As the world’s largest arts festival continues in Edinburgh, it is getting clearer which shows are among the best of the 5,000 events scattered over 300 venues.
The Edinburgh Fringe and Edinburgh Festival run through August 27. Some clear favorites for awards are emerging, such as the short-running “Cold Blood” dance routine. Already recommended (click here for article): “NewsRevue,” “For Godley’s Sake!,” “Private Peaceful,” “Revenants,” “Shift,” Cirque Berserk!, Circus-Cision, Circolombia, “It’s True, It’s True, It’s True” and “Century Song.”
1. “A Sockful of Custard”
In this the centenary year of Spike Milligan’s birth, Chris Larner and Jeremy Stockwell celebrate this late British comedian with laughs, songs and silliness. Milligan’s influence is everywhere from Monty Python, Robin Williams to Eddie Izzard. This show discovers the cosmic in the comic, the humor in the human condition and the undeniable idiot in us all. As Milligan once wrote: “Today I saw a little worm wriggling on his belly. Perhaps he’d like to come inside and see what’s on the telly.”
At Pleasance Dome (Ace Dome) at 8 p.m. (not 13th or 20th). Theatre/ comedy.
2. “After The Cuts”
The 70th anniversary of the National Health Service has been marked by many plays this year. Alan Bennet’s comic yet depressing “Allelujah!” is a case in point, playing in London. Edinburgh has a number of takes on the situation, with Gary McNair in this work looking ahead to the scenario that the NHS expires and privately paid medicine again holds sway.
At Summerhall , Newington through August 26. Theater/drama.
“Drenched” is inspired by “The Mermaid of Zennor.” Dan Frost plays Daniel Drench, Cornwall’s most prolific storyteller, who presents his interpretation of this classic Cornish folk tale. Frost plays on his real-life experiences of growing up in West Cornwall. The show draws inspiration from the magic and mystery of the Cornish landscape, its folklore and its history. It also uses the story to highlight mental illness, an aspect that isn’t always considered. At Pleasance Courtyard (Bunker 2) at 3 p.m. Theatre/ comedy.
4. “Waiting for Godot”
Over to the Official Festival itself. “Waiting for Godot” is a familiar classic and a safe choice. It is made into something extra special with Druid Theatre’s Irish production. Marty Rea and Aaron Monaghan outshine most modern duos to play the role, maybe even Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Patrick Stewart
At Lyceum, through August 12.
5. “Little Death Club”
This is described as “the darkest, funniest and most debauched variety show this side of the Berlin Wall.” The show stars the Queen of Weimar punk cabaret Bernie Dieter and her traveling family of misfits, miscreants and fantastic freaks. We are promised “a feast of feathers, nudity, dangerously funny kabarett, caustic drag, sideshow and circus at its most inappropriate and provocative.” Degeneracy rarely looked so good.
Underbelly Circus Hub (The Beauty, Spiegeltent) at 8 p.m. (not 13th). Circus/cabaret.
6. Tamar Broadbent: “Best Life”
The songwriter Tamar Broadbent returns with a deceptively simple question: How do you know if you’re living your best life? Following on from that: If you’re not, how do you go about changing it? The answers factor in ambition, anxiety and avocados.
Underbelly Cowgate (Belly Laugh) at 2:20 p.m. (not 13th). Comedy.
The Edinburgh Festival and Edinburgh Fringe Festival run from August 3 through 27 2018.
Founder Louise Blouin