Here’s Your Definitive Guide to Edinburgh Fringe 2019 (you’re welcome)
I loved Bryony Kimming’s I’m A Phoenix, Bitch at Battersea Arts Centre – don’t miss it at The Pleasance. You really are in safe hands with ThisEgg; a gorgeous four-women show called dressed returns. Rhum and Clay’s clever The War of the Worlds will be sure to make its mark, too.
Elsewhere, YESYESNONO return with The Accident Did Not Take Place, featuring a new guest performer every night. Could be good. Dark Lady Co are staging Drowning at Pleasance Courtyard as well – it sets out to confront all we deem evil, horrible, and hideous. Curious eh.
Over at Summerhall, double act Ridiculusmus bring a smart show: Die! Die! Die! Old People Die! This is funny and fragile farce about mortality and mourning. The highly brilliant Cardboard Citizens return with Bystanders, shining a light on the life and death of homeless people. National Theatre Wales will chart the story of a woman travelling from Ireland to Wales to have an abortion in Cotton Fingers. Kieran Hurley and Gar
Paines Plough are kind of amazing aren’t they. They always put on outstanding new plays from around the UK; this year it is no different: there are three world premieres in The Roundabout @ Summerhall in co-production with Theatr Clwyd by Daf James, Nathan Bryon and Charles Miles.
Among other highlights, Steph Martin stars in I’m Non Typical,Typical by Cambridge’s Bedazzle Inclusive Theatre; this new play aims to change people’s perceptions of disability. Worth a look.
Edinburgh Fringe demigod Henry Naylor brings The Nights – the fifth stand-alone play in Naylor’s Arabian Nightmares series, that tackles the uncomfortable relationship between the East and West, post 9/11/ (his wife is Sarah Kendall, you know). I’m rather excited about all-male company BalletyBoyz making their dreamy fringe debut, with THEM/US one piece choreographed by the company and the other by Christopher Wheeldon at Bristo Square, Underbelly. Unmissable talent.
Traverse Theatre features a host of world premieres including Crocodile Fever by Meghan Tyler – a blackly comic drama set in Northern Ireland. Javaad Alipoor will direct his piece created with the excellent Kirsty Housely: Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran – inspired by stories of the expanding global wealth division.
I’m also curious to see what the Edinburgh International Festival has on offer. Stephen Fry will present a trilogy of plays adapted from his book Mythos, about the Greek pantheon of gods and their various inceptions. Disability-led Birds of Paradise present Robert Softley Gale’s Purposeless Movements, exploring the perception of masculinity and disability.
Sometimes you can find a hidden gem at theSpaceUK. I must emphasise the choice word ‘sometimes’ here. (I once sat in a basement with a pipe leaking on my head for 50 minutes, while a woman shaved her legs to the songs of Thin Lizzy – it was not good. It was, in fact, shit).
Anyway, if you like comedy I reckon Noir Hamlet, which has already picked up the Boston Globe Critic’s Pick earlier this year – is worth a look; it updates Hamlet to a wise-cracking 1940s detective up to his neck in a comedic case with more twists that a gallows tie.
While you are there, Level Up might be worth a look. It explores a near-future utopia where real love is impossible to measure.
National Theatre of Scotland are staging two world premieres at the festival – Jackie Kay’s Red Dust Road, about growing up as a mixed-race adopted Scot, as well as Tim Crouch’s Total Immediate Collective Imminent Terrestrial Salvation, in a co-production with the Royal Court.
I hope you have found some use in this guide to what the fringe world has on offer.
If you have tips, tweet me: @mrcarlwoodward*thumbs up emoji*.