It's the third Sunday of the Edinburgh Festival and if you are starting to flag a little, don't worry, that's normal. Because doing the Fringe - as a performer or a punter - is a magnificent thing, but it's also a tiring experience with inevitable lows among the highs.

As ThreeWeeks' Editors Award winner Eric explains in this timely story about his first year performing at the Festival all the way back in 2008, and what happened on the dreaded third Sunday.

CLICK HERE to read today's Eric's column.

'Eric's Tales Of The Sea - A Submariner's Yarn' is on at Just The Tonic the Caves until 26 Aug.
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 the team from 'Scream Phone' on hand with the tips.

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

Swipe Right Theatre's 'Scream Phone' is on at Gilded Balloon until 26 Aug.

Brett Johnson: Poly-Theist (Brett Johnson)
Johnson takes us on a fascinating journey through his experiences of a polyamorous relationship. This relationship challenged the presuppositions about love, sex and marriage he had absorbed during a strict Christian childhood, and he successfully cuts through some of the media clichés surrounding polyamory. Clearly honed by a recent tour of thirteen American cities, his storytelling is superb and keeps the audience rapt throughout. The central narrative is very strong and his digressions relevant and amusing. His performance manages to be both confident and vulnerable, demonstrating that Johnson has come through these many challenges wiser and humbler. A rich and absorbing show, which will make you reflect on your own attitudes towards relationships and love.
Just The Tonic @ The Charteris Centre, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Charlie Ellis]

Eleanor Tiernan: Enjoying the Spotlight Responsibly (Eleanor Tiernan / PBH's Free Fringe)
After a highly entertaining exchange with some latecomers, Eleanor Tiernan trots charmingly through the disappointments, frustrations and joys of modern life. Slightly meandering at times, what ties it together are the generational tensions which have loomed large on Tiernan's horizon since she began sharing a house with millennials in London (the boomers also come under fire). A lovely little piece about the way the Dyson Airblade has given her new perspective on life typifies her comedy, while her Irish perspective on Brexit is mischievous, suggesting that the British "will miss it when it's gone". She unites her main themes in a lengthy but well-delivered tale about a stolen phone, which brings a satisfying conclusion to a playful and pugnacious performance.
Banshee Labyrinth, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Charlie Ellis]

Grace Campbell: Why I'm Never Going Into Politics (Mick Perrin Worldwide)
"Do you know who my dad is?" asks Grace Campbell to anyone giving her cheek. That dad is Alistair Campbell, the former spin doctor under Tony Blair's government, and she has been targeted by many online trolls because of him. Here we hear anecdotes about growing up with politics, her thoughts on New Labour and what she really thinks of Tony Blair. She describes herself as "arrogant and insecure", and these are perhaps accurate adjectives, though her humorous stories and wit make this an intriguing performance. This is a biographical show, and it's a good one at that, where we get to hear enlightening tales about how Campbell has learned from her parents to influence change in today's society.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Kieran Scott]

Jack Barry: Alien (Berks Nest / PBH's Free Fringe)
Jack Barry entertained a raucous Friday night audience with a well-paced and well-structured bit of stand-up. Some entertaining interactions with a drunk member of the audience helped Barry get fully into his flow and got the audience fully behind him. He describes how a relationship with a 'foreigner' has illustrated for him the issues faced by immigrants in this country; latent enmities which Brexit has brought to the surface. A hilarious description of his time working for KFC was the highlight of a performance which maintained a high level of energy and quality throughout. His observations are acute and avoid cliché, while his closing account of a recent violent incident in London brings together the strands of the narrative skilfully.
Banshee Labyrinth, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Charlie Ellis]

Matt Price: Broken Hooters And Geezers With Shooters (Bound & Gagged Comedy)
Matt Price takes us on a rambling conversation, discussing some of the characters from his podcast - 'Conversations With Criminals'. He stumbles through the set, under the the weather from the constant rain but gamely struggling on, as he introduces us to the people he met while writing a retired crime boss's biography. The recurring theme is the difference between facade and reality, and how its easy to be duped into believing one over the other. He also recounts the events of his escapades in Turkey, though a lot of these tales have featured in previous shows. The storytelling totters along amiably enough, however - while not laugh-out-loud funny, there's definitely humour there.
Underbelly Bristo Square, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Chris Lambert]

Micky Bartlett: Love It! (MZA and Nunchuck Productions)
Micky Bartlett initially comes across as a typically "woke" comedian, his hilarious jokes about life as a comedian playing well with the liberal-leaning Fringe crowd. Discussions on life in Northern Ireland are both interesting and informative, though an inkling that there's more going on behind the scenes is confirmed when he relays the details of a genuinely amusing visit to the Middle East. A more earthy disposition is quickly revealed, and the story becomes more and more racy from the moment he steps onto the plane. It's an interesting move naming his show after the catchphrase of one of the most obnoxious of the people he encounters. A great story, well told.
Underbelly Bristo Square, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Chris Lambert]

Richard Stott: Right Hand Man (Andrew Roach Talent)
It can't be fun going through life with a smaller left hand and no pectoral muscle, but Richard Stott is adept at mining his experiences for their comedic value. Reminiscent of Jonathan Pie in his tone, Stott explores living with Poland Syndrome with a wry sense of humour and, it must be said, some groan-worthy punchlines. However, it's when Stott provides insight into life as a comedian that he really shines, illustrating that it really is a dog-eat-dog world out there. He bravely talks about uncomfortable topics like suicide, mental health and whether he is actually disabled, but the audience never feels awkward: 'Right Hand Man' is a thoughtful and funny discussion, and well worth your time.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Chris Lambert]

Thrones! The Musical Parody (Thrones! The Musical Parody)
Warning: this show contains spoilers. A lot of spoilers! It's easy to see why 'Thrones!' has sold out at each Fringe since 2015. The plot revolves around a group of friends wanting to watch the last season on a friend's massive TV. That friend hasn't watched the show, however, hence the recap of the important elements to get her up to speed. 'Thrones!' is a crowd favourite for a reason - adroitly delivered musical theatre, with great gags at the expense of a well regarded series (prior to the last season, anyway). It pokes fun at those who elevate the books over the TV series, but given their suggested alternate endings, the last novels are really the only possible saviours of the series.
Assembly George Square, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Chris Lambert]

Alex Black's Record Collection (Alex Black / PBH's Free Fringe)
After a messy break-up with his long-term partner, Alex Black had to move back in with his parents, where he reconvened with his old record collection. Here, Black recreates classic rock and indie tracks with modernised satirical lyrics - some are effective, but some are just plain daft. He's a proficient instrumentalist, but as a comedy show it's all rather disjointed. Black darts between his comedy songs and a stand-up routine, the latter of which has very little to do with music and is more an excuse for sloppy crowd interaction. We hear muddled anecdotes about his break-up and family, but he doesn't seem confident enough to be gracing the stage just yet.
PBH's Free Fringe @ Bar Bados Complex, until 24 Aug.
tw rating 2/5 | [Kieran Scott]

Milo Edwards: Pindos (Milo Edwards)
Following the very recent death of his father, Milo Edwards resists the temptation to do a 'dead Dad show' and instead presents an entertaining and informative account of his three years in Russia, the last two as a stand-up. Using his background studying languages, he focuses in particular on the linguistic problems English speakers face (you'll never think of crayfish in the same way again!) The narrative is skilfully put together and well delivered, though he tries to pack too much in. A diversion into Brexit and 9/11 causes the performance to drift off course - in a similar manner to the stray dogs launched into space by the Soviet space programme which frame his narrative. He ends with a touching tribute to his father.
Just The Tonic @ The Charteris Centre, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Charlie Ellis]


Dieterich Buxtehude: Membra Jesu Nostri (The Limbs of Our Jesus) (Directed By Les Shankland - Director Of Music, St Vincent's Chapel)
Although written for the most solemn time in the Christian calendar, this performance of seven cantatas, each dedicated to a different part of Jesus' crucified body, was filled with a pleasing lightness, accentuated by Buxtehudes's use of dance rhythms. Players and singers were mostly one person to a part so there was nowhere and indeed nothing to hide - it was a gentle, well done, contemplative concert. There was little ornamentation and no excesses; nothing was artificially dwelt upon or accentuated to manipulate the audience's emotions. The musical suspensions were subtle and particularly well sung. In 'Cantata Six' the singers were accompanied by a viola-da-gamba consort, a treat for early instrument fans. It was a beautiful end to a busy day.
St Vincent's, run ended.
tw rating 4/5 | [Louise Rodgers]


Dominic Berry: I Can Make You Fail Slightly Less (Dominic Berry)
Dominic Berry interacts with his audience before the show, which helps create a lovely communal feel for this charming and spirited performance. Berry frames the show with the 'choose your own adventure' books that helped him cope with his sense of differentness and isolation as a teenager, communicating his message through poetry and storytelling. It veers between unhinged and profound, but is always told with mischievous warmth. Audience interaction is integral to the performance and the intimate venue is ideal for his purposes. An attempt to connect the personal goals of the audience members through rhyming couplets is an amusing train wreck, while a political section about the grooming of consumers is particularly effective; adding real heft to an already highly creditable performance.
Zoo Playground, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Charlie Ellis]


Buzzing (Debbie Bird)
"Now, I've never been promiscuous", says Debbie Bird, a middle-aged divorcee ready to delve into the world of one-night stands. After an unhealthy sex life in her 24 years of marriage, Bird attempts to seek out some new men but doesn't know where to start or how to pursue them. Her daughter advises dating apps, but most of her dates are a failure: from a guy at the local church to a young barista, Bird soon realises that these men are just looking for sex and no connection. Equipped with sex toys and booze, Bird changes outfit onstage to help the audience picture the scene. She's a confident and audacious performer, and her narrative will be incredibly relevant to many.
PQA Venues @ Riddle's Court, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Kieran Scott]

First Time (Nathaniel Hall presented by Dibby Theatre with Waterside Arts)
The tale of Nathaniel Hall's high school prom is certainly not a conventional one: after revealing to his parents that he was gay, he began dating a guy he met in Stockport while waiting for his cream tuxedo. This relationship turned his life upside down when he contracted HIV. After living in shame and fear for years, he discovered zeal in his life and now inspires others to thrive. This personal and energetic production tackles the stigma through spectacular performing and a versatile stage presence. Hall's experiences are translated into a visceral, interactive and educational theatrical journey. The stage is wonderfully utilised and repeatedly converted for effect. Never has a standing ovation been more deserved - this is a must see.
Summerhall, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Kieran Scott]

2Elfth Night (Keane & Doyle)
'2Elfth Night' sees Keane and Doyle resort to performing Shakespeare's much-loved 'Twelfth Night' as a two-hander, after "losing" the rest of the cast on their trip over from America. There's a lot of audience participation, though only for those who want it, as we are advised that the front row is reserved for those who "want to play". The clowning and excessive multi-rolling from both performers makes for a laugh a minute: one minute Doyle wears and bra and the next dons a very convincing British accent and beer belly! Despite all the fun kerfuffle onstage, they do actually portray Shakespeare's classic clearly and succinctly. '2Elfth Night' is an enjoyable, comedic and engaging production suitable for all ages.
Paradise In Augustines, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Natalie Holman]

Genesis: The Mary Shelley Play (Artists Collective Theatre - Calgary, Alberta, Canada)
This UK premiere depicts how Mary Shelley came to write 'Frankenstein', being set in Geneva in the early 19th century, where the writer and her lover Percy Shelley are on holiday with their friends Lord Byron, his partner Claire and Doctor Polidori. Inclement weather arrives, forcing them all to stick to their rented apartment, and find an indoor diversion: they attempt to overcome their boredom by coming up with horror stories, though of course nobody expects a woman to create the the best one. The script is remarkably slow (and could be improved by focusing more on how women were belittled in this era) but is aided by precise acting and a vividly painted setting. It just all leads to a tame conclusion, however.
C cubed, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Kieran Scott]

Gun (Phil And Will)
This ambitious one-man show sees Will Hartley take on the roles of at least eight main characters in a complicated and twisting Western caper. His wide range of voices and accents adds greatly to this humorous piece, which was written by Hartley himself. A very simple set of props (which are used in multiple ways), lighting, music and sound effects all complement the performance - the night time scenes are particularly effective. His rare off script moments show a performer in tune with his audience, as he slips in some commentary on any slight mishaps and also throws in the odd caustic comment about the Fringe. Hartley maintains an energetic and skilful performance right up to the truly climatic ending.
Assembly Rooms, until 24 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Charlie Ellis]

Fires Our Shoes Have Made (Pound Of Flesh)
Part rap, song and spoken word - watching this show felt like seeing fantastic gig-theatre such as 'Electrolyte' in its first stages of development. Following two young siblings as they run away from home in London and exploring knife crime, loss and trauma, the show was full of both energy and touching moments. The performances were excellent, the music toe-tappingly good and the script was genius, using the imagination of children to create a gripping fairytale-like adventure with moments of vivid imagery. It's extraordinary as it is, but I would love to see this piece move on and become even bigger and better: to include more of the fantastic music, a full band, and be staged in a more immersive theatre space.
C aquila, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Izzy Cutler]

Ladies Who Lunch (Fourth Wall Theatre Company)
If a play is going to consist of nothing more dramatic than people talking around a table, then the dialogue must be top-notch. Sadly, despite a few laughs and one passionate confessional speech near the end, much of 'Ladies Who Lunch' is lacklustre. The personal dramas are underdeveloped: the relationships lack weight, and never feel authentic. The wider thematic concerns - gender roles and generational conflict - are only superficially touched upon. The baby-boomer ideologies are voiced by young actors; despite their best efforts, they never convey any sense of the age of their characters, and I never believe in their relationships. This was largely the fault of a slightly simplistic script, that indulged its characters' outdated views without properly excoriating them.
Greenside @ Infirmary Street, run ended.
tw rating 2/5 | [Andy Leask]

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