And so we've reached the finale of Edinburgh Festival 2023.

Thank you to all the brilliant performers who we interviewed this year, to our review team who have been very busy seeing shows this last month, and to all the producers, venues and publicists who helped us organise interviews and review tickets.

You will find a final few reviews in this TW Weekly bulletin - and you can revisit all our coverage from Edinburgh 2023 here on the website.

Don't forget, at TW Culture we cover the best in fringe theatre, comedy and culture happening in London, online and beyond throughout the year. This week's Three To See tips for London are also in this bulletin, and we'll be back with more interviews and recommendations next Monday and every Monday here in your inbox.
1/5 bad | 2/5 mediocre | 3/5 good | 4/5 recommended | 5/5 highly recommended


Fool's Gold (Saskia Solomons)
Saskia Solomons is a highly accomplished clown and held our attention throughout, playing both a bouffon 'Fool' and a number of inner personalities arguing over the style and content of the show. Very meta; but also a substantial part of the show, supporting an interactive examination of our discomfort in discussing money and a more didactic piece on the distribution of wealth. The latter was well-enough done, the foolery supported by simple props and audience participation and, if it expects too much for such a show to answer highly challenging socio-political questions, it did include a fun way of thinking about possible solutions. For me, the components didn't quite gel but this was an inventive, bold and engaging fringe offering.
Zoo Playground, until 27 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Alan Cranston]

Hole (Erin Ross)
Cassie lives in constant fear of a hole swallowing her up in this interesting take on Gen Z depression and imposter syndrome. Erin Ross is largely seated within the limited space, but curls up in, or paces the small stage to create a sense of claustrophobia that matches Cassie's growing unease throughout the show. Sound design is used brilliantly here to create a presence of the hole, unseen by the audience but aurally oppressive. It's refreshing that Drew Gill's writing creates a fleshed out character in Cassie but there is a dissatisfying touch to her family backstory. Allusions to a violent brother are waded into but never explored fully, giving the play an unfinished feeling. Nonetheless, a charming piece of new writing.
Paradise at Augustine's, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Louise Jones]

Frankie Thompson And Liv Ello: Body Show (Soho Theatre)
One of the talking points of the Festival and it's easy to see why. A richly textured show, it's anarchic but entirely coherent, madcap but sharply political, funny but very sad. You could see it twice and still get more the next time. It's 'about' our bodies and how and why we are so often unhappy with them. The references range widely, from child star Lena Zavaroni to alleged sexual predator Andrew Tate via Terry Wogan and the Last Supper, probing our consumer culture for explanations of how we got here and where we are going ("only the trash will survive") unless we rediscover more of our humanity. A must-see when it reappears after its sold-out Edinburgh run.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 27 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Alan Cranston]

Godot Is A Woman (Silent Place / The Pleasance)
Famously, 'Godot' is a play in which nothing happens twice, but happily there's much more going on here. Opening with a largely silent clowning sequence, the main theme is amusingly established in pastiche Beckett style. But we don't have to wait long for the main substance, a spoof court scene in which the author's (entirely real) opposition to women performing his two famous tramps is set against the performers' claimed rights to do so. It's skilled, fast-paced and very funny, presenting the political and artistic issues deftly and clearly. Beyond this central scene this winningly contrived show continues to develop and surprise, it's a true delight worth waiting for as it continues to tour into the autumn.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 27 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Alan Cranston]
Shows to see in London in the week ahead - including performances from people and companies we first discovered at the Edinburgh Festival.


Cygnus | Royal Victoria Dock | 31 Aug-3 Sep
Yes, I bet you're all thinking there's no more festival stuff for us to talk about - given we've been talking about little else lately - but you're wrong, for quite a few festivals are currently going on in ye olde London towne. Firstly, the Greenwich + Docklands International Festival, and I am very attracted to the thought of this fab light installation. Read more about that here and about the festival generally here.

Céphale et Procris | Arcola Theatre | 29 Aug-2 Sep
And now over to the Arcola Theatre, where stuff is still happening as part of the rather good Grimeborn opera fest. This show is a revival of an opera by French composer Élisabeth Jacquet De La Guérre, staged by Ensemble OrQuesta, that promises beautiful singing, baroque instruments, symbolism and physical theatre. Read more about the show and book your tickets right about here.

Kinder | Little Angel Theatre | 29 Aug-3 Sep (pictured)
"Escaping on a Kindertransport train, one small Czech-Jewish girl embarks on a mighty adventure. Crossing between the past and present, Babi travels across Europe; from bon bons in Germany to the smell of the sea in Margate, she discovers how tiny acts of kindness can change the course of a person's life". A show aimed at young people aged eight and over, on as part of the venue's puppet festival. Info here.


Geraldine Hickey: Of Course We've Got Horses | Soho Theatre | 29 Aug-2 Sep (pictured)
Speaking of festival things, this could maybe have made it into a festival section, as this is one of a number of acts imminently performing at the Soho Theatre after recently appearing at the Edinburgh Fringe. We reviewed this one and were definitely impressed. Read the write up here - and then head to the venue website here for more info.

A Midsummer Night's Dream | Jack Studio | 29 Aug-2 Sep
Time now for something one might consider classically funny, for yes, it's one of the Bard's most popular plays and a comedy to boot. Bear In The Air Productions present this particular staging, delivered by a no-doubt-busy cast of six, that promises "warmth, magic and mischievous shenanigans". Head to the venue website here for more information and to book tickets.

NewsRevue | Canal Cafe Theatre | 31 Aug-3 Sep (ongoing)
Thought it was about time to remind you - in case you had for some reason forgotten - about the ongoing and wonderful thing that is 'NewsRevue'. If you were recently in Edinburgh maybe you saw it there, but it is, of course, a regular fixture in London. So many big names at one time appeared in this current affairs sketch show and it's still performed by some prodigious talent. On for the above dates this week, but also on ad infinitum. Click here.


Leave It To The Maid | Drayton Arms Theatre | 29 Aug-2 Sep
And finally, some high quality short stops, all of them in fact doing the exact same dates. This one is a modern adaptation of classic whodunnit tales: there's an anniversary dinner in a pristine mansion, tensions rising and secrets simmering, and a murder perpetrated when a sudden power cut plunges the room into darkness. Find out more and book your tickets here.

The Wetsuitman | Arcola Theatre | 29 Aug-2 Sep (pictured)
"Three actors, twenty-eight characters, one true story. It's 2015 on the coast of Norway. A retired architect finds a wetsuit, and in it, the remains of a body. The detective unit hits one dead end after another - until another body in an identical wetsuit washes up in the Netherlands". An intriguing play by award winning playwright Freek Mariën that explores identity, prejudice and forced migration. Details here.

Three Things That Are Never Seen | The Space | 29 Aug-2 Sep
Finally, one inspired by Celtic mythology featuring music and movement. "A young woman is visited every night in her dreams by an ancient being; a storyteller of old. On the festival of Samhain, when the veil between the two worlds lifts, they finally meet. He initiates her to the stories that are the fabric of the past". For all the info and to book, head to the venue website here.
At TW:CULTURE we champion the best in fringe theatre, comedy and culture.

Year round, we pick the best shows happening in London and online each week, providing handy Three To See recommendations and interviewing the people behind those productions.

Plus each summer we also cover the biggest cultural event in the world: The Edinburgh Festival.

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