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Edinburgh Festival Fringe: our critics’ best shows

The Royal Mile in Edinburgh

At the mid-point of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, with more than 150 shows under its collective reviewing belt, we asked our critics to name just the two best shows they’ve seen at this year’s event. Here’s what they chose…

Nick Awde

Us/Them. Photo: Felix Kindermann
Us/Them. Photo: Felix Kindermann

Goggles – Pleasance Courtyard

Dippy, eccentric, funny and with a message in there too, if Edinburgh was ever about discovering a gem where you least expect then Goggles is it.

Read the review [1]

Us/Them – Summerhall

A compelling blend of direct-to-audience narration and physicality allows us to see the trauma wrought by the adult world through innocent eyes.

Read the review [2]

Gerald Berkowitz

Care Takers – C

An intellectually stimulating and emotionally engaging production that seeks broader truths while navigating an ethically knotty plot.

Read the review [3]

The Trunk – Underbelly

A resonant story of rediscovering a lost past, told with engaging charm.

Read the review [4]

Thom Dibdin

Expensive Shit at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh. Photo: Sally Jubb
Expensive Shit at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh. Photo: Sally Jubb

Expensive Shit – Traverse

A howl of rage at male cultures that are complicit and guilty in their abuse of women.

Read the review [5]

The Story of Mr B – Institute Francaise D’Ecosse

Children’s puppet theatre which addresses the big issues in life – just as any great theatre should, whatever age it is aimed at.

Stewart Pringle

Daniel Oliver: Weird Seance – Forest Fringe

Daniel Oliver’s Weird Seance was a joyous disassembling of the live art scene, and Forest Fringe itself, right at the start of its 10th year anniversary season.

Cuncrete – Summerhall

An exhilaratingly bleak swansong for the grey, hard dreams of powerful men.

Read the review [6]

Natasha Tripney

How to Win Against History
Matthew Blake (left) and Seiriol Davies in How to Win Against History. Photo: Rah Petherbridge

How to Win Against History – Assembly George Square

Says all manner of things about identity, privilege, legacy, art and the nature of biography, while never losing sight of when the next joke should land. A total pleasure.

Read the review [7]

Team Viking – Just the Tonic Community Project

James Rowland’s debut solo show is a moving story, beautifully told – a real fringe find.

Read the review [8]

Paul Vale

Foiled – Ruby Rouge Hair Salon

Whether it’s the hair salon setting or simply the lotion fumes, Foiled is the perfect comedy, verging audaciously on farce.

Read the review [9]

Saturday Night Forever – Underbelly Med Quad

Roger Williams’ monologue is a genuine rollercoaster of human emotion. It’s difficult not to fall in love with Delme Thomas’ Lee

Read the review [10]