After a fantastic Fringe, Pleasance are ready to present a season of wonderful shows this Autumn. The Best of the Edinburgh season is back, bringing nine incredible shows to London straight from the Fringe, followed by WRESTIVAL, a three-day festival of ground-breaking work curated by wrestler turned performance artist Heather Bandenburg. The Pleasance season finishes with a selection of incredible shows incorporating drag, contemporary drama, live storytelling, puppetry, movement-based pieces, true stories and verbatim theatre. Here are just a few.
Kicking off the Best of Edinburgh season, Block’d Off (3rd – 7th October) is a story about people trapped in the cycle of deprivation: a father putting his hopes on his daughter’s future; a couple of dealers attempting to flee the country; a tutor manipulating his way to normality; a young boy, stabbed too close to home. Based on real stories and real lives, and supported by the Pleasance’s Generate Fund, Block’d Off is a hard-hitting one-woman play exposing what it’s like to be working class in London today.
Winner of Breakthrough Memoir 2022 and runner up of Screenshot 2020, Pauline (11th – 15th October) is a new comedy drama about finding your nan’s suicide note. From award-winning writer and performer Sophie Bentinck, this is the brutally honest and joyfully hilarious story of three generations of women in one family – and of the writer who went digging in the secrets file to bring them all on www.
A finalist of the Popcorn Writing Award 2021, Scatterjam’s Please, Feel Free to Share (17th – 21st October) is a dynamic, darkly comic one-woman show about our personal addictions, the never ending pursuit of likes and our growing desire to share all. When her father dies, Alex reluctantly joins a bereavement group. She shares a little, and then lies… a lot.
Inspired by shocking true events, FIJI (18th – 21st October) is a multi-award nominated show about a deliciously unfathomable relationship… one you may have only ever heard about on the news. A gripping two-hander from Clay Party and Conflicted Theatre, FIJI blends true crime with romantic comedy to deliver a thrill-ride as hilarious and warm as it is fascinatingly dark and twisted.
Also part of the season, WRESTIVAL is a three-day festival of ground-breaking work combining live wrestling with cabaret, drag, satire and theatre. Curated by Heather Bandenburg (Unladylike: a Grrls Guide to Wrestling, Mummy Vs, I Need to Cher), WRESTIVAL is about putting the lesser represented voices of wrestling firmly at the centre of the www. WRESTIVAL is the first of its kind and is not an event to be missed!
Seeds (1st – 4th November) is inspired by the incredible true story of the world’s first seed bank in St Petersburg during WWII. Four research scientists are freezing in the basement of the Institute of Plant Industry, forced to make impossible choices to protect life-saving seed samples against an invading army, a starving population and each other.
Dare to be dazzled, by the sensationally saucy cast of Khandirella – a Cinderella Drag Story (9th – 11th November) and transported into the wonderful world of happily ever drag! Bringing you an extraordinary evening of hysterical drama, extreme competition and deadly serious talent, join Khandirella as she strives for stardom. Unlike other fairy tales this story won’t just focus on the Queens, the cast will also include drag king extraordinaire, Prinx Silver joined by other furiously fabulous Queens, Dosa Cat, Asia Thorn, Cleopantha, Sweet Dahlia and David Cute. We all know the original Cinderella story… Will this be the same? Of course not!! It’s Drag!
In Savage Heart (22nd – 26th November), it’s 1867 in London and Hope House prides itself on reforming the Fallen Women of the city. Polly arrives with no memory of how she got there, and within the walls of this house, ghosts are waiting… Certain Dark Things returns with their striking combination of puppetry, live music and movement in this pulse-quickening gothic thriller. Haunting, moving and vital, this show explores the horror of entrapment and the resilience of women.
With well over 30 comedy shows at the Pleasance, including the likes of Mark Watson, Kwame Asante, Lily Phillips, Finlay Christie, Hannah Fairweather, John Luke Roberts, Katie Pritchard, Will Duggan and so many more! Watch out for these award-winning comedians and exciting newcomers, who burst onto the Fringe this summer.
For more information about all the shows here and more at the Pleasance and tickets can be found here.