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Edinburgh Festival 2019: top '90s throwback shows

From Britney and the Spice Girls to Friends and Titanic, here are Edinburgh shows throwing it back to the '90s this year

Scream Phone

We've noticed a bit of a trend in this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe shows. There's a lot of talk of the '90s. Now, we don't know if this is because it was the best decade of all time or the worst, but whichever side of that fence you're on, there's no denying watching anything involving Friends/Titanic/the Spice Girls/Britney will likely be a hoot. Here are ten shows to see, if that kind of thing will float your boat.

Head to our dedicated Edinburgh festivals page for all the up-to-the minute coverage.

Dean John-Wilson, Sophie Isaacs and Evelyn Hoskins
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Cruel Intentions

A new musical based on the hit 90s film Cruel Intentions? We're there. And though there's no Sarah Michelle Gellar, Selma Blair or Reece Witherspoon in sight, the cast for this show looks delectable. Assembly at George Square, 1 to 25 August

Jordan Fox and Sarah Goggin
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage


We've written about this one in a separate listicle, but it definitely couldn't not be on this 90s throwback list. This spoof musical should be one for those of us who know every other line of the hit TV series and who love it too. Music Hall @ Assembly Rooms, 1 to 25 August

The Magnets
© Dennis Mischko

The Magnets: Naked 90s

Less theatre and more a pop tunes fest, this a cappella group is a regular at the fringe and return this year with a homage to '90s songs. Expect Boyz II Men, Backsteet Boys, Blur and The Spice Girls. Assembly George Square Gardens, 12 to 25 August

Dylan Dodds
© Sebastien Loeb

Dylan Dodds and Friends (Friends Not Included)

The second Friends related show on this list (and not the last), this solo show is about comparing and contrasting. When Dylan Dodds worked out he was about the same age as the characters in the hit TV series, he started blogging about them every week to see just how different his life was to theirs. Just the Tonic at the Grassmarket Centre, 1 to 25 August

It's Britney, Bitches
© Savannah Photographic

It's Britney, Bitches

Britney was lots of people's worlds back in the '90s and everything in her life still continues to play out publicly. Here's a show which revels in her story, from the songs to the addiction. Gilded Balloon, Teviot, 31 July to 26 August

Jenna Kuerzi as Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp: A Retrospective on Late-Stage Capitalism

What could be more '90s than Hollywood hearthrob and enfant terrible Johnny Depp? As part of the free festival, Val Dunn and Jenna Kuerzi take us through all of Depp's movies from Edward Scissorhands, to Gilbert Grape. There may be singing, there will be drinking. Laughing Horse at the Place, 1 to 10 August

Scream Phone

Scream Phone

The music for this show is mainly '80s tunes, but the show itself a mash up of '90s board game Dream Phone, Scream and Clueless, which – as far as us ancients remember – are all definitely '90s. It's likely to be a 80s/90s crossover with an original soundtrack. What's not to like? Gilded Balloon Patter House, 31 July to 26 August

The Pet Shop Boys
© Pelle Crepin


Again, this entry has appeared on a previous listicle, but the Pet Shop Boys have spanned all the decades since the '80s, and anything featuring them should definitely appear here. This one is a brand new musical, with new songs and featuring star Frances Barber as Billie Trix. She was a character from their musical Closer to Heaven which came out in the early noughties. Bijou Venue @ Assembly Rooms, 5 to 24 August

The Iceberg Effect

The Iceberg Effect

This show uses the film that 'defined a decade' as its core, hosting a 'where are they now' night for some of the forgotten performers from the movie. The question being posed is: where the '90s actually any good? To which the answer surely has to be: YES. The Laughing Horse @ The Three Sisters, 15 to 23 August



Another Friend-based show! Here's a one-man piece from comedian Brendan Murphy, who acts out all ten seasons of the hit TV show in just an hour, through the eyes of Gunther. Audiences are welcomed into a specially created coffee shop too, so expect some immersive shenanigans... Pleasance @ EICC, 2 to 17 August