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#EdFringe2019: More shows on our radar

We’ve been in Edinburgh for a couple of weeks now, hunting down the best & most Bechdel-friendly theatre, comedy and performance – and there are still 10 more days left to catch any you’ve missed out on so far!

If you’re in Edinburgh for this final stretch and still looking for recommendations with representation in mind, we can guarantee that a scroll through this list and our pre-Fringe shows-to-see blog will leave you spoilt for choice, whether you’re looking for belly-shaking lols, heartbreaking drama, or mind-expanding live art.

We’ve also recorded three podcasts so far, featuring some of the finest Fringe artists (in our opinion) listen to: Mika Johnson & Teddy Lamb talking Pink Lemonade & Since U Been Gone, Travis Alabanza on Burgerz, and Emily Aboud & Charlotte Dowding chatting about Splintered – they also all have some great recommendations to offer.

We’ll be back at the end of the festival to give you a more detailed write-up of our very favourite shows from #EdFringe2019. Don’t forget to keep an eye on our insta stories and twitter feed for constant updates on our stickering adventures, and reactions to the shows we love most.

Deer Woman 14:30 CanadaHub

Presented by Indigenous Contemporary Scene, ARTICLE 11’s Deer Woman is a comedic-dramatic solo warrior-woman work of righteous vengeance about one of 1,600 officially recognised missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada.

Life’s No Laughing Matter 13:00 Summerhall

Life is No Laughing Matter’s a performance about mental illness, suicide and radical cure attempts. It tells the exhausting and hilarious account of living with depression, from the urgency of finding a cure, dissecting the cultural disease, to eating a f*ck ton of bananas. Expect shit metaphors, codependency, holy water and Yoko Ono.

Citizens of Nowhere? 14:00/16:00 Sweet Novotel

British-Chinese matriarch Linda Lo shares news with her son, Jun Chi and daughter, Jane; but Jane has big news too. This intimate performance by actors seated among the audience is experienced through headphones, as if eavesdropping, and includes light refreshments.

At a time when progress has given way to authoritarianism and disintegration, comedian and storyteller Desiree Burch embarks on a soul-searching journey of mythically ridiculous proportions in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, to learn something deeper about how she, and all of us, have gotten here.

E8 16:10 Pleasance Dome

‘When you see a scar you know someone’s had pain, but if you can’t see it how would you know?’ In a school for excluded pupils in Hackney, Bailey waits for a decision that could change her life, whilst her headteacher prepares to leave it all behind. Marika Mckennell’s new play is directed by Fringe First winner Ria Parry.

What does it mean to be bisexual? No, actually, what does it mean? Are we doing it right? How can you tell? Join us for an hour of comedy as confusing as coming out. As ridiculous as explaining the ins and outs of attraction to everyone you meet. There will be jokes, tangents and graphs, because why have one thing when you can have many?

Kill The Princess 15:40 Heroes @ The Spiegelyurt

What happens when the glass slipper doesn’t fit? Is it time to put a bullet in the princess’ head? In a savagely playful subversion of identity Lizzy Shakespeare and Michelle Madsen upend beliefs and expectations using clown, spoken word and live art to create a genre-defying work which teases and provokes.

Kayla MacQuarrie: Traumatised 11:45 Just The Tonic @ The Mash House

Kayla MacQuarrie is Traumatised. She’ll tell lots of jokes about it though so stick with her and we’ll all be okay. From an Essex-based, sad, weird kid to a less sad, trans, lesbian loudmouth. She’s grown up, gotten hurt and she’s still here and ready to share in her debut hour. 

Sons & Co: Let’s Get Tough 12:00 Laughing Horse @ Raging Bull

Have you ever felt you’re not tough enough? Well two problematic fools are here to teach you how to grab life by the knackers. Imogen Edmundson and Fi Simpson (aka Sons & Co.) are preparing for a national tour of their self-defence and assertiveness workshop.

Traumgirl 20:10 Summerhall (odd dates)

Kim is an actress. She is also a sex worker, a bartender, German, Polish and more. Which identity is most important? Kim takes an auto-fictional approach to explore what a woman is allowed to reveal about herself. Where do your boundaries lie? Created in response to Traumboy, a performance by a male sex worker.

Witch Hunt 17:30 Pleasance Dome

A&E Comedy return following last year’s Enter The Dragons which was one of our EdFringe Faves last year. These coven-ready weird sisters will be brewing a cautionary tale for our time as they ask who really holds the power in a world where the witches are hunting and predators have become the prey.

Neither Here Nor There 19:15 Summerhall

Sonia and Jo are two middle-aged, award-winning, international provincial artists. They have questions about how it’s all going, big questions about the world and small questions about the state of your garden. They’re hosting a series of 6 minute conversations, and would like you to join them.

Prefer Not To Say 13:20 Paradise In The Vault

In a series of verbatim monologues, Prefer Not To Say recalls testimonies of real-life people within the LGBTQ+ community. Through first-hand accounts you are taken on a journey of liberation, strength and empowerment.

Bystanders 11:30 Summerhall

A Windrush generation boxer, a Polish migrant marked with a tattoo and a man with a bottle of gin and a television in his shopping trolley. Last seen at the Fringe with Cathy in 2017, Cardboard Citizens return with an eye-opening collection of homeless histories. Are we mere bystanders?

In PurSUEt 12:10 The Space @ Niddry Street

Inspired by true events: a passionate Sue Perkins Superfan, sent to a therapist to deal with her drinking, relays her adventures pursuing Sue. Follow our heroines impressive swagger skills, drinking habits and coping mechanisms in a fierce, heartfelt new LGBT comedy/drama.

The Hiccup Project are often introduced as ‘the lovely hiccup girls’. At first, they didn’t react, because women are supposed to be lovely. But then they started to wonder what else they could be… Using their blend of dance, theatre and comedy, they delve into the contradictions and clichés of being a woman today.

Anguis 14:00 Gilded Balloon Teviot

Cleopatra’s death by asp is a common myth, largely scientifically disproven. Set in a broadcast recording center, Anguis is an imagined conversation between the great pharaoh Cleopatra and a contemporary immunologist. Anguis is the debut play from Olivier Award winner Sheila Atim.

The Patient Gloria (times vary) Traverse Theatre 

Inspired by the 1965 films Three Approaches To Psychotherapy (the Gloria Films), this provocative and upfront meditation on therapy and female desire in a new political context where misogyny is the winning ticket, is a mash-up of re-enactment, real footage, lived experience and a punk gig.

Sarah Keyworth: Pacific 17:45 Pleasance Courtyard

Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee for Best Newcomer and winner of the Herald Angel Award returns with a brand-new hour of comedy about the little things, the smallest details, the fixed and distinct aspects that make up what we definitively are, how we expressly think and who we unambiguously love.

Honeybee 19:15 Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre

HoneyBee is a new play written by the award-winning poet Eleanor Dillon-Reams, combining spoken word, dance, stand-up and a thumping festival-driven soundtrack. Kate journeys to rediscover her identity and self-worth while flipping the bird to the patriarchy and dancing in the face of adversity.

Alaska 14:00 Summerhall

Alaska is a funny, magical trip to the moon, with singing and dancing thrown in: one woman’s extraordinary story of how she survived growing up with severe depression. 

Hearty 21:10 Summerhall

Bearing wings made of sharp knives and shooting fireballs into the air, Hearty tackles the current fascination with trans lives and interrogates the controversial bio-technology of HRT. It’s messy, it’s on fire and it’s politically charged. By double Fringe First award-winner Emma Frankland.

The Rebirth of Meadow Rain 13:00 Pleasance Courtyard

Meadow Rain would like to say sorry. Sorry for disappearing. Sorry for being a bad friend. And sorry for calling her best friend a rude word. Meadow is also sorry for keeping secrets… A funny, touching and visceral piece which seeks to change perceptions of emotional abuse and what a victim can look like. 

Bossy Bottom 19:30 Monkey Barrel

Zoë has been on hiatus. Sort of. For the past six years, she’s been a terrible male comedian with a neckbeard called Dave, winning stacks of awards and tons of great reviews. Whatever. Now, she’s scraped off the neckbeard and is back… as herself.

I’ll Take You To Mrs Cole 13:45 Pleasance Courtyard

It’s 1981 and ska music pulses. Young Ashley creates havoc by getting lost in a wild, imaginative world while Mum longs to return home to Barbados. When Jedi battles and forest adventures go too far, will Mum resort to the scariest threat of all? Accompanied by an original soundtrack and stunning video animation. 

Courtney Pauroso: Gutterplum 21:40 Underbelly Cowgate

American comedian Courtney Pauroso makes her Edinburgh Fringe debut with a character clown show (definitely), burlesque show (eventually) and feminist allegory (sure, probably) all rolled into one.

Too Pretty To Punch 13:25 Zoo Southside

A comedy spoken word show about gender, the media and not fitting any of the boxes, full of explosive movement, original songs and kickass video projection. Edalia Day is a banjo-wielding, poetry-slam-winning, trans warrior, taking on the world one troll at a time. All shows include captioning.

Yuriko Kotani: Somosomo 19:00 Pleasance Courtyard

They say the squeaky wheel gets the grease, but Yuriko has spent her life making sure she doesn’t stick out. Born and raised in Japan, watch Yuriko walk the tightrope of cultural differences as she embraces her individuality with this hotly anticipated debut hour.

Ask A Stripper 19:50 Bob’s Blundabus

Pulling back the G-string and dishing the dirt stripper-style, join Morag and Stacey for an X-rated exposé of their industry. With 30 years of combined stripping experience, a PhD, a TED Talk, a book, three properties and several ex-fiancés later, the creative team behind Illicit Thrill bare their souls, not just their bodies. 

Misspelled Youth 23:00 Bar Bados

An action-packed hour combining elements of storytelling, clown and cabaret, themed around coming-of-age sexual awakenings and queer adolescence. Lauren and Giulia will take you on the ride of your life. 

Everything I See I Swallow 18:00 Summerhall

Everything I See I Swallow is a provocative examination of a mother/daughter relationship, set against a backdrop of shifting attitudes to empowerment, feminism and sexuality. Fusing theatre and aerial rope work with the erotic art of Japanese rope bondage, shibari, Swallow is an unusual and compelling encounter.

Madame Ovary 12:10 Pleasance Dome

Rosa is writing resolutions. She is going to stop going out with plonkers, start doing yoga and write some really good art. But before she’s had time to delete her dating apps and get into downward dog, she’s diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Suddenly faced with her own mortality, Rosa’s new goal for the year ahead is to survive it.

Lucy Hopkins: Ceremony of Golden Truth 21:00 Heroes @ The Spiegelyurt

A collective act of golden manifestation. A sacred laughter bath of an interactive symphonic ceremony, orchestrated by Lucy Hopkins: a preposterously dazzling goddess internationally-touring, award-winning clown, priestess, director and lover of humans.

Watching Glory Die 13:50 Assembly Rooms

Watching Glory Die is inspired by the shocking and true story of Canadian teenager Ashley Smith, who died by suicide in her prison cell while guards watched. This production by Windsor Feminist Theatre is directed by the play’s Susan Smith Blackburn Award-winning playwright Judith Thompson.

Juliet is double pregnant, Rosaline decides she does indeed want Romeo dick, but Romeo is definitely dead. Join Roz and Jules on an epic Thelma and Louise-style multimedia tragicomedy adventure in clearing their good names, healing age-old family strife and safely delivering those babies!

The Afflicted 19:30 Summerhall

Inspired by real events, this new dance-theatre piece tells the story of a mysterious illness that infects a group of young women in small-town America. As the girls and their families search for a diagnosis to their strange affliction, they come face to face with their personal and collective demons.

Njambi McGrath: Accidental Coconut 16:05 Just The Tonic at Marlin’s Wynd

Brexit seems inescapable as the British stand at the crossroads of self-identity and nostalgia of a bygone era of an empire. In the era when the British people are re-examining who they are as a people, and in relation to the rest of the world, Njambi scrutinises her own story; from the other side of the empire.

The Last Of The Pelican Daughters 16:40 Pleasance Courtyard

Joy wants a baby, Storm wants to be seen, Sage wants to be paid, Maia doesn’t want anyone to find out her secret and Granny’s in a wheelchair on day release. The Wardrobe Ensemble grapple with inheritance, loss and justice in this comedy about four sisters trying to come to terms with their mother’s death. 

Lucy McCormick: Post Popular 20:00 Pleasance Courtyard

Lucy McCormick is back to crawl through the annals of history in this enthusiastically humiliating exploration of power and purpose. Joined by friends with benefits, Samir Kennedy and Rhys Hollis, Lucy is back with her trademark concoction of dance, song, absurdist art and minor breakdowns.

Celebrating their final year as Europeans, island monkeys Becca and Louise got invited to the 2018 European Capital of Culture in Malta. Lads on tour and ‘the rising stars of performance art’ (Telegraph) Sh!t Theatre went to drink rum with Brits abroad but found mystery and murder in the fight to be European. 

Daddy Drag 17:45 Summerhall

Good dads, daft dads, dads who wear slogan t-shirts, dads that put on barbecues, dads that tell dad jokes, dads that are bad at dancing. Leyla Josephine attempts to understand what it means to be a father through her witty performance style, drag costumes and complex but unconditional love for her dad.

Cauliflower 15:30 Bar Bados

‘There’s nothing like the taste of my Mum’s cauliflower cheese, the feeling of it sliding down my throat and into my belly.’ Ellie is twenty-three and feeding herself is a minefield. This comedic solo show blends storytelling, spoken word and music exploring food, growing up and our relationships with our mums.

I’m Just Kidneying 14:00 Sweet Novotel

Amanda donated her kidney for her sister. But she wasn’t a match. Yet, she saved two lives. What?! Sounds like an incredibly heroic sacrifice, but Amanda loves attention, so it worked out for everyone. From carrying her urine on the NYC subway to passing resounding farts, this comedy questions what it takes to be a “hero.”

The Patient Gloria (times vary) Traverse Theatre

Inspired by the 1965 films Three Approaches To Psychotherapy (the Gloria Films), this provocative and upfront meditation on therapy and female desire in a new political context where misogyny is the winning ticket, is a mash-up of re-enactment, real footage, lived experience and a punk gig.

Female Role Model Project 12:00 Bedlam Theatre

The Female Role Model Project is an interactive theatrical experience paired with neuroscience celebrating female pioneers. It combines performance and interactive games with live recordings of neural activity from actors and audiences using EEG headsets.

Kanata Cabaret Hour 19:00 CanadaHub

Kanata: the Haudenosaunee word for Canada. Kanata Cabaret Hour: a radical offering of dance, music and live art from uniquely Indigenous and Scottish perspectives. This isn’t your coloniser’s cabaret, it’s self-determined Indigenous badassery! Presented by Indigenous Contemporary Scene.

Oh Yes Oh No 19:20 Summerhall 

This is about having sexual fantasies that don’t align with your politics. About understanding what you want and wondering how to ask for it. Award-winning performance artist Louise Orwin asks the difficult questions, taking you on a surreal joyride through female sexuality and violence. 

Rachel Mars is unearthing the hot-as-hell letters from history that make sexts blush. Before tech, there were hand-written letters. And loads of them were proper filthy. Come! Take pleasure in James Joyce’s passion for arse, find out who sneaked her gay lover into the White House and bear witness to the best/worst sexts ever sent.

Jamie Loftus: Boss Whom Is Girl 22:45 Pleasance Courtyard

Learn how to empower yourself by participating in capitalism in this fabulous keynote speech from Silicon Valley girlboss and founder of Pee-Pee Smarthomes, Shell Gasoline-Sandwich, as played by LA comedian Jamie Loftus.


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