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Guardians of the Galaxy

28 Jul 20144 stars

Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana star in triumphant addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Based on little known comic-book characters, Guardians of the Galaxy represents something of a leap of faith for Marvel Studios, especially since the film's ties to the all-conquering Avengers franchise are largely superficial, consisting only of brief…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: South African theatre shows

28 Jul 2014

Featuring David Mamet's Race, Mbongeni Ngema's The Zulu and Magadi: The Bride Price

'It's great to be able to present a range of work from this very vibrant country,' says William Burdett-Coutts, artistic director of Assembly Festival, who are presenting their third South African season. 'There is a range of talented theatre people…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: three Scottish theatre productions

28 Jul 2014

Homegrown Fringe theatre highlights include MacBheatha and referendum satire Spoiling

Scotland Befitting a nation deciding its future shape, Scottish theatre is thriving, as evinced by the diversity on offer at this year's Edinburgh Festivals. Whether provocative, crowd-pleasing or challenging, there are grand, universal themes being…

Edinburgh Festivals 2014: three stage productions from New Zealand

28 Jul 2014

Highlights include Arthur Meek’s On the Upside Down of the World and Lemi Ponifasio's I AM

In the popular view of the northern hemisphere – and indeed, much of the country’s neighbours – New Zealand is a remote idyll populated by hobbits and sheep where not very much ever happens. Yet history tells us that a country so young is unlikely to be…

Blackwood

28 Jul 20142 stars

An unsurprising 'old dark house' horror starring Ed Stoppard, Sophia Myles and Paul Kaye

In the manner of so many supernatural tales, Blackwood begins with its protagonist, Ben Marshall (Ed Stoppard), relocating to a remote country pile looking for a fresh start. Following a nervous breakdown, Ben moves to the isolated Blackwood estate…

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Hide Your Smiling Faces

28 Jul 20144 stars

Daniel Patrick Carbone distinctive coming-of-ager boasts a powerful atmosphere

At first glance, writer-director Daniel Patrick Carbone's first feature appears to be treading similar ground to recent independent coming-of-age movies, such as Jeff Nichols' Mud or Jordan Vogt-Roberts' The Kings Of Summer, both of which featured young…

Review and picture gallery: Wickerman Festival - Dumfries & Galloway, Fri 25 & Sat 26 Jul 2014

28 Jul 20144 stars

Dizzee Rascal, Del Amitri and Shed 7 among highlights at the pyro-friendly pocket-sized Glastonbury

Though the number may be unlucky for some, the 13th Wickerman Festival – Dumfries and Galloway’s pocket sized answer to Glastonbury – saw the annual event’s success continue, attracting bigger names than ever before and taking its place as one of…

Kick

28 Jul 20143 stars

Entertainingly madcap Bollywood remake starring Salman Kahn and Jacqueline Fernandez

Remakes are just as rife in Bollywood as its western counterpart. Kick finds director Sajid Nadiadwala making his debut behind the camera repurposing Reddy Surender’s 2009 hit as a glossy vehicle for Salman Khan to strut his stuff and air his grievances…

Edinburgh Art Festival 2014: experience music and poetry in arty environments with Festival Detours

28 Jul 2014

Luke Wright, Meursault, Eilidh MacAskill and John Osborne prepare to perform in gallery settings

Detours is a series of live shows by music, poetry and theatre artists taking place in galleries across the city. As part of Edinburgh Art Festival, it aims to bring a new audience to visual art by transforming the traditional gallery space. This…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: top 5 thought-provoking shows

28 Jul 2014

Five theatre productions tackling sensitive issues, including far right politics and sex trafficking

Blood Orange A frank exploration of the alarming rise of the new far right in modern Scotland. When his father’s business fails, a young man blames local Asian market sellers, forcing him to violently confront issues of race, religion, faith and…

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Grandmaster Flash and Paul Trouble Anderson among guest DJs at 99 Hanover Street this August

28 Jul 2014

Eddie Piller, Richard Searling and Detroit Swindle complete the bar's Fringe Thursdays line-up

For the last three years, city centre bar 99 Hanover Street has been drawing a crowd for a repertoire of in-house nights and DJs which would have it crowned one of the best clubs in Edinburgh were it not for the lack of a 3am licence. During festival…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: CineFringe presents 'possibly the world’s first literal “pop-up” cinema’

28 Jul 2014

The short film mini-fest also features the talents of Susan Calman, Josie Long and Superfan

Now into its fifth year, small-scale short film festival CineFringe doesn’t exactly look set to fill the sizeable gap left in August by the rescheduling of the Edinburgh International Film Festival to June. Yet the fact it exists at all adds a welcome…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: 5 autobiographical theatre shows

28 Jul 2014

Shows tackling abuse, emigration, feminism and high school from a personal perspective

Jamaica Farewell Debra Ehrhardt escaped Jamaica for America, using the romantic aspirations of a CIA agent: a witty thriller from an experienced storyteller and directed by Joel Zwick who happened to direct the highest grossing romantic comedy ever, My…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: Andrew Maxwell takes on the Scottish Independence referendum

28 Jul 2014

'Nationalism is folly, it always ends in violence... Borders and flags are just false nonsense'

The comic with arguably the Fringe’s ‘most quintessential Edinburgh name’ is grasping the thistle of Scottish independence, with his show title, Hubble Bubble, a misquote from Shakespeare’s Scots play, adding ‘an extra layer of bullshit’ that Andrew…

Big Fat Fringe Bribe blog 2014: Swiss Cheese

28 Jul 2014

Bawsoot Theatre Company swap some cheesy craftsmanship for valuable exposure

There was a marked contrast between the last bribe we received – Gary from Leeds' ultra-minimalist Yeti Action Pack – and our most recent arrival: a painstakingly assembled cheese house. Hand-delivered by two members of Bawsoot Theatre Company, the…

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Big Fat Fringe Bribe blog 2014: Yeti

26 Jul 2014

Performance poet Gary from Leeds bags some easy exposure with his Yeti Action Pack

We thought our last bribe – a handheld 8-bit gaming console – was lo-fi. Then we received Gary from Leeds' Yeti Action Pack: a slab of cotton wool, a twig and three numbered index cards. Rather than explain what each item did/does, Gary merely assured…

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…

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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…

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…