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If you were at the Fringe last year then it's entirely possible that you heard about a show called 'Agatha Is Missing', an interactive and funny murder mystery with a familiar character in the starring role.

If you didn't manage to get around to seeing it, then I am pleased to inform you that the show is back this year to delight more edfringe audiences.

The show was written, and is performed, by Prudence Wright Holmes, a US-based performer and playwright with an impressive history of work both live and on screen. I arranged a quick chat to find out more. Read the interview here.

Prudence Wright Holmes performs Agatha Is Missing at Edinburgh Festival 2019 at Gilded Balloon Teviot from 31 Jul-26 Aug. Listing here.
ThreeWeeks Co-Editor Caro Moses recommends shows to see at this year's Edinburgh Festival, presented in handy sets of three.


Jayne Edwards Is Top Bodybuilder Brian | Heroes @ Dragonfly | 1-25 Aug (pictured)

For this set of tips I decided to focus on those comedians bringing their first full-hour solo shows to the Festival this year. And we are starting with Jayne Edwards, who has already made waves in other places in the UK with her acclaimed character comedy, and is set to do the same in the Scottish capital this summer. In this show she plays a Leaver who "fights, metaphorically, to find meaning in the world, and anyone who voted Remain, physically", which sounds rather promising. Listing here.

Michael Odewale: #BLACKBEARSMATTER | Pleasance Courtyard | 31 Jul-25 Aug 
Comedy aficionados may already be well aware of the work of Michael Odewale, given his status as a BBC New Comedy Award finalist, his recent success at the 2019 Leicester Comedy Festival (he won Best New Show) and his appearances on 'Stand Up Central' and Radio 4. But he's now headed Fest-wards with his debut hour and you would be mad to miss it. Expect high quality stand-up as Odewale "tries to figure out what matters, and what's just noise". Listing here.

Esther Manito: Crusade | Gilded Balloon Teviot | 31 Jul-25 Aug
Another competition finalist now (So You Think You're Funny, 2017, amongst others) and it's talented Lebanese British comedian Esther Manito: "Esther takes you on a whirlwind tour of what life is like when you can't meet the expectations of your identity. From battling comments online to facing head-on confrontations in person, she's not sure she wants to battle the crusade!" Listing here.

Fiver | Southwark Playhouse | 3-20 Jul
Interesting idea: this is a new musical by Alex James Ellison and Tom Lees that follows a five pound note as it makes its way through the hands and pockets of London dwellers, and explores the value of money and the relationships people have with it. "Often unnoticed and obviously unaware, the fiver is present for significant moments in each person's life - whether it be an appreciation of their skills as a street performer; the start or end of a relationship; or the simple realisation that they can afford a bed for the night". See the venue website here for more information.

Off Season: A Scandal In Bohemia | Camden People's Theatre | 8-20 Jul 
"This fin-de-siècle steampunk merry-go-round will be a rollercoaster ride of 6 women playing hundreds of characters while Holmes and Watson expose crimes, solve mysteries, cheat death and make it safely back home in time to feed the dog". Do I need to tell you anything else about this, or are you keen to go get your tickets booked already? Well, I would very much like to take in this "high-energy, physical, comedic pantomime" that takes on the issues of fake news and feminism, and I bet you do to. See this page here for all the details.

Whitewash | Soho Theatre | 3-27 Jul (pictured)
I think we first discovered Gabriel Bisset-Smith as half of comedy double act Guilt & Shame but of course he has done loads of stuff since then, like plays and short films and being nominated for a BAFTA and all that. Anyway, here he is at Soho Theatre, co-starring in a play he wrote himself, inspired by his experiences of being the white child of a mixed race mother. It sounds like an excellent piece, which explores race, class, identity and belonging alongside the issue of the gentrification of the capital. Tickets for the earliest performances are gone, so hurry up and book here for the dates you want.


Tiger Mum | Theatre503 | 3-4 Jul (pictured)
"Constance wants to guarantee her 9-year-old bi-racial son Elijah lives beyond his 18th birthday. He's not sick, just black. Constance's formidable mother Agnes has died suddenly and she's forced to parent her son Elijah for the first time. She desperately wants to live up to her mother's high expectations and be worthy of the Tiger Mum crown. This sets her on an obsessive path to get him into the exclusive Cathedral College, which Constance believes will get Elijah off the street and keep him alive". Very interesting looking work in progress about raising sons of colour in Britain that explores the fact that "safety appears to have become a privilege for the few". Details here.

Miniaturists 74 | Arcola Theatre | 7 Jul
Hurrah, it's time for another Miniaturists, and for anyone who doesn't know what Miniaturists is, well, a)where have you been and b) it's a writer led event dedicated to presenting short but perfectly formed plays by a range of new and established playwrights and it's been running for many years. This time you can expect to see works by Stephen Sharkey, Grace Chapman, Sophie Swithinbank, Hatty Jones and Jessica Norman, and I can assure you that they will all be very much worth seeing. See the venue website here for info.

The Daughter Abroad | Theatre503 | 5-6 Jul 
"The daughter arrives home. Life has moved on, and why shouldn't it when she's only back to flirt with England? The mother fades into view. She is furious. She chases the bin men down the road with a fistful of the rubbish they have left behind. There is much unresolved and unspoken between these displaced women, but the daughter has a decision to face and does not want to do so alone". A new play about motherhood, written by Tassa Deparis and directed by Anna Crace. For more information and to book tickets, head right this way.


The Comedies | Jermyn Street Theatre | 8-9 Jul 
You all know full well that we love collections of short plays (see previous set of Threes for proof) and this one is looks very attractive indeed. Collection might be the wrong word, though: the blurb calls it a series, and I am wondering if that means that they have connected themes, and they are definitely all by the same person, Harry ter Haar. All the plays sound very interesting, in any case, and there are details of each of them on this page here, from whence you can also book your tickets.

*A Great Big Sigh* | The Hope Theatre | 7-8 Jul 
This sounds fun, doesn't it? "The world outside is (probably) falling apart. Walter has no friends and Tina desperately wants to survive: nothing could possibly be spookier. In this riotous comedy we see these two strangers trapped with nothing but a few clues they must solve together in order to escape this flabbin' heckin' basement!" Head this way for all the details.

Multiverse | Camden People's Theatre | 2-6 Jul (pictured)
As well as loving short plays here at TW Towers, we are also very fond of improv. If it's musical, so much the better; and we are in luck. This is also a bit different from your standard musical improv, as the troupe use the audience suggestions to create two very different stories: "Every show is unique as Multiverse take a location and title from the audience before spinning a Sliding Doors style tale through two lifetimes of heartfelt connections, laugh out loud adventures and soul-stirring songs". For all the info, see the venue website here.


A Bit Of A Do | Stanley Halls | 5-7 Jul 
A third year for Drunken Chorus's inclusive free mini festival of theatre, dance and cabaret, taking place over the course of three days and featuring the work of artists and companies with and without disabilities, both established and emerging. Highlights include performances by Candoco Dance Company, Deaf BSL singer and comedian Caroline Parker and award winning writer and performer Byron Vincent, but there's loads of other good stuff to take in. For information on it all, and to reserve free tickets, have a look at this page here.

Rough Music | Finborough Theatre | 4 Jul 
This is what I think is the last play in the line up of the previously tipped Vibrant 2019 at the Finborough Theatre and it's got a rather intriguing narrative: "Vi lives in a mobile library parked on the hill beyond the ring-road of a northern market town. Apart from her young employee Isaac, the only person who visits is an eleven year old girl, come to hear Vi's extraordinary tales. Just the three of them is how Vi likes it. But when she wakes up to see a man hanging from the hornbeam tree outside, Vi struggles to keep her past hidden between the books. In a town where public shaming has become the norm, the library becomes a refuge". Click here, then scroll down to the bottom of the page.

Jogging | Gate Theatre | 8-10 Jul (pictured)
"Fifty-something Lebanese performer Hanane Hajj Ali jogs every day to avoid osteoporosis, obesity and depression. Her route takes her through her own personal spaces of Beirut, revisiting roles, characters, desires, aspirations and disappointments along the way. Alone on a bare stage, Hanane - woman, wife and mother - compares herself with Medea figures: the mythological and everyday Beirut woman". Another selection from the previously tipped Shubbak Festival of Arab culture: more info on this excellent sounding work here, and listings for the rest of the fest here.
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