Here we go then with the final two days of the Edinburgh Festival. A here is the grand finale reminder that you can check out all our reviews online here and all this year's ThreeWeeks interviews right here.

We presented our ThreeWeeks Editors' Awards for 2018 yesterday morning. Thanks to everyone who came along. You can find out more about all the winners in this edition of the TW Daily alongside a final batch of reviews.

This is the last TW Daily of 2018. We'll be back with a quick Fringe recap in the latest TW Weekly bulletin tomorrow. But in the meantime have a great finale!
Yesterday we presented the ThreeWeeks Editors' Awards in the Fellows Library at theSpace @ Surgeons Hall. These go to the ten people and companies who we think made this year's Edinburgh Festival extra special. Here we run through all the winners...

01: Zoo Co for 'Sirens'
We begin with an award for a show that we really loved brought to us by a well-regarded company. We loved it not just because it was a brilliantly staged piece, but because we loved the themes and the sentiments it engaged with, and the fact that this group make their work so accessible. It's told partly in British Sign Language, with creative captioning throughout, and every performance was a relaxed performance. Calling the show "an absolute joy" and praising its "talented cast", our reviewer noted that: "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". Our first award goes to Zoo Co for 'Sirens'.

02: Dyad Productions
Every year, there's at least one - and sometimes quite a few - of our Editors' Award winners who win their award not just for the show they did this year, but for the shows they've done at previous Festivals too. It's what we privately refer to as a "cumulative body of work" award. Our next winners very much fall into that category. We've been watching and absorbing the fine work of this company for close to a decade, so it seems fitting to celebrate it now; especially in a year when our reviewer was moved to tears by their latest offering, declaring the show to be "outstanding" and awarding it an unequivocal five out of five. Our next award goes to Dyad Productions.

03: Andrea Baker for 'Sing Sistah Sing'
As we have just seen, we often give awards to long term Fringe contributors whose shows we've been seeing for years. But that doesn't mean we can't also give our gongs to newcomers or acts we haven't previously come across at the Festival. Our next recipient is a recent discovery for the ThreeWeeks team, despite the fact that she's an internationally renowned performer. She transfixed our reviewer, who praised this acclaimed opera singer's extraordinary versatility and ability to excellently perform a distinct range of different musical genres. Not only that, but her show tells an important story, of African American women's fight for civil rights and artistic freedom. Our next winner, honoured alongside her pianist Richard Lewis and artistic director Carolyn Sittig, is Andrea Baker for 'Sing Sistah Sing'.

04: Maddie Rice for 'Pickle Jar'
I'd say that our next award winner is on our list for a number of reasons. Because although this award is for the new show she's been performing at Edinburgh this summer, we have been watching her work in other capacities for a few years now. Her new one-woman show is excellent, as our review of it confirmed. "As the layers of the story build", it reports, "it becomes apparent that there is something darker emerging, and when this is made clear it's an emotional punch to the stomach. Although addressing themes of grief and consent, it's full of humour too. Brilliantly written and highly relevant". Our next Editors' Award goes to Maddie Rice for 'Pickle Jar'.

05: James Rowland
We feel like we've known our next winner for longer than we actually have - which probably speaks volumes about the ease with which he slipped into the hall of ThreeWeeks favourites. He first made an impact on us with an amazing show with a poignant subject - the death and final wishes of a friend - that managed nonetheless to be both funny and entertaining. The following year he moved us further with a new tale about love. On his return this year with a show about donating his sperm to friends, our reviewer declared him to be the perfect storyteller. "Funny, engaging, self-effacing yet cleverly perceptive", he wrote, "There wasn't a moment of the show where he didn't have the audience entirely with him". Our next winner is James Rowland.

06: Zach and Viggo and Thumpasaurus for 'Where Did The Love Go?'
Every year we peruse the Fringe Programme and the flood of press releases we receive before the Festival on the look-out for the most interesting and innovative shows we can find. These are, after all, the very shows ThreeWeeks was set up to champion all the way back in 1996. We can safely say that when we heard about this next show, we definitely thought it sounded a little bit different: an "absurdist, avant-garde, funk opera". We began by expecting good things - not least because its creators are well known in Fringe circles for their clowning brilliance - and good things definitely happened. One might view this show as a gamble, but it's one that certainly paid off. Our next award goes to Zach and Viggo and Thumpasaurus for 'Where Did The Love Go'.

07: Flabbergast Theatre
Our next winner is a theatre company whose work has been delighting our team since around 2012, earning glowing review after glowing review: if you put their name in the search box on the ThreeWeeks website you will see it, a long list of articles by writers who bear witness to this group's excellence. And also to their inspired use of many disciplines - acting, puppetry, physical comedy, dancing and clowning. We've described their work as terrifying and grotesque, hilarious and creepy, sinister and irresistible, beautiful and enchanting, incredibly perceptive, funny and awe-inspiring. Our seventh award goes to Flabbergast Theatre.

08: James Dangerfield for 'When You Fall Down'
We are always very interested in solo shows here at the Fringe and that's generally reflected in our coverage and our past list of award winners. Another thing that always piques our interest is new musicals. So our next winner was possibly always in with a chance of making it onto our shortlist, given that he arrived in town with a one man self-penned musical. And it's such a good one, too, a biography of a silver screen star that is described by our reviewer as "exquisite". "His songs and singing technique are reminiscent of contemporary West End shows", she wrote, "but it is the palpable intensity of his commitment that makes this show very special." Our next award goes to James Dangerfield for 'When You Fall Down'.

09: Indepen-dance 4 for 'Four Go Wild In Wellies'
If you've been a parent at the Fringe and wanted to take your smallest children to a show, you'll know that it's not always easy to judge what will be the right one, because, if we're truthful, some shows are a bit optimistic about the age range of the children their play is likely to entertain. Great shows for children under five are a very different beast from those that are great for seven year olds. But we found a really brilliant one aimed at three to five year olds this Fringe, created by an excellent and inclusive dance company, and described by our reviewer as "gently enchanting" and "spot on" for its target audience. We absolutely loved it. Our next winners are Indepen-dance 4 for 'Four Go Wild In Wellies'.

10: Andy Zaltzman
We're going to be honest and say that this next act has been on our mind every time we have put together a ThreeWeeks Editors' Award shortlist over the last decade. And the reason why he's not been on it...well, he seemed almost too venerable, too much of a stalwart, too much of a veritable legend of Fringe for us to bestow our lowly gong upon him. This year, we decided to get over that feeling of inadequacy and do it anyway. He's been performing at the Fringe for not-far-off two decades and is a brilliant political satirist. And in these - well, let's say interesting times - we really need this brilliant political satirist giving his spin on what is happening in our world. Our final recipient is Andy Zaltzman.


Fin Taylor: When Harassy Met Sally (The Pleasance in association with PBJ Management)
Oh yes, he's the great offender. It would be understating it somewhat to say that this show about consent won't be for everyone. Following an incident, he is now compelled to state at the start that "this is a performance, not a conversation". He has never been one to shy away from controversy, and this show once again finds him handling hot potatoes. Troublingly, at times Taylor appears to be justifying the bad behaviour in society, appealing to people in the audience to support him in saying the unsayable, but delivering his more outrageous routines whilst seated doesn't make them any more palatable. He clearly gets a kick out of challenging people's views and being playfully provocative. Unsurprisingly, there are walk outs.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Andy Murray]

Alex Kealy: A Kealy's Heel (Alex Kealy)
Alex Kealy offers up a mixture of history, politics and personal life in his third Fringe show. The trouble is that whilst the world is in crisis, he is in love, and happiness, he admits, is not ideal for comedy. You get the distinct impression that he would rather be discussing the weightier subjects in this show, but the more mainstream routines (like discussing the complications that arise when buying lube) are generally better received, and he cheerfully acknowledges that these have been inserted to compensate for the heavier subjects: "a drink in the desert", as he puts it. This is intelligent, informative, funny stuff from an important voice.
Cabaret Voltaire, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Andy Murray]

Hot Gay Time Machine (Zak Ghazi-Torbati, Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss)
This very funny musical, from the writing duo behind 'Six', uses the eponymous chronomatic contraption as a knowingly flimsy premise for what is basically a sketch show about growing up gay. Not all of the songs are brilliant - though all are clever - but the audience is hardly in any mood to quibble by the time it's been dragged in and warmed up by two performers exuding queer cool. You have to admire the dedication that Zak Ghazi-Torbati and Toby Marlow bring to every second of their pin-sharp performances. Marlow drips with charisma and enchants the entire audience; Ghazi-Torbati brings renditions of truly astounding, honey-smooth vocal quality.
Underbelly Cowgate, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Alexander Hartley]

Sleeping Trees: World Tour (Sleeping Trees)
The most otherworldly of world tours. Dynamite gang John, James and Josh have a knack for transporting their audiences to strange worlds - from the worlds of Mafia, Western and Sci-Fi in their previous hit shows, now to the strangest hidden crevices on Earth (allegedly). Having visited arguably some of the least exotic locations, between the Amazonian spitfalls and a dingy prison in Hawaii, the trio guide us through a pretty bizarre and unlikely set of scenarios, which involve musicals about walls, 'Home Alone' fan clubs, and a man who's really bad at making lasagne. This year's show is perhaps lacking in punch compared to their previous Fringe offerings, but the group still have an unparalleled gusto, setting them apart as one of the most dynamic and energetic sketch comedy groups out there.
Assembly George Square Studios, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Stephanie Stapleton]

Jessie Cave: Sunrise (Jessie Cave with Soho Theatre c/o Curtis Brown Ltd)
It must be the worst fear of anyone who dates a comedian - ending up as fodder for their next show. Not everyone can make heartbreak this entertaining though: she pours her heart out here and invites us to drink. You get the definite sense that this is therapeutic for Cave - comedy as catharsis. She re-enacts conversations she's had with the assistance of cushions decorated with her lovers' faces. It's the little details that make this so special - revealing all the things she's secretly thinking, while we either empathise or wince in recognition. So open, so honest, so inspirational - no wonder she has such a loyal fan base. It's bright inside this Cave.
The Stand Comedy Club 3 and 4, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Andy Murray]

Michael Clarke: Felt (Michael Clarke)
This ludicrously weird multimedia show is nothing short of genius. Captivated from beginning to end, we are taken on a journey through Michael Clarke's childhood memories and the many forms of felt behind each tale. Fast-paced, energetic and dynamic, he manages to find humour in the most absurd places, with a skilled use of wordplay and visual gags. The repetition of certain motifs is particularly effective, particularly that of the show's "sponsor" - Feltaskelta. This satirical look at advertising is absurd and ridiculous, and leaves the audience roaring with laughter. Performed with a unique flair for comic timing, this rip-roaring and ultimately heart-warming piece is jam-packed with drama and moments of sincere shock. Please don't miss this.
Black Medicine Basement and Heroes, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Ella Dorman-Gajic]


Notorious Strumpet and Dangerous Girl (Love Is the Drug)
If, like some people (who definitely aren't me), your last day without a drink was sometime in July, this late night show might make you slightly uncomfortable. Exploring her struggles with drug and alcohol addiction, within the framework of a very messy AA meeting, Jess Love is a captivating performer with a compelling story. She addresses her audience directly, switching between chatty familiarity and almost painfully intense confessional. Though her circus skills are undoubtedly impressive, at times we seem to be watching more of an endurance test than a demonstration of talent, as Love pushes herself to exhaustion. This dark, engrossing tale makes you question what happens when the greasepaint is wiped off, and the fun stops.
Summerhall, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Gemma Scott]


East Belfast Boy (Prime Cut Productions)
You're lucky if you ever see a performance that crackles with this kind of electric energy. Ryan McParland is an East Belfast boy, his toxic masculinity a suit of armour; messing around with his mates, dealing a little at the club, struggling with the anxiety he tries to repress. McParland commands a huge stage, dancing and jumping to a soundtrack of thudding techno by Phil Keiran. Emma Jordan's direction makes gorgeous use of this virtuoso performance, alongside Oona Doherty's movement design. There are moments when the sweat, the sinew, the visceral smack of this piece feel relentless, but would you want to pace it any differently? The hour hurtles by and we stand to applaud, dumbstruck by McParland's intensity and dedication.
Summerhall, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Alexander Hartley]

The EU Inspector (Acting Coach Scotland)
This is the Gogol classic with a contemporary spin. Hearing of the imminent visit of an undercover inspector, the officials of a new EU country are sent into a headless panic. The result is corruption, subterfuge and double-dealing, fleshed out by a motley cast of colourful characters. 'The EU Inspector' unfolds at an unrelenting, breakneck pace and this one hour rendering of a complex classic, intended as a vehicle for students of a Glasgow-based drama school, feels over busy and sometimes a little perfunctory. With its constant movement and eccentric costume design, this production possesses a certain visual appeal. What it lacks, however, is satirical bite.
theSpace @ North Bridge, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 2/5 | [Geoff Mills]

Famous Puppet Death Scenes (The Old Trout Puppet Workshop)
This company purportedly started out learning to carve puppets on a ranch in Alberta, where they paid their way by collecting eggs and feeding the pigs. Out of this were born an array of beautifully crafted, expressive creatures who, it seems, are mortal but can be brought back to life unlimited times. With impeccable attention to detail, they dance circles around the audience, performing daring, sneaky feats that leave the crowd in tatters. Although punchlines could sometimes come sooner, these performers have a real feel for stagecraft: they just 'get' how to work an audience and use a stage. A note to aspiring performers out there - maybe feeding pigs is the way to go.
CanadaHub @ King's Hall in association with Summerhall, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Ela Portnoy]

Keep The Change (Tout Ensemble)
'Keep The Change' claims to be a piece of physical theatre that "engages with the shame and awkwardness that money creates". Whilst this is not a particularly accurate description (there wasn't much physicality for a start), it certainly comes close to explaining what is frankly an opaque show. Absurdist theatre can be difficult to appraise when it is so abstract and fragmented, but there were some clear threads in this piece, while the 'sands of time' leaked from a hanging bag, and symbolic 'career ladders' littered the stage, leading nowhere. There was an overarching sense of futility and frustration with capitalist society, but the ideas felt regurgitated. The piece was evocative, but it only seemed to evoke familiar gripes.
Zoo Charteris, until 27 Aug.
tw rating 2/5 | [Ela Portnoy]

Heather And Harry (Stumble Trip Theatre)
It's not often you see the Greek God Zeus take to the stage, adorned in a white leotard, and grace us all with a rap solo. It turns out that he's not too chuffed with his wife Heather, who has a keen interest in the mortals down on Earth, leaving the overbearing-misogynistic Zeus with no other choice but to banish her. But it's when Heather meets Harry that the story really gets underway, as together they discover all the wonders of love, life and what it really means to be human. It's undeniably cheesy, but too charming and heart-warming for that to matter. Fusing mime, cabaret and original music, these boundlessly energetic Le-Coq trained clowns, alongside an exceptionally talented live musician, create a theatrical experience that is truly unique.
Zoo Charteris, until 27 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 [Amy Bonar]

Prehistoric (Elbow Room)
Transported to an age before phones and the Internet, we're told to cast our minds back to a bygone era. Against the backdrop of the late 70s Brisbane punk movement, four disillusioned non-conformists, all who have little else in common, are united by their desire to rebel against the notoriously brutal Bjelke-Peterson government. With blaring guitars, thrashing bodies and voices that refuse to be silenced, this is a brazen, in-yer-face depiction of rebellion, and the risks people will take to demand to be heard. Offering an insight into an often-overlooked period, 'Prehistoric' embodies the very ethos of punk, and with its punch-you-in-the-gut attitude, may just ignite a sense of gutsy defiance in its audience members, too.
Summerhall, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 [Amy Bonar]

Starfish (Luna Rose Productions)
When Adeline meets Ben, it's outside the party, under the stars. They've both left the corporate do - Ben for a cigarette, Adeline to spend some time alone. Out there, looking up at the Starfish galaxy, they fall for each other. 'Starfish' follows Adeline through the ensuing years, charting her difficulties as ill health, infidelity and mistrust begin to ricochet through their relationship. Luna Rose and Vinesh Veerasami are promising performers with good chemistry onstage. The script, a debut effort by Rose, is decidedly uneven but has moments of pathos and interest. Hopefully these young theatre-makers will return with new work that puts their talents to more effective use, with more disciplined performances and tighter stagecraft.
C Royale, until 27 Aug.
tw rating 2/5 | [Alexander Hartley]

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