From canal boat to confession box, theatre at the Edinburgh Festival is finding some strange stages...

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A canal barge: Three Sisters

They've done a "jive-infused" Measure for Measure, Lysistrata on a trapeze and a barbershop-style Revenger's Tragedy. Now Metra theatre company present Three Sisters on a canal barge – it's "the voyage Chekhov never let them take", apparently – with tea and biscuits thrown in.

14-23 Aug, Re-Union Canal Boats Ltd, Edinburgh Quay

A public toilet: Still Waiting for Godot

The Beckett estate wasn't too happy at the thought of the theatrical masterpiece being performed in a public convenience, though one imagines Vladimir and Estragon would see the funny side. So the plucky nod/nod troupe, led by Harry (son of Roger) Michell, has rewritten Waiting for Godot at the last minute for the Fringe. Now the tramps are two men waiting for the play to start while Pozzo is reimagined as the neurotic guardian of a certain author's legacy. An intense, in-your-face production – and the council will clean the toilets every day before the show starts, so hygienic(ish), too.

25-31 Aug, St James' Public Toilets, Cathedral Lane

A townhouse: The Hotel

Written and directed by the stand-up Mark Watson, this site-specific piece sees a rather regal townhouse transformed into a surreal hotel. A cast of 40 young comedians will guide "visitors" through a series of 10 rooms including a gym staffed with officious personal trainers and the bureaucratic nightmare of the hotel's admin centre.

To 31 Aug, 15 Queen Street

A mystery island: The Bitter Belief of Cotrone the Magician

The most spectacular new venue at the Fringe. Ticket holders for this mysterious Pirandello-inspired fairytale will catch a boat from Leith Newhaven harbour and cruise for 25 minutes to an island in the middle of the Firth of Forth where Cotrone the Magician and the "giants of the mountain" await.

8-16 Aug

A restaurant: Faulty Towers

Following last year's sell-out run, the manically interactive dining show is back for a second helping. Sit back and try to relax as Australia's finest Basil, Sybil and Manuel impersonators serve up dinner with a side order of comedy. Tickets are £29 for lunch, £39 for dinner for three courses and two hours of entertainment. What could possibly go wrong?

To 31 Aug, B'Est Restaurant, 16 Drummond Street

A comedian's house: At Home with Holly

At her Fringe show last year, the comedian Holly Burn took her audience out of the Laughing Horse venue and on a surreal walk down West Nicholson Street to see a shrine to her dead dog in the window of a PDSA charity shop. This year, she's taking the personal touch a step further with a show set in her Edinburgh flat, inviting audiences to "watch her live her life" and perhaps help out with the chores. Part of the £5 Fringe.

To 31 Aug, Holly's house, 22a Albany Street

A confession box: I Confess

It can all get a bit much, sometimes, the Fringe. Throughout the festival, the Pleasance is offering a haven in the form of a confessional in the middle of the buzzing Courtyard. Step inside for 10 minutes and listen into the real-life confessions of a stranger, played by a rotating cast of special guests. Sharing your own secret sins is optional.

To 30 Aug, Pleasance Courtyard

A pub: Barflies

Grid Iron are firm favourites among Edinburgh regulars for their imaginative site-specific performances that have so far taken place in the city's airport, Debenhams and the basement of the Central Library. Now back at the Fringe for the first time in three years, the company have taken up residence in their local pub for an alcohol-fuelled journey through Charles Bukowski's writings.

To 31 Aug, The Barony Bar, 81-85 Broughton Street

A supermarket: The Wondermart

A BAC [Battersea Arts Centre] commission and part of the free Forest Fringe, Rotozaza's latest weird adventure takes place in an ordinary supermarket. Grab a trolley, put on your headphones and immerse yourself in a "private soundscape" as all around, others buy their groceries and cat food.

17-29 Aug, details of secret location and tickets from Bristo Hall, above the Forest Café, Bristo Place

A ladies' cloakroom: The Assassination of Paris Hilton

Every girl knows that the best place for gossip and star-spotting on a night out is the ladies' loos, so where better to stage this celebrity comedy thriller than the powder room of the austere Assembly Rooms, here masquerading as a Hollywood hotspot. Likely to be very silly but at 30 minutes, it's shorter than most nightclub queues.

13-30 Aug, Lane Bar, Assembly Rooms, George Street

A hotel: Internal

Can you build up a meaningful relationship with a stranger in 25 minutes? Belgian experimenters and Fringe-first winners Ontroerend Goed return to Edinburgh in this Traverse production with an intimate theatrical take on speed dating in the comfort of a three-star hotel, with drinks, candlelight and mandolin music. Prepare to get cosy.

To 30 Aug, Mercure Point Hotel, 34 Bread Street

The Royal Botanic Garden: Susurrus; Power Plant

David Leddy is an exciting new Glaswegian theatrical talent whose previous works have taken place in a graveyard and a cupboard. For Susurrus, audiences are handed a pair of headphones and a map and will be guided, alone, on a circular route around the gardens as a radio play unfolds on their MP3 player, mingled with birdsong and snippets of arias, all based around A Midsummer Night's Dream. Umbrellas are provided for inevitable rainy days.

By night, the Gardens will be taken over by Power Plant with their trail of intriguing sound and light installations in the glass houses from fluorescent insects to spookily possessed gramophones.

Susurrus, to 6 Sept; Power Plant, to 30 Aug, Royal Botanic Garden

A swimming pool: The Merchant of Venice/Ivanov/Ophelia (Drowning)

Three classics are given a watery interpretation in a 25ft-long hotel swimming pool. Ophelia ("a living, breathing, drowning painting") and The Merchant of Venice seem ripe for an aquatic rethink but Ivanov? Time will tell.

Ophelia, to 18 Aug, The Merchant of Venice, 19 to 29, Ivanov, 20 to 20 Aug, Sweet Grassmarket Swimming Pool, Apex International Hotel, 31-35 Grassmarket

A medical school: MUST

Taking place in the Anatomy Lecture Theatre, the Clod Ensemble's MUST is an exploration of the human body, created by the New York performance artist Peggy Shaw and taking its inspiration from Gulliver's Travels and The Elephant Man. Performed in seven-minute sections (the average length of a doctor's appointment).

20-31 Aug, University of Edinburgh Medical School, Teviot Place

A library: Ringside

Described by King George IV as "the finest drawing room in Europe" and a favourite reception venue among Edinburgh's well-heeled, the Signet Library will host Ringside. "Guests" are cordially invited to Mem Morrison's long-awaited wedding reception, complete with family and a choice of brides. Previously, Morrison created the involving Leftovers in a greasy spoon.

24-28 August, Signet Library, 12 Parliament Square

A loch: The Fairy Queen

The tranquil Duddingston loch, immortalised in The Skating Minister, provides the backdrop to this children's walkalong, sing-along fantasy adventure. Suitable for ages 5 to 12.

13-16 Aug, Duddingston Kirk Manse Garden, Old Church Lane, Duddingston

A black box: Little Box of Horrors

A street theatre installation, Bootworks' Black Box is a show for one brave person and infinite curious passers-by. Sit inside the black box while outside a cast of six perform just for you, through three windows. Those outside the box see the "backstage" action too. Part of the free Forest Fringe, Bootworks will be performing both Little Box of Horrors, a nightmarish ghost train of a production and Une Boite Andalouse, a reworking of Dalí and Buñuel's surreal masterpiece, Un Chien Andalou, complete with eyeball slicing.

22-28 Aug, various locations, tickets from Bristo Hall, above The Forest Café, Bristo Place

A bus: Various acts

Originally created as part of a fine art degree, The Pink Bus, filled with unwanted items collected from charity shops and skips and a quirky interior including a bar made out of crushed beer cans and Mills & Boon wallpaper, will play host to an enticing range of comedians including Simon Munnery, Patrick Monahan, Adam Hills and Richard Herring while at 2pm every day Paul Foot will deliver a child-friendly bedtime story for which audiences will be encouraged to put on the pyjamas provided over their clothes.

13-31 Aug, CVenue's Soco Urban Garden

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