Elizabethan – New Musical at Edinburgh Fringe 2018

David William Hughes
David William Hughes

David William Hughes

Tobias Bacon died of Love in 1618.

Join him on the 400th anniversary of his death as he finds out how.

Tobias Bacon ~ drinker, smoker, tights-wearer, and lover ~ recounts his life story in this historical musical comedy based on genuine Renaissance songs.  How exactly is it possible to die of Love?  Why did Tobias not make it to heaven like his father?  And what, exactly, is to be made of this new-fangled fashion of smoking tobacco?

This brand new solo show is unique in its combination of comedy and authentic performances of Renaissance music.  With the help of the audience, David William Hughes plays Tobias, and several of his lovers, all whilst singing and playing the lute in a one-man musical featuring Elizabethan songs of sadness, satire, and seduction.  This show highlights the wit and myriad perspectives that can be found in Renaissance music, and brings this wonderful music to a wider audience, with a deft comic and theatrical touch.

David William Hughes is a highly accomplished singer, actor, and writer, whose work combines comedy, early music, and historical research to create unique and exciting performances.  He has appeared as a soloist throughout the USA and the UK, with ensembles such as the Landmarks Orchestra (Boston, MA) and Floating Tower (Brooklyn, NY).  He has previously appeared at the Fringe with the Oxford Imps (‘Devastatingly funny’ ***** ~ Edfringe Review) and in Racing Minds’ And Now For Something Completely Wireless(‘Damned funny chaps’ **** ~ ThreeWeeks). Elizabethan is his first solo Fringe show.

‘Hughes was perfect’ ~ Times of Israel

‘Viscerally satisfying’ ~ Boston Musical Intelligencer

Listings Information

Venue:  theSpace @ Surgeons Hall

Dates & times:  3-11 August12:05pm (50 mins), 13-15 August1:05pm (50 mins)

Ticket prices:  £9 full / £7 concessions

Venue box office:  0131 510 2384 / [email protected]com

Fringe box office:  0131 226 0000 /

Suitable for ages 14+


‘Tilda Swinton’ hit play parody comes to Edinburgh Fringe

Tilda Swinton
Tilda Swinton

Tilda Swinton

A hit with critics and audiences, and following sold out runs in Los Angeles and New York, TILDA SWINTON ANSWERS AN AD ON CRAIGSLIST makes its eagerly-awaited International Premiere at Edinburgh Fringe, starring actor and Instagram sensation Tom Lenk (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Rock of Ages on Broadway) as Tilda Swinton.
In TILDA SWINTON ANSWERS AN AD ON CRAIGSLIST, a gay man’s life implodes when actress Tilda Swinton (Tom Lenk) answers his “roommate wanted” ad on Craigslist and insists on studying and dissecting his life to research her next big movie role.
“Fame and Celebrity is brilliantly explored” -Broadway World New York
“Delightful, hilarious, and moving!” -Angela Kinsey (The Office)
“Hysterical… played to perfection by Tom Lenk.” -Broadway World LA
“Run to the theatre.” -Edge Media Network
“Hysterically and surprisingly cathartic.” –
“Hilarious… unforgettable, delightful experience.”
“Damn funny… drunk on laughter… masterful at comedy.” -LavenderAfterDark
“Tilda de force… hysterically absurd… grinning ear to ear.”
Written by Byron Lane (Last Will & Testicle). Directed by Tom DeTrinis (Bright Colors and Bold patterns). Starring: Tom Lenk (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Rock of Ages on Broadway), Byron Lane (Last Will & Testicle), Jayne Entwistle (Feud: Bette and Joan), Mark Jude Sullivan (Pan Am).
TILDA SWINTON ANSWERS AN AD ON CRAIGSLIST was originally directed by Tom DeTrinis and presented at Celebration Theatre in Los Angeles in 2017 produced by Jay Marcus, Nathan Frizzell, Tom Lenk, and Tom DeTrinis.
Assembly George Square, The Bubble    Aug 1-26    21:20    60 mins      [email protected]    0131 623 3050

Paines Plough announces full programme for Roundabout at Summerhall 2018

Paines Plough
  • Three world premieres by Georgia Christou, Simon Longman and Vinay Patel in co-production with Theatr Clwyd
  • Paines Plough will also welcome eight visiting companies including Middle Child, Boundless Theatre, Dirty Protest and Sherman Theatre
  • Roundabout’S later programme will feature comedians, musicians and performers to be announced in the run up to The Fringe
  • Closed captioning across all Paines Plough performances in Edinburgh and on Tour
  • Tickets Are On Sale Today HERE

Artistic Directors of Paines Plough James Grieve and George Perrin today revealed the full programme for ROUNDABOUT @ SUMMERHALL, kicking off at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe before a UK tour in Autumn 2018.

Paines Plough in co-production with Theatr Clwyd will stage three World Premieres from Simon Longman, Vinay Patel and Georgia Christou.All three productions will be performed in rep by Charlotte O’Leary, Katherine Pearce and Jack Wilkinson, directed by former Paines Plough Associate Director, and nabokov Artistic Director, Stef O’Driscoll.

Joining the three world premieres will be Middle Child’s late night search for intimacy, ONE LIFE STAND, a brand-new play by Eve Nicol;BLACKTHORN by 2018 Paines Plough Fellow Charley Miles was a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize in 2017 and is presented by InSite Performance in association with West Yorkshire Playhouse; THE POLITICAL HISTORY OF SMACK AND CRACK, a chronicle of the fallout of the heroin epidemic at the height of Thatcherism by Ed Edwards, a Most Wanted and Offstage Theatre production in association with W14 Productions and Alastair Michael, co-commissioned by Soho Theatre; A Francesca Moody production, a raucous and hilarious new play about playground violenceSQUARE GO by Kieran Hurley and Gary McNair; one man-musical comedy, DRIP, By Tom Wells presented by Boundless Theatre and Script Club; TREMOR, a new play by Brad Birch produced by Sherman Theatre, The Stage’s Regional Theatre of the Year 2018 and recent Olivier Award recipient.

Dirty Protest’s Sugar Baby penned by Alan Harris and Luke Barnes’ ALL WE EVER WANTED WAS EVERYTHING will also return to Roundabout, following acclaim in 2017.

James Grieve and George Perrin said today:

“We’re proud to present our ROUNDABOUT @ SUMMERHALL line-up for 2018, packed with outstanding new plays from around the UK.

Our Roundabout rep features three world premieres:  Vinay Patel’s razor-sharp satire STICKS AND STONES, Simon Longman’s beautiful, elegiac ISLAND TOWN and Georgia Christou’s rip-roaring adventure through space HOW TO SPOT AN ALIEN.

We’re also welcoming some of the UK’s most innovative and exciting new writing companies and playwrights to Roundabout. Our Associate Company Middle Child return with an all new theatre gig ONE LIFE STAND by Eve Nicol, Boundless Theatre present musical comedy DRIP by Tom Wells, Olivier Award winning Sherman Theatre present Brad Birch’s new play TREMOR. Ed Edwards’ THE POLITICAL HISTORY OF SMACK AND CRACK chronicles the fallout for communities crushed by the heroin epidemic of the 80s with great anger and wit, and we’re thrilled that Fringe First winners Kieran Hurley and Gary McNair will join forces for SQUARE GO, a raucous story of playground violence deconstructing myths of masculinity.

Also in our programme we’re thrilled to welcome our newly announced Playwright Fellow for 2018 Charley Miles with her Susan Smith Blackburn nominated debut play BLACKTHORN. Written on attachment with West Yorkshire Playhouse, BLACKTHORN is a touching exploration of growing up in a North Yorkshire village.

We’ll be welcoming back old friends Dirty Protest as Alan Harris’ SUGAR BABY returns with tales of Cardiff drug dealer Marc and Billy the Seal. After last year’s sell-out run and numerous awards Middle Child’s ALL WE EVER WANTED WAS EVERYTHING by Luke Barnes returns for one week only.

Our LATER programme returns with an eclectic mix of electric new work from the very best companies, comedians, musicians and more throughout the Fringe so keep an eye on our social channels for announcements.”

Paines Plough and Theatr Clwyd present 
ISLAND TOWN by Simon Longman – World Premiere.
STICKS AND STONES by Vinay Patel – World Premiere.
HOW TO SPOT AN ALIEN by Georgia Christou – World Premiere.

Roundabout 2018 Visiting Companies
ONE LIFE STAND by Eve Nicol. A Middle Child production.
BLACKTHORN by Charley Miles. An InSite Theatre production in association with West Yorkshire Playhouse.
THE POLITICAL HISTORY OF SMACK AND CRACK by Ed Edwards. A Most Wanted and Offstage Theatre production in association with W14 Productions and Alastair Michael, co-commissioned by Soho Theatre
SQUARE GO by Kieran Hurley and Gary McNair. A Francesca Moody production.
TREMOR by Brad Birch. A Sherman Theatre production.
DRIP by Tom Wells. A Boundless Theatre and Script Club production.
SUGAR BABY by Alan Harris. A Dirty Protest production.
ALL WE EVER WANTED WAS EVERYTHING by Luke Barnes. A Middle Child and Hull 2017 production.

A Paines Plough and Theatr Clwyd production
by Simon Longman

Direction by Stef O’Driscoll

Kate, Sam and Pete are stuck. The town they live in doesn’t have much going on. But they don’t really care about that when they’ve got cheap cider and their whole lives ahead of them.

And they’re going to break away anyway. Someone’s about to get a car. And all roads go somewhere else. Right?

ISLAND TOWN is bittersweet story about friendship, hope and dreams of an escape. 

Written by Simon Longman, recipient of the 2018 George Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright (GUNDOG; Royal Court, MILKED; Pentabus Theatre Company).

Time: 11:30-12:40 / 14:30-15:40
Age Suitability: 14+
Dates: Aug 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 22, 23, 24, 26
Ticket prices: £9-17
Press performances: 6 August

A Paines Plough and Theatr Clwyd production
by Vinay Patel
Direction by Stef O’Driscoll

“So we’re clear
You know, right?
You know I’m not that kind of person.”

Sometimes we can’t find the right words. Sometimes the wrong word just slips out. Sometimes the right words become the wrong words. Sometimes that ruins everything.

When a misfiring joke turns their life upside down, B sets off on a surreal journey looking for answers. In an age when technology multiplies every mistake, can we find a way to understand each other?

A razor sharp satire about the search for a sure footing in an uncertain world from BAFTA nominated Vinay Patel.

Time: 11:30-12:40 / 14:30-15:40
Age Suitability: 14+
Dates: Aug 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25
Ticket prices: £9-17
Press performances: 5 + 6 August

A Paines Plough and Theatr Clwyd production
by Georgia Christou
Direction by Stef O’Driscoll

What do you do if you think your aunt is an alien? 12 year old Jelly and her brother Jonjo have their suspicions.

She won’t let them leave the house. Or ask questions. And she definitely won’t let them in the attic.

Join Jelly and JonJo on their quest to discover the truth in a rip-roaring adventure through space full of friendship, fun and flying saucers.

Contains: one confused alien, two brave kids and a busted spaceship.

For space cadets age 5 and up.

Time: 11:30-12:20
Age Suitability: 5+
Dates: Aug 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 26
Ticket prices: £7.50-10
Press performance: 5 August

A Middle Child production
By Eve Nicol
Music by James Frewer and Honeyblood

Direction by Paul Smith

When we can have sex whenever we want, with whomever we want, why settle for a normal relationship? With the promise of fresh excitement just a swipe away, is Kat’s long-term lover her lifelong dream? One Life Stand is a late-night search for intimacy across a hyperconnected, hypersexual city, exposing the loneliness sometimes found in modern relationships, where expectations of love and lust are ever-changing. Written by Eve Nicol with music by James Frewer and Honeyblood, this is brand-new gig theatre from the award-winning company behind All We Ever Wanted Was Everything.

Time: 21:45-22:55
Age Suitability: 14+
Dates: Aug 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26
Ticket prices: £9-15
Press performances: 5 + 6 August

An InSite Performance in association with West Yorkshire Playhouse 
By Charley Miles
Direction by Jacqui Honess-Martin

‘What you think’s a completely different plant on ‘surface – it’s all from the same roots.’

The only two children born in a North Yorkshire village for a generation cannot imagine ever being apart, but as their lives shift, so too do the ties that bind them. Charley Miles’ outstanding debut play explores the changes and choices that pull us from the places and people we love. Blackthorn was a finalist for the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn prize in 2017 and is presented as an InSite production in association with the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Time: 13:05-14:05
Age Suitability: 14+
Dates: Aug 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26
Ticket prices: £9-15
Press performances: 5 + 6 August

A Most Wanted and Offstage Theatre production in association with W14 Productions and Alastair Michael, co-commissioned by Soho Theatre
By Ed Edwards
Direction by Cressida Brown

‘The history of England jumps off its axis. 2am, 8th July, 1981, 20 cities across England burn.’
The night of the Manchester uprising. That night should change everything. Drawing on his own personal experience, Ed Edwards’ script crackles with anger, humour and authenticity as he chronicles the fallout for communities crushed by the heroin epidemic at the height of Thatcherism. Shot through with home truths about the road to recovery this is an epic love song to a lost generation.

Time: 17:30-18:30
Age Suitability: 12+
Dates: Aug 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26
Ticket prices: £9-15
Press performances: 5 + 6 August

A Francesca Moody production 
By Kieran Hurley and Gary McNair 
Direction by Finn den Hertog

Max is a normal-ish kid in a normal-ish town. He spends his days daydreaming and hanging out with his weird wee pal Stevie Nimmo. But when Max is called for his first Square Go, a fight by the school gates, it’s his own demons he must wrestle with first. This is an unmissable collaboration between Fringe First-winning writers Kieran Hurley (Heads Up) and Gary McNair (A Gambler’s Guide to Dying) is a raucous and hilarious new play about playground violence, myths of masculinity and the decision to step up or run.

Time: 20:20-21:20
Age Suitability: 12+
Dates: Aug 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26
Ticket prices: £9-17
Press performance: 6 August

A Sherman Theatre production

By Brad Birch 
Direction by David Mercatali

Once our lives are touched by tragedy, can we ever truly move on? Sophie and Tom’s relationship fell apart in the aftermath of a catastrophe. Four years on and as they come face to face once again, the aftershocks of that fateful day can still be felt.

Tremor is the world premiere production from the Olivier Award-winning Regional Theatre of the Year. This thrilling new play by Brad Birch (Black Mountain, Roundabout 2017) explores how society chooses to live in a time riddled with tension, anxiety and division.

Time: 16:05-17:05
Age Suitability: 16+
Dates: Aug 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26
Ticket prices: £9-16
Press performances: 5 + 6 August

A Boundless Theatre and Script Club production 
Words by Tom Wells 
Music by Matthew Robins 
Direction by Jane Fallowfield

A one-man musical comedy by award-winning duo Tom Wells (words) and Matthew Robins (music) fresh from a sell-out tour. Liam is 15 and he’s just signed up for Bev Road Baths’ first ever synchronised swimming team. It’s for his best mate Caz really. She needs to get a team together to win the annual Project Prize at school. She tries every year. She always loses. But Liam’s an optimist, he’s determined to help. There’s just one problem. Liam can’t swim. ‘Matthew Robins’ music and Wells’ lyrics feel like Victoria Wood for a new generation.’ (Stage).

Time: 18:55-19:55
Age Suitability: 12+
Dates: Aug 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26
Ticket prices: £12-15

A Dirty Protest production
By Alan Harris
Direction by Catherine Paskell

Being a small-time drug dealer in Cardiff is tough. Marc avoids his mum, disguises his cannabis plants with fake tomatoes at the allotment, and now has to bail his old man out of £6,000 owed to local loan shark Oggy. When he meets Lisa for the first time in years, things get even messier. Oggy wants Lisa. Lisa wants Marc. Marc wants to survive the day. Critically acclaimed one-man comedy from award-winning Welsh company Dirty Protest. ‘The packed audience loves it’ **** (Scotsman). ‘Theatrical tour de force’ **** (Times).

Time: 18:55-19:55
Age Suitability: 14+
Dates: Aug 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Ticket prices: £9-15

A Middle Child production
By Luke Barnes
Music by James Frewer
Direction by Paul Smith

Meet Leah and Chris: raised on Harry Potter, New Labour and a belief that one day they would be as special as their parents promised. But what happens when those dreams don’t become reality? Set across three decades, from 1997’s Cool Britannia to today’s Brexit Britain, this is multi award-winning gig theatre that mixes original live music from James Frewer with bold new writing by Luke Barnes. 2017 Broadway Baby Bobby Award; 2017 The Stage Excellence Award; 2017 Edinburgh Festival Fringe sell-out show. ‘Superb gig theatre’ (Lyn Gardner, Guardian).

Time: 23:3000:45
Age Suitability: 14+
Dates: Aug 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26
Ticket prices: £13-16


David Leddy’s 2017 hit show CORIOLANUS VANISHES  is re-staged in Edinburgh, this time performed by a woman

Coriolanus Vanishes
Coriolanus Vanishes

Coriolanus Vanishes

Coriolanus Vanishes is a tense, suspenseful, edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller, written by renowned theatre-maker and Artistic Director of Fire Exit, David Leddy, who performed the piece in 2017, marking his return to the stage for the first time in twelve years. This time the same solo work is performed, word-for-word, by a woman, Irene Allan.  Contrasting bold theatricality, haunting music and razor-sharp slashes of light across a stark stage, the work charts Chris’s complex descent through passion, shame, devastation and the many, many forms of madness.

David Leddy said of the re-staging:

 I wrote this role knowing I’d be the first person to perform it, but also knowing from the start that later on I would recast Chris as a woman. As I wrote the piece, I always imagined Irene Allan being that woman, so I’m thrilled that she said yes to taking on such a demanding role. I was very strict with myself while I wrote the script that I would not change a single word when played by a woman. I wanted to write a character who talks about very gendered ideas (parenthood, fidelity, empathy, aggression) but for that person to theoretically be genderless. This character is in a messy, horrible, agonizing world of their own that’s far beyond the conventions of how women and men have been socialised to behave. Even so, it’s interesting that our observations about their behaviour will likely change depending on whether they’re played by a woman or a man.”

 Previous successes from Fire Exit include: The Last Bordello (2017), International Waters (2016), Long Live The Little Knife, (2013) Sub Rosa (2009 – Herald Angel Award) White Tea (2009 – Scotsman Fringe First Award, Herald Angel Award, Edinburgh International Festival Fringe Prize), Susurrus (2007 – Winner, Outstanding Special Event, San Diego Critics Circle Awards).

 Fire Exit Presents, in co-production with Tron Theatre:


 Written by David Leddy
Performed by Irene Allan

Design realised by Becky Minto

Sound design by Danny Krass

Lighting design by Nich Smith


3 – 26 AUGUST 2017


Claire Sweeney, Su Pollard, Brainiac Live!, Made in Chelsea stars, Hot Gay Time Machine and Adam Riches join Underbelly’s 2018 Edinburgh Fringe line-up!


Underbelly announces further 82 shows completing its dream line-up for the 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

  • Claire Sweeney is one of the stars in musical extravaganza Don’t Tell Me Not To Fly featuring West End leading ladies and Burn The Floor present a newly created version and Fringe premiere of the Broadway and West End smash hit and world-wide phenomenon: Rebels of Ballroom
  • Su Pollard makes her theatre debut in Harpy, celebrated Guardian and BuzzFeed journalist Bim Adewunmi brings her debut Hoard to the Festival and much loved children’s TV hit, Brainiac Live! presents daily explosive fun for all the family.
  • In comedy, Made in Chelsea stars Jamie Laing and Francis Boulle offer their Private Parts to the Fringe audiences and Los Angeles’ leading funk band Thumpasaurus are back in Edinburgh to provide high-class late night entertainment.
  • Electro-trad Canadian circus stars Cirque Alfonse present the UK premiere of raucous circus rock musical TABARNAK and American circus legends UniverSoul Circus mark their European premiere with a large-scale spectacle bringing Hip Hop Under The Big Top.
  • Tickets on sale from 10am on Monday 14th May at

Today Underbelly announces a further 82 shows, providing a final dazzling flurry to complete it’s 2018 Fringe programme, the most ambitious in the company’s 19th year run. Featuring a mix of death-defying circus, contagious music and dance with critically acclaimed theatre makers and unforgettable comedy, this year’s programme has something for people of all ages, predispositions and predilections to enjoy.


This summer the West End’s leading ladies, including star of screen and stage Claire Sweeney will tread the boards of McEwan Hall! Don’t Tell Me Not To Fly presents a range of stars taking centre stage to perform songs from smash-hit West End and Broadway musicals and iconic movies for an epically special Underbelly Production. Full schedule of performers will be announced very soon.

The UK’s beloved TV star Su Pollard makes her theatre debut at Edinburgh Fringe with Harpy, a new play from Fringe First-winner Philip Meeks (Kiss Me Honey, Honey!) about hoarding. The play focuses on Birdie, a hoarder who the neighbours call a harridan and a harpy, although most have never even met her. What they see as rubbish, she considers her life’s work and it exists because years ago something deeply cherished was stolen, and Birdie’s not been able to give up anything since.

Underbelly’s ambitious theatre programme also features Angry AlanPenelope Skinner’s first play since 2015 which promises to be another critically acclaimed hit from one of the UK’s leading female playwrights. Penelope is the winner of the prestigious George Devine Award and has written for Channel 4 (Fresh Meat) and the big screen (How I Live Now, featuring Saoirse Ronan). A darkly comic and provocative new play about masculinity in crisis and the men’s right movement, Angry Alan focuses on Roger who – just as his life is about to collapse – discovers Alan: an online activist and a voice of reason.

Continuing this year’s strong theme of sisterhood is Hoard, a new play from the hugely popular Guardian and BuzzFeed journalist Bim Adewunmi. Hoard tells the story of a young woman and her two sisters, Rafi and Ami, facing up to Wura, their mother who doesn’t know of Brian, the young woman’s boyfriend. A touching story of a childhood past and struggles that divide a family.

KIN, a new play from the acclaimed playwright Max Dickins (The Man on the Moor and The Trunk) revolves around two estranged sisters reunited after 20 years at their father’s dying bed. In an airless room over a single night, they talk it out. How can you forgive the past when you can’t even agree on what it looks like? A gripping story of sibling rivalry examines the meaning of family.

Vessel is an urgent and insightful take on the issues surrounding illegal abortion. There is a woman. Woman is pregnant. Abortion is still illegal in her country. She will bring a court case against the government to demand a legal abortion. There is a man. Man is a journalist. He meets Woman and starts to cover her story. A story that will change the world. A story that will change his world. How far would you go for a cause you believed in? How far is too far?

Tackling the ever topical questions around immigration is Diary of An Expat, a one-woman show telling the comic story of young Italian woman, Cecilia, and her adventures in London – a contemporary El Dorado craved by generations of young Europeans. Cecilia has been trying to become British whilst remaining deeply Italian. Now, numerous dubious jobs and weird encounters later, she finds herself alone among the chaos of multi-ethnic London whilst the European dream of life abroad slowly drifts away.

OTOSOTR is a powerful story of 200,000 Koreans who were deported from the Russian-Korean boarder by the Soviet government in 1937 told from a perspective of Anatoliy Ogay, a Soviet soldier of Korean descent. This is a journey of a WWII hero who fought Nazis in Berlin in 1945, survived the communist regime in 1991 and preserved his Korean identity throughout his life – told by his grandson.

First play from a BAFTA Award-winning and Emmy-nominated TV and film director Beryl RichardsDiamond tells the story of a successful surgeon Jordan Sullivan meeting his birth mother for the first time and rejecting her. When she passes away, he realises that he may never know the truth about where he came from. The arrival of a mysterious young woman may just be the catalyst to change everything as he embarks on a journey of discovery and redemption.

New from the acclaimed Dawn State Theatre Company is Gulliver Returns: a haunting new play about broken dreams, enduring love and the weird world we live in, inspired by Jonathan Swift’s timeless masterpiece. Lil’s husband is lost in Gulliver’s Travels and now she has a mission of mercy to perform. No matter what the cost, she must find a way to drag this broken man out of his fantasy. She must find a way to bring him home.

Debut solo show from Barbican’s Young Poet and former Roundhouse Resident Artist Kit Finnie comes Mabel and Mickey, a ghost story for a new generation, and a fresh response to an ongoing Hollywood crisis. What happens when you try to tell someone else’s story, but they’re not done talking? Kit has written a show about Mabel Normand, a notorious 1910s movie star, and the murder case that swallowed her legacy. But there are pigeons cooing in the walls of the theatre and she keeps getting calls about a strange woman in her flat…

Funny and unsettling, Awkward Conversations with Animals I’ve F****d by Rob Hayes returns to Underbelly following a critically-acclaimed 2016 run! One-night stands are awkward. One-night stands with animals are more awkward. And when you’re as desperate to please as Bobby, things get really awkward…

Onstage Dating sees Bron going on first dates – live onstage! Featuring a different person each night, this hilarious and award-winning show has thrilled at festivals all over the world with its unique insight into the world of online dating. Watch first-hand as Onstage Dating takes modern romance to the next level – all in front of the audience.

Family programme

Taking over the McEwan Hall daily at 11am is Brainiac Live! The show, based on the award-winning television series, is ‘all good educational fun!’ (The Guardian) and one of the best live science shows accessible to little scientists of all stages of advancement! Featuring exploding dustbins, combusting microwaves and loads of live daredevil stunts, Brainiac Live! takes its audiences on a breathless ride through the wild world of the weird and wonderful. Do not try this at home!

Beowulf tells the story of a nine-year-old Sophie who, similarly to the bravest of the Anglo-Saxon heroes, has to fight terrifying monsters: her mum, professor of Old English who taught her to read a language that none have spoken in this country for over 900 years, is dying and Sophie’s life is changing beyond her control. A moving tale of love and loss told from a child’s perspective.


Inspired by the village church that was once the gathering place of the small Quebec community where they grew up, the award-winning Cirque Alfonse have created their newest production, TABARNAK. This rock musical and circus extravaganza is an invitation to come together in a celebration of heaven and hell and everything in between. An unbridled high mass of entertainment reaching for the sky all performed in the inimitable style of Cirque Alfonse who brought the hugely popular BARBU to Edinburgh Fringe in 2015.

America’s ‘coolest show on Earth!’ (Newsweek) comes to the UK for the first time, having delighted over 20 million people in the US with their stunning, large-scale spectacles for 25 years! Hip-Hop under the Big Top from UniverSoul Circus combines edge-of-your-seat acrobatics, slapstick comedy, jaw-dropping contortionists, Caribbean limbo fire-dancers and global internet sensations Fresh The Clowns with hilarious audience participation, and a soundtrack that will blow the roof off the tent! The show is created especially for Edinburgh audiences for a European premiere Circolombia is back at Circus Hub with their critically-acclaimed 2017 hit, breath-taking and adrenaline-fuelled mix of circus artistry and hip-hop bound to put a spring in everyone’s step!


Straight from a successful Adelaide Fringe run, Edinburgh Fringe favourite Kevin Quantum is back with a new show for people of all ages, Vanishing Point. Enter a zone where the rules of nature are bent and broken… impossible illusions and disappearances brought to the audiences by the magician-scientist hybrid tutored by American legends Penn & Teller.


Made in Chelsea stars Jamie Laing and Francis Boulle are hitting the Fringe with their Private Parts ahead of a UK tour. The two lovable gents are treading the boards with the live, laugh-a-minute extravaganza developed from their hit podcast Private Parts. They have promised to share all the intimate and sordid details of their private lives, including gossip from both on and off the screen, so don’t miss out!

Garry Starr Performs Everything in his first solo character comedy show. Following his dismissal from the Royal Shakespeare Company for multiple counts of gross misconduct he is determined to defy his critics by mounting his own production in which he will perform every genre of the arts in under 60 mins! Will he succeed? Probably not.

Best-selling Australian feminist author Kathy Lette presents Girl’s Talk, a psychological strip tease with tales of love, lust, men, marriage, pregnancy, childbirth, mastitis, sexist bosses, teenage-daughter-wrangling, ageing, toy boys, and Close Encounters of the George Clooney Kind, en route.

Kathy also talks poignantly about the trials, tribulations and hilarity of raising a child on the autistic spectrum. From the time Jules came home from school with a sign sticky-taped to his back saying ‘Kick me I’m a retard’ to his success playing Jason on Holby City.

In a new exciting site-specific show Adam Riches Is The Guy Who… you meet right after you come out of a long-term relationship. He has a nice smile, an easy manner and no car. The Comedy Award winner takes this intimate look at one of the planet’s most deliberate men. As sensitive as soap and twice as slippery. Beware. Be very, very aware.

Following a stonking set on Live at the Apollo, Chris McCausland returns to Edinburgh Fringe with a new show, Speaky Blinder. He’s blind. He’s a dad. He’s a husband. He’s third in command. He’ll speaky about all of that, and loads more.  He’s a Comedy Central regular who has also performed with Jimmy Carr and Miranda Hart on shows across BBC, ITV and Channel 4.

Two talented American comedians present Camp Be Yourself, a surreal and anarchic two-woman comedy packed with glitter, bug juice and desperation. Camp counsellors Emily and Betsy are here to help you figure it all out. This is adulthood. No one is going to take your trash out for you. Welcome to Camp Be Yourself! For those of you that can’t be yourself in real life, you Camp Be Yourself here.

Los Angeles’ leading funk band Thumpasaurus is back this year to provides high-class, late night entertainment of music and comedy at the White Belly. Catch Thump letting loose with their jazz school training and spinning funky tales of aliens, animals, and the Space Barn each weekend of the Fringe. Book now to avoid disappointment!

Norwegian-American comedy duo Zach and Viggo team up with Thumpasaurus to present a brand new musical, Where Does The Love Go?. Watch this space!

Dance and cabaret

Having broken the boundaries of ballroom and set pulses racing around the world, including smash hit West End and Broadway runs for over twenty years, the phenomenalBurn the Floor: Rebels of Ballroom bring a specially created show which has been crafted over the past two years by ground-breaking Australian choreographers Jason Gilkison and Peta Rob for a sensational Fringe premiere.

Break-dancing masters from Japan, Wasabeats Crew, present the European premiere of Break Free featuring champion break dancers, each with world titles, who are ready to carve up the floor to reach dizzying new heights! This crew are world-class urban dancers, fusing the very best in skill and technique, state of the art technology and a thumping soundscape, alongside breath-taking never before seen tricks! Break Free is the ultimate breakdance fairy-tale suitable for all the family.

First time ever at Underbelly, Silent Adventures become Edinburgh’s resident silent disco troupe with their famous Silent Disco Tours. Don the magical headphones and feel the inhibitions evaporate as you groove through the city. Expect song, dance, flash-mobs and surprises in the most feel-good hour of the summer.

Following a hugely successful run at Vault Festival, American cabaret performer Tori Scott presents Thirsty, a show about drinking produced by Fringe First winning Robin Rayner (Fabric, 2016). Named one of Time Out New York’s Top 10 Cabaret Artists, Tori makes her Fringe debut with a shameless musical journey of slurred autobiographical stories (and songs written by other people). Join her as she celebrates poor life choices and an unconditional love of vodka to the music of Aretha Franklin, Judy Garland, Miley Cyrus and more!

Strike a pose at the gay and glamorous Les Odalisques inaugural gala, Full Throttle! A riotous romp of light-hearted frivolity and hot-headed hijinks on and off the stage. Sultry starlets Tatiana Diavoletto and Bleu Phoenix simper and seethe with pent-up frustration as their stage ambitions are thwarted by a West End director…

Zak and Toby, as they take you on an extravaGAYnza of outrageous dances and hilarious comedy in Hot Gay Time Machine! Covering all the moments of a gay man’s life, from coming out to navigating the politics of the locker room, don’t miss this ‘riotous but subtly moving’ musical party.

Charlie Wood and Ed Bartlam, Directors of Underbelly said: “Today, Su Pollard’s theatrical debut, Made In Chelsea rogues Jamie Laing and Francis Boulle’s Private Parts and blistering ballroom with Burn the Floor join comedy legends, Rory Bremner, Helen Lederer and Nina Conti, family favourites Julia Donaldson and Dick and Dom, the finest circus from around the world alongside a raft of brave, challenging and seriously impressive theatre and new writing to complete what is our boldest, biggest and brightest programme in our 19 year Fringe history.

“2018 is massive year for Underbelly as we return to the iconic McEwan Hall, welcome newly created venues, and maintain our core and much loved sites from the Circus Hub on the Meadows, Underbelly George Square and of course, our original home Underbelly Cowgate.

“We are very ready for Fringe 2018. Our call is now to audiences – come frolic in our Fringe pastures, graze on our belting shows and lap up our infectious atmosphere. Get involved in a Fringe experience like no other, get involved in an Underbelly Fringe.”

Headlong announce new Penelope Skinner show MEEK at the Traverse as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe



Amy Hodge directs Penelope Skinner’s elegantly mysterious new play Meek, an unflinching vision which examines state control and self-control in an unknown theocratic society. Meek will open at the Traverse Theatre as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe before embarking on a UK tour.   Full tour dates to be announced shortly.

In a society where private lives become political and freedom of expression is not an option, Irene finds herself imprisoned.  As tales of her incarceration spread overseas and her growing exposure becomes a threat, she is forced to make a brutal decision. 

Skinner’s urgent play for Headlong in association with Birmingham Repertory Theatre, is a searing evocation of fraught times; a haunting vision of ruthless authoritarianism, tense friendships and one woman’s determination not to be broken.

Penelope Skinner is an award-winning writer and recognised as one of the UK’s leading voices in contemporary theatre.  Her theatre credits include LindaThe Big Idea: Age and The Village Bike (Royal Court), The Promise (Donmar Warehouse at Trafalgar Studios), Fred’s Diner (Chichester Festival Theatre), The Sound of Heavy Rain (Paines Plough), Greenland(National Theatre), Eigengrau (Bush) and Fucked (Old Red Lion/Assembly).  Film credits include Mary Queen of Scots and How I Live Now.  Television credits include Fresh Meat(Channel 4).  For radio her credits include Planet B, The Man in Black: The Old Road (BBC Radio 7); Scratch (BBC Radio 3); and Murder in the Toilet (Cookham FM). Penelope is Winner of the 2011 George Devine Award, the Charles Wintour Most Promising Playwright Award at the 2011 Evening Standard Theatre Awards. She was also nominated for the 2012 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre.

Amy Hodge is Associate Director for Headlong. For Headlong she directed Boys will Be Boys (Bush Hall- part of the Bush Breaks Out season). Other credits include Boat (BAC/Company 3), 7-75 (The Place), Am I Dead Yet? (Traverse and Bush Theatre), Our Big Land (Romany Theatre Company), The Rover (Hampton Court Palace), Romeo and Juliet (Theatre Uz, Uzbekistan for the British Council), ClytemnestraThe SangerLight ArrestedMeasure For MeasureA Christmas CarolSmall Change (Sherman Cymru, while Associate Director 2008-2011), Cloak Room (Sherman and Washington DC), Playing The Game (Tricycle), Mules (Young Vic), The Ethics of Progress (Unlimited Theatre), The TempestKick for Touch (Orange Tree Theatre). Amy was Studio Associate at the National Theatre (2013-14) and was recipient of Jerwood Directors Award 2007.

Full casting to be announced shortly.