altBrilliant, bold and wildly creative – theatre in Edinburgh has never been more exciting or accessible, says Mark Fisher.

APPLES
The Traverse @ St Stephens
11-28 August (not 16, 23), 4pm

Telling the story of Adam and Eve re-imagined in the world of 21st century teenagers, this adaptation of Richard Milward’s debut novel is staged by Newcastle’s Northern Stage and Company of Angels.

THE AUTHOR
Traverse Theatre
6-29 August, times vary

Acclaimed in London, Tim Crouch’s provocative play puts the audience centre stage and asks us whether it is acceptable to allow violence to flourish in
the name of art.

BEAUTIFUL BURNOUT
Pleasance
4-29 August (not Mon), 7.30pm

The National Theatre of Scotland captures the excitement of the boxing ring in a new play by Bryony Lavery performed in conjunction with physical theatre specialists Frantic Assembly.

BETTE/CAVETTE
Zoo Roxy
6-30 August (not 18), 3.05pm

Thanks to the Made in Scotland fund, Grant Smeaton brings back his audacious and acclaimed recreation of a legendary television interview between
Bette Davis and chatshow
host Dick Cavette.

BELT UP
C Soco
4-30 August, times vary

Turn up at C Soco at lunchtime and stay all day as the adventurous Belt Up company presents back-to-back theatre ranging from Antigone to Quasimodo, in immersive
and up-front style.

BLACKOUT
Underbelly
5-29 August, 2.55pm

Davey Anderson created the music for the National Theatre of Scotland’s Black Watch and Peter Pan. He is also a talented playwright in his own right and 2008’s Blackout is his tough look at a Glaswegian young offender.

BUSTING OUT!
Assembly Rooms
5-29 August (not 16), 6.50pm

A broad and bountiful celebration of the female body, Busting Out arrives heaped with praise from Australia and aims to pass on     its empowering message through music, sketches and a little nudity.

CARGO
Leith Links
6-8, 11-15, 17-22 August, 9.15pm

Appearing first in the Edinburgh Mela then continuing in the Fringe, Iron Oxide presents a large-scale piece of outdoor theatre that considers the lot of the migrant as two travellers try to find a home for themselves.

CARNIVAL OF SOULS
Cameo Cinema
6-11 August, 10.30pm

Not for the faint of heart, Sample Theatre’s immersive production aims to create a spooky evening of multimedia horror inspired by the cult cinema classic about a woman who survives a terrible accident and finds herself in a deserted carnival.

CIRQUE DE LEGUME
Gilded Balloon
4-30 August (not 16), 2.30pm

Rarely will you have as much fun with a vegetable as when Ireland’s Cirque de Legume combines clowning and carrots, laughter and leeks. When their mothers told them not to play with their food, they didn’t listen.

THE DAY THE SKY TURNED BLACK
C Soco
4-30 August (not 16), 5.30pm

The day in particular was early last year when Australia’s outback was engulfed in fire storms. Ali Kennedy-Scott relives the trauma with real-life stories of survival.

DECKY DOES A BRONCO
Scotland Yard Playground
5-21 August (not 9), 7.30pm

Revived by Grid Iron for a tenth anniversary run round the playgrounds of the UK, Douglas Maxwell’s adolescent drama takes place on the swings of Scotland Yard.

DICIEMBRE
Royal Lyceum Theatre
2-4 September, 8pm

From Chile, Teatro en el Blanco imagines a near future where South American neighbours are engaged in a territorial war and
a soldier home on leave is torn between his twin sisters, one a pacifist, the other a patriot.

EN ROUTE
Traverse Theatre
7-29 August, times vary

A hit in Australia for the company One Step at a Time Like This, En Route sends you out into the streets equipped with an iPod
and a mobile phone to enjoy the choreography of the city.

FLESH AND BLOOD AND FISH AND FOWL
Traverse @ St Stephen’s
4-28 August (not Mon), 7pm

From the company that scored a hit in this venue with All Wear Bowlers, this atmospheric piece of physical comedy is about  office politics and the apocalypse.

FREEFALL
Traverse Theatre
8-29 August, times vary

A hit at last year’s Dublin Theatre Festival, Michael West’s play is about a man trying to make sense of his life as it flashes before his eyes after a sudden shock.
 
THE GIRL IN THE YELLOW DRESS
Traverse Theatre
6-29 August, times vary

South African playwright Craig Higginson considers the politics and sensibilities of his country by way of a story set in Paris, where a relationship develops between an English teacher and her French-Congolese pupil.

GOSPEL AT COLONUS
Playhouse Theatre
21-23 August, times vary

Mabou Mines has enjoyed success in Edinburgh with DollHouse and Peter and Wendy. Now the American company returns to the International Festival with its oldest show, an extravagant gospel reworking of an Ancient Greek tragedy.

HI, HOW CAN I HELP YOU?
Laughing Horse @ Café Renroc
6-29 August (not Wed), 9.15pm

Up-and-coming New York actor Scout Durwood – whose eclectic CV includes a Miss America title – performs a one-woman musical set in a “house of domination” at the time of the last presidential election.

HOMO ASBO
Gilded Balloon
4-30 August, 5.45pm

Comic play by Richard Fry in which a local tough guy decides to change his ways and get his head around the gay lifestyle. Poetic comedy by the acclaimed creator of Bully.

HONEST
Assembly Rooms
4-30 August, times vary

In DC Moore’s black comedy, Dave is a man with an unpleasant habit of telling the truth, even if it means upsetting his niece or falling out with his boss. On a dark night of the soul, he discovers the truth about himself.

HOT MESS
Hawke and Hunter
6-30 August (not 28), 6pm

Ella Hickson has been attracting attention since Eight, a collection of short plays, won the Carol Tambor Award and transferred to New York. Hot Mess is an exploration of sexual politics between four young people in a nightclub.

IMPERIAL FIZZ
Assembly Rooms
5-30 August (not 17, 24), 3.40pm

Writer Brian Parks and actor Dave Calvitto are frequent visitors to the Fringe and caused a stir with last year’s meta-theatrical The Event. This surreal comedy also stars Olivier nominated Issy van Randwyck.

IT’S ALWAYS RIGHT NOW, UNTIL IT’S LATER
Traverse Theatre
11-29 August, 10am

A brilliant stand-up and also a sublime storyteller, Daniel Kitson grabs an early-morning time slot for a one-man show about the everyday wonder in the simplest of things.

JACOBITE COUNTRY
Udderbelly
5-30 August (not 16), 3.50pm

Dogstar, which is also reviving the award-winning Tailor of Inverness on the Fringe, premieres this Highland comedy by Henry Adam, author of the hilarious The People Next Door.

JULIEN COTTEREAU:IMAGINE-TOI
Assembly @ Princes Street Gardens
5-29 August (not Mon), 4.15pm

Part of the day-long package of family entertainment under canvas on the site of the Ross Bandstand, Cottereau turns his Cirque du Soleil experience into an afternoon of feelgood clowning.

KAFKA AND SON
Bedlam
6-28 August (not 16, 17), 5.30pm

Acclaimed on its recent tour of Canada, this one-man play is a bleakly funny examination of Franz Kafka’s fraught relationship with his overbearing father.

LA LOCANDIERA
Assembly @ Vittoria Restaurant
4-30 August (not 16, 23), 8.30pm

Kill two birds with one stone by getting a fine Italian meal at the same time as enjoying Goldoni’s classic comedy. Much acclaimed at a similar restaurant in Dublin.

LITTLE BLACK B**STARD
Gilded Balloon
4-30 August (not 16, 23), 12pm

The venerable Noel Tovey is Australia’s most distinguished indigenous performer, with a career that spans an appearance in the London premiere of Oh! Calcutta! and helping organise the welcoming ceremony of the 2000 Olympics. This is his story.

LOCKERBIE: UNFINISHED BUSINESS
Gilded Balloon
4-30 August (not 18), 2.30pm

Fringe regular David Benson shows his serious side as he tells the true-life story of father Jim Swire who lost his daughter in Britain’s worst terrorist atrocity and has been campaigning to find out the truth ever since.

THE LONESOME FOXTROT
New Town Theatre
5-29 August (not 17), 8.30pm

A Russia/UK collaboration, this is an adaptation of a story by Andrey Platonov in which a young engineer goes in search of utopia while his wife tries to get him back.

LOVELACE – A ROCK MUSICAL
Udderbelly’s Pasture
5-30 August (not 17), 10.35pm

Not one for the Cats crowd, this rock musical is about notorious porn star Linda Lovelace, who went from star of Deep Throat to feminist campaigner. Co-written by Charlotte Caffey of the Go-Gos.

THE MAN WHO WAS HAMLET
Hill Street
5-30 August (not Tue), 7.10pm

It’s a mystery why people persist in the daft conspiracy theory that Shakespeare was not the author of his own plays. George Dillon, however, is a powerful performer, so could appeal to more than just Oxfordian cranks.

MEMORY CELLS
Pleasance Dome
4-30 August (not 17, 24), 5.20pm

This chilling play by thriller writer Louise Welsh is being revived in a new production by Fringe First-winning director Hannah Eidinow after a first airing in Glasgow last year. It’s about a man who abducts a woman believing he is protecting her.

MORE LIGHT PLEASE
New Town Theatre
5-29 August (not 10, 17, 24), 2.45pm

With music by the Tiger Lillies, this one-woman show from Poland is based on the experiences of actor and co-writer Natalia Kostrzewa as she tried to establish a new life.

MY HAMLET
Assembly Rooms
5-29 August (not 14, 24), 5.20pm

Linda Marlowe joins forces with Tbilisi puppet company Fingers Theatre to give a miniature version of Shakespeare’s great tragedy as imagined by a cleaner, picking up the pieces after a show.

MY ROMANTIC HISTORY
Traverse Theatre
6-29 August, times vary

DC Jackson has delighted Scottish audiences with his teen comedies The Wall and The Duckie. Now he teams up with England’s Bush, Sheffield Theatres and Birmingham Rep for a play about a couple who can’t get over their childhood loves.

THE NOT SO FATAL DEATH OF GRANDPA FREDO
Traverse Theatre
8-29 August, times vary

Glasgow’s Vox Motus has repeatedly dazzled with its magical and inventive stagecraft. The company’s new show is a black comedy about a community that discovers a frozen body.

PEDAL PUSHER
Zoo Roxy
6-30 August (not 15, 22), 4pm

The battle to win the Tour de France is recreated physical-theatre style in a much admired production that draws on the real life stories of Lance Armstrong, Marco Pantani and Jan Ullrich.

PENELOPE
Traverse Theatre
8-29 August, times vary

Enda Walsh, the celebrated author of The Walworth Farce and The New Electric Ballroom, teams up again with Galway’s Druid Theatre Company.

POLAND 3, IRAN 2
Pleasance @ Thistle Street Bar
4-28 August (not 9, 10, 16, 23), 5pm

Even the keenest British football fan will be hard pressed to recall the 1976 clash between Poland and Iran, but for the Iranian and Pole who meet in this two-hander (performed in a working bar), it means everything.

PRIMADOONA
Gilded Balloon
4-30 August (not Tue), 5.30pm

Best known as one of the Smack the Pony comedy team, Doon MacKichan goes into serious autobiographical territory as she tells the story of her son’s battle with childhood cancer.

ROADKILL
Traverse Theatre
11-29 August, times vary

Cora Bissett, the star of last year’s Midsummer, turns director for this hard-hitting look at people trafficking and prostitution. It is performed in a secret location which the audience is driven to.

SONGS OF ASCENSION
Royal Lyceum Theatre
28-30 August, 8pm

The Edinburgh International Festival has filed Meredith Monk’s performance under theatre, but such is its adventurous collage of music, video and movement, it is a show that defies easy categorisation.

SPEECHLESS
Traverse Theatre
6-29 August, times vary

Shared Experience and Cardiff’s Sherman Theatre join forces to retell the remarkable story of June and Jennifer Gibbons, aka the silent twins, who developed their own private language and refused to speak to adults.

SUB ROSA
Hill Street Theatre
5-30 August, times vary

David Leddy triumphed with the first outing of Sub Rosa in which small groups ventured into the hidden corners of Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre for a gruesome Gothic tale of backstage murder.  It will be fascinating to see how well the show adapts to Hill Street.

THE SUN ALSO RISES
Royal Lyceum Theatre
14-17 August, 7.30pm

From New York, Elevator Repair Service is an experimental company that has developed a taste for novel adaptations of novels. This version of Ernest Hemingway’s debut chops out the description and leaves only the dialogue.

SUNSET SONG
Assembly Rooms
5-30 August (not Tue), 11.40am

First of two major productions originally seen at His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen and directed by Kenny Ireland. Following
on from this absorbing adaptation of the Lewis Grassic Gibbon classic is a staging of Neil Gunn’s The Silver Darlings at 2.30pm.

SUSPICIOUS PACKAGE
C Too
5-30 August (not 17), times vary

Direct from the streets of New York, this “iPod noir” is a thriller performed in the closes of the Old Town with the audience setting off at hourly intervals with iPod in hand.

2010: A SPACE ODDITY
The Zoo
6-30 August (selected days), 12.30pm

Every space movie you have ever seen – from Alien to War of the Worlds – recreated by the brilliant mime team of Company Gavin Robertson with wit and physical skill.

UP ‘N’ UNDER
Assembly Rooms
5-30 August (not 16), 5.25pm

Fringe favourite Hull Truck performs a 25th anniversary lap of honour with John Godber directing his own comedy about a low-scoring rugby team being knocked into shape by a charismatic gym instructor, played by nurse-turned-model-turned-actor Abi Titmuss.

WHILE YOU LIE
Traverse Theatre
6-29 August, times vary

The Traverse’s only in-house production is by the up-and-coming Sam Holcroft, who made a splash with Cockroach for the National Theatre of Scotland, and is directed by Zinnie Harris, no mean playwright herself. The theme of the piece is truth and lies.

WONDERLAND
Assembly Rooms
5-29 August (not 17), 1.45pm

This comedy musical is written by Gyles Brandreth (who appears in his own chat show elsewhere in town) and stars British film veteran Michael Maloney. The show explores the fascinating relationship between Lewis Carroll and actress Isa Bowman.

VIEUX CARRÉ
Royal Lyceum Theatre
21-24 August, 7.30pm

The Wooster Group, New York’s pioneering avant garde theatre troupe, makes its mark at the International Festival and turns
its attentions to a little-known Tennessee Williams play and, naturally, juxtaposes it with experimental cinema from the 1970s.

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