Hello once again! So we are well into Week Two of the Edinburgh Festival now, and we've so many shows to recommend, it's hard to know where to start!

But for those of you at the Edinburgh Fringe, a good place to begin is our Week Two edition, which you can pick up all over the city. Inside you will find loads of interviews with our favourite performers plus lots of reviews too.

Today we also launch the very first edition of the all-new TW:TALKS podcast, with the first of five editions celebrating our 21 years covering the Edinburgh Festival. My co-Editor Chris Cooke chats to Mark Thomas who was on the cover of ThreeWeeks during our very first year way back in 1996.

For those of you in London, there's still plenty to do this week, not least because of the brilliant Camden Fringe. As always, we have picked out three to see each day. Enjoy!

Caro Moses
Editor, ThreeWeeks Edinburgh and ThisWeek London
To celebrate 21 years of ThreeWeeks covering the Edinburgh Festival, we launch our all-new TW:TALKS podcast by interviewing five former cover stars. This week, Mark Thomas, who appeared on the cover of ThreeWeeks in our very first year, all the way back in 1996.

Having first visited the Edinburgh Festival in 1982, and first performed at the Fringe in 1984, Mark has been a regular at the festival for three decades, and especially in recent years with his hugely acclaimed shows that combine comedy, theatre and aspects of journalism.

Listen to Mark discuss his memories of the Edinburgh Fringe from 1982 onwards, as well as discussing his progression as a performer, all the way up to his new show, 'The Red Shed', which is on at the Traverse through to the end of the Fringe before a UK-wide tour.

Check the first edition of the all-new TW:TALKS podcast here.
If you are Fringe regular – especially a die-hard dance-fan Fringe regular – you may already be aware of 201 Dance Company's 'Smother', a piece which was staged at the Festival in 2015 to much acclaim.

It's the sort of piece that we think is very much capable of drawing in those who might not necessarily view themselves as dance-lovers, with its urban moves and LGBTQ themes.

To find out more about the show, we put some questions to the show's choreographer, 201 Dance Company's Andrea Walker. Read the interview here.

Smother is on at Zoo Southside until 27 Aug.

So, have you been doing any celebrity spotting while wandering around the Festival this year? Trying your best to look all nonchalant as you realise there's a star standing in front of you in the queue for the Cow, or busy entertaining the table next to your's in the Courtyard, or possibly sitting in the front row expecting to be entertained by your show.

After comedian Jarleth Regan told us his 'Paxman story', we asked him to go and find some similar tales of mid-show celebrity encounters from other Fringe performers. Read his column here.

'Jarlath Regan – Arseways' is on at Just The Tonic at The Tron until 28 Aug.
Three to see at the Edinburgh Festival this week...

TW:Talks Live with Lucy Porter | theSpace @ Symposium Hall | 10.30am
We've been having great fun recording our TW:TALKS podcasts this week, and you can now hear the first one for yourself, with Mark Thomas, right here. And why not join us at theSpace @ Symposium hall tomorrow as we record our interview with Lucy Porter? Click here for free tickets.

The Unknown Soldier | Assembly Hall | 1.45pm
A phenomenal piece of theatre. "The play soberingly questions our institutional memorialisation of the war", notes our reviewer, "showing that whilst we do remember, a lot has been forgotten".

Lolly 2 | Pleasance Courtyard | 6.00pm
And one from the comedy programme. "Immensely creative character and sketch comedy" say we. "Every moment of 'Lolly 2' is screamingly hilarious and inexhaustibly innovative: I never wanted this show to end".

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 19 AUGUST 2016 >>

Somewhere Under The Rainbow | The London Irish Centre | 19 Aug
This show, which is on for one night only as part of the Camden Fringe, garnered a five star review when one of our team saw it at the Edinburgh Fringe back in 2012. Sharon Sexton plays Liza Minnelli in this one woman musical show, telling the story of the powerhouse singer's long and eclectic career. See this page here for more info.

Rambert River Stage Weekend | National Theatre | 19-21 Aug
The latest lot to set up weekend camp over at the National Theatre's free River Stage are internationally renowned dance company Rambert, who will present a fab line up of performances and dance classes for a range of ages. If you're not busy, you really should take some of this in over the course of the weekend – not least because it won't cost a penny. Head this way for details.

Joe Pera Talks You To Sleep | Aces & Eights | 15-21 Aug
If you're looking for comedy that's the definition of 'different', then this is probably it. I mean, we're not talking wild and wacky, here – we're talking "low key jokes and stories meant to put the audience to sleep". Pera has been rather successful with this in his native US – this show has been made into an animated version, plus he's appeared on Comedy Central and NBC's 'Late Night with Seth Meyers'. Also part of Camden Fringe, see the festival website here.


We Are Not Alone | Hen & Chickens | 20-21 + 27-28 Aug
Now, don't be all, like, accusing me of choosing this because the little aliens in the picture for this show look like they've been crocheted. I do like to crochet, it's true, but I have chosen this on account of its subject matter "The near future: to prepare for alien arrival on Earth, citizens are required to attend today's workshop. With an astrobiologist who see new life forms as an amazing adventure and a military specialist who sees an unspecified threat." – see, sounds good, doesn't it? Head this way for info.

Swipe | Hen & Chickens | 18-21 Aug
And talking of not being alone, here's one that I dare say the Youth Of Today can relate to, a play about living in this modern world where it's all technology, selfies, online dating and swiping people away when they don't live up to expectations. And this is on at the same venue as above. You could see both. In one day! See this page here for more details and to book.

Sellotape Sisters | Tristan Bates Theatre | 15-20 Aug (pictured)
You know, I've only gone and chosen three shows all at Camden Fringe for today's tips. But, you know, it's really, really, hard not to, when they are staging so much good stuff at the same time as everyone else is cutting back their artsy output on account of people wanting to be outside, and stuff. Anyway, this sounds pretty amusing – they describe it as 'Noises Off' meets 'The Killing of Sister George' via 'Acorn Antiques' – so that sounds promising, doesn't it? Last chance to see it today though. Here's the link you need.

SUNDAY 21 AUGUST 2016 >>

Breakaway | Cockpit Theatre | 21-22 Aug
I won't deny that my hackles went up a bit when I read through the description of this show, because it seemed to me to imply that somehow it's men who need to escape from their crappy lives with women and children, but I'm hoping it's just badly worded because it sounds super, a story of bored office workers with mundane lives reliving the highlights of their childhood. See this page here for info.

Thlides | The Lion And Unicorn | 21-23 Aug
This sounds really weird, but you know, sometimes that's a really good thing. It is, to be fair, described as a surreal dark comedy. "Spawny John, an army veteran, and Duck, an inflatable duck, sit halfway down a Butlins water slide. But they're not the only ones looking to do a spot of sliding today." Yes, that is a bit wacky, isn't it? Bet you'd like the link, wouldn't you?

Royal Hunter | Camden People's Theatre | 21-26 Aug (pictured)
And so to yet another interesting sounding show over at ye olde Camden Fringe. This is a comical one woman piece, a fictional account of a woman meeting Prince Harry via Tinder, and the inevitable Royal struggles that follow. See this page here for more info.

MONDAY 22 AUGUST 2016 >>

Stuart Bowden – Wilting In Reverse | Soho Theatre | 22-27 Aug (pictured)
We love Stuart Bowden here at TW HQ, so much so that we gave him a ThreeWeeks Editors' Award for generally being completely brilliant at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe year after year after year. Don't miss your chance to see him now that he is London with the excellent 'Wilting In Reverse'. Head this way to book some tickets.

How Does That Make You Feel? | The Lion And Unicorn | 22-27 Aug
This sounds good, and is the work of an award winning playwright. "When a double-glazing salesman and doting husband discovers his wife is going to relationship counselling he insists on being part of the solution, unaware that he's all of the problem." Not sure if this is a comedy, but it sounds as though there might be some comical results. See this page here for info.

Eleanor Tiernan and Chris Kent – Starting From Scratch | Camden Comedy Club | 22-25 Aug
Two TW favourites offer up a work in progress, which I think sounds very promising. "After years of building their careers in their native land, two of Ireland's top stand ups have upped sticks and moved to the UK. What were they thinking?" I don't know what they were thinking, not remotely, but a) I bet the ensuing material is very funny and b) I'm awfully glad they set themselves up over here. Click this link for info.


Starman | London Wonderground | 23-24 Aug (pictured)
Oh, I love stars and pictures with stars and anything with stars, really, so this absolutely spoke to me, just with its lovely starry picture. But, you know, it sounds as though it will be a quality show, too, from a renowned company, featuring circus, comedy and, er, cardboard. I am sure all will become clear. See the venue website here for all the details.

Hannah Gadsby – Dogmatic | Soho Theatre | 23-27 Aug
Much critically acclaimed comedian Hannah Gadsby has been on our radar since we first witnessed her performing at the old edfringe a few years back. She is very, very good, so if I were you, I'd be very, very sensible, and head to the Soho Theatre website to book your tickets for this wonderful (yet possibly woeful?) show.

Cockroaches | The Cockpit | 23-24 Aug
"Set in a war-torn Russia at the beginning of the 20th century, 'Cockroaches' tells a story of five refugees, fleeing the Soviet regime in hope of finding a better life only to become aliens in an indifferent country." This sounds great, is topical, and is made all the more interesting by the fact that it's been translated by Ukrainian Anastasiya Sosis, who has first-hand experience of the ongoing civil war in her home country. See this page here for all the info.


The Roundabout | Park Theatre | 24 Aug-24 Sep (pictured)
I might have mentioned before that I am very fond of the plays of JB Priestley so there's no way I'd want to miss this, a high profile revival of one of his plays that hasn't had very much attention. It's a comedy about a dysfunctional family, set in the nineteen-thirties, and as you'd expect from a production at this venue, it's got a cast with mostly rather impressive CVs. Book your tickets here.

Realtine/Noreen | Tristan Bates Theatre | 23-27 Aug
I'm fond of a double bill, and this one consists of two plays by the same writer-performer, Janet Behan. Both the women she portrays are Irish, but very different, and both the plays examine what happens to people when they grow up in a theocracy. Wander over to the venue website here for more info and to book.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist | Finborough Theatre | 23-27 Aug
You may recall my previous recommendations in this series of productions presented by National Youth Theatre at the Finborough. This is the first ever stage production of Mohsin Hamid's Man Booker Prize shortlisted novel and Hollywood blockbuster film, adapted by Stephanie Street and directed by Prasanna Puwanarajah. See the venue website here for more.


Unfaithful | Found111 | 25 Aug-8 Oct
This is the latest show to be staged at Found111 following the success of 'The Dazzle' and 'Bug', and has a rather starry cast which includes  Niamh Cusack and Matthew 'Neville Longbottom' Lewis. Perhaps I should stop calling him that now he's all grown up and hot. Anyway, I am sure he will be very good in this, which promises to "question what it means to be lovers, partners and people". See this page here for info.

Blink by Phil Porter | Upstairs At The Gatehouse | 25-28 Aug
I suspect this is also a show about what it means to be lovers and partners and people, but this seems to have more of a focus on loneliness and bereavement. It's from an award winning playwright, so I think we can have high hopes for it. Head this way for info and to book.

Barbu | London Wonderground | 15 Jun-25 Sep (pictured)
We saw this lot perform up in Edinburgh in 2015 and they are absolutely awesome and super beardy. Of course, you might already have seen this show, because it's been on since June, but covering the current Fringe Festival reminded me of how good this is, and I don't want anyone in London to miss out on amazing, acrobatic, circus derring do, mayhem, and muscles. Plus beards, obviously. See the venue website here for details.
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