London-based dance performance hub The Place has shifted North this August to present three great shows as part of Summerhall's Fringe programme. While it's here, the venue has also teamed up with Total Theatre to launch a new award celebrating dance at the Festival. We caught up with Director Eddie Nixon and Producer Christina Elliot to find out more.

ThreeWeeks' Chris Cooke chats to Eddie and Christina about their shows here
Three recommended shows for Saturday at the Edinburgh Festival 2015.

Edmund The Learned Pig
Say we: "The design is all dusty, faded glamour which, combined with aerial silk work and music by the Tiger Lillies' Martyn Jacques, really puts the spectacular into this super, sometimes very silly, show. The play also beautifully integrates British Sign Language, the bilingual actors translating when other characters are talking".
Summerhall, until 30 Aug.

The Remnants – As Thyself
'The Remnants' is a double bill presented by Shrapnel Theatre and both halves are recommended, though this one just edges ahead. "An incredibly well written and disjointed story, interwoven with poetry, dance pieces, and brilliant acting, has taken an age old, reoccurring theme, and told it in an accessible and modern way".
C nova, until 31 Aug.

Going Viral

We love this show. Says our reviewer: "The intimate storytelling by Daniel Bye makes the audience feel completely involved and welcome in this story. Raw, real and emotive, this visceral performance both educates us scientifically and makes us question the social systems around us".
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.
Look out for copies all over Edinburgh or read the online version here.

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 the Giraffe comedy group and hear two of their sketches, ThreeWeeks co-Editor Chris Cooke talks to magician Chris Cook, plus enjoy snippets from 'Man To Man' and 'Let's See Jen Carnovale'.

Listen and subscribe to the TW Podcast here
The Total Theatre Awards have been presented for Edinburgh Festival 2015, with seven gongs presented in total over five categories, including the new previously reported dance-focused award. Plus, in addition to that little lot, a Significant Contribution Award was presented to the theatre company Forced Entertainment.

Speaking about this year's winners, Total Theatre Awards Producers Jo Crowley and Becki Haines told reporters: "This year's awards celebrate some exceptional artist-led and independent work. The awarded artists have created work that demonstrates the power of theatre and live performance to communicate, entertain and inspire audiences – cutting across boundaries of background, nationality and language. Much of which has been made in challenging circumstances, with limited resource and could easily slip through the gaps, and we are therefore delighted that Total Theatre is recognising, championing and celebrating this work".

And the winners are...

Shows By An Emerging Company/Artist
The Beanfield by Breach at theSpace on the Mile

Physical / Visual Theatre
Oog by Al Seed and Feral Arts at Dance Base

Innovation, Experimentation & Playing With Form

Can I Start Again Please by Sue MacLaine and Nadia Nadarajah at Summerhall
Portraits in Motion by Volker Gerling and Aurora Nova at Summerhall

Total Theatre & The Place Award for Dance

Vertical Influences by Le Patin Libre at Assembly

Total Theatre & Jacksons Lane Award for Circus

B-Orders by the Palestinian Circus and Aurora Nova at Underbelly
Smoke and Mirrors by theRICOCHETproject at Assembly

Beth Vyse: As Funny As Cancer (Beth Vyse/Heroes)
Beth Vyse developed this one-woman show to talk about her experiences with breast cancer. She has a natural ability on stage, lifting the audience up with unexpected silliness before bringing them right back down with an abrupt, sobering point. From the doctor who diagnosed her, to the welcome comic relief that Michael Jackson provides, her characters hold the show together well and allow Vyse to impress. Her storytelling talents are proven by her ability to simultaneously maintain the humour and honesty of the story. Throughout all this Vyse comes across as an incredibly strong woman, not least because she manages to display her vulnerabilities whilst still maintaining a huge stage presence. It seems that cancer can indeed be pretty funny.
Heroes @ The Hive, until 30 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Stephanie Gray]

Chris Kent Stop Stalling (Mick Perrin Worldwide)
Chris Kent is back in Edinburgh for a fourth year, this time with tales of his recent wedding. For the majority of the show his anecdotal comedy makes for easy, relaxed listening, but there's always an awful lot of build-up. Kent's deadpan delivery is good, but the show lacks pace at times and would benefit from interspersing some quicker stories (a onesie related incident went down particularly well). Compared to some other comedians, whose "themes" are practically non-existent, he does well to keep his show on a recognisable track, rarely deviating from his subject matter. Apparently, he never intended his disastrous honeymoon to become the butt of his jokes, but he's certainly made the best of it.
Assembly George Square, until 31 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Stephanie Gray]

Chris Turner: XXV (Fluid Thinking and Brillstein Entertainment Partners)
At fifteen, Chris Turner was diagnosed with a genetic disorder and doctors expected him to die by the age of twenty-five. Now living past his sell-by-date, this piece of stand-up covers his reflections on the diagnosis and his lifestyle since. He also talks about his ambition to become a rapper which, through his two quick-witted improvised rap sections, we see he has already achieved. Instantly likeable, with charm and presence, Chris Turner manages to make this sad story fun, even hilarious. His well-written jokes and intelligent observations successfully entertain the crowd throughout. Due to Turner's material having a real, poignant facet to it, 'XXY' resonates, and you leave with more than just an evening of laughter.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 31 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Stephanie Withers]

How To Be Fat (Mathilda Gregory)
The show begins with an assertion that she is and ends with a confession that she isn't – okay with her fat body, that is. In between is a one-woman show on dieting, genetics, what people say to fat people and what fat people say to themselves. Or rather, one person: Mathilda Gregory's account is family photo-level personal. Some audiences might be uncomfortable with this raw vulnerability, but Gregory is warm and loveable and these issues need discussion. The account is ordinary and universal, with really funny moments and some great insights. In the end, though, it's quite sad: the many ways a body can be wrong is an unresolved problem outside the theatre, and it isn't resolved inside either.
Zoo Southside, until 31 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Lucy Diver]

Kyle Kinane: Ghost Pizza Party (Soho Theatre and United Talent Agency)
The Fringe is getting on a bit and Kyle Kinane is tired, worn down by the excessive whimsy that is Edinburgh in August. Among the artistic cornucopia on offer, he expresses doubt over the worth of stand-up comedy. This leads into thoughts about his own performance anxiety, expressed through the idea of quantum leaping (look it up – it's exactly what he means) into other (marginally) more "worthwhile" jobs. Not a soldier or a doctor, but a truck driver reversing round a corner, or a Japanese restaurant chef, working in open view. There's nothing to do with ghosts or pizzas – in fact it's basically a 30 minute lead up to a gag about crabs' legs. Happily, it's a good one.
Underbelly Cowgate, until 30 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Bruce Blacklaw]

Twins: Pret a Comedy (Twins)
The schtick here is that Jack, the boy of the really not very identical twins, has an hour to live. He needs to chomp through a bucket list, little of which is achievable in the time available, but can all be imagined theatrically. You know, through sketches. A mildly anarchic hour ensures, with a mixed bag of general absurdity. It's not the tightest, or the slickest, and some set-ups take an age to get to a punchline that wasn't worth the journey, but there are some gems and some bold bits of audience participation here. It's a free show at midnight, as they keep reminding us, and that's a fair point. A diverting enough start to the wee small hours.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 30 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Bruce Blacklaw]


Shout! The Mod Musical (Max Emmerson Productions)
Funny, lively and entertaining, six groovy girls transport us to swinging-sixties London in this colourful jukebox musical. They write to an agony aunt in their coveted magazine, 'Shout', about the problems of a "modern woman". She replies with less than satisfactory advice: get a pedicure to calm down. Increasingly frustrated with this poor advice, the girls take matters into their own hands, feistily covering Lulu, Cilla Black and Nancy Sinatra. Sung with tremendous talent, these young actresses will blow you away with their renditions of these classics. They transport us back to a time where women were seen and not heard, but make no mistake - in this brilliant musical, they will be defiantly heard.
Momentum Venues, until 30 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Stephanie Withers]


Backstage In Biscuit Land (Touretteshero)
In the words of a friend, Jess Thom is a "crazy language-generating machine". The source of her brilliance? Tourette's, a neurological condition that causes uncontrollable verbal and physical tics. So Thom spends a lot of time repeating the words "biscuit" and "hedgehog", but also spits delightfully surrealistic turns of phrase - something about Bananarama and sandcastles, or a caution against washing your groin with a kiwi fruit. Joined by the perpetually game Jess Mabel Jones, Thom allows us to laugh, while also asking important questions about what constitutes "appropriate" audience behaviour. "I know this is the only seat in the house I won't be asked to leave," she says. Thank goodness - it'd be a crime to shut down anything so ebullient and moving.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 30 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Rebecca Jacobson]

Donald Does Dusty (Diane Torr)
This many stranded, one-woman show about Diane Torr, her brother Donald and sixties pop star Dusty Springfield was funny, moving and intriguing. The structure was just right and it fascinated me for the entire hour, cleverly combining film, Dusty's recordings and costume. Torr narrated and acted the complex story of her much loved gay brother, by intertwining his story with that of his heroine and role model, Dusty Springfield, and by inviting the audience to participate – which we did. I kept thinking, especially during the film clips of Donald, how hard it must be for Torr to relive his life and death each night. However, after the show's finale, I understood and was comforted.
Summerhall, until 30 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 l [Louise Rodgers]

John Lennon In His Own Write (Baldynoggin Productions / PBH Free Fringe)
We all think of John Lennon as a poet, right? The thing is, he did actually publish an anthology of poetry and short stories. Yoko Ono gave her blessing for this adaptation, in which the excellent players, working in front of projections of some of his drawings, deliver life and voice to Lennon's whimsical words. The only problem is, well, the material, which sounds like Spike Milligan took the day off and had a temp phone it in. Thank Christ John stuck at the day job. And yeah, ok, different times, but it's hard work making allowances for a lot of stuff you'd tell your granddad off for saying. Nevertheless, this is an intriguing footnote to the man's life and work, worth seeing.
Voodoo Rooms, until 30 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Bruce Blacklaw]

No Strings (Pop-Up Theatre Company)
Carolyn Duffin couldn't have anticipated the hack of cheating website Ashley Madison, but that recent imbroglio makes quite the punchline to her new play. It's essentially a morality tale about why infidelity is very, very bad – and how women can be very, very devious. Jamie (George Drever) and Shona (Duffin) meet at a hotel. She says it's her first foray into anonymous sex. It's his seventeenth. What follows is trite conversation about marital and personal discontent and – for a show that says it's "intended for adult viewing" – nothing particularly sexy. But what's the moral here? Men are dumb horndogs? Women should harness their feminine wiles to rat them out? Whatever its intent, 'No Strings' leaves a sour taste.
theSpace @ Surgeons Hall, until 29 Aug.
tw rating 1/5 | [Rebecca Jacobson]

Not The Horse (Naughty Corner Productions)
Half way through this crime-comedy, the penny drops: this has a striking resemblance to Guy Ritchie's film 'Snatch'. We don't have Jason Statham here, we don't have Jews, but we do have "pikeys". When twenty-something Scouser Tony finds himself in the dirt, after losing an illegal horse race, he tries various methods to pay the £250,000 back to London gangsters. It's a busy hour, with a gigantic cast in four different sub-plots. It isn't confusing, it's just quite unnecessary. The "pikey" storyline doesn't add anything and, while the play describes itself as a comedy, some moments are clearly just attempts to get laughs out of the audience, but with little success. However, the plot surrounding Tony is attractive and offers glimpses of hilarity.
theSpace @ Surgeon's Hall, until 29 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Kieran Scott]

Swallow (Traverse Theatre Company)
Young Scottish playwright Stef Smith knows how to bring beauty to the breakdown. Her new play, the piercing, elegantly off-kilter 'Swallow,' introduces us to a trio of women. Anna (Emily Wachter) is smashing up her flat – mirrors, phone, floorboards – and gluing together the shards with pesto. Rebecca (Anita Vettesse) is rudderless after a bad breakup. And Samantha (Sharon Duncan-Brewster) is binding her chest with gaffer tape and testing the waters as Sam. As their stories intersect, the simplest lines stand out more than the occasionally strained metaphors. "It's not a lie", says Anna, "just a past-tense truth". Orla O'Loughlin directs with sensitivity and grace – even if things get a little cute at the end – trusting the three remarkable performers to fuel the show.
Traverse Theatre, until 30 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Rebecca Jacobson]

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