Peter Buckley Hill says that just because his festival is free, he does not compromise on quality

No laughing matter in Edinburgh as promoters fall out over Free Fringe

Edinburgh Comedy Awards chief warns of ‘terrible’ performances

Almost Nothing to Do With Frogs, Underbelly, Edinburgh

The Edinburgh Fringe is all about talent-spotting but forget Footlights - if you really want to see the next generation of performers first, the smart money is on Double Edge Drama. This is theatre company of Eton College, whose recent alumni include Eddie Redmayne, Harry Lloyd and Tom Hiddleston, to name but a few.

Observations: A glittering extreme makeover (with added Jamie Oliver) for a Fringe favourite

Tommy Sheppard, director of the new Assembly Rooms Edinburgh Fringe programme, proudly opens the door to a large ballroom decorated with an imposing crystal chandelier and some stunning, freshly painted cornices.

Tom Hodgkinson: 'We took a TV home. I admit I am weak'

The television is back. Five years ago, in a fit of anti-capitalist pique, I unplugged this instrument of Beezlebub. I decided that I didn't want all its horrors flooding into the family home. I didn't want The X-Factor, CBeebies, Dick and Dom, the Ten O'Clock News or the dreary gloom of EastEnders. Mr Murdoch and his evil ways could stay out of my house for ever. Like Plato, I decided to banish the playwrights and their portrayal of negative character traits from my ideal Republic. My children would grow up unsullied by the false promises of consumerism. Instead, they'd learn useful skills, carpentry and violin.

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.

Scenes From Village Life, By Amos Oz, trans. Nicholas de Lange

If you can imagine a tenement building with a view into all the different windows you would see multiple, contrasting lives in private moments. Amos Oz's latest collection of eight stories uses this short-cut technique. However his panorama is not the city but the fictional Israeli village of Tel Ilan. Although the scenes are set today, he evokes a Chekhovian atmosphere of tragic lives misled on haunted ground.

Edinburgh Diary: It never rains, but it pours

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

Laughter is free – well, it is at this year's Edinburgh Fringe

A spirit of free comedy has broken out in Edinburgh as performers and festival-goers shun expensive venues in favour of free shows to reflect straitened times – without cutting back on laughs.

Leading article: Fringe benefits of the God particle

Recent experiments using the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, near Geneva, hold out the hope that the Higgs boson (nicknamed "the God Particle") may soon be discovered. Proof of its existence would confirm the Standard Model of elementary particles. This would be a Nobel-worthy triumph for physicists, but, at a cost of billions, might seem to the rest of us a rarified and pointless endeavour. It is true there would be no instant practical benefit, but it is worth recalling that since 1900 research into the nature of the atom has created or assisted in the development of television, lasers, electronics, solar power, nuclear energy, radiotherapy, MRI and PET scanners, and the World Wide Web.

The Digital Digest: 28/03/2011

The Best Of The Web

'The Wire' dealer and a real-life drugs bust

Felicia Pearson's criminal past won her a part in the gritty Baltimore drama. Now she's in trouble with the law again

The Wire: Truth Be Told, By Rafael Alvarez

Fans of the HBO drama who, five series later, are not ready to let go, will find this brick of a book, complete with film stills, cast lists and Baltimore city map, a good way to decompress.

Fringe Notes: 23/08/10

*Don't miss DC Moore's Honest a darkly funny 45-minute monologue of barely contained rage, performed in the snug at Milnes Bar on Hanover Street against the hubbub of a busy working pub.

Edinburgh festival's high flyers

For decades, they've been cheap and gaudy, but this year's handouts and posters have some style to them. About time too, says <b>Alice Jones</b>
Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?