8. Ten people doing unusual things

Edinburgh 10x10

The Fringe should always be about doing something different – so here are 10 shows that are either comics doing things they are not normally associated with; or just unusual ideas.

1. Mark Thomas: Bravo Figaro!

Mark Thomas is probably our foremost political comedian, a proper old-school left-winger who’s not afraid to get his hands dirty with some grassroots activism. So what does he do know we’ve a Tory-led Coalition and in the midst of a long, deep, double-dip recession? A show about his dad and his love of opera. But never fear the lack of an obvious political motive – we’ve seen some of this as work-in-progess, and it should be mighty impressive. Traverse Theatre. Various Times.

2. Shit-Faced Shakespeare

Does what it says on the can. A serious play from the Bard with a pissed-up actor. Only on the Fringe. C Venues 22:20

3. Phill Jupitus Is Porky The Poet In 27 Years On

Jupitus does a Free Fringe show, reviving the comic-poetry act which first got him into comedy in 1985. He says it’s taken him this long to put an hour together. Expect long queues… The Jam House 16:00

4. Lost Voice Guy and Jeff Lantern: Not Afraid Of Tablets

Lee Ridley is the first comedian to perform entirely through an iPad, thanks to a a text-to-speech app called Speak It! He lost his voice through cerebral palsy but says: ‘The fact that I can't talk hasn't really been a problem.’ This is a two-hander with ‘conspiracy fascist’ Jeff Lantern. Laughing Horse @ City Café. 17:30 8 and 15 only.

5. George Ryegold: God In A Bag

Toby William’s creepy stand-up persona – a doctor with a penchant for the unpleasant – becomes the centre of a play, which also stars Hattie Hayridge and Milo McCabe, among others. Underbelly Bristo Square 13:45

6. Back To School

A site-specific, interactive experience – words to either fill you with delight or dread – that casts the audience as pupils in a show to which celebrities including Jonathan Ross, David Baddiel and Sue Perkins have contributed. Run in conjunction with a Back To School disco at weekends, this could be this year’s Office Party. Pleasance At Braidwood Centre. 13:30 and 16:00

7. David O’Doherty Presents 403 Second Masterworks

‘Very short presentations delivered by top comedy talent on specialised subjects they have chosen.’ This seems to be DOD’s take on Pecha Kucha – the Japanese-originated presentation technique in which speakers have to talk for 20 seconds on each of 20 slides, shown on autoplay. He hosted a witty Pecha Kucha night at Kilkenny’s Cat Laughs festival earlier this year, so expect more of the same here. Gilded Balloon 13:30 on the 14th, 17:15 on the 20th

8. Rod Is God

This is something different form the Late Night Gimp Fight boys – a dark new comedy about flatmates who create their own cult to make some quick cash, but get caught out when the number of followers snowballs as the supposed end of the world approaches. Pleasance Dome 16:00

9. Dancing About Architecture

The title is based on a famous quote of how futile it is to write about music… you might as well dance about architecture. Mark Olver hosts a discussion show where Fringe performers talk about how they write and why they love comedy. Just The Tonic At The Caves 12:00 2 to 12 only. And if you like this sort of thing, we’d also recommend Stuart Goldsmith’s Comedians’ Comedian Podcast taking place at 12:15, Fridays to Sundays, at the Gilded Balloon

10. Monkey Toast: The Improvised Chat Show

A different take on the talk-show formula: Guests have the usual char, but then improvisers including Humphrey Ker, Cariad Lloyd, Sara Pascoe, Phil Wheleans and Rob Broderick make up scenes based around what was said. The format’s already won six Canadian Comedy Awards, and now making its Edinburgh debut. Pleasance Dome 23:05

Published: 27 Jul 2012

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... including a new musical talk show from Boothby Graffoe and a stand-up special from US comedian Michelle Buteau.

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