News and update about Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2016


Edinburgh Festivals Diary – Day 1

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the biggest arts festival in the world and takes place every August for three weeks in Scotland’s capital city: this year 3,841 shows feature in 323 venues.

It is one of the the most important events in the theatre calendar.

I arrived in town and headed for Fringe Central and bumped into West End Producer flyering near Pleasance Dome.

‘Did you miss me, dear?’ I asked.

‘Yes, dear! I’ve been looking for my Willy.’ he laughed.

WEP, as he is known in theatrical circles, is making his Edinburgh Fringe debut with West End Producer (and Guests) – Free Willy! 

‘How has it been?’ I asked.

‘Well, numbers are low and the competition is huge. But, finally, I’m beginning to enjoy myself, dear.’ WEP explained.

I arrive at Fringe Central: a resource developed for Fringe participants. During the festive they offer well over 100 free events designed to help participants and performers  make the most out of their Fringe experience.

Roots by 1927 Theatre Company at the Church Hill theatre, Edinburgh.Photograph: Murdo MacLeod

Roots by 1927 Theatre Company at the Church Hill theatre, Edinburgh.Photograph: Murdo MacLeod

Anyway, having collected my media pass, I dash across the meadows to Church Hill Theatre to see Roots. An International Festival show blending early cinema techniques, animation and live performance by 1927, the theatre company behind Golem.

This is a fresh take on 13 folk tales, or “folk jokes” as the company calls them. This is a charming, challenging and very memorable show, thanks to a combination of offbeat humour, stunning music and emotion.

Kitchen brawls don’t tend to end well for women. Crocodile Fever – presented in association with the Lyric Theatre – at Traverse, wipes the floor with the patriarchy, though.

Dwyer Hogg with Lucianne McEvoy as Alannah.Photograph: Lara Cappelli

Dwyer Hogg with Lucianne McEvoy as Alannah.Photograph: Lara Cappelli

Meghan Tyler’s gruesome play is set during the 1980’s in rural Northern Ireland and focuses on a reunion of two sisters. The snapping, crackling script whizzes by and the whole thing is kind of absurd, but also, truly unmissable.

One of the lovelier things about returning to the festival is catching up with old friends, bumping into former acquaintances and saluting the hardworking people that keep the city firing on all cylinders; bar staff, taxi drivers, cafe owners, and more.

I head for coffee and read newspapers at my favourite hotel.

I spot the manager

‘Welcome back’ he said.

‘It’s good to be back,’ I said, ‘you having fun?’

‘Thanks, Mr Woodward! I’m absolutely loving it!’ he replied. He catches me reading The Daily Mirror.

‘Oh dear…’ he said.

‘Don’t judge, I read them all.’ I replied.

‘Do you know what, I often see many, many people walk in here for breakfast with a Financial Times…. and a Daily Mirror inside!’ He laughed.


The rest of the day was spent with Stephen Fry. Fry brings the nine-hour epic cut into three stage shows of his Greek legends book Mythos to the EIF as the opening dates of a UK tour – his first since hitting the road with Hugh Laurie forty years ago.

Basically, Men focuses on the Trojan War and Odysseus’s journey home. Heroes explores the legends of Hercules, Theseus and Perseus and, finally, Gods takes us back to the origins of the Greek pantheon.

I’m not saying Mr Fry’s decision to perform three shows about the same topic go on a bit – but good grief. There are 20 minute intervals, thankfully. And light relief in this well  structured lecture-slash-performance-slash-seminar come when things get interactive when the audience play ‘Mythical Pursuits’ and pose questions to his ‘oracle’. Absolutely ideal.

Stephen Fry in Mythos: A Trilogy – Gods. Heroes. Men at Edinburgh International Festival (Photo: David Cooper)

Stephen Fry in Mythos: A Trilogy – Gods. Heroes. Men at Edinburgh International Festival (Photo: David Cooper)

To be fair, the man is a walking encyclopaedia and a national treasure,  (Fun fact: the Milky Way is derived from when Hera woke and realised that she was breastfeeding an infant that wasn’t her own, she shoved him off and the spurting milk became the Milky Way.)

The Fringe and the International Festival both run until 26 August.



Assembly Festival 2019 Theatre Line-Up at Edfringe 2019

Assembly Festival 2019

Assembly Festival 2019 has announced another exciting year of theatre, from local artists to international superstars, to one-woman shows to energetic ensemble pieces.

 Standout solo performances include artist and activist Rose McGowan making her fringe debut with Rose McGowan: Planet 9 from Cloud9 Management, a show featuring memoir, music, storytelling, projections and performance. Eddie Izzard brings his Work in Progress of Eddie Izzard: Expectations of Great Expectations from Mick Perrin Worldwide. Eddie’s career spans both acting and comedy, but few know that it was actually acting that was Eddie’s first love. And the Assembly Roxy Theatre (ART) Award 2019 winner Elfie Picket presents Ane City. Tay attempts to find herself in the City of Dundee, in a theatrical, poetic show, that combines elements of Scots language, storytelling, song and comedy.

 After winning a string of awards in 2018, Raw Material and Traverse Theatre Company in association with Regular Music bring Cora Bissett’s rollercoaster journey What Girls Are Made Of  to Assembly Hall.

Disruptionthe future of new theatre, co-curated by HighTide and Assembly, is exclusively at Assembly Roxy this year featuring:Rust by Kenny Emson; Collapsible by Margaret Perry; Pops by Charlotte Josephine; The Queer House double bill in a co-production with HighTide present Since U Been Gone written and performed by Teddy Lamb and Pink Lemonade written and performed by Mia Johnson; and Suffering From Scottishness written and performed by Kevin P. Gilday.

The ever popular The HandleBards are cycling their way to Edinburgh once again, to present two of their famously raucous takes on Shakespeare with Much Ado About Nothing and The Tempest. There’s more Shakespeare in Romeo & Juliet from Guy Masterson – TTI in association with Maverick Theatre Co. with a fresh, feminist take on Shakespeare’s classic; and Curious Pheasant Theatre present their all male re-imagining of Romeo and Juliet.

For more classic remakes, Lyrical Therapy University + Aztec Economy present a solo-soul journey in (I)sland T(rap): The Epic Remixology of the Odyssey, and Grist to the Mill Productions present Moby Dick. Liz Lochhead’s irreverent cut of Moliere’sTartuffe is presented by Ed Littlewood Productions in Association with Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh. Americana Absurdum Productions present Brian Parks’ The Professor, a curious comedy about Dickens, shipwrecks, and the perils of original thinking, and Phil & Will present a one-man comedy Western in Gun.

From Korea, Assembly presents Spray from Cho-in Theatre Company, a dark comedic satire and Theatre Hooam return withBlack and White Tea Room – Counsellor. 

There are plenty of Musicals and Opera productions in Assembly’s jam-packed programme. With a nostalgic, 90s theme;Friendsical: A Parody Musical about Friends joins Cruel Intentions: The ‘90s Musical and Legally Blonde the MusicalThe humorous Thrones! The Musical Parody returns to Edinburgh, alongside Voldemort the Teenage Hogwarts Musical Parody.

 The National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts present Peking Opera: Farewell My Concubine, and the Shanghai Conservatory of Music present Tang and Four Dreams. David Colvin’s Thunderstruck is the tragic and comic tale of the greatest bagpiper who ever lived.

Assembly Festival presents the return of many popular shows from 2018. Smokescreen Productions return with their sell-out show Mengele, and their new show, JudasModern Māori Quartet return with their infectious show Two Worlds, while award-winning Dyad Productions (Orlando) bring DallowayA Slightly Isolated Dog (Don Juan) return with Jekyll and Hyde, a bonkers rendition of Stevenson’s classic novella.

 Shows included in the British Council Edinburgh Showcase 2019 include the return of New Perspectives Theatre Company’s The FishermenJavaad Alipoor’s The Believers Are But Brothers; and Status, from Chris Thorpe, Rachel Chavkin, China Plate and Staatstheater Mainz.

 From Guy Masterson – TTI comes Shaving the Dead from Perrier Award nominee Owen O’Neill; The Shark is Broken, in association with Shooting the Breeze; and Guys, Dolls & Pies in association with Maverick Theatre Coand PALS.

 Cahoots Theatre Company present Musik, a stunning performance by Frances Barber as Billie Trix, and My Darling Clemmie,exploring the relationship between Winston and Clementine Churchill.

There are some exciting double-acts in the programme, including mother and daughter duo After You from Hannah Norris, an exploration of female friendship and industrial meat farming in Haste Theatre’s Ex-Batts and Broilers, and Post-Mortem fromEllandar Productions & Jessica Rose McVay Productions.

 In powerful one-woman shows, Brian Foster Productions presents Myra’s Story about a middle-aged, homeless Dublin street drinker, Liv Productions present Tales from the Garden, Ashleigh Laurence presents her part stand-up show Tumours, andGrist to the Mill Productions explore the warrior and legend in The Ballad of Mulan.

Other female-led productions include: Judith Thompson’s Watching Glory Die, a riveting portrayal of three women trapped in a broken prison system and Theatre of NOTE bring FEMPIRE: Cleo, Theo & Wu by Kirsten Vangsness and FEMPIRE: Mess by Kirsten Vangsness. Women in war feature in I’ll Tell You This For Nothing from Kate JasonSmith, and Ivory Wings from Coreth Arts. 

 Masculinity is explored in All The Pigs present In the Shadow of the Black Dog, a raw and moving exploration of identity and masculinity, and Ed Eales-White presents Who is Daniel King, a story of a man who decides to be a dancer.

 Responding to contemporary social and political issues, Fionn Foley is Brendan Galileo for Europe, Osman Baig looks at Fake News, Scottee & Friends LTD present Class, a show about pretending to be posher than you are, Quick Duck Theatre presentYours Sincerely, a queer coming of age comedy about the complications of 21st century communication, and Eve and Sea Productions’ blend of spoken word, music and surrealism in Salmon asks why is it so hard to admit you’re not okay?

Dutch Kills Theater Company present explore the psychosocial experience of solitary confinement in Solitary, A Cry Havoc Theatre Company Production with LAByrinth Theater Company NY present Devil of Choice, a dark, sexy and funny take about the temptations we face when we find ourselves in a room with the devil; and Tim Honnef (Jonas Müller) presents The Things I Never Told You, a show about half-truths and white lies.

For something out of this world, Sleeping Giant, in association with Celebration Theatre, spins a series of intimate, darkly comic vignettes in this modern thriller, while A Brilliant Everything present The De Nova Super.

If you’re looking for something different, Frankie Foxstone’s AKA The Profit: Walking Tour will take you on a whirlwind tour of her property plans for Edinburgh. Innovative technology is on display in The Gray Cat and The Flounder from PNME and Civil Disobedience, Russell T Davies will be speaking at Assembly Hall as part of the Edinburgh TV Festival, and Meeting Jimcelebrates the captivating man behind the founding of the Traverse Theatre.


Ridiculusmus’ new show Die! Die! Die! Old People Die!

Ridiculusmus brings its latest show to the 2019 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Die! Die! Die! Old People Die! 

a funny and fragile farce about ageing, dying and mourning

TechCube0, Summerhall
Tuesday 13 to Sunday 25 August at 5.40pm
Press performance: Wednesday 14 August at 5.40pm

The UK’s most enduring theatre double act Ridiculusmus bring their latest show Die! Die! Die! Old People Die! to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from Tuesday 13 to Saturday 25 August. Die! Die! Die! is the final part of a trilogy of works transforming mental health issues into witty and accessible theatre which will be performed in full on 25 August.

In an age where death and grieving are being medicalised out of existence, Die! Die! Die! Old People Die! strives to reclaim humankind’s last taboo from eradication in a paper-fine portrait of a love triangle cursed to eternal life, but without eternal youth.

Libidinous centenarians Violet, Norman and Arthur are doomed to enact a slo-mo ballet of sadness. Amid fumbling, daily rounds of coffee, call centres and cat food, their rants, dribbles, pills and cough bombs litter an ambling blend of symbolist mysticism and synesthesia that has the fear of an ageing world population in its sights. It oozes with the relentless positivity of elderhood and good deaths.

For Die! Die! Die! Old People Die! Haynes and Woods shadowed palliative care workers, liaised with the Festival of Death and Dying in Melbourne, attended death cafés where people talk about death over tea and cake, and trawled their own grief memories for material. Woods began a course as a bereavement counselor – but had to pull out when his own father died.
Die! Die! Die! Old People Die! is the final part of Ridiculusmus’ trilogy of works transforming complex mental health issues into witty and accessible theatre. The full trilogy, Dialogue as the Embodiment of Love, will be presented on Sunday 25 August. Big pharma, psychiatry, psychology and the system all collide in the first two plays – domestic encounters that plunge audiences into disorders of the everyday. The Eradication of Schizophrenia in Western Lapland is informed by a treatment method for psychosis which delivered incredible results whilst Give Me Your Love explores the therapeutic impact of MDMA on post-traumatic stress disorder.
Twitter @_Ridiculusmus_

Company: Ridiculusmus
Show: Die! Die! Die! Old People Die!
Venue: TechCube 0, Summerhall, 1 Summerhall, Edinburgh EH9 1PL
Dates: Tuesday 13 & Wednesday 14 August (previews); Thursday 15 to Sunday 25 August (no performance on Monday 19 August)
Tickets: 13 & 14 August £8; 15 to 18 August, 20 to 25 August £10 (£8 concessions)
Time: 5.40pm
Box office: 0131 560 1581 /
Running time: approx. 60 minutes
Suggested age range: 13+
Show: Dialogue as the Embodiment of Love – the trilogy
Date: Sunday 25 August
Times: 4.05pm: Give Me Your Love; 5.40pm: Die! Die! Die! Old People Die!; 8.55pm: Eradication of Schizophrenia in Western Lapland


‘Cruise To Hell’: Fringe debut at 79yo exploring tragic true story of daughter battling side effects of everyday prescription drugs

Cruise To Hell

Cruise to Hell is the debut play by Millie Kieve, which tells the tragic true story of a family holiday turned nightmare when Millie’s 20 year-old daughter Karen goes missing on a cruise.

 The aftermath of the cruise sees the family embark on a tumultuous journey, as a deeply caring and joyous young woman, living a full and happy life, has her rationality snatched away by the side effects of everyday prescription drugs – which plunge her into a frightening fantasy world with tragic consequences.

 Also performed by Millie, storytelling theatre show Cruise to Hell was born out of the conviction that theatre is a powerful way to create awareness which in turn may prevent others from suffering.

 This desire to raise awareness is also what motivated Millie to set up the charity APRIL (Adverse Psychiatric Reactions Information Link) in 1998 as a result of her daughter’s experience. Her research has been used in everything from TV documentaries to medical journals to the front page of the Guardian and has instigated important changes in medical education. 

 Millie Kieve’s debut at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe comes at the age of 79. Her last appearance in Edinburgh was in the 1994 production ofFiddler on the Roof, with Chaim Topol.

 “A remarkable evening, everyone was stunned by the power of your story. It grew in intensity as it unfolded”  Audience member review

Venue: theSpace on the Mile, venue 39 – Radisson Hotel Blu, High Street EH1 1TH

Dates: 12th to 17th August, 2019

Time: 17.45pm (50 minutes)
Tickets: £8 (£6)

Venue box office: 0131 510 2382   Fringe box office: 0131 226 0000

Web sites: 

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Paines Plough announces Later Programme and Daniel Kitson at Roundabout at Summerhall 2019

Artistic Directors of Paines Plough James Grieve and George Perrin have today revealed the full LATER programme for ROUNDABOUT @ SUMMERHALL at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019.

The programme includes; gig-theatre in an abundance of pop-philosophy from Just Club – STANDING TOO CLOSE ON OUR OWN IN THE DARK, VIOLET, a new play from Bebe Sanders and award-winning company Poor Michelle about human connection and inter-generational friendships, Dirty Protest’s IF THAT MAKES ME A BITCH, OK showcasing six of Wales’ most exciting writers with six short plays in one late night extravaganza, THE WARDROBE ENSEMB-WHEEL OF FORTUNE,a one night only combination of all your favourite gameshows and an actual real-life three-dimensional wheel of fortune and fresh from their extended sell-out run of SEX SEX MEN MEN Pecs Drag King’s PECS: SOFT BOIS in their Edinburgh debut.

Today Grieve and Perrin have also announced Daniel Kitson’s new experimental work SHENANIGAN as part of Roundabout 2019.

Just Club

Standing Too Close on Our Own in the Dark is a gig-theatre event which is as vibrant and hopeful as it is melancholic – a romantic tragedy which sees its performer labour over a journal of original poetry and comedic monologue with encouragement from a live band. Part-gig, part-spoken word ramble, part-stand up set, Standing Too Close effervesces with the endearing awkwardness of early-20s social discomfort, delivering an abundance of pop-philosophy with live music, understated wit and a charming poet who waxes lyrical about the cosmos, bike locks and ex-girlfriends’ dads.

Time: 22.35
Age guidance: 12+
Running time: 50 mins
Dates: 19 August

Poor Michelle Productions
VIOLET by Bebe Sanders

“There’s no bullshit with Violet. She’ll say something blunt like, ‘life can be lonely’ and I’ll be like, ‘yeah it can’ and that’s it. Then we just crack on. It’s nice”

From new playwright Bebe Sanders and award-winning company Poor Michelle, Violet is a new play about human connection and inter-generational friendships. It quietly explores themes of mental health, dementia, and loneliness without forgetting the often funny and absurd moments of ordinary life.

Time: 22.35
Running time: 50 mins
Dates:  21 August

Dirty Protest

Six of Wales’ most exciting writers. Six short plays. One late night extravaganza.

Come join the Dirty Protest gang for a night of plays in response to Madonna’s famous 1992 quote about being a strong and ambitious woman.

Join us to see what this means to us in 2019. Grab your beer, sit back and let us entertain you.

Time: 22.35
Age guidance: 14+
Running time: 50 mins
Dates: 22 August

The Wardrobe Ensemble

Join us, The Wardrobe Ensemble, for ONE NIGHT ONLY as we bring to you… The Wardrobe EnsembWheel of Fortune! A night combining all your favourite gameshows and an actual real-life three-dimensional wheel of fortune.

Part pub quiz, part performance, with live music, highly desirable prizes and an original theme tune. Would be nice to see you, to see you…

All proceeds donated to charity.

Time: 22.35
Running time: 50 mins
Dates: 23 August


Soft, sensual and fresh from their extended sell-out run of SEX SEX MEN MEN at The Yard Theatre, the one and only Pecs bois are making their Edinburgh debut, bringing you some new feels straight from their aching hearts.

Get ready for some serious softness and sensitivity this summer.

“It’s a space to be silly. It’s empowering. It’s liberating. It’s f***ing sexy.” Evening Standard

Time: 22.35
Age guidance: 18+
Running time: 50 mins
Dates: 24 August

Daniel Kitson

On most Tuesdays, I go to a café before football for lunch with my friends Tim and Isy. Last week, the café had a really appealing special on the board which involved roasted cauliflower, pickled cabbage and babaganoush. The lady behind the counter referred to it as “The Shenanigan”. Which I very much enjoyed.

This show will have absolutely nothing to do with that meal, that lady, that café, those friends, playing football or Tuesdays but I have to call it something otherwise they can’t put it in the system.

Something new, vaguely experimental, unfinished and frankly, quite unlikely to ever be finished, by Daniel Kitson.

Time: 22.35
Age guidance: 16+
Running time: 90 mins
Dates:  4 , 5 ,7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17 ,18 August
Tickets only available via the Summerhall website


Roundabout @ Summerhall
Box Office: 0131 560 1580

Press Performance for ON THE OTHER HAND, WE’RE HAPPY at 14.15 on 4 August and 11.2oon 5 August
Press Performance for DEXTER AND WINTER’S DETECTIVE AGENCY at 11.2oon 4 August
Press Performance for DAUGHTERHOOD at 14.15 on 5 August



National Theatre Wales present Cotton Fingers and For All I Care at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019

National Theatre Wales
  • Two powerful monologues from National Theatre Wales coming to Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019
  • Moving personal stories set against backdrop of our public health services “Love Letters to the NHS”
  • Award winning Welsh writer Rachel Trezise’s blisteringly relevant Cotton Fingers to take audiences on life changing journey from Belfast to Wales
  • For All I Care, scripted by accclaimed Welsh playwright Alan Harris, explores one woman’s experience of mental health with distinctive wit and passion
  • For All I Care and Cotton Fingers, Wed 31 July-Sun 25 August 2019, Summerhall

For All I Care, performed by Welsh actress Hannah Daniel, best known for Hinterland,  Holby City and Keeping Faith and here making her Fringe debut, and written by Alan Harris, whose previous highly acclaimed work presented at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe includes Sugar Baby and How My Light is Spent, is one of two productions from National Theatre Wales to be performed at Summerhall throughout Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019.

Fast moving, touching and funny, Harris’s script explores one woman’s experience of mental health as For All I Care sees two individuals meet in Tredegar – birthplace of the National Health Service – amid interweaving, unexpected connections and collisions.

Jac Ifan Moore, acclaimed co-director of PowderHouse, directs the work in Edinburgh.

Clara and Nyri. Two very different women. Two complicated lives. Both having a very bad day.

Mental health nurse Nyri’s woken up hungover with a younger man. Meanwhile, Clara has developed a compulsive wink and can’t remember if she’s taken her meds.

Nyri needs to get to Ebbw Vale Hospital via Greggs, and Clara is dodging signs telling her – rather rudely – to kill herself, so she can get cracking with her shoplifting list for The Devil.

Written by author and playwright Rachel Trezise at the time of the historic referendum which saw a landslide result to repeal the 8th amendment in the Republic of Ireland, Cotton Fingers is a blisteringly relevant and politically charged story of one woman’s journey to end her pregnancy told with powerful insight and the humour of a life being lived through difficult times shining out.

In the USA several southern states have recently voted to restrict or ban terminations. And here at home in the UK, Northern Ireland still blocks free access to abortion. A recent report found there has been a 22% rise in women from Northern Ireland seeking abortions in the UK. This timely story is set in Belfast andfollows a young woman making the journey to Wales to access free NHS abortion care.

Cotton Fingers was originally performed in west Wales, in venues close to the port town of Fishguard, where Irish ferries dock.

Winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize for her first short fiction collection, Cotton Fingers is the third production of a Trezise play by National Theatre Wales.

Northern Irish actress Amy Molloy – whose recent stage credits include the award-winning Abbey Theatre and Royal Court production of Cyprus Avenueoriginating the role of Julie and starring alongside Stephen Rea in Dublin, London, Belfast and New York (2016-2019); and Tea Set at Pleasance Courtyard (Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2015)  – brings her critically acclaimed performance in Cotton Fingers to the Edinburgh stage.

Julia Thomas, National Theatre Wales’ Associate Director, directs this bold one-woman show about the cycles of secrecy and the power young women hold over their futures.

Through a complex, multi-layered narrative the nuances and the complexities of the journey the play takes us on are woven into a truly compelling experience.  Illuminated with warm and cutting humour, and with the doubts and strength of the young woman whose tale we follow shared with honesty and compassion,Cotton Fingers is an unmissable piece of theatre.

Aoife is hungry and in need of something to do.

Cillian makes a mean cheese toastie.

As Aoife’s boredom and hunger are satisfied by half an hour in Cillian’s bed, her life changes forever.

As social and political upheaval grips the country she loves, can Aoife regain control over her future?

These “Love Letters to the NHS” both premiered in July 2018 as part of the NHS70 Festival, National Theatre Wales celebration of the Service’s 70th birthday

For the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019, Cotton Fingers is presented as part of the British Council Edinburgh Showcase 2019For All I Care is presented as part ofThis is Wales – Edinburgh showcase.

National Theatre Wales is a multi-award-winning theatre company that has been making English Language productions in locations across Wales, the UK and internationally and online since 2010.

Previously National Theatre Wales shows which have appeared at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Festival are Dark Philosophers, Wonderman and Bradley Manning – a play about the American soldier convicted of releasing US state secrets to Wikileaks. The show was the first play to win the James Tait Black prize for drama at the festival.

Tickets are now on sale for both Cotton Fingers and For All I Care.


Oxford Playhouse Edinburgh Fringe Season announced


SOLD presented by Kuumba Nia Arts & Unlock the Chains Collective with Oxford Playhouse

Pleasance Courtyard (Attic) 31 July – 25 August (not 12 or 19) 12.45pm

SOLD tells the true story of Mary Prince and her journey to overcome the brutality of enslavement through the power of her indomitable spirit. Through theatre, song, music, drumming and dance, this masterpiece of Black British theatre is inspired by the storytelling traditions of the West African griot. Kuumba Nia Arts are an Oxford theatre company working with stories from the Black experience, and are currently Artists in Residence with Oxford Playhouse’s EVOLVE scheme.

Give Me One Moment in Time by Doug Crossley presented by Oxford Playhouse in association with the Pleasance. Directed by Paul Hunter.

Pleasance Dome (Jack Dome) 31 July – 26 August (not 12) 2.50pm

Give Me One Moment in Time is a one-man play with songs and comedy about time, trauma and the heartache of trying to understand a friend’s suicide. Doug Crossley was one of six playwrights selected to become a member of Playhouse Playmaker, the Oxford Playhouse’s year-long Writers Attachment Programme for new and emerging playwrights. His debut solo show is coming to the Festival as part of the Pleasance’s new Regional Theatre Partnership Programme. The show is directed by Paul Hunter, Artistic Director of acclaimed company Told By An Idiot and most recently seen in Emma Rice’s adaptation of Angela Carter’s Wise Children.

Standard: Elite by Hidden Track Theatre

Bedlam Theatre (Venue 49) 31 July – 25 August (not 12) 4.55pm

Hidden Track pioneers adventures in theatre form that tell accessible political stories to unite and empower unheard audiences. Their latest production, Standard: Elite is a playful, interactive theatre experience about class and social mobility that’s irreverent, accessible and fun. Standard: Elite, has toured the UK to critical acclaim and won ‘Best New Writing’ at Greater Manchester Fringe and ‘Best Newcomer’ at Brighton Fringe.

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Here’s Your Definitive Guide to Edinburgh Fringe 2019 (you’re welcome)

Edinburgh Fringe 2019 guide by Mr Carl Woodward
Bryony Kimmings

Bryony Kimmings

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 returnsRhum 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 FingersKieran Hurley and Gary McNair’s Square Go return as well and that will be worth seeing. 

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 JamesNathan 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. 

(BalletBoyz) Dancers in cube

(BalletBoyz) Dancers in cube

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 HouselyRich 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). 

Noir Hamlet

Noir Hamlet

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.

Ian McKellen

Ian McKellen

Stop the clocks: Ian McKellen stops off as part of his 80 date UK tour: this is sold out, which is a shame. I should mention that Robert Icke brings his political reimagining of Oedipus to the international festival, I don’t think I have the energy for this, though.
So, there you have it, that’s the end of my definitive Edinburgh Fringe 2019 guide.

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*.


Letters To Morrissey, produced by Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre Company, coming to HOME Manchester 12-16 September 2017

Letters to Morrissey
Letters to Morrissey

Letters to Morrissey

Award-winning actor and playwright Gary McNair makes his second appearance at HOME on Tue 12 – Sat 16 September 2017 with touching new show Letters To Morrissey, produced by Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre Company.

Directed by Gareth Nicholls, the theatre’s associate director, Letters To Morrissey follows up McNair’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe First hit A Gambler’s Guide to Dying, which featured in HOME’s Orbit festival in 2016.

McNair’s affectionate one-man show is the final part of a trilogy of often darkly comic works drawing on the joys and struggles of growing up in working class Scotland, explored through letters written to The Smiths’ front-man Morrissey at the turn of the millennium by a conflicted teenager from the outskirts of Glasgow.

It’s 1997. You’re 11. You’re sad, lonely, and scared of doing anything that could get you singled out by the hopeless, angry people in your home town. One day you see a man on telly. He’s mumbling, yet electrifying. He sings: “I am human and I need to be loved, just like everybody else does.” This guy gets it. You become obsessed with him. Later, when you need someone, you write to him. A lot.

Fast-forward to today, 20 years on. You find those letters and ask yourself: “Has the world changed, or have I changed?” Letters To Morrissey is about confronting the worst thing you’ve done – and hoping that you can still be good person.

Coming to HOME direct from this year’s Edinburgh Festival, where it world premiered at the Traverse Theatre, Letters To Morrissey considers our human desire to be understood, and about finding potentially false kinship in an icon you don’t actually know.

@home_mcr #LettersToMorrissey