Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2012: Theatre highlights
Steve Jobs, Casablanca, Belt Up, MacBeth in Scots and more
This article is from 2012.
Mike Daisey’s powerful monologue, which shed uncomfortable light on the appalling working conditions in Chinese factories creating Apple products, attracted acclaim and controversy in the US. You’ll never look at your iPhone in the same way again.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, Bristo Square, 0131 622 6552, 4–27 Aug (not 14), 2.15pm, £10–£11 (£8–£9). Previews 1–3 Aug, £5.
Fringe favourites Ontroerend Goed return with their latest uncompromising piece, starring company regular Koba Ryckewaert. Now 18, Koba knows things are wrong in her own life but how can she get a grip on things that are beyond her control?
Traverse Theatre, Cambridge Street, 0131 228 1404, 3–12 Aug (not 6), various times, £17–£19 (£6–£14). Preview 2 Aug, 8pm, £12 (£6).
Broadway star Rapp writes and stars in this show based on his own bestselling memoir. The piece ties together two significant events in Rapp’s life: the sudden death of Rent composer Jonathan Larson the night before the musical opened off-Broadway and the death of Rapp’s mother. The performer is backed by a five-piece band with songs from Larson and REM.
Underbelly, Bristo Square, 0844 545 8252, 4–26 Aug (not 13), 10.30pm, £15–£16 (£14–£15). Previews 1–3 Aug, £8.
The prolific and endlessly surprising Belt Up Theatre are back with a magical but typically dark new show inspired by the life and work of Lewis Carroll. The promenade show takes place in the furthest nooks and crannies of the C venues and features a host of weird and wonderful characters who will guide you deep into childhood dreams.
C nova, Victoria Street, 0845 260 1234, 2–27 Aug, 9.05pm, £10.50–£12.50 (£8.50–£10.50).
This raucous autobiographical play follows the life and career thus far of La JohnJoseph, a third-gendered lapsed-Catholic ex-fashion model, charting her journey from a Merseyside council estate to New York strip clubs. The show combines a witty, provocative script with live songs and movement.
The Stand III & IV, York Place, 0131 558 7272, 6–26 Aug (not 13), 4.20pm, £10. Previews 2–5 Aug, £5.
Anne Gehring and Vera Ketelaars’ play depicts a woman who decides to disappear and reinvent herself after an unsatisfactory birthday party. The beautifully crafted and moving exploration of the possibilities of starting again won the Dioraphte Best of the Amsterdam Fringe Award in 2011 and arrives with the support of the Dutch Embassy.
Underbelly, Cowgate, 0844 545 8252, 15–26 Aug, 11.35am, £8.50–£9.50 (£7.50–£8.50).
Dancing Brick returns with three stories exploring personal and historical amnesia. The titular tale focuses on a pair of B movie astronauts stranded on an empty planet, while there are also accounts of a woman in the early stages of Alzheimer’s and the true story of cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev, orbiting the earth on Mir space station during the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Underbelly, Cowgate, 0844 545 8252, 4–26 Aug (not 13), 8pm, £9.50–£10.50 (£8.50–£9.50). Previews 2 & 3 Aug, £6.
You must remember this … Morag Fullerton’s ingenious distillation of the immortal Humphrey Bogart/Ingrid Bergman-starring film returns following an acclaimed run at last year’s Fringe. The piece retains all the legendary lines and iconic scenes of the original cinematic classic, but here delivered at a breathless pace and with utterly memorable performances from the likes of Jimmy Chisholm, Gavin Mitchell and Clare Waugh.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, Bristo Square, 0131 622 6552, 4–27 Aug (not 13, 20), 5.15pm, £12–£14 (£10–£12). Preview 3 Aug, £8.
The Group Theatre of Helsinki present this loose sequel to last year’s acclaimed The Overcoat. The piece follows an ordinary family man and engineer who loses his job, starts a business and manages to destroy the entire global economy, exploring our need to find meaning in chaos with a deft comic touch.
Pleasance Dome, Bristo Square, 0131 556 6550, 4–27 Aug (not 13), 12.10pm, £10–£11 (£9–£10). Previews 1–3 Aug, £5.
This new play by young writer Joe Douglas opens with a text the playwright received from Ronnie, a friend he’d met on his gap year in Uganda: ‘Brother, my sponsor has pulled out on me and I want to stay in school. Can you help?’ The monologue, which Douglas performs himself, explores the murky process involved in bettering oneself in Uganda.
Assembly George Square, 0131 623 3030, 4–26 Aug (not 13, 20), 1.15pm, £10–£12 (£8–£10). Previews 2 & 3 Aug, £6.
What could be more apt in an Olympic year than a Fringe show performed while running a 5k circuit around Holyrood Park? Keen athletes can jog alongside performer Melanie Jones, but if donning Lycra and trainers ain’t your bag, you can also follow the show, about the endurance of life’s challenges and overcoming difficulty, at your own pace, while listening to the soundtrack on an MP3 player.
Assembly George Square, 0131 623 3030, 9–19 Aug (not 13 & 14), 2pm, £7 (£5).
Alcoholism and abuse are the cheerful themes in the latest offering from the Comedians Theatre Company. Dave Florez’s family saga revolves around a man confronted by his nearest and dearest as he is about to hit rock bottom. Arabella Weir, Jan Ravens and Phil Nichol are among the cast.
Assembly Rooms, George Street, 0844 693 3008, 3–26 Aug (not 13), 7.05pm, £15 (£12). Previews 1 & 2 Aug, £14 (£11).
Inventive piece from performer Donna Rutherford, which explores the sorrow, guilt and frustration experienced by middle-aged children in their relationships with ageing parents. Rutherford’s live commentary is punctuated by close-up performances to camera from members of Forced Entertainment, Quarantine, Reckless Sleepers and Alison Peebles.
Playhouse on the Fringe, Greenside Place, 0844 871 3014, 3–27 Aug (not 14, 21), 2pm, £10 (£8). Previews 1 & 2 Aug, £6.
Productions of the ‘Scottish Play’ are two-a-penny at the Fringe, but Robin Lorimer’s Scots translation of the Shakespeare classic has barely been performed since its publication in 1992. Following a string of previews in May, Edinburgh Theatre Arts’ pacy production of Lorimer’s rich, muscular text arrives on the Fringe for a full run.
St Ninian’s Hall, Comely Bank Road, 01620 860 802, 6–18 Aug (not 12), 7.30pm; 11, 18 Aug, 2.30pm, £10 (£8).
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee provides the backdrop for this gentle new play from writer/performer Nichola McAuliffe. The piece, about a man who believes Her Madge will visit him for tea on his 90th birthday, is directed by multiple award-winner Hannah Eidinow, previously acclaimed for the hard-hitting An Instinct for Kindness andLockerbie: Unfinished Business.
Pleasance Courtyard, Pleasance, 0131 556 6550, 4–27 Aug (not 14, 21), 4.25pm, £12.50–£15.50 (£11–£14). Previews 1–3 Aug, £8.
Verbatim theatre, but not as you know it. This inventive piece from Unicorn Theatre features the words of 30 eight to ten-year-olds who tell us about their lives. Their words are spoken by adult performers in a surprising, funny and touching drama.
Traverse Theatre, Cambridge Street, 0131 228 1404, 15–26 Aug (not 20), various times, £17–£19 (£6–£14). Preview 14 Aug, 5.45pm, £12 (£6).
A dark new coming-of-age play by award-winning writer Simon Stephens, exploring the relationship between two friends about to go their separate ways but who are bound together by a moment that changed their lives forever.
Traverse Theatre, Cambridge Street, 0131 228 1404, 5–19 Aug (not 6, 13), various times, £18–£20 (£6–£15). Previews 1 Aug, 7pm; 4 Aug, 5pm, £13 (£6).
Tragi-comic monologue that revolves around one man’s reflections on life, his poetry-loving dog, an abortive visit to a sex club and his lifelong love of Grace Kelly, all told to his elevator. Finnish writer/performer Bengt Ahlfors directed the first production of My Elevator Days in 2006.
Pleasance Courtyard, Pleasance, 0131 556 6550, 4–27 Aug (not 13, 20), 12.30pm, £9–£10 (£8–£9). Previews 1–3 Aug, £5.
Molly Taylor’s affecting monologue concerns one woman’s quest to track down those unsung heroes of modern life: the people who transport us to our places of work and areas of significance.
Assembly Rooms, George Street, 0844 693 3008, 3–26 Aug (not 6, 13, 20), 6.15pm, £10 (£9). Preview 2 Aug, 7.20pm, £9 (£8).
Look Left, Look Right, the company that won awards and attention with site-specific show The Caravan and the interactive one-on-one theatre experience You Once Said Yes, return with an uncompromising verbatim piece about the impact of the BP oil spill.
Underbelly, Cowgate, 0844 545 8252, 4–26 Aug (not 14), 3.30pm, £10–£11 (£9–£10). Previews 2 & 3 Aug, £6.
Gone but not forgotten, the hard-drinking star of Castaway, Oliver! and that nude wrestling scene (as well as a truly notorious late-night chat show appearance), is dragged back from the great boozer in the sky to share his incredible life story. This engaging monologue features an acclaimed performance from Rob Crouch as the iconic hell-raiser.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, Bristo Square, 0131 622 6552, 4–27 Aug (not 8, 15), 3.30pm, £10–£11. Previews 1–3 Aug, £6.
Stand-up Matthew Osborn returns to the stage following the success of last year’s Cul-De-Sac. This August, he stars in his own Shopping Centre, telling the story of a loner whose unhappiness is alleviated when he starts frequenting the mall, which one day unexpectedly descends into a riot of sex and violence.
Gilded Balloon at Third Door, Lothian Street, 0131 622 6552, 4–26 Aug (not 13, 20), 4.30pm, £9–£10 (£9). Previews 1–3 Aug, £5.
Edinburgh Fringe favourites Les Enfants Terribles deliver an exciting new play inspired by the all-too true story of a miner who became tragically entombed in a tunnel during World War I. The company’s characteristic blend of puppetry, physical storytelling and stirring verse, as well as live music from Alexander Wolfe, is used to create an epic journey of human salvation.
Pleasance Courtyard, Pleasance, 0131 556 6550, 4–27 Aug (not 14), 1.10pm, £10–£12 (£9–£11). Previews 1–3 Aug, £6.
Temple Theatre draw on Le Coq training to present all the best-known Greek myths in just one incredidble hour. This funny and often silly family-friendly show uses a vibrant mix of physical comedy and drama as well as songs from Barbershopera’s Rob Castell to create exhilarating, accessible theatre, whether you’re a fan of the Greek myths or not. Chances are though, after you’ve tasted a slice of Unmythable, you’ll quickly become a stout convert.
Zoo, Pleasance, 0131 662 6892, 5–27 Aug (not 15), 1.45pm, £10 (£7.50). Previews 3 & 4 Aug, £5.