8 of the strangest things you can see at the Festivals

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The Edinburgh Festivals are known for the weirdly wonderful - and here are eight of the oddest you can visit.

From cabaret clowns to drag comedy aliens there is no shortage of unique shows at the Festivals.

Kinsey Sicks: Lady Cocks Of Bang Boys

The group is named after the famous sexuality scale that scores six as “exclusively homosexual”, but the appeal of this lady bunch is broader than that. Forget those drag artists who merely lip synch to disco classics, these dames have enviable individual voices that they can combine into lovely four-part harmonies. And they don’t give us renditions of old favourites, they rewrite them to make them personal, political and most importantly, funny.

Bourgeois & Maurice: How to Save the World Without Really Trying

In their own words this duo are “drag aliens singing about politics”. Frontman Bourgeois (George Heyworth), whose eyelashes almost brush the front row, is an impish, narcissistic charmer. His sister Maurice (Liv Morris), at the keyboard and other instruments beneath towering black beehive hair, is deadpan to the point of morbidity. And from their wide-angle vantage point, celebrity culture and civil war seem like more or less equivalent facets of absurd human frailty.

Counting Sheep

Created in Toronto by Canadian-Ukrainian theatre artists Mark and Marichka Marczyk, who were themselves part of the Euromaidan protests in Kiev in the winter of 2013-14, Counting Sheep is a “guerrilla folk opera” of astonishing vigour, invention and scale, featuring a cast of 12, magnificent dance, music and song in the Ukrainian choral tradition, and a makeshift meal served to the entire audience.

Dolly Wants to Die

In Toy Story meet Thick of It, these children’s toys take drugs and shout about heteronormative culture and the bombing of Syria.

Lucy McCormick: Triple Threat

It is despicable, decadent and degenerate. It is Sodom and Gomorrah in a pansexual disco. It is sacrilegious and pornographic and very, very funny. With no regard for decorum, moderation or personal safety, she re-enacts the birth of the son of God from the point of view of both Mary and the baby. The arrival of the Three Kings produces a stage covered in instant coffee and meringue. In what may or may not count as feminist revisionism, Mary Magdalene becomes a torrent of female sexuality and desire.

Puddles Pity Party: Let’s Go!

There’s so much to enjoy in the show on an immediate level – the terrific wordless clown work that makes a meal out of the simplest things, the enveloping voice that makes Adele’s Hello sound like it really does come from the other side, the juxtaposition of videos of flailing technology with a song about emotional damage – that it’s easy to overlook the web of togetherness that’s being spun around us all the while.

Barry Humphries’ Weimar Cabaret

Saucy, seductive and wonderfully sophisticated, Barry Humphries’ survey of music from Weimar Germany with the Australian Chamber Orchestra was also surprisingly serious-minded – you got to learn a lot about the composers Hitler hated from Humphries’ sly commentary.

Piff the Magic Dragon

Coming second place in America’s Got Talent, Piff will amuse you with his grumpy outlook on life, while performing magic trick.

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