Edinburgh 2014: Our picks of the Fringe and EIF
The job of picking highlights from the 400-plus page programme is no mean feat, but we've given it a good go. Shows are listed in time order to help you plan your Festival schedule
Grandly billed as "the most extraordinary piece of theatre to emerge from Ireland in 2013", this drama from Dead Centre was prompted by a real-life story about four women who entered a suicide pact.
Traverse, 5 - 24 August (not 11, 18) @ 10am (times vary)
The Addams Family (Musical)
Something is wrong with Wednesday Addams. She is behaving like a demented Disney princess. Where did the notorious gothic family go wrong? Find out in this new musical adaptation from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Assembly Hall, 31 July - 25 August (not 11, 18) @ 11:00
Play Dough (Children's Theatre)
A re-imagining of 2013 hit Money the Game Show - in which the audience are divided into two teams who vie for £10,000 in real pound coins - for ages 7 up. Just make sure the kids know they can't take it away with them afterwards...
Northern Stage at King's Hall, 2 - 23 August (not 3, 10, 17) @ 11:00
Our Teacher's a Troll (Children's Theatre)
Dennis 'Matilda' Kelly's play about a pair of twins who fight to save their school from a child-eating troll promises all kinds of morning fun at Paines Plough's Roundabout venue in Summerhall.
Roundabout at Summerhall, 2 - 23 August (not 3, 10, 17) @ 11:00
The Fair Intellectual Club (Theatre)
Some local interest on offer from Lucy Porter's new play, which is based on the true story of three Edinburgh teenage girls who formed The Fair Intellectual Club in 1717, the dawn of the Scottish Enlightenment.
The Assembly Rooms, 31 July - 24 August (not 11) @ 11:00
Bridget Christie - An Ungrateful Woman (Comedy)
Last year's Edinburgh Comedy Award winner returns in an early time slot at legendary comedy club The Stand. Among questions addressed: What made Bridget lose control of her emotions at a casting for a yoghurt commercial?
The Stand, 2-25 (not 11) August @ 11:10
Merry Christmas, Ms Meadows (Theatre)
Former Fringe First winners Belarus Free Theatre return with a brand new show that "challenges the roles of identity, gender and sexuality", drawing on research from around the globe.
Pleasance Dome, 19 - 25 August @ 11:50
The Initiate (Theatre)
George Devine award-winning playwright Alexandra Wood's new play promises a "thrilling tale of altruism, greed, and the search for how to belong", directed by Paines Plough's George Perrin.
Roundabout at Summerhall, 2 - 23 August (not 6, 8, 12, 14, 17, 20, 22) @ 12:00 (times vary)
Sunshine on Leith (Musical)
Adapted from the hit film musical featuring the songs of The Proclaimers, Captivate Theatre's production follows the highs and lows of two friends returning home to Leith from the army.
The Famous Spiegeltent, 2 - 25 August (not 4, 5, 11-15) @ 13:15
Silk Road (Theatre)
Claiming to be the world's first play to be funded by controversial online currency BitCoin, Alex Oates' new play is based on his interviews with real life users of the titular underground drugs exchange.
Assembly George Square, 31 July - 25 August (not 6, 18) @ 13:25
Julie Burchill: Absolute Cult (Comedy)
The self-appointed 'Queen of Spleen' returns a decade after Julie Burchill is Away with a somewhat belated sequel. Guaranteed to offend, and revel in doing so.
Gilded Balloon, 30 July - 25 August @ 13:45
Duncan Macmillan's 2011 play about a 30-something couple weighing up whether or not they should have a child arrives in Edinburgh boasting a clutch of rave reviews.
Summerhall at Roundabout, 2 - 23 August (not 3, 5, 7, 10, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21) @ 13:50
UK beatboxing champion Grace Savage offers "the most unlikely of musicals" as she explores what young people are hearing in the world. An aural extravaganza from award-winners The Paper Birds, whose other show this year Broke (Pleasance Dome) examines the nation's debt.
Pleasance Courtyard, 17 - 25 August @ 13:55
No Guts, No Heart, No Glory (Theatre)
Common Wealth's site-specific play, staged in a boxing gym, is based on interviews with Muslim female boxers and examines "being young, fearless and doing the unexpected". A guaranteed knock-out.
Sandy's Boxing Gym, 18 - 25 August @ 14:00 (times vary)
Based on a true story, this new play by Scottish playwright Fiona Geddes and director Jessica Beck explores the journey of a young woman and her schizophrenic mother.
Pleasance Courtyard, 30 July - 25 August (not 12) @ 14:15
Keeping up with the Joans (Theatre)
This bittersweet comedy about failing memory and friendship comes from Fringe First winning writer Philip Meeks. It centres on two rival am-dram actresses, asking who did play the greatest Saint Joan of all?
Pleasance Courtyard, 30 July - 24 August (not 12) @ 14:30
Blind Hamlet (Theatre)
This production the Actors Touring Company sees Iranian writer Nassim Soleimanpour confront the slow loss of his sight and the fact that he's never read Hamlet. Intriguing.
Assembly Roxy, 31 July - 25 August (not 12, 18) @ 14:50
Channel 4 Playwrights' Scheme winner Clara Brennan premieres "a hilarious, pan-generational and heartbreaking call to arms for our modern age", in a co-production between Foolscap and Soho Theatre.
Underbelly, 31 July - 25 August (not 12) @ 15:30
Secret Theatre Show 6 (Theatre)
Lyric Hammersmith's Secret Theatre company bring their innovative way of working - including keeping the title of their productions a mystery - to Edinburgh, as part of a national tour.
Roundabout at Summerhall, 2 - 17 August (not 7, 14) @ 15:50
Green Snake (Theatre)
The National Theatre of China stages Hong Kong writer Li Bihua's updating of the classic Chinese myth, about two snake sisters who cause romantic turmoil when they take human form. Ssssseriously interesting (ssssorry).
C Venues, 20 - 25 August @ 16:45
Paxo (Spoken World)
Recently retired Newsnight host Jeremy Paxman - once ranked by GQ magazine as 'Britain's 26th rudest person' - makes his Edinburgh Fringe debut with a one man show reflecting on his distinguished career.
Pleasance Courtyard, 18 - 25 August @ 17:20
Directed by Arlene Phillips and produced by Pamela Stephenson Connolly and Burn the Floor's Harley Medcalf, this dance drama by Brazil's Braz Dos Santos should energise your evening.
Assembly Hall, 31 July - 25 August (not 11, 18) @ 17:30
Inspired by Herman Hesse's novel, the musical tells the story of Prince Siddhartha's spiritual quest for enlightenment with a "sizzling Italian and South Asian influenced pop-rock score". It's also promising the sexiest performers at the Fringe...
The Assembly Rooms, 31 July - 24 August (not 6, 13) @ 18:10
Lead Pencil: In Full HB (Comedy)
We chose this largely for the title, but nevertheless the promise of 'a sketch show that is literally sketched' is an intriguing one indeed.
Underbelly, 31 July - 24 August (not 11) @ 18:20
Russell Grant: Strictly Edinburgh (Comedy)
The astrologer-turned-Strictly Come Dancing star promises a "showbiz extravaganza that'll have you dancing in the aisles."
Gilded Balloon, 30 July - 24 August (not 12, 18) @ 18:45
The HandleBards (Theatre)
Four actors (including former WhatsOnStage staff member Callum Brodie) who've travelled the length and breadth of the UK pitch up at the Fringe with their productions of Macbeth and The Comedy of Errors.
Royal Botanic Garden, 6 - 10 August @ 18:45
Michelle McManus' Reality: The Musical (Musical)
The former Pop Idol winner recounts the ups and downs of her life as a reality TV star, including a scattering of songs from her favourite shows, from Chicago to Chess.
Stand in the Square, 11 - 25 (not 18) August @ 19:00
The James Plays (Theatre)
Rona Munro's epic historic trilogy marks the first collaboration between the National Theatre of Scotland and National Theatre, where the plays transfer after their premiere as part of the International Festival.
Festival Theatre (EIF), 10 - 22 August @ times vary
Tim Vine: Timtiminee Timtiminee Tim Tim To You (Comedy)
The record-breaking joke merchant returns with another splendidly-titled show that promises to satisfy all those who are gluttons for 'pun'ishment.
Pleasance Courtyard, 1 - 24 (not 11, 18) August @ 19:30
Ganesh Versus the Third Reich (Theatre)
Performed in English, German and Sanskrit, this production from the innovative Back to Back Theatre sees the elephant-headed god travel through Nazi Germany to reclaim the swastika symbol for Hinduism.
Royal Lyceum Theatre (EIF), 9 - 12 August @ 19:30
Award-winning company Ontroerend Goed return with a show described by a critic in their native Belgium as "so powerful that even men turn into feminists." Part of the 'Big in Belgium' showcase.
Summerhall, 12 - 24 August @ 20:30 (times vary)
The Generation of Z (Theatre)
Running as part of this year's New Zealand Season, this interactive horror show "hurls you head first into a world ravaged by the undead". Not for the faint-hearted.
Assembly George Square Theatre, 31 July - 25 August @ 21:00 (times vary)
Adam of the Riches (Comedy)
The 2011 Edinburgh Comedy Award winner, noted for his enthusiastic involvement of the audience in his shows, returns with a brand new hour of, in his own inimitable words, "phenomenal bullshit".
Pleasance Dome, 30 July - 24 August @ 21:45
The Circus (Comedy)
Roll up, roll up for the latest twist on the late night comedy jamboree, as leading comics attempt to learn circus skills with no doubt farcical results.
Assembly George Square Gardens, 30 July - 25 August @ 22:30
Richard Herring: Lord of the Dance Settee (Comedy)
The comic known as the 'king of Edinburgh', who has covered such topics as death, love, religion and Hitler moustaches, asks whether his career is a failed attempt to top a piece of visual slapstick comedy he came up with at 16.
Assembly George Square, 30 July - 24 August @ 22:45
Kim Noble: You're Not Alone (Theatre)
The iconoclastic comedian returns to Edinburgh with a show that chronicles his attempts at connection, friendship and employment at B&Q.
Traverse, 19 - 24 August @ 23:15
Daniel Kitson: Kitson and Fathers (Comedy)
The Perrier-winning comedian and storyteller combines with friends including Gavin Osborn and Andy Zaltzman for some midnight mirth-making.
The Stand Comedy Club, 3 - 24 August @ 00:00
Please note this list will be regularly updated throughout the festival. Please add your own suggestions in the comments below...
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