I've never interviewed a tiger before. But this is the Fringe. And this Fringe a tiger has written a play. A Tiger in fact. The A stands for Aloysius by the way. And while he may have had a bit of help from Stewart Pringle, otherwise known as Artistic Director of the Old Red Lion Theatre in London, it was Aloysius we sat down with to discuss new children's show 'You Look Tasty!'.

ThreeWeeks' Chris Cooke chats to Aloysius Tiger about his show here
Three recommended shows for Tuesday at the Edinburgh Festival 2015.

Promise And Promiscuity: A New Musical By Jane Austen And Penny Ashton (pictured)

Long-term ThreeWeeks favourite Penny Ashton is back at the Fringe for the first time in a decade. We found out more about her Austen-filled show last month, and are pleased to report our reviewer loved it. Look out for the review in our Week One edition, but meantime, consider this show hotly recommended.
Assembly George Square Studios, until 31 Aug

Jethro Compton's Frontier Trilogy
All three editions of Compton's latest 'trilogy' at the Fringe get the ThreeWeeks seal of approval, though if our reviewer had to pick out one, he reckons the second instalment takes the lead. Look out for reviews of all three plays in our Week One edition, but consider the complete set TW recommended.
C nova, until 31 Aug

Jonny And The Baptists: The End Is Nigh
We've speeded through several 5/5 ratings in your first helping of reviews in today's ThreeWeeks Daily, to get things started on a high. Jonny And The Baptists are one of the acts to get the top TW rating, and as long-term TW favourites - not to mention regulars on the TW Podcast - we're recommending their show for your Tuesday at the Fringe.
Summerhall until 30 Aug

Look out for a daily Three To See each day in the ThreeWeeks Daily, and for Three To See recommendations all year round in London click here.
You can still pick up a copy of our 2015 preview edition at venues across Edinburgh.

Inside: Stuart Bowden, Maddy Anholt, Linda Cattaneo, Karen Koren, Penny Ashton, Shelley Mitchell, The Dead Secrets, House Of Blakewell, LetLuce, Will Pickvance, Matthew Harvey, Jennie Benton Smith, Stewart Francis, Yianni, Andrew Ryan, Máire Clerkin, Chris Martin and 81 show recommendations.

Check out the online version or download a PDF copy here
It's the TW Podcast at the Edinburgh Festival. This week, as the Festival gets properly up and running again, ThreeWeeks Co-Editor Chris Cooke chats to Harry Deansway about his 'Audience With' show, and Lucy Danser and Dan Simpson about 'Stand Up & Slam'. Plus hear show snippets from Laughing Stock, Tom Allen and Grey & Green Theatre.

Listen and subscribe to the TW Podcast here
ThreeWeeks invites Fringe-favourite poets to put some words to paper - or a portable device of their choosing - to entertain you here in Poetry Corner. This time, Clair Whitefield, whose show 'Chopping Chillies' is on at Cowgatehead.

Check out Clair's ThreeWeeks column here
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Doing a Fringe show can be very demanding for performers.

Getting on stage at least once a day, every day, for a whole month, in amongst the constant strain of flyering in the rain, while carting props and publicity materials up and down Edinburgh's steepest cobbled pathways, not to mention the somehow compulsory late night drinking, can all have quite an impact on your physical health, your mental well-being and, if nothing else, your bank balance. But that's what September is for. Detox. Stress relief. Frugal living.

Though one of the demands met by Dan Smith of sketch double act Best Boy will be with him for somewhat longer than that, he having turned himself into a prop for their show 'Bested' by having a prominent image tattooed onto his back. "The tattoo plays a big part in one of our sketches" Smith told ThreeWeeks. "It's a big reveal, almost like a punchline that's gone a bit too far. The ridiculousness of getting something permanently branded on your skin for a joke seems like a pretty good way of getting a reaction out of people too".

So why a tattoo and not something simpler, or at least less permanent? "We did draw it on with a marker pen each time for about six months" he says of the image that provides the punchline to the sketch in question, "but as it's on my back Charlie [Mizon, his partner in crime] had to draw it and he's really bad at drawing. Also, I've ruined so many t-shirts that are now stained with pen ink, so an actual tattoo just seemed like the most sensible thing to do. And while drawing it on did still give the sketch a ridiculous ending, actually tattooing it adds a little bit of disbelief for the audience, as they wonder who in their right mind would go that far just to get a laugh".

Who indeed. Though at least the tattooing itself went off without much incident. "We asked the tattoo artist how long she'd been doing it for, and she said just two weeks. Which kind of freaked me out. But it turned out she meant she'd been doing it in London for just two weeks, and had eight years experience under her belt. So it wasn't too traumatic. Charlie only had to hold my hand once".

Now it's on there, has the thought of being branded for life concerned him at all? "It's our first Fringe, so having something like a tattoo to mark it is actually quite nice. At least it's got a good story behind it, rather than it just being a tattoo for the sake of a tattoo. Of course if we have an awful Fringe then it's going to be an terrible macabre reminder of all that, and then I might want to get laser surgery, or go on 'Tattoo Fixers' on Channel 4. But fortunately the show has been going well so far".

Of course one solution would be to just make every future show he and Mizon write incorporate the tattoo. "We could look at it like that" he says, "or we could say that I've now set a terrible precedent and have to get a new tattoo for each new show that we do. Charlie's got some horrific ideas already, mainly involving my face. But we are getting a lot of use out of it. Whenever we do a gig we now do this sketch, mainly to get value for money out of the tattoo, but also because I like showing it off; it makes me look well hard".

'Best Boy: Bested' is on at Cowgatehead each day at 4.15pm. More at

So here we go, the first batch of ThreeWeeks reviews for Festival 2015. Look out for a new batch each day here in the ThreeWeeks Daily, plus another stack of brand new reviews in the ThreeWeeks weekly edition when it hits the streets on Wednesday.


Angus Brown: Get Ready. Get Set. Ahhh F*%k It. (Attic Erratic)
This Australian comedian was full of contagious energy from the start, and his confidence only increased as the show went on. On his debut night at the Fringe, Brown talked about the time he met with a near death experience; the realisation of underachieving and lack of motivation this unearthed, and how to emulate your heroes. He is clearly a very good comic, at his best when in full flow delivering an anecdote with supreme detail. A fantastic storyteller who feeds off his audience, Brown presents a feel good hour with a strong, positive message at its core. No doubt Edinburgh will be seeing more of him in the coming years.
C South, until 31 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Ben Shannon]

Bucket (Ed Eales-White and Jon Pointing)
In 'Bucket', Ed Eales-White and Jon Pointing perform a wonderful selection of sketches that have the audience in hysterics from start to finish. From aubergines and wrinkly peppers to stage combat fighters and the detectives who can't wait for the ways in which their latest case is going to mess up their lives, prepare for some sublime slapstick comedy. Writers of BBC mini-series 'Life Guru', this pair are a fantastic double-act, interspersing the show with disagreements about what to include next: improvisation and physical theatre are high on Pointing's list, much to Eales-White's chagrin. With minimal props and plenty of energy, these guys take you on a journey through their bonkers imaginations, and it's quite a ride.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 31 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Daisy Malt]

David Elms: Mister Boy (The Pleasance/ Troika)
David Elms' low-level subtlety is a delight to watch. His stand-up is often so mundane that it breaks past the barrier of observational comedy into the detached realm of the absurd. When talking about clouds, rain and haircuts, Elms is a victim of his own style: he often appears so bored with his own humdrum dryness that he frequently gets distracted during his own jokes. It's a shame really, because he's rather good. Mumbling from joke to joke, Elms struggles to keep the audience on board, and so any energy he manages to build up is temporary. It's like having a strict but cool dad: he treats the audience with "fun", but frustrates them while they wait.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 31 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Robert Stevens]

Garrett Millerick: A Selection of Things I've Said To Taxi Drivers (EMX Management)
"I really put too much into these shows", says a red-faced Garrett Millerick, after finishing a rant on social media by vomiting loudly into his microphone. Everything Millerick touches upon is coloured by a brawny tone of rage: he epitomises British repression and anger, and I love just how passionate he is about apathy. A halfway house between Phil Jupitus and Stewart Lee, Millerick is a combination of some of the best British comedians in the business, making 'A Selection Of Things I've Said To Taxi Drivers' a fantastic stand up show that always hits its mark. With aggressively moderate politics and failed dreams, I hope Garrett Millerick stays miserable forever.
Underbelly Med Quad, until 30 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Robert Stevens]

Ivo Graham: No Filter (Off The Kerb)
Ivo Graham is in complete control on stage. After dealing with the latecomers exceptionally well, he proceeded to unleash a barrage of finely crafted material, albeit with an occasionally predictable formula. This is Graham's third solo run, though his subject matter seems more serious than in recent years: asking questions about "the Facebook generation" and their social media obsessions. Some sections were more enjoyable than others, though his biggest laughs came from the audience interaction which framed the show well. Whilst 'No Filter' may not be his finest hour, it would be foolish to ignore the fact that he is one of the circuit's truly talented wordsmiths, and his skills only continue to improve.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 30 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Ben Shannon]

James Hamilton Is So Lonely - Free (Casual Violence Comedy / PBH's Free Fringe/ James Hamilton)
Unloved by his one true love, James Hamilton romps around using time travel to win her back in this narrative-driven character comedy. Hamilton is hilarious, and confidently uses different styles of humour depending on the character. Initially, he manages to balance strong jokes with a tightly crafted narrative that swiftly zips from dimension to dimension. Yet the risibly convoluted plot quickly becomes too complicated for its own good, and I struggled to keep up as the story tripped over itself again and again. Characters begin to drag on and their narrative arcs are never satisfyingly tied up. However, the jokes remain strong throughout, and Hamilton's show is a delight (if not examined too closely).
Voodoo Rooms, until 30 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Robert Stevens]

Jonny And The Baptists: The End Is Nigh (Supporting Wall)
Performing in the round is never easy, but these two musical comedians handle the daunting task with obvious ease. The sheer intensity of the show means that the mood rarely dips and the eager audience are highly entertained throughout. Not a single minute of the piece is wasted, all of the material works towards the goal of delivering a powerful political message about climate change. As a whole the show really is beautifully written and expertly crafted - everything interlocks, setting up the next song, tangent or quip. The duo have built the perfect balance between hard-hitting satire and juvenile playfulness to convey their much appreciated comedy stylings surrounding this modern day topic.
Summerhall until 30 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Ben Shannon]

Jonny Awsum: Everything Is Awsum (Lee Martin for Gag Reflex)
Armed with his guitar, Jonny Awsum's show is a wonderfully entertaining hour of musical comedy. Returning to the Fringe following sell-out runs in 2013 and 2014, Awsum really is, erm, awesome. His captivating songs are infectious, filled with sharp wit and incredible warmth. Audience participation is key, and everyone in the room fully got into it: you'll definitely be taking part, but you'll be doing it because you want to. Often employed as a warm-up act, Awsum knows exactly how to get the crowd on board right from the start - he'll get you laughing from deep within your belly. This is a fun-filled sixty minutes that will have you grinning from ear to ear.
Gilded Balloon, until 30 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Daisy Malt]

Kai Humphries: How To Be Happy (Live Nation / MZA)
In true Geordie tradition, Kai Humphries comes across as maybe too polite to be a comedian – until he starts speaking. He dabbles with self-mockery, but also presents a candid side to the life he now loves. That's the basis for 'How To Be Happy', a concept that seems relatively elementary and hardly enterprising. Though it sometimes hit crudity, everybody howled as the hugely likeable Humphries brought out the infantilism in us all, his cheeky and cheerful gab instantly gets the audience on his side. However, though he may have the chatter that gets people chuckling, the writing is instantly forgettable – this comedian-cum-preacher concluding his show with a impassioned yet highly lackadaisical enlightenment on how to be happy.
Gilded Balloon, until 30 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Kieran Scott]

Paul Foot (IMWP)
Snappily dressed (by 1970s standards), Paul Foot performs with the kind of uncontrollable excitement of a child bursting to tell you a story. He fidgets about the stage, performing a selection of material from some of his previous tours, including an absurd, side-splitting tale of how to get revenge on a guest-house landlady. He's a comedy whirlwind from the school of Spike Milligan, an exuberant raconteur who brings to life the sort of inner bizarreness that we all wish we could express, but don't quite have the nerve. I'd like to think that he's exactly the same in real-life as he is on stage. It's risky to call someone unique, but Foot is certainly pretty close.
Underbelly Cowgate, until 30 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Daisy Malt]

Trygve Wakenshaw: KRAKEN (Don't be Lonely Presents...)
I am aptly left speechless after watching this fantastic clown show. Returning to the Fringe with his award-winning production, Trygve Wakenshaw captivates the audience through the sheer simplicity of the piece. Using just his body, and vocal sound effects, 'KRAKEN' takes the audience's imagination to various weird and wonderful places, creating a vivid world where we see unicorns alongside rap battles. His clarity of expression and recurring motifs mean you can easily follow the journey and really immerse yourself in this experience. He has us eating out of the palm of his hand (almost literally). Daring, side-achingly funny and constantly engaging, Wakenshaw is a great pioneer for the modern clown and physical comedian.
Underbelly Cowgate, until 30 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Stephanie Withers]


Tubular Bells For Two (Shortwalk)
Richard Branson had to bribe Mike Oldfield with his car to get him to play 'Tubular Bells' live. After seeing the entire album performed by these two expert barefoot Australian multi-instrumentalists, dashing around the stage frantically playing and cueing each other, I understand why. I enjoyed many things about this show - not least watching a musician sort out the wires under his keyboard with his toes! It was a highly accomplished performance; the music was wonderful but not perfect - and that was its great charm. The alternating terror and joy of the performers electrified the audience. It seems almost impossible to get these multi-layered instrumental parts right all of the time, but it sure is fun watching them try!
Pleasance Courtyard, until 31 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Louise Rodgers]


The Bakewell Bake Off (Durham University Light Opera Group)
This light-hearted musical comedy, that looks to find the best baker in Bakewell, is sweet but slightly undercooked. Parodying the nation's favourite cooking contest, you'll chortle at the baking related puns and saucy innuendos, though it never quite reaches its full potential. Performers play a variety of contestants of all shapes, sizes, genders, races and religions, but the issue of acceptance and coming together as a community isn't really solved. The cast showcase their vocal talent, notably Imogen Coutts playing Sister Mary, but on the whole the acting seems a bit superficial. Directed with slightly too much of a panto vibe for my taste, 'The Bakewell Bake Off' is entertaining but could use an extra pinch of salt.
C venues, until 22 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Stephanie Withers]


Echoes by Henry Naylor (Henry Naylor/Gilded Balloon)
As an attempt to grapple with some important issues, 'Echoes' is too safe, too conventional and, worst of all, too superficial to have any impact. It tells two stories: Tillie is a 19th Century woman who marries a soldier and follows him to Afghanistan while Samira, a 21st Century schoolgirl, runs away to marry a soldier in ISIS. Serious issues abound, but the play seems determined to undermine itself with its facile stance. One example: it's anti-Empire, yet Tillie, the white woman, is the one who leads the Afghani people to rebel against the British. The actors do a fine job in conveying emotion and generating sympathy, but the script never manages to match their skill.
Gilded Balloon, until 31 Aug.
tw rating 2/5 | [Andrew Leask]

Oh Gumtree (Blue Suit Theatre Company)
Schizophrenia is a much mythologised and misunderstood illness, and this representation is less than subtle, bordering on offensive. Five women (one with schizophrenia) are locked in together, and their stories and location are slowly revealed – highly derivative of Sartre's 'No Exit'. The unfolding is not dexterous: backstories are given in outbursts, scene division seems random and, while one plot involving savant twins is overly complex, another gives it all away in one throwaway line. The enigmatic cleaner-figure – whose story isn't revealed – is the most interesting of the lot. Although the acting and costumes (1960s style, though it's never clear why) are on point, the original script, adapted for the Fringe, is trite and crude.
C nova, until 22 Aug.
tw rating 2/5 | [Lucy Diver]

Shakespeare For Breakfast (C Theatre)
As far as starting your day goes, this Edinburgh staple (now in its 24th year) is a very entertaining choice. The audience is merrily guided through an hour-long version of 'Hamlet' (admittedly with much less of the tragedy), while sipping coffee and nibbling croissants. The actors gleefully run across the stage in bedsheet costumes and silly hats, bringing high energy and humour to the production. It's pleasing in its evident enjoyment of Shakespeare, but some of the puns and pop culture references fall flat. The chaotic nature of the production sometimes causes the actors to lose their concentration, which makes the entire show harder to follow. This is a charming and irreverent show, but not one for Shakespearean purists.
C, until 31 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Vicki Baron]

Tether (Lost Sock Company)
'Tether' starts as a drama about two people running, and quickly evolves into the power struggle of a top athlete who gives up his time to guide an antagonistic blind runner. The relationship between the two characters is capably developed, but the play's subtext of ambition and interdependence is more interesting to analyze than to watch. Most disappointingly, I left the theatre exactly the same person as when I entered. I was never bored, but never truly excited either: the plot trundled on, the dialogue was very fine and the acting was nice. It's a fun piece of new writing and a comfortable way to spend an hour, just don't expect too much more.
Underbelly, Cowgate, until 30 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Robert Stevens]

The River (Brodrick Productions)
There's nothing particularly bad about 'The River': the performances are solid, the direction clear and the dialogue authentic. It's a tale of a young man who keeps bringing different women to a cabin for a romantic weekend. The action cuts back and forth between two different time frames and we watch these relationships develop and disintegrate in tandem. That's a clever enough device, but it's not servicing any greater theme; the audience is left no wiser about the heart or motivations of the man. Is he callous? Is he damaged? Is he supposed to be emblematic of men in general? Ultimately, it's impossible to know and, sadly, hard to care.
C, until 31 Aug.
tw rating 2/5 | [Andrew Leask]

Some Thing New (Lion Theatre Company)
Intentionally blurring the lines between art, artist and audience, this show will leave you thinking about the big artistic debates of the day. You may come with the expectation of sitting back watching passively, but Lion Theatre Company has different intentions. You'll be participating in a staged "creative workshop", led by the actors who each play a different type of artist, all hoping to become successful. The continual squabbling of these "artists" seems to suggest that truly original or objectively inspiring art cannot be produced in the modern age, due to the splintered nature of the collective consciousness. 'Some Thing New' poses some interesting questions, but fails to deliver any insightful answers.
C Nova, until 22 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Megan Wallace]

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