What to see at Edinburgh Festivals 2023

The Office Watch head honcho, Peter Deegan, isn’t just a Microsoft Office nerd for over 25 years. He’s been a theatre junkie for even longer and goes to the famous Edinburgh Festivals each year. And each year he’s asked for recommendations and tips. For 2023, he’s publishing some short reviews of shows that he’s seen and liked, to help others choose from the thousands of shows available.
Check this page regularly, Peter will add shows as he sees them.

Get the most for less money (and hassle) at the Edinburgh Festivals

What I’m looking forward to at this year’s Edinburgh Festivals

I’ve Got Some Things To Get Off My Chest

Sometimes you choose a show partly because it fills time between two other events. I’ve Got Some Things To Get Off My Chest fit into my schedule and I’m very glad it did.

Eva Lily’s show is well written and structured. Autobiographical shows can fall into the trap of being self-indulgent or self-pitying which might be good therapy for the performer but not the audience. That does NOT apply to “I’ve got some things to get off my chest”.

Funny and interesting, I hope the word of mouth on this show spreads and the small venue is sold out. Eva deserves it.

I’ve Got Some Things To Get Off My Chest Gilded Balloon: Teviot. 1:40pm (1 hour) most Festival days.

Beautiful Evil Things

Beautiful Evil Things is the mostly unknown (to me) story of Medusa. Medusa is known for the hair of snakes and eyes that turn people to stone. Deborah Pugh in a remarkable and powerful performance takes us through Medusa’s backstory, how she got her famous look and later decapitated.

Along the way we meet other women from the Greek and Trojan stories; Cassandra, Clytemnestra and the too-often ignored Amazonian Queen, Penthesilea.

It’s a genuine pleasure to watch a polished performer hold an audience enthralled for more than an hour. Clever sound and lighting enhance, rarely overwhelming, the core performance.

Beautiful Evil Things Pleasance Dome. 3:40pm (75 minutes) each day except Mondays.

Marcus Brigstocke: Cheese and Whine

Marcus Brigstocke is one of my Edinburgh Festival ‘must see’ shows. He’s never disappointed in all the times I’ve seen him.

Sit back and watch an experienced comedian, Marcus Brigstocke make an audience laugh and laugh from a ‘thin premise’ (his words). Marcus invites the audience to write down their ‘whines’ before the show; Trivial, Personal and Massive. He selects the card randomly on stage and engages on the whines. Sounds simple but only a confident performer would take the risk. Marcus Brigstocke is just the guy to do it and do it well. The Cheese? Marcus is a qualified cheese judge and has onstage a board of interesting cheeses. Good whiners get a nibble of an excellent cheese. Bad whiners are thrown a meere Babybel or worse!

Marcus Brigstocke: Cheese and Whine at Pleasance Courtyard: Cabaret Bar only until 13 August. Currently showing as ‘sold out’, hopefully more shows will be added.

Optimistic: Elizabeth Holmes

A one-woman verbatim show about Elizabeth Holmes, a “tech entrepreneur” and head of blood-testing company, Theranos. Once the darling of Wall Street and how serving an 11+ year sentence for fraud.

Optimistic: Elizabeth Holmes at Zoo Southside: Studio most days to 27th August, 6:55pm.