Egg are Anna Leong Brophy and Emily Lloyd-Saini, back at the Fringe with 'Richard Pictures', a new character-led sketch show promising to explore "toxic masculinity and female friendship" with plenty of "high energy silliness and unexpected twists".

You may have previously seen the duo performing as Egg in the Free Festival or as part of improv outfit BattleActs. Or via their respective acting or radio projects. But it's Egg and 'Richard Pictures' that we wanted to know more about, so we threw some questions in their general direction.

CLICK HERE to read today's Chris Meets interview.

Egg perform 'Richard Pictures' at Pleasance Courtyard until 26 Aug.
Check out the Preview Edition of the TW magazine. Inside you will find interviews with Allegra Marland and Georgie Oulton, Bryony Twydle, Dan Coleman, Ian Smith, John Pendal, Lisa Fa'alafi, Nick Doody, Oliver Lansley and Yianni Agisilaou. Plus 72 show recommendations!

Find out where to pick up a copy HERE or read it all online HERE.
We're talking to people who perform or work at the Edinburgh Festival each year to get their perspectives on what performing or producing at the world's biggest cultural event involves. This includes the people who run the numerous venues that pop up each year at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Our next venue people are Ed Bartlam and Charlie Wood who together run Underbelly. From their original space in the vaults under the library on George IV Bridge, Underbelly has expanded its presence significantly over the years, initially around Edinburgh University's central campus, and then onto the Meadows. This year it presents 192 shows a day in 22 performance spaces.

CLICK HERE to read today's TW:DIY interview.
Three recommended shows to see on Friday 10 Aug...

Love Song To Lavender Menace | Summerhall | 12.55pm (pictured)
This production is "effective, funny and tender", reckoned our reviewer in the show's 4/5 review. "It's self-referential, a performance of a performance, a queer theatrical space dedicated to a queer physical space". In conclusion: "The acting duo bear it all with warmth and charm".

BARK! The Musical... How The Little Dog Found His Voice | C | 5.25pm
This Fringe musical scored 5/5 from our reviewer. "The cast all play dogs", she explains, "none of their owners appear though the dogs do sing lovingly about them". The "laugh-out-loud choreography" and "witty songs" all contributed to the top marks rating.

Adam Riches Is The Lone Dueller | Pleasance Dome | 9.45pm
The latest show from this Fringe favourite. "His character comedy is big on interaction, big on improvisation when things go wrong, and always screamingly funny" noted our reviewer, who concluded: "It is deliriously, wonderfully silly".

The Gruffalo, The Witch And The Warthog With Julia Donaldson (Julia And Malcolm Donaldson)
This is the stadium rock of kids' shows: a beloved legend busting out classics, while doing a bit of newer stuff in between. Donaldson even gets the crowd shouting for 'The Gruffalo' as though it were an encore. The 'band' here is a family affair, with Donaldson supported by her husband and sister as well as a couple of younger performers (much younger when audience members are called up to help with 'Superworm') The staging is great and, because this keeps to the core texts, everything chomps along at pace, knocking out six lively tales in short order. "So many shows, Daddy", as my co-reviewer rightly noted. If your kids are fans of Donaldson's work then you can't go wrong with this.
Underbelly George Square, until 27 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Bruce Blacklaw]

Paddington's First Concert (Jimmy Jewell Limited)
A Paddington show with Paddington on the poster. You'd be expecting Paddington, right? Turns out that, other than a wee stuffed toy, Paddington isn't, technically, in this show. Spoiler, I know, but parents navigating the Fringe whilst managing expectations for the very small need to know these things. That aside, what have we got? It's not bad actually: our conductor/storyteller recites the tale of Paddington's immigration experience and his mishaps at the Royal Albert Hall, with a storytelling conceit that her charming young mini-orchestra are on their way to their own concert, with just this 45 minutes to spare. It's a warm and gentle introduction to orchestral music, with storytelling and light interactivity. Worth Bearing with, albeit a slight branch line from, well, Paddington.
Underbelly Bristo Square, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Bruce Blacklaw]

Splash Test Dummies (Underbelly)
This time last year, the Trash Test Dummies were jumping around in bins. Now the same Antipodean acrobat-clowns are lifeguards in a mostly pleasingly anarchic hour, lobbing 'Baywatch', Cousteau and water pistols at the fourth wall to see what sticks, all whilst running among the audience or dragging them onstage. Aside from a noticeable sag just after halfway, with some indifferent stagecraft papering thinly over the performers' well-deserved breather, this show sustains kids' interest and amusement. It's not highbrow, but my three-year-old co-reviewer was guffawing at the slapstick tomfoolery. It's not particularly slick, but we clapped excitedly at the cracking lifts, great unicycling and somewhat variable juggling. Worth dipping a toe, at the very least.
Underbelly Circus Hub on the Meadows, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Bruce Blacklaw]

Stick By Me (Andy Manley, Ian Cameron and Red Bridge Arts)
When you're little, there are rules - things you can't do, places you can't go. But then you work out how to find fun, invention and friendship within these seemingly arbitrary parameters. And that's what this utterly charming one-man show is all about, a slightly Kafkaesque take on a child's world - spartan and bounded, yet brimming with possibilities. Andy Manley overcomes his shyness with the audience and - you'll have to see this to understand it - makes friends with a series of ice lolly sticks. This is elevated by the detail - the staging, soundtrack and quality of Manley's acting convey volumes in this wordless show. Fun, invention and friendship are the themes of 'Stick By Me', and also what its audience will feel.
Dancebase, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Bruce Blacklaw]


Questing Time (Monkey Toast)
The setup is simple. "It's just D&D", explains host Paul Foxcroft - it's not all going to turn out to be some elaborate piece of theatre. Nope - every night, three guest comedians join Foxcroft on a 'Dungeons & Dragons' adventure, which we get to watch. Last night, Briony Redman, David Reed and Richard Soames proceeded through an adventure with such incompetence that it ended when the ghoul they were trying to kill tore its own throat out with boredom. Our audience (mostly gaming enthusiasts, granted) wept with laughter. Foxcroft is a superb dungeon master too, with a great memory for the bizarre character quirks he unwisely allows the comedians to choose for themselves. I plan to go again as soon as possible.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 24 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Jon Stapley]

Rose Matafeo: Horndog (Berk's Nest in association with Avalon Management)
Now on her third Fringe, Rose Matafeo is practically a veteran, and it shows in her confidence on stage. Warm and friendly, she recounts the things that she's most passionate about, even when they're not always good for her. She opens up about her troubles with relationships, rooted in a slightly repressed but fulfilled childhood. Break-ups are a theme too but she doesn't dwell on this, focusing more the fact that she likes to give 100%; because if she doesn't, what's the point? Incredibly self-aware and self-deprecating, she is happy for the joke to be on her, especially when the eventual punchline makes her the victor. 'Horndog' is a superbly funny show from a wonderful comic at the top of her game.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Daisy Malt]


Jan Tait And The Bear (Ensemble Thing)
This professional contemporary chamber opera, based on a Shetland folk tale, is very suitable for children! The singers' and narrator's enunciation was perfect so everyone could follow the story and get the jokes, while there was plenty of action to maintain the drama. It's a full-on scary Norse Saga in theme and costume, so there were associations with 'Noggin the Nog' for adults and the Brothers Grimm for children, but the sight of a convincingly costumed bear tucking into a picnic basket made everyone laugh! Rising opera singers Catherine Backhouse and Brian McBride (playing four roles) were engaging performers, and the excellent acoustic chamber group consisted of fine post-modernist instrumentalists (cello, clarinet and accordion) who also doubled as the chorus. I loved it!
Summerhall, until 16 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Louise Rodgers]

The Shakuhachi Experience (Markus Guhe)
The Japanese bamboo flute has a mysterious, ethereal sound; acknowledged expert Markus Guhe demystified it for us and introduced Taiko drumming too. His worthwhile commentary on the Shakuhachi, Japanese culture and history was interesting and helpful, however it interrupted the mood established by the traditional instruments so this was not a meditation. But even in a Western setting the music was contemplative - among the traditional tunes was 'Koden Sugomori (Nesting of Cranes)', hundreds of years old and describing the revered, sacred cranes; during this I had an insight into a modernist composer that had been puzzling me for a decade! This was a lilting, gentle break from the excesses of the Fringe and a chance to learn something new.
Various @ theSpace, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Louise Rodgers]

Belly Of A Drunken Piano (Go Productions)
This too-short hour of rhythm and blues made me nostalgic for smoky basement clubs with sticky floors and disreputable company. Stewart D'Arrieta had some great stories; he and his excellent band played his own songs in addition to Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen well and - joy of joys- the late, great Ian Dury. The numbers that really arrested my attention were a couple of the slower ones: familiar late-night tear jerker 'Tom Traubert's Blues (Four Sheets To The Wind In Copenhagen)' by Tom Waites and Stewart D'Arrieta's own setting of Charles Bukowski's poem 'There's A Bluebird In My Heart'. I'm surprised to report that the latter is my new favourite song - and that's the magic of the Fringe.
Assembly Rooms, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Louise Rodgers]


Six (Kenny Wax / Global Musicals)
A truly kick-ass performance, 'Six' features a pop band made up of Henry VIII's six wives, in a concert that packs a punch in the face to the patriarchy. Harking back to the Spice Girls on the one hand, and the Tudors on the other, we follow each woman's story in a series of energetic solos, whilst the others support as a high-energy chorus. Sequinned, slick and with stunning costumes, this group has serious power. Whilst I can't ignore the fact that the dresses and dancing were hyper-sexualised, they also gave the show a force that was tangible in each head turn, hip swish and belted note. It was simply an awesome performance - go and "get down like it's 1499".
Underbelly George Square, until 27 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Ela Portnoy]


Don't Kill Your Darlings (Det Andre Teatret / The Other Theatre)
Endings, we are told at the start of this show, are much harder than beginnings. Here though, the inverse is true. An unpromising opening, over-reliant on enforced awkwardness and fart sound effects played for cheap laughs, eventually gives way to something better: a sweet, surprisingly touching story of love and tragedy. In format it lies somewhere between fully scripted and improv - the solo performer plays the role of narrator and one character, roping in different audience members to assist at key moments. Awkward audience interaction notwithstanding, the core performance is engagingly innocent, and the message sincere. It's nothing revolutionary or profound, but the audience left happy, faces awash with a warm glow of satisfaction.
Zoo Charteris, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Andy Leask]

Drenched (Third Man Theatre)
It takes a lot of confidence to hold an audience's attention through minutes of silence in a warm, dark bunker, but by that point Dan Frost's performance had so completely captured our attention that our eyelids never drooped, and our focus never wavered. He plays renowned Cornish storyteller Matthew Drench, regaling his audience with the tale of the Zennor Mermaid, a heartbreaking fable touching on folklore and mental health. The moving, meditative story is interwoven with Drench's direct addresses to the audience, a smartly comic counterpoint to the pathos. A mesmerising performance, by turns bombastic, soulful and snarky, the juxtaposition of styles is the real strength. It's like 'Poldark' crossed with 'Toast of London', only better.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 27 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Andy Leask]

The Flop (A Hijinx Production in association with Spymonkey)
A light-hearted farce, focusing on the infamous 'trial by congress' of the Marquis de Langey, 'The Flop' resembles something akin to a pantomime for adults. We follow the hapless Marquis through his naïve marriage, and the legal battle over his alleged impotence. At times my rational brain noted that it was silly, and wasn't really saying much about anything of substance...but then my sense of humour drop-kicked that stuffy bore out of my head, and I surrendered to laughter. The cast play a number of roles, and play music too, while the cheerful destruction of the fourth wall is so tongue-in-cheek it's a wonder they can get their lines out! Riotously funny, endlessly endearing and delightfully shambolic.
Summerhall, until 27 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Andy Leask]

The Cloak And Dagger Show (Three Door Productions)
This show comprises two discrete halves: firstly, a walking tour, circumnavigating the Grassmarket, and then a short play. The tour moves at a sedate pace, and is short (my Fitbit only clocked 2000 steps or so). It eschews famous figures, focusing instead on the lives of ordinary folk, and is as full of gruesome and gory details as you'd expect, albeit with stronger language than usual. This is followed by a short, two-person play, based on real events. The performances are powerfully intense, and the script - based on a true journal entry - bears the weight of authenticity well. This is capped with a brief Q&A, connecting the play's violent encounter to the tour's historical details. Interesting, entertaining, and bloody good fun.
Sweet Grassmarket, until 27 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Andy Leask]

The Squirrel Plays (Part Of The Main)
The play follows newly-weds buying their first home. They want to ensure it hasn't been ruined by squirrels, and that the neighbours don't have squirrels. When they get their own, unplanned squirrel, they decide to terminate it, and things begin to unravel. OK, so 'The Squirrel Plays' is not about squirrels. It's a well-meaning attempt to discuss sensitive topics - the pressure to have children, the judgement of parents with large families, abortion, birth control - through allegory. Yet the shifts between literal and metaphorical are jarring, and the topics too broad and varied: it even clumsily considers race at one point. The script is funny, and the staging clever, but it doesn't quite pull off its ambitious intent.
C cubed, until 27 Aug.
tw rating 2/5 | [Andy Leask]

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