The EdFringe is on the horizon and they have some great, Theatre, and Circus shows lined up to keep the crowds entertained. Details below
Lilly Burton: All Aboard at Termination Station
Venue: Pleasance Courtyard, Bunker One, 2 – 28 Aug (not 14 & 21)
Time: 15:30 (16:30)
Exploring reproductive rights through song, dance and self-reflection, All Aboard! At Termination Station aims to reclaim people’s choices and empower those with lived experiences of abortion. The autobiographical comedy cabaret theatre show derives from creative activist and theatre maker Lilly Burton’s personal experiences of abortion after a lack of education, understanding and loneliness at 19 years-old almost led her to miss the legal cut off due to the negative stigma surrounding the procedure. At a time where the pro-choice movement is being threatened on a global scale and 1 in 3 women will have an abortion before the age of 45 years old, this frank, funny and heartfelt performance demonstrates the vital importance of body autonomy and rejects the ‘victim’ status of those who have had an abortion.
Declan Bennett: Boy Out The City
Venue: Underbelly, Big Belly, 3 – 27 Aug 2023 (not 14 & 21)
Time: 15.30 (16.30)
Created out of writing from his own private journals, Declan Bennett (EastEnder’s Charlie Cotton) reflects on surviving the streets of Coventry in a NAF NAF jacket, discovering the Gay scene in 90s Soho, and confronting his Catholic school days. After moving out of London to wait out the final months of the pandemic initially with his boyfriend, Declan unexpectedly finds himself alone in the Oxfordshire countryside. In his isolation, he is forced to face the demons of his past on a messy journey through the turbulent world of toxic masculinity, homophobia, and men’s mental health. From the lonely aisles of Hobbycraft to the bright lights of New York city, this is the story of a man in desperate search of identity when confronted with sudden unexpected solitude.
Ontroerend Goed: Funeral
Venue: Zoo Southside, Main House, 4 – 27 Aug 2023 (not 7, 14 & 21),
Times: 10:00 (11:00) & 11:20 (12:20) from 18
Celebrating the finiteness of things in a theatrical ritual, the new show from Ontroerend Goed brings people together in a gently participatory show to ask how we mark a personal loss when religion no longer connects us. When his father died a few years ago, director Alexander Devriendt decided to hold his funeral in a church, despite not being religious himself. Now, he brings audiences together to sit in the dark, light candles, sing, eat, drink and celebrate as Funeral reflects on what ritual we turn to in times of mourning.
FlawBored: It’s A Motherf*cking Pleasure
PART OF THE EDINBURGH UNTAPPED AWARD
Venue: Underbelly, Bristo Square – Friesian, 2 – 27 Aug 2023 (not 14 & 21)
Time: 14:20 (15:20)
A scathing satire on identity politics, those that monetise it and those that get themselves into knots about it. Disability-led theatre company FlawBored ask ‘what if disabled people were out to make as much money as possible from the guilt of non-disabled, anxious people (like you)?’ When someone at large PR company RIZE commits a very public ableism and faces calls to be cancelled, a non-disabled HR manager demands a company-wide emergency workshop on how to support disabled people and immediately turns her email signature into a reading list. Meanwhile across the hall, disabled talent manager Tim strives to weaponise RIZE’s able-anxiety and turn disability into experiential brand. Utilising the ambition of triple threat wannabe celebrity Ross (gay, blind AND brown), Tim tries to make disability the next cultural cachet people scramble for. As FlawBored break the fourth wall (and themselves) trying to get the audience to answer all the awkward questions, It’s a Motherf**king Pleasure spares no one in its tongue-in-cheek exploration of the complexities of identity politics in corporate environments.
NO TABLE Productions: One Way Out
PART OF THE EDINBURGH UNTAPPED AWARD
Venue: Underbelly Cowgate, Belly Button, 3 – 27 Aug 2023 (not 14 & 21)
Time: 14.15 (15.15)
75 years since the arrival of HMS Windrush into Britain, Montel Douglas’s debut play explores young British Caribbeans’ experiences of the Windrush crisis through the story of four young friends on the cusp of adulthood leaving college. Inspired by the true events of his own cousin receiving a deportation letter at the age of nineteen, Douglas tells the important but often neglected story of young people being stripped of their legalities after having grown up in the UK, and the impact that this turmoil has on younger members of the Windrush generation’s sense of identity. With themes of cultural differences, masculinity and the pursuit of patties, this coming-of-age play explores the friendship of four young men, all from different backgrounds but bonded through their South London upbringing, as the freedom and excitement of adolescence is side-lined by a huge, unexpected shift.
RJG Productions: Polko
Venue: ROUNDABOUT @ Summerhall, 2 – 27 August (not 8, 15 & 22)
Time: 11.50 (12.50)
By journalist turned playwright Angus Harrison, Polko is a dark memory play centred around three characters: one who’s returned home under a cloud of failure, one who never left home, and one who disappeared. Inspired by reports during lockdown of young people moving back to live with their parents, and it being the largest such migration since the Great Depression, the play is about being back where you started, and the refuge that memory can be when it seems like the future’s been cancelled. Polko is set entirely in the front-seats of a car parked in a hometown that Emma doesn’t remember, that Joe has been left behind in, and that the missing Polko has been seemingly driven from.
Brigitte Aphrodite & Quiet Boy: SAD
Venue: Summerhall, Anatomy Lecture Theatre, 2 – 13 Aug 2023
Time: 15.00 (16:00)
Propelled by personal experience of loss, SAD is a musically driven experience, blending poetry with recordings of real people’s stories to explore how grief affects the human condition, and how sound can be healing. Inspiration for the project came when artist Quiet Boy lost his mum, and the music he composed at the time to help process his grief. Whilst they were making the show, he and Brigitte Aphrodite engaged with research from cognitive neuroscientists to work towards a scientific understanding of how sound and music, alongside the use of SAD lamps, can affect chemical and hormone levels and make people feel more positive. SAD takes audiences on a deeply personal journey that offers comfort at its lowest points before freedom, joy, and clarity when the light eventually floods in. The show maps out the crossing from loss to acceptance, and ultimately hope for the future.
Dutch Kills presents Wolf 359’s: Temping
Venue: Assembly George Square Studios – The Cubicle at Buccleuch Place, 4 – 27 Aug 2023
Time: Every 90 mins from 10.00 until 22.00 (50 mins – 70 mins)
Contrasting the anonymity of recording births and deaths in Excel spreadsheet with furtive moments of human intimacy, interactive show from Dutch Kills Theater and Wolf 359 examines mortality, capitalism and the value of a human life. Sarah Jane Tully, a 53-year-old actuary, has gone on vacation and the audience member steps in to cover for her. As they update her spreadsheets, they realise her job involves calculating the life expectancy of strangers. Meanwhile, an intra-office romance is spilling out of the printer, the phone bleeps with recorded messages, emails land in the inbox, and all the inner life of Sarah is there for anyone who has access to her cubicle and computer. Temping is a show with no performers, just an audience and the ether. It returns to Edinburgh Festival Fringe following a critically acclaimed run in 2022, and Adelaide Fringe run where it won a Best of the Fest award.
Callum Hughes and Fake Escape: Thirst
Venue: Pleasance Courtyard, Bunker 3, 2 – 28 Aug 2023 (not 14 or 21)
Time: 14:05 (15.05)
The solo debut of actor and writer Callum Hughes is a showcase of sympathetic yet humerous diaries on his battles with alcoholism, his life as a musician, and a reminder that not everything you love is necessarily good for you. Hughes carefully comprises stories from childhood to a few years ago, navigating his struggle with alcohol with a parallel narrative on his relationship with music and performing. With a guitar in hand and performing original music, Hughes goes into his personal life, theatre, religion, and his love for music, shedding light on the bleak, enabling side of the gig industry. Far from a story of hitting rock bottom, Hughes shares how his ability to keep going and never miss a gig while heavily intoxicated was enough to be life threatening, but his new sobriety is joyous.
Joe Leather: Wasteman
Venue: Assembly Underground, George Square Studios, 4 – 28 Aug 2023 (not 17)
Time: 18.00 (19.00)
Based on writer Joe Leather’s real-life experiences working as a Refuse Loader during lockdown, this one-person comedic play is a love letter to both hard-working Northerners and gender euphoria through monologue, music, and drag. During the pandemic, Joe applied for every job available; when the jewellers he was supposed to work at closed on the day he was meant to start, he realised that what would not be halted due to lockdown was refuse collection. Around the same time, he turned his experience as a performer into a drag persona to amuse his friends on Zoom. And so, his journey from bin man to drag queen began. Leather’s unique blend of sharp-wit, physical comedy, and hard-hitting social commentary led to a sold-out and Offie nominated run at VAULT Festival.
From Start to Finnish in association with Tsuumi Dance Theatre: A Couple of Humans PART OF FROM START TO FINNISH
Venue: Summerhall, Main Hall 2 – 20 August (not 9 & 14)
Time: 16:05 (16:50)
Tackling the challenges of social interaction in a world dominated by digital communication, this thought-provoking piece of visual dance theatre blends choreography, sound design and live projection to comment on how technology has changed relationships over the last three years. Honing in on themes of encounter, communication, and interaction, real life couple Riikka and Antti Puumalainen combine contemporary choreography and sound design that utilises human voice, every day household sounds and both musical and abstract elements. A Couple of Humans is an interdisciplinary performance that delves into two fundamental questions: ‘Who am I?’ and ‘Who are we together?’
From Start to Finnish in association with Race Horse Company: Chevalier – Hobbyhorse Circus
PART OF FROM START TO FINNISH
Venue: Assembly George Square Studios-Studio One 4-27 August 2023 (not 9, 14 & 21)
Time: 12:00 (12:50)
Acclaimed Race Horse Company and Kalle Lehto, creators of Total Theatre Award-nominated Super Sunday, present a comedic contemporary circus for children, drawing from the history and essence of circus culture. Ringmaster Kalle Lehto performs acrobatics, juggling and balancing, recreating the majesty of the traditional circus horses with a cast of children’s hobby horses. As the horses take centre stage on the small manege, the ringmaster’s story is played out in short silent movies. With Kalle’s playful style, natural comedic sense, and the fluid movement of a Finnish break dancing champion, completed by Sami Tammela’s adroit music and soundscapes with electronic elements, Chevalier – Hobbyhorse Circus brings the magic of traditional circus alive once more.
Details of all shows and tickets at this years EdFringe festival here.