WhatsOnStage Logo
Home link

Edinburgh 2015: Our picks of the Fringe and EIF

We've gone through the 438-page programme to bring you our highlights. Shows are listed alphabetically

© Jane Barlow 2015

Adam Riches is Coach Coach (Comedy)
The former Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Award winner returns with "the greatest frickin' sports movie you ever done saw". Expect to get involved.
Pleasance CY 5-30 August @ 21.45

A Gambler's Guide to Dying (Theatre)
Writer/performer Gary McNair returns to the Traverse with a show about a grandfather who, after winning a fortune on the 1966 World Cup, gambles his winnings on living to the year 2000.
Traverse, Aug 6-29 August (not 10, 17, 24) @ 14.00 (times vary)

A Girl is a Half-formed Thing (Theatre)
Adapted and directed by Annie Ryan, Eimear McBride's novel follows an Irish girl trying to gather the strands of her frayed childhood.
Traverse, 6-30 August (not 7, 10, 17, 24), @ 10:30 (times vary)

Angel in the Abattoir (Theatre)
Fringe First-winning playwright Dave Florez and director Hannah Eidinow present an "incandescent monologue" about and angel on the edge, performed by Phil Nichol.
Gilded Balloon 5-31 August (not 18) @ 12.00

The Christians (Theatre)
The team behind 2013 hit Grounded bring to life Lucas Hnath's play about an American Pastor who must fight to unite his dividing congregation. Christopher Haydon's production features a full community choir.
Traverse, 8- 30 August (not 10, 17, 24) @ 10:30 (times vary)

Dark Side of the Mime (Comedy)
It's not often a show is described by its director as a "mime-porn-splatter-show", but that's precisely the case for this late night show from mime artist Marc Gassot, running as part of a showcase of Finnish work.
Assembly Roxy, 5-30 August (not 17, 24) @ 23.15

Detention (Comedy)
Returning to the Fringe three years after its last appearance, this non-verbal physical comedy combines a Chinese opera singer, comedian, acrobat, drummer and dancer. School punishment has rarely been so fun.
Assembly Rooms 5-30 August (not 6, 17) @ 19.45

The Encounter (Theatre)
Petru Popescu's account of photojournalist Loren McIntyre - who found himself lost amongst the remote people on the border between Brazil and Peru - is the focal point of Complicite's new production.
Conference Centre (EIF) 8-23 August @ 19.30

887 (Theatre)
Renowned director Robert Lepage returns to the International Festival with a show inspired by his own experiences during the October Crisis of 1970, when action by the Front de libération du Québec brought troops onto the streets.
Conference Centre (EIF) 13-23 August @ 17.30 (times vary)

Fake It 'til You Make It

Fake It 'til you Make It (Comedy)
The always-interesting Bryony Kimmings presents a new collaboration with her partner Tim Grayburn, who has given up his job in marketing to take part. The show examines clinical depression and what it really means to be a man.
Traverse, 6-30 August (not 10, 17, 24) @ 11:15 (times vary)

The 56 (Theatre)
On the 30th anniversary of the Bradford City fire, this documentary piece marks the lives of the supporters who lost their lives in one of the darkest days in British footballing history.
Assembly George Square, 6-31 August (not 16, 17) @ 12.00

The Garden (Theatre)
This "operatic" version of Zinnie Harris's dystopian two-hander, running as part of this year's Made in Scotland Showcase, takes audiences on a site-specific journey around the Traverse.
Traverse, 18-30 August (not 24) @ 15.00 and 18.00

Going Viral (Theatre)
A new virus has broken out. Everyone in the world starts weeping. Why aren't you affected? A timely show from innovative theatremaker Daniel Bye about how things spread.
Summerhall 8-30 August (not 12, 19, 26) @ 14.10

Here is the News from Over There (Over There Is the News from Here) - A Borderless Twitter Ballad Fresh from the Middle East (Theatre)
An epic (and epically-titled) new show from Northern Stage bringing together writers and performers from across the Middle East and UK to "fashion a new story woven from a tapestry of tweets, music and storytelling".
Summerhall 8-29 August (not 12, 19, 26) @ 23.10

The Human Ear (Theatre)
Staged in Paines Plough's portable Roundabout venue, this new show from Fringe First winner Alexandra Wood examines "the messy inner workings of sibling love".
Summerhall 6-30 August (not 9, 11, 14, 18, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27, 29) @ 15.35

Impossible (Theatre)
Fringe veteran Phill Jupitus and Alan Cox play Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini in this play about their legendary feud. Five-time Fringe First winner Hannah Eidinow directs.
Pleasance Dome, 5-31 August (not 17) @ 13.20

Lanark (Theatre)
This adaptation of Alasdair Gray's seminal Glasgow-set work combines science fiction, realism, fantasy and playful storytelling. A centrepiece of this year's International Festival.
Royal Lyceum Theatre (EIF) 23-31 August @ 19.00 (times vary)

The Last Hotel (Opera)
Playwright Enda Walsh teams with fellow Irishman and composer Donnacha Dennehy on this chamber opera about "life, death, duty and guilt". The cast includes acclaimed Irish actor Mikel Murfi.
Royal Lyceum Theatre (EIF) 8-12 August @ 20.00

Light Boxes (Theatre)
Visual storytelling, projection and live music entwine in this adult fairytale, adapted from Shane Jones's novel, from award-winning Fringe regulars Grid Iron.
Summerhall 7-30 August (not 11th, 18th, 25th) @ 19.15

The Litvinenko Project (Theatre)
The notorious poisoning in London of Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko is put under the microscope by 2Magpies theatre company. With tea.
Summerhall, 15-30 August (not 20, 27) @ 20.00 (limited capacity)

The Man Called Monkhouse (Comedy)
Olivier Award-winner Bob Golding (Morecambe) directs Simon Cartwright as the legendary one-line merchant Bob Monkhouse in this new solo show.
Assembly Rooms, alternate days from 5-30 August (not 17) @ 16.15

The Missing Hancocks - Show A/B (Comedy)
Starring Kevin McNally, this double-bill sees lost episodes of Hancock's Half Hour, unheard since the 1950s, brought to the stage for the first time.
Assembly Rooms, alternate days from 5-30 August (not 17) @ 16.15

Murmel Murmel (Comedy)
Herbert Fritsch directs Dieter Roth's 'unstageable' play, consisting of 178 pages of dialogue using only one word, Murmel. The results are, according to the blurb, "side-splittingly funny".
King's Theatre (EIF) 28-30 August @ 20.00 (times vary)

Neil Henry's Magical Mindsquirm (Comedy)
The magician and YouTube star returns to the Fringe with a show "full of mind-melting magic and brain-bending impossibilities".
Pleasance Dome, 5-31 August (not 18) @ 16.00

Ockham's Razor: Arc and Every Action (Circus)
The acclaimed aerial specialists bring this jaw-dropping double bill to the Fringe for the first time, at the newly created Underbelly Circus Hub, the Fringe's first venue dedicated to the artform.
Underbelly Circus Hub, 7-26 August @ 13.25

Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour

Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour (Musicals)
This new musical play written by Lee Hall and directed by Vicky Featherstone is adapted from Alan Warner's novel The Sopranos (forget all notions of the American TV series). Featuring music by Handel, Bach and ELO it centres on six Catholic schoolgirls "on the cusp of change".
Traverse 18-30 August (not 24) @ 10.30 (times vary)

Pardon / In Cuffs (Theatre)
Inspired by Raymond Depardon's documentaries, the creators of previous EdFringe shows BigMouth and SmallWar unravel the complex relationship between culprit and judge.
Traverse, 6th - 30th August (not 10, 17, 24), @11:15 (times vary)

Paul Bright's Confessions of a Justified Sinner (Theatre)
Billed as "a celebration and sharing of the life and work of a man who redefined Scottish theatre in the 1980s", this production pays homage to Paul Bright's radical 1980s staging of James Hogg's cult novel.
Queen's Hall (EIF) 19-22 August @ 20.00 (times vary)

Pip Utton: Playing Maggie (Theatre)
Following his portrayals of Bacon, Hitler, Chaplin and Churchill, the godfather of one man shows tackles the Iron Lady, who divided the nation like no other politician.
Assembly Rooms 6-30 August (not 17) @ 12.00

Polyphony (Theatre)
The Fringe wouldn't be the same without Daniel Kitson, and this year he's back with a new play featuring a series of pre-recorded parts which, when played back in precise unison, "form a glorious theatrical polyphony".
Summerhall, 7-29 August (not 11, 18, 25) @ 12.15

17 Border Crossings (Theatre)
Award-winning theatremaker Thaddeus Phillips presents an ambitious one man show which "takes you to the frontiers of Brazil, Serbia, Cuba, Bali, Israel, Colombia, Jordan, and Mexico". Don't forget your passport.
Summerhall 5-30 August (not 6, 10, 17, 24) @ 18.35

64 Squares (Theatre)
Jazz, madness and chess all feature in this intriguing sounding show adapted from Stefan Zweig's 1941 novella The Royal Game.
Underbelly 6-30 August (not 18) @ 19.30

The Solid Life of Sugar Water (Theatre)
Playwright Jack Thorne, who next year brings Harry Potter to the West End, reunites with Graeae on this tender new play about a couple struggling to come to terms with a stillbirth. All performances include audio description and captioning.
Pleasance Dome, 5-30 August (not 12, 17, 24) @ 16.00

Swallow (Theatre)
This new play from Olivier Award-winning writer Stef Smith, directed by Traverse artistic director Orla O'Loughlin, takes "a long hard look at the extremes of everyday life".
Traverse, 7-29 August (not 10, 17, 24) @ 10:30 (times vary)

Sweet Dreams: Songs by Annie Lennox (Cabaret and Variety)
Cabaret artist Michael Griffiths pays homage to Scottish diva Annie Lennox, from her gender bending early days as one half of Eurythmics through to her chart-topping solo career.
Assembly George Square, 6-31 August (not 18) @ 18.00

Sylvie Guillem - Life in Progress (Dance)
Don't miss this last chance to catch the legendary ballet dancer in her final show, which features new works by Akram Khan and Russell Maliphant.
Festival Theatre (EIF), 8-10 August @ 19:30

John Hannah stars in The Titanic Project

The Titanic Orchestra (Theatre)
Local hero John Hannah stars in this "madcap comedy" about four tramps who encounter a man claiming to be Houdini.
Pleasance Courtyard, 5-31 August (not 17, 18, 24) @ 17.25

Trespass - Work in Progress (Comedy)
Multi award-winning theatremaker and activist Mark Thomas returns to the Fringe to question how modern cities can be reclaimed as playgrounds. Picks up where his previous show 100 Acts of Minor Dissent left off.
Summerhall 6-30 August (not 10, 20) @ 17.00

UKIP! The Musical (Musicals)
A group of RADA graduates collaborate on this musical satire about Nigel Farage's plan to save Britannia. Will it be too late for our anti-hero to save the day, the country and his wife?
theSpace @ Surgeon's Hall 7-29 August (not 18) @15.10

Walking the Tightrope (Theatre)
The world premiere of a series of eight "explosive" political five-minute plays by top writers including Caryl Churchill, Neil LaBute and Timberlake Wertenbaker.
Underbelly Topside, 5-31 August (not 17) @ 15.35

Zazu: A Fête Worse than Death (Comedy)
This hotly-tipped young foursome have a distinctly League of Gentlemen vibe with their brand of zany, narrative driven sketch comedy.
Pleasance Courtyard, 5-31 August (not 12, 13, 19) @ 21.45