Edinburgh Festival top ten: Matt Trueman’s picks

What's On Stage / Matt Trueman


Northern Stage @ Summerhall, 14.30

It’s three years since Selina Thompson announced herself with a startlingly frank show about binge eating and beauty. Since then, she’s developed into one of the most promising young performance artists around, and salt. is her most ambitious project to date. Last year, Thompson boarded a cargo ship to sail the old transatlantic slave triangle route: Britain, Ghana, Jamaica and back. salt. looks at the residues history leaves behind.

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£¥€$ (LIES)

Summerhall, 18.30 / 20.30

Ontroerend Goed have been the most vital Fringe force of the decade. In 2007, they bound and blindfolded their audiences, kickstarting the one-on-one theatre craze. Since then, they’ve dated us, offended us and reflected us back at ourselves. Returning to interactivity, £¥€$ (LIES) lets us flutter on the financial markets. Casting us as billionaires at the casino table of global politics, it should be a safe bet.

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Out of Love

Paines Plough Roundabout @ Summerhall, 13.25

There’s rarely a word out of place in an Elinor Cook script. She writes with the poise and precision of a principal ballerina. Her last play, Pilgrims, drove a rift between two male mates. Her new one has two female friends drift apart. One goes to university. The other falls pregnant. If that sounds like fertile terrain – a metaphor, maybe, for a wider divide – don’t be surprised. For all its delicacy, Cook’s work digs deep.

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Sasquatch: the Opera

Summerhall, 21.15

American alt-rockers Faith No More always matched an experimental sound with an oddball aesthetic. Throughout the eighties and nineties, they hoovered up musical influences as diverse as Black Sabbath and the Bee Gees, and that variety makes the prospect of a new musical by keyboardist Roddy Bottum an enticing one – all the more so when it’s about a woman who falls in love with the monster known as Bigfoot.

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The Shape of the Pain

Summerhall, 19.30

Chris Thorpe’s work is slowly falling into focus. He likes to bridge unbridgeable gaps. Collaboration sought to cross an ideological divide, far-left to far-right, and The Oh Fuck Moment showed that we all share in personal shame. His latest show, made in collaboration with Rachel Bagshaw, attempts to communicate the experience of chronic pain. It’s a fascinating topic, both philosophically and politically.

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