The Edinburgh Fringe Festival starts next weekend. I've not had much of a chance to look through the programme for this year's festival, but a few things caught my eye. Theatre Babel are repeating a production of Macbeth that they performed around the country last year to rave reviews. Theatre Babel are a great company whose productions normally have a fantastic contemporary edge; last time I saw them was at the Festival in the first, challenging, performance of Thebans by Liz Lochead.
If you're going for comedy, I'd recommend The stand's "Best of..." series. I've been to a number of Best of Scottish and Best of Irish shows and they're always a good laugh. It always is a bit of a risk going to a show like this, but I've never cam out of one disappointed, even though there are some dire comics on the Fringe.
At the Book Festival this year, there's a number of events already sold out. If you can get hold of a return for Tony Benn, he's always entertaining (whether you agree with his politics or not). There's also a joint event with Yasmin Alibhai-Brown (from the Independent) & Bernard Crick on the state of political journalism.
The Film Festival is always the one I miss, but I make sure that I go to the Surprise Film every year.
Finally, a cheap plug for a production that the brother of a friend of mine is involved in. "Singin' I'm No A Billy, I'm A Tim" is about a Celtic and Rangers fan imprisoned in the same cell on the day of an Old Firm game who talk through the bigotry and hatred that's such a part of football in the West of Scotland.
They're my recommendations, if you see anything else interesting (or bad!) in Edinburgh this year, let me know.