What’s hot in Edinburgh this summer

Timothy Barber
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EDINBURGH’S annual merry-go-round of theatre, comedy, dance, opera, street performance, art and much more gets underway next week. On the Fringe, one of the major draws this year will be a show directed by the Hollywood film star John Malkovich [pictured below], and starring the actor Julian Sands. The show, devised by the two men, is a celebration of the work of the late Harold Pinter, and includes Pinter’s writings as well as reflections and reminiscences. A Celebration of Harold Pinter will be playing at the Pleasance Courtyard. Also on the big name front, singer Marc Almond is appearing in a play, Ten Plagues, by celebrated writer Mark Ravenhill at the Traverse Theatre.

This year’s Fringe features the largest number of shows ever – 2,542 different events around the Scottish capital over August – with a programme including a new, dedicated cabaret section. Comedians appearing include former Perrier winners Sarah Millican, Al Murray and David O’Doherty, as well as perennials like Richard Herring and Omid Djalili. Fight and beg all you can for tickets to the knew show from the ever-inventive, ever-cynical Stewart Lee, who is appearing at the stand.

Meanwhile the Edinburgh International Festival is looking east. Chinese actor Wu hsing-Kuo is delivering a one-man version of King Lear, featuring all the magic, costumes, dance and martial arts of traditional Chinese opera. Another show, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, draws on Japanese traditions. An adaptation of a Haruki Murakami novel, it combines performance, music, puppetry, dance and film.
www.eif.com; www.edfringe.com