Here's the Time Out theatre team's top picks for the best shows to see at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2015. For more great content on the world's biggest arts festival, see our Edinburgh Festivals page, our top 10 weirdest shows to see at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2015, and our guide to comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe.
Am I Dead Yet/Confirmation
Punchy, poetic theatre maker Chris Thorpe is responsible for one of the best shows of the 2014 Fringe with his ferocious ‘Confirmation’. And for 2015 he's back with two shows: 'Confirmation' (again) and 'Am I Dead Yet?' (with Jon Spooner) both worth checking out for their original thinking and droll, disturbing word-play.
Am I Dead Yet?, Traverse Theatre, Aug 18-30 times vary
Confirmation, Summerhall, Aug 22-29 11:50am
As ever, the influential Traverse is the mainstay of theatre at the Fringe. ‘The Christians’ is a Gate Theatre co-production and follows in the footsteps of the same team’s 2013 smash ‘Grounded’. This one is by US playwright Lucas Hnath and follows a church congregation that starts to fall apart after a controversial sermon from Pastor Paul.
The Christians, Traverse Theatre, Aug 3-30 times vary
Fake It 'Til You Make It
Experimental cabaret star Bryony Kimmings has been a Fringe regular since her delightfully mad 2010 show ‘Sex Idiot’ gave her her first hit. ‘Fake It 'Til You Make It’ is something of a change of director for her, being a collaboration with her fiancé Tim Grayburn, and an exploration of his clinical depression.
Fake It 'Til You Make It, Traverse Theatre, Aug 6-30 times vary
You won’t find them in the programme, but experimental theatre makers Forest Fringe are a key part of the whole Edinburgh experience, running their own leftfield fringe-off-the-fringe for the best part of a decade now. Current home the Out of the Blue Drill Hall is pretty far from the main action, but it’s well worth picking a day and spending it enjoying the curiosity-packed programme.
Forest Fringe, Out of the Blue (Drill Hall), Aug 17-30 all day
Unconventional docu-theatre maker Victoria Melody’s last show was the utterly winning ‘Major Tom’, in which she detailed her dabblings with the world of beauty pageants and bloodhound trials. ‘Hair Peace’ is a spin off, in which she muses on her strange odyssey into the human-hair industry.
Hair Peace, Pleasance Courtyard, Aug 5-Aug 30 1pm
Iphigenia in Splott
Gary Owen’s ‘Violence and Son’ was one of the highlights of this year’s Royal Court season, and folks going to Edinburgh will have a chance to see his even-more acclaimed prior play, ‘Iphigenia in Splott’, a modern-day reworking of the Greek myth of Iphigenia – sacrificed by her father Agamemnon – set in modern Cardiff.
Iphigenia, Pleasance Dome, Aug 24-30 1.50pm
A force to be reckoned with long before anyone had heard of Punchdrunk, influential Edinburgh immersive theatre gurus Grid Iron are always worth a look. ‘Light Boxes’ is a ‘postmodern fairytale’ set in a land on the brink of war, in which it has been February for over 100 days.
Light Boxes, Summerhall, Aug 7-30 7.15pm
For his latest theatre entertainment, cult comic Daniel Kitson bails on his spiritual Edinburgh home the Traverse and heads over to the atmospheric Summerhall. ‘Polyphony’ would seem to continue Kitson’s fascination with tape recordings: it’s a apparently a play for a recorded cast of 20, except all the parts are played back at the same time.
Polyphony, Summerhall, Aug 7-30 12.15pm
Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour
Two serious heavyweights – Lee Hall, author of ‘Billy Elliot’, and Vicky Featherstone, artistic director of the Royal Court (formerly of NTS) – join force for this raucous new play about antics at a Catholic girls’ school.
Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour, Traverse Theatre, Aug 18-30 times vary
The influential Jim Cartwright (‘Road’, ‘Little Voice’) returns with a new comedy about 'Generation Rent', centred on Shane, a slick thirty-something who larges it up like a king at weekends but can’t afford to move away from his parents' house.
Raz, Assembly George Square, Aug 6-31 4pm