The Girl Who Jumped Off the Hollywood Sign

The Girl Who Jumped Off the Hollywood Sign

Joanne Hartstone’s one-woman show is a brilliant send up to classic Golden Age Hollywood that keeps the glitz and glamour of the period whilst showing the grimy and exploitative underbelly that lurks just beneath the surface... 

Six

Six

A pop song musical about the six wives of Henry the Eighth is not, at first glance, something you’d think would necessarily work. Yet as the Fringe is apt to do, this odd concept is taken and transformed into a wonderfully weird and spectacular show that defied my expectation to be one of the most stunning performances I have seen all Festival... 

Really Want to Hurt Me

Really Want to Hurt Me

Self identity, depression, sexual awakenings and The Smiths are all topics central to writer/director Ben SantaMaria’s incredibly touching and heartfelt play about growing up gay in the 1980’s... 

The Canterville Ghost

The Canterville Ghost

Tall stories brings an incredibly charming and old school production of one of Oscar Wilde’s lesser known novellas, The Canterville Ghost, that perfectly embodies the spirit - pun not intended - of traditional music hall and vaudeville performers... 

War With the Newts

War With the Newts

Knaive Theatre’s reworking of Czech author Karel Capek’s 1937 novel War with the Newts is a striking adaptation of an unfairly forgotten sci-fi masterpiece that will leave you laughing, gasping and shaking with terror... 

Fcuk'd

Fcuk'd

Eastlake Productions brings a new, fast-paced and gritty one-man show to the Fringe that takes a dark look at one teenager's attempt to delay the inevitable and find a better life for him and his loved ones in a world that is constantly against him... 

My Left / Right Foot – The Musical

My Left / Right Foot – The Musical

Birds of Paradise’s new musical is a hysterical and at times incredibly thoughtful production that takes a wry and insightful poke at the state of inclusion in modern theatre and how we view disability in the media and society... 

Love Song to Lavender Menace

Love Song to Lavender Menace

We in the L.G.B.T.+ community are often slightly adrift from our own history. The legal and cultural oppression that has existed for almost the entirety of modern history has left many of us disconnected from our past and shared communities... 

The Cambridge Impronauts: A Series of Improvable Events

The Cambridge Impronauts: A Series of Improvable Events

The Cambridge impronauts return to the fringe festival with a new show that lovingly tributes Lemony Snicket's famous A Series of Unfortunate Events in a wonderfully absurd if at times uneven hour of improvised skullduggery... 

Games by Henry Naylor

Games by Henry Naylor

Multi-award winning playwright Henry Naylor returns to the fringe with a stunning two-hander set in Nazi Germany that is both incredibly poignant and unnervingly timely.Games takes place across multiple Olympic games during the 1930s, focussing on two German athletes... 

...and Peggy

...and Peggy

Attempting to create a spin-off to one of the most beloved musicals of recent memory is a brave choice, and unfortunately it is a gamble that didn't pay off in this case....and Peggy is a spin-off to the hit musical Hamilton, focusing on the very minor character of Peggy Schuyler, and aims to show her side of the now-famous story behind the American War of Independence... 

Scientology the Musical

Scientology the Musical

Deciding to take on Scientology, the notoriously thin skinned and litigation happy “religion”, as the central subject matter of a comedy rock musical is certainly a brave choice, but one that Australian company George Glass fearlessly runs with, crafting one of the most bizarre and utterly hilarious musical experiences I have ever witnessed... 

Awakening

Awakening

Kirsty Osmon captivates the audience from the first moment her drunken anti-heroin wakes. Love, loss and the consequences of a night out from hell are all tackled in this blackly comedic and, at times, heartbreakingly bittersweet new one woman show, brought by Empty Wallet Productions, to this year's festival... 

Bottom

Bottom

Willy Hudson’s heart-filled, charming and hysterical one man show storms the stage at Summerhall and sheds light on the hugely under-discussed areas of gay sexual politics with deft wit and incredible heart... 

Prehistoric

Prehistoric

In an empty and decaying room four performers armed only with limited props, a beat up collection of instruments, and a selection of microphones bring to life a tale of anger, rage, and protest that lifts the spirit and goes down as one of the most thrilling and unique shows you’re likely to see at the Festival this year... 

Sod's Law

Sod's Law

From the humid and dark recesses of Greenside Infirmary Street, a particularly fabulous member of the aristocracy takes us through a rollicking and camp-filled history of homosexuality in what is surely one of the more bizarre and fabulous cabarets at this year's festival... 

9/11 Was a Conspiracy

9/11 Was a Conspiracy

Modern dating and a devastating terrorist attack do not, at first, seem like complimentary subject matters for a romantic comedy, and yet in 52Up Production’s new show 9/11 Was a Conspiracy Theory, the two are brought together in a brilliantly unique and devastatingly funny new monologue... 

The Improv Musical

The Improv Musical

Music Theatre Warwick returns to the festival with their long-form, entirely improvised musical that is a rollicking good time, even if there are a few kinks that need ironing out. The company is one of the longer running of the long-form musical improv troupes that have slowly taken over the festival, and their formula is simple and straightforward... 

Safe Place

Safe Place

Clara Glynn's play Safe Place hits the stage this fringe festival, bringing us a tale of unlikely friendship whilst making deep and insightful comments on the relationship between feminism and the transgender rights movement... 

Hands-On Messiah

Hands-On Messiah

Hands-on Messiah, written and performed by F. Mary Callan, is a one-person adaptation of the Gospel of John told from the perspective of characters, great or small, who met and interacted with Jesus... 

Education, Education, Education

Education, Education, Education

The Wardrobe Ensemble returns to the Fringe festival with a fast-paced and incredibly entertaining look at the education system in BritainThe play focuses on the last day of school at a local comprehensive a day before study leave and after New Labour's landslide electoral victory, and examines the trials and tribulations of staff and students as they hope the new government will bring salvation to them both professionally and personally... 

A Heart at Sea

A Heart at Sea

Half a String Theatre's new show is a delightfully charming and immaculately produced tale of triumph, travel and terrific adventure told through innovative puppetry and wonderfully lyrical song... 

Velvet Evening Séance

Velvet Evening Séance

As we enter the shadowy theatre of Assembly Hall we see an imposing set of gallows upon which a young man sits shackled as a lone pianist plays quiet discordant music. It's a suitably atmospheric and haunting set up for a show that revels in the aesthetic of late Victorian mysticism and magic, and the start of a fabulously creepy and slick new play... 

Beethoven in Stalingrad

Beethoven in Stalingrad

Stalingrad stands as one of the most destructive and horrific battles of the 20th century. A scourge of blood and death on an unimaginable scale that defined the brutality of the eastern front of the Second World War... 

Glitter Punch

Glitter Punch

Some Riot theatre's new play is a rollercoaster of love, loss and the passion and pain of being young that hooks you from the first word, makes you fall in love with it then breaks your heart in the process... 

No Miracles Here

No Miracles Here

In a tiny stage at the back of Summerhall, The Letter Room, in association with Northern Stage in Edinburgh, brings a feet stomping, hand clapping, spirit raising show to the fringe festival... 

Lovecraft’s Monsters

Lovecraft’s Monsters

David Crawford's one man show about the great granddaddy of weird fiction, the one and only H.P. Lovecraft, tries to be both an insightful look into the life and times of the strange gentleman of providence, and a performance of some of his greatest works... 

Adventures of the Improvised Sherlock Holmes

Adventures of the Improvised Sherlock Holmes

The Stars of Racing Mind bring a fast paced, immensely funny and completely bonkers improvised Sherlock Holmes spectacular to the Fringe this year with this brilliant off the wall hour of mystery, twists and totally unreasonable deductions... 

Commons

Commons

In an upmarket hotel room, two men – one a disgraced politician, the other an ex-rent boy – meet to rekindle old loves and re-open old wounds in this darkly comedic character study of love, loss, greed and politics... 

Cambridge Impronauts: Improv Actually

Cambridge Impronauts: Improv Actually

The Cambridge Impronauts return to the fringe with a long form improvised show that is a hot mess from shaky start to hilariously absurd finish. Improv Actually, if it's not obvious, is a rom-com style improv where, using audience suggestions, an entire formulaic romantic comedy film is improvised in front of your eyes... 

Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland

Not Cricket’s new production of Alice in Wonderland is a charming and whimsical piece that delights audiences both young and old with its blend of live music, puppetry and dance.The show tells the classic tale of Alice: the girl who followed a stranger down the rabbit hole and ends up entering the strange and confusing world of Wonderland... 

Fourth Monkey's Women of Greece: Medusa

Fourth Monkey's Women of Greece: Medusa

Energetic, disturbing and just a bit confusing, Fourth Monkey's latest offering of physical theatre crashes onto the festival stage in this entertaining if messy and uneven reworking of the Greek myth of Medusa... 

Sisters: White Noise

Sisters: White Noise

In their Fringe debut comedy hour Sisters hit the ground running with a fast paced, intensely dark and gut bustingly funny show of sketches, skits, and more jokes about live streaming than you thought were possible... 

Ballistic

Ballistic

In a darkened room surrounded by blinking lights a young angry man tells us his life story, from childhood through teen years to the miseries of universities we see what the struggles of trying to be to be a man in the 21st century are, and the horrible consequences the weight of that pressure can cause... 

RENT! The Musical

RENT! The Musical

Like many musical theatre fans, I have a love-hate relationship with Rent. Having gone through a recent phase of turning sour at the musical I went into Greenside on Infirmary street ready to hate Post it Theatre’s new production of the show... 

The Wedding Reception

The Wedding Reception

From the creators of the Faulty Towers Dining Experience, The Wedding Reception is an interactive show which includes a three course meal. It largely hits its mark in creating a memorable evening of entertaining Fringe farce... 

No Horizon

No Horizon

Anyone wandering around central Edinburgh this festival will likely have noticed the large billboards and posters advertising No Horizon, a new musical of Broadway styled proportions, to the point of being dubbed as “The Yorkshire Les Mis” by Radio 1’s Chris Evans... 

Eight

Eight

yt2 Plus’ staging of Ella Hickson’s Fringe First winning Eight hits some right notes, but fails to really engage with its difficult source material and comes off as both disconnected and rather toothless... 

The Berkovian Medea

The Berkovian Medea

Euripides’ classical tragedy, of one woman’s quest for revenge and the terrible lengths she is willing to go to inflict pain on her wayward husband, has been performed thousands of times since its original conception... 

Trainspotting

Trainspotting

In your Face Theatre in conjunction with the King's Head Theatre return to the Fringe with their highly acclaimed and incredibly visceral adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s cult novel in a shocking, vile, and immensely enjoyable production that will leave you disgusted and awed in equal measure... 

Antigone

Antigone

Eleventh Hour Theatre’s fresh and admittedly interesting take on Sophocles’ Classic tragedy presents a new spin on the classic tale that, whilst successful enough, fails to realise its full potential... 

Equus

Equus

I must admit I was sceptical walking into C +1 on Chambers street on this afternoon to see The Rep Theatre Company’s latest show. The late, great Peter Shaffer’s Equus is a difficult and exacting play to pull of normally, never mind performing a cut down 1 hour 30 minutes version at the Fringe with a group of young actors... 

Fire Burn: The Tragedy of Macbeth

Fire Burn: The Tragedy of Macbeth

ImmerCity’s stripped back and stylised telling of the ever popular Scottish play is an at times disorienting, nightmarish and incredibly compelling piece of theatre that will give you shivers as you leave the auditorium... 

Pawn

Pawn

Created, written, and performed by students from Oxford University, Queenside Productions new musical Pawn is an impressive, if imperfect, piece of new student writing that, whilst not perfect, is still an interesting window into a peculiar period of time... 

Hang

Hang

Hang, the latest show from Yellow Jacket Productions, set in the near future where the death penalty has returned with an added feature, the victim is able to choose the method of execution... 

I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change

I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change

UCLU Musical Theatre Society’s Fringe production of the Joe Dipietro’s fast paced musical comedy is an incredibly entertaining and fast paced journey into the world of dating, relationship, marriage and family, that, while occasionally faltering, makes for an immensely enjoyable hour... 

Macbeth

Macbeth

Twist Theatre Company’s R’n’B infused musical adaptation of the infamous Scottish history play, billed as Shakespeare meets Empire, is a messy but still engaging and enjoyable take on the classic tragedy... 

The D-List

The D-List

Shrapnel theatre’s new Fringe show The D-List attempts to address the issues of celebrity and fame in the modern day world of Twitter, reality TV and a culture that idolises those who seem to do nothing but embarrass themselves on the Internet... 

Mark Thomas: The Red Shed

Mark Thomas: The Red Shed

Mark Thomas’ new one-man-play blends spoken word and storytelling to create a compelling, intimate and rousing performance that lifts the spirit in this pitch perfect personal and political drama... 

Cut

Cut

As you enter the white clinical looking surroundings of a backroom in the medical quad of the Underbelly you are greeted by a Stepford smiling woman who calmly leads you to your seats and explains the rules you will have to abide while you watch the show... 

The Lion in Winter

The Lion in Winter

One World Actors Centre’s fringe production of James Goldman’s historical black comedy The Lion in Winter is a valiant attempt to bring the acclaimed play to the festival stage, but one that unfortunately doesn’t quite hit the mark... 

Macbeth

Macbeth

Fortitude Dance company’s attempt to stage a ‘physical theatre’ version of Shakespeare’s bloody Scottish tragedy in the club scene of 1980’s Manchester is certainly a novel take on the classic tale, but one that falls well short of being an engaging or enjoyable piece of theatre... 

After the Flood

After the Flood

Science fiction is a rare thing to find at the Fringe; even rarer is finding it done well, but the Sundial Theatre company has little to fear with their latest offering, After the flood proves itself to be a wonderfully intelligent, thought provoking and very mature piece of speculative fiction that offers us a look into a dark and frighteningly plausible future... 

Blood Will Have Blood

Blood Will Have Blood

Immer City’s intriguing audio-immersive take on an oft-forgotten part of the tale of Macbeth is a wonderfully atmospheric and unique experience, if one that still feels rough around the edges... 

Nosferatu's Shadow

Nosferatu's Shadow

The image of a twisted spindly shadow with long crooked fingers, along with pointy ears and even pointier fangs ascending the stairs, is one that is burned into the imaginations and nightmares of people across the world - all thanks to the work of the actor Max Schreck in the seminal silent horror classic Nosferatu... 

Auditions

Auditions

Performed with enthusiasm and a seemingly constant supply of energy, Auditions proves to be a surprisingly enjoyable hour of comedy in spite of its very rough edges. The play concerns itself with the casting, rehearsal and performance of a subpar play about auditions at the Fringe Festival, located in the narrow and ever so slightly worn setting of Underbelly’s Cowgatehead, and the various mishaps that befall them... 

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby

Tackling an adaptation of The Great Gatsby, one of the most famous and beloved novels ever written, is not a task taken on lightly but it is one the Nottingham New theatre rises too, bringing the wit and bittersweet poignancy of F Scott Fitzgerald’s seminal American classic to the stage successfully... 

Made Up

Made Up

Using poetry, physical theatre, music and a limited amount of props, The Fast Food Collective’s new show is a thrilling romp through a night on the town. Made Up will have you laughing, crying and occasionally tapping your feet along with the music... 

Dracula

Dracula

Performed with high energy and boundless amounts of enthusiasm, Let them Call it Mischief’s irreverent and fast paced take on Bram Stoker's Gothic horror story is decent fun, if lacking in any truly stand out comedic moments... 

Behind the Random Denominator

Behind the Random Denominator

Opening to a darkened stage with crackling lightning and booming thunder, Mart Sander’s solo show Behind the Random Denominator provides a wonderfully chilling hour of late night horror at this year’s festival, despite a few setbacks... 

Hamlet

Hamlet

Performing as part of the International Collegiate Theatre Festival, this fast past cut down version of Shakespeare’s classic tale of madness, death, and existential crisis shines in its look and feel, but falters considerably in realising the substance of the Bard’s great tragedy... 

Angel by Henry Naylor

Angel by Henry Naylor

A bare stage. A barrel. And a woman, Rehana, the Titular Angel of Kobane. With these components Pipeline productions weaves a brutal story of war and devastation which is largely effective in transporting you into the heart of the bloody and violent world of war in the Middle East... 

A Common Man: The Bridge That Tom Built

A Common Man: The Bridge That Tom Built

Striding onto the stage accompanied by thunderous fanfare, taking his place on a podium and decrying the evil of tyrants and the chains of authority, Dominic Allen’s blistering and bombastic entrance as Thomas Paine in his one man show about the life of the free thinker and revolutionary scholar certainly grabs your attention and sets the tone for a gripping and completely enthralling hour of astounding storytelling and theatre... 

The Gorgon Girl

The Gorgon Girl

Lip Theatre Company’s offering at the Fringe this year presents an interesting take on the classic Greek myth of Medusa: one that is unfortunately plagued with tonal shifts and an unfocused vision that hinders the performance... 

Accidental Death of an Anarchist

Accidental Death of an Anarchist

Trying to keep up with the ever changing and intense plot of Dario Fo’s fast paced and absurd play can often be a challenge that leaves many productions lagging behind the playwright’s anarchic writing style... 

Raft

Raft

Drifting down the river is a rather appropriate metaphor for describing the experience you have when watching this show. It’s a generally pleasant smooth journey with nice things to see, but there are the odd rough patches where things get difficult... 

A Young Man Dressed as a Gorilla Dressed as an Old Man Sits Rocking in a Rocking Chair for 56 Minutes and Then Leaves... 7

A Young Man Dressed as a Gorilla Dressed as an Old Man Sits Rocking in a Rocking Chair for 56 Minutes and Then Leaves... 7

This show is reviewer proof. Not because of the exceptionally long title that can’t fit into most editing boxes, not because it’s only on once and thus the review can have no effect during the festival itself and not even because the show’s reputation is so mysterious that people are going to go and see it anyway... 

Birdland by Simon Stephens

Birdland by Simon Stephens

If there was a drop of water for every play ever staged about how money won’t bring you happiness during the Fringe, then Edinburgh would experience major flooding. Extend this to all pieces of art in the world and we’re taking a flood of biblical proportions... 

This Is Your Trial

This Is Your Trial

The improv concept of This Is Your Trial is sound: two comedians take on the roles of prosecution and defence as they argue over cases that are brought by the audience.On the night I saw it, comedians John Hastings and Keith Farnan acted as prosecutor and defence respectively and both did a competent job of using the format to make witty and interesting jokes... 

John Robertson – The Dark Room: Symphony of a Floating Head

John Robertson – The Dark Room: Symphony of a Floating Head

John Robertson’s send up of classic text based video games succeeds in being an hilarious evening of retro fun.Awakening to find yourself in a dark room as a person called Darren – for you are always Darren – you must use all of your wits to escape whilst avoiding all the potential pitfalls that could lead to your untimely death... 

Beowulf

Beowulf

‘Puppet Beowulf?’ my flatmate asked me with a raised eyebrow and quizzical expression as I left the flat to review Atomic Force Production’s new show. But not only is this show definitely a hit: it’s also one of the best constructed and intricate shows I’ve seen this year... 

Rope

Rope

Going into this show, I had my reservations. Taking Rope, a classic claustrophobic one room thriller, and turning it into a promenade performance sent alarm bells ringing, but I went in open-minded and was rewarded with thrilling and thoroughly entertaining experience... 

The Selkie and the River God

The Selkie and the River God

Celtic myth and legend have provided a huge array of inspiration for painting, music, film and theatre. The dreamlike stories of spirits of the sea, fairy gods and magic can be both enchanting and thrilling, though it’s unfortunate that Lip Theatre Company’s production of The Selkie and the River God doesn’t quite live up to it’s potential... 

Teaset

Teaset

A solo show is a delicate thing. The weight of the entire performance rests on one actor and all attention in the room is focused on them: their every movement is scrutinised in a way that just doesn’t occur in normal pieces... 

Angelus

Angelus

Angelus is a theological comedy taking place in the cavernous space of the Library Theatre in the Royal College of Physicians. It tells the tale of two rogue angels who steal God’s book of creation and find themselves stranded in a barren wasteland, only to realise they’re not alone... 

Births, Deaths & Marriages

Births, Deaths & Marriages

For as long as there has been something as recognisable as a “young person” there have been works of fiction that bemoan the horrible aimlessness of a “lost generation”. As far back as Rebel Without a Cause we’ve been fixated on this strange thing known as adolescence and allowed ourselves to wallow in teen angst... 

Eurydice

Eurydice

From Shakespeare to Sarah Kane, retellings of classical myths have proved ample sources for new, distinct creations. This is the thinking behind the latest offering from Outcast International: Eurydice, a retelling of the classical tale of Orpheus, from the perspective of his eponymous wife... 

The Absence Of

The Absence Of

The relationship between parent and child is one of the most important in society and in the lives of most people. It defines, shapes us and can heavily determine the sort of people we become... 

Beyond Expectations

Beyond Expectations

Beyond Expectations markets itself as a reworking of the Dickens classic, but this time told from the perspective of the love interest, Estella. What we find instead is a compressed version of the novel that will leave anyone not familiar with the text scratching their heads and even those familiar with it likely doing the same at the bizarre production choices... 

Attempts on Her Life

Attempts on Her Life

Attempts on Her Life has a notoriety surrounding it that most shows would kill for. Martin Crimp’s infamous script has no characters, setting or even assigned dialogue, creating a blank canvas that makes every production of it completely new and innovative... 

Phone Whore (A One Act Play With Frequent Interruptions)

Phone Whore (A One Act Play With Frequent Interruptions)

Phone Whore is a show that is equal parts witty, sexually frank and dripping with cynicism. A thought-provoking and sometimes harrowing journey into the often-silenced and ignored world of sex work and sexual fantasy, the show packs an incredible punch whilst still being able to deliver a nuanced and thoughtful take on sex and those who work in it... 

At the Break of Dawn

At the Break of Dawn

At the Break of Dawn is a show brimming with big ideas and questions all jostling together for space; but whilst the concept itself is impressive, the execution falls short of its potential...