10 shows featuring sex, relationships and reproductive rights at the 2019 Fringe

This article is from 2019

10 shows featuring sex, relationships and reproductive rights at the 2019 Fringe

Algorithms

From the taboo to the titillating, highlights include Blind Date, Algorithms and Me and My Doll

There is nothing surer to bring crowds to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe than plays and performances which deal in getting down and dirty. Sex has often been synonymous with Fringe theatre over the decades, and in the wake of #MeToo, issues around our bodies and those we choose to share them with are no longer necessarily just limited to the late night shows. The thematic concerns in these picks range from the taboo to the titillating, with plenty of humour, drama and thought-provoking writing along the way.

Algorithms
Sadie Clark & Laura Elmes Productions
Pleasance Courtyard, 31 Jul–26 Aug (not 13), 12.45pm
Sadie Clark's one woman show navigates the online dating scene from the perspective of Brooke, a bisexual woman, as she turns thirty. Writer and performer Clark was recently longlisted for 4Stories as part of Channel 4's new talent initiative. The preconceptions of women in society, sexuality, FOMO, and feeling (dis)connected through social media are addressed in this witty and moving new show.

Ejaculation: Discussions About Female Sexuality
From Start to Finnish
Summerhall, 31 Jul–24 Aug (not 1, 12, 19), 8.55pm
Still something of a taboo subject, Finnish performer and creator Essi Rossi, along with electronic musician Sarah Kivi, present an honest, raw piece of documentary theatre which is the result of extensive international research with women from different backgrounds, alongside some sex experts.This is the UK premiere and will make for a fascinating, frank and insightful hour.

10 shows featuring sex, relationships and reproductive rights at the 2019 Fringe

Don't Be Terrible

Don't Be Terrible
Standard Man Productions
Pleasance Courtyard, 31 Jul–25 Aug (not 12), 11pm
Ellen Waddell, a comedian, writer and member of the band Los Campesinos! along with writer/director Oliver Milburn, has created a play that focuses on what happens when a young man called Steve gets a comedian called Alice to mentor him to win back his girlfriend's affection. However, things don't quite go according to plan. Relationships, humour and how we bond is scrutinised in this playful but dark comedy. It returns, this time to the Pleasance, after proving a massive hit at last year's Free Fringe.

Me and My Doll
Old Joint Stock Theatre
Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose, 31 Jul–26 Aug (not 13), 12.15pm
It is an unconventional pairing, certainly, but workaholic Kate finds she is in a relationship with a blow up doll 'boyfriend'. Old Joint Stock Theatre look at what happens when an inflatable doll becomes sentient, and if a lady can ever trust again, or simply be 'let down' as per usual. Bicycle pump not provided.

Confessions of The Romantically Challenged
3BUGS Fringe Theatre
Greenside @ Infirmary Street, 12–24 Aug (not 18), 6.25pm
Birmingham's energetic 3BUGS take an altogether different approach to depicting romance, with four different stories about the flipside of love. The characters are struggling to hold on to their partners, are trapped or feeling lost and lonely.

Your Sexts Are Shit: Older Better Letters
Rachel Mars
Summerhall, 13–25 Aug (not 19), 11.30am
There is nothing like starting the day with some absolute filth. Writer and performer Rachel Mars presents a selection of historical correspondence, from secret lovers, spouses, and mistresses, including James Joyce, Eleanor Roosevelt and Georgia O'Keefe that are tender, shocking and sometimes, downright gross. There will be bodily fluids, but also a lot of laughs, queer perspectives and possibly tears too.

10 shows featuring sex, relationships and reproductive rights at the 2019 Fringe

Ejaculation: Discussions About Female Sexuality

Blind Date
Rebecca Northan, Spontaneous Theatre, CanadaHub
CanadaHub @ King's Hall, 31 Jul–25 Aug (not 5, 12, 19)
Taking audience participation to extremes, this semi-improvised show features Rebecca Northan as a naughty, glamorous French clown who will select a (willing) male member of the audience to join her onstage for said date. Seduction and shenanigans will most likely be the result, with some wry commentary on manipulation, all infused with a 'watch through your fingers' tension.

A Womb Of One's Own
Wonderbox and the Pleasance
Pleasance Dome, 31 Jul–26 Aug (not 13, 22), 2.50pm
Based on real-life experiences of abortion and a Catholic upbringing, writer Claire Rammelkamp's show unflinchingly tackles relationships, university life and the lack of information around having a termination. It's also a funny and furious look at queer politics and stigmatisation.

Between Us
Rachel E. Thorn and Alex Keen
theSpace @ Surgeon's Hall, 2–17 Aug (not 11), 6.20pm
The vagaries of finding intimacy with a significant other and falling apart, are explored in this moving play from Rachel E. Thorn and Alex Keen. There is nothing more complicated after all than human interactions. The script has been improvised by these acclaimed actors, so anything can happen here, as they delve into the highs and lows of one couple's relationship .

Confetti and Chaos
Interactive Theatre International
Imagination Workshop, 1–26 Aug (not 6, 13, 20), 5pm
From the team that brought the legendary immersive show Faulty Towers The Dining Experience to the Edinburgh Fringe, this will be a wedding like no other, with a three course meal, questionable dancing and some bizarre, hilarious incidents along the way. Starring Nerine Skinner and Otis Waby as the hapless couple. Be a guest in an unpredictable and anarchic show.

Confetti and Chaos

Immersive comedy dining experience that puts guests in the midst of a wedding reception gone wrong. A two-hour piece that includes a three-course meal and a tonne of chaos.

Confessions of the Romantically Challenged

3BUGS Fringe Theatre A block of flats. Four different rooms. Four different stories. Confessions of the Romantically Challenged tackles different issues surrounding the complicated, paradoxical, confusing, universal thing that is ‘love’. Each story illustrates people who are, in one way or another, facing a problem in…

Algorithms

  • 3 stars

Tragicomic one-woman show about the online generation and their everyday problems in life.

Blind Date

  • 4 stars

Rebecca Northan, Spontaneous Theatre, CanadaHub 'Balls to the wall theatre!' ★★★★ (GetDown.ca). One actor. One audience member. One blind date. A sexy French clown goes on a blind date with a willing gentleman from the audience. Warning: improv, naughty clowning, strong language, spiritual nudity, hilarity! Sold out…

Me and My Doll

Old Joint Stock Theatre When an inflatable doll comes to life could it be just the man Kate needs? Workaholic Kate is "gifted" a blow-up boyfriend and keeps it as an act of defiance. Soon, the doll becomes the only person she dares to be herself around… but as it begins to take on a mind of its own, Kate realises the…

Ejaculation – Discussions About Female Sexuality

  • 3 stars

From Start to Finnish Is female ejaculation the last taboo? A documentary performance about sexuality and desires based on interviews with women from various backgrounds and countries. Through a personal journey, the performance creates safe space for self-discovery and explores the collective experience of female…

Don't Be Terrible

  • 3 stars

Standard Man Productions Can stand-up save your love life? Self-confessed nice guy Steve thinks so. That's why he's asked Alice, an up-and-coming stand-up, how to make people laugh. It's his last-ditch attempt to distract his girlfriend from the funny guy at work. Unfortunately, misanthrope Alice believes in comedy…

Between Us

Rachel E. Thorn and Alex Keen Boy meets girl. But then what? Between Us is a bittersweet play that tells the inside story of one couple’s relationship. Created in the moment by nationally acclaimed improvisers, we discover what makes us fall in love and what makes us fall apart. 'This is live theatre taken to a whole…

A Womb of One's Own

  • 3 stars

Funny, clever and politically challenging play about a university student who faces unwanted pregnancy.

Your Sexts Are Shit: Older Better Letters

  • 4 stars

Rachel Mars Total Theatre Award-winning Rachel Mars returns following her gleeful sell-out hit Our Carnal Hearts. This time, she’s unearthing the hot-as-hell letters from history that make sexts blush. Before tech, there were hand-written letters. And loads of them were proper filthy. Come! Take pleasure in James…

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