Our first week of seeking feminist theatre at Edinburgh Fringe is over, and WHAT a wondrous week it has been! The representation and quality of work we’ve seen has been STRONG so far, and we’ve been applying stickers left, right and centre to posters of productions that pass the Bechdel test.
We also took a moment out from seeing shows to record a podcast interview with Joana Nastari, creator of Fuck You Pay Me, which is dazzling audiences at Assembly Rooms every day at 15:25.
So here are 23 shows that have made a strong impression on us since arriving in at the Fringe. We want to let you in on which tickets we think are HOT so you can get tickets before the sales go through the roof, or (if you’re not in Edinburgh) be ready to book yourselves in for the national tours as they’re announced.
Remember: you see something pass the Bechdel test with flying colours that we haven’t listed here you can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or tag us on social media. If you see one of these shows on our recommendation and it changes your life for the better, feel free to thank us by becoming a Patreon and supporting us with $1 a month to keep up our work at Fringe and beyond!
(even) HOTTER, Bedlam, 21:30, August 1 – 27 (not 14, 21)
Two women interviewed people (between the ages of 13 and 97) about what gets them hot, to make a play about blushing, sweating, pinkness, and pleasure.
Trojan Horse, Summerhall, 15:15, August 1 – 26 (not 13)
Verbatim play adapted from the real-life testimonies of those at the heart of the government inquiry following allegations made towards ‘hardline’ Muslim teachers and governors accused of plotting extremism in Birmingham schools.
Extinguished Things, Summerhall, 19:25, August 1 – 26 (not 2, 20)
Solo play written and performed by Molly Taylor in which a woman explores the empty house belonging to her neighbours, directed by Jade Lewis (who appeared on Bechdel Theatre Podcast last year talking about directing her previous Edinburgh Fringe show Quarter Life Crisis).
Baby Daddy, Assembly Rooms, 18:20, August 2 – 13
Autobiographical show about life as a young single mother, by Elinor Coleman, with original live music and recorded conversations with her young daughter. Finishes on the 13th, so make sure you get in there ASAP!
Freeman, Pleasance Courtyard, 17:00, August 1 – 27 (not 10)
Physical theatre show about the link between mental health and systemic racism, inspired by the first man in America to plead insanity as his defence in court.
Pickle Jar, Underbelly Cowgate, 16:40, August 2 – 26 (not 14)
Solo play about a teacher whose life becomes intertwined with her students, written and performed by Maddie Rice who performed Fleabag last year.
Miss Venezuela, Just The Tonic at The Mash House, 22:10, August 2 – 26 (not 13)
Queer carnival clown show about tearing up beauty standards, by Andrea Spisto, set against a hand-painted backdrop featuring the faces of her heroes.
Len Blanco: Firing Blancs, Revolution Bar, 21:40, August 5 – 10
Drag king show from ex-boyband member and newly woke feminist, Len Blanco. This one’s only on for a short run, so catch him before Friday.
Dangerous Giant Animals, Underbelly Cowgate, 12:00, August 2 – 26 (not 8, 13, 14, 21)
Solo play about living with a disabled sibling, and the violence of human nature, written and performed by Christina Murdock, whose story is based on her own relationship with her sister.
Dominoes, Asssembly George Square, 12:00, August 1 – 27 (not 8, 13, 20)
Solo play about a woman who discovers that her husband’s ancestors enslaved her own. Written and performed by Phoebe McIntosh.
Wacky Racists Bedlam, 23:00, August 17 & 24
Sophie Duker takes over the Bedlam late night comedy slot to host her bigot-crushing comedy cabaret gameshow. This night is always a hit in London, and the Edinburgh performances are fundraising for the memorial fund of Khadija Saye, the 24 year old artist who died in the Grenfell fire.
Evelyn Mok Pleasance Courtyard, 18:00, August 1 – 26
One of our feminist faves from last year is back at the Fringe, with a much anticipated follow up show to last year’s show.
Thrown by Jodi Gray, Underbelly Cowgate, 20:50, August 2 – 19
New play by Jodi Gray exploring the moment when we transition from childhood to adulthood, inspired by interviews with real people, and performed using a microphone shaped like a human head with the audience wearing headphones throughout.
Chase Scenes, Summerhall, 14:25, August 1 – 26 (not 6, 13, 20)
Canadian performance artist Ming Hon cuts to the chase, with 60 movie chase scenes re-enacted on stage in 60 minutes.
Century Song, Zoo Southside, 15:00, August 9 – 18 (not 15)
Exploring 100 years of Black women’s unspoken history through performance, music, and animated art. From original co-producers of White Rabbit, Red Rabbit.
Ada Campe & the Psychic Duck, The Stand’s New Town Theatre, 14:50, August 2 – 26 (not 14)
Another performer we loved last year returns, having recently won Leicester Square Theatre’s ‘Old Comedian of the Year’ award. See Ada Campe for a healthy dose of silliness, magic and mayhem.
The Providence of Neighbouring Bodies, Underbelly Cowgate, 14:30, August 3 – 26 (not 13)
A dark comedy about beavers, beers, balconies, and America in chaos.
Zoo, Assembly George Square, 11:00, August 2 – 26 (not 13, 20)
New play about female friendship. Two very different women on either side of the Atlantic who bond over their shared love of working with animals, by Lily Bevan.
Island Town, Summerhall, times and dates vary – check the Fringe website.
A new production from the reliably excellent Paines Plough about three friends trying to break away from the town they live in.
Sticks and Stones, Summerhall, times and dates vary – check the Fringe website.
A satirical new play by BAFTA-nominated Vinay Patel about a misfiring joke and understanding each other in a technological age.
Six, Underbelly, George Square, 19:30, August 1 – 27 (not 13)
Feminist musical about the wives of King Henry VIII.
Polaris, Pleasance Courtyard, 12:55, August 1 – 27
Teenage girls trying to survive year ten, passing the Bechdel test by talking astronauts and dinosaurs whilst also dealing with toxic masculinity.
Daisy Earl and Sukh Ojla, Fireside Arch III, 19:30, August 16-26
A shared hour of stand-up between two rising comedy stars, including Sukh Ojla who had the crowd in stitches at our Bechdel test passing comedy night last year.