10 examples of true life stories and autobiographical theatre coming to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

10 examples of autobiographical theatre coming to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019

Appropriate / credit: Cáit Fahey

Including shows from Roundhouse Resident Artist Katie Greenall, writer and performer Rosa Hesmondhalgh, BareFace and more

Playing with the boundaries between truth and fiction, autobiographical theatre can be a form of personal catharsis, a political appeal for excluded voices to be heard or an entertaining romp through an individual's life experiences. Sometimes influenced by the raw format of stand-up, sometimes encased with a formal script structure, true life stories have become an important strand within the Fringe.

Fix Us
The BareFace Collective
Underbelly, Cowgate, Thu 1–Sun 25 Aug (not 12), 12.20pm
The debut from BareFace, Fix Us is a semi-autobiographical challenge to preconceived notions about disability. Zara, Lee and Kirsty present on-stage personae that attack stereotypes and labels, and take the fantasy of the stage to deliver deeper truths.

Love (Watching Madness)
Speak Up
Pleasance Courtyard, Wed 31 Jul–Mon 26 Aug (not 18), 11.35am
Isabelle Kabban's mother was diagnosed with bipolar at 62, prompting the daughter to reconsider their conversations and noticing how the contours of the condition has defined their relationship. Reflecting on self-medication, inter-generational differences and how bipolar impacts across the family, Love is dedicated to an optimistic appraisal of grief, help, and recovery.

Jewbana
Susie K Taylor
theSpace @ Venue45, Thu 8–Sat 24 Aug (not 11, 18), 7.05pm
With one of the shortest descriptions in the Fringe brochure, Taylor hasn't given much away but the show is the energetic adventure of a 'loud Jewish woman' who marries into a 'loud Catholic family'. Driven by Taylor's acting method that encourages artists to escape their predetermined identities, Jewbana promises a vibrant hour with a dash of burlesque and escape artistry from the chains of social pressures.

10 examples of autobiographical theatre coming to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019

Ladybones / credit: Chris Payne

Detour: A Show About Changing Your Mind
Diana Dinerman
Underbelly, Bristo Square, Wed 31 Jul–Mon 26 Aug (not 13), 2.35pm
Dinerman was an academic, but now she is a performer. A solo show that incorporates imaginative scenography and soundscape, Detour traces a life that appeared to be heading in one direction, which turned out to be the wrong one. Despite being in Los Angeles, a city of angels and surface personalities, Dinerman quests to find her true self and calling.

Madame Ovary
Rosa Hesmondhalgh and WildChild Productions
Pleasance Dome, Wed 31 Jul–Mon 26 Aug (not 13), 12.10pm
'If someone had told me two years ago that this was a topic for a show, I'd have said a 23 year old getting ovarian cancer is unheard of,' says writer and performer Hesmondhalgh. 'When I become that 23 year old, I started a blog from my sick bed to raise awareness. The next step is telling the story on stage.'

Everything I Do
One Two One Two, Culture Ireland and Project Arts Centre
Summerhall, Wed 31 Jul–Sun 25 Aug (not 1, 12, 19), 4.30pm
Ironically, it can sometimes be easier to talk of love and loss to an audience than the most intimate companions. A pop singer, guitar at the ready, creates a universe of loneliness – with a trampoline to help out – and reflects on their intimate emotional upheavals.

10 examples of autobiographical theatre coming to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019

Fatty Fat Fat

Of Sound Mind
Ronnie Dorsey Productions
Underbelly, Bristo Square, Wed 31 Jul–Mon 26 Aug (not 12), 2.25pm
Described as 'semi-autobiographical', Dorsey's script 'is concerned with changing the psychological climate of our current society' and follows a practical, if violent, 'solution to a timeless problem'.

Ladybones
Sorcha McCaffrey
Pleasance Courtyard , Fri 2–Mon 26 Aug, 11.25am
'I wrote Ladybones because I wanted to show people that OCD is more than just a condition,' says writer McCaffrey. 'It draws on personal experience of living with OCD, which I wanted to explore in a truthful way and also show that recovery is possible. I want people to leave with a bit more hope than when they arrived.'

Fatty Fat Fat
Katie Greenall
Pleasance Courtyard , Wed 31 Jul–Mon 26 Aug (not 13), 3.15pm
Roundhouse Resident Artist Katie Greenall brings the poetry to a discussion of how body positivity has been usurped by 'everyone but the people it was originally intended to represent'. Inspired by fat activism, Greenall explores the experience of living in a body that 'the world tells you to hate'.

Appropriate
Sarah-Jane Scott – Supported by Culture Ireland
Summerhall, Wed 31 Jul–Sun 25 Aug (not 1, 12, 19), 7.15pm
It seems as if marriage is what everyone wants for her, but Sorcha isn't sure. As much as she enjoys a wedding, her own presents a bit more of a problem. The high school sweetheart is ready, the bridal dress and bouquet prepared, but she wonders whether escape is a better option.

LOVE (Watching Madness)

  • 3 stars

A one-woman play about mothers, daughters and bipolar disorder.

Of Sound Mind

Ronnie Dorsey Productions 'It was about getting rid, not counting' she said, but they needed to know where the bodies were. Multiple Fringe First Award winner David Calvitto directs renowned actress Gretchen Egolf in Ronnie Dorsey's tale of a woman's practical solution to a timeless problem. A bizarre, bloody…

Jewbana

Susie K Taylor Right before your very eyes, Susie K. Taylor will attempt an act like no other: an escape… from herself. This ego-defying thrill will leave you breathless and laughing. Come watch her scale great heights and crawl out of abysmal lows. Experience a hurricane of cultural clash! Watch this Miami native…

Madame Ovary

It’s January and Rosa Hesmondhalgh is writing her resolutions. This will be her year. She will stop going out with plonkers, start doing yoga and write some ‘Really Good Art’. But before she’s had a chance to delete her dating apps and get into downward dog, she’s diagnosed with ovarian cancer. And its spread. Now faced…

Everything I Do

"Anyone fresh from a bad breakup will recognise the sensations, oscillating between anguish and repudiation" ★★★★ The Irish Times Everything I Do is a music-driven theatre piece made up of an album’s worth of songs about the universality of love, pain, and hope. It tells a story of love, loss, loneliness and the…

Fatty Fat Fat

  • 4 stars

Funny, provocative solo show by Katie Greenall about the stigma around fat bodies.

Ladybones

  • 3 stars

Sorcha McCaffrey Archaeologist Nuala unearths a skeleton and her ordered life starts to unravel. Digging into the mystery of the bones, can she handle the chaos of what she discovers? Based on personal experience, this is an uplifting and compelling story about OCD, dungarees and being weird but not a weirdo.

Fix Us

  • 3 stars

BareFace 'Be strong. Keep your head up. Knock 'em dead.' Lee has autism, Zara has CHARGE syndrome and Kirsty has Cerebral Palsy. They eat rules, boxes and labels for breakfast. Just wait til you meet their alter egos. Access All Areas-supported artists The BareFace Collective present Fix Us: a funny, defiant new show…

Detour: A Show About Changing Your Mind

  • 4 stars

Diana Dinerman A show about getting lost and getting found. Diana Dinerman was a history professor on a PhD track, specialising in a niche area of Modern Dance history… then she became a stand-up comedian. Then life fell apart! She took a leap, fell on her face, and found her way to her feet. Detour is an inspiring…

Appropriate by Sarah-Jane Scott

Sarah-Jane Scott – Supported by Culture Ireland Sorcha loves weddings. Just like all the other girls in the parish, she's been dying for her big day since forever and ever. The thing is… she has just run away from her own reception. Perched on the edge of her perfectly planned life, Sorcha is pure ragin' at the dawning…

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