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What are the best shows of the Edinburgh Fringe 2018?

Jennifer Kidwell and Scott R Sheppard in Underground Railroad Game at the Traverse, Edinburgh. Photo: Aly Wright Jennifer Kidwell and Scott R Sheppard in Underground Railroad Game at the Traverse, Edinburgh. Photo: Aly Wright
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With the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2018 now underway, our expert reviewing team pick their best shows of the festival so far. Their selection will be updated throughout the festival as more shows are reviewed. 

Mistero Buffo

Underbelly Cowgate, 7.20pm
★★★★★

Magnificent production of Dario Fo’s mystery play with an astounding performance from Julian Spooner

Mistero Buffo review at Underbelly Cowgate, Edinburgh – ‘magnificent production with an astounding performance’


The Artist

Assembly Roxy, 4.20pm
★★★★★

Artful solo show about a hapless painter involves top-notch clowning and engaging humour

The Artist review at Assembly Roxy, Edinburgh – ‘artful, inventive and playful’


Square Go

Roundabout @ Summerhall, 8.20pm
★★★★★

Hilarious and human high-school two-hander that’s just brilliant fun

Square Go review at Summerhall, Edinburgh – ‘joyously funny school-set two-hander’


The Political History of Smack and Crack

Roundabout @ Summerhall, 5.30pm
★★★★★

Rollickingly entertaining, deeply moving drama-cum-documentary about heroin use in Manchester

The Political History of Smack and Crack review at Summerhall, Edinburgh – ‘rollickingly entertaining’


Underground Railroad Game

Traverse Theatre, times vary
★★★★★

Fearless, ferocious, exposing and explosive theatre about race and the legacy of slavery in America

Underground Railroad Game review at Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh – ‘fearless and explosive’


What Girls Are Made Of

Traverse Theatre, times vary
★★★★★

Euphoric and deeply moving autobiographical gig theatre from Cora Bissett

What Girls Are Made Of review at Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh – ‘Euphoric autobiographical gig theatre’


And Before I Forget I Love you, I Love You

Pleasance Courtyard, 14.00
★★★★★

Pip Utton’s beautifully constructed one-man show shedding light and love on the frailty of the human condition

And Before I Forget I Love You, I Love You review at Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh – ‘beautifully constructed’


Luke Wright, Poet Laureate

Bar Bados, 15.45
★★★★★

Fierce, wistful and witty hour of partly political, partly personal poetry from master wordsmith Luke Wright

Luke Wright, Poet Laureate review at Bar Bados, Edinburgh – ‘fierce, wistful and witty poetry’


Dandy Darkly’s All Aboard!

Underbelly Bristo Square, 23.10
★★★★★

Revisionist socio-political satire packaged as a queer ghost story

Dandy Darkly’s All Aboard! review at Underbelly Bristo Square, Edinburgh – ‘queer storytelling with creative eloquence’


The Flop

Summerhall, 4.55pm
★★★★

Weird and wonderful musical farce about a 17th-century French nobleman with erectile dysfunction

The Flop review at Summerhall, Edinburgh – ‘weird and wonderful musical farce’


Flies

Pleasance Courtyard, 5pm
★★★★

Inventive, intelligent three-hander about a man with a crippling phobia of flies

Flies review at Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh – ‘a little bit brilliant’


First Snow/Premiere Neige

Summerhall, 6.10pm
★★★★

Smart, meaty examination of identity in Scotland and Quebec

First Snow/Premiere Neige review at Summerhall, Edinburgh – ‘meaty examination of identity’


My Left/Right Foot

Assembly Roxy, 6.10pm
★★★★

Irreverent and entertaining, if occasionally brash, comedy meta-musical about disability and inclusivity

My Left/Right Foot – The Musical review at Assembly Roxy, Edinburgh – ‘irreverent and entertaining’


Electrolyte

Pleasance Dome, 17.30
★★★★

An energetic electronica-fuelled gig-theatre piece exploring the emotional damage that grief can cause

Electrolyte review at Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh – ‘energetic electronica-filled gig theatre’


Dressed

Underbelly Cowgate, 1800
★★★★

All-woman show about dressing after sexual assault is as beautiful and visceral as raw silk

Dressed review at Underbelly Cowgate, Edinburgh – ‘as beautiful and visceral as raw silk’


It’s True, It’s True, It’s True

Underbelly, 1450
★★★★

Fascinating and potent verbatim devised piece based on a 17th-century rape trial

It’s True, It’s True, It’s True review at Underbelly, Edinburgh – ‘fascinating portrayal of 17th-century rape trial’


The Greatest Play in the History of the World

Traverse Theatre, times vary
★★★★

Superb performance from Julie Hesmondhalgh in husband Ian Kershaw’s sci-fi love story

The Greatest Play in the History of the World… review at Traverse, Edinburgh – ‘superb’


One Life Stand

Roundabout at Summerhall, 21.45
★★★★

A stylish, smartphone-saturated Odyssey from Hull-based gig-theatre makers Middle Child

One Life Stand review at Roundabout, Edinburgh – ‘boundary-breaking buzz’


Armour: A Herstory of the Scottish Bard

TheSpace, 14.10
★★★★

Outstanding new writing about Robert Burns’ wife and mistress from female-led collective Fearless Players

Armour: A Herstory of the Scottish Bard review at TheSpace, Edinburgh – ‘warmth and sincerity’


Status

Summerhall, 19.55
★★★★

A meticulously crafted, beautifully written monologue by Chris Thorpe about nationhood and nationality

Status review at Summerhall, Edinburgh – ‘searching and meticulously crafted’


User Not Found

Jeelie Piece Cafe, 20.00
★★★★

Set in a cafe, this is a beautifully human story about the impact of technology on grief 

User Not Found review at Jeelie Piece Cafe, Edinburgh – ‘a beautifully human story’


After the Cuts

Summerhall, 12.00
★★★★

A darkly funny dystopia about life after the dismantling of the NHS

After the Cuts review at Summerhall, Edinburgh – ‘funny and fire-stirring’

 

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