14 shows we can't wait to see at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and EIF

We've whittled the world’s biggest arts festivals down to the 14 shows we're looking forward to the most at EIF and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2018
© The Other Richard
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Boasting over 50,000 performances in over 300 venues, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe will once again be the talk of the arts world this summer. For three weeks in August (2–27 2018), the Scottish capital becomes home to comedy giants, serious thespians, hilarious first-timers - and a bunch of genuine weirdos - all putting on shows left, right and centre. So where to start? Cut to the chase with our pick of tickets to fight for at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2018, plus the Edinburgh International Festival. 

Top shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Theatre, Drama

After the Cuts

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The 2018 Fringe is awash with shows marking the seventieth birthday of the NHS. This, from playwright Gary McNair, is a dark comedy about a post-NHS world in which people must find the money to pay for their treatment.

Angry Alan, Edinburgh Fringe
© The Other Richard
Theatre, Drama

Angry Alan

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The brilliant playwright Penelope Skinner is making a bit of a comeback at the 2018 Fringe. She’ll return with not one, but two plays: ‘Meek’, at the Traverse. And at the Underbelly, here’s ‘Angry Alan’, a monologue about masculinity in crisis that follows the disllusioned Roger, who is ‘saved’ from an imminent breakdown by the eponymous online activist. 

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Theatre, Drama

Extinguished Things

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Always-impressive storyteller Molly Taylor returns to the Fringe with a tale about intertwined lives, and carrying on after a disappearance. Al and Evie, married 40 years, are the narrator's neighbours: she even has their spare keys. One day, they simply vanish, without explanation.

Theatre, Experimental

It's True, It's True, It's True

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The always-surprising Breach Theatre follow up their hit Edinburgh show about the Battle of the Beanfield (‘Beanfield’) and their other hit Edinburgh show about dolphins on LSD (‘Tank’) with a verbatim reenactment of the 1612 trial of Agostino Tassi for the rape of baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi, in a show about how a woman took revenge through her art. As ever with Breach, you probably need to be there, but it'll undoubtedly be worth your while.

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La Maladie de la Mort
© Stephen Cummiskey
Theatre, Experimental

La Maladie de la Mort

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In this highlight of the Edinburgh International Festival, the great avant-garde director Katie Mitchell adapts a 1982 French psychological thriller about an unnamed man who hires a woman to spend several weeks with him in a hotel by the sea, hoping to experience love. The text is by Alice Birch, and the production stars acclaimed French actors Laetitia Dosch and Irène Jacob.

My Left/Right Foot Cast
© Christopher Bowen
Theatre, Musicals

My Left/Right Foot – The Musical

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The National Theatre of Scotland throws itself headlong into the larky Fringe spirit with this musical about a local am-dram society who decide to stage an all-singing version of the classic film ‘My Left Foot’, for which Daniel Day-Lewis won his first Oscar as an Irish artist with cerebal palsy. 

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Theatre, Drama

On the Exhale

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Former Gate Theatre boss Christopher Haydon returens to active duty with the UK premiere of US playwright Martín Zimmerman’s acclaimed play about American gun violence. In the aftermath of a high school shooting, a woman whose son died in the attack becomes obsessed with finding out more about his final moments.

Status, Chris Thorpe
© The Other Richard
Theatre, Drama

Status

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Sardonic, cerebral, very Northern British performer Chris Thorpe and mountingly superstar-ish New York director Rachel Chavkin are an odd match on paper, but they've already made one brilliant collaboration: 2014’s searing and prescient ‘Confirmation’. Four years on and they’re back with ‘Status’, another Thorpe-performed piece about the idea of attempting to escape national identity.

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Theatre, Comedy

Sticks and Stones

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New writing company Paines Plough will be once again bringing back its futuristic pop up Roundabout Theatre to the 2018 fringe. There's promising looking work from Simon Longman and Georgia Christou, plus this from Bafta-nominee Vinay Patel, a comedy about a slip of the tongue that spirals horrifyingly out of control.

Underground Railway Game, Traverse Theatre
© Cade Martin
Theatre, Drama

Underground Railroad Game

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This is a bit of a coup for the Traverse, which looks to have its strongest Edinburgh Fringe line-up for years. ‘Underground Railroad Game’ is a ferocious and subversive comedy about race, performed by its US creators Jennifer Kidwell and Scott R Sheppard, set at a school competition. 

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Theatre, Interactive

User Not Found

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This site-specific show from Dante or Die and the brilliant, provocative writer Chris Goode is an interactive work in which the audience becomes a fly-on-the-wall to a man’s deliberations on whether of not to have all traces of his life removed from the internet after his death. 

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