Edinburgh Festival 2018: 7 shows you have to see in week three

The Prisoner. Picture: Contributed
The Prisoner. Picture: Contributed
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Need inspiration for what to see during the last week of the Festival? Here’s a round-up of this week’s must-see shows according to our critic, Andrew Eaton-Lewis

The Prisoner

Apphia Campbell in Fringe First 2017 winner, Woke. Picture: Mihaela Bodlovic

Apphia Campbell in Fringe First 2017 winner, Woke. Picture: Mihaela Bodlovic

The Second World War was still under way - and the Edinburgh festival didn’t yet exist -–when Peter Brook directed his first theatre show, Dr Faustus, in London way back in 1943. His theatrical achievements since then cannot be overstated – from his award-winning, trailblazing work with the RSC in the 1960s to his legendary nine-hour Mahabharata in the 1980s. Since the 1970s he has lived in France, taking over the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord in 1974 and staging some of his most famous work there. The company are in residence at the EIF this year, and the third of their three shows in Edinburgh is this new work by Brook and co-writer/co-director Marie-Hélène Estienne, inspired by the true yet mythical story of a man who was sentenced to spend years not in a prison, but sitting outside it, watching it from outside. Who was this man and why was he there? Drawing on research from across several countries, The Prisoner is performed by a cast from Sri Lanka, Rwanda, India and the UK

Lyceum Theatre, Wednesday to 26 August, eif.co.uk

• READ MORE: 12 surprise hits currently wowing Fringe audiences

THEATRE

Woke

Apphia Campbell’s Fringe First winner from last year, now back for a short run, is a powerful and still timely story about racism in America, through the eyes of two women – 1970s black power activist Assata Shakur, and a young, naive black student, Candice, who arrives to study music in St. Louis in 2014, just as the riots following the murder of Michael Brown are reaching their peak.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, until 27 August, gildedballoon.co.uk

COMEDY

A Gala For Mental Health

Top Australian comic Felicity Ward hosts this Scotsman-endorsed fundraiser for the Mental Health Foundation, now in its fourth year. There’s cabaret from Adele Anderson of Fascinating Aida and Fringe newcomer Yana Alana, improv from Whose Line Is It Anyway star Tony Slattery, and comedy from Laura Lexx and Matt Price - all for a good cause and also excellent value at just £10 a ticket. See page 10.
Pleasance Dome, Monday, pleasance.co.uk

MUSIC

John Grant

The EIF’s significantly expanded pop music programme approaches its climax with two big gigs at the Playhouse; this week, the former member of the Czars previews his fourth solo album , while next week there’ll be a thrilling festival closer by St Vincent. 
Playhouse, Monday, eif.co.uk

• READ MORE: The 10 best jokes of the Edinburgh Fringe 2018

BOOKS

Jim Broadbent

There’s another, if very different, proper movie star appearance at the Book Festival this week. You’ll know Jim Broadbent’s face (and distinctive voice) whatever age you are, whether it’s from Vera Drake, Moulin Rouge and Cloud Atlas, or Paddington and Harry Potter. He’s here, though, to talk about something else entirely – his first graphic novel, Dull Margaret, inspired by a painting by Bruegel and created in partnership with a comic artist called Dix.
Charlotte Square, Thursday, edbookfest.co.uk

ART

Rip It Up
As Karine Polwart observed during her Great Scottish Songbook show at the EIF last week, here’s an exhibition that’s best enjoyed in no hurry and in the company of a friend, so you can reminisce together at its rich display of memorabilia from across seven decades of Scottish pop music .

National Museum of Scotland until 25 November, nms.ac.uk

CABARET

Jason Donovan And his Amazing Midlife Crisis

From his early days on Neighbours to 1980s pop stardom and reinvention as a leading man in musicals, Jason Donovan will have plenty to talk about for his Fringe debut, an hour of conversation promising anecdotes “he wasn’t able tell us about on daytime television”. He will also make an appearance at the Scotsman Fringe Awards on Friday. 
Assembly George Square, Wednesday to 26 August, 3pm; Scotsman Fringe Awards, Pleasance Courtyard, Friday, 10am