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Unsung Hero: a behind-the-scenes look at the people who make the Edinburgh Festivals happen

25 Jul 2014

This week, The Stand's Kenny O'Brien: 'My wife’s birthday is in August, apparently'

What’s your job title? Tough one: I’m area manager for the Stand Comedy Clubs and a director of Salt’n’Sauce. Tommy Sheppard (Big Boss) has taken to introducing me as ‘Operations Manager’. Not sure why or what that might mean. I work for the…

Opinion: Comedians at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 - please actually write a show

25 Jul 2014

Being funny is more about sheer hard work than self-indulgence

There are hundreds of shows at the Fringe. Statistically they cannot all be brilliant. And that’s ok. Seeing, or indeed being in, a proper turkey is a rite of passage in Edinburgh. That look you give your friend that says, ‘I think we’re close enough to…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: Miles Allen delivers his One Man Breaking Bad

25 Jul 2014

'I’m glad I get to be a part of that experience: you can come up and say “bitch” at me all you want'

Miles Allen is doing all the voices and I’m wondering how I’m going to write it down. ‘Yo, it’s kinda my thing, bitch,’ he says, with the back-of-the-throat stoner growl of Aaron Paul’s Jesse Pinkman. Then he switches: ‘One of the characters I didn’t…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: Ivo Graham discusses Bow Ties and Johnnies

25 Jul 2014

The Old Etonian tackles his public schooling and having 'a genuine relationship with issues'

Show titles Ivo Graham has reluctantly rejected include Privately Educated, Sexually Active and the brilliant Eton Mess. His debut, Binoculars, traced the 23-year-old’s distinct lack of success with girls and was, according to his father, his ‘one…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: comedian Katherine Ryan considers the choice we make

25 Jul 2014

'In the UK, you actually have a choice to put your tits away. And, well, maybe you should’

Katherine Ryan has come a long way since making her Fringe debut in 2011. Having made a name for herself with 20-minute sets packed with song parodies and frank material about her own life and the celebrity landscape she viewed all around her, Ryan…

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My Edinburgh: comedian Simon Munnery gives us his guide to the capital during the Fringe 2014

25 Jul 2014

My first Edinburgh Festival experience was … Losing my cherry up Arthur’s Seat. Every year I go back to look for it. Edinburgh’s unique selling point is … It’s very handy for the M8. I am likely to be found … Because I am terrible at hiding.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: 5 shows about death

25 Jul 2014

Featuring Jim Davidson’s Funeral, Tony Law, Lost Voice Guy and Robin & Partridge

Jim Davidson’s Funeral Having faked a fight to get publicity last year, Ellis & Rose walked off with the Malcolm Hardee Award for their spirited endeavours. This year, they’re dancing on the Fringe’s grave by hosting a night of various japes in a…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: 5 hotly-tipped sketch comedy debuts

25 Jul 2014

Featuring Aunty Donna, Gein's Family Giftshop, Massive Dad and zazU

Aunty Donna Not, in fact, a polite family lady, but a trio of quite-rude, variably hairy Aussie chaps called Broden, Zachary and Mark. That nation’s Herald Sun said they produced ‘uproarious, high-octane comedy’. Gilded Balloon Teviot, 622 6552, 1–25…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: Alan Davies sees the importance of Little Victories

25 Jul 2014

The comedian and QI regular's second comeback show is a reflection on childhood

Alan Davies recently announced that his forthcoming Edinburgh gigs will contain no material whatsoever on the independence referendum. Unless people want to have a show of hands, that is. Given the right royal stooshie that occurred when he previously…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: bon vivant and raconteur Tom Allen

25 Jul 2014

'It's about being happy with yourself. And not holding back. And wearing bigger hats'

Erudite raconteur Tom Allen comes to Edinburgh fresh from supporting Sarah Millican on tour. ‘It’s an interesting experience to step out in front of 2000 people who haven’t come to see you and to convince them that you’re worth watching,’ says the…

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: comedian Stephen K Amos finds his Fringe groove

25 Jul 2014

'I can ask the audience the awkward, challenging questions. Ultimately, though, they’ve got to laugh

Stephen K Amos seems to have found his Fringe groove, annually playing to an appreciative crowd at the Stand with a show that he will tour later in the year and hosting a chat show at the Gilded Balloon. Those separate events help him indulge his chief…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: comedian Jason Cook examines life’s relentless onslaught

25 Jul 2014

'I’m looking at how all the wonderful things happening to me also have a negative effect'

Between building a reputation on the live circuit and writing the BBC Two sitcom Hebburn, Jason Cook has become known for Fringe shows that not only deliver the laughs, but also a dose of heart. In previous years he has tackled such tragic topics as his…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: sketch trio Foil, Arms & Hog get Loch'd

25 Jul 2014

'We’ve got a sketch about an Irish intervention to a son that -doesn’t- drink'

‘The group stuff’s so much better now, that it’s hard to go back to the other, lesser reaction,’ laughs Sean ‘Hog’ Flanagan as he dismisses a return to performing solo stand-up. A Dublin-based trio who met at their university drama club, Foil, Arms…

Big Fat Fringe Bribe blog 2014: McNeil & Pamphilon Go 8-Bit

25 Jul 2014

A handheld gaming console buys the comedy duo some valuable exposure

It was a bit jarring to switch from the powerful sounds of anthemic German pop music to sub-Game Boy chiptune, but that's what greeted us as soon as we switched on the 9999 IN 1 Brick Game, as provided by comedy duo McNeil & Pamphilon. The handheld…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: theatremakers Rachel Chavkin and Chris Thorpe on Confirmation

24 Jul 2014

‘The last thing that I want this piece to be is a narrative retelling of my adventures with a Nazi'

Separately, Rachel Chavkin and Chris Thorpe have been behind some of the most exciting Fringe shows of the past decade. As artistic director of New York’s the TEAM, Chavkin’s impressed audiences and critics alike with genre-bending triumphs like…

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Counterpoint at Edinburgh Art Festival 2014: hoping to add to contemporary art in Scotland, not just repeat it

24 Jul 2014

Alec Finlay, Ellie Harrison, Michelle Hannah, Andrew Miller & more contribute to GENERATION showcase

Talbot Rice Gallery is doing GENERATION with a twist. It is one of 60 venues taking part in Scotland’s biggest ever showcase of art – a huge national event celebrating the work of the country’s artists over the past 25 years – but when the project was…

Haven't visited Edinburgh since last year's Festival? Here are the top new restaurants to try in 2014

24 Jul 2014

The best new established restaurants and Festival pop-ups, featuring Caffè, Aizle, Enzo and more

Every year there are a handful of places that open up in slightly unseemly haste in the latter weeks of July, their opening fanfares accompanied by a screeching of brakes and clouds of builders' dust. Being open for August is just too important for…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: Kim Noble discusses performance and mental health

24 Jul 2014

The comedian and performance artist is working with 'the vacuum cleaner' on new play Mental

An audience member tried to have him institutionalised and he once filmed his own arrest for stalking, but controversial comedian and performance artist Kim Noble is back in Edinburgh with not one but two shows. Five years after he discussed his own…

Edinburgh Art Festival 2014: Tessa Lynch wants your help in building a house in an afternoon

24 Jul 2014

Lynch's show, Raising, simultaneously explores themes of community and property ownership

’I think we’ll just press on,’ says Tessa Lynch, eyeing the steel-grey skies warily. It’s just after lunchtime on a Saturday in July and the drizzle hasn’t stopped all morning, with signs suggesting it’s only going to get worse. The group of 12…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: Poland's Song of the Goat immerses itself in Scotland's vocal music traditions

24 Jul 2014

Theatrical choral performance Return to the Voice will be performed in St Giles Cathedral

The great Indian cultural theorist Homi Bhabha writes of ‘hybridity’, a cultural phenomenon in which artists bring together aesthetic influences from different times and different places to create new art forms. It is an idea that could almost have been…

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Glasgow Mix Tape celebrates the music of the city, with Errors, Malcolm Middleton and more

24 Jul 2014

Admiral Fallow, The Phantom Band and Richard Young will also perform at the East End Social event

In what is becoming an increasingly epic summer for Glasgow in general, and its music scene in particular, Chemikal Underground is celebrating the city’s enduring relationship with music with Glasgow Mix Tape, bringing together a stellar array of…

Big Fat Fringe Bribe blog 2014: A TED Talk with Clay JW Crowne

24 Jul 2014

Ben Mills buys some valuable exposure with the gift of German pop

Having thoroughly warmed our wrists with our previous bribe, the List staff were ready to pump our fists in the air to some anthemic pop – which is why we were lucky Ben Mills' bribe arrived when it did. Wolfgang Petry is (according to Wikipedia) one of…

Hercules

23 Jul 20143 stars

Dwayne Johnson makes a charismatic 'son of Zeus' in an unashamedly entertaining take on the myth

Having already established himself as the king of trashy blockbusters, thanks to films like the Rush Hour series and Tower Heist, Brett Ratner steps things up to epic levels for his daft but watchable take on Hercules. Inspired by the graphic novel…

Longlist announced for the Edinburgh Fringe Sustainable Practice Award 2014

23 Jul 2014

The award recognises Fringe shows that encourage audiences to consider their environmental impact

The shortlist for the Edinburgh Fringe Sustainable Practice Award, which celebrates the greenest and most sustainable shows of the fringe that encourage audiences to take responsibility for their own environmental impact, has been announced, with 22…

Big Fat Fringe Bribe blog 2014: Sweater Curse - a Yarn about Love

23 Jul 2014

A 'knitting obsessive' buys some exposure with handmade 'small dog sweaters'

Following Chelsea Manders' perhaps too valuable bribe, we were happy to receive something that had more of a homemade vibe to it. 'Writer / actor / obsessive knitter' Elaine Liner sent us an envelope stuffed with woollen wonders; were it not for her own…