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Take Ten ... Edinburgh Fringe Countdown Shows

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Well, we're in the final countdown to the official start of the Edinburgh Fringe this Friday 5 August 2011. So it seems a good opportunity for crunching the numbers. Amongst this year's 2,500+ offerings, there's drama, comedy, improv, musical theatre and dance all the way from ten to one.

1) Ten Plagues

This musical theatre experience relies on eyewitness accounts of the 1665 London plague, which killed around 100,000 people, 20% of the city's population. Ten Plagues tells the story of one man as he journeys through a city in crisis and a society in face of its own mortality. Traverse Theatre, 1-28 August, times vary.

2) Nine Suitcases

This adaptation of Béla Zsolt's Holocaust memoir tries to capture all the emotion of Zsolt's prose on stage. Set in a Jewish ghetto in Hungary during World War Two, the play chronicles one man's struggle for survival as he awaits deportation to Auschwitz. Among the angry despair, cruelty and betrayal the story also speaks of human kindness and exposes the grim irony and grotesque farce of the events which Zsolt lived through. Venue 13, 21-27 August, 16.00.

3) Eight

Writer Ella Hickson offers a portrait of modern day society through eight monologues. From Millie, a prostitute mourning the loss of the class system, to Miles, a 7/7 survivor, and Danny, an ex-squaddie, this play looks at a generation living in a world where anything seems possible and acceptable. TheSpaces on North Bridge, 8-13 August, 14.10 and theSpaces on the Mile, 15-20 August, 15.10.

4) The Seven Deadly Sins

Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's fusion of opera, dance and theatre offers a satirical look at 1930s America. As Anna tries to make her fortune in the depression struck States, she has to face the seven deadly sins. Can she resist the temptation to sacrifice her integrity for the wealth she seeks? HMV Picture House, 29 August - 3 September, times vary.

5) Joe Bor: In Search of the Six Pack

With all the "things to do before you're 30" lists around, Joe Bor shares his struggle to get a six-pack before hitting the 30 mark. Other credits of this award-winning comedian include TV warm-up for The Graham Norton Show, writing for Russell Howard's Good News and stand-up around the country. Just the Tonic at The Tron, 4-28 August, 17.00.

6) The Last Five Years

Two productions of Jason Robert Brown's time twisting love story grace the Fringe this year. Patch of Blue Theatre and twoSquared Productions will bring their own renditions of Cathy and Jamie's relationship, from the first meeting until the final demise, to the Edinburgh stage. Patch of Blue Theatre: C Venues - C soco, 5-15 August, 21.30 and twoSquared Productions: Paradise in Augustine's, 16-28 August, 18.40.

7) Four For Jericho

This political comedy sees a hapless English tourist set out to discover the Holy Land. On his way to Jericho the hapless hero gets caught up in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict with history lessons, mistaken identities, biblical visions and a flying baby included. Pleasance Courtyard, 4-29 August, 14.45.

8) Three of Hearts

Bringing powerful drama to the stage, Three of Hearts tells the tragic tale of three people connected by fate. Written by Sarah Goddard, the play brings together a mother, a man and a lover as they talk about a young boy who connects them all. C Venues - C eca, 3-29 August, 14.15.

9) Single, Mother of Two

A one woman show, this is a monologue about a single mother of two talking about the trials and tribulations of single parenthood and mid-twenties dating. Lighthearted comedy looking for audiences with good sense of humour. C Venues - C eca, 3-29 August, 21.35.

10) The One Hour Plays

A play devised, written, rehearsed and performed in one hour. This is the challenge set by The One Hour Plays. The company brings nothing but a writer, three actors, a director, a seamstress and a technician. Together with the audience an original piece will be created at every performance. Underbelly Cowgate, 15-28 August, 12.00.


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