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It’s Edinburgh time again! And if you book early, there’s every chance you could get up-close-and-personal with some celebrities hoping to re-launch their careers with a star turn in the tiny venues of the annual Fringe Festival.

Here are our top five tips:

Jim Davidson in Othello. After several decades in the comedy wilderness, Davidson is set to prove his acting chops as Shakespeare’s doomed Venetian general, blacked up. (Bedlam Theatre, Bristo Place, tickets from £2.99)

Pete Doherty Mumbles Some Of The Lyrics Of A Song. Doherty performs this solo acoustic show in random locations throughout the festival, at unexpected times, even if it means he is ‘alone in the bog, wasted.’ (Various venues. No charge, but please encourage him to eat some chips)

Cheryl Cole as Christian Bale in Making Of The Machinist. Pop Princess Cole makes the most of her recent malaria-related weight-loss in this behind-the-scenes portrait of one of Hollywood’s most intense actors. Due to Cole’s dangerously low body-mass, audiences are warned that sneezing will be prohibited. (Surgeons Hall, Nicholson Street tickets from £3.50)

Lembit Opik in The Vagina’s Monologue. Following his humiliation in the general election, former Lib Dem MP Opik presents this heart-warming one-man show in which he reminisces about aspects of his life: in politics, in the celebrity limelight, and in vaginas. (Gilded Balloon, Greenside Place, tickets from £0.79)

Mel Gibson in The Afro-Jewish Merchant Women Of Venice. Gibson pledges to face his critics head-on in this radical, live re-imagining of Shakespeare’s drama, featuring tribal dancing, extreme torture, kilts, an ancient Hebrew conspiracy, a race war, mass-executions, drunk-driving, poisoned darts, post-apocalyptic skirmishes for petrol in dune-buggies, wild panthers, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and Danny Glover. (Pleasance Dome, Bristo Square (tickets from £7.50 – no Jew money)


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