We've always been fans of improv here at ThreeWeeks - even in our early years of Fringe coverage when there was a lot less of it on offer - which means every Festival we have some improv shows on our to-see list.

And 'Between Us' was one that went straight on to that list when we heard about it. Partly because it sounded like a promising show, but especially because it is something of a rare beast - an improv show in the Theatre section.

So I was already interested in talking to Rachel E Thorn and Alex Keen, the duo behind it all. Then our reviewer delivered a glowing review, which swung it. I put some questions to the pair, to find out more about 'Between Us' and theatrical improv in general.

CLICK HERE to read today's Caro Meets interview.

'Between Us' is on at theSpace @ Surgeon's Hall until 17 Aug. Listing here.
The Review Edition of the TW magazine is out now! You can pick up a copy from venues across Edinburgh. Inside you will find interviews with Matt Parker, Kate Lucas, Keisha Thompson, Eloise Poulton, Cheong-euy Park, Dave Chawner, Isabella Soupart, Colin Granger and Tom Machell. Plus loads and loads of reviews, every single one of them a recommended show.

Find out where to pick up a copy HERE or read it all online HERE.
This summer we are asking some of our favourite Fringe people to offer their advice - sometimes sensible, sometimes silly - for getting the most out of the Edinburgh Festival in eight steps, by answering our eight quick quiz questions. Today, it's live artist and theatre marker Julia Croft on hand with the tips.

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

Julia Croft is performing 'Working On My Night Moves' at Summerhall until 25 Aug.

The Greatest Magic Show (Showmen Productions)
Our enthusiastic and endearingly earnest young Australian conjurors are Sam and Justin. Introduced by their Ringmaster and MC - a recurring comic character - they gleefully and only occasionally gratingly mug around in between a series of neat tricks. Most of these involve inviting one or more of the children piled down the front to take part, so get there in good time to grab one of those berths if you think your wee one might be tempted. So, the greatest magic show? Of course it isn't but, for a children's magic show, it's not bad at all. Sam and Justin work their young crowd very well, and all (small) attendees get a magic wand for their trouble.
Assembly Rooms, until 24 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Bruce Blacklaw]

Sunshine (Stickyback Theatre)
Dressed up like Victorian sunbathers, Mr Sea and Mr Sand are struggling to share the beach. Mr Sand wants to sit and relax undisturbed. Mr Sea is rather more disruptive. With minimal dialogue, the accent is on physical comedy as the two antagonists channel a nice Laurel and Hardy for pre-schoolers vibe. The fourth wall is variously broken by props, water pistols and, most memorably, beach balls. There's a pleasingly vintage, retro feel, though there's one slightly ill-judged bit early on that goes over the kids' heads, but which grown-ups might reasonably feel shouldn't be there in 2019. That aside, sunshine is proving slightly hard to come by this Fringe - so get yourself a good dose with these guys whatever the weather.
Underbelly Cowgate, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Bruce Blacklaw]


Huge Davies: The Carpark (CKP and InterTalent Group present)
Watching Huge Davies is like staring into the abyss, as he straddles the border between surrealist deadpan and musical hilarity. He's part hectoring task master and part conjuror of convoluted tales, which all come full circle with Seinfeldian satisfaction. His humour certainly veers towards the darker side of things, like an eighteen-wheeler bearing down on a bunny rabbit tied to a tree. The audience is alternately berated and cajoled (though never enlightened) but it's all in good fun and nobody feels threatened - even though he stared at me for five minutes while playing discordant chords and saying that the voice in his head had stopped telling him not to kill people. Go see it.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Chris Lambert]

Ivo Graham: The Game Of Life (Off The Kerb Productions)
Stand-up comedy as it should be done. For the uninitiated, Ivo Graham is instantly likeable, a 30-something with a wry, gently self-deprecating sense of humour. This is Graham's sixth fringe and it shows - especially when he goes off piste with audience interactions. He easily holds the audience in the palm of his hand, with impeccable timing and jokes he's confident will get laughs. Despite his Eton background and growing celebrity status his material all feels very easy to relate to - a slice of life from a new dad's perspective. Super appealing: it would be hard to find anything to dislike about Ivo Graham, he's just a genuinely funny and nice guy.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Chris Lambert]

Marc Jennings: Getting Going (Marc Jennings)
After a promising performance in 2017, Marc Jennings' 2018 work in progress show struggled in a less-than-ideal venue. He has returned in more confident form this year however, with a sincere and enjoyable stand-up performance. His material derived from his time working in a call centre clearly resonated with an enthusiastic audience, who also enjoyed his opening segment on the problems stemming from Scottish pronunciation. He perhaps went into too much detail about car insurance and his love life, as the second half sagged somewhat, while his political material lacked subtlety. His delivery has become more precise over time but would still benefit from better use of dramatic pauses and more changes in pace. Nevertheless, he brought a generally spirited show to a close on a satisfyingly reflective note.
The Stand, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Charlie Ellis]

Tarot (Berk's Nest, Gein's Family Giftshop and Goose)
Nine tarot cards hang on a line, and the audience decides which order they're chosen in, based on the volume of cheers. This dictates how the sketch show runs each night, adding to the superb pandemonium. Are we at risk of summoning demons? Quite possibly. This is unashamedly daft comedy - I nearly lost it on a number of occasions, whether from one-liners or longer skits with hilariously dark punchlines that you don't see coming. A collaboration from two virtuoso comedy teams - Gein's Family Giftshop and Goose - it's messy, a bit risqué and a relentless punch of fun. I've always been skeptical about tarot reading, but the cards have a clear message: you need more 'Tarot' in your life.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Daisy Malt]

Guy Montgomery: I Was Part Of The Problem Before We Were Talking About It (Berk's Nest)
A performer casually bouncing a rubber ball down the corridor prior to performance might
suggest an arrogant or lackadaisical approach, but any such concerns are soon allayed by Guy Montgomery's charming, self-deprecating preamble. Montgomery reflects on the way that adulthood has revealed the highly cosseted nature of his of upbringing in the "cloistered monoculture" of Christchurch, New Zealand. He ruminates wittily on the overconfidence this engendered, and then on a shameful episode that resulted. In the final section Montgomery cuts through the warm affability with some hard truths about himself and those (generally white) men who live similar lives. Montgomery battled a nasty cough in the final few minutes but even this could not derail a captivating performance.
Assembly George Square Studios, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Charlie Ellis]

Basil Brush: Unleashed (Broken Robot Productions / So Comedy / Basil Brush Limited)
With 50 years in showbiz under his belt, the Basil Brush formula is tried and true. This "Unleashed" version of the show barely breaks from a PG rating however, relying as he does on wit, innuendo and a steady stream of sardonic jokes. It's a well-scripted, professional puppet show, sprinkled with enough "boom booms" to keep the audience chuckling and wanting more of the foxy legend. Guest appearances (celebrity and otherwise), enthusiastic audience participation and well-timed jokes keep the show rollicking along. New "Mister" Martin proves an amiable and good natured sidekick who can hold his own against the "ginge at the Fringe". Solid entertainment proving that if it aint broke, don't fix it.
Underbelly Bristo Square, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Chris Lambert]


Dido And Aeneas (Coro 19)
It's a chilling story of death, witchcraft and betrayal, yet this talented company made Purcell's baroque chamber opera fun with their winning characterisations! There is a soap opera quality to Nahun Tate's libretto that the animated performers brought out beautifully, making the audience appreciate the humanity of this oft-told tale. Belinda, sung by Cary Irving, won hearts with her solicitous rapport with the imperious Queen Dido, expressed excitedly in 'Pursue Thy Conquest Love'. Special mention has to go to George Ross for extracting the very utmost out of 'Come Away Fellow Sailors' - complete with backwards hat and actions. The witches were entertainingly malicious and the chorus excellent, while the instrumental ensemble held everything together expertly in this lively concert performance.
St Andrew's and St George's West, run ended.
tw rating 4/5 | [Louise Rodgers]


Algorithms (Sadie Clark & Laura Elmes Productions)
When connecting with others is easier than ever, why is Brooke so lonely? Freshly dumped and working a numbing job for a dating app, she starts searching for love in the era of the life-governing algorithm. Writer/performer Sadie Clark is hugely charismatic, selling both the jokes and the moments of pathos with equal expertise. The staging too is slick and involving, in particular Nicola Chang's subtle, sophisticated sound design. While the script is a little unfocused - an early embarrassing incident feels like it'll be the genesis for what's to come, but is dropped and never revisited - Brooke's dating misadventures are painfully well-observed. We aren't exactly lacking for plays about the love lives of London twenty-somethings - happily, this is a good one.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Jon Stapley]

All of Me (China Plate, Cambridge Junction and The Yard Theatre)
Sadness comes in waves. Some days are better, others are worse. Caroline Horton's 'All of Me' is an exploration of all of it. It's about trying to live, wanting to die, and the spaces in between, weaving myth, music and fantasy with the mundane business of carrying on. Reuniting with director Alex Swift, with whom she created 2012's astonishing 'Mess', Horton draws us in with sly humour, apologising for the state of the show and the difficulty she had making it, before beginning to brutally, surgically open herself up. The question she grasps at, and of course can't answer, is why do so many of us feel like this? "Maybe we should unfuck the world?" offers Horton. An inarguable point.
Summerhall, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Jon Stapley]

Kurl Up And Dye (NUTS Theatre)
In Mandy, Jo, Michelle and Sarah's salon, an elderly woman has just died mid-bikini wax. What are four beauticians to do? I'm not spoiling anything there - it's the listed premise of the show - so it's a shame it takes the script so long to get to that point. Given that this comic farce from NUTS Theatre comes in at a slender 45 minutes, it's surprising it dawdles so much. After the promising framing device in the police interrogation room, we get several scenes with salon customers that are basically just filler, meaning that when the plot finally does kick in, the show has to rush the resolution. It's nicely performed, but such a short runtime warranted tighter, more focused plotting.
theSpace @ Surgeon's Hall, run ended.
tw rating 2/5 | [Jon Stapley]

Who Is Daniel King (Ed Eales-White)
He's got it all: wife, baby, good job, but Daniel King feels like something is missing. He needs a new direction, and he's decided that direction is dance. It'd be a travesty to deprive the world of his rhythmic talents (though his increasingly ignored loved ones aren't so sure). This three-hander is a quirky metaphor for the patriarchy, with Daniel King the embodiment of the male ego. It's reassuringly "woke" as a concept, but where it missed the mark was the lack of chemistry between any of the characters, and the overarching feeling that it was an idea for a comedy sketch drawn out too long. Unsettling dance moves aside, however, it's a fun commentary on the potential perniciousness of male self-confidence.
Assembly Rooms, until 24 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Daisy Malt]

Baby Reindeer by Richard Gadd (Francesca Moody Productions)
Rotating fast on a turntable centre stage, Richard Gadd begins to talk. He explains the foul, threatening voicemails we've just heard, explaining that they've come from the woman who relentlessly stalked him for years after he made one mistake. Her name is Martha; she calls Gadd her "baby reindeer". And so it unfolds, gripping you at every turn. Gadd's storytelling is so good, so involving, that you feel you can almost see Martha in front of you. You start to feel other audience members glancing around, wondering if she's in the room. Gadd does not spare himself, acknowledging his own complicity in Martha's obsession, but his real, adrenaline-fuelled rage that this should have happened to him burns throughout this searing play.
Roundabout @ Summerhall, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Jon Stapley]

Death By Shakespeare (HurlyBurly)
Performing Shakespeare at the Fringe is a risky move; his plays are so well known that in order to stand out there's always a need to try and find new ways to present his work. This show's attempt at a new perspective is to be commended, however I don't think it was entirely successful. Overly reliant on choral speaking, and combining multiple characters' deaths into a performance that suffered from an excess of melodrama, it was easy to lose individual lines and stories as they were split amongst the large ensemble. The overly serious tone was somewhat marred by a single comedic scene, which seemed out of place but was also, unfortunately, the high-point of the play.
theSpace @ Niddry Street, run ended.
tw rating 2/5 | [Will Norris]

Landscape (1989) (Emergency Chorus)
Straight off, 'Landscape (1989)' almost loses us. The opening narration drags, and moments of physicality feel rough and under-rehearsed. But it's a pleasure to be won over by a show, and this soft, meditative exploration of our long, slow climate apocalypse does manage it, mostly. Its two performers zoom in on a single national park in Oregon, focusing on the erosion of our planet's ecosystems and making the point that the apocalypse we're living through is actually quite boring. This point is made abundantly and repeatedly - at one point we watch mushrooms being microwaved for eight minutes. There's a tremendous amount of space in the show - too much, probably - but there's a kind of wordless poetry to it as well.
Zoo Playground, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Jon Stapley]

My Best Dead Friend (Anya Tate-Manning and Isobel MacKinnon with Zanetti Productions)
In New Zealand's Dunedin, there isn't a lot to do. This was doubly true in the 1990s, so when Anya Tate-Manning and her friends were growing up, they had to make their own fun, which they did quite successfully until their close-knit group was riven by tragedy. On a giant, stage-spanning chalkboard, Tate-Manning draws out the story. There are some lovely moments - a hill transforms into a fist when the group read Marx and decide to start the revolution, and there's the inventive creation of a chalk TV when young Anya watches 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'. This clever visual element ensures the show is never less than entertaining, even when it feels a little light on story and incident.
Summerhall, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Jon Stapley]

Sh!t Theatre Drink Rum With Expats (Soho Theatre in association with Show and Tell)
I honestly don't know where to start. Sh!t Theatre's latest show is so big, so packed full of ideas, jokes, booze, music, joy, despair - there's no 'right' way to approach it. It's a story about the island of Malta, where Rebecca Biscuit and Louise Mothersole were invited to put on a show, a sunny paradise that has come to play a pivotal role in the refugee crisis, where investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed by a car bomb. In a mock-up of capital city Valetta's local pub, Sh!t Theatre knock back rum and weave together a show that has no right to be as funny as it is when such burning anger runs through its core. What a triumph this is.
Summerhall, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Jon Stapley]

Hatch (Rose Eye Productions)
'Hatch' features the gorgeous and seemingly effortless singing voice of Sarah Carton. She plays Jess, imprisoned for selling drugs on her lover's behalf, with rakish charm and magnetism. Listening to song, rap and spoken word, the audience is gripped by the exploration of Jess's isolation in prison and her abandonment by her boyfriend. Although the character grew increasingly honest about her feelings as the play continued and I loved her gritty, vulnerable revelations, it did feel a little slow at times and I wanted to see it build to something more. But the sparse setting worked wonders and the flashes of brilliant humour kept me interested throughout.
Underbelly Cowgate, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Izzy Cutler]

Post-Mortem (Ellandar Productions and Jessica Rose McVay Productions)
The tale of two people who fell in love as teenagers, meeting ten years after their relationship fell apart, is told through a brilliant script and captivating physical theatre. In the intimate space you feel a part of Nancy and Alex's story and the excellent performances by both actors make their complex relationship totally believable. Bursts of expressive dance effectively portray the intense emotions of the characters and work well with the snippets of script, which jump back and forth in time to piece together their story. I didn't leave with my mind blown, but with a smile on my face, feeling joyful: for a sweet, funny and moving tale like this, I think that's the point.
Assembly George Square Studios, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Izzy Cutler]

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