Yasmin Sulaiman

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Interview: Alan Cumming discusses his new book Not My Father's Son

7 Nov 2014

'I think this is a certain example of truth being stranger than fiction'

‘I think it’s a sad, sad thing that we tend to remember bad things more clearly than we do good things. But actually that’s quite helpful in this case,’ laughs Alan Cumming. The actor and entertainer has just released his new book, Not My Father’s Son…

The Soil – Summerhall, Edinburgh, Thu 6 Nov

7 Nov 20144 stars

South African trio put on stellar performance of unique township soul

Since their hit Fringe run in 2013, the Soil are no strangers to Scottish music-lovers. Tonight, preceded by lovely support from Zimbabwean acoustic duo Rise, they envelop Summerhall’s chilly, austere dissection room with a bewitching blend of soaring…

A guide to the best tabletop games

29 Oct 2014

Featuring Settlers of Catan, Fluxx, Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride and Forbidden Island

Settlers of Catan (Kosmos, 1995) In a nutshell One of the best-selling tabletop games of all time. Designed for three to four people, each player represents settlers founding a new colony on the island of Catan. How to play The board is made up of…

BAFTA Scotland 2014 nominees include James McAvoy, Jack O'Connell and Peter Mullan for Best Actor

23 Oct 2014

Filth, Starred Up and Sunshine on Leith are nominated for Best Feature Film

This year’s BAFTA Scotland nominations are in – and it looks like it’ll be a face-off between James McAvoy and Jack O’Connell. Both actors are up for Best Actor for their roles in Filth and Starred Up respectively, alongside Peter Mullan for his turn in…

The best new book releases and literary events – Oct / Nov 2014

22 Oct 2014

Including the Edinburgh International Radical Book Fair, James Ellroy and Yotam Ottolenghi

Edinburgh Independent Radical Book Fair Guardian columnist and author of Chavs, Owen Jones heads up the exciting lineup at this alternative book festival. Expect plenty of post-referendum discussion. Out of the Blue Drill Hall, Edinburgh, Wed…

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The best film releases and events – Oct / Nov 2014

22 Oct 2014

Including Fury, Mr Turner, Love is Strange, Ghostbusters and Frankenstein

Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder This autumn’s BFI screenings celebrate sci-fi on screen all over the UK. From October to December, its Scottish programme includes classics like Alien and The Thing, with screenings spanning the length and breadth of the…

Standby for Tape Back-up

18 Aug 20143 stars

Arresting performance/video installation mash-up at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Like his fellow Aisle 16 poetry boyband-ers – Luke Wright, John Osborne and Joe Dunthorne, to name a few – Ross Sutherland's a talented guy. That's certainly evident in his Fringe show this year, Standby for Tape Backup, a mash-up of drama, comedy…

Beats North

18 Aug 20143 stars

A touching theatre double-bill that reminds of the power of music at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

In this double-bill of plays by Ishy Din and Luke Barnes, Al and Jack are two young northern men trying to find their way into adulthood. Jack prefers Bonnie Tyler and Meatloaf to football, and needs to make sure his ragdoll – a hand-me-down toy from…

Robert Newman's New Theory of Evolution

18 Aug 20143 stars

Comedy veteran puts on engaging show but lacks spark at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Richard Dawkins comes in for a kicking in this show by veteran comedian Robert Newman – and it's a pretty funny one too. In 1993, alongside his erstwhile comedy partner David Baddiel, Newman was once the first comedian to sell out Wembley Stadium. This…

Symphony by Ella Hickson, Tom Wells & Nick Payne

17 Aug 20143 stars

Three delightful theatre pieces exploring growing up and falling in love

Individually, Ella Hickson, Tom Wells and Nick Payne have seen their fair share of theatrical success. Hickson's had a number of hit plays since her 2008 Fringe debut, Eight, brought her to nationwide attention. Payne's Constellations recently won the…

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: BJ Novak of the US Office on debut short story collection One More Thing

15 Aug 2014

'There’s a story in my book called “Regret is Just Perfectionism Plus Time". That’s how I feel'

If you’ve ever watched the US series of The Office, BJ Novak’s face will be instantly recognisable as obnoxious temp Ryan Howard. A producer, writer and actor on the show (he landed the gig aged just 25, after producer Greg Daniels saw him at a comedy…

Every Brilliant Thing

15 Aug 20143 stars

Depression has never been so charming in this slightly-too-short play at the Edinburgh Fringe

Paines Plough’s travelling Roundabout Auditorium is probably the loveliest venue at the Fringe. Tucked away in a cosy corner of Summerhall, this Tardis-like theatre is bright, colourful and a comforting antidote to the festival’s any-space-will-do…

The Initiate

15 Aug 20143 stars

Tense Edinburgh Fringe drama about the effect of Somali pirate kidnapping on London community

This intense, snappy drama from Alexandra Wood is an affecting tale of how the high profile Somali pirate kidnappings have affected London’s Somali community. Andrew French plays a cabbie who has lost his job for ‘talking too much’ – though it’s implied…

Bill Clinton Hercules

15 Aug 20143 stars

Pleasant enough character show that shies away from making any new insights

Bill Paisley nails Bill Clinton’s down-home patter and renowned charm in this new show from Guy Masterson and Rachel Mariner. The former US President’s story is ripe with dramatic potential – but this show is fairly unexciting. As the audience files in…

Le Flop

9 Aug 20142 stars

Clown theatre silliness flags too often for late-night slot

Despite some fun interactions between this five-piece, Le Flop’s first Edinburgh show is hard work, and it only lasts 50 minutes. Their silly antics have promise but – although the slightly inebriated audience gives them the benefit of the doubt to…

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Interview: David Levithan on his new novel ahead of 2014 Edinburgh International Book Festival appearance

7 Aug 2014

American author discusses the inspiration behind his works and why he loves co-writing

Since his 2003 debut, Boy Meets Boy, David Levithan ’s been acclaimed for introducing strong gay characters into the canon of modern young adult literature. Over his career, he’s co-written several novels with fellow YA authors, notably Will Grayson…

Danish Face

7 Aug 20142 stars

Anna Andresen's comedy storytelling needs a bit more oomph at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

A great stable of accents and a thoroughly likeable performer isn’t quite enough to make this hour of comic storytelling stand out from the crowd. Anna Andresen tells us the tale of her brief move from London to New York, but the story as it’s told here…

Janis Joplin: Full Tilt

5 Aug 20144 stars

Cora Bissett, Peter Arnott and Angela Darcy bring the music icon to life at the Edinburgh Fringe

Following its success at Oran Mor's A Play, a Pie and a Pint season last year, Janis Joplin: Full Tilt arrives at the Fringe as one of this year's most anticipated shows – and it lives up to the hype. It’s staged in the style of a gig, with the…

Cuckooed

5 Aug 20144 stars

A personal tale of spying from comedian Mark Thomas, performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

A Perrier Award nominee in 1992 – the year that Steve Coogan won it – Mark Thomas’ comedy has always been inseparable from his activism. And since his multiple award-winning Bravo Figaro – an emotional show about his father’s love of opera, and his…

Light

5 Aug 20144 stars

Theatre Ad Infinitum's spectacular Edinburgh Fringe show is inspired by surveillance scandals

This is one of Theatre Ad Infinitum's best shows yet. Their most recent Fringe hits, the multi-award winning Translunar Paradise (2011) and Ballad of the Burning Star (2013), were slickly choreographed but in Light, the group achieve with mime and…

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Factor 9

5 Aug 20144 stars

A shocking true story about contaminated NHS blood, performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Prepare to be physically shaken by Factor 9. The show from Inverness' Dogstar Theatre – which has already toured to rave reviews – alternately elicits tears, nausea and trembling rage that this true story could ever have been allowed to happen. It tells…

Edinburgh Festivals 2014: the lasting influence of All Quiet on the Western Front

31 Jul 2014

Tony Bradman, Christina Bellingen and Guy Masterson discuss different approaches to WWI

Banned by the Nazis and immortalised in the 1930 film adaptation, Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front is one of the greatest anti-war books of the 20th century. First published in 1929, excellent translations from the original German…

Big Red Bath & The Snow Dog children's theatre shows set for 2014 Festival Fringe

30 Jul 2014

Double helping of imaginative fun for kids by Full House Theatre to include a live husky on stage

Full House Theatre has been devising family theatre for more than ten years, and this year it’s bringing illustrated children’s book Big Red Bath to the stage. Over the last decade, Julia Jarman and Adrian Reynolds’ book has become a modern classic with…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: Theatre Ad Infinitum's George Mann on Light

30 Jul 2014

‘There seems to be this weird complacency about surveillance, a lack of urgency or alarm'

Though equally brilliant, Theatre Ad Infinitum’s last two Fringe shows couldn’t have been more different: 2011’s Translunar Paradise was an exquisite, romantic piece of mime, while last year’s Ballad of the Burning Star was a bold, brash cabaret act…

Interactive children's dance workshop Ready Steady Ceilidh to run during 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

30 Jul 2014

Show hosted by CBBC presenter Iain Stirling promises to teach bairns traditional Scottish dance

The younger counterpoint to Assembly’s late night dance show, This is Ceilidh, Ready, Steady, Ceilidh aims to introduce over-fives to the riotous pleasures of Scottish traditional dancing. Hosted by CBBC presenter and comedian Iain Stirling, it will…