It’s almost showtime for the world’s greatest arts festival.
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe happens right on our doorstep, and is always worth a wee journey or two across the Forth to enjoy some of the thousands of shows – from the star names to the one-off performances in the most unlikely of venues.
Once again, there are a number of Fifers taking to the stage throughout the Fringe which runs from August 2 right through the month.
The big names are the easiest to spot, but if you are prepared to spend a bit of time thumbing through the brochures and picking up on recommendations from critics, friends and veteran Fringe-goers, you might also catch a few stars waiting in the wings.
From stand-up comedy to cabaret, from dance to discussion, they’re all there waiting for you to take a seat in the audience.
So, with apologies to any we may have missed out, here’s our guide to the Fifers at the heart of the 2018 Fringe.
Let’s start with something - or, rather, someone – magic.
It’s been a great year for Kevin Quantum, the man who fooled Pernn & teller on a TV show and so began his own career on stage.
He hits the Fringe on the back of a successful Magic Festival in the city, and has two shows which allow him to mix magic with comedy.
Vanishing Point and For My Next Trick form part of the schedule at Underbelly Bristo Square (Venue 302), and both are highly recommended.
On the comedy circuit, Daniel Sloss is back for his standard marathon Fringe run.
He’s moved up in the world and can be found at the rather plush EICC off Lothian Road these days.
Down in the Grassmnarket is where you will find Burntisland pun-meister Richard Pulsford who is part of the Scottish Comedy Festival based in the Beehive pub – the bar with the best beer garden in the city.
And since he now resides in Fife, we’re claiming the maestro, Phill Jupitus as one of our adopted sons!
He has a stand-up set at The Stand every day at 4.30, but also check out his brilliant Free Fringe show as Porky The Poet.
Phill’s poetry is a joy to listen to – if you caught his set at Tae Sup Wui at the Adam Smith the other week then you need to get to the capital for the full show.
This year he’s at the Voodoo Rooms, right behind the Apple store on Princes Street, with a 3.05 pm slot - see it and then follow him along the road to The Stand for his comedy set!
Horse McDonald makes a welcome return to the Fringe with a fantastic new show.
Dusty And Shirley sees her team up with David McAlmont to bring their hit London show north for the very first time.
In a nutshell, it’s two outstanding singers sharing their love of the songbook of Dusty Springfield and Shirley Bassey.
They are only giving two performances at the Rose Street Theatre on August 25 and 26, so get your tickets early.
Troubador Bruce Davies has two shows at the Fringe.
The weel-kent singer is booked into Valvona & Crolla in Elm Row – yup, the place the does some delicious cheese and wine – for a couple of nights.
He showcases his own songs on August 26, while on the 14th, 18th,22nd and 25th he turns his attention to the great American songbook.
Richard Michael is just as busy with shows celebrating the music of Fats Waller, Dave Brubeck and Richard Rogers across several nights at St Mark’s in Castle Terrace between August 16 and 22.
Lang Toun fiddler Elsa Jean McTaggart has been been busy at the Fringe in recent years.
She returns in 2018 with Sings, Strings & New Things, at Surgeons Hall.
The Jazz Bar is simply the place to go for great live music – that’s where you will find Lights Out By Nine.
They have shows on Friday August 3 and 24th at 8.30pm, and afternoon slots at 2.30pm on August 4 and 18.
The Polis are well known to music fans around here for their cover set of hits by The Police.
They’re at Merchants Hall in Hanover Street on August 16 and 23, while veteran singer-songwriter Rab Noakes is at the Acoustic Music Centre on August 20.
Shamblestone are folk duo from North East Fife – Tayport/Newport – to be precise, and you can find them at St Andrew & St George’s Church on August 12-13 Elisabeth Flett and Joanna Stark make up the acclaimed duo.
And check out the Rock Choir Live events on Hill Place (Venue38) – they include contributions from the Glenrothe-based choir led by Rachel Leitch on August 13 and 15.
Music theatre abounds at the Fringe – somewhere someone is still belting out Godspell in 2018!
Kingdom Theatre Company return to the festival for a sixth year with two shows.
John Murray, the Press’ music columnist and the man behind K107, has penned Bon: The Musical which tells the story of legendary AC/DC frontman Bon Scott, who was born in Kirriemuir.
Linton Osbourne takes the lead role as the wraps come off the show on August 3, running until the 25th at Greenside at Nicholson Square.
KTC have a second show at the same venue which celebrates that most famous of Fifers, the Kelty Clippie!
With a musical score from Willie Logan it follows the comic adventures of the character immortalised in John Watt’s famous old song.
It runs from the 10th-25th.
The New Town Theatre in George Street is always worth dropping into – you can often catch some great shows which tend to fly under the radar.
It’s also the venue for a series of one-to-one conversations with the great, the good, and the downright interesting.
Mhairi Black MP, Scotland manager Alex McLeish, broadcaster Archie McPherson and lawyer Aamer Anwar are all booked in.
The line-up includes a number of great Fifers who are always engaging.
Take your pick from Val McDermid (August 11) Barbara Dickson (17th) or KT Tunstall (21st)
On the dance scene, look out for Starting Now: Youth Showcase at the Edinburgh Dance Base in the Grassmarket.
It features a number of dancers from Fife – Anstruther, Cupar, Newport – performing their Give/Take piece at the event between August 3 and 8.
Cabaret is a huge part of the Fringe - the late night shows are always worth taking a punt on.
Burlesque performer Brandy Mommartre from Burntisland is part of Best of Burlesque at Assembly George Square Gardens 14 nights, starting on August 2.