Ten shows to see at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017

Picture: Pleasance Courtyard, one of the main Fringe venues TSPL
Picture: Pleasance Courtyard, one of the main Fringe venues TSPL

And so it has begun, the 70th Edinburgh Festival Fringe has started today and will run until the 28th August.

With thousands of shows available to see at all times of the day (and night), it can be hard to decide on what to see. With this in mind, we have chosen our top ten, so get booking now. 

Picture: Virgin Money Festival Fireworks above Edinburgh Castle, TSPL

Picture: Virgin Money Festival Fireworks above Edinburgh Castle, TSPL

Standard Life opening event: Bloom

As this is the 70th anniversary of the festival, expect spectacular things, starting with Bloom. To celebrate the special anniversary, multi award-winning 59 Productions will create an epic outdoor spectacle – transforming St Andrew Square into a magical night garden through light and sound installations and large-scale projection. Stroll around the Square as the buildings burst into life – immersing viewers in a fast moving world of colour, texture and sound.

Entry to the event is free. To guarantee access for the 10pm start there was a limited number of tickets for both nights. Ticket holders will get access to the arena from 9pm.

Edinburgh Book Festival’s Unbound Series

This storytelling event combines music, comedy, games and wordplay in the beautiful Spiegeltent in Charlotte Square Gardens. 13-28th August 2017, 9pm-11pm. Visitors can enjoy a drink from the bar and settle down to watch and listen to some literary-inspired shows.

Edinburgh Festival Fireworks

Although it has just begun, the grand finale is definitely one for the calender. The Edinburgh International Festival’s grand finale can be enjoyed for free on the streets of the Capital with local radio stations broadcasting the accompanying music from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

Or tickets to Princes Street Gardens can be bought if you’d rather be nearer the action.


Making its debut in Edinburgh, Performers is a black comedy by Irvine Welsh and Dean Cavanagh, which can be seen in the Assembly Room (Venue 20).

The writer, who has only previously penned two stage plays, has created this comedy about two real-life gangland figures auditioning for a role in the cult film Performance, which Mick Jagger made with Edinburgh-born director Donald Cammell in 1968.

The Trainspotting author is joining forces with long-time collaborator Dean Cavanagh, who is also writing a TV series with Welsh about the origins of the UK’s rave culture.

Trainspotting Live

This acclaimed immersive staging of Irvine Welsh’s classic is coming to Edinburgh direct from world tour. In a tunnel opened exclusively for Trainspotting, the audience are literally part of the action, including the notorious ‘worst toilet in Scotland’ scene. The show runs from the 4th-27th August in Venue150 at the EICC.

Irvine Welsh has said of the show: It’s the best way to experience Trainspotting. I was shocked and I wrote the f*cking thing”. High praise indeed.

The Craig Ferguson Show

He played in a punk band with Peter Capaldi when both were complete unknowns, found fame at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe using the stage name “Bing Hitler” and became one of America’s most high-profile TV presenters.

Now Craig Ferguson is to make a return to the festival for the first time in more than 20 years to host his own star-studded chat show in a brand new venue, the Gilded Balloon at Rose Theatre (Venue 76) from 7th August.

Each show will feature a discussion of current events, celebrity interviews and favourite acts from the Festival. The show will also be broadcast live to the US on Sirius XM Satellite Radio and will include live phone calls from American listeners.

At the Illusionist’s Table

Whisky and magic, what’s not to love? Found in The Scotch Malt Whisky Society at 28 Queen Street (Venue 182), acclaimed illusionist Scott Silven’s show includes evening of fine dining and whisky tasting mixed with breathtaking illusion.

The bespoke menu provided by James Freeman, whose critically acclaimed cuisine accompanies Scott’s performance and makes for a magical night

Colin Cloud: Dare

If you missed Colin’s sell out shows last year then be sure to pick up tickets now for this year’s show. Known for his outrageous stunts on TV and stage, which have shaken celebrities and audiences to their core, Dare takes place from the 2nd-27th August in the Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33).

In Dare the audience will be involved in a life-enhancing experience of epic proportions as Colin calculates the future and deduces intimate thoughts. Dare you take part?

£¥€$ (LIES) – Ontroerend Goed

Ontroerend Goed invites you to get under the skin of the well-to-do, the 1%, the super rich, the ones who pull the strings, the faces we never get to see.

For one night, you can take their chairs. You call the shots. You’re in the centre of our economic system. You shape the course. And who knows, you might make the world a better place, more fair, more responsible because you’ll do things differently, for sure. 

Running from the 4th August in Upper Chursh at Sumerhall (Venue 26) from 8.30pm.

Murder She Didn’t Write

Fans of a good old fashioned murder mystery will love this interactive (and funny) show, found in the Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33). A classic murder mystery is created on the spot in this improvised and hilarious show from Bristol Improv Theatre’s resident company.

Miss Crimson poisoned in the parlour? Mr Gold exploded by cannon in Sainsbury’s? You decide! But will you guess whodunnit? And for your night owls looking for a show, the murders continue on till late on Sunday nights