When cellist Peter Hudler played at the Edinburgh Fringe last year, our reviewer noted that "his acoustic instrument had that rich, chocolatey resonance essential for a traditional solo repertoire - no electronics or gizmos required". As for his playing of it, it wonderfully "blurred the boundaries between genres and instruments".

Peter is back this year with a new show called 'Cello On Fire', which again blurs the boundaries between genres as he uses his cello to play a plethora of musical styles. We wanted to find out more.

CLICK HERE to read today's Chris Meets interview.

'Cello On Fire' is on at C too until 27 Aug.
The Review Edition of ThreeWeeks is out now! 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 all around Edinburgh.

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, and top tips on how to get the most out of the experience. This time, we are talking to comedy promoter Brett Vincent.

Brett started out working at the Fringe for comedy promoters Bound & Gagged, later joining Underbelly, before setting up Get Comedy. Through that business he now both manages and promotes an impressive roster of comedians throughout the year, as well as programming comedy stages at various music festivals and running his own comedy festival in the Alps, Altitude. Plus he continues to promote a roster of great shows at the Fringe each August.

We spoke to him to find out more about working in comedy.

CLICK HERE to read today's TW:DIY interview.
Three recommended shows to see on Saturday 18 Aug...

Daughter | Canada Hub @ King's Hall | 12.30pm (pictured)
This 5/5 theatre show "is a brutal look at how misogyny masquerades in today's society", our reviewer reports, adding "it is terrifying". The review goes on: "The powerful and honest portrayals of love, violence and toxic masculinity make this an absorbing and exceptional piece of theatre". 

We Are | Just Festival at St John's | 9.00pm
A 5/5 show from the music programme. "This strong, all-women African drums and vocal group from Los Angeles were inspirational and inclusive", reckons our reviewer. "Beautiful, powerful voices telling stories about other women making extraordinary, world-changing decisions".

Darren Harriott: Visceral | Pleasance Courtyard | 9.30pm
And now today's recommended comedy show. "Dancing neatly between the light, the dark and the heavy, Harriott also does some good straight joking", notes our review. "This is a gag-rich, insightful and at times soulful comic hour".

Hot Brown Honey (Gilded Balloon and Briefs Factory present)
"Decolonise, moisturise" is the motto that perfectly captures the essence of 'Hot Brown Honey' - a playful cabaret that will put you in your place. The performers use costume, song and movement to not just put on a fierce show, but also to satirise and challenge the lingering post-colonial racist stereotypes of women of colour. Demonstrating how much of the racial narrative has been left out, they go so much further than just reclaiming the space of the stage, with a show that is just as much about activism and equality as it is entertainment. Hot, empowering, and fearless - these honey bees bring an infectious energy and incredible strength as they stick their stingers up to the patriarchy.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, until 27 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Stephanie Stapleton]

Phantasmagorical (Miss Sylvia Sceptre)
Miss Sylvia Sceptre's creepy, macabre show explores Victorian mind-reading and spirit theatre in a merrily theatrical cabaret. Miss Sylvia is a time-travelling clairvoyant, who never fails to captivate the audience as she explains her life story with the help of Gothic mementos and audience participation. This makes the show feel creative and unique, inviting the audience to question their senses, what they perceive as real or unreal. Created and played by Careena Fenton, Miss Sylvia also provides commentary on themes such as female hysteria and Victorian medicine with her unique blend of comedic eccentricity and dark storytelling. Fenton's over-the-top theatrical tone is excellent at drawing the audience in, making for an intriguing experience to remember.
Laughing Horse @ Cabaret Voltaire, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Lucy Caradog]


Dick And Dom: Dick v Dom (Brett Vincent for Get Comedy)
Not a single inch of me regrets going to see Dick and Dom, back to their old tricks, by myself in my mid-twenties. The show promises fun for five to 105 year olds, and fully delivers. Though I found myself in the front row surrounded by children averaging about ten years old (and their parents probably silently judging my millennial life decisions), I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of bogies, dads forced to drink baked bean and ketchup cocktails, and little girls bursting into tears during the cream pie round they had naively volunteered for. Indulgent nostalgic throwback aside, this is a guaranteed hour of wonderfully silly, old-school pranks and uninhibited laughter with a timeless and tireless duo.
Underbelly Bristo Square, until 12 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Stephanie Stapleton]


Grant Busé: The Birds And The Beats (Grant Busé)
In honour of the thorough sex education that frankly no one had, Grant Busé attempts to cram all the basics into the hour - feat. live hiphop. Obviously. From consent to condoms to the other awkward, sex-related matters that teachers and parents get flustered talking about, Busé approaches the subject with a refreshing openness. While his self-professed white straight male perspective on sex wasn't revolutionary to me, it was hard not to chuckle at his probing interactions with coyer audience members, and to sing along to his delightfully pervy beats. And if most the conversations you've had about sex involved little more than a stork, pixelated diagrams of cartoon genitals, or cryptic plant-related metaphors...well, you need this.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, until 27 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Stephanie Stapleton]

Kieran Hodgson: 75 (Kieran Hodgson)
Kieran Hodgson takes us on an historical romp through Britain's fickle relationship with Europe. Sounds dry, right? It really isn't. Hodgson's quicksilver mind moves at lightning speed, offering up a series of micro-deconstructions of the principal political characters and events leading up to the fateful Brexit vote. Oh yes, and he gives us a gallery of damn fine impressions, too (his Margaret Thatcher is particularly strong). There is a lot to digest here, and those with lager-addled minds (like mine) may occasionally struggle to keep up with the pace. There is a personal narrative infused into the show too, though even this has its own serpentine twist. This is accomplished writing, skilfully performed.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Geoff Mills]

Olga Koch: Fight (Berk's Nest in association with Hannah Layton Management)
When you leave a show and overhear a teenage girl tell her mother "it was funny, but I don't think it was age appropriate", you've got some questions to ask. Koch's set revolves predominantly around her politician-turned-game-show-host father's career in the bizarre climate of Soviet Russia, which she pokes fun at throughout while wearing a hilariously garish Russian tracksuit. Although there's never a dull moment, it focuses heavily on her family history, which feels a little indulgent at points, though at others it's like an insightful yet totally niche TED talk. How or why it gets to the point where Koch sings a song about being a shameless paedophile at the end, frankly neither myself nor the confused teenager will ever know.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Stephanie Stapleton]

WOLF (Lewis Doherty)
Someone in this goddamn town has to know why inspector Jay Walker was run over. Luckily, Patrick Wolf is on the case. He's the only straight cop left in Shadow City and he isn't averse to bending the rules to get the job done. This is a one-man spoof action movie, a never-ending stream of gags, characters, sound effects, implausible deaths ... wait, haven't we seen this somewhere before? Yes: the same premise was accomplished on an even grander scale in Joe Bone's brilliant, frenetic 'Bane' trilogy, which debuted in 2009. But that doesn't stop 'WOLF' from being rollicking entertainment, and several things about it do feel genuinely new: the absurdism of its violence, along with the touches of campy humour.
Underbelly Cowgate, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Alexander Hartley]


A Clown Show About Rain (Silent Faces in association with The Pleasance)
The sea can conjure many images: of lurching through the violent waters of a storm, or of relaxing on a sunny day beside lapping waves. It is as changeable as mental health, which Silent Faces demonstrate in this sweet and funny piece of physical theatre. Friendship is explored through the power of a good cuppa and what it means to share a sandwich, while anxiety is conveyed with clanging pans and subtly panicked expressions. The soundtrack evocatively captures the unpredictability of the sea, of weather, of mental health; and the performers expertly balance sadness and silliness. The poignant ending to this lovely piece of theatre will strike a chord with anyone who has experience of depression.
Pleasance Dome, until 27 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Marni Appleton]


Elizabethan (David William Hughes)
When you attend 'Elizabethan' you will hear the word "dildo" sung with baroque ornamentation, as genuine smutty Elizabethan songs are woven into this one man comedy about love, sex and death. David William Hughes dresses up with aplomb, plays the lute and sings in a decent counter tenor voice whilst telling the story of how our 400 year old hero met women, fell in love and died, both metaphorically and literally. Music fans will enjoy John Dowland's 'Flow My Tears' and the tavern songs, others may giggle at the daft props and audience participation. It's a fun show with enough silly jokes unconnected to sex to entertain a wide range of people. Or you may just like the smut.
theSpace @ Surgeons Hall, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Louise Rodgers]


Dan Simpson: Worried Face Emoji (Dan Simpson / PBH's Free Fringe)
After the success of 'Artificial Ineloquence', Dan Simpson returns to explore a different side of our technological era. This stand-up poetry show weaves its way through the quirks and absurdities of the English language by tackling its yellow-faced competitor: the emoji. Funny yet thought-provoking, Simpson skilfully balances comedy with verse, dipping in and out of fast-paced poems. This is complemented by a series of amusing visuals, juxtaposing spoken language with our newest form of visual communication...namely the peach and aubergine emojis. Incorporating captivating character acting and rhythmical verse, whilst exploring personal stories along the way, the audience were engaged throughout. In a time where communication is so often reduced to memes on Instagram, this show will give you something to talk about.
Banshee Labyrinth, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Ella Dorman-Gajic]

Everything Wrong With You Is Beautiful (Tina Sederholm / PBH's Free Fringe)
Maybe you don't need to hide your flaws. Maybe, instead, you need to write a tribute to every single failure you've ever had and then tell everyone willing to stop and listen. Tina Sederholm does just this, offering an incredibly touching and well-crafted spoken word meditation on her inability to let go of her inner child and her hellbent insistence on choosing the self-destructive 'career' path of poet, having turned a blind eye to the woeful pleas of her disappointed father long ago. A beautifully humbling and thoughtful storytelling experience dripping with hope, acceptance, and grounding self-mockery, Sederholm's stunning set reduced myself and other audience members to the sensitive and teary-eyed children we're all really hiding inside. I couldn't stop myself from buying her book afterwards.
Banshee Labyrinth, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Stephanie Stapleton]


Good Vibes Only (Laughing Mirror)
There's no time for British prudishness here. The atmosphere is charged, as things begin to get very frisky in this fun-loving, free-spirited sex toy shop, home to an eclectic bunch of quirky individuals who most definitely have some interesting stories to tell. And the stories are not without their educational value either: "always use lube with a cock-ring" is both a personal favourite of mine, and a solid piece of advice. Based on verbatim interviews, the story cleverly interweaves various opinions on masturbation and sexuality, displaying the casts impressive dexterity in multi-rolling. Although the plot is a little thin, all those innuendos will tickle your funny bone, and 'Good Vibes Only' will break down every sexual stigma in its way.
theSpace on North Bridge, until 18 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Amy Bonar]

The Half Moon Shania (Burnt Lemon Theatre)
Punk band The G Stringz are underground legends of the nineties - though admittedly sometimes so far underground they're subterranean. Interpersonal crisis and financial necessity (one of the bandmates' parents are threatening to pull the plug) mean that this gig, at the Half Moon pub, is make or break. Will they impress the agent from Diamond Records and finally get themselves signed? This is literally gig theatre - the well integrated punk score is enjoyable on its own terms, as are the performances, though the script is loose in places. The most compelling part of 'The Half Moon Shania', however, is its hard-edged and sympathetic examination of the boundaries and standards imposed on women seeking success in the creative industries.
Zoo Southside, until 27 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Alexander Hartley]

The Hit (Strangeface)
Maybe it was my fault for expecting a puppet show billed as "'Breaking Bad' meets 'Team America'" to be fast-paced and action-packed. But rather than the hit-man romp it seems to think it is, 'The Hit' feels more like a distended pop-psychology lecture. Its protagonist sermonises at endless length - including, incredibly, after the curtain call - about "dissonance", a catch-all bit of cod neuroscience that explains everything from market capitalism to existential angst. This aside, the play offers occasional off-colour jokes, the narration of an tediously unsavoury initiation rite, and precious little hint of a plot. What is 'The Hit'? Some of the best puppetry and the worst writing of any Edinburgh show you're likely to see. Dissonance!
Summerhall, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 2/5 | [Alexander Hartley]

Ladykiller (The Thelmas)
A hotel room. A corpse. A chambermaid. The Thelmas' play opens on a scene that is familiar to the average crime drama viewer, yet Madeleine Gould's skilled writing and Hannah McClean's dynamic portrayal of the murderous maid make this a riveting study of class, killers, and cleaning up after a crime scene. The story's wise and witty murderer justifies her actions to the audience, painting an eerily convincing portrait of an unhinged mind. 'Ladykiller' also defies expectations by raising issues such as social class and the inherent sexism in the study of serial killers (all discussed through a comedic lens), making what could have been a relatively predictable plot into a well-executed and unexpected performance.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 27 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Lucy Caradog]

Onstage Dating (Bron Batten)
Part stand-up comedy and part theatre, Bron Batten takes the audience through the weird and soul-crushing conventions of modern-day dating, comparing online dating to nineteenth-century European traditions, before finally taking us along on her date with a randomly selected audience member. Heartbreakingly vulnerable, honest and hilarious, Batten never fails to make the audience laugh as she mockingly picks apart the millennial quest for love (or someone to spend the night with at the very least). This is definitely a performance where the audience can make or break the show; although Batten is more than capable of carrying the piece on her own, it's at its best when the date selected plays along with her antics. A hilarious show, not to be missed.
Underbelly Cowgate, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Lucy Caradog]

OTOSOTR (Anatoliy Ogay and Tatyana Kim)
Anatoliy Ogay tells the story of his grandfather, a Soviet soldier of Korean descent, alongside his own story of trying to make sense of his grandfather's past. He plays all the roles, from soldier to waiter in a French restaurant (which leads to a bizarre discussion about whether bread counts as its own course), but all this jumping around confused me very early on. Ogay plays atmospheric music, which complements his intense, compelling performance, but he also slams on the keyboard at every important moment, which quickly becomes tiresome. Perhaps this show would be more comprehensible to someone with an in-depth knowledge of World War Two, but for me (A-Level History) it was just too difficult to follow.
Underbelly Cowgate, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 2/5 | [Marni Appleton]

Power Play: The Empty Chair (Power Play Theatre and Polly Creed)
In a grand dining room above the streets of Edinburgh, four Hollywood actors share drinks and laughter after attending an awards ceremony. The characters are a little clichéd and, as their stories of abuse are taken verbatim from surveys with London students, I wish the play had been set elsewhere, and had represented a different social group. However, I found the portrayal of disclosing abuse to friends to be convincing and poignant: the silences, blank faces and inability to respond all ringing disturbingly true, particularly in this intimate, site-specific setting. I liked that all of the characters were successful in their own right and that sharing their experiences gave them strength. This play will start a lot of conversations - and that's something worth applauding.
Pleasance Pop-Up: Power Play HQ, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Marni Appleton]

Seven Ways To Calm The F**k Down (3BUGS)
A stressed-out student, in his final year at university, tries to cure his anxiety with the "help" of an irreverent talking self-help book. In 'Seven Ways...' we explore the effects of this attempt, both on his well-being and on those around him. The acting is sincere, the voice of the book is wonderfully snarky, and the sound design is humorous and precise. 3BUGS, from the University Of Birmingham, regularly bring innovative, engaging work to the Fringe, but this year's offering is sadly let down by the staging - so much is played on chairs or on the floor that there were whole scenes where I just couldn't see the characters. Nonetheless, this is a genuine, optimistic look at mental health and the value of support networks.
Greenside @ Infirmary Street, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Gemma Scott]

Solarplexus: An Alternative Energy Play (Project Mercury)
With lights part-powered by an onstage bike, 'Solarplexus' walks the walk when it comes to its environmental message. In the midst of the apocalypse, vlogger-activist Ellen and her corporate brother journey to their father's off-the-grid farm to search for a way out, which may involve his gender-fluid bicycle named Mercury Daniels. It's a broadside against everything that caused our imminent and avoidable immolation, with especial venom reserved for the messianic tech moguls trying to innovate us out of it. With everything about the production so laudable it's a shame the play doesn't stick the landing - too many scenes get bogged down in arguments, and there's a definite point where it stops even pretending to make any sense. Fun, but patchy.
Zoo Charteris, until 27 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Jon Stapley]

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