Austentatious: An Improvised Jane Austen Novel

Austentatious: An Improvised Jane Austen Novel

Comedy improvisation troupe Austentatious have been reducing erstwhile sensible audiences to fits of hysteria all over the UK since 2012. A consistently huge hit at Edinburgh they have toured extensively and landed several slots in big London venues, not least this year’s run at Udderbelly Festival... 

Skin A Cat

Skin A Cat

Originally developed with the Royal Court, Skin a Cat by Isley Lynn is a sexual coming of age story with a big (and fairly terrifying) difference. This is because the protagonist Alana (Lydia Larson) suffers from vaginismus, a sexual dysfunction where vaginal penetration causes extreme pain and involuntary spasms... 

Underground

Underground

Isla Van Tricht’s new short play Underground explores the quagmire of 21st Century dating, specifically themed around the new (and often bizarre) world of free phone apps such as Once and Tinder... 

The Rolling Stone

The Rolling Stone

Despite much progress being made for equality in Europe during the last decades there are still 6 countries in the world where being gay is an offence punishable by death and 75 by imprisonment... 

Piaf

Piaf

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the iconic French singer Pam Gem’s 1978 musical Piaf returns to the West End. Telling the story of her tragic life from Parisian street singer to global superstar the play is sadly stripped of its emotional power by consistent overacting and a relentlessly fast pace... 

Through The Mill

Through The Mill

Through the Mill is a new play about the life of Judy Garland by Ray Rackman, currently playing at the London Theatre Workshop. Starring Helen Sheals, Belinda Wollaston and Lucy Penrose as three different incarnations of the tragic movie starlet the play recounts a specific episode in her life where she is working for CBS on an ill-fated TV show, one of many comebacks the star made in later life... 

George Zach: Greek Tragedy

George Zach: Greek Tragedy

George Zach is a Greek comedian who took this work in progress show, Greek Tragedy, to the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe. The title is vaguely misleading because the show is your fairly bog-standard blend of semi-autobiographical anecdotes and witty social observation rather than any sort of comedy re-telling of classic Greek texts... 

Sarai

Sarai

Sarai, currently showing at the Arcola Theatre is a confused blend of spoken word set to music, contemporary dance and characterised monologue. Although the premise is interesting, a contemporary retelling of the biblical tale of Abraham as seen through his wife Sarah’s eyes, the amalgamation of these disparate modes of storytelling make it meandering and dull... 

Medea

Medea

The Almeida is in the middle of its Greeks festival presenting new versions of classical Greek tragedies. Euripedes’ Medea gets a 21st Century makeover from controversial feminist author Rachel Cusk, well known for writing about her own divorce in minute detail... 

Madama Butterfly

Madama Butterfly

Puccini’s iconic opera Madame Butterfly gets a gothic makeover at this year’s Grimeborn, the Arcola’s opera season. With £15 ticket prices and further discounts available when booking multiple shows Grimeborn aims to introduce new audiences to the art form... 

Henry V

Henry V

Commemorating 600 years since the battle of Agincourt and the centenary of WW1 comes a new production Henry V from Antic Disposition whose speciality is productions in historic spaces... 

The Night Watch

The Night Watch

Set in the Spanish war, The Night Watch is a gripping period drama. The ingeniously immersive set is a makeshift military church with an illuminated cross at one end, wooden planks lining the walls of a dim and narrow room... 

History of Porridge

History of Porridge

Like bagpipes, deep-fried mars bars and kilts, eating porridge is one of those ‘typically’ Scottish clichés that gets bandied about far too often. However in every stereotype there is a grain of truth as Scotland is still to this day one of the largest oat producers in the world... 

The Emperor of America

The Emperor of America

This fast-paced piece of Wild West-inspired physical theatre is an innovative and extremely entertaining romp, including gorgeous girls in voluminous outfits and suave men with elaborate moustaches... 

I, Elizabeth

I, Elizabeth

Rebecca Vaughan gives a powerful performance as Queen Elizabeth I in I, Elizabeth. Drawn only from her own words, letters and surviving primary sources, the play (also written by Vaughan) gives a fascinating insight into one of our most famous historical figures... 

My Friend Peter

My Friend Peter

The life and work of classic children's author Beatrix Potter is given a sweet folk musical twist in this fun ensemble piece. Crammed into a tiny bunker-like space, the piece feels and looks like it’s taking place in Mr McGregor’s shed... 

Valiant

Valiant

Valiant is an hour of verbatim stories from women who have experienced war, adapted from the book Valiant War and Exile by Sally Hayton-Keeva who collected interviews from women across the globe... 

Parlour Games

Parlour Games

Parlour Games is a playful piece of physical theatre inspired by silent films and gothic novels. It follows four children at the turn of the 20th Century, dressed for bed and playing make-believe games while they hide from a storm... 

Harry Baker – The Sunshine Kid

Harry Baker – The Sunshine Kid

Harry Baker is a young middle-class blonde rapper-turned-poet. He is gawky, geeky and really into maths. He is also completely hilarious. His sweet, charming and original poetry is littered with puns, cleverly placed metaphors, surprising rhymes and brilliant jokes that continually riff of the fact that he is a young middle-class rapper-turned-poet who’s really into maths... 

Never Mind the Pollocks

Never Mind the Pollocks

Jim Higo and Miki Higgins present their double act poetry, comedy and sketch show which is intended to be ‘a satirical look at culture and the arts’.If satire is indiscriminately insulting any famous comedian, performer or artist they can think of then Higo and Higgins have hit the nail on the end... 

Asking Nicely

Asking Nicely

In her funny and articulate show, Hannah Chutzpah presents her considered and inspiring take on the complexities of power and permission. Through poems that are tightly crafted stories and chat that’s amusing and well-researched, she contemplates how social class, gender, race and personality all have a part to play in the risks we feel able to take in life... 

John Osborne - Most people aren't that happy, anyway

John Osborne - Most people aren't that happy, anyway

Radio 4 poet and author John Osbourne presents his first poetry set at the Edinburgh Fringe. He reads ten poems from his latest collection Most People aren’t that Happy Anyway.He’s a laid-back, approachable guy; there is nothing the least pretentious or ‘poetic’ about Osbourne... 

Clara Milly: Basketcase, Licensed to Help

Clara Milly: Basketcase, Licensed to Help

Therapist Clara Milly has over 20 years’ worth of experiences on which to draw from the huge amount of people she has met and helped in her career.The idea of telling their stories is fascinating, but the show fails because of the way she chooses to do it... 

Up Your Game: The Downfall of a Noob

Up Your Game: The Downfall of a Noob

Dominic Berry takes us on a personal journey in his spoken word show inspired by the world of online gaming. He is open, friendly and can be very funny. Despite these positive points, Up Your Game: Downfall of a Noob is generally a bit uninspiring... 

Brave and Free: Traditional Tales of Scotland

Brave and Free: Traditional Tales of Scotland

There is just something about storyteller Callum Lykan. Call it charm, charisma or the x-factor he has, that intangible je ne sais quoi that makes you want to listen to him for hours... 

Carol Ann Duffy and John Sampson

Carol Ann Duffy and John Sampson

In a typically idiosyncratic twist Carol-Ann Duffy is collaborating with her ‘favourite’ court musician John Sampson for a reading of work from across her gargantuan oeuvre.Sampson introduces us to a range of beautifully crafted historical and modern instruments including a crumhorn that sounds like a cross between a harpsichord and a horn, with a hint of kazoo... 

Disorder

Disorder

Disorder is a play about mental illness that attempts to portray the realities of living with bipolar disorder, as well as the long term effects of the condition, not only on the sufferer but their relatives as well... 

Scale

Scale

Scale is a spoken word piece telling the ancient Scottish legends of the Brahan Seer. Poet Colin Bramwell is writer, performer and composer all rolled into one.Bramwell personally welcomes us to his show and explains that this is his own take on the traditional figure who is supposed to have made predictions about the future using an adder stone with a hole in it... 

Shift/ – A Best of Spoken Word

Shift/ – A Best of Spoken Word

Shift is a collective of poets that includes Rachel Amey, Bram Gieben, Harry Giles, Jenny Lindsay, Ali Maloney, Rachel McCrum and Sam Small. Each night of the week one of them presents a solo piece... 

Phill Jupitus is Porky the Poet in Apologist Now!

Phill Jupitus is Porky the Poet in Apologist Now!

Phill Jupitus is a performance poet. Who knew? Unfortunately he’s not a very good one. He is a fantastic comedian. His patter between poems is a spot-on and hilarious blend of witty observations and dry punchlines... 

Don't Tell Him Pike: Part 2. More Tales from the Not So Stupid Boy...

Don't Tell Him Pike: Part 2. More Tales from the Not So Stupid Boy...

Die-hard fans of classic BBC Sitcom Dad’s Army will particularly enjoy this panel discussion, Q&A and selection of nostalgic clips from Ian Lavender, aka Private Pike, and fellow actor Stephen McNicoll... 

Liz Lochhead With Steve Kettley: Old Pals and Party Pieces

Liz Lochhead With Steve Kettley: Old Pals and Party Pieces

The second ever Scots Makar (national poet) Liz Lochhead has teamed up with saxophonist Steve Kettley for this nostalgic selection of her favourite poems from a 50-year career.From poems about her school days in Glasgow and the colourful characters of her youth through to her passion for art, feminism and music, Lochhead is an inimitable talent and apt storyteller... 

Flossy and Boo's Curiosity Shop

Flossy and Boo's Curiosity Shop

Double act Flossy and Boo present their curiosity shop, a magical hour of stories inspired by an eclectic collection of novelty objects in their mobile cart. Dressed in puff sleeved smocks, wild colourful wigs and baby doll make-up, sisters Flossy and Boo (Anja Conti and Laura Jeffs) warmly invite us into their dreamlike world, shaking hands with every member of the audience and asking everybody’s name on arrival... 

Swing By Around 8

Swing By Around 8

Ayckbourn fans will love this comedy of manners from Durham University’s Fourth Wall Theatre. Matt and Katherine decide to spice up their troubled relationship by inviting another couple to join in their sex life... 

Jack Rooke: Good Grief

Jack Rooke: Good Grief

Jack Rooke: Good Grief could probably win a prize for ‘comedy show with the least likely to be funny subject matter ever that actually turns out to be absolutely hilarious’... 

Luke Wright: Stay-at-Home Dandy

Luke Wright: Stay-at-Home Dandy

Luke Wright is a veteran Fringe performer and one of the UK’s leading spoken-word artists. This year his poetry show Stay-at-Home Dandy charts huge changes in his life as he’s recently become the stay at home parent for his two small children... 

Loud Poets

Loud Poets

Loud Poets are a Scotland-based collective of poets who perform together. The show is a slick, no-nonsense conveyor belt of spoken word characterised by tightly crafted poetry and high-quality performance... 

Ocean Going Idiot

Ocean Going Idiot

Rob Coleman’s Ocean Going Idiot is less of a piece of theatre and more an hour’s friendly chat about a largely failed adventure in the top room of a pub. The room is extremely hot and some noisy ineffectual fans make it even less comfortable... 

TES

TES

Poet Steve Larkin presents a reimagined version of Thomas Hardy’s classic novel Tess of the D’Urbervilles. The story follows the same basic plot as the book but turns Tess into a 15 year old boy from modern day Newcastle... 

Waking Beauty

Waking Beauty

Waking Beauty is a new take on the traditional fairy story of Sleeping Beauty set in a re-purposed circular room papered with stencils and pasted pages of old books, fairy lights, fake flowers and cushions... 

Melody

Melody

Jemima Foxtrot is a poet and singer presenting her first Edinburgh show on the PBH Free Fringe. Melody is a mixture of spoken word and a cappella music. Decidedly quirky Foxtrot’s performance takes a few moments to get used to, but the open minded will be rewarded because the show is charming, funny and poignant... 

Bloodcream

Bloodcream

Poet Bog Polanco’s idea for this bite-sized poetry performance is really good: inspired by paintings from Scotland’s major collections he performs a series of poems he’s written in response to them... 

Show Your Hope

Show Your Hope

Show your Hope is a mobile art exhibition by Dutch storyteller Mr Martin who has been travelling all over the world with a van full of paintings since 2003. The idea is simple - Mr Martin works with international artists providing them with a small canvas and asks them to respond to the phrase ‘show your hope’ in whatever way they see best...