Including theatre that uses technology, a fusion of diverse styles and unique methods of engagement
While every show at the Fringe has its own unique selling point, some performers define their work by either an extraordinary dramaturgy, organisational structure or story. It can be the use of technology, a fusion of diverse styles or a commitment to engaging communities that goes beyond a quick hour in the darkness. These shows have little in common except for their willingness to offer something that isn't always readily available.
Pizza Shop Heroes Phosphoros Theatre Summerhall, Sat 3–Sun 11 Aug, 5.40pm Three years after introducing their 'theatre of sanctuary', Phosphoros return to the Fringe with autobiographical tales of migration, identity and ambition. By placing refugees on the stage, Phosphoros go beyond the predictable content of serious concern and consider theatre as a community that gives voice to the marginalised, rather than speaking on their behalf.
Frankenstein: How To Make A Monster / credit: Joyce Nicholls
Girl Bully Mary Squared Laughing Horse @ The Place, Thu 1–Sat 10 Aug, 8pm With audience interaction, improvisation, plenty of humour and a guest appearance from right-wing 'intellectual' Ann Coulter, New York duo Mary Clohan and Mary McDonnell consider the use of the word 'bitch', pondering the problems of pressure placed on women and girls to conform to polite and fierce stereotypes.
The Gray Cat and the Flounder PNME and Civil Disobedience Assembly, George Square Studios, Wed 31 Jul–Thu 22 Aug (not 12, 19), 2.05pm Commissioned by the Flounder himself, this celebration of a real-life love story encases the audience in binaural sound: through headphones, the musical numbers become intimate and immediate, and a decade spanning 'series of conversations' are captured in cartoons, song and puppetry.
Gun Phil and Will Assembly Rooms, Thu 1–Sat 24 Aug (not 14), 5.10pm It is Western. It is a comedy. It is performed by one man. Sending up the tropes of that hardy, macho and philosophical genre, Gun has an evil villain, a cunning plan and a gunslinger readying to stop it.
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 Two sisters (one directs, one performs) introduce a singer stuck in a lonely universe. With a trampoline and a guitar, she reflects on a failed relationship, and recognises how music can provide something of a consolation when the world feels alien and hostile.
The Tempest The HandleBards Assembly George Square, Wed 14–Sun 18 Aug, 2pm Becoming Fringe veterans and favourites, the HandleBards offer a raucous and playful take on Shakespeare's farewell to the stage – much breaking of staffs and allusions to theatre as a magic – having cycled to the Fringe, in a defiant act of environmental consciousness.
Frankenstein: How To Make A Monster Battersea Arts Centre and BAC Beatbox Academy Traverse, Tue 6–Sun 25 Aug (not 12, 19), various times Set to ignite a fashion for theatrical beatboxing, BAC Beatbox take the hoary tale of the Modern Prometheus and transform it into a meditation on identity. Astonishing use of the human voice and electronic soundscapes, this is hip hop theatre that neither ignores the toughness of the genre nor the immediacy of performance.
Miijin Ki Indigenous Contemporary Scene Summerhall, Tue 20–Sat 24 Aug, 4pm Described as a 'scratch' work and an installation, Lara Kramer's hour-long examination of 'non-violent tensions' speaks of interconnection and strives to undermine lazy representations of 'the pan victim Indian' in the final part of a trilogy arriving at the Fringe across August.
Baby Reindeer Richard Gadd Roundabout @ Summerhall, Wed 31 Jul–Sun 25 Aug (not 1, 6, 13, 20), 6.25pm Despite the cute title and innocuous beginning – offering a cup of tea to a stranger – Gadd's shift from comedy to theatre follows a dark path that exposes the unintended consequences of a random act of kindness. Having developed a comedic style that weaves darkness and laughter into an award-winning fusion, Gadd's debut in the theatre section (after a decade on the Fringe) promises more than a predictable, observational solo show.
SHINE Hippana Theatre in association with From Start to Finnish Zoo Southside, Fri 2–Mon 26 Aug (not 6, 13, 20), 7.45pm In real life, they are a couple: on stage they investigate the mysterious disappearance of a little girl. Asking questions about identity and the multiplicity of the self, SHINE uses binaural sound to immerse the audience in questions of belief and meaning.
They've cycled 1500 miles to get to the Fringe, carrying on the back of their bikes all of the set, props and costumes they need for their brand-new show. Join the four-strong, all-female troupe at the Treehouse for a raucous bicycle-powered production, filled with magic, music and Shakespearean mayhem!
PNME and Civil Disobedience
Total Theatre Award nominee PNME Theatre of Music is back! Based on a true story, this show is a touching tale of life, loss and the true nature of friendship. Using headphones to give each audience member an immersive 360º sound experience like no other, the company weaves together music…
"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…
Battersea Arts Centre and BAC Beatbox Academy
Electrifying gig. Thrilling theatre. Tongue-twisting vocal gymnastics. Mary Shelley’s original, re-imagined with songs, soundscapes and sonic trickery. Experience the power of the human voice breathing life into monsters all around us. Frankenstein will leave you asking…
Indigenous Contemporary Scene
A woman twirls endlessly, casting trails of pleasure, while another rebuilds beauty among the fall and collapse of her storm. A man and a woman sit together in their spontaneity. Rocks hit ice, water gushes, voices muffled, plastic manipulated. Witness four bodies navigating colonial…
Mary Squared explore the meaning of the word ‘bitch’ in an evening of comedic theatre. With appearances from our childhood selves, old bosses, Ann Coulter, and various other bitches past, present and fictional, they will attempt to get to the bottom of this enigmatic word and how it has come to shape the…
Hippana Theatre in association with From Start to Finnish
Your daughter is missing. You are the only one who has not given up the search. You hear voices. They guide you. They also haunt you. Will you surrender to them? Or will you shine? Hippana Theatre invites you to the distant recesses of the mind to meet the…
Francesca Moody Productions
'I looked at her, wanting her to laugh. Wanting her to share in the joke. But she didn’t. She just stared. I knew then, in that moment – that she had taken it literally…' Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Richard Gadd has a chilling story to tell about obsession, delusion and the terrifying…
From one of the leading refugee theatre groups in the UK. Four former child-refugees from Eritrea, Afghanistan and Albania working your average shift in your average pizza shop take us on a journey across time and continents to show how extraordinary they are. Having told their stories to social…
Phil and Will
'If you're gonna kill a man, better make sure you do it properly. First rule of a murder'. Gun is a one-man comedy western written and performed by a quarter of Fringe favourite sketch troupe Clever Peter ('fast, witty, clever, stupid' (Guardian)). With a unique composed score, and over 25 characters, it…