Top home-grown shows to catch at the Edinburgh Fringe 2018

In any national arts publication worth its salt you’ll see a list of recommended shows from all around the world that are coming to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. But as local experts, we’d like to shine a light on some of Edinburgh’s finest home-grown artistes (that we get to enjoy all year-round) who are stepping up to present their work to global audiences this summer. Perhaps you’ll join them?

Musical madness

Musicals and musical revues are always popular in Edinburgh, and we start this section with Edinburgh Music Theatre’s double-bill of Mouse Music and Anthems – From West End to Broadway, which will no doubt be of equal (if not better!) quality than their 5* production of Guys and Dolls earlier this year. And speaking of 5* hits, Edinburgh University Savoy Opera Group have thoroughly impressed us with their previous two Fringe shows, will their production of The Drowsy Chaperone make it a hat-trick this year? We have high hopes.

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown is the debut show from Bare Productions, featuring the talents of several established names on the Edinburgh musical theatre scene, while those who fancy some G&S will enjoy the consistently excellent Cat-Like Tread’s offering, Patience.

Amateur companies up and down the country rejoiced some months ago when the rights to Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s masterpiece Jesus Christ Superstar finally became available. One of the first to jump on the bandwagon were prolific local company Captivate, who as well this, are also producing rock musical RENT with a stellar young cast.

We’re also excited to see new and emerging works from new and emerging companies in our city, including Dogfight by Room 29; Bare by Edinburgh Little Theatre, and the musical we didn’t realise we needed from Malachi Reid & Jonnie Grant: Tenacious D: The Musical of Destiny.

If music be the food of love…

When it comes to music, we’ve been long-time fans of Edinburgh Quartet, and their latest offering The World’s Greatest Chamber Music will undoubtedly be very well received. A must-see for classical music aficionados.

If swing’s more your thing, may we recommend Hollywood Swings, which takes well-known songs from stage and screen and infuses them with big band razzle dazzle. The show will also feature some of our city’s very fine vocalists.

More jazz and blues, you say? You can have your fill at any number of the shows presented by local band Blueswater, who’ll be showcasing some of the hottest talent on the Edinburgh scene.

A Toast to the Lassies

It’s encouraging to see an abundance of fab work from all-female or female-led companies in Edinburgh this year. For starters, there’s Sob Story by Pretty Knickers Productions – an all-female company who aim to empower their audiences through unapologetic new writing – which follows the story of six friends attempting to win Yorkshire’s Got Talent.

Another all-female local company to watch out for are Scene Change Productions, who are sharing their exciting new show A Good Enough Girl? throughout the month. Bonus – it’s a family friendly show for ages 8+.

And last, but not least,  we’re looking forward to Morna Burdon’s follow-up to last year’s triumphant Bonnie Fechters. New work Gie’s Peace is a collection of inspiring stories about women of courage.

On Bard

One of Shakespeare’s finest comedies, Twelfth Night, is being presented by the rascals at Some Kind Of Theatre, who also provide a mobile theatre service – so if you ever want the show brought directly to the comfort of your home or office, you can keep the spirit of the Fringe going all year round!

The Edinburgh Graduate Theatre Group – one of the most prolific on the Edinburgh scene – are producing a post-war inspired Much Ado About Nothing, which will also be heading to Stratford later in the month. It’s got a cracking comedic cast, so pop along for a giggle, bardic style.

Are you ‘avin a laugh?

Speaking of laughs – we don’t tend to dabble in comedy at Edinburgh49, but we wanted to give a shout-out to a couple of local funsters sharing their work this summer. First up is Matt Duwell who is returning with new show Snowflake it ‘til you make it, a politically tinged look at life as a millennial.

Also playing for laughs are Headwound Theatre company, presenting their satirical view on break-ups Plenty of Linguine at Home. Interestingly, this show is the result of advice from a relationship counsellor – make of that what you will…

Everything else

For us, the joy of the Fringe can often be found in the unexpected and hard to classify. For example, for those inclined to find out more about our fair city, you could try Reading the Streets: an Old Town Poetry Tour, with local expert Ken Cockburn; alternatively Love Song to Lavender Menace is an ode to one of Edinburgh’s best loved LGBT bookshops in the 1980s.

Paper Doll Militia are Edinburgh’s foremost circus and acrobatics company, and bring new work Egg to Summerhall, while the consistently impressive young company Blazing Hyena will be sharing their latest show Death is the New Porn. As you might guess from the title, this one’s an 18+ show.

And if you’re into things a little more risqué, though, then perhaps you’ll be piqued by our final recommendation: Edinburgh Little Theatre/LR Stageworks’ production of A Virgin’s Guide to Rocky Horror, which is back once again to charm and disarm those brave enough to enter the time warp…

Have a wonderful festival!


49 + 3 shows to see at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2016

With just three weeks to go until this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe officially kicks off, we thought it high time that the +3 team share their 49+3 top picks for shows to see in 2016.

As the official Fringe programme once again contains over 3,000 listings, it’s been a challenge for us to compile our (fairly) short list, but the team of myself, Alan Brown and Jacob Close have used all our experience and guile to highlight those which we think really are worth a watch.

And just like last year, we haven’t been bribed, cajoled, threatened or in any other way influenced in making our selection, we’ve each made up our minds independently on what we’re looking forward to. Here they are, alphabetised by genre.

A Streetcar Named Desire
Bully Boy
Care Takers
Criminology 303
Escape from the Planet of the Day that Time Forgot
The Gin Chronicles: A Scottish Adventure
Leaf by Niggle
Life According to Saki
The Marked
Mungo Park: Travels in the Interior of Africa
Nuclear Family
Of Wardrobes and Rings
Queen Lear
Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally
The Silence at the Song’s End
The Six-Sided Man
Still Here
Teatro Delusio
Three Jumpers
The View from Castle Rock by Alice Munro
William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged)

Spoken Word:
The Harry and Chris Show
Robert Adam: Architect of Enlightenment

Cabaret & Variety:
Hot Brown Honey
Roulston and Young: Songs for Lovers (And Other Idiots)
Triple Entendre: Love, Life and Other Stuff
Tony Roberts – Card Magic

1 Woman, a Dwarf Planet and 2 Cox: Samantha Baines
I Don’t Believe It! An Evening With Victor Meldrew
Katy Brand: I was a Teenage Christian
Mixed Doubles: Fundraiser
Paul Merton’s Impro Chums
Tiff Stevenson – Seven

Musical & Opera:
[title of show]
No Horizon
Paper Hearts the Musical

Dance, Physcial Theatre & Circus:
Are We Stronger Than Winston?
Lost in Complete
Ockham’s Razor: Tipping Point
The Rooster and Partial Memory

Children’s Shows:
Molly Whuppie

+3 extra special shows:
Ronnie & Jonny: Friends Disunited – Griffin and Muddiman’s debut show, published by our friends at 49 Knights, and featuring a very familiar face…

Don’t Panic! It’s Challenge Anneka – a frank and funny exploration of the taboo topic of anxiety, supporting the fantastic #itaffectsme campaign.

One Day Moko – a moving portrait of homelessness in New Zealand, which I think will have particular resonance in Edinburgh.

And that’s it. If there are any other shows you think should be brought to our attention please get in touch with us at

49 +3 Shows to See #EdFringe15

It’s been two weeks now since the official programme launch, and we’ve finally made it through all 439 pages, featuring over 3,330 shows. Needless to say we’re VERY excited for what this year’s Fringe has in store.

Being the arts geeks that we are, Alan Brown and I have managed to narrow down a list of 49+3 shows we’re really looking forward to seeing, shared below to help guide your choices.

We haven’t been bribed, cajoled, threatened or in any other way influenced in making our selection, we’re just being honest.

+ Many thanks to Loclan Mackenzie-Spencer and Andrew Strano of Nailed It! for their song in praise of our choices!

So, without further ado…

One from each of the 10 categories:
Cabaret – Nailed It!
Children’s – Dreamkeepers
Comedy – Matt Forde: Get the Political Party Started
Dance, Physical Theatre and Circus – Hitch!
Events – Edinburgh Gin’s Night of Literature and Liquor
Exhibitions – Unexpected Excesses
Music – Afropella Night
Musical Theatre – The Bakewell Bake Off: A New Musical
Spoken Word – TES
Theatre – Trans Scripts

My top 10
The Misfit Analysis
La Meute (The Wolf Pack)
Brian Molley Quartet – Britunes
Ushers: The Front of House Musical
Poetry Can F*ck Off
Bloody East Europeans
Willy’s Bitches

Alan’s top 10
Down & Out in Paris & London
Light Boxes
Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour
Picasso stole the Mona Lisa
Scarfed for Life
The Sunset Five
The Titanic Orchestra
Wendy Hoose by Johnny McKnight
What Would Spock Do?

19 other recommendations (including returning favourites from former years)
Every Brilliant Thing
Homme | Animal
Can’t Care, Won’t Care
Austentatious: An Improvised Jane Austen Novel
Doris, Dolly and the Dressing Room Divas
The Art of Reduction and the Distillation of Humanity: Whisky Theatre
Jess Robinson: The Rise of Mighty Voice
The Jennifer Tremblay Trilogy. Parts 1, 2 & 3
We’re not dogs
The Oxford Gargoyles: Jazz a Capella
UKIP! The Musical
Going Viral
Dorian Gray
Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons
Richard III
My Name is…
The Rape of Lucrece

+3 we both agree on!
Free for All

Phew – bring on August! If there are any other shows you think should be brought to our attention please get in touch with us at