As the final weekend of Edinburgh Festival 2018 gets underway, today we present the ThreeWeeks Editors' Awards for this year.

These go to the ten things that the ThreeWeeks editors believe made this year's Festival extra special. There are no specific categories and winners can be people, shows, companies, venues or even whole festivals.

We are really excited to reveal this year's winners at a gathering in the Fellows Library at theSpace @ Surgeon's Hall later this morning. Look out for details about all the winners on the ThreeWeeks website later today plus here in the TW Daily tomorrow.
It's the final weekend of the Edinburgh Festival 2018. Which means most of the people performing here are now well past the "why do I do this - this is hell - never again!" phase of the Festival and well into the "this is the most magnificent place in the entire known universe - where do I sign up for next year?" stage. And with that in mind, here are ten top quotes from this year's Caro Meets and Chris Meets interviews in which Fringe favourites remind us why Edinburgh is the only place to be each August.

James Dangerfield: "Edinburgh is remarkable in that it gives so many shows a chance to find an audience, a voice and - in the case of reviews - quotes and publicity materials to add to the tank for driving the show onwards. This is especially true if you happen to be covering a niche subject; for example, I saw wonderful show about a woman with diabetes called 'Pricks'. The Fringe is a perfect springboard for a show like that!"

Victoria Firth: "As long as I've worked in theatre, Edinburgh has always been a high point of the year and a must do on the theatre calendar. I've come so many times it seems like a second home and I'm so delighted to be a part of it".

Sid Singh: "The chance to perform an hour of stand-up every single day to a brand new and sizable audience is a luxury not available to most American comics. I'll come here every year I can and do as many shows as possible!"

Faye Treacy: "It's an amazing atmosphere and it's really good to hone your craft, and hopefully it's the place to push yourself up a level".

Zach and Viggo: "We keep coming back because it's an incredibly inspiring place to be and we get to learn from the most innovative people across all mediums. This motivates us to be our most creative and experimental selves while still managing to be engaging. We're also coming back because we like to perform and play music a lot and we get to do that every night so, yeah, that's cool".

Patrick Eakin Young: "This is a very bizarre and beautiful show, but I think that Fringe audiences are up for anything, so I feel like it's a good place to be. Putting it in a Fringe context means that people who might never otherwise be exposed to a show like this can have the opportunity to take a chance and come and see it, and that is really exciting".

Tessa Waters of Fringe Wives Club: "Edinburgh Fringe is the kweeeen festival! To paraphrase Liza, if we can make it here, we can make it anywhere. The world is here, and it's the largest arts market in the world if you want to give your show a touring life".

Roman Fraden: "I've seen SO many people falling on the streets. Is it the cobble stone? That's been a highlight for me - though no one has gotten hurt! Also, living in a beautiful city filled with castles and going out to do my show night after night after night has always been a dream for me. Aside from getting good reviews and making connections, that alone has made the trip worthwhile".

Lisa Fa'alafi of Hot Brown Honey: "Edinburgh Fringe is an amazing platform to showcase work and for us it has been integral to our World Pollination strategy!! We are really clear that this show is for the people - Game Changers, Truth Sayers, Movers, Music Makers, Myth Slayers, Shake em up Women, Queens, Queers, Peace Makers and Risk Takers. Ed Fringe is where the people are, open- minded, ready to connect and make some noise!"

Bryony Twydle: "Of all the amazing things Edinburgh has to offer, the one thing that always sticks with me is the smell. I think it's the beer they're constantly brewing here and it makes the whole city smell of Weetabix. There is something really nostalgic about that smell, it takes me back to my very first time at th e Fringe. Other highs for me include the feeling you get when the review that you've been waiting and waiting for comes out and it's really nice, or when you go see something that not only makes you laugh but also gives you all of the feels ... or the general post show drunkenness when you're hanging out in the Courtyard, I love that Edinburgh never seems to sleep during the Fringe".


Mat Ricardo vs The World (Lee Martin for Gag Reflex)
Mat Ricardo has thrown down the gauntlet this year, inviting members of the public to suggest challenges, which he then attempts to perform (with varying levels of success). A consistently engaging presence, he is never less than compelling as we await his next stunt. Some of these tricks really are something special (removing his jacket whilst juggling is particularly stunning), but inevitably some are less impressive than others. If there's a problem with this show, it's that he attempts to do too much, and the fact that he fails to pull off the finale tonight means that the show finishes somewhat anticlimactically. Nevertheless, there are some incredible feats here.
Laughing Horse @ The City Café, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Andy Murray]


Flo And Joan: Alive On Stage (Avalon Promotions)
The latest show from this musical comedy duo is an absolute delight. The lyrics are witty, the music is soothing and the harmonies are sumptuous, but their songs are nettles dressed up as flowers. They open with a biting, yet unassuming tune about the kinds of people who aren't welcome at their show. From there they progress to a tongue-twisting ditty about a cracker packer, a celebration of binge drinking and the most downbeat wedding tune ever written. In between, they seize the opportunity to respond to Twitter trolls - taking them down in a firm but friendly way. They finish in style with a riposte to anyone who dares to suggest musical comedy isn't cool. This show would definitely suggest otherwise.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Andy Murray]

Michael Hackett: The Late Mike Show (Michael Hackett)
You may have seen the posters - enticing you to come and find out how the dentist got arrested. The first half of this show doesn't deal with that subject once, leaving you wondering if you're even in the right place, and that may explain the hush in the room this evening. Instead, we got practical life hacks on how to handle a dog attack, be better in bed and get a job. All of this is delivered with a cheeky charm, enabling him to get away with eloquent filth. Eventually, he tells us about his time as a dentist - which isn't connected to the arrest but is a great story. It's worth going just to hear it.
Just The Tonic At The Caves, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Andy Murray]

Rory O'Keeffe: The 37th Question (Rory O'Keeffe / PBH's Free Fringe)
This is a story inspired by an article about the 36 questions that lead to love, but with a twist - an interactive, 'choose your own adventure' element. We control what happens to the characters, influencing everything from their clothes to their dinner (and their arguments). It's like a live, romantic version of 'The Sims': their fate is down to us. O' Keeffe has succeeded in creating characters that we actually care about, but that doesn't stop the audience from sabotaging their chances - sometimes unwittingly. The tale itself is well told, in a manner reminiscent of Daniel Kitson, and is punctuated with audio footage from their date. Will they live happily ever after? That's a question only you can answer.
Banshee Labyrinth, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Andy Murray]

Spontaneous Potter (Spontaneous Players)
Side-splitting and absurd in their humour, The Spontaneous Players return, waving their wands and stirring up a cauldron of improvisational genius. An audience suggestion of "Harry Potter and the..." is chosen for the title, and then a chain of antics ensues. All four performers are accomplished improvisers and play off each other exceptionally. Their quick wit and ridiculous story lines left audiences hyperventilating, although 'Potter' does lack the charm and anarchy of last year's 'Sherlock'. They were unfortunately faced with 'The Unwritten Play' as a prompt, inspiring a storyline in which Professor McGonagall rehearses for Dumbledore's new adaptation of 'Cats'. Although quirky and original, it fell slightly flat at points. But this, of course, is the nature of improv.
Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Ella Dorman-Gajic]


Just William's Luck (Shedload Theatre)
This uplifting tale of five mischievous kids explores the escapism of storytelling and the blissful naivety of childhood. Transforming into King Arthur's knights, they re-invent their lives, embellishing the mundanity of their everyday, suburban world. The use of multi-functional props was brilliantly inventive, creating multiple scenes with slick and quirky transitions. The use of dustbin lids as wheels, a mop as hair and a hanging sheet as a vertical dinner table was particularly amusing. The characterisation was strong, particularly that of Violet Elizabeth, who highlighted the plight of those young girls deemed unfit for boys' adventures. This fast-paced, engaging and heart-warming show is a brilliant watch for all the family.
Underbelly Cowgate, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Ella Dorman-Gajic]

Kit Finnie: Mabel And Mickey (Kit Finnie)
Kit Finnie's debut solo show explores the complex life of the 1910s infamous movie star Mabel Normand and the murder case she was involved in. It's beautifully written and skilfully executed, and Finnie portrays this confident character excellently, though Mabel's instability and vulnerability mean we are also constantly questioning our compelling protagonist. There is a captivating intimacy about this piece: we see a window into her world through a series of monologues, primarily in the poignant police interviews. The unconventional chronology is punctuated by old-school projections, showing a dynamic visual narration of her life. However, the meta technique of stepping out of the character did tend to halt pacing and distract from the story. Nonetheless, I was captivated by this haunting exploration of a true story and left wanting to know more.
Underbelly Cowgate, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Ella Dorman-Gajic]

Sirens (Zoo Co)
The Sirens (those half-bird, half-woman man-drowners of Greek myth) are angry. They've been transported to the present day, trying to stop the lies that men have told about them for centuries. The only person who can help them is Tobi: he's Deaf, so he doesn't succumb to the curse. Told partly in BSL, with creative captioning throughout and every performance a relaxed one, this accessible story is an absolute joy. Energetically performed by the talented cast, it's a silly heist movie spoof at heart, full of laughs and deliberately ridiculous exposition, but it has some serious points too: it's explicitly feminist, while discrimination is explored from several angles. 'Sirens' is a bold, unconventional show that will leave you wanting to raise your voice just a little louder.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 27 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Gemma Scott]

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