This August the Edinburgh Festival celebrates its 70th anniversary. To mark the occasion, we have asked a plethora of performers about their personal Fringe experiences. Today King Of The Fringe Richard Herring.

CLICK HERE to read Richard Herring's answers to the Quick Quiz.

Richard Herring performs 'Oh Frig, I'm 50!' at the Pleasance Courtyard until 26 Aug and hosts 'Richard Herring's Edinburgh Fringe Podcast' at the New Town Theatre on 11 and 18 Aug. 
With Edinburgh Festival 2017 up and running, we TW:TALK with Rosie Wilby about her new show 'The Conscious Uncoupling', which completes a trilogy of shows about relationships. Wilby explains how her music career led to comedy, talks us through her Edinburgh Fringe experiences to date, and tells us all about her new book.

CLICK HERE to tune in and sign up for the TW:TALKS podcast.

Rosie Wilby performs 'The Conscious Uncoupling' at Edinburgh Festival 2017 at Laughing Horse @ The Counting House until 27 Aug, plus 'The Breakup Monologues' also at Laughing Horse @ The Counting House from 4-12 Aug.

Three recommended shows to see on Wednesday 9 Aug...

Brexit The Musical | C | 6.55pm
Don't be put off by the subject matter! "This witty new musical has a barrage of catchy songs delivered by a joyously talented cast", says our reviewer. "A hilarious experience you can get behind, no matter what your political alliance".

Batacchio | ZOO Southside | 6.30pm (pictured)
"The sheer fluidity" of the movement in this piece is "especially pleasing", says our 5/5 review for 'Batacchio'. "Silly at times and breathtaking at others, this show is well worth catching on its short run in Edinburgh".

Children Are Stinky | Assembly George Square Gardens | 12.15pm
One from the kids programme next. "A breathless 45 minutes of genuinely impressive acrobatic stunts, hula-hooping (also impressive), slapstick and silliness", say we. "Turns out (spoiler alert!) we're all a bit stinky sometimes, which is probably about as profound a truth as anything else you'll hear this Fringe".


Brick City: The Backstage Tour! (Warren Elsmore)
A wonderful premise, but underwhelming reality. Lego artist Warren Elsmore and his small team have temporarily installed themselves in the newly refurbished Riddle's Court, with the aim of completing an entirely imagined brick city by the end of their residency. There are a few larger completed pieces scattered around the building, whilst friendly guides and the team themselves are on standby to answer every question you could dream of asking. For an adult visitor with an appreciation of Lego taken seriously, there's much to be learnt. What brings it down is there isn't much to see- yet. The city is currently a patchy glimpse of what the finished product will be, though it will only get better from now onwards.
Riddle's Court, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Emily Mildren]

Phoebe Traquair Song School Murals - Free (St Mary's Cathedral)
Alexander Armstrong, 'Pointless' host and professional singer, began his training here, in the St Mary's Music School as a boy cathedral chorister. This Victorian Song School room, still in daily use, is transformed divinely by Phoebe Traquair's arrestingly beautiful Pre-Raphaelite inspired murals, painted in four years during the 1880s. As is fitting for a music room, time itself shimmers on these walls: portraits of famous and ordinary people; saints and angels; birds and of course singers jostle with symbolist imagery in a never-ending procession while the young singers learn their craft. The tour is intimate, informal and chatty - not unlike being welcomed into a family home. Singers and art lovers will enjoy this lovely room.
St Mary's Cathedral, until 31 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Louise Rodgers]


Stuart Laws Stops (Plosive Productions)
I sidled into Stuart Laws' show with trepidation; I saw him last year and wasn't a fan. Unfortunately I've not been converted this year. The ingredients are all there, from daft wordplay, absurd social observations and a generally weird outlook: Laws gives his sideways view of the world and he definitely believes in it. Yet when so many jokes don't really land it's hard not to find the experience exasperating. He knows he divides his audience, and kudos to him for using that as a way to make us laugh, but it can't quite make up for the awkwardness that comes with it. That said, he does at least have good technique in tying it altogether in his finale.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 27 Aug.
tw rating 2/5 | [Daisy Malt]

Rose Matafeo: Sassy Best Friend (Berk's Nest in association with Avalon Management)
The female lead in a rom-com always has a sassy best friend. Rose Matafeo has realised she is that character in her own life, and in this show she sets out to prove it. Musing on everything from being a child without a personality, a teen obsession with Michael Jackson, to the difficulty of navigating womanhood, her anecdotes are easy to relate to, and her gags bring full belly laughs. It's the dynamic way she expresses herself that makes her especially engaging. She doesn't miss a beat - in more ways than one - and it is impressive to see how she has developed from her Fringe debut in 2016. A deeply funny, enchanting and exuberant comic, Matafeo is in a class of her own.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 27 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Daisy Malt]


Prom Kween (Áine Flanagan Productions in association with Underbelly Untapped)
Wow. I can't imagine that a dark bunker in the depths of Cowgate has ever been quite so fabulous! As gender non-binary high school teen Matthew tries to figure out his place in the world, he's got plenty of friends to help him on his way, via the medium of some very camp, very snappy show tunes. Full of pithy jokes, on-point pop culture references and superb surprises, 'Prom Kween' is a life-affirming musical that fuses all your favourite high school movies with 'RuPaul's Drag Race'. Go for the glitter, and leave with a warm, fuzzy feeling as you sashay away. I feel that's already enough spoilers; just trust me and see it.
Underbelly Cowgate, until 27 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Daisy Malt]


Baby Mama: One Woman's Quest To Give Her Child To Gay People (Mariah MacCarthy)
In this autobiographical account, Mariah McCarthy discusses her experiences of pregnancy, including coming to terms with giving her baby up for adoption and the various predicaments she suddenly had to face. It's an entirely stripped back show; in parts of the production she's simply sitting on a stool, addressing the audience in a direct, conversational way. Although this approach makes for very raw and honest storytelling, it does result in a piece that, at times, lacks tonal and dramatic variety. She is still an engaging performer however, and 'Baby Mama' never feels self-indulgent. Ultimately, this is storytelling at its purest, and it's touching to witness someone sincerely share their deeply personal story on stage.
Greenside @ Infirmary Street, until 12 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Amy Bonar]

Dust (Milly Thomas)
Alice is dead. She killed herself, yet she's still here - narrating with grotesque detail the anatomical changes of her body, seemingly unaffected as she recounts the responses of loved ones, all funeral plans and muted grief. Comparisons to recent hit 'Fleabag' seem inevitable, with Alice's emotional detachment and sexual honesty. Milly Thomas's performance is utterly compelling, as she plays several characters all seen through Alice's dispassionate eye. The lighting and sound are also used to superb effect here - throbbing, squealing beats and stark white beams, while the sparse set reminds us of a mortuary, and fits perfectly within the exposed arches of the venue. This is a brave, honest look at the ways suicide affects those left behind.
Underbelly Cowgate, until 27 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Gemma Scott]

Hopeless (Leyla Josephine)
We're warned from the very beginning: this is a poetry show, containing poetry, and it's titled 'Hopeless'. Are we absolutely sure we want to be here? Admittedly Leyla Josephine (former UK spoken word slam champion) does create some laughter during this show, but ultimately it is bleak and brutal. From the refugee crisis to climate change the world is, as she describes it, "fucked". Fucked by apathy, fucked by the boys in nice suits who are too rich to care. Is there really any reason to get out from under the safety of a duvet? Interspersed with stories about her family's past, Josephine's angry, biting lyricism will make you question what's worth fighting for, and whether crowdfunding is really enough to fix it.
theSpace @ Jury's Inn, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Gemma Scott]

Sign Of The Times (Rumble Theatre)
Danny's dream is to be a sports reporter for The Times, but he has two obstacles: he's D/deaf, and the footballer he needs to interview is refusing to speak to journalists. Using a combination of British Sign Language, voiceovers and spoken language, we see how Danny's disability impacts on his life, as well as on how others respond to him. The set (mostly crates and boxes) is cleverly utilised; the acting is warm and believable, while the script refuses to let Danny (played with real simplicity and heart by James Robertson, who has moderate hearing loss) fall into a lazy caricature of 'victim' or 'inspiration'. This is an utterly charming story about communication and the many ways you can make yourself heard.
theSpace on North Bridge, until 12 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Gemma Scott]

We Are All Going to Die (Dead Person Productions)
Death is inevitable when you're stranded in an Arctic research base. Food is scarce - unless you're on board with cannibalism - but even then there's still no escaping the hypothermia that's bound to kill you off. This is the dire predicament that eight people (and their one already dead friend) find themselves in here. Far from being a black comedy, Dead Person Productions have opted for the farcical approach, with a script stuffed full of jokes (of varying levels of hilarity and cleverness). Though the writing could use a little more refinement, this play makes no pretences: it is down-to-earth and lighthearted, making for an enjoyable fifty minutes of pure entertainment.
theSpace on North Bridge, until 19 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Amy Bonar]

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