This year will be the first time in four years that I won’t be present at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe/ the chaos that is Edinburgh in August (I also had a habit of attending free fringe/book festival/the international festival too during August).
Naturally I’m sad….but also happy to be in New Zealand experiencing the hilariously mild winter Auckland is offering up (though jeez the houses here were not built for cooler temperatures I gotta say).
SO, I’ve decided to compile my Edinburgh Fringe jealousy list. It’s got a mixture of big and small shows, and of course some kiwi talent (cause boy is there a lot of it you guys).
In no particular order, here are my 20 picks for Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2018:
- The Basement Tapes. Extraordinary and spooky kiwi talent. Kate Prior said it best: “I love it when a show is completely different from what you imagined. In my head The Basement Tapes
@Basementspace was some live art with real recordings, direct address. It’s not, it’s pulpy thrills & I was genuinely a wee bit scared. Also sound design is ” Book tickets here
- Baby Face. Katy is a truly fearless, playful performer. She’s also the winner of the Autopsy Award 2018.Info about the show:”Paedophilia is not OK yet fetishised images of women as prepubescent girls are. In this brave and outlandish performance a grown woman attempts to be your baby to discover if innocence really is as sexy as we’re told it is.” Book tickets here
- Blackout. Blackout is the honest, brutal, uplifting and darkly comic story of alcoholics, and ultimately of their hope in recovery. “Proves to be challenging and riveting contemporary theatre that pushes boundaries” Book tickets here
- One Life Stand. Eve is such a talented writer and I’m beyond gutted I can’t see this show. “One Life Stand is a late-night search for intimacy across a hyperconnected, hypersexual city, exposing the loneliness sometimes found in modern relationships, where expectations of love and lust are ever-changing. “ Book tickets here
- Love Song to Lavender Menace. I love a story about a bookshop, and this promises to be an excellent one: “”A thoroughly entertaining and important piece of LGBT social history” “a funny, celebratory play about the radical, lesbian, gay and feminist bookshop which began in the cloakroom of Scotland’s first gay nightclub and became the beating heart of Edinburgh’s LGBT+ community.” Book tickets here
- Valerie. New Zealanders just know how to do music on stage, and this is one talented team: “Named stand-out cabaret of the year by the NZ Herald, Valerie is an inter-generational, interdisciplinary and interrupting piece of theatre reaching into the guts of family mythologies. Music, genetics, and storytelling combine to unravel one family’s history.” Book tickets here
- Erewhon. “This delightful neo-historical head-scratcher playfully welds future, past and present into a glittering bracelet of time. A multimedia collaboration between Edinburgh’s own Magnetic North, and Kiwi playwright and newly-qualified magic lantern showman Arthur Meek. ” Book tickets here
- Don Juan. More kiwi talent of course! “Riotous and over-the-top Don Juan offers lots of improvisation and audience participation.” An epic celebration of the boldness of love, Don Juan is an interactive performance party. Book tickets here
- The Dragon and the Whales. No doubt a delightful kids show from Modest Predicament, if you have little ones…or if like me you enjoy attending kids shows as an adult. “An adventure tale with puppetry and music about growing up, understanding your emotions and finding your place in the world.” Book tickets here
- My Left/ Right Foot – The Musical. Birds of Paradise are completely excellent, and have teamed up with the National Theatre of Scotland for this project. “The local am-dram society is under pressure to comply with the equalities agenda. They come up with a cunning plan to create a gripping show starring ‘the disabled’. What could be better than the Oscar-winning ‘My Left Foot’? The only snag is they’re having real trouble finding any disabled actors – but that never stopped Daniel Day-Lewis!” Book tickets here
- David Correos: The Correos Effect. “David delivers a proper performance maelstrom for an hour. This is full noise, powerful, messy comedy. It’s always a difficult risk assessment with David – come witness the nonsense.” It’s definitely worth witnessing. Book tickets here
- Aye Elvis by Morna Young. I SO want to see this!“Yer a wifie. Dressed as Elvis. In Aberdeen!” Joyce Falconer (River City) stars in this ‘A Play, A Pie and A Pint’ smash-hit, directed by Ken Alexander. Aye, Elvis by Morna Young is a story about escapism, identity and a Doric Elvis. ‘Engagingly daft comedy‘ **** (Herald) Yes please. Book tickets here
- Ladylike: A Modern Guide to Etiquette. Louise Beuvink is one funny lady. One reviewer said: “I have a smile and laughter cramped face, and my heart is light.” That sounds pretty damn good to me. Book tickets here.
- Propeller. “If you ever feel frustrated about the way things are but don’t know what to do about it, this is the show for you. A devised piece about power and the possibility of change, directed by double Fringe First winner Caitlin Skinner and co-created by The Network Ensemble.” Caitlin’s brilliant and I’ve no doubt this will be. Book tickets here
- Horndog. Rose Matafeo is basically Legend status in NZ for her comedic talents. Treat your self, book a ticket to Horndog, “a dizzy delight” from a truly excellent comedian. Book tickets here
I’m just going to list the shows below and add a link just here for you to check out their full program, cause…I love the Trav a bunch: The Traverse Program 2018
I especially wish I could see:
- What Girls Are Made of. “Based on her meticulously detailed, pull-no-punches teenage diaries, this is the true story of Cora Bissett’s rollercoaster journey from the girl she was to the woman she wanted to be.” YES PLEASEE
- Check Up: Our NHS @ 70. I always enjoy the political work of Mark Thomas, and looking at the NHS feels especially important. “Based on a series of interviews with leading experts in and on the NHS and residences in hospitals and surgeries. Thomas uses his own demise to explore the state we’re in. What’s going wrong in our NHS, how it can go right and what the future might hold for all of us.”
- Underground Railroad Game. “Good morning, America! Welcome to Hanover Middle School, where a pair of teachers are getting down and dirty with today’s lesson. Going round after round on the mat of American history, the duo tackles race, sex and power politics in this R-rated, kaleidoscopic and fearless comedy.2017 Obie Award-winner and Time Out New York’s Best of 2016.” Sounds EXCELLENT
- Breakfast Plays: Youthquake. “Three young Scottish playwrights from the Traverse Young Writers’ group join forces with three leading British writers to explore a pressing question of our time: how can the younger generation be a catalyst for social and political change?” A brilliant concept with some exciting writers.
- Coriolanus Vanishes. I really enjoy David Leddys work, and this show sounds fascinating: “Chris experienced three deaths, one after another. She’s in prison awaiting trial. But she doesn’t know why. Written for either gender, originally played by a man, and now performed by a woman without changing a word.”
- Talkfest 2018 – Playwright’s Studio Scotland & Made in Scotland. This is one of my favourite ways of engaging with and discussing the festival as it happens. Four talks on different subjects at the Traverse Theatre, this year the themes include Visual Theatre, the #MeToo movement, Translation & Youth Theatre. They also run a bookshop in the Traverse. Checkout the Talkfest program HERE
- Cat Loud. The dreamiest and most delicious Cabaret singer, who will be performing in various things during the festival. A perfect palette cleanser if you’ve seen a bunch of heavy theatre/just a really gorgeous performer. “she knows when to let her voice soar and when to take it down to a whisper. She can silence the room with one word, one flick of her arm, one little wink.” Lorna Irvine. Have a look at where she’s performing HERE
So to those of you attending this year, enjoy! It can be an intense experience, even just as an audience member. If you’re there as a performer I definitely recommend checking out the Fringe Central program of free events/workshops and discussions. Also, I recall last year that Equity UK had a chill room where you could sign up for free back massages…which you may well need at some point during the month.
Have fun, immerse yourself, schedule some self love and enjoy!