Anna Millar

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Guide to Scotland's Festivals 2015: Edinburgh's best festivals

2 Feb 2015

Scotland's capital fully deserves its reputation as the UK's festival city

August is the month Scotland’s capital really comes to life. And it doesn’t get any bigger – and better – than the mighty Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Brilliant and bonkers in equal part, the world’s largest arts festival welcomes acts from all over the…

The Pitiless Storm

5 Aug 20144 stars

David Hayman on blistering form in in Chris Dolan's political play, staged at the Edinburgh Fringe

Anyone who’s watched David Hayman perform will know his skill for mastering the characters he plays. And he doesn’t disappoint here. Hayman is on blistering form in this one-man show that, while making clear its political intent, is ultimately a…

Catriona Knox Thinks She's Hard Enough

4 Aug 20144 stars

High-octane character frenzy from seasoned sketch pro at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

As Catriona Knox bounds around the stage, greeting her audience like a kangaroo on acid, you wonder how she’ll have the energy left for an hour-long show. But energised she is, firing full throttle through a clutch of characters, with the gallus pace…


4 Aug 20143 stars

Edinburgh Festival Fringe sketch show set in a crazy, inconsistent world populated by eccentrics

You’ve gotta love the Fringe and where it can take you. Here, we’ve followed a bee through a portal and arrived in the parallel universe of zazU: a big crazy world with an awfully small mentality. There’s much to like, as this talented quartet create a…

Bulletproof with Shazia Mirza

3 Aug 20142 stars

Weak, underdeveloped material let down this Edinburgh Festival Fringe comedy show

Head count and pithy one liner about the proximity of audience to stage exhausted, this smart columnist and occasional funny lady begins. From the off, it’s a shaky opening premise. Mirza had to buy a bulletproof vest, you see, for a show she was doing…

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Batonbearer Gerry Hughes on his part in the Queen's Baton Relay

15 Jul 2014

Record-breaking deaf yachtsman carries baton in hometown ahead of Glasgow Commononwealth Games 2014

Not for nothing is the Queen’s Baton Relay the precursor to the XX Commonwealth Games. Sure, the athletes are the beating heart of any global sporting event, but community spirit is what makes any such occasion truly soar. And while the spotlight has…

10 of the best extreme sports activities to try in Scotland

20 May 2014

Featuring aqualining, rap running, bungee jumping, sky diving and off-road driving

Aqualining Not likely to be confused with plaintive piano balladeer Aqualung, aqualining was launched just last month by Nae Limits in Perthshire. Essentially tightrope-walking over water, the warm-up includes wild swimming, plunge pooling and sliding…

Scot:Lands offers tour of free music, theatre and dance performances around Edinburgh on New Year's Day

12 Dec 2013

Performances from RM Hubbert, Smallpetitklein and theatre show Whatever Gets You Through the Night

They’ve danced up trees, tackled events surrounding 9/11 and cavorted in castles: suffice to say, Dundee-based dance troupe Smallpetitklein don’t so much think outside the box, as build a new one entirely. Which makes them a perfect addition to…

The Star Flyer and Big Wheel - just two skyscraping attractions at Edinburgh's Christmas

26 Nov 2013

This year’s star attractions promise views you won't get anywhere else

There can surely be fewer bigger or brighter signs that the Christmas jamboree is in town than the arrival of the Big Wheel in East Princes Street Gardens Terrace. It’s as much a part of Edinburgh’s landscape for the festive season as the Castle and…

Hull named as UK City of Culture 2017

20 Nov 2013

The east coast English city beat off competition from Leicester, Swansea Bay and Dundee

After months of speculation and following some fervent bidding last week, Hull has been named UK City of Culture for 2017, fending off stiff competition from rival cities, Dundee, Leicester and Swansea Bay. Hull will follow Derry-Londonderry, which is…

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James Blake bags Mercury Prize 2013 for album Overgrown

31 Oct 2013

Electronica soloist beats competition from Arctic Monkeys, Laura Mvula, Jake Bugg and Disclosure

It was a shortlist sniffed at for being too mainstream and safe, but this year’s Mercury Prize awards still managed to surprise (at least a little) with Goldsmiths graduate James Blake pipping bookies’ favourite, singer-songwriter Laura Mvula, to the…

2013 BAFTA Scotland nominations

30 Oct 2013

I Am Breathing, For Those in Peril and Fire In The Night among films nominated

Peter Mullan, Martin Compston, Ford Kiernan and Sharon Rooney are just a clutch of the Scottish talent nominated for this year’s coveted BAFTA Scotland awards. The winners will be announced at the British Academy Scotland Awards ceremony in Glasgow, on…

Chvrches, Django Django and King Creosote announced for Edinburgh's Hogmanay 2013

15 Oct 2013

The Rezillos and Fiddler's Bid will also join headliners the Pet Shop Boys on the New Year Line-up

We can’t lie, we’re a wee bit excited. As if it weren’t sufficient that electro-poppers Pet Shop Boys are headlining this year’s New Year’s Eve street party jamboree in Edinburgh, a clutch of darn fine local heroes have been added to the supporting mix.

Aidan Moffat, Cora Bissett and more contribute to Commonwealth Games 2014 arts programme

29 Aug 2013

Kieran Hurley, Janey Godley, Stephen Deazley, Random Accomplice and Paul Fegan also involved

As Glasgow launches its cultural programme for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, we round up a handful of highlights on the starting block

Briefs: The Second Coming

21 Aug 20133 stars

Aerial trickery, vaudeville, smuttiness and muscles combine for a brilliant bonkers show

Elaborate dick pouches, man-dogs and defecation are just some of the high – and low – lights of a Briefs show, as occasionally brilliant as it is totally bonkers. A fabulous Priscilla, Queen of the Desert-inspired opening sets the tone for an all-male…

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Mercy Killers

11 Aug 20133 stars

Broadway's Michael Milligan gives heart-breaking performance

This searing one man show manages to make politics personal, largely thanks to a heart-breaking performance from leading man and Broadway actor Michael Milligan. What could have been painfully simplistic or horribly over-played, is executed with…


9 Aug 20135 stars

Glorious movie-based mayhem

In the world of Blam! the underdog is King. And this right royal ruckus has more than a few loyal servants, as a pumped-up crowd leap to their feet – after a high octane hour – to show their appreciation. Set in a bland office space, three men, and…

Chalk Farm

9 Aug 20133 stars

Insightful examination of London riots

When the London riots exploded in the summer of 2011, 24-hour news images of smashed-up cars, torched buildings and hoodie-clad ‘youths’ were propelled onto our television screens. The blame game began. David Cameron referred to the ‘pure and simple…

Lady Rizo

8 Aug 20134 stars

Sweeping vocals from New York's seasoned pro

As she prowls into the room, all foxy grey lace dress and huge eyelashes, there’s no doubting New Yorker Lady Rizo is a class act. Which is all to the good, with a tough Monday night crowd to seduce, and uninspired opener ‘Bali Hai’ from South Pacific…

Making News

6 Aug 20133 stars

Phil Jupitus, Sara Pascoe and Dan Starkey in decent take on BBC news

To say it’s been a bad year for the BBC is to note that Edinburgh gets a bit busy over the festival. So the inspiration for Making News couldn’t be clearer. That it was penned by the scribes behind Coalition, last year’s smart take on the government…

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The Shawshank Redemption

6 Aug 20133 stars

Omid Djalili and Kyle Secor in Stephen King's tale adapted for the stage

Given the warmth felt for the film adaptation of Stephen King’s prison-based novella, it’s little surprise that The Shawshank Redemption is one of the hottest tickets at this year’s Fringe. A tale of friendship and hope in the face of adversity, King’s…


5 Aug 20134 stars

Badac Theatre present a brutal tour de force

A lift opens and we step inside. Emerging moments later, a stark, sterile basement corridor lies ominously before us. Bright strip lights buzz overhead, as a woman ushers us to stand against the walls. And so it begins: Badac Theatre Company’s…

The Confessions of Gordon Brown

4 Aug 20132 stars

A well-written one-man show that suffers from a lack of real revelations

Any biographical tale is only as strong as its leading character – and herein lies the rub with The Confessions of Gordon Brown. As one of Scotland’s best, and most divisive, politicians Brown was one of Britain’s most forgettable prime ministers. While…

New Underbelly venue Topside hosts Doctor Brown, Alexander Masters and more

31 Jul 2013

The Fringe 2013 venue is also home to The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik and Le Gateau Chocolat

Here at List HQ we love a new venue, and are much excited by Topside, the Underbelly’s newest venture, to be found at the back of Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre. Highlights heading for the 200-capacity theatre studio include the world premiere of…

[title of show] fuses musical theatre and real life at 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

30 Jul 2013

UK premiere of quirky US Broadway musical hit

Anyone who saw Daniel Kitson’s 2012 Fringe sell-out, about a writer writing a play about writers writing another play, will agree that the show-within-a-show format has grown serious legs in recent years. This year Patch of Blue Theatre stride out with…