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No Horizon – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – Underbelly Med Quad

No Horizon at Underbelly Med Quad (Venue 302), until 27 August. Star rating: two stars ★ ★ ✩ ✩ ✩ This is a biographical account of Nicholas Saunderson, a blind boy, born into poverty who rose to become one of the greatest minds of the 18th century. That the story is not well-known is truly a […]

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One Musical to Rule Them All – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – Greenside @ Infirmary Street

One Musical to Rule Them All at Greenside @ Infirmary Street (Venue 236). Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ From the opening voice-over (Ian McKellen-esque) to the finale, this is everything and more than you’d expect from innovative, creative students with a wicked sense of humour. Overlapping with Portobello Primary School’s representation of the solar system, […]

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Stop the Train (The Musical) – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – Paradise in Augustines

Stop the Train (The Musical) at Paradise in Augustines (Venue 152), until 28 August. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ To be fair, this show is trying to cover a lot of ground in 90 minutes. The pace is good and keeps us interested, chiefly through the assured direction (Owen Phillips). Inspired by a […]

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Mr Romantic: A Tribute to Johnny Mathis – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – [email protected]

Mr Romantic: A Tribute to Johnny Mathis continues at [email protected] (Venue 125), until 27 August. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Gary Bland was a regular on the London amateur cabaret circuit for just a handful of years before making the crossover to the world of professional performing. His West End stage debut, at the […]

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Paper Hearts – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – Underbelly Med Quad

Paper Hearts continues at Underbelly Med Quad (Venue 302), until 29 August. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ As we all know by now, great musicals are never written – they are always RE-written. Paper Hearts has been in the process for some four years now and it’s nearly there. The story is reminiscent […]

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Naughty Cat and the Cheesy Moon – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – Assembly Checkpoint

Naughty Cat and the Cheesy Moon at Assembly Checkpoint (Venue 322), until 27 August. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ The pre-theatre that builds energy before the show begins is rather overwhelming for many in the young audience. Of course, the name ‘Naughty Cat’ does tell us a bit about the character – but beyond […]

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Eurobeat Moldova – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – Pleasance Courtyard

Eurobeat Moldova continues at the Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33) until 29 August. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Camp as a row of flagged tents, Eurobeat has updated itself for this contest in Moldova. Upgrading from the badges depicting countries, we are invited to take a flag to wave (the flag becomes your ‘home country’). […]

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Dark Heart – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – Paradise in Augustine’s

Dark Heart at Paradise in Augustine’s (Venue 152), until 20 August. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ This is a promising debut from a young writer, Jessica Avellino, presented by Infinity Repertory Company from New York. The story is, indeed, dark – a young girl is the central character; she is in some kind of […]

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Pond Wife – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – Underbelly, Cowgate

Pond Wife at Underbelly, Cowgate (Venue 61), until 28 August. Star rating: two stars ★ ★ ✩ ✩ ✩ This re-working of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid, performed by Holly&Ted, offers a trip down memory lane with the soundtrack made of pop hits from the 1990s and 00s. In this version, the surface of the […]

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Wonderman – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – Underbelly Potterrow

Wonderman at Underbelly Potterrow (Venue 358), until 28 August. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ If there is such a thing as a theme for a time, the Fringe 2016 is about the voices in the head and trying to portray creative impulse. Wonderman explores the inner-workings of Roald Dahl in a screamingly raucous […]

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The Miserables – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – Just the Tonic at The Caves

The Miserables at Just the Tonic at The Caves (Venue 88), until 28 August. Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ The plot for this show uses the device of one girl leaving and a new girl just starting. One dreams a dream (yes, really) of a life away from this place and her boss. The new […]

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Elephant of My Heart – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – Greenside @ Nicolson Square

Elephant of My Heart at Greenside @ Nicolson Square (Venue 209), until 16 August. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ This is a truly wonderful piece of children’s theatre. In a hospital bed, Little Jess is fighting for her life. We go beyond the bed and into her head where Jess meets an […]

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Tomorrow Maybe – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – C Nova

Tomorrow Maybe at C Nova, until 29 August. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Crammed into a tiny venue space, the audience sits cheek-by-jowl with the performers – eavesdropping on the lives of the people who come to Rosa’s coffee shop. Sylvia Medina plays Rosa with a calm assuredness, an antidote to the harassed world her patrons […]

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9 to 5 – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – Assembly Mound

9 to 5 at the Assembly Mound, until 28 August. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Dolly Parton would adore this rendition of her bouncy musical that gives a glimpse of what a world run by women could be like. Set in the 1970s, the decade saw women returning to the workplace in a way never […]

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Confessions of a Justified Songwriter – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – Assembly Checkpoint

Confessions of a Justified Songwriter at Assembly Checkpoint (Venue 322), until 28 August – even dates only. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ A well-crafted piece, taking us into the often vulnerable underbelly of the music business. A team of young writers are building new material together, under the guidance of Rachel, an experienced writer. A hit […]

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Daffodils (A Play with Songs) – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – Traverse Theatre

Daffodils (A Play with Songs) at the Traverse Theatre, until 28 August. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ This company from New Zealand reaches new heights in ‘Gig Theatre’ – a three-piece band back the two performers, Colleen Davis and Todd Emerson. They tell us the story of Rose and Eric: “This is my […]

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Mairi Campbell – Pulse – Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Mairi Campbell – Pulse at Summerhall (Venue 26), until 28 August. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ For those unfamiliar with traditional Scottish music of the people – not the bagpipes and drums on the battlefield or the Royal Mile – but the intimacy of a voice creating amazing sound; this show is an education waiting to be found. What […]

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Tamar Broadbent – Get Ugly – Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Tamar Broadbent – Get Ugly at the Laughing Horse @ Espionage (Venue 185), until 28 August. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ PLEASE – someone – spot this amazing young woman and give her a venue that is somewhere on a par with her talent! Firstly – a head’s up…  It’s better to enter Espionage from the Grassmarket/Cowgate – it looks […]

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Adam & Eve and Steve – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – C venues

Adam & Eve and Steve at C venues – C (Venue 34), 3-29 August (excl 15). Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ This is not just good – it’s GREAT! From the get-go, the show is slick, brilliantly cast and the performance of each and every individual is perfection. Fresh from being crowned the best new musical […]

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Horse McDonald – Careful – Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Horse McDonald in Careful at the Gilded Balloon at the Museum (Venue 64), until 29 August. Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ “When I sing, I am strong and unafraid.” Few who have heard Horse McDonald sing would argue with that. This is a lavish talent who can add ‘mesmerising theatre performer’ to her list of […]

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Stack – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – Bedlam Theatre

Stack at Bedlam Theatre (Venue 49), 7-15, 17-28 August. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ Billed as ‘A very silly musical play’, perhaps more than a little self deprecating. True – it’s silly, but proper laugh-out-loud silliness – a Boy’s Own Adventure updated to the world of today. It’s a brilliant meeting of talent and form, creating something […]

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Macbeth – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – C venues

Macbeth at C venues – C (Venue 34), 6-20 August. Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ This young company managed to win a standing ovation from its audience on this preview performance – and well-deserved, too. The setting for this Macbeth story is the contemporary music business: Cawdor and King are the names of record companies, fronted by […]

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