In an increasingly death-laden Fringe thus far, Stellar Quines' production of Quebecois writer Jennifer Tremblay's solo play is a blessing.

A woman in the spotlight confesses all concerning the death of a neighbour she became friendly with after attempting to start a new life in the country. As she obsessively prioritises the daily minutiae, the one thing that might have mattered for her increasingly sickly friend slips unnoticed off the agenda.

This is a raw and emotionally wrought piece of work, given even more strength in Muriel Romanes's production by the heart-wrenching power of Maureen Beattie's towering performance of Shelley Tepperman's English translation. In a play that's in part about the fear of losing control, Beattie lends a brittleness to the woman's guilt that feels fully natural without ever resorting to forced quirkiness.

While Beattie is a magnificent presence, beyond the words Romanes has crafted a full theatrical experience in one of Summerhall's most intimate lecture theatres. The play's already brooding intensity is heightened by both Jeannine Davies' lighting and Philip Pinsky's sound-scape on John Byrne's distressed metal set. Combined, Stellar Quines have produced a thought-provoking study of action, consequence and the foibles of human behaviour. Until August 25


Like The List, Mother To Mother is inspired by a real-life event. Part of Assembly's South African season, Sindiwe Magona's play puts actress Thembi Mtshali-Jones, above, in the frame as Mandisa, the mother of a black young man accused of killing American Fulbright scholar Amy Biehl in Cape Town in 1993. The timing is crucial here. The mob killing came mere months before a new dawn of democracy in South Africa, and the country was a tinderbox.

By setting up Mandisa's imaginary testimony to Biehl's mother, Magona cuts to the complex heart of reconciliation at a very personal level beyond ideology. Punctuated by real-life imagery, including footage of the South African government's announcement of the implementation of apartheid, Yvette Hardie's production is a significant lesson in forgiveness.

Yet, despite Mtshali-Jones' impassioned performance, one yearns to hear the voice of Biehl's mother to give it a dramatic edge which the piece currently lacks. Until August 27


One sweltering summer, an entire community is under siege in pre-Twin Peaks small-town America. A solitary killer may be on the loose, but Lavinia can't resist a trip across the ravine with her friend Francine to watch a Charlie Chaplin film. Walking home alone after midnight, it may yet prove to be the death of her.

Culled from the late Ray Bradbury's non-science fiction novel, Dandelion Wine, Dotted Line Theatre has captured Bradbury's scarifying sense of wonder via shadow puppets, torches and a row of pop-up model wooden shacks. Assorted night-life is projected onto these by the show's four performers under the guidance of adaptor and director Rachel Warr. The result is a beguiling trick of the light that taps into the collective paranoia that ensues.

Performed in vintage costume, Dotted Line have created a charmingly bespoke homage to Bradbury, with no hi-tech special effects required.

Until August 26