Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2014 guide: The best shows to watch

From Jeremy Paxman talking about beards to 50 Shades! The Musical, we round-up the best shows to see at Edinburgh this year

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The Independent Culture

Edinburgh Fringe has rolled around again, ushering in another year of superb arts and entertainment performances from every corner of the globe.

But if you’re having trouble deciding which shows to book from your Yellow Pages-sized Fringe programme, look no further than our handy online guide.

From book events to dance, music, theatre and comedy, we round-up the best shows to see across the month-long event in Edinburgh.

Scottish Independence unsurprisingly stands out as one of the major themes of the festival this year.

But if you don’t fancy watching Alex Salmond have a war of words with Gordon Brown in the books tent over the future of Scotland, there are plenty of other events to enjoy.

Edinburgh guide: Best shows to see

Best stand-up and comedy shows
Best book and arts events
Weirdest shows to see
Best theatre shows
Best music and dance

Some of the weirdest and most wonderful fringe shows taking place this year range from a one-man Breaking Bad show from Australian comedian Miles Allen, to the touring off-Broadway E L James parody 50 Shades! The Musical.

Female comedians return to the festival in their highest numbers yet, with stand up from Bridget Christie, Sara Pascoe and What Would Beyoncé Do performer Luisa Omielan.

Stand-ups Stewart Lee, Jack Dee and Josie Long join the stellar comedy line-up, along with ventriloquist Nina Conti and Channel 4 sketch duo Cardinal Burns.


Fresh from quitting Newsnight to give the comedy circuit a go, Jeremy Paxman will also be performing an hour-long show about beard, underpants and the human condition.

In the books tent, cult celebrity figure George RR Martin will be talking about the inspiration behind his characters and his feelings about the Game of Thrones TV adaptation.

Famous TV face Sofie Grabol, better known as The Killing detective Sarah Lund, will also be starring as Queen Margaret in the third of Rona Munro’s James Plays at Festival Theatre