Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2012: Theatre highlights

Steve Jobs, Casablanca, Belt Up, MacBeth in Scots and more

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This article is from 2012.

Fringe theatre highlights

Award-winning playwright Simon Stephens' Morning explores the relationship of two rfriends about to go separate ways

The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs

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.

All That is Wrong

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).

Anthony Rapp: Without You

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.

Belt Up Theatre’s Outland

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).

Boy in a Dress

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.

Bye Bye World

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).

Captain Ko and the Planet of Rice

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.

Casablanca: The Gin Joint Cut

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.

Continuous Growth

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.

Educating Ronnie

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.

Endure: A Run Woman Show

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).

The Intervention

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).

Kin

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.

MacBeth in Scots

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).

Maurice’s Jubilee

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.

Monkey Bars

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).

Morning

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).

My Elevator Days

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.

National Theatre of Scotland Presents Love Letters to the Public Transport System

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).

NOLA

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.

Oliver Reed: Wild Thing

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.

Shopping Centre

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.

The Trench

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.

Unmythable

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.

This article is from 2012.

Casablanca: The Gin Joint Cut

Of all the theatres in all the world … Morag Fullarton's three-hander contains some of the most iconic scenes and lines ever written.

MacBeth in Scots

  • 3 stars

Robin Lorimer’s powerful translation into Scots, a rich brew of English and Scots words, brings to vibrant life Shakespeare’s bloody tale of ambition, treachery and downfall. In 1995 Edinburgh Theatre Arts presented selected scenes to enthusiastic reviews. ‘Scots tongue adds pride and passion’ (Edinburgh Evening News).

Love Letters to the Public Transport System

  • 3 stars

An acclaimed monologue by Molly Taylor celebrating the people who help transport us from A to B in our lives.

Anthony Rapp - Without You

Anthony Rapp presents his turbulent journey through the convergence of two life-changing events: the early days of Rent - including the untimely passing of Jonathan Larson - and the illness and death of his own mother. Based on his New York Times best-selling memoir, Rapp backed by a five-piece rock band uses a mix of…

Belt Up Theatre's Outland

A magical but ultimately bittersweet story inspired by the life and work of Lewis Carroll. Step into a world of childhood dreams and meet a host of weird and wonderful characters who will guide you deep into the imagined worlds you have forgotten. Where will your dreams take you? ****1/2 (Adelaide Advertiser). 'An…

Boy in a Dress

  • 4 stars

Time Out Critic's Choice: 'La JohnJoseph is an icon in the making'. A third-gendered, fallen Catholic, ex-catwalk model from the wrong side of the tracks, La JohnJoseph invites you to her raucously political and accidentally profound retrospectacle. He combines monologue, song, striptease, postmodern philosophy and…

Bye Bye World

A woman takes a bite of left over birthday cake. She looks around the house. Never again, she thinks. She sticks her fork in the cake and grabs her coat.' It is possible. You could just disappear. Close the door behind you, never return. Escape. Reinvent yourself. Start anew. By Anne Gehring and Vera Ketelaars. Winner of…

Educating Ronnie

Joe Douglas' one-man show about his friendship with a Ugandan boy and how what began as a request for help turned into something much more complicated.

Monkey Bars

Verbatim drama putting the words of children into adult mouths.

Morning

  • 3 stars

The end of summer. Two friends are about to go their separate ways, but they will always share that one moment. A moment that bound them together and changed them forever. A dark new coming of age play. A world premiere by award-winning playwright Simon Stephens (Pornography, Sea Wall, Punk Rock), Lyric Hammersmith…

NOLA

  • 3 stars

The Deepwater Horizon explosion has been described as the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry. Double Fringe First winners Look Left Look Right investigate the true cost of the BP oil spill and its impact on our daily lives. Told by those directly affected, from families of the…

Oliver Reed: Wild Thing

  • 4 stars

In this blistering solo show, join legendary hell-raiser Oliver Reed as he knocks back a few drinks and shares his incredible life story. Rob Crouch brings Reed back to vivid life in a swaggeringly brilliant performance. Ages 14+. Festival Highlights.

Captain Ko and the Planet of Rice

  • 2 stars

Multi award-winning theatre company (21:13, Heap and Pebble) blend humour, pathos and their innovative visual style in a beautiful, poetic triptych about time, memory loss and science fiction. Thomas Eccleshare (Writer in Residence, Soho Theatre) and award-winning director Valentina Ceschi blend movement, comedy, mime and…

Continuous Growth

  • 3 stars

The people who brought you the award-winning hit The Overcoat - A Comedy of Working Life at the Fringe 2011 ★★★★★ (Scotsman), ★★★★ (Times) now bring you Continuous Growth - a comedy about productivity. Continuous Growth tells the amazing and eventful story of how Andy - an ordinary Scottish family man - loses his job…

Endure: A Run Woman Show

Endure takes you out of Edinburgh’s dark theatres and into the mind, body and heart of a runner, using the marathon as a metaphor for life’s losses and triumphs. You’ll follow along at your own pace as this uniquely immersive piece of dance-theatre winds through beautiful Edinburgh parkland. A gripping narrative, backed…

The Intervention

  • 2 stars

Chicago, 2012. Zac is confronted by friends and family, trying to redeem him before it’s too late. As we delve deeper into his alcoholism, the more skeletons appear from the family cupboard’s dusty depths. A series of explosive revelations unravel the brutal truth behind the cycle of abuse. A father and son tale for the…

Kin

A multi-media production with a perfect blend of live contemporary folk music, film, photographs and words. Kin is a beautifully crafted journey into the past and is illuminating, evocative and moving. Kin delivers a deep understanding of place and people that is truly unforgettable. Duncan Chisholm demonstrates to us…

Maurice's Jubilee

  • 3 stars

A Royal encounter. An enduring love. A bungalow in Penge. Olivier Award winner Julian Glover, Benidorm's Sheila Reid and Olivier Award winner Nichola McAuliffe in her new comedy drama directed by five-times Fringe First winner Hannah Eidinow. Re-uniting the creative team from McAuliffe's highly acclaimed drama A British…

Shopping Centre by Matthew Osborn

  • 2 stars

Following the extraordinary success of Cul-De-Sac, comes a new play telling the story of an unhappy loner who finds solace in a shopping centre until one day it descends into a riot of sex and violence. Ages 16+. RBM.

Unmythable

A new take on the myths of ancient Greece.

My Elevator Days

  • 3 stars

Elderly gentleman seeks companion. For conversation, only. Previous confidants include - his mother, Kafka (a dog), Grace Kelly (the beloved and greatly missed), Enok (an elevator), and Diana (a strictly hands-off sex worker turned would be dog walker). Hobbies: gate-crashing funerals and weddings. Says - 'I'm not afraid…

The Trench

  • 5 stars

Les Enfants Terribles Theatre Company. 2012's 5-star, award-winning, sell out show The Trench returns to edfringe following its nationwide tour. Inspired by the story of a miner entombed in a tunnel during WW1. As the horror engulfs him, not everything in the darkness is what it seems and he discovers a strange world…

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