There are plenty of great gigs at the Fringe, but few will feel quite so perfectly placed within this genre-bending festival as 'KlangHaus'. It has many of the elements of a gig – a great band for starters – but which ramps things up several notches, creating a unique audio-visual experience.

The band is the experimental art-rock outfit The Neutrinos, collaborating here with artist and designer Sal Pittman and, to an extent, with the very walls of Summerhall itself, to create a "360° visceral, enveloping experience challenging conventions of the live gig". We caught up with three of the band – Karen Reilly (vocals), Jon Baker (bass, keys, effects) and Mark Travis (guitars, effects) – to find out more. Click here to read the interview.
Editors' Award winner Richard Tyrone Jones and ThreeWeeks favourite Dean Friedman guest on the Week One edition of the ThreeWeeks Podcast. Plus you get performances from NewsRevue, Harvey Garvey & The Kane and Giraffe. ThreeWeeks Co-Editor Chris Cooke hosts. [click here]
Jessica Sheer plays Bette Davis in her one-woman show at the Fringe, and spoke to ThreeWeeks about the production in our Week One issue. And here are some more shots from the photo shoot. [click here]
When you think of the cabaret Fringe you normally picture the late night gatherings that occur in vaults and lofts and dark corners all over the city. But don't forget the streets of Edinburgh are one big cabaret during daylight hours too. Paul Nathan explains. [click here]
Paines Plough will be familiar to anyone with even a passing interest in the Fringe's theatre strand, the acclaimed new writing theatre company having presented countless shows at the Festival over the years.

Though this year the company is doing something extra special at the Fringe by bringing their own performance space with them, called Roundabout. And while it's become fashionable of late to refer to all the temporary theatres built in Edinburgh for the Fringe festival as 'pop-up venues', this one really is.
"Roundabout is a completely self-contained, 168-seat in-the-round auditorium", Paines Plough Co-Artistic Director James Grieve explains. "It flat packs into a single lorry and pops up in a day, requiring no tools or specialist skills to assemble. The lighting and sound systems are bespoke designed and utilise completely new technology which is incredibly energy efficient. It's a dynamic, immersive space which wraps the audience around the action and creates a bear pit atmosphere".

The new venue is popping up for the very first time at the Fringe this year, in the Summerhall complex, hosting shows presented by both Paines Plough itself, and guest companies including Northern Stage. After which the Roundabout venue will go on tour. "We're working with local organisations everywhere we visit to programme a festival of community work around our own productions" Grieve continues. "The venue will host everything from local amateur and youth theatre productions to concerts, dance, talks, comedians. There's even a wedding in Barnsley!"

While giving the theatre group their own Edinburgh space is an added bonus, Paines Plough have really invested in creating the Roundabout construction so they can take theatre to places where there are no suitable venues to perform. "We're lucky to have the best playwrights in the world here in the UK", Grieve says of the motivation behind the project, "and we think everyone should have the chance to see brilliant new plays. But in many parts of the country there are no theatres. Roundabout means we can take a theatre to those places and pop it up in a school hall or sports centre or warehouse, bringing a unique venue and a host of great new plays to people's doorsteps".

But staying with the Edinburgh season for now, Grieve talks through his programme. "We have four of our own productions: the multi-award winning 'Lungs' by Duncan Macmillan, a new thriller from George Devine Award winner Alexandra Wood called 'The Initiate', a magical show for children seven pluss which we're co-producing with Half Moon called 'Our Teacher's A Troll' by 'Matilda The Musical' writer Dennis Kelly, and 'Every Brilliant Thing', also by Duncan Macmillan, which we're co-producing with Pentabus. We're also hosting new work from The Royal Exchange Manchester, Northern Stage, Greyscale and The Lyric Hammersmith's Secret Theatre Company".

As previously reported, Northern Stage have this year moved their own Edinburgh Fringe venue operation to Kings Hall, putting them just around the corner from Roundabout's Summerhall home. On that tie up Grieve concluded: "We really admire what Northern Stage has been doing in Edinburgh these past few years. Their artistic director Lorne Campbell saw the potential in Roundabout, and the opportunity to curate work from other companies in the space. With the wonderful Summerhall hosting us, it's a multi-partner collaboration we're thrilled to be involved in. Companies we admire, all working together, with a shared passion for new writing".

More at
Underbelly yesterday confirmed that it had been unable to find a new home for Incubator Theatre's 'The City', which had been due to be performed at the venue's Cow Barn space on Bristo Square.

As previously reported, the show had proven controversial because it was part funded by the Israeli government through its Ministry Of Culture. As the recent conflict in Gaza erupted, both campaign groups and some key Scottish artists spoke out, saying that while they were making no comment on the show or the company behind it, they felt it was inappropriate for a production with Israeli state money in it to be performed at the Festival while the conflict in Gaza continued.
The Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign pledged to protest outside every performance, and when they did so on the first day of the Festival that caused considerable problems, the show being performed within one of the Fringe's busiest hubs. All of which made it untenable to stage the show there.

But Underbelly remained committed to the production, noting that its co-producer in the UK had insisted that "Incubator Theatre exists to be an agent of significant cultural change in Jerusalem, working in both east and west Jerusalem, and an active force in developing an urban climate of pluralism and openness that accommodates a wide spectrum of opinions and world views". Underbelly bosses hoped to find an alternative venue where any protests would cause less problems.

But yesterday the venue admitted that, in the frenzy of the Fringe, the bid to find such a space had been unsuccessful. The venue said in a statement: "Underbelly and Incubator Theatre have worked very hard to find an alternative venue for 'The City'. We are very disappointed to announce that unfortunately we have been unable to find a space that is viable for the show and for the security of the audience. A private performance for friends took place today but otherwise all performances at Underbelly of the show are now cancelled".

Ticket holders had already had their money refunded after the show was initially postponed last week.


Red Riding Hood (Horse And Bamboo Theatre)
Red Riding Hood faces a bit of an identity crisis in Horse and Bamboo Theatre's retelling of the classic fairytale. The show excels when exploring the darker aspects of the fable, expertly using props, animation and music to create a creepy serenity. This gives the production that magical quality which is gold dust to children's shows, with Nix Wood doing some beautifully physical acting as Red. In an attempt, I presume, to keep the children from being too frightened, the show then gives way to a far more generic and pantomime-esque feel. Whilst entertaining, this pales in comparison to the show's far more interesting qualities. An endearing production then, with perhaps more bark than bite.
Scottish Storytelling Centre, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Patricia-Ann Young]


Angry Young Women In Low Rise Jeans With High Class Issues (Innes Worth Productions)
The Angry Young Women's flier promises "pitch-perfect dialogue" that is "undeniably funny", as well as implying you will see some boobs. Well, the tits were nice enough, but the dialogue was leaden and the jokes were noticeable only by their absence. As well as lacking laughs, this show suffers from tonal dissonance. The dry, feminist rant about pants (both US and UK types) utterly failed to work with the sexist stereotypes presented in the horribly overlong sketches. They also mistake swearing and saying "anal sex" for edgy sexual politics, and stretch five minutes' worth of content into an hour of deeply repetitive tedium. Not so much multiple orgasms as a drunken fumble, that irritates rather than arouses.
Gilded Balloon, until 24 Aug.
tw rating 1/5 | [Andrew Bell]

The Axis Of Awesome: Viva La Vida Loca Las Vegas (Lee Martin For Gag Reflex)
It's hard to say who's having more fun, The Axis of Awesome or their audience, as their note-perfect musical parodies blast around the packed venue. Mashing up musical styles from Elvis to Coldplay, via Johnny Cash and heavy metal, Axis of Awesome are always in key and on song. There are a few old favourites thrown in – the audience lap up the rendition of every song in four chords – but there's plenty of new material to keep the show fresh. There are the odd dips in energy, usually when the band's banter doesn't quite work, but that's a minor hiccup in this slick, funny, clever show. Not just for music lovers, this is a show for all.
Gilded Balloon, until 24 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Andrew Bell]

Fylm School (Show And Tell and Simon Munnery)
Simon Munnery is not known for doing the most conventional of shows, and 'Fylm School' is no exception. With the performers at the back of the auditorium, the audience stares at a screen, where Munnery and his guests (Josie Long, Alex Horne and Rob Auton) are projected. We're treated to silly songs, mime, stories and jokes, all interspersed with photos, hand-made props and drawings of varying quality. There's no theme, just an overall sense of fun and silliness. The camera is not always reliable and, in the hands of anyone else, this could feel amateurish, but thankfully Munnery is a pro. Surreal, whimsical and always inexplicably hilarious, this innovative show proves that there's more to comedy than one man and a microphone.
Assembly Rooms, 4 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Gemma Scott]

Lewis Schaffer: Success Is Not An Option (Lewis Schaffer / Heroes PWYW)
Lewis Schaffer is an uncomfortable presence, and it takes almost the full 50 minutes of his show to start liking him. Compulsively staggering around the front rows of this small gathering, he claims to have given up on preparation, but his stream of soft quipping belies an intelligent craft. He addresses the elephant in the room - his "Jewiness" - and the effect both Woody Allen's and Israel's actions are having on his act. I'm not the only person noticeably bristling at the suggestion that Gaza is good for a laugh, but Schaffer navigates this skilfully. He ends by demanding that any reviewers in the room only give him one star, so his ex-wife won't demand more child support. Sorry, Lewis.
Heroes @ The Hive, until 24 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Laura Kidd]

Lloyd Griffith: Voice of an Angel, Body of a Trucker (Kilimanjaro / Lee Martin for Gag Reflex / Glorious Management)
There's no doubt about it; Lloyd Griffith is the king of the unexpected. During an hour of sweaty, hairy, and often flirty humour, Griffith tells self-deprecating stories of his life as a choir boy. While he doesn't quite have the audience crying with laughter, they can never predict what's coming next. His sense of fun is infectious, his singing voice faultless and his anecdotes are told with boundless confidence. Graduating from a free double act in 2013 to a packed solo performance this year, Griffith has established his own style of comedy. Thank goodness his mum fed him so much Birdseye frozen food - the trucker appearance and unexpected voice make this stand-up something really unusual.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 24 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Stephanie Gray]

Matt Roper: Wilfredo Deconstructed (Matt Roper / Heroes PWYW)
Wilfredo is a sexual animal. A tomcat, a stallion, a bull... and a flower-throwing "romantic singer" with an infectious twinkle in his eye. He's also a short-trousered, buck-toothed, hip-wiggling, phlegm-filled lothario, who somehow navigates the fine line between sinister and lovable, alternately wooing and berating his audience. From the moment I enter what could be the rankest smelling Fringe venue, I feel like a valued part of the show, though he does require you to work for it. In return, we get a series of nasally heartfelt musical numbers (with truly beautiful acoustic guitar from Uncle Iggy), bizarre anecdotes and, thankfully, incense burning. A weird but truly wonderful 50 minutes of musical amusement.
Heroes @ The Hive, until 24 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Laura Kidd]

Ria Lina: School of Riason (Ria Lina)
Ria Lina's decision to base a comedy routine on home schooling her children is, as she herself confesses, unusual. A trailer for the show makes a promising opener, and the use of social media screenshots has the audience joining her in her despair for humanity. But unfortunately it's all more or less downhill from there. Astute political observations (and one lengthy, mind-boggling maths pun) show that Lina is clearly a highly intelligent woman. But, as 'School of Raison' periodically descends into cheap, ukulele-based humour, our impression of her is somewhat ruined. Much of what she says makes for interesting listening, but it sadly feels out of place in a comedy show.
Gilded Balloon, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 2/5 | [Stephanie Gray]

Tom Goodliffe: Thug Liffe – Free (Tom Goodliffe / Free Festival)
How many comedians would start their show late, just so audience members can get served at the bar, and then be nice to them? Ex-accountant Tom Goodliffe makes much of his friendly, geeky persona during 'Thug Liffe'. He treats an enthusiastic crowd to knowingly awkward beat poems about tax returns and (actual) beef, reads from a plastic folder over gangster rap backing tracks and sharing touching stories of his awkward, uncool teenage years. Amongst the gentle enthusiasm, a jarring section on how much he loved "boobies" as a young man leads to a much-needed denouncement of The Sun's Page three and the misogyny and violence prevalent in hip hop. A warm, funny and friendly comedian with a diverting, amiable show.
Laughing Horse @ Bar 50, until 24 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Laura Kidd]


Hot Chocolate At 10 (Old St Paul's Music)
Festival fatigue already? Get yourself to Old St Paul's Church to sip a small hot chocolate and listen to beautiful music by candlelight. This unusual gothic revival church provided a relaxing, warmly intimate venue and the soaring acoustics were exploited marvellously by tonight's artists, violinist Eve Kennedy and pianist Edward Cohen. Kennedy proved versatile and authentic, particularly in the JS Bach 'Partita No.3 in E major for solo violin', demonstrating an unflinchingly good baroque technique. This was followed by a touch of Spanish fire in Pablo de Sarasate's 'Playera', which showed their partnership to advantage. The enthusiastic applause was well deserved and, after acknowledging the audience, they hugged each other. Well, it was that kind of night.
Old St Paul's Church, until 22 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Louise Rodgers]


Departures: A Song Cycle (Verismo Theatre)
"You might change your life just by saying hello." In an age of advanced technology, it can sometimes be a struggle to make a connection with the person sitting beside you. 'Departures', a new musical, expresses this idea and encourages people to look up from their phones a little more. Eight strangers in a tube station slowly start interacting, breaking down barriers and personal bubbles, expressing emotions through song and searching for something real. The characters are based on real people interviewed across the UK, making the show especially poignant. This amateur production was touching and funny, working well in the intimate space, but it overstated the central message of the story and was platitudinous in places. Yet, an ambitious and enjoyable show overall.
C cubed until 25 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Keara Barnes]

The Addams Family (Royal Conservatoire Of Scotland)
Complete with a doom and gloom atmosphere, signature finger snaps, and even contemporary references, 'The Addams Family' is that classic family musical that never dies. With a fantastically spooky set and 'dead on' sound design and lighting, the show vastly resembles the television and cinematic representations. The only exceptions are a female Lurch and the presence of numerous ghostly relatives from a variety of decades past. The show is performed by students of the MA Musical Theatre Program at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and was an exceptionally professional production overall. Stand-out performances came from Andrew Perry as Uncle Fester; Martin Murphy as Gomez Addams and Hannah Howie as Alice Beineke. This is one for the whole family, folks- even Thing.
The Assembly Hall, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Keara Barnes]

Character Limit (Try This At Home)
With catchy tunes such as 'FML' and 'Be My Gimp', 'Character Limit' is a punchy, tongue-in-cheek send up of internet culture. Anyone even slightly acquainted with social media will find the show's satire instantly recognisable, with the very real politics of sending birthday messages on Facebook raising more than one guilty-as-charged chuckle from the audience. The problem with ribbing the internet, however, is that memes and hashtags burn and fade so quickly. By the time you've written the songs and hired the venue, the conversation has already moved on to something even more irrelevant and silly, leaving your show feeling weirdly dated. So, the show is #funny and the cast are #talented, but is the whole thing even #relevant?
C too, until 9 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Patricia-Ann Young]


3,000 Trees: The Death Of Mr William MacRae (Grey Coast Productions)
A one-man show in an intimate space, this show tells the story of Scottish lawyer and SNP activist William MacRae, whose sudden death in 1985 is still considered suspicious to say the least. Writer and director Andy Paterson performs his very compelling script with great sincerity, and the story of MacRae is indeed fascinating theatre fodder. The show relies slightly too much on the audience's prior knowledge of the British-Scottish relations during the 1970s and 80s, but the manner of storytelling and conviction of performance are very engaging. A thought-provoking, educational piece that questions our politics and our past.
Sweet Grassmarket, until 24 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Vicki Baron]

The 56 (FYSA Theatre)
A heartfelt tribute to the 56 people who died in the Bradford City fire of 1985. There's a refreshing simplicity to the show, fittingly respectful and dramatically effective. Three actors present lines taken verbatim from survivors' own accounts of football, the day of the fire, the weeks, months, years that followed. The simple staging - a small, wooden section of football stand - lets the words do the work. These, too, are simple, straightforward, authentic. There's no need for dramatic techniques, or manipulation to evoke feelings: the truth suffices. At the end, when the names of the dead are read out, we feel as though we saw the flames ourselves, as if we felt Bradford's loss. Powerful stuff.
Underbelly, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Andrew Leask]

The Babysitters (Thrust Stage)
Under all the blood, The Babysitters is a drawing room comedy, except the guests are gaffer- taped to chairs. A dark farce featuring petty criminals, torture and a really intense game of Cluedo, it's both sillier and funnier than you'd expect. Amongst a strong cast, Michael Forde particularly shines as tall-talking kidnapper Dave, pulling more laughs from the fine script with superb comic timing. Though you could easily accuse the play of casual brutality, it manages to stay on right side of sadistic. Instead of gratuitous violence, it relies on comic banality and squeamish tension that only intensifies the audience's nervous laughter. Not one for the easily upset, it'll definitely appeal to fans of black humour and implied mutilation.
C cubed, until 16 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Dave Fargnoli]

The Capone Trilogy: Lucifer (Jethro Compton Productions)
Like Milton's fallen angel, Nick Nitti is charismatic, charming and proud. Like Milton's Lucifer, he makes it easy to forget who he is, what he is, what he has done. And just like 'Paradise Lost', watching the devil's fall from grace is a compelling experience. Drawing on the familiar tropes of gangster movies, the audience are fully immersed in Nitti's life, seeing the man behind the monster. But the monster is never far away, always lurking, and when things fall apart, as they inevitably do, they fall apart with monstrous speed. Seeing the struggles up close, scant inches from the barrel of the gun, from the tears, the fists... it's gripping, exciting, superb theatre.
C nova, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Andrew Leask]

The Capone Trilogy: Vindici (Jethro Compton Productions)
A noir thriller inspired by 'The Revenger's Tragedy', this final installment in 'The Capone Trilogy' is redolent with genre tropes: the femme fatale; the tortured anti-hero; the voiceover; the flashbacks; the use of light and shadow. The lustful duke becomes corrupt Police Chief Duce, and Vindici a former detective, out to avenge his wife. It walks a fine line between gentle satire and cliche, mostly staying on the right side, the black humour bursting the tension, keeping it from overwhelming the audience completely (a real possibility in such close quarters). It also links with the other plays in the trilogy - Loki and Lucifer - tying the three together neatly, in a satisfyingly tragic - and bloody - manner.
C nova, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Andrew Leask]

The Eradication Of Schizophrenia In Western Lapland (Ridiculusmus / Jon Haynes, Patrizia Paolini, Richard Talbot, David Woods)
It might be impossible to truthfully convey the experience of psychosis, but that shouldn't stop people trying. Ridiculusmus make a great effort in this appropriately schizophrenic play which stages two scenes simultaneously on either side of a partition. If it's bewildering at times, it's meant to be, but heartfelt performances ensure there's more to this than just a gimmick. As characters from one story interrupt and interact with the other, the fourth, and in this case, fifth wall is well and truly broken. Most effectively, the dialogue in both parts interlocks beautifully, forcing the audience to follow two stories at once, to make incongruous connections, to laugh at awkward moments. The result is an incisive, uneasy and slightly crazed experience.
Summerhall, until 24 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Dave Fargnoli]

The Quant (Jamie Griffiths)
A Welsh boy who dreams of changing the world through trading; an arrogant lecturer determined to educate us in the world of finance. Jamie Griffiths switches between two personas at the flick of a switch, and so bombards us with banking jargon while also filling us in on the individuals involved in the great financial crisis of recent times. The lecturer's PowerPoint slides pass much of the audience by, but Griffiths' portrayal of the Welshman is far more captivating, particularly when we discover how he was led to become the hardened lecturer that also stands before us. It's an intriguing hour, but there's a little too much scripted suit, and not enough of the boy with dreams.
Hill Street Solo Theatre, until 24 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Stephanie Gray]

A Slight Ache (Turlygod)
One of Pinter's lesser known plays, A Slight Ache has all the tension and long pauses you'd expect, but also a neat streak of dark surrealism. It's the story of a middle class couple whose quietly unhappy marriage disintegrates when they're visited by a mute vagrant. Comedian Thom Tuck does well as the paranoid and bombastic husband, while Catriona Knox is excellent as his politely seething wife. Their interplay is deliciously snappy, never missing an opportunity for humour in the sometimes unwieldy text. Less attention has been paid to the design, with flickering lights and half-hearted costumes contradicting the dialogue and only confusing matters. Fortunately this doesn't detract too much from the steadily increasing pressure in this quality character piece.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Dave Fargnoli]

We Were Kings (in motion)
A three-hander about two guys and a girl who are linked by love, friendship and tragic secrets. Beautiful and perfectly stylised physical theatre combined with sharp, touching writing makes for an incredibly moving show. The three performers work in exact unison with one another, using the stage space in imaginative and engaging ways. This sad and compelling story of three people who have lost themselves somewhere along the way to their twenties is moving, heart-breaking and very accessible. The audience find themselves drawn into a world where losing at darts can mean as much as shooting someone. A truly poignant performance that provokes thought and awakens emotion.
theSpace on the Mile, until 23 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Vicki Baron]

Your Fragrant Phantom (White Slate Theatre)
A celebration of one of the literary world's most iconic couples, 'Your Fragrant Phantom' immortalises the love story between the quintessential Jazz Age couple F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. With only two actors on stage, it is a show that lives or dies on the performances of its leads. Luckily, Katherine Hardman and Craig Hamilton are exceedingly capable; and the chemistry between them is electric. Hardman flawlessly brings the wild but troubled Zelda to life, while Hamilton weaves Fitzgerald's initial intoxication with Zelda with increasing bitterness and frustration, as he realises he cannot control nor help his wife. An ode to doomed romance, the show illustrates the destructiveness of human pettiness, but also the endurance and constancy of true love.
C cubed, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Patricia-Ann Young]

Fragile (Old Joint Stock Theatre Company)
Emotionally raw and uncompromising, 'Fragile' is a difficult, worthwhile piece of theatre. Telling the almost caustically honest tale of his childhood abuse, actor Nigel Francis is compelling as One, a broken man struggling to come to terms with his guilt, shame and rage. Contrasting the still suppurating wounds caused by One's abuse with the delicate, paper thin veneer coated over the top of the cracks, 'Fragile' paints a horribly believable picture of a life shattered by abuse. However, the musical cues are a bit clichéd and at times Francis' anguish is a little forced. Despite this, 'Fragile' has a powerful message and a brutal honesty that makes for a compelling play that is well worth seeing.
Zoo, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Andrew Bell]

Fearnot Wood (UCLU Runaground)
Underneath the bloated, indulgent mess that is 'Fearnot Wood' lays the embers of a potentially decent play. The show's running time is whopping 80 minutes, choked up with lengthy, pointless speeches and endless information dumping. Not to say the writing is not good, it is, it just is not as deep or clever as it fancies itself to be. Despite it's lengthy running time, the play completely fails to tie up any of the threads it sets up for itself, and while all the actors did an excellent job in their parts, its undeniable that one or two could have been cut completely. In dire need of a good edit, 'Fearnot Wood' is too damp to light a roaring fire.
Just the Tonic at The Mash House, until 17 Aug.
tw rating 2/5 | [Patricia-Ann Young]

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