Fringe: Shows we can recommend ...

The Frige launch (Pic: Lisa Ferguson)
The Frige launch (Pic: Lisa Ferguson)

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is in full swing - and city is buzzing.

There is so much to see it’s often difficult to know where to start.

So here’s what we’ve liked so far – and some recommendations we’re happy to pass on.

Looking for a family show?

Try Wereldband: Slapstick (Assembly George Square) which has the most fun finale imaginable after a an hour of brilliant musicianship, slapstick, comedy and sketches that will appeal to all ages.

And, if you like them, try Concerto Atempo D’Umore (Assembly Rooms, George Street). They may look, and sound, like a formal orchestra, but the slapstick humour they bring to the show is a delight.

If you’re a fan of Edinburgh panto stars Grant Stott and Andy Gray, you’ll love Double Feature (Gilded Balloon, Rose Street). It’s a celebration of the great films screened in an old cinema. The same venue is also home to the Jocky Wilson Said, a wonderful, warm evocation of Kirkcaldy’s legendary world darts champ. It’s great to see it doing so well – a big hit with visiting Fifers too!

Bright Colours Only (Assembly Rooms) is a glorious Irish wake, complete with sandwiches for the audience, and a coffin ... and it ends up outside as the cortege departs. Easily the funniest funeral you will ever attend.

And talking of shows which offer more, catch Choir Of Man (Assembly Rooms) which creates a pub with the coolest, most engaging choir – nine guys in total – who also serve you a beer to encourage the best sing-a-long anywhere in the city.

Big audiences for the incredible Colin Cloud (Pleasance) who will completely stir-fry your senses (and give you a face-mask), while Tape Face (Pleasance Grand) returns for a ‘best of’ show which is simply astonishing. In terms of audience participation he sets the bar few can match, and all without saying a single word.

And, if you fancy being part of a show, go see This Is Your Trial (Guilded Balloon) which improvises a trial complete with you as jury and even the accused.

Margaret Thatcher: Queen Of Game Shows is packed with daftness and fun, while Sweatshop (both Assembly George Square Gardens) is a fabulous late night mix of music and cabaret hosted by the man with the most amazing voice on the Fringe – MikelAngelo.

He also has his own show Mikelangelo: Cave, Waits, Cohen (Assembly Checkpoint), and his voice is perfect to celebrate their remarkable music.

Look out also for Kat Bond: Loo Roll (Pleasance) in which the Call The Midwife actor uses her audience in her search for her long lost family, and, delivers a quite wonderful one-woman show complete with a loo roll waving finale, and Education, Education, Education (Pleasance) is also a must see.

Jason Byrne (Assembly On The Mound) and Craig Hill (EICC) are both at the top of their game for this year’s Fringe - these guys just don’t do bad shows - while Mark Nelson: Irreverence (Guilded Balloon) is well worth catching.

But if you fancy something completely, totally, different, join the queues for Seance (Summerhall), a 15- minute show in a shipping container in pitch blackness. It’s proving to be a huge hit with audiences ...