Hello once again! And welcome to the latest TW Weekly - with a slice of coverage from the Edinburgh Festival, and your guide to the cultural week ahead in London.

For those of you at the Edinburgh Festival, look out for our Week One magazine that is available all over the city right now. We've got an extra interview and column for you to enjoy here too, plus three top shows to see this week.

Don't forget we are now publishing a regular helping of reviews from the Festival. The next batch will appear in tomorrow's TW Daily, and you'll find new reviews in the daily email each day, plus another set in the next edition of our weekly magazine.

For those of you in London, don't worry, there are still plenty of great cultural treats coming up in the next week. And I've picked out three to see for each day as normal. And if any of you are planning a trip to the Edinburgh Fringe later this month, don't forget to keep an eye on all our ThreeWeeks recommendations as well.

Caro Moses
Editor, ThreeWeeks Edinburgh and ThisWeek London
Martha McBrier enjoyed much acclaim for her stand-up shows at the Fringe over a decade ago, but then she stepped back from performing for a number of years. But she has reappeared on the Edinburgh stage more recently, initially with her self-penned children's shows, and last year with 'Pigeon Puncher', in which her comedy was combined with the art of storytelling.

She returns this month to the Free Festival with 'Japanese Boy', recalling the time she took a group of mental health patients to compete in a pool tournament. We caught up with Martha to discuss her comedy, her return and this year's story and the themes it explores. Read the interview here.

Martha McBrier performs 'Japanese Boy' at Laughing Horse at Finnegan's Wake until 27 Aug.

Afsaneh Gray's play 'Octopus', being presented by Fine Mess Theatre and Paper Tiger Productions at Assembly this Festival, explores the notion of 'Britishness', in a dystopian world where those of 'non-indigenous' heritage are set a Britishness test by the state.

As an introduction to the piece, Afsaneh considers what Britishness means, and whether the concept is evolving in this post-Brexit world. Read her column here.

'Octopus' is on at Assembly George Square until 28 Aug.
Three to see at the Edinburgh Festival this week...

Mairi Campbell: Pulse | Summerhall | 2.25pm
One of the 'musicians gone theatrical' tipped by Caro in our preview issue, Mairi Campbell's show 'Pulse' gets recommended once again on the back of the 5/5 review it just scored. "The award-winning Scottish musician's bare and unabashed honesty captivates you", says our reviewer, before concluding "by the end of 'Pulse' you'll feel transformed". Go see.

This Is Not Culturally Significant | Pleasance Courtyard | 3.30pm
Another theatrical must-see is this one-man-show which, says our 5/5 review, has a "truly Beckettian feel to it" uniting "the comic and the tragic, the real and the absurd, with a remarkable intensity". To conclude: "A gripping piece, and a brilliant showcase for this creative talent".

Trainspotting | Assembly George Square Studios | 6.00pm, 8.30pm, 10.45pm
Finally today, an old Fringe favourite, though, says our reviewer, the first ten minutes of this particular adaptation of Irvine Welsh's novel "offers some of the most arresting, exhilarating theatre you'll probably see in years, never mind just at this year's Festival". Which says it all, really. Though, our reviewer adds "more of a sensory experience than a theatre production", just in case you did want us to say some more.

Get Three To See at the Edinburgh Festival daily. If you're not already signed up to the TW Daily bulletin you can do so here - or check out our daily recommendations here online.

FRIDAY 12 AUGUST 2016 >>

Casual Violence - Slow Fade To Bleak | Soho Theatre | 11-13 Aug
You might already be aware that we are big fans, here at TW Towers, of the sketch comedy troupe Casual Violence - we gave them an Editors' Award up in Edinburgh back in 2011. And here they are, at the Soho Theatre, with a new show. Not one to miss if you are a fan of dark and twisted comedy mayhem. See this page here for all the info.

Andrew Bird - I Knew This Would Happen | Camden Comedy Club | 9-13 Aug
Another act that we came to know and love via the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is Andrew Bird, and here he is, appearing at the very brilliant Camden Fringe with 'I Knew This Would Happen', in which, as you might possibly have divined from that title, he examines his pessimistic views on life, and where his pessimism originated. Head this way for details.

Jess Fostekew | Phoenix Fringe | 12 Aug (pictured)
Meanwhile, over at that other Fringe, that which be named Phoenix, my tip for the day is the fabulous Jess Fostekew. The regular host of BBC Radio 4 Extra's 'The Comedy Club' and writer on 'Have I Got News For You', 'Mock the Week' and '8 out of 10 Cats' presents what sounds like a work in progress, but there's no need to be put off when it's the work in progress of someone with a CV like that. See this page here for more.


Nick Helm | Phoenix Fringe | 13 Aug
Highly acclaimed comedian Nick Helm is one of three acts set to appear on this final night of the good old (well, relatively new, really) Phoenix Fringe. And what you might not know is that you could in theory buy one ticket for all three acts appearing this evening, and as one of them is Andrew Maxwell, that might be quite a good idea. I'm not saying the third act won't be quality, as I'm sure said third act will be brilliant, I just don't know who it is going to be yet. See this page here for info.

Bibs, Boats, Borders And Bastards | Cockpit Theatre | 13-14 Aug (pictured)
This one is part of Camden Fringe and tackles a current and important issue, which is good. The show is about people affected by the refugee crisis, detailing all that they face via storytelling, puppetry, live music, documentary style scenes and bouffon (I had to look this up - "a modern French theatre term that was re-coined in the early 1960s by Jacques Lecoq at his L'École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris to describe a specific style of performance work that has a main focus in the art of mockery"). Click on this link for details.

Kate Berlant - Kommunikate | Soho Theatre | 8-13 Aug
Argh, this wouldn't be the first time we've failed to notice that something really good is on until its last night, thank goodness it doesn't happen that often. This is the US comedian's debut run in the UK, following a significant degree of success across the pond - we are very, very keen to sample her "freewheeling and surreal style" as soon as is humanly possible. See the venue website here for info.

SUNDAY 14 AUGUST 2016 >>

Knots | Lion and Unicorn | 14-16 Aug
"Mental illness effects one in four people yearly," runs the show synopis. "It also receives on average only 1 percent of the majority of local authority's public health budget. So why aren't we giving this issue the attention it deserves?" Well, quite. Yet more important issues being addressed over at Camden Fringe, and this sounds as though it's very much worth a bit of your time. See this page here for info.

Mona Hatoum | Tate Modern | until 21 Aug
The Mona Hatoum exhibition at Tate Modern is entering its final week, so your opportunities to see it are now limited. Don't miss it, if at all possible, because she is one of my absolute favourite artists, and I won't quite ever forgive you if you disregard my orders on this. Head this way for all the details.

Jungle Book | London Wonderground | 13-28 Aug (pictured)
Well, this certainly sounds like a 'Jungle Book' with a difference: it seems it's very much a 21st Century interpretation, complete with circus, street dance, skateboarding, beatboxing and graffiti art. Great one for the family, I reckon, so perhaps time for a mid-holiday treat. See the venue website here.

MONDAY 15 AUGUST 2016 >>

Isy Suttie - The Actual One | Soho Theatre | 15-27 Aug
The always excellent Isy Suttie heads to Soho Theatre with a show we've actually recommended before, back when it was a work in progress. It's about "that moment in your late 20s when you suddenly realise that all your mates are growing up without you", and the comedian's attempts to delay adulthood. See the venue website here for more info.

Screens | Theatre503 | 10 Aug-3 Sep
This looks like an interesting show, plus it's on at Theatre503 where pretty much everything that gets staged seems to be really good. 'Screens' focuses on a Turkish-Cypriot family described as "barely treading water", and appears to be tackling some fairly modern themes, as social media, Grindr and cats (well, they are increasingly pervasive, to my mind) are all present. Head this way for details.

Reprehensible Men | Tristan Bates Theatre | 15-20 Aug
Today's Camden Fringe tip. "Run away with us, renew your life with us, take revenge with us, develop a thick skin with us, come back to life with us, and most of all love and forgive us for we are Reprehensible Men and we need you." Hmm, not sure if I'm willing to forgive, but I'm definitely intrigued. Click on this link for more.


Oh The Humanity | The Space | 16-20 Aug
If you know us, you'll know how much we enjoy short play compilations, and that's kind of what this is, even if it's a collection of five pieces from the same author, US playwright Will Eno, with common themes, and - I would hazard a guess - a two person cast. Promises to be witty and playful examination of the hope and uncertainty in our lives. See the venue website here for more info.

Bitches | Finborough Theatre | 16-20 Aug
This is another show from the Finborough's season of plays by National Youth Theatre, a two person play about a pair of teenage friends who decide to try running a YouTube channel in a bid to make some cash. It's by an award-winning playwright, Bola Agbaje, and the subject matter sounds promising. Head this way for details.

The Telemachy | Camden People's Theatre | 16-21 Aug (pictured)
Another pick from the Camden Fringe that we all think sounds like it has quite an intriguing angle on The Odyssey: "The Poet swaggers into London with a case full of ancient stories from his journeys across the world. Your enigmatic host delves into the mythologies of Odysseus, the original rock-and-roll absent father, through the eyes of his son, a brooding Telemachus." See this page here for more.


Rosie Wilby - Concious Uncoupling | Camden People's Theatre |17-21 Aug
Back over to Camden Fringe again (so much of this month's good stuff is going on there) for this theatre/stand-up piece from recent TW interviewee Rosie Wilby. If you want to know lots more about this show, we asked her lots of questions about it in said Q&A, so take a look, or, if you're already convinced, head this way to book tickets.

Doug Anthony Allstars - Live On Stage! | Soho Theatre | 16-20 Aug
Controversial comedy legends the Doug Anthony Allstars stop off for a few dates at London's Soho Theatre after a (no doubt) triumphant return to the Edinburgh Fringe following an absence of upwards of twenty years. I've a feeling they won't have lost any of their capacity for impact during that time. See the venue website here for details.

Juliet Meyers - This Flipping Rescue Dog | Camden Comedy Club | 16-18 Aug (pictured)
Something else from Camden Fringe, but this one is comedy, and the previous one is theatre, so, nerrrr. Our reviewers up in Edinburgh have oft given (well, at least twice) a highly complimentary four star review, so I feel very confident about recommending her, even though I have not seen this show. The set's focus sounds typically anecdotal, tales of Meyer and her rescue dog, themes of unconditional love and anxiety. See this page here for info.


Dele Sosimi | Battersea Arts Centre | 18 Aug
"Dele Sosimi stands out as one of the most active musicians currently on the Afrobeat scene worldwide. His music is a blend of complex but highly danceable funk grooves, Nigerian traditional music (including hi-life), African percussion, underpinning the jazz horns and solos from other instruments, as well as rhythmical singing". Part of that previously mentioned Borderless live music strand at Battersea Arts Centre, this, and I am really keen to see this gig. See this page here for info.

Opera Della Luna Presents Tales Of Offenbach | Wilton's Music Hall | 18-19 Aug
And so to another musical offering, but this time it's operatic, and also outrageous. The critically acclaimed Opera della Luna offer up two funny one act from Jacques Offenbach, Croquefer and L'ile De Tulipatan. Which sound French, yes, because Offenbach was French (though born in Germany, I recently discovered) but they're doing it in translation so hopefully you'll be able to understand every word. See the venue website here for info.

Aditi Mittal - Things They Wouldn't Let Me Say | Soho Theatre | 17-20 Aug (pictured)
Aditi Mittal is a "helpless Indian woman", according to the blurb - yet of course, she is anything but. This star of Asian media is fed up of being told to sit down and be quiet, and she has an awful lot to say. I for one would love to listen to her speak on the subject of everything that plagues the modern Indian woman. Click on this link here for details.
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