With so much comedy on offer at the Edinburgh Fringe it would be easy to overlook all the fantastic theatrical productions. Here’s our round up of shows that caught our eye this year:
Known for plays without directors, sets and rehearsals, the acclaimed Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour takes it to extremes in his new play Blank. Each night the gap riddled script is to be completed by a new performer and a live audience. The play becomes a story machine to share the life story of the playwright, the performer and a random audience member. Blank celebrates the communal and elusive nature of theatre as audience members shout, laugh, gasp and collaborate to write the evening’s story, a story that will never be told in the same way ever again.
From the creators of the critically acclaimed Of Mice and Men (Gilded Balloon, 2015). A disturbing, atmospheric new adaptation of the classic Mary Shelley gothic novel. 1816: Brilliant scientist Victor Frankenstein experiments with creating life from death. The horrific reality of his actions push him to the brink of madness. He casts out his grotesque creation with tragic consequences for those he loves. Man must battle Monster to the edge of the world. Directed by Susannah Cavill (Jack’s Women) with a beautiful original score by Roi Robertson of Mechanical Cabaret. A must-see show!
‘Theatre at its most inventive’ ***** (Stage). ‘Unbelievable’ ***** (FringeGuru.com). ‘It was perfect’ ***** (EdinburghGuide.com). ‘Frankly wonderful’ **** (Scotsman). Following the sell-out success of the immersive late-night Alice in 2014, Fourth Monkey return to the Fringe with another late-night offering. In two digestible and complimentary parts Ascension explores man’s relationship and perception of our world as we know it today. Ascension is a midnight exploration of the apocalypse. ‘The four horsemen are coming for all of us, it’s just a question of when.’
A domestic horror. In an isolated cottage deep in the English countryside, an estranged couple reunite after nine years apart. A nine-year-old girl looks on. Silently. Not making a sound. ‘A play that makes you want to shout “Run!” at the stage’ (Stage). Echoes follows Living Record’s critically acclaimed Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2015 production of Reunion: ***** (FringeGuru.com). ***** (EdFringeReview.com). **** (BroadwayBaby.com). **** (ThreeWeeks). A Living Record production. Vivid. Dangerous. Dreamlike.
Returning to Edinburgh after a sell-out run at last year’s Fringe and a successful UK tour, this no-holds-barred, immersive, in-yer-face theatre production left Irvine Welsh feeling ‘shocked, and I wrote the f*cking thing!’ For avid fans it’s a must, and if you’ve never read the book or seen the film, this is your ticket to a ride you won’t soon forget. ***** (Edinburgh Evening News). ***** (ThreeWeeks). ***** (AllEdinburghTheatre.com). ***** (ThePublicReviews.com). ***** (ScotsGay).
TrainspottingThe Edinburgh Festival Fringe is a great laugh, but don’t restrict your schedule to comedy alone, there’s so much more to enjoy.