Edinburgh Fringe Picks – Part the First

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The Fringe. Where to start? 2098 shows, every young theatre company and comic in the country if not the world, descending on the Forth for an entire month, a festival of theatre and music and comedy and drunkenness.

What to pick? A programme the size of a phone book, and some gems hiding in there, surely.

It’s a difficult game, but half the fun is exploring, seeing dross you thought would be good and finding the unexpected gem that you were conned into seeing by an overenthusiastic flyerer on the Royal Mile. So by all means read the various critical suggestions of top picks for the Fringe (including mine, presented below strictly sans taste, you understand) but whatever you do, head to the Frozen North, enjoy the beer and enthusiasm and nutters and see some theatre.

The Assassination of Paris Hilton at Assembly @ George Street
Site specific (ladies room of a Hollywood nightclub, if we’re being really specific) new play exploring female relationships and celebrity. Any theatre company claiming that “if Andy Warhol and William Shakespeare got married and adopted a third-world child, we would be that child” has to be worth a look.

Kursk at University of Edinburgh Drill Hall
If you missed it at the Young Vic in London, then don’t miss possibly the best play ever written about a post cold-war submarine disaster.

Faust in the Box at Underbelly
Goethe. Pop music. Hand puppets. Now if that’s not fringe, I don’t know what is.

Don Juan in Soho at C Cubed
Patrick Maber’s version of Moliere. First presented at the Donmar in ’06.

The Critic at C
R.B. Sheridan’s 1779 restoration comedy, arguably the first play to seriously focus on the impact of blogs and twitter on the London theatre scene.

Coffee at Pleasance Courtyard
New play from Glyn Cannon, Fringe First winner for 2004’s modern take on Antigone, Gone.