It’s that time of the year again where I’ve been ripping apart the Edinburgh Fringe Festival show catalogue, trying to piece together a schedule of what shows to see whilst I’m up there in August.
With so many different shows happening throughout the month, people have been asking me what I recommend and what I’m planning to see.
Here are ten of my top picks for shows I have either seen already or am looking forward to seeing.
The Space On The Northbridge (Perth Theatre) EH1 1SD
A killer haunts the shores of Edgartown. The community’s secrets exposed by the murderer in their midst. A band of small town characters team up to hunt the monster down in this dark, funny homage to Spielberg’s classic Jaws.
Sister Mary’s Playtime
Frankenstein Pub (bier Keller) EH1 1EN
Join Sister Mary McArthur as she battles the blues with her unique comedy and variety. No pulpit. No psalms. No prayers. She’s not that kind of nun! She’s the songs, show business and show tunes kind, with some games and guests for a lull-busting lunchtime lunge.
Quarter Life Crisis
Underbelly Cowgate (Delhi Belly) EH1 1JX
Alicia is a hot mess. She doesn’t know what she’s doing with her life. Swiping left, swiping right to find the perfect match. Even though she’s a Londoner, born and bred, the scent of Lagos peppers her existence in the ends. Everyone around her seems to know where they’re going in life, but she’s trying to find ways to cheat growing up and keep her 16-25 railcard. What does it mean to be an adult, and when do you become one? Quarter Life Crisis mixes addictive basslines, spoken word and audience participation. Part of Underbelly Untapped.
Sooz On Film
Underbelly Med Quad EH8 9AG (Clover)
Love films? So, does Sooz Kempner (Musical Comedy Awards Best Newcomer, Funny Women Variety Award winner) in a brand-new stand-up show about how great movies can change your entire life. At 16, Sooz decided she had to win an Oscar, watched Goodfellas, Taxi Driver and Jaws too many times and sent a screenplay to Martin Scorsese. Did she ever win that Oscar? Cinema, self-deprecation and show-stopping songs. ‘Fantastically funny… this is a woman who belongs on the stage’ **** (Chortle.co.uk). ‘Just brilliant… not to be missed’ ***** (WestEndWilma.co.uk).
The Bakewell Bakeoff
Quaker Meeting House EH1 2JL (Theatre)
Take seven eager contestants, three feuding judges and one bewildered host and mix together in a small village. Add the pressure of a baking competition, and you’ve got a recipe for a hilarious musical comedy! The small English village of Bakewell is holding its annual baking competition and the eclectic and eccentric group of contestants are each hoping that their baking skills will impress the judges. Come and join the folk of Bakewell for their annual bake off, where signature bakes combine with song and dance in a fantastic feast of fun!
Priscilla Queen Of The Desert
Greenside @ Royal Terrace (Jade Studio) EH7 5AB
The much loved colourful extravaganza of a show come to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for the first time from the company behind 2016’s sell-out American Idiot. Join Tick, Felicia and Bernadette on their travels across Australia in the world’s most camp bus: Priscilla! Set to classic anthems such as Such as It’s Raining Men, Hot Stuff, True Colours, Go West and I Will Survive this is a guaranteed party night out that packs an emotional punch. Not to be missed!
Femage A Trois
Gilded Balloon at Rose Theatre (Attic) EH2 4AZ
Princess Leia. Cleopatra. Katniss Everdeen. We all know women are amazing and fascinating. The women of Fémage à Trois are nothing less. Featuring new motherhood, epic transformations and the discovery of super powers, Loquitur Theatre reimagines this exciting format for 2017 with a brand-new trilogy of independent stories, told by the women central to them, as they battle with their demons. Charming, dark, sometimes hilarious, desperately normal; each story illustrates the incredible strength needed to meet life and its challenges head on. Includes work by Polly Churchill, Claire Gordon-Webster and Victoria Turnbull. Directed by Lou-Lou Mason.
Margaret Thatcher Queen of Gameshows
Assembly George Square Gardens EH8 9LH (Piccolo)
Ding dong the witch is back! Multi award-winning Fringe sensation Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho returns with the most fabulous game show of all! Join the Iron Lady for songs, games and catchphrases as audience members compete for their golden giro cheque! ‘So much fun Theresa May will probably outlaw it’ (Chortle.co.uk), ‘A dazzling show for the austerity generation’ **** (Skinny), ‘Glorious camp with political punch’ ****(Times), ‘Tedford’s Thatcher is a real treat’ **** (Scotsman), ‘Nothing short of a comedy masterpiece’ ***** (ThreeWeeks), ‘An evening of genuinely hilarious nonsense’ ***** (Attitude).
Murder She Didn’t Write: The Improvised Murder Mystery
Pleasance Courtyard (Pleasance Beyond) EH8 9TJ
A classic murder mystery is created on the spot in this ingenious and hilarious show from Bristol Improv Theatre’s resident company. Miss Crimson poisoned in the parlour? Mr Gold exploded by cannon in Sainsbury’s? You decide! But will you guess whodunnit? And for your Sunday night entertainment, don’t forget our additional late night shows! ***** (InterMissionBristol.co.uk). ***** (BristolTheatreReview.com). **** (ThreeWeeks). **** (EdFringeReview.com). **** (BroadwayBaby.com). ‘One of the best, most accomplished and polished improvised groups I have seen for a very long time – and I am very, very old’ (FringeReview.co.uk).
Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33)
‘Powerful, important and funny’ (Emma Thompson). The critically acclaimed, true story of migration, family and prejudice returns to Edinburgh. Navigating a childhood in 90s England, the rise of the far right and a global refugee crisis, Labels is an honest, human story from multicultural Britain. Expect paper planes, racist romances and lots of sticky labels! ‘Terrific and really thoughtful’ (Lyn Gardner, Guardian). Winner: Scotsman Fringe First 2015 and Holden Street Award 2015. Winner: Best Theatre, Adelaide Fringe and Peace Foundation Prize 2016. Winner: People’s Choice Award, Vault Festival 2017.