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Edinburgh Fringe Preview


Preview

Our writers preview what they’re most looking forward to at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe.

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Adam / Eve by National Theatre of Scotland

We’re just about set. We’ve scoured the programme, we’ve planned the schedule, we’ve warned our loved ones they won’t see us for a month. And now, with the Fringe just about upon us, it’s time to share with you, dear reader, what we are most looking forward to this year. So, here, in alphabetical order, our Edinburgh Fringe Preview – the shows our writers will be making a bee-line for.

Adele Is Younger Than Us

Adele is one of the most successful recording artists of all time and no, she is not coming to the Fringe, but Edinburgh will get this self-deprecating music and comedy show about the shattering realisation we are not Adele. It may seem an unconventional choice for my writer’s pick but for me it is symbolic of a perfect Fringe package: music, comedy, a quirky idea and all at the Pleasance – a favourite venue. (Aisling McGuire)

Adam / Eve

Top of my hitlist is Adam and the companion show, Eve, by the National Theatre of Scotland. Jo Clifford won my heart two years ago with her wonderful, compassionate The Gospel According to Jesus Christ, Queen of Heaven. If all the wrong-doers in the world were sat down to watch this show, we’d live in a much kinder place. Her Eve, put together with the brilliantly lyrical Chris Goode, promises to be a fascinating exploration of gender identity and woman-hood in the twenty-first century. And Cora Bissett can do no wrong in my book. Her Adam tells the story of a young Egyptian transgender man and is based on a true story. I’m thrilled to see NTS tussling with gender identity as part of their contribution to this year’s Fringe. (Claire Wood)

Borders by Henry Naylor

After the hugely successful worldwide tour of his third play, Angel, Naylor turns his attention to the refugee crisis in this year’s offering, Borders, which tells the story of one young Syrian’s journey to Europe. Hardly a laugh a minute, it’s nonetheless a subject we can’t ignore and I have no doubt that Naylor’s production, performed by Avital Lvova, will be hard-hitting yet sensitively directed by Michael Cabot, leaving its audience with a lot to ponder and hopefully rewarding Naylor with yet more Fringe Awards. (Kerry Teakle)

Brothers

I’m always very interested in work that deals with mental health. Not only is it a subject close to my heart, but it is also an opportunity to be wildly creative. There are a few shows this year dealing with this subject, but the one I am most interested in is 203 Theatre’s new piece Brothers, which will be showing at Underbelly Med Quad. Any comedy that approaches psychiatric issues must be sensitive and smart and, if it works, it could be one of the highlights of the Fringe. (Alex Eades)

Brendon Burns and Craig Quartermaine in Race Off

Never less than incendiary, Burns’ flame flares all the brighter channelled towards the subject of race. A cursory listen to his podcast Dumb White Guy reveals the constant evolution of his thinking on the subject. He and indigenous Australian comedian Craig Quartermaine explore the topic in depth, touching on modern attitudes in Britain and Australia. Sure to be bracing and rousing in equal measure. (Kevin Wight)

Dada’s Surrealist Cookbook

The Free Fringe is always a good call for some of the more outlandish shows, and one of the oddest-sounding this year is Dada’s Surrealist Cookbook. An absurdist theatre piece apparently containing the “essences” of famous artists – Surrealists and non-Surrealists – it’s not entirely clear what kind of recipes will feature in the show, but I’m looking forward to finding out. Created by Duncan Comrie of Mighty Fine Theatre, it’ll hopefully make something appealing out of the hangover-factory that is Silk nightclub. (Emma Lawson)

Fag/Stag

Having earned solid stars and three Fringe awards during the Australian festivals, Jeffrey Jay Fowler and Chris Isaacs’ comedy show Fag/Stag is looking like a solid pick this year. A minimalist performance about heartbreak and friendship, I’m keen to see their exploration of gay and straight relationships and their real-life comparisons. While I’m no modern man myself I’m expecting the Aussie duo to make me chuckle often and ponder more, particularly when less-than-desirable surprises pop up. (Emma Mackenzie)

Larry Dean: Fandan

Glaswegian stand-up comic Larry Dean is back at the Fringe once more with new show Fandan. As a previous winner of Scottish Comedian of the Year, Dean has enjoyed success all over the UK and even further afield – Canada, Dubai and Australia – but is coming home to Scotland for what is sure to be another hilarious set of storytelling in his uniquely personal style. (Matthew Keeley)

The Last Clown On Earth

Last year, DEREVO’s performance of Once… was by far and away the best thing I saw the Fringe – and perhaps ever on a stage. This year, the Russian outfit bring their new show The Last Clown on Earth to Edinburgh, “full of inner joy yet trapped in an endless cycle of self-sacrifice and rebirth”. If their incoherent blurb is anything to go by, it promises to be every bit as disorientating as their previous effort… and with any luck, every bit as mesmerising, too. (Jonny Sweet)

Tom Mayhew: Fragile Fragments

The Fringe is about being big, bold and brave. So my pick is a feeble milksop who’s frightened of his own voice. When I first saw him do five minutes two years ago, Tom Mayhew was so hilariously anxious, you wondered if it were cruel to laugh. He pulled himself together enough to get a nomination for Comedian of the Year at this year’s Leicester Comedy Festival, though he looks no more comfortable in his own skin. Worth watching to see if he makes it through an hour without collapsing into a vacuum of his own worthlessness. (Robert Peacock)

Monster

In a world where the most well-known representative of the male sex is now one Donald J Trump, with his near-legitimisation of deeply sexist and aggressive attitudes, it will be fascinating to see how this piece about masculinity by writer/performer Joe Sellman-Leava explores the idea of what man is, particularly the play’s promise to look at why some men lash out in ways where others stay in control. (Christopher Moore)

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