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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My Edinburgh: Magnus Mills, Author

There's a question I'm occasionally asked that never fails to baffle me: what are your books about?

Edinburgh Diary: It never rains, but it pours

*It's Ramadan, so Muslim performers fast during daylight hours.

Humphrey Ker Is Dymock Watson: Nazi Smasher!, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

This is an enormously likeable and accomplished hour from Humphrey Ker, better known as one third – the tall, posh third – of sketch troupe the Penny Dreadfuls. In his debut solo show, Ker plays to his acting strengths, spinning a bonkers wartime yarn in which he plays a heavily accented array of characters from a Geordie killing machine to a Texan belle and a Romanian conjuror.

Oneohtrix Point Never, Sneaky Pete's, Edinburgh

As the Fringe's more performance-based elements kicked into life, so the Edge festival returned. Run by the promoters who put on T in the Park, it is a weekend's worth of music stretched out to three weeks, around the venues of Edinburgh. This was its first must-see set.

Midnight Your Time, Assembly, George Square, Edinburgh

For men of a certain age, the prospect of watching Diana Quick performing on a webcam for an hour would be thrilling. But Midnight Your Time is not that kind of show. Rather it's a one-woman-plus-Macbook show, a quite touching take on motherhood and the generation gap.

Phill Jupitus: Stand Down, The Stand, Edinburgh

There are moments when I wonder if the air conditioning at The Stand will add undue weight to the already pregnant pauses between some of Phill Jupitus's routines. The Never Mind the Buzzcocks regular hasn't done stand up for 10 years and he admits that he is "feeling his way back in".

Young Pretender, Underbelly, Edinburgh

"The ride stops at Culloden? No way. I don't think so." So speaks Bonnie Prince Charlie as reimagined by the intelligent young company nabokov and E V Crowe.

Jessica Fostekew: Luxury Tramp, Gilded Balloon Teviot, Edinburgh

Jessica Fostekew has enjoyed some decent placings in a number of comedy competitions in the last three years and this solid Fringe debut will be another boon to her career.

The W Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in about an Hour, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

In 2005, the San Franciscan comedian W Kamau Bell joked that Barack Obama's name was "too black" to see him elected president. Despite this apparent lack of foresight, Bell's gentle yet challenging exploration of race and racism already looks set to be one of the most insightful Fringe shows this year.

Roisin Conaty: Destiny's Dickhead, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

It's brisk business as usual for the winner of the 2010 Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Best Newcomer award. Roisin Conaty picks up the relentless pace where she left off, and if anything she is a little too quick for her own good, finishing her show at around the 45-minute mark. "I've no sense of direction, which makes it hard to storm off in an argument," she says. Maybe she should add a sense of timing to that.

Alma Mater, St George’s West Church, Edinburgh

This is the smallest theatre venue in the Edinburgh festival. It is so small, there isn’t room for the usual superfluous business of theatre, like lighting equipment – or actors; the blank white walls alone must serve as the canvas.

Today from i: Stars of the Edinburgh Festival

This year’s festival is being heralded as the starriest ever, with major names from music, film and theatre flocking to play to small crowds in intimate venues.

Lounge Room Confabulators, Underbelly, Edinburgh

One of this year's most interesting, elitist and curiously anti-theatrical events on the fringe is served up by a pair of Aussies in their mid-twenties who arrive in your lounge and spin a few bizarre yarns. That's right: you don't go to them, they come to you, as long as you've convened a quorum of 10 or more. We feasted on a DIY buffet in an apartment near the Meadows before the knock on the door.

My Edinburgh: Isy Suttie, Comedian

My worst moment in Edinburgh was when I got paid £20 to leave the stage at The Comedy Zone in the Pleasance. It was 2005 and I wasn't really suited to the rough-and-tumble of the room at weekends, where it was considered more "edgy" to down a pint of Stella with a vodka shot in the top than it was to talk about a squirrel biting my hand. Which is what I was doing at 11pm on a Saturday night. Once it had been decided by a Scottish man that the only way to get this over with was to pay me to go, a £20 note snaked its way down from the back and into my soon-to-be-tear-soaked hands before I went and spent all of it on whisky.

A Celebration of Harold Pinter, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

Malkovich and Sands combine for Pinter
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