The best shows at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Street performer Able Mable during her act on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Street performer Able Mable during her act on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
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Looking to take in the very best shows the Edinburgh Festival Fringe has to offer? Let The Scotsman’s team of expert critics be your guide. Just to make things easier for you, the reader, we’ve picked out a handful of top-rated shows from across the genres and compiled them together.

COMEDY

Trevor Lock’s Community Circle

Star rating: *****

“Anyone who truly enjoys audience participation needs to see this show, which also boasts quite the best bucket speech in history, a brilliant ­consideration of why weeing where you sit in an ­audience might actually be the thing to do, a painfully funny roll-call that owes nothing to Rowan Atkinson and everything to Lock – and left me in awe and wondering why Lock is not a household name.”

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Bannermans (Venue 357)

Until 27 August. Today 3pm.

Phil Nicholl: Your Wrong

Star rating: *****

“It is his most properly personal show ever, beautifully crafted, without a single comedy stitch that is not neat and secure.”

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Heroes @ Monkey Barrell (Venue 515)

Until 27 August. Today 9pm.

Sean Patton: Number One

Star rating: *****

“A ­stunning debut from a deceptively mesmeric ­talent, I found myself watching rapt between fits of eruptive laughter.”

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Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33)

Until 27 August. Today 8:15pm.

Simon Evans: Genius

Star rating: *****

“On the basis of this ­extraordinarily accomplished hour, I vote that Evans should be allowed to run comedy, the country, the Brexit negotiations, the Royal Family and anything to do with political correctness.”

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Assembly George Square ­Studios (Venue 17)

Until 27 August. Today 8:20pm.

Denim: World Tour

Star rating: *****

“These ladies are not just here for laughs, they are here to make a statement about identity and acceptance. And for laughs. And to celebrate the power of pop music. Yes, even Wrecking Ball.”

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Underbelly, Cowgate (Venue 61)

Until 27 August. Tomorrow 9pm.

Sam Simmons A-K

Star rating: *****

“From the 12-year-old Korean boy he has trapped inside him to his daughter’s vagina and from Bald Lives Matter to Hepatitis B and liver cancer, Simmons is as gloriously funny as he has ever been”

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Assembly George Square ­Studios (Venue 17)

Until 27 August. Today 9:40pm.

Terry Alderton: All Crazy Now

Star rating: *****

“The feeling that you get in a room when the comedy is this good is unique. The audience becomes a single entity, bound by laughter and enjoyment. It is a powerful and rarely felt effect and you really must experience it. Thank you Terry Alderton, for giving me the comedy thrill of a lifetime.”

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Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33)

Until 27 August. Today 10:40pm.

CHILDREN’S

Balloonatics

Star rating: ****

“Scottish comedian Chris Henry brings his hit kids show, Balloonatics, to Edinburgh as part of his world tour. A guaranteed chaos-filled, fun-packed hour of inflatable buffoonery, with never a dull moment for parent or child.”

Age suitability: 4-12

Gilded Balloon Teviot (Venue 14)

August 26-27

THEATRE

£¥€$ (LIES) – Ontroerend Goed

Star rating: *****

“The speed at which it all happens; the primal instincts it appeals to; and the sense of chaos, confusion and loss it generates when the system collapses teach you as much about yourself as they do about the global money machine.”

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Upperchurch @ Summerhall hosted by RBC (Venue 26)

Until 27 August. Tomorrow 6:30pm and 8:30pm.

Heather

Star rating: *****

“It’s Harry and Heather coming face-to-face, however, that will stay with you long after the curtain has fallen.”

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Summerhall (Venue 26)

Foreign Radical

“It’s a show that gets under your skin.”

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Canada Hub @ King’s Hall in association with Summerhall (Venue 73)

Nina – A Story About Me And Nina Simone

Star rating: *****

“The audience roars, the band nods, Bushell-Mingo smiles gloriously as she takes her bow; but the rage is still there, a creative powerhouse, a reminder, and a warning that grows louder every day.”

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Traverse Theatre (Venue 15)

Snowflake by Mark Thomson

Star rating: ****

“Until now we’ve talked of “generation snowflake” in reference to those too quick to claim offence; here’s a play suggesting they’re not so much oversensitive as over-abused.”

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Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33)

Until 28 August. Today 1pm.

DANCE, PHYSICAL THEATRE & CIRCUS

Border Tales

Star rating: *****

“Funny, thought-provoking and consistently entertaining, Border Tales celebrates our differences, acknowledges our sameness and does more to repair the rifts than politics ever could.”

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Summerhall (Venue 26)

Until 26 August. Today 2:40pm.

Transit

Star rating: ****

“In the increasingly busy world of circus, this Quebec-based company is home to some of the best, with theatricality adding to the show but never taking the spotlight off the real story: their talent and skill as circus artistes.”

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Assembly Hall (Venue 35)

Until 28 August. Today 6pm.

Un Poyo Rojo

Star rating: ****

“To begin with, everything is performed in silence, but when Barón switches on the radio, we find out just how talented these men are.”

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Dance Base (22)

Until 27 August. Today 7:15pm.

CABARET & VARIETY

Reuben Kaye

Star rating: ****

“With a set list ranging from Liza Minnelli’s Sailor Boys to a reclaimed Iggy Azalea hit – and a convincing proposal for a new Australian national anthem – it is a show and a half that also manages, despite Kaye’s explicit protests to the contrary, to “do something meaningful”.”

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Assembly Checkpoint (Venue 322)

Until 27 August. Today 9pm.

Carla Lippis – Cast a Dark Shadow

Star rating: ****

“From the emotional delivery to the vocal technique to the musical ambition, it’s all turned up to 11, like a gathering storm or a stampede approaching from the horizon.”

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The Boards (Venue 59)

Until 26 August. Today 6:30pm.

Betty Grumble: Love and Anger or Sex Clown Saves the World Again!)

Star rating: ****

“I won’t spoil the routine other than to say that, like the rest of Grumble’s show, it’s not for those with conservative ideas about which body parts should be displayed – or put to imaginative use – in performance.”

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Heroes @ Monkey Barrell (Venue 515)

Until August 27