This year’s the big tenth anniversary for Greenside, one of the growing smaller venue groups that reward you for stepping beyond the confines of the Big Four. The original venue @ Royal Terrace near the Playhouse still continues to prosper, but it was joined last year by Greenside @ Nicolson Square and this year sees a third addition to the family – Greenside @ Infirmary Street, an old Victorian school which has played host to Fringe shows before, and can be a handy stop off when flitting between the Pleasance and Bristo Square.
Greenside offers a mixed programme of comedy, dance, theatre, kids’ shows and music, now topping 100 shows thanks to the additional venue. Among them are plenty of old faithfuls – Avenue Q, Rent, Oliver! and one of three versions of Into The Woods at this year’s Fringe. Plus, if you can’t get tickets to Juliette Binoche’s Antigone, there’s a bilingual English-Arabic version at Nicolson Square. There’s Shakespeare straight (Close Up Theatre’s Richard III at Royal Terrace) and comical (Shakespeare’s Avengers Assembleth: Age of Oberon, also at Royal Terrace).
The Wendy House Trilogy by Jealous Whale Theatre looks an interesting proposition. The three shows each feature a different children’s storybook character – Dorothy from Wizard of Oz, Edmund from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and Peter Pan – and is described as ‘dark’. Tall Women In Clogs is a winner on name alone. The women in question are four Brooklynites taking on gender politics in a comedy variety show.
Ramesh Meyyappan’s haunting puppet piece Butterfly (based on Madame Butterfly, and given by us earlier this year here) is at Infirmary Street throughout the Fringe. There’s also an international flavour to the dance programme, with Okinawa Sansan, and to the musical programme, with a strange rock opera from communist-era East Berlin, Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
There’s geriatric daftness from ‘certified old trout’ Myrtle Throgmorton, Ancient Heckler, and in the comedy play, The Ascension of Mrs Leech, which sees the titular pensioner come face to face with the Lord Almighty.
And if you’ve overindulged in the Fringe a little too much and you’re calling out to your deity for relief, who better to heal your aching soul than the Tibetan Monks who will be in residence at Royal Terrace to teach you music, dance and tantric prayer.