Flight of fantasy

Sadly, no more are the days when I would bury my head in the Fringe programme armed with maps, highlighter pens and post it notes, seeing how many shows I could cram into one day (eight is my record).

If I were there this year, I would stock up on data and plant the Inspiration Machine link in the middle of my home screen—it sounds a great way of getting out of your comfort zone when there is a gap to be filled in the schedule.

If a magic carpet could whisk me across the border, my Fantasy Fringe day would include:

  • Ticker - début play by Tom Machell based on a true story of unexpected loss in which a young man finds himself suddenly a prime suspect and a chief mourner (Underbelly Cowgate)
  • Subject Mater – a loosely autobiographical, form-pushing new play by Nadia Cavelle taking an imaginative journey into the parent/child relationship (Paradise in The Vault)
  • Kill the PrincessBait Theatre uses storytelling, clowning, spoken word and illusion to look at 'fairytale' behaviours, gender roles and narrative (Heroes @ The SpiegelYurt)
  • Lou Sanders: Say Hello To Your New Step-Mummy – stand up comedian looks at society with skewed logic, offbeat stories and some deeper-than-you-think opinions
  • It’s True, It’s True, It’s TrueBreach Theatre's 2018 hit returns with its account of the 1612 trial of Agostino Tassi, accused of raping fellow painter Artemisia Gentileschi
  • Ripped – writer and actor Alex Gwyther, working with the voluntary organisation Survivors Manchester looks at male rape, the stigma attached to it and it simpact on maleness (Underbelly, Cowgate)
  • Passengers – a semi-autobiographical dark comedy by transgender artists Kit Redstone (who has a mild form of Dissociative Identity Disorder), looking at multiple, complex personalities, and the power of the mind to protect itself from pain
  • Inspiration Machine pick

The Fringe, of course, wouldn't exist if it weren’t for the Edinburgh International Festival which offers amongst its highlight

  • The Crucible – the world première of Scottish Ballet's new based on Arthur Miller's classic
  • Peter Gynt – a reworking of Ibsen’s classic with Scottish star James McArdle in the title role
  • La Reprise – in which Milo Rau constructs a stage documentary around a savage killing that shocked Belgium.
  • Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools – two artists examine their colonial legacies
  • The Secret River – the award-winning drama based on the novel by Kate Grenville

Add in the Book Festival and Art Festival, there's an embarrassment of riches—so much to choose from how could you fail to have a good time. With three fun-filled weeks to run, there is still time to pack your sunglasses, umbrella and credit card and head off to Edinburgh.

The 2019 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Edinburgh International Festival run until 26 August, as does the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

The 16th edition of Edinburgh Art Festival continues until 25 August and the Edinburgh Television Festival runs from 21 to 23 August.