa
Flight
Fraxi Queen of the Forest
The Scarecrows’ Wedding
The History of Music
Martin ‘Bigpig’ Mor’s Funny Stuff for Happy People
The Periodic Fable
Loranga, Masarin and Dartanjang

Comedy

Beth Vyse: As Funny As Cancer
Jonny Awsum: Everything is Awsum
Abigoliah Schamaun: Post-Coital Confessions
Liam Williams: Bonfire Night
Mike Wozniak: One Man Dad Cat Band
Papa CJ: Naked
Wonderful World of Lieven Scheire
Gein’s Family Giftshop: Volume 2
Routines
Jenny Bede: Don’t Look at Me
Aisling Bea: Plan Bea
Adam Hess: Salmon
Tom Neenan: The Andromeda Paradox
Ismo Leikola: Observing The Obvious
Henning Wehn: Eins, Zwei, DIY!
The Story Beast
Bec Hill: Caught On Tape
Bat-Fan
Aunty Donna
This Is Your Trial
Diary of a Dating Addict
Chris Betts: Social Animal
Ali Brice presents: Eric Meat Has No Proof, Only Memories of Pasta
Sofie Hagen: Bubblewrap
Nick Revell: Feminist Porno Jihadi
Michael Che: Six Stars
Zoe Coombs Marr: Dave
Sarah Kendall: A Day in October
Larry Dean: Out Now!
George Egg: Anarchist
Diane Spencer: Power Tool
Adrienne Truscott’s A One-Trick Pony!
Harriet Kemsley: Puppy Fat
Get Your Own Back: Live!
Ray Bradshaw: I Dare Ray To
Lolly
Candy Gigi – Chicken Soup
Andrew Watts – How to Build a Chap
Nick Hall: Dodekahedron
Elf Lyons: Being Barbarella
Plague of Idiots
Lazy Susan: Double Act
Eleanor Morton: Allotted Mucking About Time
Dave Callan – A Little Less Conversation 2: A Little More Less Conversation
Andrew Doyle : Minimalism!
Phil Kay Megabusy
David Mills: Don’t Get Any Ideas/Free
Bucket
Seymour Mace Niche as F*ck!
Christian Talbot is Shite at Being Irish
Japanese Samurai Don Quixote Challenging Against English Giant Windmills!
Pat Cahill: Panjandrum
Ria Lina: Taboo Raider
Moby Alpha
The Kinsey Sicks: America’s Next Top Bachelor Housewife Celebrity Hoarder Makeover Star Gone Wild!
Joe Hart: Dirty Rotten Apples
Ivo Graham: No Filter
Lou Sanders: Excuse Me, You’re Sitting on My Penis Again
Simon Slack – The Fantasist
Bob Slayer: Fat Jockey
Marny Godden: Flap ‘em on the Gate
Fern Brady: People Are Idiots
Peter Brush: Older Than the Oldest Dog That Ever Lived
Fin Taylor: Stink
Jamie MacDonald: Oblivious
Graham Clark Reads the Phonebook
Geoff Norcott: The Look of Moron
Aidan Strangeman: Horsey
Richard Brown: Art is Easy
Macaroni On a Hotdog
In Cahoots: Two White Guys
Henry Ginsberg – 28 Years Later
Dysfunctionally in Order
Pajama Men: 2 Man 3 Musketeers
Angela Barnes: Come As You Are
Steve Bugeja: Day Release
Goose: Kablamo
Louise Reay: It’s Only Words
Alice Fraser: Savage
Julian Deane
Imaginary Colin

Dance

Danza del Caribe: Itara
Hitch!
Project HaHa
Special Edition 2015
Oog
Booking Dance Festival
B-Orders
The Hogwallops
Sonics in Toren
Gaze of the Kavaluan
The Paper Play
The Muted Note Duo: Dances and Songs based on poems by PK Page
Tibetan Monks Sacred Music and Masked Dance
Hey, I’m Alive!
Thread
Traces
Poker Night Blues
Fall
Ringside
R.I.O.T.
T-Dance
A String Section
Last Man Standing
ZIK’R
Siro-A
One Fine Day

Music

Rudolph Buchbinder: Beethoven Piano Sonatas: Concert 1
Rudolf Buchbinder
Under The Ground
Robert Glasper Trio
Rameau & Charpentier: Scottish Chamber Orchestra
The Secretary Turned CEO
The Bakewell Bakeoff
Movin’ Melvin Brown: Me, Ray Charles & Sammy Davis Jr
Sweet Dreams: Songs by Annie Lennox
Lennon: Through a Glass Onion
The Black Sorrows
Nina Simone Black Diva Power
Black Magic: Songs Unchained
Rudolf Buchbinder: Beethoven Piano Sonatas, Concert 4
Alchemy of the Piano
Witch
Kitty’s Bound for Broadway
Rudolf Buchbinder: Beethoven Sonatas – Concert 5
Tutte Contro Verdi
Guitar Multiverse
Rudolf Buchbinder: Beethoven 7
Anna Calvi and Heritage Orchestra
Violin Variations
The Quentin Dentin Show
Christine Brewer/Roger Vignoles
A Requiem for Edward Snowden
Scottish Opera: HMS Pinafore
UKIP! The Musical
Leonidas Kavakos/Yuja Wang
Rudolf Buchbinder: Beethoven 8
Helene: Bonsoior Monsieur Nightfall
Arturo Tappin: Caribbean Clipper

Musicals

Cautionary Tales for Daughters – Songs Your Mother Never Taught You

Spoken Word

Two Minute Manifesto

Theatre

Styx
Twin Primes
Insensible
block
Beyond Expectations
Pilgrim
Fake It ’Til You Make It
How To Keep An Alien
Clickbait
Desperate Measures: Below the Breadline
Pussy
Camera Obscura – A Way of Seeing
The Paradise Project
Here Is The News From Over There
We This Way
Pip Utton: Playing Maggie
Acts of Redemption
Some Thing New
Clairvoyant
I Am Beast
Leper + Chip
Fausted
2 Become 1
Beautiful, Terrifying, Love
Portrait
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Family
Fable
Boxed In
Antigone: An Arabian Tragedy
Ursula Invents Old Woman
The Stolen Inches
S.E.N
Will Greenway – For the Ground that Grew Me
To She or Not to She
Linking Rings
Joan, Babs & Shelagh Too
The Iraq Pack – Live from Das Vegas (or Dead)
Distinguished Gentlemen (But Really Just a Couple of ***ts)
A Very British Childhood
Ashes Afar
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Since Maggie Went Away
Blake Remixed
I Am Not Myself These Days
Electric Dreams
The Glorious Damnation of Eddie Small
Jo Romero Scenes of a Sensual Nature
Troublesome People by Jill Haas
Anatomy of the Piano (for Beginners)
Hemmed In
Bette Midler… And Me
Antiwords
Girl From Nowhere
Miss Sarah
Splitfoot
The Double Life of Malcolm Drinkwater
Cinema
The American Soldier
Idiots
Portraits in Motion
ErictheFred
Consumption
In The Company of Women
One For My Baby
I Gave Him An Orchid
Lost in Transition
Flight Lessons
Some People Talk About Violence
The Sacred Obscene
Romanovs
Threesome
The Alphabet Girl
Peter York: How to Become a Nicer Type of Person
Mata Hari: Female Spy
Pramkicker
A Fine Line
Wasted
The State of Concrete
The Outsider
How I Became Myself (By Becoming Someone Else)
Sequamur
A Haggis Queen Abroad
Scarlet Shambles: It Used to Be Me
Tribute Acts
The Sunset Five
Lotto: Karma of the Alchemist
Detached
Broken Windows
Births, Deaths & Marriages
Bayou Blues
Ada
Confessions of a Redheaded Coffee Shop Girl
Raft
Billy Through The Window
Nell Gwyn: An Epilogue
Cross The Shifting Sands
Much Further Out Than You Thought
The Bad Arm: Confessions of a Dodgy Irish Dancer
Skins and Hoods
Waking Beauty
A Matter of Life and Debt
Tether
The Wendy House Trilogy: Peter
Tumbling After
SpectreTown
Pan
Mwathirika
The King of Monte Cristo
To Kill a Machine
Elysium Fields
Derby Day
Scour
Open
May I Have the Bill Please? by Robin Mitchell
Shazam!
Am I Dead Yet?
The Year Of The Hare
The Communist Threat
Teaset
The Misfit Analysis
Willie And Sebastian
Bedsocks and Secrets
To Space
E15
Down & Out In Paris And London
Mrs Shakespeare
Broken Biscuits
Bortle 8
1972: The Future Of Sex
Umrao: The Noble Courtesan
Atomkraft
Quiet Violence
The Girl Who Fell in Love With the Moon
Ernie
Gomaar Trilogy
Islands

★★ (two stars)

Children’s Shows

The Hiawatha

Comedy

Lucie Pohl: Cry Me a Liver
Gabriel Bisset-Smith Tells the Most Original and Funny Joke in the Universe!
Paul Foot
Best Boy: Bested
Omar Hamdi: In the Valleys of the Kings
Lily Bevan – Pheasant Plucker
Ally Houston: Shandy
Thrones! The Musical
Clusterf**k
Chris Martin: This Show Has a Soundtrack
Underwhelmed

Dance

Butoh Beethoven
Da-Da-Darling
Elephant in the Room
Dolls
La Meute
Island Voices – The Sigh of Body
Caitlin
You
Awkward Happiness
Dreaming in Code
By the Bi

Music

Wonderland
Nina Simone: Soul Sessions
The Power of Music

Musicals

Poppies

Opera

China Doll – A Neuropera in Four Seasons

Theatre

An Illuminating Yarn
O! Glorious Youth
Nudity, Free Beer, Good for Kids
Festivus
My Beautiful Black Dog
Desperately Seeking Sugar
The Rocking Horse Winner
I’m Not Here Right Now
Oh Gumtree
Patriots
Happy Girl
FaÇade
Disorder
Rebounding Hail
Waitless
Satan Speaks: ‘Why I Don’t Exist’ A TED-ish Talk
Future Honey
Complex
Naked Knotted Neurons
Invisible Woman
Coughing Sheep
World King
Bismillah! An ISIS Tragicomedy
Scattered
If I Were Me
Molly
The 229 Is Never On Time
The Bench
Sunny Runny Runcorn
Mind The Gap
Leftovers
A Sudden Burst of Blinding Light
Rope
Love in the Time of Gilmore Girls
After We Danced
A History Of Feminism (As Told By A Sexist Pig)
Divas
Checkpoint 22
Bear Hug
A Divine Comedy
The Worry Monster
The Temptation of St Anthony
Five Drinks
Sexmaniac. Anarchist Theatre Only For the Mentally Unhinged
These Troubled Times
Angry
Stan
Real Life Becomes a Rumour
The Cherry Orchard: Beyond the Truth
Cheque Please
Marriage
Maiden: A Recycled Fairytale
101 Reasons Why I #@%$ Katie Hopkins
Bed
Gary Busey’s One-Man Hamlet as Performed by David Carl
No Strings
Horrids
C’tait la Nuit
Bug Bite
Tripped
Titania – A Solo Cabaret
The Rules: Sex, Lies and Serial Killers
The Night Watch
Angel In The Abattoir
10x10x10
Acorn: A Crunch or None
The Effects of Solitude
The Greatest Stories Never Told
The Long Road to Mrs MacIntyre’s
Wilting in Reverse
The Wendy House Trilogy: Edmund
The Wendy House Trilogy: Dorothy
Wojtek: The Happy Warrior
Inglorious Insinuations of Insanity
The Dream Sequentialists
Paintings and Cake
Sweetness and Light
Dark Matter
#Realiti
Jekyll
Bench
Paradise: Lost
Beethoven in Stalingrad
Violence of the Lambs
The Cupboard
The Lost Art of Lost Art
17

★ (one star)

Comedy

Savage and Ralph: Joyful Erotica
My Favourite Words in the English Language
David von Jones: Ethically Adventurous
Tim Drain: I Know How to Make the Women I Sleep with Laugh

Music

Iolite the Musical
The Craft of the Cooper
Streets

Musicals

Mata Hari – The Musical

Theatre

The Alice Effect
65 Days of Tracy The Marquis Mannequin
Somebody Out There Loves Me
The Last Kill
Charlie and the Philosorappers
Bill Hicks: Dark Poet
Mr Poe’s Legendarium
Madman Marathon Man
The Edge Effect
Savage
Some Big Some Bang
Old Man’s Gift

Unrated

Theatre

Forest Fringe 2015

Edinburgh Festivals 2015: complete coverage

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