50 shows to see at the Edinburgh fringe 2018

Superstar standups, daring dance, Brexit cabaret and a Bon Jovi musical … Dive into our guide to some of the shows at the world’s biggest arts festival

Gilded Balloon

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Funny Cow review – Maxine Peake blazes in the dark days of standup

Peake is hypnotically belligerent as an ambitious club performer trampling over prejudice and sticky carpets on the 1970s comedy circuit

Maxine Peake dominates the screen as producer and star of this painful, angry film written by Tony Pitts and directed by Adrian Shergold, about a fictional female club comedian fighting her way to the top, or at least the middle, in 1970s Britain.

Maybe without Peake this would have looked merely strident or chaotic; and to be frank, even with Peake, it does flirt with some age-old cliches. Comedians are traditionally given centre stage in a drama on condition that they reveal themselves to be unhappy or empty inside. But Peake gives it a fierce, blazing energy and holds everything together through the magnetic force of her performance. Jim Moir, John Bishop, Kevin Eldon and Diane Morgan provide cameos (perhaps to underline the project’s comedy credentials) and the excellent Christine Bottomley is perhaps a bit underused as Peake’s mum.

Related: Maxine Peake: ‘I’m a Corbyn supporter. We need a coup’

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Edinburgh festival 2017: 10 shows to see

A puppet blockbuster, a Bigfoot opera and a Northern Soul dance marathon all feature in the lineup of the 70th Edinburgh festivalEdinburgh Playhouse Continue reading…

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The 10 best things to do this week: Lovebox and Painting Pop

Frank Ocean tops the bill at the east London festival, while Abbot Hall in Cumbria celebrates Blake, Hockney, Boty and more

Dog-friendly screening
Dog lovers and fans of stop-motion animation rejoice! London’s Picturehouse Central is hosting a special dog-friendly (well-behaved canines only, please) screening of My Life As a Courgette on 9 July. Water bowls and blankets will be provided (for the dogs, obvs).
At Picturehouse Central, W1, 9 July

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The 10 best things to do this week: Lovebox and Painting Pop

Frank Ocean tops the bill at the east London festival, while Abbot Hall in Cumbria celebrates Blake, Hockney, Boty and more

Dog-friendly screening
Dog lovers and fans of stop-motion animation rejoice! London’s Picturehouse Central is hosting a special dog-friendly (well-behaved canines only, please) screening of My Life As a Courgette on 9 July. Water bowls and blankets will be provided (for the dogs, obvs).
At Picturehouse Central, W1, 9 July

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10 of the UK’s best music festivals for families

Kids’ discos, circus workshops, craft corners, PG-rated comedy … not forgetting proper music lineups, from Stormzy to Happy Mondays – here’s our pick of the events all the family can enjoy

Alfresco was conceived by a music-loving couple who aimed to blend underground sounds with a family friendly hook. Highlights include Alexis Taylor, Psychemagik and Optimo, and kids’ activities are centred on arty and sporty workshops.
26-28 May, Tunbridge Wells, Kent; adult day £22-£38.50, 5-17 years day £19.25, weekend family £214.50, camping from £49.50. alfrescofestival.co.uk

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Whoopi Goldberg to Secret Cinema: top things to do in the UK this week

From the actor’s rarely seen character comedy to an immersive version of Moulin Rouge: your at-a-glance guide to the best in culture

Whoopi Goldberg
A brilliant one-off: the award-winning actor brings two performances of her character comedy to the London Palladium for the first time on Saturday 11 February. Her standup deals in alter-egos, so expect to meet Fontaine the career dope-smoker or Lurleen the southern matriarch.
At London Palladium, W1

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