Edinburgh-born David Maxwell Fyfe was a lawyer and politician in the mid Twentieth Century, perhaps best known for being a prosecutor at the Nuremburg Trials, and as one of the architects of the European Convention Of Human Rights that followed the atrocities of World War II.

His is a fascinating story, and one all the more interesting to explore, as the human rights he and his collaborators set out to protect in the 1950s are still routinely questioned today. And that story is indeed explored, through poetry, prose and song, in 'Dreams Of Peace And Freedom', a Fringe show conceived by Fyfe's grandson Tom Blackmore. We spoke to Blackmore to find out more. Click here to read the interview.
It's another helping of ThreeWeeks Podcast Extras, where we play all the performances that we couldn't squish into the main edition. In this one there's a poem from and interview with Eric Davidson, a song from Lead Pencil, a sketch from Twins and another from ThreeWeeks favourites Giraffe. plus more from NewsRevue. [click here]
So we had a chat with that there stand-up type Chris Martin for the Week Two edition of ThreeWeeks and headed to The Pleasance to take some photos of the man himself. [click here]
Nat Luurtsema is taking a year off the Edinburgh Fringe. So she sent everyone else this letter. [click here]
Few non-Edinburgh news stories burst the often-called 'Fringe Bubble', meaning that once you're on the inside world events generally pass you by. But the death last night of Robin Williams was one story that made it through, the comedy legend being such a massive influence on so many of the Festival's comedy fraternity and beyond. And a few of said fraternity even remembering Williams' own appearances at the Fringe in the 1970s.

According to the BBC, Williams was pronounced dead at his Californian home yesterday shortly after police responded to an emergency call just after midday local time. It's believed the actor and comedian died by suicide, though a police spokesman added "a comprehensive investigation must be completed before a final determination is made".

Eddie Izzard, who was championed by Williams in his early career, and who has been performing and producing at the Fringe this year, led the tributes from the UK comedy community, stating: "Robin Williams has died and I am very sad. From every comedian here at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, we salute him and we say goodbye".

Many, many other Fringe performers have joined the comedians and entertainers worldwide in taking to the social networks to pay tribute to Williams, and to remember some of his most notable lines and performances.

Which is something his widow suggested people do in a statement overnight. An "utterly heartbroken" Susan Schneider told reporters: "On behalf of Robin's family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin's death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions".
A special Fringe show will take place tonight at The Assembly Rooms to raise funds for Medical Aid For Palestinians, a British-based charity that delivers health and medical care to those worse affected by conflict in the region.

Confirmed to appear at the special show are Frankie Boyle, Shappi Khorsandi (pictured), Shooglenifty, The Poozies, The Bevvy Sisters, Dean Owens, Playtime and Black Diamond Express.

The show has been organised by Edinburgh-based collective Artists For Gaza, who say of the organisation they are supporting: "MAP was the first UK aid agency to respond to the [most recent] attacks in Gaza. To date they have delivered more medical supplies to the hospitals in Gaza than any other organisation".

'A Night For Gaza' takes place tonight, 12 Aug, at 9.25pm. Tickets are £20 and are available here.


Dixey - Where Gentlemen Are Always Immaculately Undressed (Bound & Gagged Comedy by arrangement with Beyond The Cabaret)
Be whisked away to a magical land of fable where, unlike Disney, a lot of people are pretty much naked. Mostly funny, occasionally poignant and always raunchy, 'Dixey' manages to pack a lot in: acrobatics, drag acts, pole dancing, even unicorns. The stand out here is Tigger! the "godfather of boylesque", who heads up the proceedings with a cuttingly camp charm that is both endearing and humorous. The production may not be as polished as others of its ilk, but the performers bring an impressive physicality to the stage. and as a show aiming for pure entertainment it certainly does the trick. Sexy and silly, 'Dixey' is a wonderfully beautiful and strange demonstration of burlesque.
Assembly Roxy, until 24 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Patricia-Ann Young]

Ivy Paige - Kiss And Sell (Bound & Gagged Comedy)
In a slice of classic burlesque, Ivy Paige gives us an hour of all the songs, sauce, bawdy gags and innuendos you'd expect from good cabaret. Paige did her best with what the audience gave her, which unfortunately wasn't much. Good cabaret feeds off its audience, the more raucous the better, and this performance featured several instances where an obvious cue for a big reaction elicited only a few half-hearted claps. For whatever reason, it just didn't connect – maybe that's Paige's fault, or maybe it just wasn't her night. I feel like there's a great show here, but I didn't see it. If you do see Ivy Paige, do her a favour: have a drink and play along. She deserves it.
Underbelly Bristo Square, until 24 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Jon Stapley]


Benny Boot - Greatest Hits Volume II (Brett Vincent For Get Comedy)
"I feel like I'm working uphill", Benny Boot remarks to his small, non-vocal audience during an awkward pause. It's a fair assessment of the set, as Boot never really finds the rhythm which is vital for his flurry of gags style of comedy. His "random" set list approach, which forces him to turn away from the mic and consult little bits of paper every other joke, doesn't help the set flow either. Still, he makes us laugh with most punchlines, his call backs are cleverly worked and his musical interlude in particular works well by giving Boot a focus to work with. Overall, Boot is funny and likeable, but his set's structure hurts his performance.
Underbelly Bristo Square, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Andrew Bell]

Al Donegan - Five Of The Worst Things I Ever Did (Love Me Tinder Productions)
Posh boy party animal Al Donegan is like a hipster version of Hugh Grant, with equal levels of devilish charm. Dry, debonair and debauched, his lo-fi stand-up Fringe debut is a confession of his five worst moments, which he tells with a mixture of regret and pride. He may have been a base, sexually predatory gambling addict but, despite his life's failures, he seems to have found a winning formula here. From his lifetime of short-term pleasures comes a wryly delivered insight into the world of a London party-boy. Confess your own low moments on Twitter with #worstthingidid to win a free ticket – if you can handle the shame it will probably be worth it.
Just The Tonic at The Caves, until 24 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [George Robb]

Murder, She Didn't Write - The Improvised Murder Mystery (Degrees Of Error)
It seems the jokes are just as tricky to work out as the killer in this improvised murder mystery play. Scenes go on and on without a solid joke, and when the cast do eventually get a laugh the momentum is lost during another long stretch of nothing. It's disappointing as the concept is an interesting one, which might have worked if the cast was that bit sharper. The stand-out performers are Imogen Palmer, who is strongest when interacting with the audience, along with Andrew Yeow and Lizzy Skrzypiec, who can wrangle a save from any scene they're in. A commendable effort, but the plot fails to thicken regardless of what she wrote.
Sweet Grassmarket, until 16 Aug.
tw rating 2/5 | [Patricia-Ann Young]

Wendy Wason - Hotel California (Bound and Gagged Comedy by arrangement with Vivienne Clore)
Wendy Wason has just enough of a dark edge to her comedy to raise some of those guilty, I-shouldn't-be-laughing-at-this kind of chuckles. Her material is personal and risks alienating those in the audience without kids, but her likeable stage presence stops me from switching off. As she relates the story of her family's ill-fated trip to LA, complete with the culture shock of good customer service and scarily expensive hospital bills, there is a point where the show takes a slightly more serious turn. Though she makes a good argument against NHS privatisation in this country, the tone can be jarring when funny turns political. Still, Wason remains a natural storyteller and is someone with whom you'd happily while away a few hours in the bar.
Gilded Balloon, until 24 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Laura Gavin]

Ahir Shah - Texture (Ahir Shah)
The erudite Ahir Shah talks faster than anyone else and is probably one of the most energetic performers at the Fringe. It's difficult to sum up what 'Texture' is about, as he covers a staggering range of topics: from moving house to finding love in the modern age, Tinder and the cost of living... even Edwina Curry and John Major get a mention. The abundance of varying topics means that he seems to be discussing multiple things at once, and the it's easy to lose track of where he's going. He makes some very good points with his material, and Shah has the ability to make long running gags work well, but you get the sense that this show would be better if his energy and material were more tightly controlled.
Laughing Horse @ The Counting House, until 24 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Charlotte Taylor]

The Colour Ham (The Colour Ham)
What happens when you cross a stoic, disapproving mentalist with a costume-loving comedian and a magician mourning his pet rabbit? Chaos. Wonderful, hilarious chaos. The Colour Ham storm the Caves again this Fringe to bring us more ridiculous humour; and it's even better than before. The amount of arsing around on stage is of course immense, but the laughter is always balanced with awe at what Colin McLeod, Kevin McMahon and Gavin Oattes can actually do when they settle down. Sleight of hand tricks and the art of deception are demonstrated perfectly, along with some of McLeod's trademark, slightly scary, "I can read every person in the room" thing. They are legends, and this is an absolute belter of a show.
Just The Tonic at the Caves, until 23 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Stephanie Gray]

Lights! Camera! Improvise! – The Improvised Movie (Mischief Theatre)
Nothing has a right to be this good. Mischief Theatre return with their hilarious improvised movies, a concept so simple and well-executed that it defies imitation, even in the only city in the world currently housing more improv groups than people. The troupe appear to possess some form of telepathy, responding fluidly and expertly to the audience's suggested movie (we plumped for a rom-com set in a zoo). The host, "Oscar", is in absolute command of the proceedings, and gleefully needles his cast whenever they do something ridiculous (which happens a lot). Mischief Theatre are at the absolute top of their game: the only reason not to see this is if you are some kind of genetic aberration that hates laughing.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 24 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Jon Stapley]

Marlon Davis - Once Upon A Grime (Off The Kerb Productions)
Marlon Davis' beaming grins and charmingly authentic anecdotes are punctuated by some seriously heavy-hitting gags, reminding you that his "urban" tag is not just some marketing ploy. Davis regales the audience with mischievous tales of his childhood on an estate, and equally mischievous tales of fatherhood. His set is hodgepodge (with extra podge), and that's the way it works best. The few instances when he tries to impose callbacks and a sense of continuity feel like he's just doing so for formality's sake, but the amiable and very funny Davis doesn't need a format. His show is doesn't give the impression that it's been elaborately crafted; it's just very good stand up.
Assembly George Square Studios, until 24 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [George Robb]


Antonio Forcione - No Strings Attached (Assembly)
This is sexy, grown up, late night jazz with popular, well established guitarist Antonio Forcione. So kick off your shoes, relax and prepare to be entertained. He's solo this time, but when you play like he does you don't need anyone else; the guitar - in the proper hands - can play all the lines, percussion and harmony that a band can. His song choices were ideal in establishing a feel good factor - he played complex, sophisticated arrangements of much-loved pieces including 'Take Five', 'Superstition' and 'Billie Jean'. Snuggled happily down in my seat, enjoying the tunes and mood lighting, I reflected that it took real skill and personality to establish this particular vibe in one (too short) hour.
Assembly George Square Studios, until 17 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Louise Rodgers]

Gone Native (Nicholson and Gore)
Edinburgh residents Kevin Gore and Bobby Nicholson present an hour of acoustic folk in 'Gone Native', a title that pokes gentle fun at how few festival performers actually hail from Edinburgh. Gore plays first, exuding relaxed charisma. He is judicious with his powerful voice, unleashing it fully only at choice moments. Nicolson takes the stage next, and good lord the man can handle a guitar, though at times he's in danger of drowning out his own singing with his exuberant strumming. Nicholson's material is more comedic (chuckles rather than belly laughs) whereas Gore's is topical but this does end up feeling odd structurally, almost like two shows packed into one. The ending duet, however, is rousing stuff.
The Royal Oak, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Jon Stapley]

Dreams Of Peace And Freedom (English Cabaret in association with C theatre)
David Maxwell Fyfe prosecuted Nazis at Nuremberg and helped draft the European Convention on Human Rights. Conceived by his grandson – and performed by several members of his family – this gentle song cycle features lyrical piano and pleasant, occasionally exquisite singing. The music is interspersed with fragments of poetry, extracts from Fyfe's correspondence and even a passage from the Magna Carta. These fitting texts are given a spirited delivery by the young performers, while Sue Casson's compositions are delicate and uplifting. Given the complex subject, it's perhaps a little light, and those without a special interest in post war politics might want more detail than the brief introduction provides. Still, it's a fine tribute to an idealistic and important figure.
C south, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Dave Fargnoli]

Acoustic Swing (Graeme Mearns)
When Graeme Mearns kicks off this retrospective of great 20th century songwriters with 'Blitzkrieg Bop', you know he's casting a wide net. While his choices might confuse traditionalists, there's no denying they make for an interesting set, mixing Gershwin with the Buzzcocks, Cole Porter with Bananarama. They're all given a swinging, up-tempo treatment, where crisp chord work accelerates suddenly into chunky, bluesy licks. The highlight is a moody take on 'Georgia on my mind,' and if Mearns' voice isn't quite equal to Ray Charles, he still knows what he's doing. An experienced front man, he has enough skill and charisma to keep the audience hooked. As much acoustic punk as swing, this is an enjoyable and frequently electrifying gig.
The Jazz Bar, until 24 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Dave Fargnoli]

Impression Of Taiwan (Ten Drum Art Percussion Group - Taiwan / Performance Infinity)
This was drumming to make your soul jump for joy, and caused this Scotswoman to wonder whether it wasn't too late for a career change to Taiwanese drumming. Their grace and athleticism were perfectly synchronised and the sheer joy of the performance was infectious. These drummers clearly expected to break a stick or two - at times they really belted those drums! Each piece told a story about the culture and countryside of Taiwan and the audience response to the music, costumes and dance was visceral and instinctive. In common with all good music, there were moments of contrast: the reflective flute passages were delicate, graceful and moving. The rousing finale concluded a great night of fun, suitable for the whole family.
Venue150@EICC, until 24 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Louise Rodgers]

Soweto Spiritual Singers (Vilakazi Entertainment Group and Underbelly Productions)
When the Soweto Spiritual Singers begin their first piece I have high hopes. As a chorus their harmonies are amazing and as soloists take to the front of the stage in the next few songs it becomes clear that their music, both acapella and instrumental, cannot be faulted. Soon, though, I have to admit I'm becoming a little bored: a reluctance to break formation and a lack of connection with the audience hampers their performance. Towards the end the show does come to life slightly - we see more character and, thankfully, movement that isn't just the uniform swaying of the first forty-five minutes. There's no doubting they are talented; but they didn't blow me away.
Underbelly Bristo Square, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Stephanie Gray]


Backstage In Biscuit Land (Touretteshero)
'Backstage in Biscuit Land' could so easily have felt like a Victorian freak show – come see the ticking woman – but is actually a funny, moving and fascinating insight into Tourette's syndrome. Written and performed by Jess Thom – author of the Tourette's Hero blog – it shows us how the disorder can be a hilarious creative force, mixing tic-inspired surreal comedy with heartfelt, real life tales. With a warm, open presence, Thom gives us all permission to accept and enjoy her tics as part of her and her life, resulting in unrestrained, unpredictable hilarity while also challenging society's exclusion of those different from the norm. Joyful and meaningful, 'Backstage in Biscuit Land' is worth an hour of anyone's time.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 16 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Andrew Bell]

Banjo Man (Quina Chapman / Free Festival)
Quina Chapman's father had a one-off chart hit playing the banjo in the 90s. Through songs, memories and stories that have been passed on to her, Chapman reveals the pride in him that she only truly recognised after his death in 2009. Her performance is understandably emotional but it's not always heavy hearted; there are laughs and funny anecdotes along the way, too. The finale is particularly touching, serving not just as a conclusion to the show but also as a goodbye to her father. 'Banjo Man' is a moving tribute to Roger Dinsdale; capturing the emotions of loss and regret but, mostly, of outstanding pride.
Laughing Horse @ The Blind Poet, until 24 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Stephanie Gray]

Death Shall Have No Dominion (InterAct – Wales)
This is a devised piece about a group of Welsh soldiers fighting in France during the First World War. The audience is warned on entry that the show is non-linear, and contains violence and strong language, which feels unnecessary given the subject matter; but it is indeed visceral, bold, and devoted to demonstrating realism, and therefore not a show for the faint-hearted. Performed by a strong cast, the story is very compelling, and while some of the acting is slightly over the top, and there are elements of the story which need development, overall this is a touching and engaging piece of historical theatre. The company demonstrate a clear understanding of war, fear and the human condition.
Laughing Horse @ The Phoenix, until 23 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Vicki Baron]

Don't Let Go (Manic Chord Theatre)
A red balloon offers a coffee-packer named Leonard salvation from the relentless work/consume cycle of modern life in 'Don't Let Go', a fearlessly creative piece of theatre that tackles love, romance and caffeine addiction. Manic Chord Theatre bust out every trick in their playbook: physical theatre, dance, puppetry, stylised lighting and more. Generally it works, but sometimes – especially with the physical stuff – it feels as though it's there for its own sake. The show is bursting with creativity, but the obvious abundance of ideas from the creative team leaves some scenes overlong and some concepts underdeveloped. However, it's impossible not to warm to such boundless imaginative energy, and you will probably come out smiling. All it wants is some tighter focus.
Bedlam Theatre, until 24 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Jon Stapley]

Show 6 (Secret Theatre Company)
In a show specially written for the Secret Theatre Company, Mark Ravenhill weaves a dystopian alternative reality. A spoilt, affluent young brat inadvertently ignites a mystery after ploughing into a "chav" while "monged", and from there things just get darker and weirder. The three actors speak entirely in truncated, staccato sentences, missing out key nouns in a manner that takes some getting used to. As the aforementioned brat, actor Steven Webb carries the show. He seems to really understand the material, and his witty delivery helps keep things grounded when the play's gimmick threatens to overwhelm it. The script style does get wearing, and the pacing is odd – languorous one minute and rushed the next – but it is grimly compelling.
Summerhall @ Roundabout, until 14 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Jon Stapley]

Spoiling (Traverse Theatre Company)
Set in a near future, where the Scottish people have decided to leave the UK, 'Spoiling' chronicles the morning of the Foreign Minister's first speech since gaining independence. By leaping forward in time, Traverse Theatre Company are able to bring some important and fresh ideas to the contemporary debate. These are made in an intelligent and informed manner, and are performed to perfection by the two actors, making it a timely piece of theatre that is sharp, funny and well executed. The show also looks back at the history of the UK and draws parallels with Northern Ireland. 'Spoiling' manages to balance the political and personal reasoning behind the 'yes' movement, and will leave you questioning your views on these complicated issues.
Traverse Theatre, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [James McColl]

Tape (Gone Rogue Productions)
'Tape' is an instantly engaging show. The audience is immediately thrown into the action, where we see Vince (Sam Dobson) preparing for a meeting with his high school friend Jon (Will Kynaston). This reunion quickly turns from amicable to spiteful when a secret is revealed about their ex-girlfriend, Amy (Cat Lewis), who is imminently expected. The fast-paced, tightly scripted piece provides an insight into the role of truth and honesty in our lives, as well as that of self-deception. Its success is largely due to the solid performances from the whole cast. The play is not original, and the ideas in it aren't subtle, but the strength of the acting and the writing prevent it from seeming too clichéd and keep the action engrossing.
C too, until 25 Aug
tw rating 4/5 | [Charlotte Taylor]

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