If you're a Fringe regular, there is a chance you've seen more of Idil Sukan's work at this Festival than any other artist. Because for over a decade now, she has been behind countless photos and poster designs that you will have seen pasted up all over this city each August (including those pictured here). She has now decided to step back from Edinburgh Fringe projects, but to mark her final year here she has been presenting the Idil Sukan Awards, designed to celebrate the next generation of creative talent at the Fringe, and the comedians and people she has most enjoyed working with at Festivals past. ThreeWeeks Co-Editor Caro Moses caught up with Idil to find out more.

ThreeWeeks' Caro Moses chats to Idil about her work and the awards here
Three recommended shows for Saturday at the Edinburgh Festival 2015.

Poetry Can F*ck Off

You have just one more chance to see this show, do not miss out! Says our reviewer: "'Poetry makes nothing happen' said W H Auden. Spellbindingly performed with live music, this show opens with Auden's provocative statement and proceeds to demolish it, by travelling through poetry's intersection with politics. In my book, if you're not going to 'Poetry Can F*ck Off', you can fuck off".
Summerhall, until 22 Aug.

Blind Man's Song (pictured)
My, this one is good. "A blind musician lets his creative power take over him and keep him company. These mime artists explore his inner needs, desires and ambitions, as his music stops, starts, and interprets the world they encompass. An absolutely entrancing creation, time accelerates as we delve into this musician's mind".
Pleasance Dome, until 30 Aug.

This dance piece really wowed our reviewer. It "achieves everything lesser productions hope for: I had no idea what was happening next, but I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. As well as unusual, the choreography is also precise and ambitious, while the costuming and soundtrack are both killer. This is what dance should be".
Zoo, until 31 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.
Look out for copies all over Edinburgh or read the online version here.

Inside: Michael Legge, Ian Smith, Puddles Pity Party, Ben Norris, Angella Kwon, Ali McGregor, Moby Alpha, Stephen Tobolowsky, Barely Methodical Troupe, Elvis McGonagall, James Bran, Chris Dugdale, plus Festival news and lots of reviews.
It's the TW Podcast at the Edinburgh Festival. And a little bit later than advertised (host Chris had a show to perform, OK?) here comes the very latest edition featuring Neil Henry, Penny Ashton, 'Wendy Hoose', Mid-Brow and 'Jesus Camp: The Musical Comedy'.

Listen and subscribe to the TW Podcast here
Rebecca Perry is presenting her 'Confessions Of A Redheaded Coffeeshop Girl' at the Gilded Balloon this Fringe. But before all that, she'd like to take a minute or two to hail the mighty redheaded renaissance of late. And why the hell not?

Check out Rebecca's ThreeWeeks column here
So, the final of the Amused Moose Comedy Award will take place this very Sunday at theSpace @ Symposium Hall. Why are we telling you now? Well, because the ten comedians who will compete for the prize have been announced.

As Fringe regulars may remember, these are Amused Moose's breakthrough awards, focused not on brand new talent, but celebrating comedians already staging full one-hour shows but yet to win another major comedy prize.

An industry panel reviews all eligible shows that are running for at least fifteen performances at the Festival, and these are the ten finalists (and their respective shows) who will compete for the overall prize on Sunday at 1.15pm. Well done one and all.

Abbie Murphy: Have A Word
Alistair Barrie: No More Stage 3
Ian Smith: Whereabouts
Jess Robinson: The Rise Of Mighty Voice
John Hastings: Marked From The Start
Markus Birdman: Grimm Reaities
Richard Gadd: Waiting For Gaddot
Scott Bennett: About a Roy (Stories About Me Dad)
Stephen Bailey: Should've Been A Popstar
Stuart Goldsmith: An Hour

The Gideon & Hubcap Show (Groundswell Theatricals / Something For The Weekend)
Two life-long friends from New York, Gideon and Hubcap are used to taking their shows to the living rooms of America, having performed in over 300 people's homes to date. Singing about love, friendship and safe-words, their unique brand of stove-top folk features countless instruments, including their own bodies. They created a musical whirlwind that delighted everyone, with wonderfully silly songs that reminded me of 'Flight of the Conchords'. The crowd were involved from the start and made to feel as though they were in one of the guys' usual front-room venues. A highly engaging duo, Gideon and Hubcap have crafted a wonderfully entertaining show that balances daftness with great musical talent.
Underbelly George Square, until 23 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Daisy Malt]


Christian Steel – Gloom Hunter (Laughing Pot Management)
"You're possibly the quietest crowd I've ever played to," mentions Christian Steel at the end of 'Gloom Hunter'. The pleasant Geordie regularly approaches the crowd, attempting to get laughs out of individual digs but, when he fails to do so, Steel just resorts to saying that they're "lovely". 'Gloom Hunter' details personal anecdotes from the comic's life and how it has all been gloomy for the last eleven years and Steel sails through his stories, transitioning to each new topic at lightning speed. There are many words spoken in this hour, but unfortunately Steel didn't have many very jokes to deliver.
Cowgatehead, until 31 Aug.
tw rating 2/5 | [Kieran Scott]

Croft & Pearce – There's Always Something (Vivienne Smith Management)
There's something lovely about watching performers who've been working together a long time, and sketch duo Croft and Pearce establish the kind of practised rapport that only comes from putting in the years together. The show goes to some dark places you might feel guilty for laughing at – the repeated attempts by a pair of middle-class mums to kill themselves in the most British-bourgeois ways possible (we first meet one trying to asphyxiate in a Waitrose bag-for-life) really shouldn't be as funny as they are. Elsewhere we meet a foul-mouthed Brownie leader, a schoolteacher with an admirer, and a work experience girl with relentless, oblivious bluntness, and while there's nothing particularly original, what's here is slick, delightful and very funny.
Gilded Balloon, until 30 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Jon Stapley]

The Dead Secrets Present... The Curiositorium (The Dead Secrets)
Shadow people want to steal your dreams and the only man who can save you has a trowel for a hand. Welcome to the Curiositorium, where nothing makes sense and everyone is fine with it. The Dead Secrets' narrative sketch show follows a risk-averse curator, searching to fulfil a prophecy to reopen a museum. Even if it doesn't deliver big belly laughs, it's a fun hour with songs, silly waistcoats and outrageous accents. It's appropriate that the show nicks some score from 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' – it has that same vibe of baroque weirdness. With arch literary jokes one minute and a weeping Frenchman shoving McDonalds into his face the next, it's a show with no shortage of ideas.
Underbelly Cowgate, until 30 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Jon Stapley]

Jennie Benton Wordsmith (Susan Harrison)
Hailing from Tunbridge Wells, Jennie Benton is a young spoken word artist with a passion for 'Countdown', whose influences range "from Kate Tempest to Flavor Flav". Susan Harrison's eager and enthusiastic character is highly endearing, very funny and brilliantly portrays teenage naivety and awkwardness. Supported by her best friend Auburn Joe, she delivers her take on subjects such as love, hate and friendship, plus a gangster rap about how beautiful the world is. The show is full of surprises, as she contends with technical glitches, Joe's poor time-keeping and a crush on her teacher Mr Bayne. This is Benton's first foray into the Fringe and, while things don't quite go to plan, she carries on unperturbed.
Underbelly Med Quad, until 31 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Daisy Malt]

Luke Toulson: Grandpa, Hitler And Me
It's not typically considered a good sign to have two audience members crying at the end of a comedy set, but fortunately for Luke Toulson these were happy tears, and he deserved them. Toulson's show tells the story of the 200-odd letters sent by his grandfather to his grandmother throughout the Second World War, and what emerges is not only funny but life-affirming and touching. Though Toulson makes fun of his grandparents' inescapable Britishness (his grandfather's fear, for instance, that the war might cause his garden to be neglected), he obviously loves them dearly. He has used their romance to construct a show that revels in not only how much times have changed, but also how much they haven't.
The Stand Comedy Club 5 & 6, until 30 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Jon Stapley]

Damien Slash: Übermen (Lee Martin for Gag Reflex)
Damien Slash, normally Damien Barker, greets everybody by shaking their hands as they enter the room at the Pleasance Attic. In his one of five characters, he's at his prime – reminiscent of a David Brent directed by Chris Morris. This scene in particular, where Barker is a politically incorrect businessman, exemplifies how brilliantly he can get into character. One portrayal, of the old disabled gambler, lets him down, but others such as a video game and computer geek looking to find the perfect woman, and the final sketch of a man who is a water taster gone berserk are sensational. This show is guaranteed to generate laughter, regardless of how arcane some of the material can get.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 30 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Kieran Scott]

John Robertson, Let's Redecorate
Comedy's no cure for depression, says John Robertson, and in the context of his own show he's absolutely right. 'Let's Redecorate' is filthy, manic and as dark as a pair of PVC thigh length boots. Ironically for a man who's also playing Hamlet this Fringe, Robertson's life has been dogged by suicide - two uncles, his father and lately his best friend. The silver haired cross-dressing Australian deals with his loss with captivating honesty - it's somewhere between tenderness and complete apathy. If Robertson dropped all the humour I'd still go, just for the theatrical tales of bondage clubs and teenage cross dressing, but it would be a pity because he's hilarious, in a wry, deeply intelligent sort of way.
The Stand Comedy Club, until 30 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 [Patrick Galbraith]

Larry Dean: Out Now (Bound And Gagged)
It's refreshing to see an act in a paid venue welcome all the audience members personally, shaking their hands and smiling as they take their seats. This warm start to the show makes Dean likeable instantly, and the audience trust him throughout. Dean's material comes from growing up as a gay man in Glasgow and how his family and friends have reacted to this. It's clear to see that a lot of effort has gone into constructing his debut hour and his fine eye for a well-timed call-back is cleverly judged along with some superb audience interaction scattered throughout the piece. Brilliant in places and performed enthusiastically, this show proves Dean has the potential to reach even greater heights.
Pleasance Courtyard until 31 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Ben Shannon]

Lazy Susan: Double Act (Ditto Productions)
Lazy Susan have created a comic gem with just a few wigs, an eyepatch and a fluffy toy duck. The sketches reveal their wicked imagination and intelligent sense of mischief right from the opening scene (which involves a young couple being forced to make a sex tape by a non-existent serial killer). This show is full of heart and humour, while the writing is finely tuned and the stories are surprisingly involving. Celeste Dring and Freya Parker storm the stage in white make-up and braces, playing distinctive characters in a variety of different accents. Their styles of performance are unique, but they also complement each other very well. The sketches may baffle you to begin with, but you will find yourself drawn in very quickly.
Pleasance Dome, until 31 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Vicki Baron]

Tiernan Douieb: The World Is Full Of Idiots, Let's Live In Space (Tiernan Douieb / PBH's Free Fringe)
Inspired by Commander Chris Hadfield's book, 'An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth', Douieb ponders why anyone would need to travel quite so far away to appreciate how special Earth is. He pulls no punches as he take on issues such as ISIS, the white privileged man, selfie sticks, Katie Hopkins and people who eat daffodils. Yet, while these things exasperate him, he's not an angry character: there is a sense of underlying optimism from this endearing comic. He still believes that if people were just a bit less annoying we could all live together happily, without having to go into space to realise it. This is a thoroughly enjoyable show, and Douieb's satire is sharp, warm and above all, very, very funny.
Liquid Rooms Annexe, until 30 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Daisy Malt]


Ringside (Ellie Dubois)
There is a word, opia, which means the ambiguous intensity of eye contact. I need that word, and more like it - simple but overflowing with meaning - to describe 'Ringside'. Words for the crucial distance between a suspended body and the floor, for the sound of someone else's bones clicking. There is only one spectator at a time: just me, a trapeze, and Ellie Dubois. The audience is part of the performance, in that the intrinsic positions of spectator and subject are boiled down to their intimate bones. I could only describe my relationship to the piece, and even that seems somehow private. I came out into the night with my body tingling, looking, with ambiguous intensity, at everything differently.
Summerhall, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Lucy Diver]

The Hogwallops (Lost In Translation Circus)
Lost In Translation Circus presents a birthday-themed spectacle that combines traditional circus, theatre and comedy. Following the dysfunctional Hogwallop family, this is a captivating, high-energy show, demonstrating remarkable imagination alongside physical strength. Mixing floor and aerial acrobatics, and backed by a live score, the group bring to life everyday activities, such as laundry and baking, to deliver a fun and quirky story. Heavily laced with slapstick, expect a top-secret box, bananas, cake and even aerial work on a Zimmer frame! Despite a predominantly adult audience on the day I was there, this is a great show for the whole family. Brilliantly silly yet technically impressive, 'The Hogwallops' is an enchanting and exciting display of dexterity and humour.
Underbelly's Circus Hub On The Meadows, until 29 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Daisy Malt]


From The Horse's Mouth (PBH's Free Fringe)
FTHM is as delightful as it is hard to summarise. A sort of pop-up jazz-hip-hop cafe, with spoken word? Witnessing the overlap is half the fun, as poem recital slips into groovy trumpet solo halfway through – ever wish your life was set to a hip-hop soundtrack? A possible game-changer for those averse to 'solemn' spoken word events, what ultimately makes FTHM magic is its small, hand-picked bouquet of performers, who collaborate in perfect tandem, like a beautiful, funky bicycle. Even the venue harmonises, the low-ceilinged yellow-lit room evoking scenes of smoky 20s jazz bars; the vibe is communal rather than clubhouse, and stage became the dancefloor for the tuneful finale, audience members jiving with performers in a cracking, feel-good fiesta of a send-off.
Chiquito, until 19 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Sarah Murphy]


CELL (Smoking Apples And Dogfish)
When Ted, an avid stamp collector, finds out he has Motor Neurone Disease, he decides to go on holiday. With his pet goldfish. Here he finds companionship, irritating travellers and good coffee. Ted is a puppet, controlled by three superbly skilled puppeteers, and is gorgeously lifelike – his exasperated sighs and tiny nods to the audience are a joy. The on-stage sound effects and shadow puppetry are also inventive and beautifully done. At times, Ted's degeneration is almost unbearable to watch, as we see him increasingly struggle, until even getting out of his chair is impossible. Though the gentle, quiet pace of this wordless piece may not be to everyone's taste, this is a poignant, heart-aching piece of theatre.
Underbelly, until 30 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Gemma Scott]

The Colours Of Kenny Roach (Peppermint Muse)
In this, the age of the TV antihero, it's easy to forget the skill necessary to make an unlikable character sympathetic. Roach, an embittered, failing artist is far from likeable: alcoholic, abusive husband, absentee father. Luckily, actor John Stenhouse is skilled enough to bring out his humanity, without shying away from his many flaws. As we watch Roach's life unravel in a haze of booze and recriminations, he never feels less than real, spitting out insults born out of his failings and inadequacies. The staging is simple yet effective - art projected behind the actors - and the soundtrack from The Smiths fits the tone perfectly. This is compelling, thoughtful, character-driven drama that packs an emotional punch.
theSpace on Niddry Street, until 29 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Andrew Leask]

Consumption (Two42 Company)
It's hard to avoid reading about financial misdeeds in the news these days. 'Consumption' combines comedy and drama to tackle the issue of abusing payment plans, credit cards and loan sharks. It's a highly physical 50 minutes of impressive acting from a very skilful cast. Mark Wallington, as lead character Sebastian, puts in a fervent performance as a man verging on a nervous breakdown due to his upper-class girlfriend, Penelope (Grace Bussey), digging him into further financial trouble. The rest of the cast are also noteworthy, with tight performances all round. Certain points in the script are absurd and unrealistic, and could be patched up. However, it does present an inspiring conclusion.
theSpace on the Mile, until 28 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Kieran Scott]

Dead Man's Cell Phone (UCLU Runaground)
Plenty of (digital) ink has been spilt over the question of whether modern technology isolates or unites us. Certainly it's easier to communicate with a phone in your hand, but are you ever really listening to the people in front of you? Sarah Ruhl's play explores this question in an irreverent, absurdist, roundabout way, following the exploits of a woman named Jean, whose life takes several interesting turns after she answers the phone of a man in a cafe who turns out to be dead. UCLU Runaground's production is nicely staged, with good musical accompaniment and some fine actors, but it's not as funny as it wants to be and consequently strikes an inconsistent tone.
Underbelly Cowgate, until 23 Aug.
tw rating 2/5 | [Jon Stapley]

A Face That Fits (Moonfly Theatre Company)
I am a sarcastic and cynical person. This leaves me well-equipped to criticise, but at a loss when trying to describe something I genuinely enjoyed as much as 'A Face That Fits'. I'd like to describe it as a play about lost dreams and unfulfilled potential, but I'm not sure that's a description which would make me want to see it. Imagine a chat between an angry youth and his grandfather. Now project this onto a chat between a man and a complete stranger. I didn't expect to laugh. I didn't expect to leave feeling happy, nay hopeful. But the sincerity with which I struggle comes naturally to this cast, and their thespian talent in this intimate environment was delightful.
theSpace @ Surgeons Hall, until 29 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Robert Stevens]

A Gambler's Guide To Dying (Gary McNair with Show And Tell)
We open with Archie Campbell cheering Geoff Hurst's 'they think it's all over' goal in a Gorbals pub. That goes down as you'd expect, but then he did have a sizeable bet on the outcome. His grandson loves to hear the story and, as we visit moments of him growing up, we learn more about the two, both portrayed by the excellent Gary McNair, who also wrote the play. Archie, diagnosed with cancer, makes one more bet to keep things interesting. The title doesn't suggest hilarity but there are laughs aplenty in a warm tale about the relationship between a boy and his granddad, the nature of stories, memories and the inevitable time when, finally, it really is all over.
Traverse Theatre, until 30 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | Bruce Blacklaw

Reformation9 (Luther & Bockelson)
Googling Luther & Bockelson is a fool's errand. The performance duo, evidently from Germany, have no website. Elsewhere, you find loud words that say little: "iconoclastic", "lunatic", "infamous". Lyn Gardner once called them "splendidly insane" or "sublimely insane" - as happens with shady figures, sources disagree. After 'Reformation 9' (paging the Beatles), here's what I can tell you: this is a pick-your-own performance, and you should wear easily laundered clothes and be ready to sing, dance or play with barbed wire. The show, with a lovingly anarchic aesthetic and kitchen-sink approach to props, aims to probe differences between the U.K. and continental Europe, and to ask whether revolution is about destruction or creation. The answer depends on each night's audience. And as for ol' L&B? Well, what's it matter who they are? Or - ahem - if they are?
Forest Fringe, Out Of The Blue Drill Hall, until 19 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Rebecca Jacobson]

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