Ah yes, the other side of the coin. The misery to the laughter. The performance to the wit. The theatrical side of the Festival Fringe to that of its Comedic alter-ego.
There’s no question that the comedy origins of the Festival have made way to allow for a wealthier and more diverse programme for the Fringe – with some notable flashes of brilliance emerging from this city to become West End hits and BBC showstoppers.
This year is no different, as some of the world of theatres’ finest make their way to the city once more to draw in hungry audiences looking for Shakespearean staples, Queer romances, and a suspiciously large amount of murder-focused narratives…
Links directly to the Fringe website to purchase tickets, or have a further look at shows can be followed by clicking on the show’s respective image. Ticket prices are for standard admission, check the Fringe website for concession prices.
Hamlet with Ian McKellen
A rare opportunity to catch experts in their craft at their work, Ian McKellen and Peter Schaufuss collaborate in their new adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic play Hamlet. Looking to infuse the story with a dynamic performance concept, it is certainly one of the pricier Fringe purchases, but nevertheless, an opportunity, not the miss to see these tremendous creatives.
Various times (60 minutes) 2nd – 28th (Not 8th,15th or 22nd) Aug 2022
Venue 166 – Ashton Hall, Saint Stephens, Stockbridge
105 St Stephen Street, EH3 5AB
Tickets: Prices Vary
Dreams of the Small Gods
Naked, unaware, and devoid of the limitations of self-conscious anxieties, she explores the world around her, more animalistic than human. This intoxicating one-woman show from Scissor Kicks draws on various ancient and powerful sources to tell its tale. Winner of the Autopsy Award for Summerhall 2022, this production sets about things in a unique light – not looking for something new and contemporary but instead revelling in the magnitude of power in the long, forgotten past.
Gradually, as a sense of consciousness grows, the attraction exuded draws the attention of a creature from the spirit world, forcing her to change her physicality and extracting power from the merge of human, animal, and spiritual self. Dreams of the Small Gods fuses the perspicuity of faerie tales, mythos and ancient rites in a production which blends aerial feats, ritual and performance expression.
Not only a pick for our Have a Gander series, but Dreams of the Small Gods is also a top pick for the 2022 Fringe season overall
19:50 pm (50 minutes) 5th – 13th Aug 2022
Venue 26 – Summerhall, Demonstration Room
1 Summerhall, EH9 1PL
Is art more important than life? There are plenty of us who dedicate our lives to the elusive creature, so surely it isn’t that farfetched an idea. Indeed, this is the premise for the part moving image, part live vaudeville comedy, which is Apartness.
Labelling itself as a multimedia hybrid, fusing elements of stand-up performance with film sequences which stars icon and a previous incarnation of The Doctor Sylvester McCoy, Linda Marlowe and introducing Eleanor May Blackburn bring a story of two isolated individuals, saved by their fiendish comedic saviour.
An interesting, and highly original piece for this year’s Fringe, this comedic and poignant production promises surprises, twists and shocks for viewers. We’re not entirely sure what we’re all in for, but whatever it is, curiosity has without question ensnared us!
18:30pm (60 minutes) 3rd – 28th Aug 2022
Venue 14 – Gilded Baloon Teviot, Debating Hall
Teviot Row House, EH8 9AJ
Life in showbiz isn’t all champagne and caviar. And sat under investigation for murder, an actress in her 40s unfurls the ins and outs of the industry. At times, a hilarious revenge tale, others a gripping macabre story of the murder of an auteur theatre director. This spectacular and thought-provoking monologue piece offers a powerhouse performance.
Plunging us into the murky and dark heart of show business, Emily Bruni (Peep Show) stars in Psychodrama as a part of the superb Travfest at the Traverse Theatre – the location of some of the Fringe’s finest new writing pieces.
16.00pm (65 minutes) 4th – 28th (not 8th, 15th or 22nd) Aug 2022
Venue 15 – Traverse Theatre, Traverse 2
10 Cambridge Street, EH1 2ED
Another part of Travfest, James Ley’s Wilf took a recent spin at the Traverse Theatre – a stellar piece, a debauched but remarkably tender tale of a young man and his rusty car, Wilf. Promising and delivering on all expectations, Michael Dylan stars as Calvin in a divisive production which takes audiences on a comedic and hugely unapologetic adventure across Scotland, as Calvin and Wilf outrun loneliness, attempt to cope with mental illness and attempt to love themselves.
We were fortunate to cover the original outing of Wilf, which can be read here. A thoroughly recommendable piece with an absolute belter of an 80s soundtrack, this show may seem like a road you’ve travelled, but the surprises and touching moments in-store are only matched by the sheer presence and energy you might not have expected.
Various times (80 minutes) 5th – 28th Aug 2022 (not 8th, 15th or 22nd)
Venue 15 – Traverse Theatre, Traverse 1
10 Cambridge Street, EH1 2ED
Time for a spot of the absurd. Far too many stuffy texts on this list, so how about some bloodthirsty dramatics? West-Midlands-based theatre company Expial Atrocious is bringing Butchered to this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, a physical and surreal production which gets down to the bone and sinew of what it means to be human.
As a sausage-maker and their apprentice walk into the kitchen, quickly the audience realises this is no joke set-up. As a part of the University of Worcester’s Integrated Masters in Touring Theatre, not only does Butchered come with a mark of quality, but offers the opportunity for audiences to not only enjoy some new work but support the future of theatre in the UK.
Various times (50 minutes) 8th, 10th & 12th Aug 2022
Venue 209 – Greenside @ Nicholson Square
Lime Studio – 25 Nicolson Square, EH8 9BX
Devised piece of theatre, taken from true life, Tiger Lady shares an untold story of the world’s most influential female animal trainer. It is a tale of love, of pain and excitement, and some very, very sharp claws. Looking to amplify under-represented stories, Tiger Lady is the vehicle for Mabel Stark, a queen of the circus and one of the world’s first Tiger trainers.
But the physical scars Mabel endured were nothing compared to the scars left on her heart – enabling audiences to understand the world through movement and a rare simplicity, Dead Rabbits Theatre Company bring undeniable excellence in retelling the unheard, the unknown and the excluded.
This innovative piece combines physical playfulness, puppetry and object manipulation to conjure a fast-paced show to engage with audiences in a transformative manner. Seeking to pull at the strings of nostalgia, even within a new storytelling experience and narrative, Tiger Lady is shaping up to have quite the set of teeth for this year’s Fringe.
13.05pm (60 minutes) 3rd – 28th (not 22nd) Aug 2022
Venue 33 – Pleasance Courtyard, Above
60 Pleasance, EH8 9TJ
If you haven’t spotted your production – do not worry! We’re currently working our way through a huge backlog of requests, with many previews and Q & A’s lined up for the coming month. If you haven’t, please do get in touch through the contact page to feature in an upcoming ‘Have A Gander’