Edinburgh

Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland, the seat of the Scottish parliament and government, the largest city by area and the second largest by population in the country. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a 30 square miles (78 km2) rural area. Located in the south-east of Scotland, Edinburgh lies on the east coast of the Central Belt, along the Firth of Forth, near the North Sea. Source: Wikipedia

Arts and Entertainment

Before coming to Edinburgh, I caught up with Simmons's last Fringe show, Fail, in London. Unfortunately, that title and this show are interchangeable. Essentially, Meanwhile is Simmons's home-made Twitter feed with two devices at work. Simmons attempts to answer questions put to him through various mediums while a female voice interjects with an activity going on simultaneously somewhere else in the world. At this point, Simmons jumps around to act out someone in Germany getting annoyed with their flatmate – or some other scenario.

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Sam Simmons: Meanwhile, Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh

Before coming to Edinburgh, I caught up with Simmons's last Fringe show, Fail, in London. Unfortunately, that title and this show are interchangeable. Essentially, Meanwhile is Simmons's home-made Twitter feed with two devices at work. Simmons attempts to answer questions put to him through various mediums while a female voice interjects with an activity going on simultaneously somewhere else in the world. At this point, Simmons jumps around to act out someone in Germany getting annoyed with their flatmate – or some other scenario.

My Edinburgh: Tom Rosenthal, Comedian

Edinburgh can be a hard and wet place. Honestly I’ve found myself to be far happier just staying inside my brand new student apartment marvelling at the lights which turn on and off without a switch (motion sensor). But if I had to recommend somewhere to go it would be Tesco. It has such a fine assortment of products to buy, everything from vegetables to cleaning utensils. An amazing place, really.

The National, Corn Exchange, Edinburgh

"We've been doing festivals over the summer and playing the greatest hits," the Brooklynite rockers The National pointed out, on the first date of their UK tour. "So now we're gonna play the obscure songs." It made little difference, because their most devoted followers know all of them anyway. The setting wasn't ideal – a concert hall might have been better than a mini-arena – but this was a beautiful show, rich in lyrical poignancy and tenderly epic music.

My Edinburgh: Simon Munnery, comedian

Returning T' Edinburgh fer Ye Twenty-Fife Yer. It's good to be back "They say you play here twice in your career. Once on the way up. Once on the way down. Great to be back." So runs Ian Macpherson's most famous joke, so famous it has almost entered the ether and lost its author and would do were it not for its author's tiger-like resolve. I think part of its sublime power rests in that simple, concise, well-worn yet still mysterious phrase. Is it good to be back? Is it? To come back you must have been away; there must have been some reason why you left; perhaps you were looking for something, perhaps you went to get some sugar. Did you find it? Did you bring any back with you? We're completely out. Or is life like a merry-go-round, where you keep leaving and returning to the same spot without volition over and over again? Perhaps there was volition once, but now just habit.

The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik, Underbelly, Edinburgh

The world has warmed, the seas have risen, but Alvin Sputnik is dealing with a personal grief - the death of his beloved wife.

My Edinburgh: Sara Pascoe, Comedian

I really like it up here. If Britain was a house, then Scotland is this beautiful airy loft with hills in it. And catching the train is like climbing the stairs. Climbing the stairs from London for four-and-half hours, after which your legs would be well achey, but the view is worth it.

Police apologise for missing racist attack

Police in Edinburgh yesterday apologised for failing to investigate a fatal attack by white youths on a Chinese takeaway worker as a racist killing.

Idiots of Ants (4/5)/Late Night Gimp Fight (2/5)/Sheeps (4/5), Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

If anyone has come up with a better beginning and ending to a sketch show on the Fringe this year than Idiots of Ants, I haven't seen it. Model Citizens opens with a tricksy Truman Show-inspired skit and ends with... well, that would be telling. Suffice to say it's a high-energy, feelgood finale to a high-energy, feelgood show.

My Edinburgh: Ruby Wax, comedian

Judith Owen and I have been performing in psychiatric hospitals for the past two years, which is not all that different from the Fringe. I have been to the Fringe twice before – once before my career took off and once about three years ago. The first thing I performed in was here in Edinburgh. It was a show directed by Alan Rickman and we had to go out and put up our own posters, because everyone else forgot. The producer had also forgotten to book the theatre, but the show went ahead anyway.

I, Malvolio, Traverse, Edinburgh

Tim Crouch's last Edinburgh show, The Author, divided audiences with its meta-theatrical experiments, forcing us to question what responsibilities we have as spectators.

Silken Veils, Assembly George Square, Edinburgh

Silken Veils' writer and central performer, Leila Ghaznavi, shows no lack of ambition in this show.

My Edinburgh: David O'Doherty, comedian

There was a kerfuffle during my show one night at the Fringe last year. Two drunk men were having an argument. In these situations, it's best to turn on the fury cannons, say something rude to shut them up, and carry on. That is certainly what I should have done. Instead, I asked them what was wrong. One pointed to the other and barked, "He told me we were going to see Travis."

Kristin Hersh, Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh

"So many memories," reflects Kristin Hersh, leafing through a copy of Paradoxical Undressing, her 2010 memoir, which has formed the basis of this show of the same name both before and after its publication. It's proven a rich vein so far, with her return to Edinburgh yielding two Book Festival appearances – one spoken, one performing – and two more typical gigs such as this at the Edge music festival. These latter events are more Hersh's regular style, rock venue gigs which merge solo song and electric guitar with unconnected spoken word excerpts from the book.

Bring Me the Head of Adam Riches, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

The best kept secret of the Fringe - though probably not for much longer - Adam Riches is classed as a character comedian but that description barely does justice to the hour of high-octane, all-round entertainment he brings to Edinburgh this year. It’s 60 minutes of brilliantly conceived chaos and I never stopped laughing once.

Nick Helm: Dare to Dream, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

You don't have much choice but to get caught up in Nick Helm's mania. "You're delaying the fun!" he warns us, coercing us to punch the air for his rocky opening number. "Never stop dreaming/from the floor to the ceiling," he commands.

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