Feisty cabaret star Anya Anastasia harks from that other fringe city, by which we mean the one down under, as in Adelaide. A regular at that Fringe, last year she also wowed the Edinburgh crowd with her show 'Torte E Mort'.

Now she is back with a brand new musical cabaret extravaganza called 'Rogue Romantic', which seemed like a very good reason indeed to catch up with the lady herself, to find out more about her career, her music, and what the new show is all about. Read the interview here.

Anya Anastasia is performing 'Rogue Romantic' at Assembly Checkpoint until 27 Aug.
With the Edinburgh Festival still in full swing we have more TW:TALKS podcasts coming your way direct from the Fringe. This week a former winner of a ThreeWeeks Editors' Award, the brilliant Yianni Agisilaou, who TW:TALKS about his many Edinburgh shows, from his first stint at the Gilded Balloon all the way to new show 'Pockets of Equality'

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

Yianni Agisilaou performs 'Pockets Of Equality' at Edinburgh Festival 2017 at Banshee Labyrinth until 27 Aug.

Three recommended shows to see on Saturday 12 Aug...

Show Me The Money | Bedlam Theatre | 3.30pm (pictured)
Here's a fine show for the weekend. In a fast-paced hour  Paula Varjack "becomes the spokesperson for struggling twenty-first century artists everywhere, tackling the uncomfortable issue of money", notes our reviewer, who adds: "The result isn't a sob story, a lecture, or a dreary monologue, but instead a dynamic expression of ideas, created from both personal experience and over a year of research".

Sign Of The Times | theSpace on North Bridge | 5.20pm
Saturday is your last chance to see this 4/5 theatre show. "The set - mostly crates and boxes - is cleverly utilised", says our reviewer, while "the acting is warm and believable". 'Sign Of The Times' is "an utterly charming story about communication and the many ways you can make yourself heard".

Arbikie Pipers Game Of Drones | Merchant's Hall | 6.15pm
It's definitely worth taking time out to check this "upmarket, cabaret-style taster menu of Scottish musical culture with no cheese", says our reviewer. "The highlight was Pipe Major Cammie Ritchie's 'Pibroch' - a technically rigorous style seldom heard outside of piping competitions".


Aunty Donna: Big Boys (Century Entertainment)
Returning to Edinburgh for their fourth run, Aunty Donna's absurd sketch comedy is as bizarre as ever. They've upgraded this year and the trio is now a foursome, with the addition of live musical accompaniment from Tom Armstrong. Fast-paced and sweaty, the boys have certainly honed their act, which was an absolute hit with their predominantly young, male crowd. Rap battles, random facts, arguments and motivational speeches are delivered with immense energy and physical humour (hence all that sweat!). If you've seen them before you know the drill, but if not, strap in and get ready for the ride. Hilarious and baffling in equal measure, I sometimes wonder if it's as exhausting watching them as it is for them to perform.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, until 14 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Daisy Malt]

Edd Hedges: Wonderland (RBM)
"I'm going to tell you a story", Edd Hedges tells the room. He's very clear that there's a story behind this. A twisting narrative, based around one night in his sleepy Cambridgeshire village, is the backdrop to his humorous tales about growing up in the countryside, a father missing two fingers and the struggles of being the awkward kid at school. The show is like a flashback from the night in question, all leading to an incident that has him hiding in the family bathroom with his parents. Although sometimes a little too self-deprecating, it's all part of Hedges' genuine, endearing charm. With an unusually sobering punchline, 'Wonderland' is a strong Edinburgh debut.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, until 27 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Daisy Malt]

Sara Pascoe: LadsLadsLads (Mick Perrin Worldwide in association with Dawn Sedgwick Management)
Having ended a serious relationship in December 2016, Sara Pascoe is now single for the first time in a long time, and she's clearly been finding it both terrifying and exciting in equal measure. Unapologetically female (her own words), she tries to figure out exactly what it is she wants, drawing on her experiences of the last eight months while discussing a spiritual retreat, dogs, past relationships, family and friends. A combination of new and some older material, 'LadsLadsLads' is a refreshingly candid take on the ongoing expectations of being a woman, with Pascoe revealing even the strangest things about herself because she knows they'll make you laugh. An enigmatic and honest performer, she certainly won't disappoint those with a ticket to her sold out Edinburgh run.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 27 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Daisy Malt]


Baba Brinkman's Rap Guide To Consciousness (Soho Playhouse Inc)
What is consciousness? How do we know what we think we know, and how do we know we even exist? The only peer-reviewed rapper you're likely to find at the festival, Baba Brinkman is here to try to explain via some witty and informative rapping. Taking some pretty complex concepts, Brinkman breaks them down into understandable chunks, to give a flavour of the science behind what it means to be conscious, with a little help from some diagrams. From Donald Trump to octopuses, dogs and his baby son Dylan, Brinkman explores the different ways we experience the world around us, offering up some fascinating scientific findings. If you're looking for something a little different, Brinkman is well worth a visit.
Assembly George Square Studios, until 28 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Daisy Malt]

The Bearpit (Kopfkino)
There is the heart of a good play here - both writer-actors deliver tremendous performances, and their searing exploration of the decay and acrimony in a relationship between two people, who are drawn together even as they are falling apart, has real potential. It is punctuated by silent, almost balletic vignettes that use intense physicality to symbolise the tension between Nic and Flora, building up like a static charge. Sadly, the decision to set this against the backdrop of an environmental apocalypse is a miss-step. I can see the symbolic parallels - we ignore climate change, as they ignore the cracks in their relationship - but it's an unnecessary distraction that rings false and undermines all their other good work.
Zoo Southside, until 19 Aug.
tw rating 2/5 | [Andy Leask]

Cow (Jessica Barker-Wren)
In this one woman show, Jessica Barker-Wren tells the drawn-out story of Beth, back on the farm in Devon where she grew up, and her increasingly desperate attempts to get her hands on a tractor. Oh, and she's brought her favourite cow along for the journey. As Beth's story unfolds we learn more about her family, her rural lifestyle and what makes this particular cow so special. Unfortunately I found it hard to like the character, or to care much about her story. Other audience members did laugh, but the attempts at humour left me cold. The singing too felt out of place, and detracted from the storytelling. The story clearly has potential, but overall this production didn't live up to it.
Underbelly Cowgate, until 27 Aug.
tw rating 2/5 | [Gemma Scott]

Doglife (Grassmarket Projects)
Devised from true events and performed by untrained actors, it's hard to know exactly how to judge 'Doglife'. There is a raw energy to the performance, but the script feels unpolished and under-rehearsed. Crucially, there is a disconnection between what we're told, and what we're shown. We are told that Tosh - a gangster and hard-man - wants to repent for his violent crimes. We are told he himself is a victim, a product of a broken society. We are told he is tormented by guilt. But we are not shown any of this. Rather, we see him revel in violence, reject love and leave a path of destruction in his wake. So when he asks for forgiveness, it's a tall order.
Summerhall, until 27 Aug.
tw rating 1/5 | [Andy Leask]

Mental (Kane Power Theatre)
Kane Power's mother Kim has bipolar disorder. In 'Mental', he talks about her and her illness - symptoms, treatments, possible causes - as well as the effect this has on those around her. It's certainly not easy viewing, but Power is an entertaining and eloquent performer. Feeling almost like a TED talk at times, the show's real highlight is the sound (huge credit to Peter R. Reynolds as musical director). Power uses keyboards, loop pedals and recordings to create mesmerising soundscapes, that replicate the feeling of being out of control of your own brain. We hear Kim's medical history and her vitriolic, increasingly desperate voicemails. Power has made a show about his mother's illness that is respectful, dignified and enlightening.
Assembly Roxy, until 27 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Gemma Scott]

The Nature Of Forgetting (Theatre Re)
Rarely does a work of theatre explore the inner mental world with the level of clarity and depth that can be found in 'The Nature of Forgetting'. The performance builds up to the 55th birthday of the central character, Tom. While getting dressed he is assaulted by memories and succumbs to the visual storm. Featuring no lines of substantial dialogue, the performers conjure images of filmic majesty, coupled with live music to guide the audience's emotions. The use of live music here is essential, as it ties together the intangibility of sound with that of memory, allowing the two musicians to conduct this fantastical journey, while the physical routines are intricate and executed flawlessly. This is a work of serious importance.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 27 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [James Napleton]

Suspicious Minds (Tom Fowler and The Pleasance)
At first I was confused: why is a simple relationship drama being presented in radio play format, complete with foley artists? But when Mark books a romantic time-travel holiday (taking in Ancient Rome, Regency England and the Titanic) to salvage his dying relationship with Fran, things became clear. What follows is a wry blend of humour, pathos and emotional honesty, with a refreshing sci-fi twist. The characters are believably, recognisably flawed and the regular laughs keep things from getting too maudlin, without ever undermining the emotional heft of the performances. Eschewing clichés and obvious endings, 'Suspicious Minds' delivers a resolution that is fittingly satisfying, but not overly convenient or unrealistic.
Pleasance Dome, until 28 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Andy Leask]

That Moment (Blueleaf Theatre Company)
Alicia Harding is looking for her big break, but every time she thinks she's about to get it something goes wrong. Whether it's getting stuck with a jam doughnut-eating smelly dog, or with a hopeless fling from drama school, life is just not going the way she'd planned. Written by Dougie Blaxland and directed by Marcus Marsh, this one woman show is an exciting piece of new writing about the age-old problem of the struggling actor. Actor Madeleine Gray is captivating: her performance exudes energy and hilarity from the moment the audience enters. The simple staging allows her to shine, whilst still keeping an air of intimacy. Hilariously funny and superbly acted, this is one not to be missed.
C cubed, until 28 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Bethan Highgate-Betts]

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