THURSDAY 4 AUGUST 2022 THISWEEKCULTURE.COM
So, the Edinburgh Festival is up and running once again - with three weeks of great theatre, comedy, cabaret, music, musicals, opera, dance, physical theatre, film, visual art, talks, debates and spoken word.

ThreeWeeks is covering it all. You can pick up our Preview Guide - packed full of interviews and show recommendations - from venues across Edinburgh. Meanwhile, online, you will find more interviews and loads of reviews going live throughout August. For updates on the latest content follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

You can also check out all our coverage via the TW Weekly bulletins - the usual edition every Monday, and this extra edition each Thursday. This week we present all our Three To See recommendations for the 2022 festival - and from next week our Thursday extra edition will include all our latest reviews.

Finally, a special hello to all our new subscribers joining us for Edinburgh 2022 - and if you have any friends or colleagues who would like to receive these regular email updates tell them to get signed up here.
TOM MAYHEW: TRASH RICH
We've been hearing quite a bit about Tom Mayhew in recent years, and last year one of our reviewers saw - and loved - the online edfringe show he did. The topics he covers in his comedy are really important - and quite serious - ones, dealing with sociopolitical themes, and yet he is still effortlessly funny. 

He makes a physical return to Edinburgh this year with 'Trash Rich', a show prompted by the cost of living crisis, and we are of course expecting great things. I arranged a chat with Tom, to find out more about the show and about the comedian himself. 

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

Tom Mayhew performs 'Trash Rich' at The Stand Comedy Club 2 from 4-28 Aug. See the edfringe listing here



GEORGINA FAIRBANKS: THE UNICORN
As I'm always saying, we're very fond of one person shows here at ThreeWeeks, and there are many at the Fringe, one of the numerous reasons that Edinburgh is such a lovely place to be at this time of year. 

One such show that caught my attention this time is 'The Unicorn', by Sam Potter, which tells the tale of a young woman who loses her job after making sexual harrassment allegations, and how she deals with the frustration and depression that ensues. 

To find out more about the show I spoke to star of it, Georgina Fairbanks.  

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'The Unicorn' is on at Pleasance Courtyard from 3-29 Aug. See the edfringe listing here.



CLARE BARTHOLOMEW: THE ANNIVERSARY
There are always quite a few physical or slapstick type shows at the Fringe - although, one possibly could argue, not enough - but either way, I am always on the look out for the good ones. Which is why I pricked up my ears when I heard about 'The Anniversary', a show in the theatre programme that describes itself as a "physical comedy house party from hell".

It's the work of Salvador Dinosaur, aka Clare Bartholomew and Daniel Tobias, a duo you may have seen performing in another guise - as Otto and Astrid of Die Roten Punkte. We have always loved Die Roten Punkte and we think this new show looks incredibly promising, so I arranged a chat with Clare ahead of their edfringe run.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'The Anniversary' is on at Pleasance Dome from 3-28 Aug. See the edfringe listing here.
ThreeWeeks Co-Editor Caro Moses recommends 81 shows to see at this year’s Edinburgh Festival, in handy sets of three…


WOMAN ONLY COMEDY>>

Eryn Tett Finds Her Audience | Just The Tonic At The Tron | 4-28 Aug
It's the official start of our Three To See show recommendations for 2022 and what better way to get going than with the news that this year Just The Tonic is running a venue that features exclusively female comedians? What a joy. So, to mark the occasion, we're headed to The Tron and, frankly, I want to see everything on offer here, but we're going to have to pick three because of the demands of the format. So we'll kick things off with fab up and comer Eryn Tett. What to expect? "A bizarre exploration of her own thoughts; word play, odd observations and surreal storytelling set to a charmingly uncomfortable rhythm". Sounds good, we're more than sold. Click here for info and tickets.

Abigoliah Schamaun: Legally Cheeky | Just The Tonic At The Tron | 4-28 Aug
"This American girl in London had it all. Then one day the Wicked Witch of Westminster - Priti Patel - told Abigoliah to click her sparkly heels and go 'home'. In that instance, everything changed. Abigoliah was faced with the fight of her life and the stakes couldn't be higher. If she wins, she stays in the UK. If she loses, she loses everything". Fabulous Fringe regular Abigoliah Schamaun has been delighting our reviewers since they first laid eyes on her back in around 2013 - and in the intervening time she's been gathering four and five star reviews from them. What monster would send her away? Oh, right. Yes. Click here for info and tickets.

Aliya Kanani: Where You From, From? | Just The Tonic At The Tron | 4-28 Aug (pictured)
Our final woman from this woman-only venue is Aliya Kanani, who is making her Edinburgh debut, but is far from being a beginner. Based in Canada and boasting a Canadian Screen Award nomination for Best Actress on her CV, she's already performed this show to great acclaim at other festivals, including the Toronto Fringe and the Melbourne Comedy Festival. Before all this performing success, Aliya was busy travelling around Canada and the world, and that's what this show is about: where is she really from when she has been moving from place to place with her family, going to ten different schools, learning myriad languages, and trying to fit in? We think she's going to take us on a fascinating - and funny - journey. Click here for info and tickets.


SOMETHING SUPERNATURAL>>

Nightmare Magic | PBH's Free Fringe @ Voodoo Rooms | 6-28 Aug
David Alnwick is doing quite the number of shows at this year's Fringe: just stick his name into the edfringe.com website to see how busy he's going to be over August. But the one that jumped out at me - because I was thinking spooky thoughts - is 'Nightmare Magic', in which the extremely popular magician doesn't just do magic, but in fact tells a ghost story using magic. I gather it's a pretty scary tale, that focuses on the decoding of an old journal, and it's won much acclaim. That being the case, it sounds like you probably need to turn up at least an hour early to be in with a chance of getting to see this show. But you know, it's probably worth it. Click here for info and tickets.

Séayoncé: Res-Erection | Assembly Roxy | 2-28 Aug (pictured)
This one's less spooky, because although it deals in occult themes, it's a comedy cabaret seance led by "late great ghost whisperer" Séayoncé, and it's going to be highly entertaining, promising a show packed full of music, laughter, death and sex, cabaret ballads and audience interaction. Oh, and the summoning of the ghost of Anne Boleyn… how could you live with yourself if you missed that? It's the creation of award winning rising star Dan Wye, whose comic timing and compelling characters will no doubt keep you enthralled, perhaps even under a spell? Either way, you're going to have fun. Click here for info and tickets.

Saloum | EIFF at Vue/Cameo | 17+19 Aug
We were so pleased when the Edinburgh International Film Festival decided to move back to August dates so that the city's big movie celebration also takes place during Edinburgh's festival month - just like in the olden days. And not least because it means we can include some of the enticing screenings they are offering in our Three To See tips. This particular film really grabbed our attention - a "Senegalese horror western with a twist" released in 2021, that promises a rather wild ride. "When a revenge mission goes awry, a group of half-Senegalese, half-Central African outlaws stumble across a cursed land, and the bandits, led by the charismatic Chaka, have to deal with supernatural forces that don't fear guns". Yikes. Click here for info and tickets.


CLIMATE CHANGE CONCERNS>>

The Climate Crisis Hasn't Gone Away | Festival Of Politics at Scottish Parliament | 12 Aug
There are always shows and events at the Festival that take a look at issues like global warming and the pollution of the environment, and such things feel more pertinent than ever, not least because of that outrageously hot weather we've been having lately. We begin with a discussion at the small but beautifully formed Festival Of Politics, which is chaired by Tom Whipple, Science Editor of The Times, and features Professor Ali Watson OBE, Managing Director of climate justice education think tank the Third Generation Project; UK Energy Research Centre co-Director Dr Keith Bell; and environmental scientist and professional Lucy Stanfield-Jenner. Click here for info and tickets.

Matt Winning: Hot Mess | Assembly George Square Studios | 3-14 Aug
The ThreeWeeks team have been fans of Matt Winning for rather a long time now, for we have been enjoying his work for - checks clock - slightly upwards of a decade; and we've always been rather impressed that a working scientist is also producing marvellous Fringe shows. Now we're even more wowed, because he's recently published a book about the global warming issue - 'Hot Mess: What On Earth Can We Do About Climate Change?' - and his edfringe offering this year is a live show based on that. The book has great reviews on Amazon and I expect the show will be similarly acclaimed. Click here for info and tickets.

You're Safe Til 2024: Deep History | Pleasance Courtyard | 3-29 Aug (pictured)
And now for something theatrical related to the topic at hand, a play focusing on one specific aspect of the climate emergency, namely, the increasing frequency of bush fires down under. Here's what to expect: "In the last hours of 2019, David Finnigan's best friend prepared to make a break for home with his family before fires cut off the highway. As Australia was hit by the worst fires in the country's recorded history, an area the size of England burned and one billion animals were incinerated. Written over the last three days of the decade, as David's friends and family raced to evacuate amid the devastation, 'Deep History' is the story of 75,000 years of human history and 75 hours of brutal consequences". Click here for info and tickets.


IMPROV SHOWS>>

CSI: Crime Scene Improvisation | Underbelly Bristo Square | 5-28 Aug
And now time for another comedy-focused section, and in fact a style of comedy that the TW team have been passionate about since the early nineties. For yes, we are big fans of improv and seek it out, well, all year round really, but especially during the old edfringe when you can barely move for it. CSI are one of our more recently acquired improv faves, a troupe who create a new and funny whodunnit in every show as they try to solve murder mysteries invented by that day's audience. This lot are much acclaimed - it's not just us that likes them - and it's brilliant for those of you who are fans of both detective stories and comedy, right? Click here for info and tickets.

Starship Improvise | Pleasance Dome | 6-21 Aug (pictured)
Speaking of which, here's an improv show that ought to appeal to people who are fans of both sci fi and comedy, proving that there really is something at this festival for everyone. The conceit with this one is that each improvised show is an episode of a Star-Trek-like smash hit TV programme, which ran for many seasons and made international stars of some its cast. The audience will suggest the content of each instalment, which will play out against the background of fifteen years of behind-the-scenes drama - in-fighting, relationships, sexual tensions, ego, and so on. It sounds like amazing fun and is performed by some seasoned pros, so don't miss it. Click here for info and tickets.

Sex, Lies & Improvisation | theSpace @ Symposium Hall | 5-20 Aug
"A dark comedy about lying together. Inspired by an anonymous lie chosen by the audience, each show reveals why we lie to the people we love". We would have been rather intrigued by this improv concept even if we hadn't already been fans of the team behind it, who are also responsible for 'Mates', the improvised 90s sitcom. It's also something of a follow up to 'Between Us', a theatrical improvised show that we fell in love with back in 2019, that depicted a couple's relationship using facts and anecdotes from the audience, and created stories that were funny, yet also moving and serious. So yes, we'll be expecting high quality stuff. Click here for info and tickets.


ALTERNATIVE SHAKESPEARE>>

Thom Tuck And Tim FitzHigham: Macbeth | Underbelly Cowgate | 4-20 Aug
There's always something of an abundance of productions of Shakespeare's work at the Festival, and alongside the more traditional stagings, there are also usually plenty that use the Bard's work as a jumping off point, or simply just mess with it. I thought we'd take a look at a few falling into that latter category, starting with one that's in the comedy section, so you can be sure that this is not a standard version of the great Scottish tragedy. It's brought to you by two long term, delightful favourites of ours - TW Editors' Award winners no less - so you can expect something highly entertaining, and with a different guest director daily, an ever-changing beast. Click here for info and tickets.

Waiting For Hamlet | theSpace Triplex | 6-26 Aug
"Being dead doesn't mean you have to take it lying down, but you can't put right what's rightly written wrong". This one's in the theatre section, but it's a comedy, so it promises to be another amusing riff on what we all understand to be a tragedy, and an award-winning one to boot. This time it's Hamlet in the limelight - or rather, his royal dad in the afterlife - as 'Waiting For Hamlet' - a play that won the Kenneth Branagh New Writing Award - sees the deceased king stuck in purgatory with his old jester Yorick. Murdered (as you no doubt well know) by his brother, Hamlet Senior seeks revenge, and to win back both his queen and his crown, whilst Yorick tries to stop him from making the biggest mistake of his post-life existence. Click here for info and tickets.

Midsummer | theSpace @ Niddry Street | 15-27 Aug (pictured)
We're really intrigued by this one, which gives 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' what you might call a serious facelift. US-based theatre company Tiltyard have ripped apart the play at the seams and reconstructed it using text from every other Shakespeare play, so when you see it, you'll basically (sort of) have seen the entire oeuvre. And as well as sounding pleasingly adventurous, this adaptation also addresses serious contemporary concerns: "A radical Shakespearean remix for an era of ecological crisis, 'Midsummer' is an opportunity to reawaken our faith, and to ask ourselves the moment's all-important question: In a heartsick, broken, wintery world, how do we imagine a future?" Click here for info and tickets.


TRIED + TESTED>>

Luke Wright's Late Night Dance Floor Fillers | Pleasance Dome | 3-29 Aug (pictured)
If you're wondering what we might mean by 'tried and tested', let me clear that up: it's a section full of acts that we love, and that we trust to never ever present anything other than something fabulous. Poet and playwright Luke Wright has been a favourite of ours for, well, more years than we now care to remember, to be honest, and we know you'll be blown away by this late night offering of rock and roll poetry. Don't stop there though: please also go and watch him perform his excellent play 'The Remains Of Logan Dankworth' over at the Pleasance Courtyard in the late afternoon. I mean, you probably already know he's brilliant, but here's your reminder that you get to see him again this year. Click here for info and tickets.

This Is Not Therapy | PBH's Free Fringe @ Banshee Labyrinth | 6-14 Aug
Here's another great creator from the world of the spoken word, one we feel sure will be performing more fantastic material this Fringe. In past years Tina Sederholm has held our reviewers entranced with her well-crafted storytelling as she entertained audiences with both the heartwarming and the poignant. This year's show promises a meditation on ageing, and all that comes with it: "Think you're the only one who's making it up as you go along? You're not. Join Tina as she tackles her fifties with as much humour, grace and sensible footwear as she can muster. From parenting ageing parents, battling tyrannical deadlines and fitting in the occasional nap, Tina aims to make it less of a crisis and more of a celebration". Click here for info and tickets.

Will Pickvance: Half Man Half Piano | Assembly George Square Gardens | 3-28 Aug
This show could have ended up in so many of the categories we have in these here Three To See tips. It nearly ended up in musical comedy, it would have been at home in the shows with music section, and even the one-person shows. But because Will Pickvance is such a favourite for us, it ended up here, under shows that won't fail you, and which you really should not miss. This is listed in the cabaret section, which is definitely the right place for it, because although it's full of music, it's the musical anecdotes in between, juxtaposed with the fusion of classical and popular song, that make the show quite as winning as it is. So fab we gave Will Pickvance a ThreeWeeks Editors' Award and we are very happy to see him back at the Fringe. Click here for info and tickets.


SONS + FATHERS>>

The Awkward Silence's Big Break | Gilded Balloon Teviot | 3-29 Aug
There are quite a number of shows at this year's Fringe that would fit in this 'sons and fathers' section, in fact, so in the end it was quite hard to choose between them all. But this show is the one that inspired the theme, so of course it had to be in it. And there are other reasons, of course, not least the fact that it looks brilliant. This is a comedy musical about Louis, who wants his dad, Mike, out of his life. The only problem is that Mike has just got the pair of them sent to prison, which, clearly, would put a spanner in the works. "Can Louis navigate life inside without his old man to guide him? Can Mike win back his son's affection before it's too late?" I've got my fingers crossed. Click here for info and tickets.

Aidan Jones - Taco | Laughing Horse @ 32 Below | 4-28 Aug
Australian comedian Aidan Jones is something of a festival favourite - and not just at the Edinburgh Festival, of course, I am talking Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne's festivals too. This year he is doing two shows at the Laughing Horse venues, and you should definitely see both if you can fit it in, but let's talk about the one we're here to talk about and why it sounds so interesting. In 'Taco', Jones tells the story of his Colombian parentage: how his mother became pregnant while backpacking in South America at the age of 22, and how in September 2019, he finally met his biological father for the first time. An interesting story in the hands of a great comedian. Click here for info and tickets.

The Great Almighty Gill | Assembly George Square | 3-29 Aug (pictured)
"My dad, Dave, died on 5 November 2015 of complications related to dementia. It was f*cking awful. But the eulogy I gave was brilliant. It deserves a bigger crowd. My way to see if from the molten wreckage of dementia some humanity, art and wonder can be salvaged". This autobiographical performance from writer and actor Daniel Hoffman-Gill sounds like it could be horribly sad, but I think you'll find it will be leavened by its dark humour, and the fact that as much as it offers insights into living with dementia, and the creator's sometimes troubled relationship with his dad, it's also a celebration of the life of a beloved father, husband and gifted artist. Click here for info and tickets.


SOMETHING DIFFERENT>>

Work.txt | Summerhall | 3-28 Aug
It really wouldn't be the Fringe if you didn't try to make sure and see something that goes a little beyond the more standard realms of performance, and thankfully, there is plenty of it. So this is another section where it is hard to decide what to pick from what's on offer. We've had a go, though, because we like a challenge, and this first one is something we've had our eye on for a while, given its recent success in old London town. And I suspect once we describe it, you'll be as intrigued as we are: it's a show about the gig economy, financial instability and bullshit jobs, and it's performed entirely by the audience. See, I told you you'd want to find out more. Click here for info and tickets.

Megalith | Zoo Southside | 5-28 Aug (pictured)
So here's another interesting one, especially for those of you who like loud and violent stuff. Yes, I know you are out there. Every performance of this show from 2018 Herald Angel winners MECHANIMAL involves smashing up to 250kg of rocks - and the production was developed in collaboration with researchers from Bristol University and the Natural History Museum. And for why, all this rock bashing? Well, it's a show that offers a journey to the Neolithic origins of mining - courtesy of a silent physical performer and a digital sound artist - and explores the way that copper has been at the cutting edge of technological development for thousands of years, and its role in our ongoing ecological crises. Click here for info and tickets.

The Twenty Sided Tavern | Pleasance Dome | 3-28 Aug
You might not be new to the idea of the "choose your own adventure" concept, but this show will provide you with an exciting and interesting version of that idea. It's inspired by the gameplay of Dungeons & Dragons (and I know there'll be D&D fans out there who will appreciate that) and each show's direction is steered by the audience, who will access a website via their smartphones and make choices that inform the performance of the actors on stage. Like I said, a given for D&D fans, but it promises to be a funny immersive theatre experience that's suitable for all fringe-goers over the age of eight - so it might be a good one to add to your list of family friendly shows. Click here for info and tickets.


MIGRANT STORIES>>

As British As A Watermelon | The Studio | 23-26 Aug (pictured)
Themes of migration, immigration and refugee stories have - with good reason - been a consistent theme at the Festival, and in the arts world generally, in recent times. With that in mind, we've picked three events focusing specifically on migrant tales. And, with this first one, we make our first foray into the International Festival programme, which is fit to burst with high quality, compelling stuff once again this year. It's a theatrical piece by Zimbabwean writer and performer mandla rae that weaves together poetry and storytelling, and explores the artist's fragmented LGBTQ asylum and childhood migration memories, and asks powerful questions about belonging, trauma and forgiveness. Click here for info and tickets.

Fatima Daas & Shumona Sinha: Immigrants In Paris | Edinburgh Art College | 26 Aug
And hurrah, another first foray, this time into the Edinburgh International Book Festival, an event long beloved of our book-ish team members. It's got a huge programme, of course, and a really diverse selection of events, but here's one choice from it, which focuses specifically on the experience of migrants in Paris - where they make up twenty percent of the population - and two prizewinning autobiographical novels set in France. Appearing are Fatima Daas, whose book 'The Last One' deals with the experience of being French-Algerian, Muslim and gay; and Shumona Sinha, author of 'Down With The Poor!', which details her experiences with French immigration authorities. Click here for info and tickets.

Tickbox | Summerhall | 16-28 Aug
Back to the Fringe now for 'Tickbox', a solo show written and performed by Lubna Kerr, which returns to the Festival following a successful run last year. If you didn't see it last time, you're in for a treat, as Kerr takes on a broad range of characters in this piece focusing on a life growing up as an Asian in Glasgow, which exposes the sort of casually racist perceptions and expectations that newcomers are routinely subjected to. "How did a Pakistani family cope when arriving in cold and wet Scotland? Like many migrants they used food to make friends. But when no one had heard of a samosa, how could the barriers be broken down?" Expect something warm and funny, whilst dealing with the serious points. Click here for info and tickets.


FAMILY SHOWS>>

The Lost Letters | Quaker Meeting House | 8-13 Aug
There are family shows scattered throughout these tips - which is to say, shows that are suitable for younger audiences as well as their older companions - but we thought it would be nice to also have a section specifically dedicated to things to entertain your holidaying kids. First up is one of our all-time favourite Fringe regular companies, Newbury Youth Theatre, who always turn up at the Festival with beautiful shows that win lots of acclaim, and yes, they're another past winner of one of our Editors' Awards. Their latest show is "a magical portmanteau production of love, friendship and forgotten messages that connect people across warzones and Christmas wish lists in a collection of heart-warming modern fables", suitable for children over the age of eight. Click here for info and tickets.

Around The World With Nellie Bly | theSpace At Surgeon's Hall | 5-20 Aug
"The year is 1889 and intrepid journalist Nellie Bly is about to embark on her biggest adventure yet: racing around the world to beat Jules Verne's famous fictional hero, Phileas Fogg. In a journey that captures the imagination of the world, she traverses continents, faces fierce ocean storms and even adopts a monkey! But can she make it back in less than 80 days?" We love the sound of this adventure story told with the aid of puppetry, audience interaction and compelling characters, and of course the fact that its central character is female - as the company point out, girls are allowed to have adventures too. Recommended age range is six to twelve. Click here for info and tickets.

Mark Thompson's Spectacular Science Show | Gilded Balloon at the Museum | 3-21 Aug (pictured)
We've always loved tracking down the science-based shows on as part of the Festival, and often found ourselves especially excited to find one in the children's programme. On a serious note, one feels it's very important to encourage young people to develop an interest in science, even if they're not destined to be career scientists; but on a less serious note, such shows usually involve some really fun and jaw-dropping experiments that will engage even the most easily distracted child. And that's what you can expect from Mark Thompson, and his award winning 'Spectacular Science Show', which promises an interactive hour of explosions, chemical reactions, and, um, toilet roll. Hurrah! Click here for info and tickets.


REMODELLED CLASSICS>>

Classic! | Pleasance Courtyard | 3-29 Aug (pictured)
You know how our Shakespeare section featured shows that were very much departures from the norm in terms of their actual relationship with the Bard's work? Well, we're kind of doing a similar thing here, but it's a bit more broad ranging, in that we're looking at plays featuring other authors' mashed up stuff. In the case of 'Classics!', it's a whole plethora of different works being plundered, and it's all done at rather high speed. It's been written by 'Coronation Street' and 'Emmerdale' writers Lindsay Williams and Peter Kerry, and it features some novel ideas (yes, novel ideas!) like presenting 'Moby Dick' as a sea shanty, 'Jane Eyre' as a silent movie, and 'Oliver Twist' as a film noir. And it looks like the whole thing will be fab. Click here for info and tickets.

Prejudice And Pride | theSpace Triplex | 5-27 Aug
Here's one for fans of musicals, and with the added bonus of having a connection with Jane Austen's (probably) most famous work. This is an award-winning gender-swapped production, a folk music comedy featuring a live band and fifteen original songs, and - warning - it contains gunfire. Why? Well, if I explain the setting a bit more it might all become clear. Set in the United States, it focuses on the Longhorn boys in East Tennessee, who "must find love or at least empathy with the millionaires next door before they lose the family farm". So that sounds like fun. Clickhere for info and tickets.

Jungle Book Reimagined | Festival Theatre | 25-28 Aug
And finally, we're back over to the International Festival for a somewhat different take on the 'The Jungle Book'. This dance piece is by an EIF favourite - internationally acclaimed choreographer Akram Khan - and it reinvents the journey of Mowgli through the eyes of a climate refugee: "In a near future world, a family is torn apart as they escape their homeland, ravaged by the impact of extreme weather. Arriving alone in a deserted modern city, and with wild animals claiming the streets as their own, the child soon discovers unlikely allies in this strange new jungle". It's put together by an amazing team and is suitable for older children (eight plus), so it's another family outing possibility to consider. Click here for info and tickets.


WOMEN’S STORIES>>

The Sian Clarke Experience | Underbelly Cowgate | 4-28 Aug
We had a focus on fathers and sons earlier, so now let us give women the floor for a moment and check out some fab Fringe performers telling stories of distinctly gender influenced experiences. Let's begin at Underbelly with 'The Sian Clarke Experience', which is: "An ode to every man who has belittled her, made her feel unsafe, objectified her, told her she can't be funny, called her a slut, told her to smile more… A dark, twisted comedic piece full of aggression and discomfort, examining the constraints of a woman biting back in a society eager to silence and vilify those no longer accepting its bullshit. That, or a show about a woman who needs to learn to take a joke". Click here for info and tickets.

She-Wolves | Greenside @ Nicolson Square | 5-13 Aug
It has to be said, of course, that there are lots and lots of shows that could fit with the theme of women's stories, for such events are all over the Festival. And while you might expect to find most of them in theatre, or perhaps in comedy, this one's from the dance/physical theatre category and it sounds oh-so-interesting, not least because of the historical content (I love historical content). 'She-Wolves' tells tales of forgotten female rulers from the past - stories of women from the mediaeval and Tudor periods - conveyed via movement, speech, image and song, with material based on Helen Castor's excellent book and BBC series of the same name. Click here for info and tickets.

The Actress | Underbelly Bristo Square | 3-29 Aug (pictured)
"1660, London, England. Charles II has returned to the country to take the throne and immediately reopened the theatres. It is a time of debauchery and revelry and speculation is swirling around the city that for the first time a woman will be allowed onto the stage. The King's Company invite two very different women, from very different backgrounds, to join them, but only one can be the first". Yay, another historical piece, about real historical characters, and another great story, this time back in the theatre section. And as well as being an interesting tale, one can't help thinking it has contemporary relevance for women. Click here for info and tickets.


EXHIBITIONS>>

Yan Wang Preston: With Love. From An Invader | Royal Botanic Gardens | until 28 Aug
The festival is a busy, bustling thing and we always feel that - especially if you are in town for the whole run - taking some time to do something a bit more quiet and reflective now and then is definitely good for you. And what could be more suitable than enjoying a walk in Edinburgh's Royal Botanic Gardens, which are already a bit of a walk (or a cab ride) from the city centre. Once there you can take in Yan Wang Preston's audio-visual installation, which is a response to xenophobia and racism, and an investigation of the connections between identity, migration and the environment. It looks like a fascinating exhibition. Click here for info and tickets.

Barbara Hepworth: Art And Life | Scottish National Gallery Of Modern Art | until 2 Oct (pictured)
Another nice place to walk to - and another great place to see great art - is my favourite of the big Edinburgh galleries, the Scottish National Gallery Of Modern Art on Belford Road. You can take in the permanent collections while you are there, but what we are recommending here is a major retrospective of the work of Barbara Hepworth, one of the most acclaimed British sculptors of the Twentieth Century. The exhibition features more than 120 pieces, charts her development as an artist, and includes some of her most celebrated and iconic works. It also promises to show how her passion for dance, theatre, music, religion and science, and events in the artistic and political world, shaped her output. Click here for info and tickets.

Rosa Lee, Barbara Levittoux-Świderska And Shelagh Wakely: Weathering Is What I Would Like To Do Well | Arusha Gallery | until 28 Aug
Now let's go to the Arusha gallery, which is in Edinburgh's New Town, and a therefore a bit closer to the centre, and near to a number of other Fringe and Festival venues. And what are we there for? Well, it's an exhibition of the work of three fabulous female artists: Polish textile artist Barbara Levittoux-Świderska (1933-2019), who created avante garde embroidery installations; Rosa Lee (1957-2009), a Hong Kong born creator known for her layered and textured paintings; and Shelagh Wakely (1932-2011), who was active in the British Sculpture Movement of the 1980s. Click here for info.


WAR STORIES>>

Dots And Dashes: A Bletchley Park Musical | Army @ The Fringe - Drill Hall | 16-28 Aug
Okay, let's delve into some war stories, which may have the capacity to make us sad, but may also have the capacity to make us smile. I can't help thinking that a brand new musical show like this one might manage the latter. It tells the story of six women working at Bletchley Park during World War Two, detailing their stories of love, loss, secrets and the sacrifices they made as they attempted to protect millions of lives. Delivered by an all-female cast, it promises to be an ode to unsung heroes - as so many in wartime are - and we are expecting good things from it. Click here for info and tickets.

Johnny Got His Gun | Zoo Southside | 5-28 Aug (pictured)
"A grenade hits Joe Bonham in WW1. He wakes up in the hospital to discover his arms, legs, eyes, ears and mouth are gone. Left is but a torso - the living dead alone with his thoughts. Now he breaks through to be heard". This has got to be a sad one, I am not sure I can see any way round that; it's absolutely an emotionally charged show that will offer an examination of the impact of the First World War on the soldiers who fought it. Based on the 1938 anti-war novel by American writer Dalton Trumbo - and created by Essi Rossi, Johannes Holopainen and Pauli Riikonen - it sees the once-fiercely patriotic soldier questioning the belief that fighting for liberty and democracy was the right thing to do. Click here for info and tickets.

Tempus Fugit: Troy And Us | Army @ The Fringe - Drill Hall | 16-28 Aug
Back over to Army @ The Fringe now. Well, the chances of two shows at that venue appearing in a section of war stories were always going to be fairly high. We are returning for a critically acclaimed piece inspired by Homer's 'Iliad' and interviews with contemporary military personnel and their partners, and which presents a really interesting angle on how war affects those involved. "The doorbell rings, a radio crackles - ancient and modern conflicts collide as the wife of a soldier fighting in Afghanistan is plunged into her own memories and into visions of the Trojan War. Tales from antiquity speak to her present and hold the keys to her future". Click here for info and tickets.


NEURODIVERSITY>>

Guerilla Autistics Year 8 - Scenes From An Undiagnosed Life | Laughing Horse @ Bar 50 | 4-19 Aug (pictured)
There are way more than three autistic performers appearing at this year's Fringe, of course, and lots of them are women, but we seem to have inadvertently pandered to the stereotype of neurodivergent types being predominantly male by picking three male acts for this section. They're all great shows by great acts, though, so I won't worry about this too much. Let's instead get on with talking about these three great shows we can look forward to, starting with 'Guerilla Autistics Year 8' by Paul Wady, whose autism went undiagnosed until he was forty one years old. Expect "laughs, tears, obsessions, autism and neurodiversity". Click here for info and tickets.

Joe Wells: I Am Autistic | PBH's Free Fringe @ Banshee Labyrinth | 6-28 Aug
I was a fan of Joe Wells long before I knew he was autistic, not least because he's a bit of a veteran of the Fringe. And given that he's a bit of a veteran of the Fringe, you probably know who he is too. Or - if that wasn't previously the case because, I don't know, you're not actually much of a live comedy consumer, or, you know, you've been asleep - well, you will probably know who he is by now because of his video on 'Having A Brother Who Is Not Autistic', which ended up going viral and clocking up more than two million views. And, as you might expect, given that title, this is "a show about being proud of your weird brain". Click here for info and tickets.

Ian Lynam: Autistic License | Gilded Balloon Patter House | 3-28 Aug
"Most people start comedy because they're funny. Very few have a doctor's note saying they can't be. As an autistic person, Ian's expected to have a gift, but with no skill in counting matches, he's settled on comedy. Thrust into a world that told him he could achieve anything but connecting with people, Ian perseveres. In a stand-up comedy show exploring diagnosis, relationships, sexuality, creativity and the history of autism, Ian sets out to prove autistic people have more to offer than being good at maths". The question is, can he prove it to himself? A show about the expectations, negative and positive, put on autistic people. Click here for info and tickets.


SPORTY STORIES>>

Nic Sampson: Marathon, 1904 | Pleasance Courtyard | 3-28 Aug (pictured)
We start quite a few of these sections with a bit of commentary on how there are a plethora of shows at the Festival that fall under the chosen theme, but actually, when it comes to this topic, it's not one that generally throws up a long list of shows. However, there are enough things featuring sporty themes this time to justify some focus and this comedy offering is one of them. It's a really interesting show, this one, from Nic Sampson, because it focuses on a historical sporting event - the 1904 Olympic marathon in St Louis, Missouri, which only fourteen athletes out of 32 managed to finish, for a number of crazy reasons. It's the "incredible true story of one of the dumbest sporting events of all time" and we are intrigued. Click here for info and tickets.

Newcastle United Ruined My Bloody Life | The Stand Comedy Club 2 | 4-28 Aug
Let's stick with comedy for the moment, shall we, and head to The Stand to spend an hour with Gavin Webster, who tells the story of his somewhat intensive relationship with a particular football club. "When Gavin Webster was a kid, he liked kings and queens from history, space and the solar system, as well as singing, skipping and running. Then Newcastle United arrived and that was his life effectively over. Obsessed with the team, the players, the results and the club's history, but also obsessed with the supporters, the rude terrace chanting and the moronic subculture that went with football at the time, it ruined his bloody life and still does to this day. This is his story". And we want to hear all about it. Click here for info and tickets.

Ashley Hickson-Lovence & Benjamin Markovits: Staying Ahead Of The Game | Edinburgh Art College | 25 Aug
Now that we've seen two high quality comedy shows, let's sprint over to Edinburgh Art College for another date with the lovely Edinburgh International Book Festival. We're going to take in an event with two writers whose novels tackle the world of professional sport. First, Ashley Hickson-Lovence is the creative behind 'Your Show', a portrait of Uriah Rennie, the first (and so far only) black referee in English Premier League football, who comes up against prejudice and over-zealous scrutiny in his journey through the ranks. Hickson-Lovence appears alongside James Tait Black Prize winning novelist Benjamin Markovits, whose early post-graduate career in professional basketball informs his most recent work 'The Sidekick'. Click here for info and tickets.


ONE PERSON SHOWS>>

Far Gone | Zoo Southside | 5-20 Aug
We love one person shows here at ThreeWeeks, because of the intimacy and immediacy of them, and also because we are accustomed to seeing so many of them at the Fringe. That being the case, it makes absolute sense to shine a light on them, and we will start with 'Far Gone' at Zoo Southside. It's a Roots Mbili Theatre and Sheffield Theatres co-production set in Northern Uganda and tells a compelling story. "When Okumu's village is attacked by the Lord's Resistance Army, he and his brother's lives are changed forever. 'Far Gone' is a profoundly moving story of a young boy's journey from childhood innocence to child soldier". Expect to be moved. Click here for info and tickets.

A Matter Of Time | C cubed | 3-28 Aug (pictured)
And on to C cubed and a rather different sort of solo show courtesy of the talented Anjali Singh. This one really called out to me on account of the fact that it's an investigation into the nature of time - Why does time often feel so oppressive? And did it always have to be this way? - and honestly, these are the sort of questions that genuinely keep me awake at night. It's described as "part cabaret show and part heart-rending personal quest to come to terms with a world in which the clock is always ticking", and it features songs, historical facts, 'Hamilton' references and silliness, all of which sounds very good to us. Click here for info and tickets.

The Ballad Of Mulan | Gilded Balloon Teviot | 3-28 Aug
Yes, I will confess that 'Mulan' is one of my favourite Disney films and that perhaps that does play a part in my decision to choose this particular show. But also, I will point out, I knew about the original story of Mulan before I ever saw the film and it's a really fab story already. Which is why I am so pleased to be able to recommend this show, which offers an excellent exploration of war and gender. "Woman, warrior, legend. For ten years, Mulan, disguised as a man, fought for the empire, but now that the fighting is nearly over how can she return to her old life and become a woman again? Does she even want to?" Click here for info and tickets.


DANCE SHOWS>>

BreAking | Dance Base | 5-14 Aug (pictured)
We've been tipping the odd dance show as we've gone along with our Threes To See, of course, but we felt that the medium deserved a section of its own, not least because of all the amazing stuff that's going on at venues like Dance Base. Alas, we can't recommend all of the Dance Base programme here, but do take a look at all their listings if you get a chance. In the meantime, consider seeing 'BreAking' from the Korea National Contemporary Dance Company, which features music by Lee Ilwoo - of the traditional Korean folk, post-rock band Jambinai - plus five contemporary dancers and three top street dancers. It's a great looking show with an equally great message: "Don't fit myself into the world. Do it the other way around!" Click here for info and tickets.

Samsara | The Lyceum | 8-29 Aug
The International Festival always has lots of great dance shows too, of course, and this one is no exception. It's inspired by classic Chinese novel 'Journey To The West', and is the work of UK/Indian dancer Aakash Odedra and Chinese dancer Hu Shenyuan, who draw on dance traditions from their respective countries to explore samsara: the wheel of life, of birth, existence and re-birth. "Drawing on thinking and imagery at the heart of Buddhist philosophy, 'Samsara's mythological storytelling merges with personal experience from two globally opposite perspectives, in a seductive, astonishing journey of twin movement". Click here for info and tickets.

Remedy For Memory | Dance Base | 23-28 Aug
Finally, let's head back to Dance Base for 'Remedy For Memory', which is a rather interesting piece of the sort I feel could beckon in the sort of Fringe-goer as yet inexperienced in the ways of physical theatre. It's a dance theatre experience - a "feminine fantasy" - set in the world of a TV talk show, in which four women explore healing, cosmic wanderings, corporate wellbeing, discovery and desire. "Beautiful people…. Have you been seeking, dreaming, of something more, something less, something beyond? Well, you've come to the right place". Amen to that. Click here for info and tickets.


SHOWS WITH MUSIC>>

The Gods The Gods The Gods | Assembly Rooms | 4-27 Aug
Although the music strand of the Fringe can seem rather small when compared to the comedy or theatre sections, the sum total of shows involving music in some way across the programme - not to mention all the concerts in the International Festival - mean there is an awful lot of music in Edinburgh each August, making picking just a few shows here very hard indeed. 'The Gods The Gods The Gods' comes from the theatre side of things but is a gig-theatre piece "full of big beats and soaring melodies" as well as spoken word influenced by the likes of Walt Whitman and William Blake. Four Stories are told, and fourteen tracks played, whilst the audience are placed right at the centre of the performance, and we think it sounds thrilling. Click here for info and tickets.

The Village And The Road | Scottish Storytelling Centre - Netherbow | 17-29 Aug (pictured)
Part of the Made In Scotland showcase, 'The Village And The Road' offers a personal and collective story of rural depopulation, told through theatre, live music and storytelling. "Tom Pow draws on his travels for this emotive journey exploring abandonment of the countryside, refugee crises and the great thinning of the natural world, whilst The Galloway Agreement musicians draw on their wide experience of European musical traditions, enlarging the emotional landscape and driving the narrative". An important, and poignant, topic. Click here for info and tickets.

Caste-ing | Roundabout @ Summerhall | 3-28 Aug
I suspect there are quite a lot of people who tend to think of music at the Festival largely falling into the category of folk, classical or show tunes. But they'd be wrong to think of it that way, actually, because there are loads of contemporary sounds going on, and 'Caste-ing' is a show offering exactly that, as it features beatboxing, rap, song and spoken word. The show explores the experiences of three black actresses, exposing how they navigate the realities, structures and pressures put on them by the industry. It's an important topic to tackle, this, as the play asks questions about how they can maintain their careers and friendships in a world that seemingly wants to pit them against each other. Click here for info and tickets.


MUSICFUL SHOWS>>

Wayne Marshall Plays Gershwin | Usher Hall | 13 Aug (pictured)
You may well be wondering what we mean by a 'musicful show' and quite how that differs from a 'show with music', so I will make it clear: musicful shows are entirely full of music and are most likely listed under music or opera, whereas a show with music might appear in any section, but still have some music in it. This selection is part of the International Festival's very good line up of music shows and features the excellent pianist, conductor and composer Wayne Marshall, who is renowned for his ability to blend classical music and jazz. This festival he'll be playing Gershwin, so you can look forward to an evening of American classics. Click here for info and tickets.

Six Stories | theSpace @ Symposium Hall | 8-18 Aug
You probably couldn't get a starker contrast with Gershwin than this offering from WeMu, a group of artists formed at the Korea National University Of Arts who are dedicated to sharing traditional Korean shamanic rituals with international audiences. 'Six Stories' consists of six songs, each usually used in three specific village rituals from across Korea, and the show unites Korean instruments such as piri and janggu with the violin and keyboard. And the performance, of course, promises to be atmospheric and emotional, an evocation of the country's national heritage. Click here for info and tickets.

Rusalka | Festival Theatre | 6-9 Aug
I think it's time for some opera, don't you? For we love opera, here at ThreeWeeks, but of course it doesn't really form a large part of what's on offer at Festival time. You can generally rely on the International Festival for a bit of it, though, so that's where we're headed, to see 'Rusalka' at the Festival Theatre. A new production of Dvořák's best-loved opera featuring Welsh soprano Natalya Romaniw in the title role, it tells the story of a water sprite who sacrifices everything when she falls in love with a human prince, and yes, it was inspired by such stories as 'The Little Mermaid'. Click here for info and tickets.


MENTAL HEALTH FOCUS>>

OCD Me | Hill Street Theatre | 5-28 Aug
We're always glad to see shows looking at mental health issues here at the Fringe, because although those shows can sometimes be a bit emotionally taxing (though they are often also funny and/or uplifting), it's great that they raise awareness of such difficulties, and perhaps help others going through those specific problems. The first show we're going to recommend in this section is 'OCD Me', a one-woman comedy about living with OCD - written and directed by Aisling Smith - because it looks like it will address the slightly vexing stereotypes we see on TV and in media about how OCD plays out, and that can only be a good thing. Click here for info and tickets.

Headcase | Pleasance Courtyard | 3-28 Aug (pictured)
"Actor and writer Kristin Mcilquham can't seem to finish a list. Get an agent. Tick. Get a therapist. Tick. Get a boyfriend… Call her dad. As Kristin approaches 40 she is forced to confront, kicking and screaming, some of the unfinished business in her life and work out why she just can't seem to tie up any of her loose ends". Ooof, this feels too familiar to be honest. But it's an acclaimed play that looks at family, relationships and getting older, and explores themes of anger, resentment, joy and hopefulness - so we're really going to run the gamut of emotions when we head over to Pleasance Courtyard to see this. Click here for info and tickets.

The Book Of Life | Church Hill Theatre | 13-16 Aug
This one is less of a look at individual mental health and more a look at the grieving process and recovery of a nation. During the Rwandan genocide in 1994, one million people were killed in just 100 days. In this International Festival show, Rwandan artist and activist Katese looks back 28 years to ask how it is possible to rebuild a deep understanding of life in the aftermath of a loss so great. It's a show that dwells on life, not loss, and explores resilience, reconciliation and healing, and features Ingoma Nshya, the internationally acclaimed Women Drummers of Rwanda. Click here for info and tickets.


MUSICAL COMEDY>>

Alex MacKeith: Thanks For Listening | Underbelly Bristo Square | 3-28 Aug
We're back to things musical now, but this time we are parked squarely in the comedy zone, because we're here to see comedy types who just happen to do songs. This kind of show isn't necessarily every comedy lover's cup of tea, but there's quite a lot of them to choose from, and clearly there are also loads of people whose cup of tea is exactly this. First up is Alex MacKeith, acclaimed up and comer, who makes his Fringe debut this year with 'Thanks For Listening'. "Join Alex and his guitar and hopefully other audience members on an acoustic odyssey of songs that are playful, dark and maximum three minutes long. If you're looking for a sexy, confident musical comedian, by all means please find one and bring them to this". Ha ha. Click here for info and tickets.

Jenny Bede: The First Pregnant Woman In The World | Underbelly Bristo Square | 3-29 Aug
"You won't have had children yet, as Jenny is the first person to ever go through this particular ordeal, but you might be keen to learn a little something about this incredible new process". Jenny Bede first caught our attention back at the 2015 edfringe with a show called 'Don't Look At Me' and a performance that our reviewer labelled a "unique delight" on account of her lovable, funny, conversational style and down to earth persona. So, of course, we want to see any new show of hers, especially one that deals with this entirely new process of having a baby, which we would otherwise know nothing about. Click here for info and tickets.

Katie Pritchard: Disco Ball | Pleasance Courtyard | 3-29 Aug (pictured)
Are you telling me you can resist a show with 'Disco Ball' in the title? No, I bet you can't. And I expect you'll be even more tempted when I tell you that the performer behind it is very critically acclaimed on account of her being super talented, inventive and hilarious. And you'll no doubt be even more drawn in when you read all this info about the show: "Party with carnage-wielding, mayhem-manifesting, award-winning, human disco ball Katie Pritchard, in her debut musical-comedy hour, as she tries to figure out 'who she is' while possibly dressed as a pavlova". Come on, a pavlova. Honestly, who could resist that? Click here for info and tickets. Click here for info and tickets.


LIFE EXPERIENCES>>

Illegally Funny | Laughing Horse @ Cabaret Voltaire | 4-28 Aug (pictured)
The Fringe is full of people telling life stories, whether it's their own or someone else's, whether true, embroidered or false, so I think it's time to honour that particular type of show. They occur all over the Festival, in fact, in every kind of genre, but our first pick for this section is from comedian Sid Singh, who returns to Edinburgh to explore "what it means to actually be smart by making you laugh at the crazy things he did and the amazing things you did since the last time he was at the Fringe". Expect to hear about his work as a refugee lawyer and advocate, his anti-vaxxer girlfriend, about helping to beat Donald Trump in court, and arguments with his former gang member turned cancer scientist and climate change sceptic father. Phew, a lot to take in. Click here for info and tickets.

Breathless | Pleasance Courtyard | 3-29 Aug
"What happens when the things we covet hide us from ourselves? Opening up to new experiences in her late 30s, Sophie is exploring long repressed sides of herself. When a secret she's keeping from those she loves, and even from herself, threatens to unravel it all, she has to make a choice. Who or what will she decide to give up?" A play by Plymouth Laureate Of Words Laura Horton about her own experiences of a hoarding disorder. As well as writing the play, she's also been working with Hoarding UK and Life Pod, and will be releasing a podcast soon in which she speaks to different people about their experiences of hoarding behaviours, so look out for that too if it's a topic that's of interest. Click here for info and tickets.

Jon Courtenay: Against The Odds | Gilded Balloon at the Museum | 3-14 Aug
You may be aware of Jon Courtenay from his triumphant appearance on 'Britain's Got Talent', but what you may not know is that while he was forging his TV success he was also battling for his life. In this show he combines music, comedy and drama to tell that story. "Accompany him backstage as he wrestles jokes and jeopardy to survive not only the competition but also to just… survive. Doctors and nurses, judges and jokers, all become players in Jon's musical journey through jubilation, heartache, tumours and television. Reminding you that laughter can be the best medicine, but so can immunotherapy". Click here for info and tickets.


INTERESTING COMEDY THEMES>>

Njambi McGrath: Black Black | Pleasance Courtyard | 3-28 Aug (pictured)
I love comedy, and - as someone who gets to write about comedy - I have to say I love a comedy show with an interesting theme. Because, you know, I love a comedian who just tells a string of jokes, but there's honestly not much to write about if you find yourself penning a one hundred word tip about that kind of comedian's routine. So here are a few comedians doing comedy shows with a genuine hook, starting with Njambi McGrath, whose show this year scrutinises the life of her grandmother, whose entire existence was determined by British occupation in Kenya, and which compares events of the past with what's happening in the present. Click here for info and tickets.

Ted Hill: All The Presidents Man | Just The Tonic at The Mash House | 4-28 Aug
Next up is Ted Hill, whose show 'All The Presidents Man' might have been quite at home in our previous section on mental health, as - in this debut stand-up show - he talks about every single US president and their role in saving his life. "From Washington to Biden, Ted talks about his recovery from mental breakdown and includes a joke about each and every US president. It's just your standard coming-of-age, multimedia, mental health recovery, every single US president sort of stand-up show we're all so used to these days". Expect silly graphs, silly drawings, silly jokes and more. Click here for info and tickets.

I Miss Amy Winehouse | Paradise In The Vault | 6-28 Aug
I miss Amy Winehouse too, and that's why I've been wanting to see this show ever since I saw that it was playing venues in London earlier this year. So obviously I now want to recommend it to edfringe audiences. It's a first solo hour from writer, comedian and journalist Suchandrika Chakrabarti, a regular writer on BBC Radio 4's 'The News Quiz', and a Funny Women semi-finalist. It's eleven years since the singer passed away, and it sounds like Chakrabarti - who spent lots of time partying in Winehouse's Camden stamping ground - can't get over the fact that she never met her hero. I got pretty close to her one time, but then got overcome with morning sickness and had to go home. Anyway, go see this show. Click here for info and tickets.


AGEING CONCERNS>>

The Not So Ugly Duckling: A Play For Grownups | Scottish Storytelling Centre - Netherbow | 11-27 Aug
A lot of Fringe stuff focuses on youthful people and is presented by younger performers, so let's starve them of attention for a moment and talk about older people instead, and shows that deal with topics pertinent to the concerns of more mature generations. And who knows, they might appeal to the younger market too. 'The Not So Ugly Duckling' is literally a play for grown ups, and it focuses on two older women who, in retelling a familiar tale, find dark places and unanswered questions, but come to celebrate the pains and joys of lives well-lived. Part of the Made In Scotland showcase, it's written and performed by Maria MacDonell and Jo Clifford. Click here for info and tickets.

Possibly The Last Chance To See Susan Morrison | The Stand's New Town Theatre | 4-28 Aug
To be clear, I'm not sure whether this is in fact the last opportunity to see this writer, broadcaster and comedian perform, but the title definitely reflects the age-related concerns of the content of the show. "Susan Morrison is at an age and stage to get some funny stuff off her chest. Mid-life crisis? Nah. This definitely isn't the middle of her life, but she's still having a laugh. She survived the Cold War, shoulder pads and the Osmonds, but time marches on and it turns out the end might be sooner than expected, although she's determined to breathe long enough to get her bloody pension. It's been a funny old life and there's a few things she's learned along the way she'd like to pass on". Why not head over to the New Town to find out what they are? Click here for info and tickets.

The Rest Of Our Lives | Summerhall | 16-28 Aug (pictured)
"'The Rest Of Our Lives' is a joyful morning dose of dance, theatre, circus and games. A cabaret of life and near death. Two middle-aged lives in an eclectic, spontaneous, predictable and random decline. Jo is an old dancer, George an old clown. International artists with 100 years of life experience between them, armed with a soundtrack of floor-fillers, a book of raffle tickets and a sprinkling of eco-friendly optimism". A fabulous sounding show from the dance, physical theatre and circus programme, here as part of the This Is Wales In Edinburgh showcase, that promises to be celebratory, hilarious and joyful. "It's the beginning of the end. But we're still here". Click here for info and tickets.


LOVE STORIES>>

Confetti | Assembly George Square | 3-29 Aug (pictured)
I have to say, if you'd ever told me that I'd create an edfringe Three To See section focused on love stories I'd have laughed in your face, because I'm one of those people who'd like you to think they're a hard-ass that doesn't have time for such fluff. However, this particular theme has this year generated a few picks that are a bit unusual and not necessarily, you know, sappy. This one's a queer romcom from Will Jackson and follows Felix - "uptight and unlucky in love" - who is 'mate of honour' for his best friend's wedding, from surprise hen night to wedding reception, as he finds himself pursuing a romance of his own. Will definitely be hilarious. Click here for info and tickets.

My (Unauthorised) Hallmark Movie Musical | C aquila | 3-21 Aug
"How long has it been since you've enjoyed a truly romantic experience? Admit it; we are suckers for a story with romance. 'My (Unauthorized) Hallmark Movie Musical' discovers a writer who dreams herself awake and rediscovers romance in a non-conventional way". One for fans of musicals - especially, I think, for those musical fans with a knowledge and/or appreciation of the genre of filmed romance. It's a one woman show that makes use of both film and live theatre, and promises to take you - via the medium of cliche singing and dancing rom-com movie characters - on a fun and frivolous journey to where love always wins. Click here for info and tickets.

The Cloud And The Man | EIFF at Filmhouse | 13+18 Aug
For our final love based event, we're headed back to the Edinburgh International Film Festival for the screening of a film that fits the romantic bill here, but in a slightly… well, different way. It's an Indian film - a first feature by 30-year-old Abhinandan Banerjee - that tells the story of office worker Manik, who at the start of the film lives with his sick father, but is given notice to leave his home when his dad passes away. As his world seems to be falling apart, his luck changes, and a cloud starts following him, and yes, you guessed it, this is the tale of the love between a man and a cloud. And I think it sounds incredibly charming. Click here for info and tickets.


CHARACTER COMEDY>>

Christopher Bliss: Captain Words Eye | Pleasance Courtyard | 3-28 Aug (pictured)
It's nearly all over, folks. We've nearly reached the end of our Three To See preview picks for the Edinburgh Festival 2022, but before we go, let's just do a few more comedy shows - not least because comedy is the biggest bit of the programme - and let's make them character comedy tips, because there's loads of that kind of comedy on offer. First up, highly acclaimed creation Christopher Bliss, Shropshire's worst writer, "pulls on his socks and sandals, irons his shell suit windbreaker, combs his curtains, and leaves Shropshire for the fifth time in his life to bring his fifth show to the Edinburgh Fringe". And it will, I guarantee you, be fun. Click here for info and tickets.

Richard David-Caine: Tall Dark and Anxious | Underbelly Cowgate | 4-28 Aug
Now over to Underbelly Cowgate for an hour with Four Screws Loose alumnus Richard David-Caine - who has been on the telly in things like 'Horrible Histories', 'Class Dismissed' and 'People Just Do Nothing' - and who promises to deliver us some high octane character comedy, so he'd frankly better follow through with that. It's directed by Matthew Floyd Jones of Frisky & Mannish fame, which is a definite point in this show's favour, and the blurb says we can expect "outlandish characters, original songs, and daring insights into the actor behind all the faces", so I'm very much prepared to give this one a shot. Click here for info and tickets.

Angelos Epithemiou: Can I Just Show You What I've Got? | Monkey Barrel Comedy | 12-18 Aug
We're at the very, very last tip now, and it seems entirety fitting that the very last tip of all - and the final tip of the character comedy section - should be for an absolute cult favourite (it's not just me who thinks he's a cult favourite, it says so in his blurb) and "unwitting star" of 'Shooting Stars', 'Dave's One Night Stand' and Channel 4's 'The Angelos Epithemiou Show'. "Angelos is here standing in front of people for about seven days, maybe more if he can get time off at the stables. Come and see him talk and prepare his speech for the UN". So there you have it. Don't miss him - he's only on for a week. Click here for info and tickets.
At TW:CULTURE we champion the best in fringe theatre, comedy and culture.

Year round, we pick the best shows happening in London and online each week, providing handy Three To See recommendations and interviewing the people behind those productions.

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