Fringe shows to see on your lunch hour
- Rowena McIntosh
- 31 July 2017
Make the most of August with a midday dose of comedy, theatre or magic
Reclaim your lunch this August: step away from the computer monitor, shun your meal deal and get stuck into the biggest arts festival in the world. Bring your work pals. Depending on where you are in the city, we've rounded up a series of theatre, magic and comedy taking place between noon and 2pm. All shows last one hour, so you might need slightly more than a lunch hour, just say you got stuck behind a slow moving tourist.
If you want to have a look for yourself, check out our complete list of lunch time fringe shows...
If you're near the Cowgate
Head for the purple of Underbelly Cowgate, where Harry (12.20pm) explores the impact of a celebrity-obsessed culture and the darker side of fandom. Bad Master (1.20pm) is a multimedia comedy show from sketch group Muriel, who won the Sketch Off! 2017 competition. Expect characters, satire and pop culture parody. Also at 1.20pm, student comedy group The Durham Review present irreverent sketch show Laugh Actually. Former review performers include Nish Kumar, Ed Gamble and Massive Dad.
Laughing Horse have several comedy venues close to the Cowgate. Fans of a classic one liner should check out Aaaaaaaaaaargh! It's the One-Liner Show (Laughing Horse @ Espionage, noon). Audience members can join a joke-off competition, so if you're sitting on a brilliant gag now is the time. Over at Laughing Horse @ Cabaret Voltaire, Scottish comedian Struan Logan (noon) regales with stories of being a backpacking comedian in East Asia in Mingalabar, while fiery political comedian Ahir Shah follows up last year's five-star show with Control (2pm). Or be amazed on your lunch at La Belle Angèle with Aaron Calvert's magic show Awaken (1.30pm), a mix of mind reading and hypnotic feats.
If you're near the University
Racing Minds are back after four sell-out years for another improvised comic adventure based entirely on audience suggestions in Aaaand Now For Something Completely Improvised (Pleasance Dome, noon). Yes all the shows that start with 'Aaaa' are annoying but we understand they want that prime spot in the front of the alphabetically arranged programme. Scottish Comedian of the Year finalist Gareth Waugh brings his solo debut Honestly? (Gilded Balloon Teviot, 1.30pm) to the Fringe and Woke (Gilded Balloon Teviot, 1pm), from the makers of Black Is the Color of My Voice, is a new story about the 20th-century African-American experience and the struggle for civil rights.
Assembly have several spaces around the university, check your ticket or you'll end up legging it between them. In the Studios, The Power Behind the Crone is Alison Skilbeck's serio-comic celebration of Shakespeare's older women (noon) and, after a sell-out run at the 2016 Fringe, Some Riot Theatre return with coming-of-age story Glitter Punch. Best of the Fest are known for their raucous late night shows. Their lunchtime version, Best of the Fest Daytime (1pm) in Assembly George Square Gardens offers a different lineup of comedy, music and circus each day and is a good way to pick what full length shows you'd like to see.
If you're near The Pleasance
Pleasance Courtyard has a packed programme at lunch, with the added bonus of food trucks so you can grab some actual lunch. Physical theatre highlights include Follow Suit (12.45pm), a madcap frenzy of physical comedy with political bite set in an absurd office, as well as Whalebone (1pm), a blend of puppetry and physical theatre about bodies and the space they inhabit. Apparently there is a narrating vagina. Spies Like Us Theatre Company present Our Man in Havana (1pm), a comic piece about a run-of-the-mill vacuum cleaner salesman turned accidental spy and if you want to check out acts with comedy shows at Pleasance venues head to Best of Edinburgh Showcase Show (1.20pm), now in its 14th successive year.
If you're south of South Bridge
Assembly Roxy has Fauna (1.30pm), an exploration of primal behaviour created by performers from leading circus companies and set to an original live score. It's followed by Raton Laveur (2.30pm), a seriously black comedy about relationships, paranoia and a raccoon's nest. Over at SpaceTriplex Jan van der Black examines the psyche of serial killer, John Reginald Halliday Christie in 10 Rillington Place (1.55pm).
If you'd rather some singing than serial killing a capella group The Oxford Alternotives, who featured on Pitch Battle, bring their 14-strong ensemble to C, performing 90s R&B, indie rock, jazz and current chart toppers in Alternotive A Cappella (1pm). Or in the same venue you can have Dickens for Dinner (1.30pm). The cast of morning show Shakespeare for Breakfast want literature to make you laugh as they take a daring look at the British author. There's free soup, win.