For Three weeks in August, the EdFringe welcomes an explosion of creative energy.

Artists and performers take to hundreds of EdFringe stages all over the city to present shows for every taste. From big names in the world of entertainment to unknown artists looking to build their careers, the festival caters for everyone and includes theatre, comedy, dance, physical theatre, circus, cabaret, children’s shows, musicals, opera, music, spoken word, exhibitions and events.

Trunk Theatre Project: Blub Blub
Summerhall, Cairns Lecture Theatre, 3 – 27 Aug 2023 (not 14 & 21)
Time: 14.00 (15.00)
Do they break the glass wall, or jump over it with a trampoline? Featuring newly composed songs inspired by classical music, Blub Blub is a charming story of chaotic cohabitation as two fish find each other in an aquarium, both wanting to escape, but with conflicting views of how. Blending physical theatre, miniature set design and puppetry, along with a mysterious live score, Trunk Theatre Project returns to Edinburgh Festival Fringe with a new aquatic adventure following last year’s space adventure Mary, Chris Mars. The company have collaborated with British sound designer Patch Middleton as well as professional dancer and choreographer Kim Min to highlight cultural exchanges and explore more dynamic movement through the show.

Side eYe: Dugsi Dayz
Venue: Underbelly Cowgate, Belly Button, 3 – 27 Aug 2023 (not 14 & 21),
Time: 12:40 (13:40)
In a funny and authentic exploration of friendship between Somali girls, this twist on The Breakfast Club sees four students stuck in detention, forming bonds through their shared heritage despite their different outlooks on life and their place in it. Salma, Yasmin, Munira and Hani would normally never be seen with each other, but through stories of men who pretend they are something they aren’t, nosy aunties and the legend of the girl who turned into a monkey, they begin to find common ground. As they sit out their detention in dugsi – an Islamic school that is seen as a Somali rite of passage – they slowly reveal how each of them came to be there. Dugsi Dayz is written, directed and produced by Somali women, and seeks to redress the lack of Muslim representation both on and off stage and screen.

Sheep Soup: House of Life
Venue: Underbelly Cowgate, Belly Dancer, 3 – 25 Aug 2023
Time: 20:55 (21:55)
One-part sermon, one-part purge, three-parts party, House of Life is a travelling musical cult collective hosted by the camp and glitter clad RaveRend with one mission – to make the audience happy, at any cost. Made up of alumni of the BAFTA-winning Television Workshop, Nottingham based Sheep Soup uses live music with loop pedals, sampled voices and audience interaction to create a feel-good, open hearted and celebratory cabaret theatre show. Inspired by the places where people come together to heal through music, joy and noise – church, festivals, protests, football matches, raves – the audience is taken through an eight-step programme of how to get content. They are encouraged to join in with the RaveRend and move to the music, creating their own community for one-night-only, which means that no two shows are the same.

And Tomorrow Theatre Company: Lear Alone
Venue: The Space Triplex, Studio, 4 – 19 August 2023 (not 13)
Times: 15.05 (15.55)
Using just King Lear’s lines from Shakespeare’s timeless tragedy to explore themes of loneliness, ageing and homelessness, Lear Alone is a study of one man’s vulnerability as he confronts and negotiates a digital world. As Shakespeare’s King loses his power, his sanity and his home, so does the actor playing Lear as he tries to find his voice and his place in a world that is rendering him invisible. Lear Alone is the theatrical realisation of And Tomorrow Theatre Company’s five-part Arts Council-funded web series which was presented in partnership with CRISIS and which won the Off West End Award for Best Online Series 2022.

Spindrift Theatre in association with From Start to Finnish: Them
Venue: Pleasance Dome, KingDome, 2–27 August (not 9, 14 & 21
Time: 12:00 (13:00)
In a physical theatre performance, four women from Iceland and Finland delve into the world of masculinity to share stories about love, fathers, sexuality, pride and the fear of being a burden. Based on dozens of interviews with male-identifying people from different countries as well as the creators’ own personal stories, it asks questions men’s experiences of toxic masculinity, and of women’s experiences of patriarchy. Them unpacks many of the issues surrounding gender with tenderness, humour and empathy, applying a female gaze to understanding men’s experiences of masculinity, including the pain of not fitting in, the thrill of finding one’s strength, and the sorrow of not knowing how to cry.
Press release and images here

Fake Escape: Raising Kane
Venue: Assembly George Square Studios, Studio 4, 3 – 28 Aug 2023 (not 14 & 21),
Times: 12:00 (12:50)
With set, props and performer all in black and white, David Shopland explores the life of one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, Orson Welles, in a brand-new solo show. After continuously having his theatre style and work ethic compared to Welles by friends and family, Shopland is stepping back onstage for the first time in a decade to portray the historic figure. In 1941 a precocious young upstart of New York’s glittering theatre scene tried his hand at making a movie and accidentally created the greatest motion picture of all time. Shopland energetically delves into the making of Citizen Kane and the trials and tribulations of Welles’ life, based on real interviews and recordings, while also reflecting on his own history and self-analysis in anachronistic moments.

Jamie-Lee Money: Spin Cycles
Venue: Pleasance Courtyard, Bunker Two, 2 – 28 Aug 2023 (not 8, 15 & 22)
Time: 12.20 (13.20)
Performed entirely on and with a spinning bike, Spin Cycles explores the processing and suppression of grief through the strange cult-like world of spin classes. Taking the theatricality of the Britney headsets and over-extroverted instructors, and combining it with the deep inner feelings of grief, Jamie-Lee Money’s Edinburgh debut looks at how we cope when we’ve been knocked sideways. Deeply rooted in personal experience and many tears in The Barbican foyer, Spin Cycles is a one-person show about spinning, grief and everything in between. Time to sweat out the sadness.

And Tomorrow Theatre Company: The Good Dad (A Love Story)
Venue: The Space at Surgeons’ Hall, Theatre 2, 4 – 26 August 2023 (not 13 August)
Time: 21:15 (22:05)
Inspired by real-life events from the 1980s, this haunting family drama will see one actor take on the roles of a mother and her identical twin daughters, Donna and Carol. Nominated for Lead Performance, New Play and Best Director at the Off West End Awards 2021, The Good Dad is presented in association with the charity Victim Support. Extensively researched by award-winning playwright and former academic Gail Louw, The Good Dad explores and explains – by means of fragmented flashbacks and shifting narratives – how and why Donna is in prison for the murder of her father, in the process unpacking a complex web of exploitation and complicity, dysfunctional family dynamics and flawed institutions.

Ghost River: Tomorrow’s Child
Venue: Assembly, Checkpoint, 3 – 28 Aug 2023 (not 15)
Time: 11.40 (12.50)
In the imagined retro-future of 1988, new parents Polly and Peter confront the reality that their baby has been born as a blue six armed pyramid in an immersive audio experience for a blindfolded audience. Their son has accidentally been born in another dimension, and from our dimension can only be seen in his strange form. Canadian company Ghost River Theatre has adapted Ray Bradbury’s sci-fi short story as a multi-layer sonic adventure, steering the audience into an unknown space where they hear the voices, including a 50 strong choir, from all over the room. Tomorrow’s Child is an examination of how we perceive, and our ability to accept those that are different, ‘other’ or beyond our own understanding.

LUNG: Woodhill
Venue: Summerhall, Main Hall. 2 – 28 Aug 2023 (not 3,14 & 21)
Time: 20.55 (22.10)
Taking first hand experiences of three families whose loved ones took their own lives at HMP Woodhill, verbatim theatre company LUNG (Trojan Horse, Who Cares, E15) examines the state of UK prisons. Woodhill is a dance theatre piece that uses verbatim text from the family members read by actors over dynamic choreography to question the negligence and injustice within the countries’ prison system. As the number of people going into prisons rises and staff numbers are being cut, the show examines the value we place on the lives of those who have been incarcerated, focusing on three families demanding to know how and why their loved ones died. Known for their theatre, this is the first dance production from LUNG, with choreography by Alexzandra Sarmiento (original London cast of Hamilton).

Tickets to all EdFringe shows are available here. You can find more theatre shows here and here.


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