What's hot at the Edinburgh Fringe

05/08/2019

The facts

Over 4.2 million people on board trains, planes and automobiles, from all over the world. Destination - Edinburgh.

Every August, the beautiful gothic capital transforms. Art, culture and laughter take over, everrrywhere. It’s safe to say it’s pretty popular...

The city turns 24/7. It’s a different time zone aka 'Fringe Time'. Fringe days begin at 5 am and end at 4:59 am. From the 2nd to the 26th - performers, flyers, buskers, beer and fancy dress fill the cobbled streets. Events are everywhere but the Assembly, Gilded Balloon, Pleasance and Underbelly are considered the ‘Big Four’.

The best acts do return but… the mantra is ‘Different year, different shows, different stages’.

We’re not going to lie. It can be overwhelming. It would take you nearly eight years to watch every performance at the Fringe. That’s over four million minutes. Or 2,855 days. There’s never a dull moment, from music, comedy, theatre, monologues, spoken word, art and celeb spotting.

So, if you need a hand on deciding what to see whilst ‘fringe-ing’ - keep reading.

‘It’s 90s baby’

90s nostalgia features heavily at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Millennials will tell you, (arguably) that the 90s is the best decade to date. Whether you fully love it, or it’s your guilty pleasure, the Fringe is taking you back in time to some iconic favourites to celebrate. Let's relive the 90s.

Gilded Balloon
@themagnetsmusic

The Magnets: Naked 90’s
12th - 25th of August 

Meet the Magnets - an acapella boys band. They’ve filled venues up with their voices year after year at the Fringe. You won’t be disappointed. Performing song covers by our favourite singalong bands - Boys II Men, The Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys & Blur. Feel at one with the greatest groups of the 90s. An hour of cool moves, superb theatrics and infectious tunes. 

It’s Britney bitches
1st -26th of August 

Based on Britney Spears, music icon of the 90s. Leave Britney alone! The theatre piece pays tribute to the music mogul herself. From shaving her head, the relationship between the fans and most importantly her music. Become a slave to the music, and sing along to your heart's desire...

Friend
2nd - 17th August 

It wouldn't be a 90s nostalgia without the most iconic TV show to date. Love it or hate it, no one can deny how much of an influential series ‘Friends’ was. Still is. One man - Brendan Murphy, ten seasons - yes that’s right, in one hour! Ever wondered what Gunther really thought? Now is the time. A show full of energy - expect laughing stitches and your favourite 'Friends' lines - ‘Joey doesn’t share food’!

Females rule the Fringe

Naturally, feminism is a huge theme when it comes to women in comedy. There's a great lineup of bad-ass females taking centre stage this year. Funny and fearless. Inspiring stories. Below are our top picks for your disposal.

@5teviem
@disgracecampbell

Woke
5th-16th, 20th-28th of August

Focused on two women, 42 years apart. Woke, highlights the real struggle for both females as they embark on a fight for civil rights. Set against a powerful soundtrack - gospel and blues. One, a member of the notorious Black Panther. The other, a University student. Complete opposites. Starring award-winning writer, singer and actress - Apphia Campbell. A truly gripping performance, that will definitely have you on the edge of your seats. Stay Woke.

Hot content
31st July - 25th of August

A mix of sketches, stand-up, a bit of acting and many props... it's hot content. Millennial dilemmas. Stevie Martin, writer and comedian draws on her experiences as an online journalist, one-time campaigner and traction-obsessed social media user. Expect your cheeks to hurt after an hour of laugh out loud funny. A* content. 

Why I'm never going into politics
5th - 12th, 14th - 26th of August

Grace Campbell, comedian, filmmaker and the co-founder of The Pink Protest. Is one to one to watch and not just at the fringe. A powerful voice and show that explores her childhood, daughter of Alastair Campbell, and why she'll never want a career at Westminster.  

The mental health movement 

Mental Health is at the forefront of everything right now, including shows at this year's Fringe. From depression to eating disorders, it's important to highlight the ongoing issues of mental health in today's world. Even if it is in an 'I shouldn't laugh but I am howling' way.

@china_plate_theatre
@airebornetheatre

All of me
4th - 25th of August

An intimate performance that is truly gripping. Exploring an individual's fight between wanting to live, and wanting to die. This dark and abstract performance is truly unapologetic. A show everyone is raving about. Don’t miss out on the critics favourite.

Shut up Helen!
5th - 10th, 12th - 14th of August

Can you relate to hearing that extra voice in between your two ears? This next performer personifies her internal struggles. Say hello to Helen, who interrupts Valerie's day-to-day life. This dark comedic production explores the journey of battling depression and coping with mental health. Let's just say she is left playing her ukelele… Yes, you heard us, a ukelele. 

Release your inner Fringe

Passion and fire are unleashed by this year's more rhythmically gifted performers. Jaw-dropping circus acts and memorising dancers. Expect tumbles, turns, feel good blue’s and outfits that spike your attention.

@shortroundprods
@gomcircus

Filament 
8th - 24th of August

This is BIG. The UK premiere of Filament... A show where top-class circus skills collide with a story inspired by our most loved 80s teen movies. Get ready to dive into the journey of growing up and discovering who you are. Passion, emotion and talent in front of bright lights and an even better soundtrack. It’s the perfect combination of tumbles and teens!

The black blues brothers 
6th - 25th of August

Combining the live energy of Africa with the deep south blue’s music. Five Kenyan acrobats perform their comedy tribute to the cult phenomenon - The Blues Brothers. This triple whammy of a group, has everyone talking. They've performed to over a quarter of a million people, across 500 dates, in 200 cities!

Now, it's Edinburgh's turn to witness true strength and comedy gold.

Backbone
8th - 26th of August

Pushing boundaries like never before... The Australian acrobatics company, GOM Circus, have been re-defining modern acrobatics since their first performance, in 2009.

This production puts strength to the test, physically and emotionally. A new kind of circus. Breathtaking. What can only be described as strength in all its forms. 

Seriously though, who doesn’t love watching people test the laws of gravity. *tries to touch toes*

Fringe time

Whether you plan it or wing it... What you can definitely plan for is a flipping good time. Get ready to laugh, cry or tap your toes to the weird and wonderful. Ever thought you'd witness tap dancing and beatboxing? You will this year. There is so much to do and see, literally - thousands! 

Fun fact - It places third in the world for ticketed events after the Olympic Games and FIFA World Cup. It was started by rebels over 70 years ago.

Tips - Download the Fringe app. Enjoy the buzz. Sample a battered mars bar. Devour a potato scone, maybe a side of Haggis. Don’t forget your brolly! *insert joke about Scottish weather*