The Review Edition of ThreeWeeks is out today! Inside you will find interviews with The Apricity Project, Colette Redgrave, Egg, Faye Treacy, Neema Bickersteth, Patrick Eakin Young, Rosie Jones, Sid Singh and Victoria Firth. Plus 50 reviews - every one a recommended show - and a guide to past ThreeWeeks Editors' Award winners back at the Festival. Look out for the Review Edition available around Edinburgh from today.

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 director is Anthony Alderson who heads up the Pleasance operation, which began in 1985 with two spaces in the Edinburgh University building from which the venue takes its name, it being situated on a road called The Pleasance. That location is still one of the Pleasance's main Edinburgh Fringe hubs, alongside the Pleasance Dome and other spaces that pop-up around the city from time-to-time.

Plus there is now Pleasance's year-round home in London and various talent development programmes. Anthony talks us through them all.

CLICK HERE to read today's TW:DIY interview.

Three recommended shows to see on Wednesday 15 Aug...

The Artist | Assembly Roxy | 4.30pm
In this physical show "everything is perfectly planned to deliver hoots of laughter and squeals of delight from the audience", reckons our reviewer. "Thom Monckton is an assured, confident performer", they add, "and it feels like he's having a lot of fun playing the part, too". So join in the fun!

Elf Lyons: ChiffChaff | Pleasance Dome | 6.50pm
From the comedy programme, Elf Lyons' latest show - our reviewer explains - "is a musical about the economy, delivering her own hilarious version of expertise". We add: "If this were how economics was taught to us in school I think we'd all have achieved top grades".

(even) HOTTER | Bedlam Theatre | 9.30pm (pictured)
Finally some recommended theatre. "Using a series of interviews with women and trans people about their bodies, Mary Higgins and Ell Potter have weaved together a show about embarrassment, insecurity, love and dancing", our reviewer explains. "Gradually they reveal more and more of themselves to us, at times physically leaning on each other for support, committing wholly to being courageously, profoundly honest".


Denim: The Denim Juniors (Soho Theatre and United Agents)
There are two important messages to take away from this children's show from drag supergroup Denim: first, the bravest thing you can be is yourself; second, gender is a construct. In this wildly fun and dazzling hour, Denim perform well-known pop songs with fabulous tweaks. My favourite is 'Barbie Girl', updated from "let's go party" to "let's go protest". They tell their own moving stories, about finding peace with gender fluidity and learning to love themselves, without ever dumbing things down for their young audience. This is a wonderfully life-affirming, spectacular show, full of friendship and laughter. I am so pleased this kind of inclusive, glittery performance exists. It should be compulsory viewing for everyone - children, and their grown-ups, too.
Assembly George Square Gardens, until 19 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Marni Appleton]

How To Spot An Alien (Paines Plough and Theatr Clwyd)
When your Mum disappears unexpectedly in the middle of the night, and a relative you've never heard of shows up to take you in, there's probably something suspicious going on, as Jelly and her brother JonJo discover - especially as she can't stand sunlight or mirrors. 'How To Spot An Alien' boasts a great storyline, thoughtful script, a pinch of silliness and some spot on physical humour, as well as three fantastic actors who really know how to engage their young audience. It's also handy that the Roundabout has a lighting system that can make the roof look like a starry sky or a spaceship when needed too! My seven-year-old co-reviewer was hooting with laughter throughout and described this performance as "a really fun, imaginative adventure".
Roundabout @ Summerhall, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Marni Appleton]


Yianni Agisilaou: I, Human (A-List Entertainment and Serious Comedy)
Delving into the unnerving world of robots and AI, and our complex relationship with them, Yianni's show this year is another cracker. In an erudite commentary on our reliance on technology, he picks apart the things we take for granted and pokes fun at the surprisingly sneaky and sometimes dumb things they do. He's taken the time to ask the questions that we probably all should, and wrapped it up in this wonderful hour of stand up. He clearly loves that it's our flaws as humans that are what make us special: that despite its apparent superiority, technology can never imitate our foibles as conscious beings. Thought-provoking, surprisingly educational and intrinsically funny, it's another quality helping of the sharp social commentary that Yianni does so well.
Pleasance Dome, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Daisy Malt]

Paul Foot: Image Conscious (IMWP)
For the uninitiated Paul Foot is undoubtedly perplexing; his absurdist clowning is confusing and amusing in equal measure, but it's wonderfully crafted nonsense nonetheless. As entertaining as ever, his signature awkward movements, invasion of audience members' personal space and comical rants are out in full force in 'Image Conscious'. He quips about some of his likes and dislikes, with his aversion to Masterchef and, in particular, host Gregg Wallace, hitting the right notes with his audience. Much of the show, however, centres on the complexities of organising a suburban orgy; from canapés to who the guests should be; 1980s snooker legends are high on his list. Yep, it's a weird as it sounds, but from Foot you wouldn't want it any other way.
Underbelly Cowgate, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Daisy Malt]

Darren Harriott: Visceral (CKP and Intertalent Group Present)
Darren Harriott covers a lot of ground here. He pokes fun at his younger self, running with a gang whose exaggerated ineptitude makes the key point - these are just daft wee laddies. The levity proves deceptive, however - all of a sudden, the daft wee laddies have got knives, none of them have dads. Dancing neatly between the light, the dark and the heavy, Harriott also does some good straight joking, reflecting on his efforts to make sense of the world and on reading up about being "woke". In a generous effort to include, he sometimes spends a little too much time setting up the cultural references he's about to poke fun at but, in all, this is a gag-rich, insightful and at times soulful comic hour.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Bruce Blacklaw]

Christian Finnegan: My Goodness (Live Nation)
Being a decent human doesn't seem so hard in theory but, if 2018 is anything to go by, a lot of people clearly find it very difficult. Enter Christian Finnegan and his Fringe debut stand-up show exploring what it means to be 'good'. Using himself as a test case, Finnegan attempts to build a good person the way you create characters in video games, assigning points to different attributes (eg empathy, not-full-of-shitness, etc). It's a solid framework to hang a show on and Finnegan gets a polished set out of it, consistently entertaining even if it never quite soars. It's a fun hour by a personable comedian with impressive audience rapport, and it ends on an unexpectedly moving note.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, until 27 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Jon Stapley]


Tabarnak (Underbelly and Cirque Alfonse)
Cirque Alfonse, who brought us the incredible 'Barbu' in 2015, are back with a breathtaking show that's full of their usual tongue-in-cheek flair. The word "tabarnak" is an expletive with religious connotations in the French-Canadian language, and the troupe play heavily on religious themes throughout. From some unorthodox bell-ringing, to a baptism, to dancing on a giant stained glass window, all the elements come together in an electrifying performance that weaves silly skits with gravity-defying acts. Live music and singing build the atmosphere, with clever use of unexpected instruments. It's bold, naughty and a hell of a lot of fun. The performers make the most of the little details just as much as the dazzling tricks, all building up to a thrilling finale.
Underbelly's Circus Hub on The Meadows, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Daisy Malt]


Geek (Infinity Repertory Theatre)
Set in the backwater USA town of Hopeless Junction, 'Geek' concerns a teenager named Gibby, ostracised by her neighbours for an extremely odd skin condition that causes her face to glow. There's more than a whisper of 'The Greatest Showman' as Gibby runs off to join a circus of freaks, and lots of general oddness elsewhere. The story's presentation is confusing - a framing device introduces the town reverend as the storyteller, but it's then narrated entirely by Gibby. Eh? Thank god, then, for the toe-tapping bluegrass-style tunes and the exceptional young cast blessed with the pipes to handle them (and then some). This combination means the show is always at least enjoyable, even during the rushed and muddled ending.
C Aquila, until 18 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Jon Stapley]


The Aspirations Of Daise Morrow (Far And Away Productions in association with Brink Productions)
I feel privileged to have experienced this show; it is really something special. Sitting in the round beneath the draped canvas of a spiegeltent, rain drumming outside, a string quartet strikes up a magical soundscape. The audience are whisked away to Australia, as four actors, inhabiting a multitude of roles, perform this adaptation of Patrick White's 'Down at the Dump'. The script is richly poetic, dialogue and storytelling interweaving, just as the performers wend their way amongst the audience. The closeness to the actors reflects the intimacy of the narrative; a story about life and death, love and loss, it could easily have slipped into melancholy, but humour and honesty keep it light, keep it beautiful, keep it human.
Assembly George Square Gardens, until 12 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 [Andy Leask]

Camp Be Yourself (Box Theatre Company)
Emily and Betsy welcome you to Camp Be Yourself, your perfect wholesome American summer camp, or so it appears until about thirty seconds in when Betsy starts snorting her Adderall. She and Emily were campers themselves not so long ago, and they haven't taken to adulthood particularly well. This odd, unique piece of theatre is a charming jumble of ideas - hilarious at times, near-incomprehensible at others. The performers have great chemistry and do a good job of conveying the relatable concept of a childhood friendship that has gone irreparably sour, even amidst some absolute chaos. Lastly, and this may sound weirdly specific, but if you're as averse to tomato ketchup as I am, sit towards the back. Just... trust me.
Underbelly Cowgate, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Jon Stapley]

Hunch (DugOut Theatre)
Una, a young woman who struggles to make decisions, becomes the superhero Hunch who, alongside Head, Heart and Genitals helps people make decisions (with Hack there to reverse any mistakes). There's a rich vein of subtext to be mined here; the play blends comedy and tragedy skilfully and there's a real charm to the conceit, and Kate Kennedy's winning performance. All the superhero stuff could be - is? - nothing more than allegory, a metaphorical fantasy-scape exposing Una's regrets, and I appreciate that we are trusted to reach that conclusion unaided. The ending feels just a little underwhelming, though, but that's a problem that plagues big budget superhero blockbusters as much as it does quirky psychological metadrama.
Assembly Roxy, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 [Andy Leask]

Status (Chris Thorpe, Rachel Chavkin, China Plate and Staatstheater Mainz)
"It's not a Brexit show, by the way", Chris Thorpe reassures us. But 'Status' tells the story of a British man, a Chris-but-not-Chris, who has a miniature identity crisis on June 24th 2016 and jets off around the world trying to come to terms with his nationality. It's well told, with pleasing magical-realist touches. And yes, the show is alive to the privilege of being a white British citizen - about the sheer indulgence of Chris burying his red passports in the red soil of Monument Valley. But what's the point of making this sort of blokey gig theatre self-admiringly self-aware, when it still doesn't make space for oppressed and disadvantaged voices?
Summerhall, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Alexander Hartley]

City Love (Old Joint Stock Theatre / Illuminate Theatre Company)
'City Love' is a deftly choreographed two-hander, set in the traverse of an intimate studio theatre. It tells the tale of two twenty-something London workers who fall in love. In this respect, it is a fairly straightforward boy meets girl story, though with a thoroughly contemporary edge: how to phrase that text message? How to negotiate the status anxieties of the modern world? The play unfurls as a series of interlocking micro-monologues, which give us access to the couple's unguarded thoughts as they experience the euphorias and devastations of first love. Elizabeth Lloyd-Raynes' Lucy - ebullient and excitable - contrasts well with Sam Blake's lugubrious Jim, both portrayed with a raw honesty that is ultimately very touching.
C Cubed, until 27 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Geoff Mills]

Fcuk'd (Theatre N16 and Eastlake Productions)
An intense verse monologue, the verbal and performative skills on display are impressive. There's a heart-warming sincerity to the protagonist's commitment to his younger brother, and a palpable sense of his desperate need to look after him, to protect him, to keep him from going into foster care. There's a cheeky charm to the character too; his sharp observations of the reality of the crumbling housing state go some way to offset how blind he is to the reality of his own situation (the very clear sense that the kid would be better off away from his brother). The ending is very clever: it took me a while to appreciate the implications of the almost too-subtle word play.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, until 27 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 [Andy Leask]

Why Even Bother (Joakim Gunby)
'Why Even Bother' offers a frenetic gallop through the soundscape of one man's mind. The beleaguered protagonist - a twenty-something Norwegian millennial battling through English life - interacts with the vocal incarnations of his imagination with a physicality that is exhausting to watch. There are some technically accomplished set pieces exploring, for example, what it's like to negotiate the treacheries of the English language, or to chat up women in a thumping night club. Trying to trace a narrative thread in this piece is futile, you may as well let the kaleidoscopic chaos wash over you. But there is a joy in that, too. 'Why Even Bother' is witty, nifty, funny and possibly unlike anything you've ever seen before.
C Royale, until 27 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Geoff Mills]

Daughter (Adam Lazarus)
Writer-performer Adam Lazarus enters dancing to pop music, wearing fairy wings and chatting about his six-year-old daughter. He is funny and charming, making jokes that tread the line between sexism and humour to hearty laughter from the audience. But as the play progresses, alarm bells start ringing. 'Daughter' is a brutal look at how misogyny masquerades in today's society - and it is terrifying. There is a deadly silence when the play finishes; we don't know whether to clap or cry. The powerful and honest portrayals of love, violence and toxic masculinity make this an absorbing and exceptional piece of theatre. This is a tough watch, but it is worth it for theatre this important.
CanadaHub @ King's Hall, in association with Summerhall, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Marni Appleton]

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