Recommended shows

| by Eleanor Turney

Since the start of the Fringe, our Theatre and Dance team have seen countless shows, seeking out extra UK productions to draw to international programmers' attention at the Edinburgh Showcase. Find out what our top 2019 recommendations are...

Photo: Tim Etchells and Forced Entertainment's To Move in Time. Credit: Hugo Glendinning

Bertrand Lesca and Nasi Voutsas – The End

Following the huge success of Eurohouse and Palmyra, Bertrand and Nasi return to the Fringe with The End. In this new piece, Bert and Nasi dance the end of their relationship, imagining what a future without each other might look like. Above the stage, projected onto a screen, two parallel narratives run alongside each other: the end of the Earth and the end of their collaboration. In the same vein as their previous work, it is a poignant, sad and funny account of ongoing ecological crisis. Their dance is a reminder and a celebration of our own mortality, and that of everything around us. Bertrand and Nasi are artists whose work sits somewhere between live art and theatre, and they are Associate Artists of Farnham Maltings.


Cardboard Citizens – Bystanders

Bystanders Cast CREDIT The Other Richard

Cardboard Citizens is a company that works with excluded people, telling stories that need to be told through theatre performed on stages, in the street, in hostels, centres and prisons. Renowned for its Forum Theatre and storytelling expertise, its productions, training and consultancy draw people from across the globe to share in the surprising power of theatre. Bystanders is written and directed by Adrian Jackson, featuring shocking stories (and wild speculations) about the lives and deaths of homeless people. Last seen at the Fringe with Cathy in 2017, Cardboard Citizens return with an eye-opening collection of homeless histories. Photo credit: The Other Richard.


Dirty Protest – How to be Brave

Siân Owen's one-woman play is about what we're made of and learning to be brave when your world’s falling apart. From the company behind Fringe hit Sugar Baby, How to be Brave explores how motherhood changes your perceptions. Launched in 2007, Dirty Protest is an award-winning theatre company from Wales, leading on the development, promotion and production of new writing for performance. It has worked with more than 200 Welsh writers, staging new sell-out plays in theatres and alternative venues, from pubs and clubs to kebab shops, hairdressers and a forest. Partners include the Royal Court, the Almeida, the Traverse, Soho Theatre, Sherman, Theatr Clwyd, National Theatre Wales and Latitude Festival.


Jo Fong and Sonia Hughes – Neither Here Nor There

Neither Here Nor There main image photo by Solomon Hughes

Funny, intimate, political, livid, powerful, powerless and patient, Sonia and Jo host a series of six-minute conversations. They have questions about how it's all going: big questions about the world and small ones about the state of your garden. Neither Here Nor There encourages you on an intimate journey through many voices, many perspectives and many lives, posing the question: "how can we live together?" Jo Fong is a director, choreographer and performer based in Cardiff. Sonia Hughes is a writer and performer. Jo and Sonia have worked together on several projects including Wallflower and Entitled for Quarantine and recently Ways of Being Together. Photo: Solomon Hughes


Kieran Huley – Mouthpiece

After a critically-acclaimed London run, this powerful Traverse Theatre hit about class, culture and appropriation returns with a new cast. Frank, unflinching and threaded with unexpected humour, Mouthpiece takes a look at two different sides of Edinburgh that exist in ignorance of one another, and asks whether it’s possible to tell someone else’s story without exploiting them. It is written by Kieran Hurley (Beats), an award-winning writer, performer and theatre-maker based in Glasgow. His work is published by Oberon Books and has been presented across the UK and internationally. 


Lucy McCormick – Post Popular

Lucy McCormick Post Popular

Following her genre-defying smash-hit, Triple Threat, Lucy McCormick is back to trawl the annals of history in this subversive exploration of power and purpose. Lucy returns with her trademark concoction of dance, song, absurdist art and minor breakdowns in a shocking and provocative piece looking at women throughout history. Lucy has worked as part of live art duo GETINTHEBACKOFTHEVAN, and her work was nominated for the TBC Award at the 2018 Off West End (Offie) Awards. 


Middle Child – The Canary and the Crow

The Canary and the Crow credit The Other Richard

The award-winning Middle Child present a piece of brand-new gig theatre about the journey of a working-class black kid who is accepted to a prestigious grammar school. This lyrical, semi-autobiographical piece from writer and performer Daniel Ward uses grime, hip hop and theatre to tell the story of the clash between a new environment that doesn't accept you and an old one that has no opportunity. Hull-based Middle Child creates gig theatre telling untold stories, mixing original live music with bold new writing. It also runs Reverb, an artist development programme to ensure that artists in Hull are given top-class development opportunities across disciplines, without having to leave the city. Photo: The Other Richard


Paines Plough and Theatre Clwyd – Daughterhood

Playwright Charley Miles’ new piece, produced by Paines Plough and Theatre Clwyd, looks at two sisters returning to their childhood home after more than ten years. Daughterhood is a beautiful, ferocious play about the bonds that tie us and how we sometimes need to break them. Charley’s debut play, Blackthorn, was produced by Paines Plough in 2016 and went on to become a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Award in New York in 2017. Charley was the Channel 4 Playwright in Residence at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in 2017, and has recently written plays for the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, the Royal Court and the West Yorkshire Playhouse. 


Rhum and Clay – The War of the Worlds

Written with Isley Lynn (Skin A Cat) and inspired by Orson Welles' radio broadcast, The War of the Worlds explores the ongoing power of fake news to cause real reactions. Intense, unsettling and entertaining, this super-smart and multi-layered show proves that in dark times the truth is a precious commodity.  Rhum and Clay’s work embraces the magical, the comical and the surreal, but gets down in the earth and the dirt where the real stories are to be found. Founded at Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris, Rhum & Clay is led by artistic directors Julian Spooner and Matthew Wells. 


Roaring Girls – Beach Body Ready

It's the season of cutting carbs, hitting the gym, and shaving everything from the chin down. Summer has rocked up, the media has us thinking that our bodies aren't up to scratch and there are companies ready to capitalise on that. We've been shamed, dehumanised and humiliated for how we look, and we've had enough. The Roaring Girls have made a defiantly feel-good show which sticks two fingers up at how the media says you should look. The Roaring Girls are a Hull-based theatre company creating work that is fierce, feminist and fun. Their work uses autobiographical narratives, and they approach big, sometimes taboo, subjects on a personal level. 


Scottee – Fat Blokes

Fat Blokes is a sort of dance show about flab, double chins and getting your kit off in public – made by Scottee, an artist and writer who works across theatre, fine art and installation. In 2010, he won Time Out Performer of the Year and since then he has been creating provocative work for audiences across UK, Europe, Australia, Japan and the USA. Fat Blokes explores why fat men are never sexy but are always funny, always the ‘before’ but never the ‘after’ shot. It is made in collaboration with Lea Anderson and four fat blokes who've never done this sort of thing before. Scottee is co-host on BBC Radio 4’s Loose Ends, and his critically acclaimed Putting Words in Your Mouth uncovered a queer community turning to neo-nationalist groups. His debut solo tour The Worst of Scottee won a Total Theatre Award.


Sh!t Theatre  – Sh!t Theatre Drink Rum With Expats

shttheatredrinkrum MG 7926 withlight

Celebrating their final year as Europeans, Becca and Louise got invited to the 2018 European Capital of Culture in Malta. The “rising stars of performance art” (The Telegraph), Sh!t Theatre went to drink rum with Brits abroad but found more than they bargained for. Following Dollywould, Women’s Hour and Letters to Windsor House, Sh!t Theatre return to the Fringe with a powerful, hilarious and moving show about Malta, migration and murder. Sh!t Theatre’s work is informed by the disciplines of music, performance art and long-form improvisation, and has been seen at New York’s HOT! Festival, The Gate Theatre, Camden People’s Theatre, Emergency Festival Manchester, The Arches in Glasgow, Duckie @ The Barbican and Richmix, among others. They are the winners of a Total Theatre Emerging Company Award, an Arches Brick Award, a Fringe First and the Brighton Fringe Touring Award.


Tim Etchells and Forced Entertainment – To Move in Time

Forced Entertainment to move in time credit Hugo Glendinning

Imagine you can travel through time. What would you do? Written by Tim Etchells and performed by Tyrone Huggins, To Move In Time is an unfurling trail of thought in which extraordinary and impossible fantasies are dreamt up, lived out and discarded. An obsessive stream of consciousness, tangled and contradictory, the work combines Etchells' text with Huggins' powerful performance to walk a line between comic absurdity and melancholia. Forced Entertainment is a group of six artists (Tim Etchells, Robin Arthur, Richard Lowdon, Claire Marshall, Cathy Naden and Terry O’Connor) who have been collaborating to make original theatre and performances together since 1984. Photo credit: Hugo Glendinning.

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