Emma Hall promises 621 opinions in her impactful and thought-provoking one-woman show 'We May Have To Choose'. Inspired by her Facebook newsfeed, or more to the point, how frustrated the constant stream of over-simplified opinions made her feel, the show sets out to make the audience think, consider and debate. It certainly had a big impact on our reviewer, and after she gave the show top marks we decided we had to sit down with Emma to find out more about the show, why she wrote it, and how she is finding performing solo for the first time.

ThreeWeeks' Chris Cooke chats to Emma about her show here
Three recommended shows for Wednesday at the Edinburgh Festival 2015.

Monkey Poet – Spaceage Simian (pictured)
ThreeWeeks Editors' Award winner Matt Panesh returns with another brilliant show. "What differentiates Panesh from other performers who like to push the boundaries of social acceptability, is that rather than spiralling downwards into a dark, irrecoverable vortex of offensiveness, he somehow travels upwards instead". Go see.
Banshee Labyrinth, until 30 Aug.

We May Have To Choose
Do check out our interview with Emma Hall. But more importantly, do check out her show. "There is something captivating about Hall's performance, something mesmerising in her simplistic movement, and it would be hard not to become completely absorbed in this performance".
Laughing Horse @ Espionage, until 29 Aug

1972: The Future Of Sex
There's a top marks 5/5 review for this show in the new edition of the ThreeWeeks magazine, out tomorrow. But for now, just know this is "the theatrical equivalent of popping candy: blissful, colourful, multi-sensory magic". And it's highly recommended. The 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 from tomorrow morning, plus read the digital version online from first thing.

Inside: Sofie Hagen, Luke Wright, Ally Houston, Henry Maynard, Eddie Nixon and Christina Elliot from The Place, Emma Hall, Keith Farnan, Ria Lina Chris Betts, The Kinsey Sicksplus Festival news and lots of reviews.

It's the TW Podcast at the Edinburgh Festival. This week we chat to Lisa Gornick about her live drawing show combining theatre, storytelling and visual art, and to Gary Quinn about his impactful play 'The Last Kill'. Plus we get a snippet of immersive theatre production 'To Sleep To Dream', and a poem and a rap from the Zoo Venues show 'Easy For You To Say'.

Listen and subscribe to the TW Podcast here
So, we're into week three of these ThreeWeeks now, what's your plan for the grand finale? Well, Michael J Dolan has a thought. Avoid the five star hits and award nominees to see something truly "Edinburgh".

Check out Michael's ThreeWeeks column here
So, it's that point in the Festival where ten comedians have to tolerate media like us plundering their material and stealing some of their best lines, in return for the honour of appearing on telly channel Dave's list of the best one-liners of the Festival.

And well done to Darren Walsh whose mobile phone gag tops the list, as voted for by 2000 pun fans, or punters if you prefer. Apparently nearly a quarter of those surveyed picked Walsh's gag from a shortlist of jokes selected by industry pun experts, or pundits as we call them.

And now here's the top ten...

1. "I just deleted all the German names off my phone. It's Hans free" – Darren Walsh

2. "Kim Kardashian is saddled with a huge arse ... but enough about Kanye West" – Stewart Francis

3. "Surely every car is a people carrier?" – Adam Hess

4. "What's the difference between a 'hippo' and a 'Zippo'? One is really heavy, the other is a little lighter" – Masai Graham

5. "If I could take just one thing to a desert island I probably wouldn't go" – Dave Green

6. "Jesus fed 5000 people with two fishes and a loaf of bread. That's not a miracle. That's tapas" – Mark Nelson

7. "Red sky at night. Shepherd's delight. Blue sky at night. Day" – Tom Parry

8. "The first time I met my wife, I knew she was a keeper. She was wearing massive gloves" – Alun Cochrane

9. "Clowns divorce. Custardy battle" – Simon Munnery

10. "They're always telling me to live my dreams. But I don't want to be naked in an exam I haven't revised for..." – Grace The Child

Geoff Norcott: The Look Of Moron (Charlotte Hamilton Artist Management / Just The Tonic PWYW)
Aye, ok. Let's send the reviewer that wish-listed Marks Thomas and Steel to see a self-confessed Tory-voting comic. Sorry to say (no, really), I pretty much didn't hate him. Norcott is acutely aware of the depths of the furrow in which he is working, mitigating this with reason and self-deprecation: "I'm a cunt with a small 'c'". You can disagree (again: no, really) with the stuff about monetising the NHS, rejecting the 50% tax rate and euthanising the elderly (that was all in the manifesto, right?) but the main question for a comedy review is – was it funny? And, you know what? Mostly, yeah. The less political stuff wasn't as interesting but, overall, a sharp, funny Tory. Urk. I'm off for a lie down.
Just The Tonic at the Tron, until 29 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Bruce Blacklaw]

Jonny Pelham: Before And After (Feature Spot Productions Limited)
At the seemingly rather insensitive insistence of the NHS, Jonny Pelham was induced to undergo a fairly major bout of invasive corrective commercial surgery to his face. If it feels like a long, hard trip from there to funny, this one time "second funniest student in Britain" can show you the way. The route is part rite of passage, as he reflects amusingly on how the experience affected his adolescent life. It's not all gold though – some set-ups take an age for punchlines which weren't really worth the trouble. A slight unevenness of tone and structure also causes a few good lines to fail. However, there are plenty of sharp lines, and a good – and funny - story worth hearing.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 30 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Bruce Blacklaw]

The Old Fella (The Old Fella)
Rod Gregory's one hour show is a description of a typical week in the life of an elderly Australian man. Stories about his grandchildren's escapades sit awkwardly alongside several ill-conceived sex jokes about his wife, and his often stale jokes do not endear the character to the audience. Gregory's stories appear to have been written with real effort and care, but they are too long to be captivating and too crass to be entertaining. If Gregory's character could interact more with his audience then this show might be more engaging, but unfortunately the audience is left with an overall impression of being superfluous to the character's rants.
the Space @ Surgeons Hall, until 29 Aug.
tw rating 2/5 | [Vicki Baron]

Dark Side Of The Mime (Takomo)
The row in front of me gave a standing ovation, the woman next to me literally cried. This is clearly a divisive show, which separates those who enjoy rape jokes from the rest of civil society. Ostensibly a comedy, the acts portrayed were so gratuitous that they felt unnecessary. As far as I could tell, the purpose of raping was to rape, and the purpose of dressing in the skin of a dead victim was to shock. The show was like being kicked in the balls- not as a joke or to punish- but for the sole purpose of inducing pain. No suspense or tension were even attempted, making this a humdrum hour of pointless violence. The acting, however, was pretty good.
Assembly Roxy, until 30 Aug.
tw rating 1/5 | [Robert Stevens]


B-Orders (Palestinian Circus Company in association with Aurora Nova)
In this powerful and moving peice Ashtar Muallem and Fadi Zmorrod use circus to demonstrate the cultural and political situation in Palestine, and the emotions generated by it. Though specific to Palestine, this piece has reliability that crosses International borders. Using a minimalist stage set, Fadi and Muallem cleverly form cultural structures with building blocks. They walk among the borders that were marked to them by history, and destroy them in frustration. This piece eloquently gives a voice to the feelings of the younger generations of Palestine, a voice that is not often heard in western media. Mark this as a must watch piece on your fringe list.
Underbelly's Circus Hub on the Meadows, until 29 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 [Zita Campbell]


Grande Messe Des Mortes (Edinburgh International Festival)
Hector Berlioz's requiem had drama, spectacle and the tremendous Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen. The Edinburgh Festival Chorus celebrated their 50th anniversary by contributing a blend of poignantly angelic and impressively devilish voices; tenor Laurence Brownlee was masterful. Berlioz experimented by expanding orchestral and choral sound - even going so far as making extraordinary new instruments to further his musical ideals. Tonight was sonorous and bold in tone and execution, expressing the wild spirit of Berlioz by scattering most of the brass section around the auditorium. The audience felt present at the last judgement itself, as the very air around them shook. Did we go to heaven or hell during this performance? Heaven, definitely!
Usher Hall, 22 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 l [Louise Rodgers]

Ruby Zajac (Ruby Zajac)
Ruby Zajac's lyricism about her past relationships, wandering about Edinburgh and beyond to the West Lothian beaches, and living abroad in Mexico and Honduras is all very well. However, there is nothing melodious here, as Zajac's acoustic guitar is frequently out-of-tune and makes the entire band effort sound lousy. Beside the fact Zajac's half-hearted guitar playing means that she doesn't form the F-chords properly, there's credit due to the backing band, who perform in a wonderfully delicate manner. Their passing of the shaking egg perhaps undermines their musical talents, as they swap it out with violin, charsach and the tin whistle. Zajac's music could benefit from more rehearsal and from more of the woodwind and stringed instruments.
Acoustic Music Centre, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 2/5 | [Kieran Scott]

Late Night Phantasmagoria with Jack Lukeman
It's difficult for a musician to take me (and the rest of this small, tired crowd) from ready for bed to up and dancing along. But Jack Lukeman has the great voice, high energy, and above all, the stage presence to really warm up an audience. 'Late Night Phantasmagoria' is a combination of high-energy blues and soft lullabies, appealing to both the possibilities of an 11pm audience: tipsy and fun, or tired and floppy. He has the versatility for both and makes great song choices, though if pressed I might say that while the more rock-based songs were his natural element, I generally preferred the quieter numbers. However your evening has gone, Jack Lukeman will provide the perfect nightcap.
The Famous Spiegeltent, until 31 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Lucy Diver]

Soweto Afro Pop Opera
While 'Soweto Afro-Pop Opera' may sound like a mish-mash of genres, really it's anything but. This trio delight with their obvious joy for performance, combining soulful vocals with infectious personalities to demonstrate the huge variety and versatility of South African music. From the traditional 'pata-pata' to 'Ave Maria', they show the influences of the western world on the sounds of their own country. They're great characters, keeping the audience totally enthralled as they flit between slower and livelier pieces. The group have downsized this year, and while the three men easily command the stage, the absence of a live band (replaced by recorded backing track) stops the performance just short of being something really special.
C, until 31 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Stephanie Gray]

Luca Wu And Reverse Context
Two pop/rock shows for the price of one? These very different singers performed for half the show each sharing the band. Luca Wu played piano competently but I couldn't hear a word over the band, which was a pity because both artists write their own material and I was intrigued to hear the lyrics. I would rather the likeable guitarists had contributed more, such as backing vocals, instead of relying on computers. Reverse Context was energetic, audible, sang in front of the instrumentalists and used a wider musical vocabulary. However, I heard nothing that could be described as "experimental" - he did wear a fish mask for a song about the human race as fish swimming in an ocean, though. That perked me up.
theSpace @ Symposium Hall, until 29 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 l [Louise Rodgers]


HMS Pinafore (Edinburgh International Festival)
It's all very well to say the right thing, but would you let your daughter marry one? This dilemma is explored mercilessly by Gilbert and Sullivan, in their operetta sending up the English class system using the navy as their vehicle. Wittily narrated by Tim Brooke Taylor, this hilarious piece was sung and acted wonderfully; although frothily accessible, the music is operatic in style and ambition. Conductor Richard Egarr created much more than a concert performance here. Simply using hats and good humour, the performers made a more convincing British navy than if they'd relied on scenery and costumes. The Scottish Opera orchestra and chorus excelled themselves, and the soloists were stars – each made a dazzling impression, no matter the size of their role.
Usher Hall, 23 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 l [Louise Rodgers]

Tutte Contro Verdi (ISIFUERA SL)
The cry 'Viva Verdi' signalled the presence of freedom fighters during the Italian Revolution and so the title of this show is also the shout of a freedom fighter! Talented actress and soprano Miren de Miguel takes a passionately different view of traditional opera, examining it as a powerful medium stereotyping women's roles in art and society. She portrays it as misogynistic, shallow and dehumanising. This is a clever piece of performance art and polemic punctuated with glorious arias sung sincerely and movingly as if in an opera performance; the poignancy of the beautiful prayer 'Ave Maria' from 'Otello' is quite hard to bear whilst the singer is fashioning a noose. Come for the arias, stay for the gender politics.
New Town Theatre, until 17 Aug
tw rating 4/5 l [Louise Rodgers]

Ushers: The Front Of House Musical (Matthew Cundy Productions and Kouban Productions)
This is a highly enjoyable show about a group of ushers working in London's West End. New girl Lucy (played by Corrine Priest) is thrown in at the deep end on the opening night of a new musical, and her colleagues take her and the audience on a whirlwind journey of love, ambition and trying to sell ice-creams. The cast work very well together as a believable team of discontented dreamers, and their individual musical numbers are all performed with personal flare. This show has everything you want from a musical: heightened characters, toe-tapping numbers, and romance. This show has an essentially whimsical outlook, but you will feel genuinely moved as well as entertained.
Momentum Venues @ St Stephens, until 30 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Vicki Baron]

2 Become 1 (Swipe Right Theatre)
The best girls night out I've had in a while, courtesy of Swipe Right Theatre, who take us back to the 90's and invite us along to their party. Jess has just been dumped, and so in an attempt to cheer her up, Jess's three friends take her speed dating. The result is a light-hearted comedy featuring all your favourite girl-power hits from the likes of Britney, Christina and Shania, all performed with brilliant comical skill by the talented cast. It also offers a poignant reflection on the world of modern dating, asking us to re-examine internet dating sites and the frequent failure of these platforms to offer meaningful connection. The four performers are instantly likeable, and ensure we have a great time watching this piece, a must see!
C Nova, until 31 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Stephanie Withers]


Much Further Out Than You Thought (the MolinoGroup)
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in soldiers is rarely discussed. As this play points out, it's hidden by the media because it doesn't fit the view of the 'hero', who perhaps, in reality, is broken from the inside out. The play does a pretty good job of exploring this pressing issue as, like many soldiers, our hero fails to make the transition from Afghanistan to life back home. It's an intense performance, but at times feels too melodramatic to truly connect. Though his condition is explained expertly - the main draw of the play - Lance Corporal Randall clings on to his soldier's identity too much to truly be seen as human. Despite the plot's attempts to humanise, it always feels slightly artificial.
Underbelly Cowgate, until 30 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Robert Stevens]

Tribute Acts (TheatreState)
The endearing sincerity of Tess and Cheryl isn't quite enough to make 'Tribute Acts' a success. It opens well, with a daft, funny dance in inflatable suits, but thereafter it's inconsistent. The two performers are accompanied on stage by video footage of each of their fathers, and the show explores the complexities of their relationships, both good and bad. The tone never quite settles though: the funny parts aren't funny enough, while the serious parts are undermined by the comedy. Their acting and dancing is frequently, intentionally, shambolic, which is funny, but the script is equally messy. It feels unfinished, and that hurts the show. There's the potential for something good here, but it needs a lot of refinement.
Assembly Roxy, until 30 Aug.
tw rating 2/5 | [Andrew Leask]

Hair Peace (Victoria Melody)
Victoria Melody is blunt: wearing a wig made of real hair is like wearing someone's old fingernails. After competing in a beauty pageant for a previous show - and learning that the UK is the world's third biggest importer of human hair - Melody set off on a wigspedition. In Russia, she meets a man who buys hair at a mall kiosk. In India, she witnesses tonsuring rituals. Video footage punctuates Melody's slow, deliberate monologuing, which can make her sound like a primary school teacher. There's a kernel of greatness here - it'd make a brilliant 'Planet Money' episode. But in trying to juggle investigation alongside armchair sociology about female beauty, 'Hair Peace' doesn't quite get to the root (heh) of either.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 31 Aug.
tw rating 2/5 | [Rebecca Jacobson]

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