The Fringe: Still crazy after all these years

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Edinburgh wouldn't be Edinburgh without the annual offerings of creative lunacy. Alice Jones celebrates some of the maddest


Stationary Excess


One woman, an exercise bike and a bottle of champagne. The American actress Jessica Latowicki performs a 30-minute monologue about an "extraordinary man" while pedalling furiously. Along the way, she quaffs champagne, eats a packet of biscuits and even changes her clothes.

Late Night Gimp Fight!

Audiences arriving for this 11pm show are greeted by five wriggling laundry bags on stage. From these burst a five-man sketch troupe who proceed to perform a set of racy to deviant sketches in bondage gear. Some nudity.

One Man Lord of the Rings

Peter Jackson could have saved himself a lot of time and money if he'd only met Charlie Ross. Evidently all you need to recreate Tolkien's masterful trilogy is one man, some elbow pads and 3,600 seconds.

Comedy in the Dark

Every night a mixed bill of stand-ups take to the stage in pitch darkness. The idea is that it's environmentally friendly as well as heightening the audience's receptiveness. The line-up can be bizarre: "watching" a ventriloquist in the dark is by far the weirdest thing I've done this year.

Cirque de Légume

Billed as "The Greatest Vegetable Circus on Earth!", though it's not clear how many others there are. Levitating radishes, hypnotic beetroots and an onion striptease all feature.

Joe Power: The Man Who Sees Dead People

Last year it was The Chippendales, this year's programming oddity is a 43-year old psychic from Liverpool who talks to ghosts. He was heckled at the Assembly anniversary gala, where the publicist Mark Borkowski refused to cooperate with his questioning, proving that even conduits of the dead can die on stage.

Meals on Wheels: The Minotaur

Taking place in the back of a van, Kindle's latest "edible theatre" piece invites five brave audience members to enjoy a story via taste, smell and a little live music. Their salacious retelling of the Greek myth takes place over a plate of genital-shaped pasta, among other delights.

Hamlet! The Musical

If you've always thought that what was lacking from Shakespeare's tragedy was some good show-tunes and, um, puppets, then this is the play for you. Gertrude's a tipsy Essex golddigger, the ghost is dressed as Elvis, and Hamlet wears a baseball cap.

Your Dream Wedding

An "interactive shopping experience", this show takes place in a bridal shop next door to Edinburgh's Harvey Nichols. Handed a glass of champagne upon arrival, audience members are treated to a "bespoke" appointment with the owner, Michael.

Sex Idiot

Bryony Kimmings' deeply weird performance art is based on her discovery that she had contracted chlamydia. There are songs, interpretative dance, nakedness, sparkly matador trousers and an invitation to members of the audience to snip off a lock of their pubic hair so she might fashion herself a moustache. Told you it was weird.

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre

How to describe this? Well, it's two sock puppets performing songs and sketches in falsetto voices, really. This year, among other things, "the Earth's funniest socks" perform a period drama in two minutes and commentate on the World Cup, with vuvuzelas.

William Shatner Karaoke

In honour of the actor "who has the power to transform any song into the tragic story of a Canadian everyman", audiences at the Forest Fringe are invited to perform pop songs in the style of a dramatic monologue. Alan Bennett does Aerosmith, anyone?

Faulty Towers: The Dining Experience

Taking place in a working restaurant on Drummond Street, this interactive piece invites audiences to enjoy / endure a three-course meal served to them by the hapless Manuel, while Sybil and Basil bicker in the background.

Red Hot Chilli Pipers

Not that weird but certainly raises some questions – mainly, why? The Red Hot Chilli Pipers play rock songs on their bagpipes, everything from Coldplay to Status Quo, in a "jock 'n' roll" explosion.

Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Hewer is to leave The Apprentice after 10 years

TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice

Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says

film George RR Martin owns a cinema in Santa Fe

Arts and Entertainment
Clued up: John Lynch and Gillian Anderson in ‘The Fall’

TV review

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Rhys says: 'I'm not playing it for laughs, but I have learnt that if you fall over on stage, people can enjoy that as much as an amazing guitar solo'
musicGruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence
Arts and Entertainment
Krysia and Daniel (Hand out press photograph provided by Sally Richardson)
How do today's composers answer the challenge of the classical giant?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
News
Shenaz Treasurywala
film
News
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Watkins as Christopher Jefferies
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars Director JJ Abrams: key character's names have been revealed
film
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams won two BBC Music Awards for Best Song and International Artist
music
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump

TV

Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

film
Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

TV
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
    The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

    The 12 ways of Christmas

    We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
    Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

    The male exhibits strange behaviour

    A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
    Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

    Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

    Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

    The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
    Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

    Marian Keyes

    The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

    Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

    Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
    Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

    Rodgers fights for his reputation

    Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
    Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

    Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

    'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
    Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick