Reuben Kaye stands on a stage with a big shiny red bustle on his hips, singing while holding a hand up in the air

My Edinburgh festival favourites

The festivals are certainly back in full force this year and what a joy it was to jump back into the bubble! I was in Edinburgh for a week and a half and managed to pack in 21 shows alongside catching up with loads of pals, working and making time to chill out a bit and eat vegetables too. Although my time in Edinburgh has come to an end, there’s still a whole week to go so I’ve picked my 7 favourite shows (in no particular order), some of which you still have a chance to catch!

Rob Madge: My Son’s a Queer (But What Can You Do) – still running until Mon 29th
Rob Madge recreates their childhood living room Disney parades while reflecting on what it was like to grow up queer and how their parents supported their many extravagances. It’s heartwarming, adorable (particularly the home videos), emotional, funny and affirming. I teared up a bit and left with a full heart. Definitely one for the theatre kids, the queers and the Disney fans.

On a projected screen are the words My Son's a Queer but what can you do? and below there is a minimal set of a living room with an armchair, lamps and a cabinet

Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World – still running until Mon 29th
A musical where a young girl meets various figures from history in a quiet wing of a museum who all depart their lessons on her. The vocals were ridiculous and it’s a very sweet show. Fans of Six will love it.

A picture of the stage, on which there is a wall with lots of frames showing silhouettes of women from history. There is writing that says Gallery of Greatness

Medea – still running until Sun 28th
For sure my theatre highlight of the festival was NTS’ production of Medea as part of EIF. I can’t put into words how outstanding the central performance is. Adura Onashile radiates power, it’s mesmerising. I love Greek mythology but especially loved hearing the story told both in modern language and in Scots, which made me feel much more connected to it. The Chorus speaking in unison were amazing and brought a timeless aspect to the ancient story.

An actress stands in the middle of a runway holding her arms out overhead with a stern expression on her face, 10 women stand below to either side with their hands on the runway, looking up at the actress
Image by Mihaela Bodlovic

Reuben Kaye: The Butch is Back – still running until Sun 28th
A Fringe staple that never misses. Reuben’s cabaret is camp, naughty, intelligent, moving and awe-inspiring. He is so incredibly talented and mischievously charming, you’ll never regret going along to see him perform.

Reuben stands with his arms raised up, head back and eyes closed in a spotlight while people applaud

La Clique – still running until Sat 27th
A circus variety cabaret down at the Circus Hub on the Meadows – there was arial, sword swallowing, rollerskating, unicycling, fire eating and more. And all of it was amazing. A really great night out with friends if you feel like being blown away and having a wee laugh.

A person in thigh high black heels spreads their legs while swinging in the air on a rope hung from the ceiling
Processed with VSCO with a4 preset

A combination of comedy, spoken word and poetry – I was never sure where we were going to go next but I loved every minute of it and came away feeling like I’d witnessed someone really special. I’ve followed Alok online for a few years now and being in their presence, hearing them speak and getting to laugh with them was such an honour.

Alok stands with their arms crossed and smiles
Image by Lottie Amor

Jinkx Monsoon: She’s Still Got It (with Major Scales)
One of my favourite drag queens on the planet, fresh of her Queen of all Queens win. I loved this show. Jinkx is one of the funniest, quickest comedians and also has some freaking pipes. I spent the entire hour smiling and in awe.

Jinkx sings into a microphone while pointing both fingers out in front of her toward the crowd

Until next year, festivals ❤

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