As is my annual tradition, I have done my deep dive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Edinburgh International Festival programmes equipped with my highlighters and sticky tabs. I find myself getting pickier as the years go on, probably burned from previous summers of seeing less than good shows. But I also find myself incredibly excited to get stuck in to my Festival job and to be reunited with all my fringe-seeking pals from all over the country. August is such an exciting and exhausting time to be in Edinburgh and I’m ready to get going again!
This list may well change once we get into the swing of things and for all I know they might not be all that but here’s the 10 shows I’m most looking forward to at the moment…
West End Producer (Comedy/Theatre)
This is probably the show I was most surprised and excited to see announced. It may not be for everyone either, but for the folks that consider themselves ‘stagey’ this is bound to be hilarious. West End Producer is an anonymous masked producer revealing the truth of all things West End in a really funny way. He wrote two books that I loved – Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Acting (but were too afraid to ask) and Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Going To The Theatre (but were too sloshed to ask). As a person who works in theatre I can tell you that some of his revelations are spot on which makes it hilarious. In this show he’s going to audition people for his new “Free Willy” musical which I’m sure will be a riot!
31 July – 26 August (excluding 7-11th) | Assembly George Square/Checkpoint
The Crucible (Dance)
Scottish Ballet never fail to impress me and The Crucible is one of those classic stories that we all know from school. It’s a brand new piece of work that’s bound to be full of drama and, from the looks of things, is full of striking visuals. As this is an EIF show it’s a bit more on the expensive side but a definite recommendation for ballet fans!
3-5 August | Edinburgh Playhouse
Josephine (Musical Theatre)
Josephine Baker has always been a really compelling figure in history to me, as a cabaret performer, dancer and entertainer in the 1920s. I’ve always been drawn to her although I’ll admit I don’t actually know that much, which is why I’m really hoping this show will educate me. This production is a sort of musical theatre cabaret retelling of her life and most iconic performances. It has some strong reviews from its off-Broadway run and from the look of the trailer it should be fabulous.
31 July – 12 August | Gilded Balloon Teviot
The Mannequin (Theatre)
This one is a bit more of a gamble as I don’t know anything about it other than their wee blurb in the Fringe programme. From that it is hitting a lot of themes that I respond well to so I hope that bodes well! It involves fashion, LGBTQ+ and how art influences our lives – otherwise I don’t know what to say but I am interested to check this one out.
19-24 August | Space @ Surgeons Hall
Anais Mitchell (Music)
I imagine this will be a hot ticket, especially considering the woman just won a bunch of Tonys. Anais Mitchell is a folk singer-songwriter and was behind the National Theatre/Broadway smash Hadestown which just won Best Musical and Best Original Score among other things. She is a super cool and crazy talented lady so I think it would be really cool to see her perform.
20 August | The Queen’s Hall
Breaking the Waves (Opera)
I’ve recently done a lot of research about opera and decided that I need to give it a fair chance rather than ignoring it for some uninformed reason. This piece in particular is really exciting, it’s based on controversional 1996 movie in which a man who works offshore become paralysed and has to convince his religious wife that it’s okay for her to sleep with other men. The opera is a new work and all in English and with supertitles so there’s no worries about not being able to understand it. I think this one is gonna be super interesting and could really change my mind as to what I think opera is.
21-24 August | King’s Theatre
This next lot I know I will love because they’ve all been some of my favourite productions in Fringe years past.
The Tap Pack (Dance/Cabaret)
I bloody love tap dancing and these guys are incredible at it. If you have the same affinity for tap as I do, then you’ll love this show. Back in 2016 they were one of my favourite things to see. The show is a mixture of song and dance so if you love your rhythms, it’s definitely a great pick!
31 July – 25 August (exluduing 7th) | Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre
Circa: Humans (Circus)
As I raved after last year’s festival, Underbelly’s circus programme is fantastic and I would always recommend taking at least one trip down to the Circus Hub on the Meadows. For that one trip, I recommend that you go to see Circa perform Humans. Last time they brought this show to the Fringe in 2017, I reviewed it for Broadway Baby (which was obviously written with thesarus in hand, ha!). They are a spectacular company and its circus in a classy way, they just crack on with the amazing tricks rather than mucking around with bravado, which is more my speed.
2-24 August (excluding 7, 12, 19th) | Underbelly Circus Hub – Lafayette
Paris de Nuit (Cabaret/Circus)
Another bit of circus but with more of a cabaret turn. Set up like its the 1930s the vibe is so cool and they have incredible circus artists. This is more of a series of different acts and is another show I talked about loving back in this post back in 2017. When I saw this was returning I was very excited to get myself up in there to see it again.
1-25 August (excluding 5, 12, 19th) | Assembly Hall
Christina Bianco (Cabaret)
I’ve been following this lady for years and she still impresses me. Christina Bianco is an impressionist and a brilliant singer. Her show goes through a variety of different impressions, including fun games where she’ll jump from person to person so rapidly it’s goddamn impressive. She was also one of my favourites in 2016 and I’m excited to see her again, especially as I’ve had a few years to slightly forget how frickin talented she is.
1-25 August (excluding 12th) | Assembly Checkpoint
What are you excited for? Please let me know your must-sees! Get plenty of sleep now and gear up for another hectic August full of theatrical energy!!