Fringe Comedy

Phil Nichol

Monkey Barrel

Until August 25


What kind of person ends up naked on the Weakest Link? Taking two 75-year-olds to Glastonbury? Getting arrested for quoting Derek and Clive on a Virgin train? Former Edinburgh Comedy Award winner and all round-legend, Phil Nichol, that's who. Phil's appeared in an astounding 29 Fringe shows amassing over 1,034 stars in his 23 years of sweat-drenched stand-up. He's in over-sharing overdrive here with some beautifully-crafted stories of a life wonderfully misspent. Too Much takes an unflinching look at ageing, mental health, values, patience, oh, and conkers. The Cumbernauld-born Canadian likes to keep busy. As well as his solo hour of stand-up this year, he's also starring in a double-act show, Virtue Chamber Echo Bravo with Tony Law and producing and acting in a Eugene O'Neil play called Hughie. Phil's other stage work includes appearing with Christian Slater in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest and Boy George In Taboo. This is a guaranteed good night out.

Janine Harouni

Pleasance Courtyard

Until August 25


Janine Harouni's solo debut show is about standing up for what you believe in, even if you have to do it super-politely. Her father is a lifelong New Yorker and son of Middle-Eastern immigrants. He's also an avid Donald Trump supporter. It's led to some super-awkward Sunday lunch conversations but ultimately they've both learned to see things from the other's perspective.

London-based Janine is one third of award-winning sketch group, Muriel. An assured story-teller, the drama school graduate appeared alongside Keira Knightley in Colette. In fact she details a hysterical run-in with Keira in the show. Expect personal stories that seem to be channelling The Sopranos, comparisons between British and American men, an impressive array of accents and more sharp one-liners than you could shake a schtick at. As one family friend succinctly put it, 'this girl is mighty good at talking'. A Netflix special may be just round the corner.

Gayle Anderson

Fringe Theatre

To Move in Time


Until August 24


This latest work from Sheffield-based Forced Entertainment moves away from the ensemble work pioneered by one of the UK’s leading live art companies over the last 35 years to an intimate monologue penned by company co-founder Tim Etchells and created in partnership with actor Tyrone Huggins, who performs it.

Etchells’ starting point for his unnamed protagonist is to speculate what he’d do if he possessed the power to jump back and forward in time. From initial fantasies of manipulating history to influence both the present and the future or else get rich quick on being able to foresee how things pan out, Etchells and Huggins move away from sci-fi narratives to a dizzying philosophical inquiry into values, priorities, what needs to be cared for in the world and how those values might change, as past, present and future collide.

Neil Cooper

Wrestling Mania!

PBH’s Free Fringe @ Bar Bados Complex

Until August 24


With 1980s women’s wrestling dramady G.L.O.W. back on Netflix, there is not one-ah, not two-ah, but three-ah grunt n’ grapple based shows on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this year. Following An Audience With Gorgeous George a few years back, Wrestling Mania! is performer and wrestling fan Alex Brockie’s latest foray into the squared circle, and focuses on the travails of a novice small-time promoter trying to get a stranglehold on the industry.

I’m OKayfabe

Just the Sanctum

Until August 25


I’m OKayfabe sees comic performers Josephine Timmins and Janina Smith getting to grips with notions of female stereotypes as they indulge in some real life body-slams.

Brendon Burns and Colt Cabana Do Comedy and Commentary to Bad Wrestling Matches!

Monkey Barrel

Until August 27


As the title suggests, Brendon Burns and Colt Cabana Do Commentary and Comedy to Bad Wrestling Matches sees stand-up Burns and wrestler Cabana wisecrack their way through an hour’s worth of vintage clips of matches made legendary for all the wrong reasons. Seconds out…

Neil Cooper

Festival Music

Elgar’s The Kingdom

Usher Hall



THE Edinburgh Festival Chorus is under new direction this year, Aidan Oliver having steered the choir though learning the varied and demanding repertoire for the 2019 programme since taking over from Christopher Bell. Following a memorable contribution to the Opening Concert’s Mahler 2 with Gustavo Dudamel and the L.A. Phil, and last Saturday’s collaboration with the RSNO, RSNO Junior Chorus and The King’s Singers on Sir James MacMillan’s Quickening, as revised for his 60th birthday celebrations by the composer, this weekend the chorus performs Elgar’s comparatively rarely heard choral work The Kingdom with Manchester’s Halle orchestra and four top soloists – soprano Natalya Romaniw, mezzo Alice Coote, tenor Michael Fabiano and baritone Roderick Williams – with a late replacement conductor in Martyn Brabbins, hot-foot from his own 60th birthday celebration concert at the BBC Proms.

Britten’s War Requiem

Usher Hall

Saturday August 24


A week today, the Chorus’s last hurrah in this year’s Festival is in the company of the Orchestre de Paris, conductor Daniel Harding and soloists Albina Shagimuratova, Andrew Staples and Florian Boesch for Britain’s War Requiem, when the adult voices are complemented by the NYCOS National Girls Choir, as coached by Bell.

Manon Lescaut

Usher Hall



MORE big singing in Edinburgh’s big hall, with two concert performances of operas in the coming week. On Thursday Edinburgh’s Donald Runnicles, music director of Deutsche Oper Berlin for the past ten years, brings his German orchestra and chorus to Scotland for a concert performance of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut. The title role will be played by Metropolitan Opera favourite Sondra Radvanovsky, famous for her Verdi roles and as Bellini’s Norma.


Usher Hall

Sunday August 25


The RSNO, under Sir Andrew Davis, is back in the Usher Hall a week tomorrow to conclude Wagner’s Ring Cycle with the Royal Scottish Conservatoire’s RCS Voices, as directed by Tim Dean, and our own international mezzo-star Karen Cargill joining a cast headed by Christine Goerke as Brunnhilde. There is no following Gotterdammerung, really, so plaudits to Catriona Morison, Scotland's Cardiff Singer of the World winner, who will be onstage with the SCO for the Virgin Money Fireworks Concert in Princes Street Gardens the following night.

Keith Bruce

Fringe Music

1919-2019 Art Blakey’s Centennial

The Jazz Bar

Chambers Street

August 21-25


Drummer Art Blakey was one of the most influential bandleaders in 20th century jazz. His Jazz Messengers were as much a bridge to greater things as was time served with Miles Davis. Wayne Shorter, Bobby Timmons (whose Moanin’ arguably defines the confluence off blues and church music that became Blakey’s jazz message), Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan and Wynton Marsalis are just a few of the Messengers’ alumni.

To these, add Valery Ponomarev, a Russian-born trumpeter who listened to jazz on Voice of America broadcasts, moved to the U.S. at the age of thirty and realised his dream of joining Blakey’s band. Ponomarev is thus ideally placed to celebrate Blakey’s Centennial at the club his great friend, the late Bill Kyle founded. He’ll play music from Blakey’s extensive repertoire with a band that exemplifies Blakey’s message of direct, tough, honest jazz with fire, heart and soul.

Mike Whellans

Acoustic Music Centre @ UCC

Royal Terrace

August 24


Listening to Mike Whellans you might be surprised to discover that one of his greatest inspirations came from Powys in mid-Wales. Tony “Duster” Bennett was a one-man blues powerhouse who died cruelly young but had already created a reputation that lives on in blues lore. Whellans has taken Bennett’s virtuosic, rockin’ coordination of guitar, harmonica and drums, introduced his own vocal percussion style, and performs with such conviction and musicality that people happening upon his act have been known to exclaim, “Wow, there’s only of them!”

Rob Adams

Fringe Performance

Die! Die! Die! Old People Die!


Until Sunday August 25 (not Mon 19)


If you’ve been lucky enough to see Ridiculusmus on-stage before then you’ll know to expect the unexpected... If this is your first time then expect the unexpected. But be prepared to laugh, even at situations that maybe aren’t all that funny – in this particular piece, that means ageing, dying, mourning – then finding that your laughter has suddenly edged very close to tears, because the farce unfolding before you is the painful stuff of everyday life. This latest work is very much in that vein.

It seems that the elderly characters who (eventually, and very slowly) arrive on-stage have been cursed with eternal life. Cursed, because the small print, as it were, didn’t include eternal youth in this arrangement. If the clowning that ensues teeters on the edge of tragic distress, then accept that you are meant to feel a bit uneasy – Ridiculusmus are reminding us that, as a supposedly caring society, we have a responsibility to the elderly as they disintegrate towards death. Think Beckett meets Monty Python – delivered with consummate, idiosyncratic style by David Woods and Jon Haynes, who, as Ridiculusmus,have been making funny, oddball and acutely perceptive work for over 25 years.

Die! Die! Die! Old People Die! is the final part of Ridiculusmus’ trilogy of works transforming complex mental health issues into witty and accessible theatre. The full trilogy, Dialogue as the Embodiment of Love, will be presented on Sunday 25 August.(Times: 4.05pmpm: Give Me Your Love; 5.40pm: Die! Die! Die! Old People Die!; 8.55pm: Eradication of Schizophrenia in Western Lapland)


Zoo Southside

August 18-20


Temper Theatre make a brief return to the Fringe with their signature mix of dynamic movement, striking imagery and powerful soundscapes. The new work, Nightshifter, is inspired by conversations with junior nurses and paramedics and the company reckon it’s ‘part superhero-fantasy-epic, part tragic insight into the health of humanity’ Three nights only, folks!

Mary Brennan