Fringe Launch

It’s happened, the Fringe has descended on Edinburgh once again. From the 6th-the 30th of August, acts from all over the world will attempt to make their mark on the 64th Edinburgh Festival Fringe. But this sudden invasion of talent, energy and quite frankly, madness, brings with it a staggering 2, 453 shows in 259 venues, so if it all seems a bit daunting, then never fear, as we’ve scoured the Fringe 2010 brochure to highlight some of the most interesting and promising shows.

A handful of celebrities take up residence at the Fringe this year, with infamous Scottish Actor, Alan Cumming returning to Edinburgh following his acclaimed performance as Dionysus in the NTS’ production of The Bacchae in 2007, with his one-man musical road trip, featuring song and speech, I Bought a Blue Car Today.

The next famous face to grace the Edinburgh stage is American actor, Clarke Peters, in the revival of his Laurence Olivier Award-winning musical, Five Guys Named Moe. Best known as the patriarchal Detective Lester Freamon in HBO’s seminal cop-drama, The Wire, suitable for all ages, Peters’ show features the work of the late jazz musician, Louis Jordan.

The life and work of William Shakespeare is the subject of Shakespeare: The Man from Stratford, starring Simon Callow. One of many plays about the playwright on the programme this year, Callow revives the story of the man behind the work by embodying both Shakespeare and his most famous characters.

Continuing 2010’s celebrity trend is Emma Thomson presents: Fair Trade, a play inspired by true and unadulterated accounts of women who have been victims of sex trafficking, through the mediums of dance, drama, physical theatre and comedy. Sex trafficking is also one of the hot topics of the Fringe this year, which also features in a number of other plays, including Cora Bissett’s Roadkill, a site-specific piece of physical theatre which follows the real life story of a girl who was sex trafficked to Scotland from her home in Nigeria.

Across the city, the Traverse are hosting a variety of shows , Traverse Live! A one-off live performance that will be simultaneously transmitted to audiences in cinemas across the UK, including the Cameo. Acclaimed playwright Sam Holcroft unveils her stinging analysis of modern relationships in While You Lie, and a feast of breakfast plays specially commissioned by the Traverse by acclaimed UK playwrights in Impossible Things Before Breakfast, which comes with a breakfast roll and a cup of coffee included in the price. In association with the Traverse, Grid Iron revive their acclaimed coming-of-age drama, Decky Does a Bronco, which was a huge hit at the Fringe in the year 2000. Ontroerend Goed also return to the Traverse with their dark analysis of the teenage condition in Teenage Riot, the follow up to their 2008 success, Once and For All We’re Gonna Tell You Who We Are So Shut Up and Listen.

Elsewhere in Edinburgh, the NTS present Beautiful Burnout, a new and highly physical play exploring the hidden world of boxing, which challenges the stereotypes and headlines that surround about this sporting and cultural marmite of the modern world.  David Leddy returns to the Fringe with Sub Rosa, a site specific ‘gothic Victorian promenade’. And in the same vein, 19;29 bring their production of Threshold, a literal journey that retells the legend of Bluebeard, to a secret location somewhere in the city, which also includes a bus ride to the unknown location.

There are several other shows which took my fancy, and no-doubt I’ll find some more once I’ve started reviewing, but if you see a show that you want us to review, then tell us, and you never know, it may get reviewed on the site.