CELEBRATING it’s 70th birthday last year, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe sees performers from Scotland and further afield visiting the city. If spending hours with that 450-page programme is not your bag, let us do the work of highlighting some of the best shows on offer at the world’s largest open entry arts festival.


After The Cuts

Set when the NHS no longer exists, Gary McNair’s comic satire sees a couple turn to desperate measures.

Until Aug 18 (not 8 or 15), Zoo Southside, Edinburgh, noon (1hr), £15, £13 concs. Tel: 0131 560 1581. Tickets: bit.ly/AfterTheCuts @thegarymcnair

Mark Thomas – Check Up: Our NHS at 70

Traverse regular Mark Thomas explores how we might treat the ailing NHS.

Until Aug 26 (not 13 and 20), various times, £21.50, £9.50 to £16.50 concs. Tel: 0131 228 1404. Tickets: bit.ly/MarkThomasNHS @markthomasinfo #OurNHS70

The National:

In Addition

A couple are pulled apart by the effects of private health care in this production by young company Orange Skies.

Until Aug 26 (not 13), Underbelly, Cowgate, 10.50am (1hr), £8 to £10. Tel: 0131 510 0395. Tickets: bit.ly/InAddition18 @ostheatre

Telling The Wrong Man He Had Cancer And Other Hilarious Stories

Consultant physician Kevin Jones’s tales from the dark recesses of hospital medicine.

Aug 20 to Aug 25, theSpace@Symposium Hall, 6.10pm (50mins), £10, £7 concs. Tel: 0131 510 2385. Tickets: bit.ly/KevinJonesNHS

Where It Hurts

Jeremy Weller directs Edinburgh residents and health professionals as they share personal experiences of the NHS.

Until Aug 26 (not 13 and 20), Summerhall, 8.30pm (1hr), £12, £8 concs. Tel: 0131 560 1581. Tickets: bit.ly/ItHurtsSummerhall @GrassmarketPro #whereithurtsfringe18


The National:

Angry Alan

Donald Sage-Mackay stars in Penelope Skinner’s buzzy black comedy about US masculinity.

Until 26 (not 13), Underbelly, Cowgate, 3.20pm (1hr), £12 to £14. Tel: 0131 510 0395. Tickets: bit.ly/AngryAlan #AngryAlan

The National:

The Abode

Davey Anderson visited Scottish Defence League rallies before writing his adventure story of a man caught up with the alt-right.

Until Aug 16, Underbelly, Cowgate, 12.30pm (75mins), £9 to £11. Tel: 0131 510 0395. Tickets: bit.ly/TheAbode @andersondavey


After two sell-out years, Simon Jay returns as President Trump and hopes the audience can help him.

Until Aug 27 (not 8, 15, 22), Gilded Balloon Teviot, 4pm (1hr), £10.50 to £12.50. Tel: 0131 622 6522. Tickets: bit.ly/Trumpageddon18 #Trumpageddon


Two Thirds Comedy imagine a growing resistance to “supreme dictator” Trump in 2030.

Until Aug 27 (not 8, 15, 22), C Chambers Street, 7.15pm (1hr), £8.50 to £13.50. Tel: 0131 581 5555. Tickets: bit.ly/Trumpd18 @Trumpd_Musical

The National:

Trump Lear

Direct from its New York run, Donald Trump meets King Lear in a play inspired by the whims of a madman.

Until Aug 27 (not 14), Pleasance Courtyard, 11.40am (65mins), £9 to £11. Tel: 0131 556 6550. Tickets: bit.ly/TrumpLear www.trumplear.com

Trump The Musical

The creators of Boris The Musical! return for original songs about making America great again.

Until Aug 27 (not 14), C Chambers Street, 8.55pm (1hr), £7.50 to £12.50. Tel: 0131 581 5555. Tickets: bit.ly/TrumpMusical #TrumpTheMusical

The National:

Underground Railroad Game

Jennifer Kidwell and Scott R Sheppard’s fourth-wall-breaking look at race in contemporary America.

Until Aug 26 (not 13, 20), Traverse, various times, £21.50, £9.50 to £16.50 concs. Tel: 0131 228 1404. Tickets: bit.ly/UndergroundRailroadGame @arsnova



Jo Caulfield and Timothy Bentinck star as a new Tory PM tries to unite his party’s warring factions.

Until Aug 26 (not 13), Pleasance Courtyard, 1.30pm (75mins), £10 to £16.50. Tel: 0131 556 6550. Tickets: bit.ly/PleasanceBrexit www.brexitplay.co.uk

It’s A Dog’s Brexit

Geoffrey Brown looks forward to March 2019 and wonders how much more of a mess things will be in by then.

Until Aug 24 (not 18), theSpace@Surgeons Hall, 4.05pm (45mins), £10.50, £9 concs. bit.ly/DogsBrexit Tel: 0131 510 2384. @knowbrexit

The National:

Jonny Woo’s All Star Brexit Cabaret

A cast of top talent coralled by drag superstar Jonny Woo and Olivier Award-winner Richard Thomas.

Until Aug 27 (not 13, 20), Assembly George Square, 6pm (1hr), £13 to £15. Tel: 0131 623 3030. Tickets: bit.ly/JonnyWoosBrexit @JonnyWooUK

The Laird’s Big Breaxit

The Honourable Gussie McCraig gives a private briefing at his select London club on Brexit.

Until Aug 27 (not 13, 20), Scottish Storytelling Centre, 5pm (1hr), £10, £8 concs. Tel: 0131 556 9579. Tickets: bit.ly/LairdsBreaxit @ScotStoryCentre

Leave. To Remain (An Aristophanic Brexit Tale)

A satire where democracy has been outsourced to a TV show.

Until Aug 11, theSpace on North Bridge, 10.10pm (1hr), £10, £8 concs. Tel: 0131 510 2386. Tickets: bit.ly/LeaveToRemain @FITTheatre

Matt Forde: Brexit Through The Gift Shop

The political comic returns for his last show as an EU citizen.

Until Aug 26, Pleasance Courtyard, 8.30pm (1hr), £10 to £14. Tel: 0131 556 6550. Tickets: bit.ly/MattForde18 @mattforde

Steve Richards Presents Rock ‘n’ Roll Politics

The audience help broadcaster Steve Richards seize back control with a different show each day.

Until Aug 25, theSpace@ Symposium Hall, Aug 13 to 18: 11.20am, Aug 19 to 25: 11.10am (55mins), £12. Tel: 0131 510 2385. Tickets: bit.ly/SteveRichards18 @steverichards14


Ah Dinnae Ken

A pair of star-crossed lovers risk their lives in a neighbourhood war of Scottish independence.

Until Aug 18 (not 12), theSpace@Niddry Street, 4.15pm (50mins), £6 to £8. Tel: 0131 510 2383. Tickets: bit.ly/AhDinnae www.studenttheatreatglasgow.com

Armour: A Herstory Of The Scottish Bard

Fearless Players’s musical about the women behind Robert Burns.

Until Aug 25 (not 12, 19), theSpace@Jurys Inn, 2.10pm (55mins), £8, £7 concs. Tel: 0131 510 2381. Tickets: bit.ly/Armour18www.fearlessplayerstheatre.com

Glasgow ’14

Nags Head Productions’ new play about the Queen Street truck incident that left six people dead.

Until 18 (not 12), theSpace@Surgeon’s Hall, 8.10pm (50mins), £10, £8. Tel: 0131 510 2384. Tickets: bit.ly/Glasgow14Fringe www.nagsheadproductions.co.uk

Hamish Henderson: On The Radical Road

Theatre Objectiv’s drama based on the poetry and songs of the father of the Scottish folk revival.

Aug 12 to Aug 27, Scottish Storytelling Centre, 8pm (1hr), £12, £10 concs. Tel: 0131 556 9579. Tickets: bit.ly/RadicalHamish www.theatreobjektiv.co.uk

Heaven Burns

Jen McGregor’s award-winning story of Christian Caddell, a 17th century Morayshire woman who claimed to be a man so she could work as a “witch pricker”.

Until Aug 27 (not 14), Assembly Roxy, 2.35pm (1hr), £8 to £11. Tel: 0131 623 3030. Tickets: bit.ly/HeavenBurns www.jenmcgregor.com

Mairi Campbell: Auld Lang Syne

The folk musician follows up her acclaimed 2016 show Pulse with tales from her life related to Scotland’s most famous song.

Until Aug 27 (not 13, 20), Scottish Storytelling Centre, 4.30pm (1hr), £12, £10 concs. Tel: 0131 556 9579. Tickets: bit.ly/MairiCampbell www.mairicampbell.scot

Once In A Generation

A marriage is strained as a Yes voter tries to convince her husband of the case for breaking the Union.

Until 10 Aug, Laughing Horse @ The Mockingbird, 4pm, free, non-ticketed. Tel: 0131 466 2041. www.facebook.com/SandstoneCityTheatre @SandstoneCity

Para Handy: A Radio Play On Stage

No Nonsense Productions present the Master Mariner and friends for a 1950s-style radio broadcast.

Aug 13 to 19, PQA Venues @Riddle’s Court, 2pm (45mins), £11.50, £7.50 concs. Tel: 0131 226 0000. Tickets: bit.ly/ParaHandy nononsenseproductions.co.uk

The National:

Square Go

A show about how boys learn to be men by two of Scotland’s best writers, Gary McNair and Kieran Hurley, with music from Frightened Rabbit.

Until Aug 26 (not 7, 14, 21), Summerhall, 8.20pm (1hr), £15, £10 concs. Tel: 0131 560 1581. Tickets: bit.ly/SquareGo18 www.painesplough.com #squarego

3000 Trees: The Death Of Mr William MacRae

Andy Paterson returns with his hit show about SNP politician Willie MacRae, who was found dying in his car in 1985.

Until Aug 26 (not 14), The Stand’s New Town Theatre, 12.10pm (1hr), £10, £9 concs. Tel: 0131 558 9005. Tickets: bit.ly/3000Trees www.andypaterson.com


Best of Scottish Comedy

Seasoned headliners top a different bill each night of four of the best Scottish comics on the circuit.

Until Aug 26, The Stand’s New Town Theatre, 8.20pm (90 mins), £15, £13 concs. Tel: 0131 558 9005. Tickets: bit.ly/BestofScotsComedy

The National:

Cirque Berserk!

Britain’s biggest theatre-circus, with a cast of more than 30 acrobats, aerialists and daredevils.

Until Aug 16, Pleasance at EICC, 1.30pm and 6pm, (75mins), £13 to £19.50. Tel: 0131 556 6550. Tickets: bit.ly/CirqueBerserkFringe18 www.cirqueberserk.co.uk

The National:

Gala For Mental Health

The Mental Health Foundation’s fundraiser featuring comics Felicity Ward, Laura Lexx and Tony Slattery.

Aug 20, Pleasance King Dome, 10.15pm (1hr), £10. Tel: 0131 556 6550. bit.ly/MentalHealthGala www.mentalhealth.org.uk

Godley’s Cream 20 Years And Counting

Sharp-elbowed tales from 20 years of stand-up from chief Trump annoyer Janey Godley.

Until Aug 26, Laughing Horse @The Counting House, 5.30pm (1hr), free, non-ticketed. Tel: 0131 667 7533. janeygodley.com @JaneyGodley

The National:

Margaret Thatcher Queen of Club Nights

Dropping more beats than Tory manifesto promises, the former PM presents non-stop 1980s hits.

Aug 9 to 11, 16 to 18, 24 and 25, Gilded Balloon Teviot, midnight (3hrs), £14. Tel: 0131 622 6552. Tickets: bit.ly/ThatcherClub

The Moira Monologues

Alan Bissett presents his much loved 2009 play as Falkirk’s hardest, most incisive woman Moira Bell.

Until Aug 11, Scottish Storytelling Centre, 6.30pm (1hr), £13, £11 concs. Tel: 0131 556 9579. @MoiraMonologues

More Moira Monologues

She’s back! Alan Bissett sees Falkirk straight-talker and new gran Moira Bell return for post-indyref1 hilarity.

Until Aug 11, Scottish Storytelling Centre, 8pm (1hr), £13, £11 concs. Tel: 0131 556 9579. @MoiraMonologues

Museum After Hours

Explore the NMS in an evening of comedy and music, with entry included to Rip It Up, an exhibition of Scottish pop memorabilia.

Aug 10, 17, 24, National Museum Of Scotland, 7.30pm (3hrs), £18, £16 concs. Tel: 0300 123 6789. Tickets: bit.ly/MuseumAfterHours18

Silent Disco Tours

Sing and dance around the streets of Edinburgh with the city’s resident silent disco team. Meet at Underbelly box office in Bristo Square.

Until Aug 27, Underbelly, Bristo Square, 5.30pm (1hr), £13.50. Tel: 0131 510 0395. Tickets: bit.ly/SilentDiscoAdventures18 silentadventures.co.uk

Yana Alana – Between The Cracks

Australia’s hugely acclaimed rabble-rouser and punk-cabaret diva, Yana Alana bares all.

Until Aug 26 (not 8, 13, 20), 8pm (1hr), £12 and £13, Assembly Checkpoint. Tel: 0131 623 3030. Tickets: bit.ly/YanaAlana18 www.yanaalana.com