27 great shows to see at the Edinburgh Festival

Surely Janeane Garofalo, the star of The Truth About Cats and Dogs, is worth a punt? Picture: Getty
Surely Janeane Garofalo, the star of The Truth About Cats and Dogs, is worth a punt? Picture: Getty
Have your say

The Festival season is upon us and we’ve picked one show a day to keep you right for August. Enjoy . . .

August 1

Charles M Schulz's beloved Peanuts cartoon strip comes to life in You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown. Picture: AP

Charles M Schulz's beloved Peanuts cartoon strip comes to life in You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown. Picture: AP

Jack Docherty: Miekelson and McGlashan – Serious Men

Back at the Fringe for the first time in 25 years, Jack Docherty spotlights two of his best-loved characters: Scot Squad’s Chief Commissioner Cameron Miekelson and the fiercely patriotic McGlashan from Channel 4’s still-missed Absolutely. Gilded Balloon at the Museum, 9pm, £9 (preview)

August 2

Jimeoin: Result!

There's plaintive folk rock from King Creosote

There's plaintive folk rock from King Creosote

The Irish stand-up isn’t a household name but he’s filled Edinburgh’s bigger venues over many a Fringe. Here’s your chance to find out why. Pleasance at EICC, 8.40pm, £9 (preview)

August 3

Best of the West End

If Elaine Paige on Sunday is your Radio 2 show of choice, this review is for you, as big talents sing big songs. And probably the odd dirgey ballad, but these things happen…

The Space @ Symposium Hall, 6.05pm, £9/£11

August 4

Jo Caulfield: Killing Time

Who will the ever-acerbic, unfailingly funny Caulfield aim her truth barbs at this year? Well, she lives in Edinburgh, so maybe you’ve gotten on her wick in a supermarket… she’s lovely, really! The Stand,7.40pm, £9/£10

August 5

Janeane Garafolo

The publicity for this one doesn’t give much idea as to what this show’s about: ‘...In addition to acting in film and television, Janeane is an outspoken activist, spoken word performer and stand-up comedy entertainer known and respected around the world.’ Zzzzz Still, she’s made films and everything… surely the star of The Truth About Cats and Dogs is worth a punt? Gilded Balloon Teviot, 9.15pm, £12/£13

August 6

Neil Delamere: Controlled Substance

He’s not here every year, but when Delamere – a big star on Irish TV – does show up, he’s invariably one of the funniest turns around. The stories are always a hoot but the audience interaction interaction is easily as good. Unmissable. Gilded Balloon Teviot, 7.30pm, £10.50/£12.50

August 7

Nick and Nina

It’s always good to find a great new piece of theatre, and this play certainly has potential. In the private visiting room of a Scottish prison, a fraught long-term friendship reaches its breaking point… Laughing Horse @ The Mockingbird, 6.30pm, free (collection taken)

August 8

Damian Clark: Extra Show

‘Due to phenomenal demand, 26 shows have been added in the same room at the same time.’ Yes, we see what he did there. Anyway, the seriously sunny Aussie export is always worth visiting. He draw cartoons and likes cats. Nice man. And seriously fun. Gilded Balloon Teviot, 10pm, £8/£10

August 9

King Creosote

King Creosote, aka Kenny Anderson, ventures forth from the East Neuk of Fife to bring us‘a goosebump-giving set of his hooky, plaintive folk-rock, dipping into his back catalogue of hits and previewing fresh material from his upcoming album. 7pm, Leith Theatre, £25

August 10

The Frogs

One of Stephen Sondheim’s earliest works gets a rare outing. Loosely based on a comedy written by Aristophanes in 405 BC, The Frogs is a hilarious send-up of Greek comedy and satire. Honestly, it’ll be a lot better than it sounds – Sondheim gave us the songs of Sweeney Todd, Follies and Company. And it’s in one of this year’s oddest venues – a bus. Theatre Bath Bus, noon, £5/£7

August 11

Hitchcock’s The Lodger

If you’ve never seen a piece of silent cinema played with a live accompaniment, you’re in for a treat. Alfred Hitchcock’s classic 1927 film about the hunt for a Jack the Ripper-like serial killer in London comes with a live score by Gladstone’s Bag: a six-piece ensemble of piano, two violins, flute, clarinet and trumpet and also featuring a theremin. Celebrated songwriter Ivor Novello stars. artSpace@StMark’s, 10.15pm, £8/£10

August 12

Chris Forbes

The terribly talented star of BBC sitcom Scot Squad, returns to the Fringe to tell you the extraordinary tale of how he met a man who claimed to be the son of God. Gilded Balloon Teviot, 7.45pm, £10/£11

August 13

You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown

Charles M Schulz’s beloved Peanuts cartoon strip comes to life as Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of the gang navigate the joys and pitfalls of childhood. The three-panel gags translate to the stage with brio, and the songs are really rather good. Greenside, 12.35pm, £5/£8

August 14

A Night of Dark Intent

Eight women meet in an abandoned house where a double murder took place will they survive the night? Dark drama from America. The Space @ Niddry Street, 12.25pm, £5

August 15

Viv Groskop: Vivalicious

Chosen because we heard her chatting to Graham Norton on the wireless and she sounds fun, Viv Groskop has put together a show about self-help in the coming age of President Oprah Winfrey. With a degree in Russian Literature, how could Groskop not be hilarious? Underbelly, Bristo Square, 4.10pm, £8/£9

August 16

Alfred Hitchcock’s Writers Room

This original play sees Master of Suspense Alfred Hitchcock hire four young writers to script potential follow-ups to his big hit of 1960, Psycho. However, with the master of suspense, all is not as it seems… Comedy meets drama – well, Hitch always did consider Psycho a comedy. Which is deeply weird. theSpace on North Bridge, 12.05pm,

August 17

Patrick Monahan #Goals

Looking strangely suave this year, Irish-Iranian gagster Patrick Monahan returns with a new show all about achieving what you want in life. Or not. Gilded Balloon Teviot, 8pm, £12/£14

August 18

Absolute Legends

An interactive fantasy adventure for the ages. For all ages well, everyone above the age of three. Do battle with fierce monsters, avoid deadly traps and become an absolute legend all before lunchtime. Laughing Horse @ The Free Sisters, 10am, free (collection)

August 19

Flo & Joan

You know those two sisters who sing about how much they hate each other on the building society TV ads? Well, we don’t know if they’re really sisters - and can’t be bothered to look it up, FAKE NEWS! - but we do know they’re at the Fringe. Go and hear theur funny songs and banter. And they probably won’t try to sell you PPI. Pleasance Courtyard, 4pm, £11/£12

August 20

Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre: Superheroes

The Fringe veterans are back to stick their toes into the water of the world of superheroes and villains. Did you know DC Comics has a killer sock called Argh!Yle!? They probably do. Gilded Balloon Teviot, 10.30pm, £8.50/£10.50

August 21

An Evening With Miss Wong

Here’s the story of Anna May Wong, laundry girl turned Hollywood star – yet back in the early days of cinema she wasn’t allowed to kiss her leading men. Assembly Rooms, 12.40pm, £9/£10

August 22

Jon Culshaw and Bill Dare: The Great British Take-Off

Man of 849 voices Jon Culshaw and legendary comedy writer/producer Bill Dare from BBC Radio 4’s Dead Ringers present unscripted, spontaneous topical comedy and conversation, with politicians, sports personalities and celebrities are up for roasting. Gilded Balloon Teviot, 1.30pm, £14/£15

August 23

Chris Dugdale: Up Close

If the spell of the Fringe is beginning to wear off by Week Three, consider a magician. Chris Dugdale comes with a sterling reputation that doesn’t look set to vanish anytime soon.

Assembly Rooms, 7.10pm, £11/£12

August 24

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane McDonald?

Friday nights on Channel 5 have lately been dominated by the Queen of Cruising, the Wonder of Wakefield, the Songstress of the Seas. If you yearn to be in her presence, you need to attend a meeting of Jane McDonald Anonymous. Let the Cruisettes guide you back to sanity.

Laughing Horse @ The Three Sisters, 6.30pm, free (collection)

August 25

Patrick Monahan #Goals

Looking strangely suave this year, Irish-Iranian gagster Patrick Monahan returns with a new show all about achieving what you want in life. Or not.

Gilded Balloon Teviot, 8pm, £12/£14

August 26

Scottish Sinfonia

The Festival’s nearly over, and you may need something calming. How about Mahler’s Symphony No 4 in G major, songs from Des Knaben Wunderhorn and Mozart’s Symphony No 35 in D courtesy of The Scottish Sinfonia? With soprano Elizabeth Roberts, conductor Neil Mantle and 90 very talented musicians.

St Cuthbert’s Church, 7.45pm, £8/£13/£15

August 27

Virgin Money Fireworks Concert

It’s the big one, an explosion of colour and sound against the backdrop of the Castle. The Scottish Chamber Orchestra will play a selection of music by West Side Story’s Leonard Bernstein to mark his centenary, then it’s The Planets by Holst.

9pm Ross Theatre & Princes Street Gardens, £15.50-£34 or find a spot around the city and enjoy the light show for free