theSpaceUK announces their Edinburgh Fringe Programme

Today theSpaceUK announces its 2019 Edinburgh Fringe Season with over 400 shows and the biggest new-writing programme at the Fringe. There are household names to hunt down an autograph from, award-winners with their eyes on another prize, up-and-coming companies back to make their mark, and plenty of debut performances too.

With an eye on new writing, here's a look at some of the shows that are fresh to Edinburgh this year, and could be causing quite a stir. Will any of these win a coveted Broadway Bobby Award? Let's wait until August to find out.

Back with a brand-new show, award-winning writer Glenn Chandler (Taggart, Kids Play) returns with The Good Scout, the true story of 1930s British Boy scouts playing host to the cycling parties of Hitler Youth.

Can lightning strike twice? The company behind SIX is back with Rust, a moving and life-affirming original new musical about addiction and mental health services. Are you looking for a lesson that will change your life? Following on from his smash-hit Canoe in 2018, Matthew Roberts is back with Teach.

Telling the tale of Winifred Baxter, the first Englishwoman to enter an air race, Clouds is a new play from Time & Again Theatre, who aim to make women in STEM a talking point. Last year their debut show, Greyhounds was a sleeper hit so they’re hoping to build on its success this year.

Looking for a bit more weight to your drama? 10:31, MCR is a sombre and poignant piece set at the Manchester Arena on 22 May, 2017 10:31pm, and follows the devastating results of the attack and the need to make sense of it all. Another compelling and timely piece is new comic/tragic physical theatre from Nth Degree Productions, The Words are There delves into the lesser known side of domestic abuse.

Despite only being recently written, Christopher Tajah (incredibly, a fishmonger by day) has already picked up an Offie nomination for his superb performance in Dream of a King, which is set on the night of Martin Luther King’s assassination in a Tennessee motel room. Another performance that will take you back in time is Section 28: The Legacy of a Homophobic Law. Set in the 1980s, it approaches the struggles of sexuality at the time of the Local Governments Act.

There’s the wild new comedy, Noir Hamlet, which has already picked up the Boston Globe Critic’s Pick earlier this year and transforms Hamlet into a wise-cracking 1940s detective up to his neck in a comedic case that has more twists that a gallows tie. If you're looking to laugh, then new comedy-theatre from Bodily Functions and Where to Find Them discusses everything from peeing in public to dealing with bulimia.

Hopefully not based on a true story, a delusional woman deals with her adventures pursuing Sue Perkins with In PurSUEt. Another interesting concept, box. is a new funny solo performance about one man's struggle to traverse the toll road of middle age... all using just a single cardboard box.

Prepare for a nerdgasm with plenty of Sci-Fi themed shows this year. Conscious explores a world where the rich replace the working class with humanoid AIs in an all too possible future. Chaika: First Woman in Space is the true story of Valentina Tereshkova, a young textile worker who was plucked from obscurity to lead the Soviet Union’s race to the stars. 24 candidates remain for the Mars Mission Programme in the reality TV show in If I Die on Mars. On the verge of a natural disaster, an artificial intelligence named Sally joins the team in futuristic Auto-Nation.

Inspired by China’s social credit system, Level Up explores a near-future utopia where real love is impossible to measure. Or discover the story of the first man in space, who is back on Earth and facing new temptations. Fame, fortune, alcohol, nostalgic space anthems and sex - find out if he'll resist temptation in a brand-new musical, Space Junk: A Soviet Musical from Slipshod Theatre.

Charles Pamment, Director of theSpaceUK, said 'It's our 25th year of presenting work at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and at a time when the Fringe is undergoing much change we are very proud that we continue to offer the most diverse programme in Edinburgh as well as the largest platform for new and original work with over 400 shows across our venues this August. Above all, we are very excited to be able to offer reviewers and the wider media a selection of work that crosses all genres with particular focus on the social and topical issues that our programme has become known for. We urge you to step away from the herd and explore by the far the most diverse and original programme at the modern festival.’

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this article has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now