Our critics pick the best of the rest



Rhona Cameron
Local girl returns with her usual engaging mix of anecdote and bemused reflection. Pleasance, 13-19 August

Richard Herring: Christ On A Bike!
Herring's earnest consideration of whether he may in fact be the true Messiah. Pleasance, 1-27 August

Dan Antopolski: Antopolski 2000
A Best Newcomer nominee last year, Antopolski uses video clips to surreal and hilarious effect. Pleasance, 1-27 August

Stephanie Merritt


The Matchmaker
This play by the hugely popular Irish dramatist John B. Keane features the wonderful Anna Manahan, who helped light up The Beauty Queen of Leenane . Assembly Rooms, 3-27 August

Tiny Dynamite
Abi Morgan's new play is directed by the sharp Vicky Featherstone, acted by the explosive physical theatre company Frantic Assembly, and designed by the endlessly inventive Julian Crouch. Traverse, 5-25 August

Shan Khan's play, his first, is directed by Soho Theatre's Abigail Morris in a specially created area at the Royal Lyceum Theatre, 13-18 August

Susannah Clapp


Mikhail Baryshnikov recreates American post-modern dances from the 1960s and 1970s, alongside new works by Trisha Brown, Lucinda Childs and others. Edinburgh Playhouse, 12-16 August

New York City Ballet
Balanchine's company looks to the future with three programmes of radical works commissioned for its annual Diamond Project. Programme 2 (29, 31 August) could be the best bet. Edinburgh Playhouse, 28 August - 1 September

In Situ
Scotland's new National Centre for Dance introduces itself with a site-specific creation by Leah Stein and company (14-19 August). The building, at 14-16 Grassmarket, is stunning.

Shared Space: Marvellous
Matthew Hawkins heads a bill of four choreographers and performers worth checking out. French Institute, 6-11 August

Jann Parry


Die Walküre: Scottish Opera
One of the big music events of the festival (director Tim Albery, conductor Richard Armstrong), opening on 23 August at the Edinburgh Festival Theatre.

Britten: Canticles
Sung by Ian Bostridge (tenor), David Daniels (countertenor) and Christopher Maltman (baritone). Usher Hall, 26 August

Messiaen: Saint François d'Assise
A rare chance to hear this massive work with huge chorus (Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Edinburgh Festival Chorus). Usher Hall, 1 September

Journeys and Memories
'Live music as you've never seen it before', including Steve Reich's Different Trains, staged by Cryptic theatre company and string quartet Kuotet . Komedia St Stephens, 15-26 August

Fiona Maddocks


Startup.com (Chris Hegedus, Jehane Noujaim)
Documentary following the fortunes of two charismatic dotcom entrepreneurs through boom and bust. The Cameo, 23 August

Ghost World (Terry Zwigoff)
This first fictional film by the director of Crumb is a candid indie comedy about two teenage girls who hang out with aging slacker Steve Buscemi. UGC Cinema, 17 August

Kandahar (Mohsen Makhmalbaf)
A powerful polemic about the Taliban's gender oppression and other injustices lightened by moments of extraordinary visual poetry. Filmhouse, 15 August

Battle Royale (Fukasaku Kinji)
Lord of the Flies meets reality TV. A class of unruly Japanese schoolkids are banished to a remote island and ordered to kill each other until only one remains. A knowing action movie with a higher IQ and bodycount than Hollywood peers. The Cameo, 18 August

Akin Ojumu


Rembrandt's Women
More than 120 drawings, etchings and paintings from 14 international collections, many of them never seen in Britain before. Grand mythological dramas, portraits, nudes, intimate etchings and rapid thumbnail sketches by a master who loved - but had the misfortune to outlive - all of his women. National Gallery of Scotland, until 2 September.

Sean Scully
A first Scottish show for this great abstract painter, born in London, but long since flown to New York. A dozen new works by the star of glimmering stripes. Ingleby Gallery, 1 August - 15 September

Jeff Koons: Easyfun-Ethereal
The king of kitsch switches from sculpture to painting - though still with the aid of several assistants. Photorealist paintings, billboard-sized and no less subtle, scourging US consumer culture from Cheerios to Pantyhose. Fruitmarket Gallery, 12 September

Laura Cumming


Debating the Future: Democracy and the Multinationals
With Naomi Klein, George Monbiot, Alan Rugman & John Burnside. 21 August, 3.30pm

Margaret Atwood
Last year's Booker prize winner talks about her work. 25 August, 11.30am

Zadie Smith
A rare recent sighting of the author of White Teeth, surely the most successful first novel of recent years. 25 August, 5.30pm


Edinburgh International Festival: 0131 473 2001; www.eif.co.uk Fringe box office: 0131 226 0000, www.edfringe.com; Edinburgh International Film Festival: 0131 228 4051, www.edfilmfest.org.uk; Edinburgh Book Festival: 0131 624 5050, www.edbookfest.co.uk

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