Top shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
The 2018 Fringe is awash with shows marking the seventieth birthday of the NHS. This, from playwright Gary McNair, is a dark comedy about a post-NHS world in which people must find the money to pay for their treatment.
The brilliant playwright Penelope Skinner is making a bit of a comeback at the 2018 Fringe. She’ll return with not one, but two plays: ‘Meek’, at the Traverse. And at the Underbelly, here’s ‘Angry Alan’, a monologue about masculinity in crisis that follows the disllusioned Roger, who is ‘saved’ from an imminent breakdown by the eponymous online activist.
Always-impressive storyteller Molly Taylor returns to the Fringe with a tale about intertwined lives, and carrying on after a disappearance. Al and Evie, married 40 years, are the narrator's neighbours: she even has their spare keys. One day, they simply vanish, without explanation.
The always-surprising Breach Theatre follow up their hit Edinburgh show about the Battle of the Beanfield (‘Beanfield’) and their other hit Edinburgh show about dolphins on LSD (‘Tank’) with a verbatim reenactment of the 1612 trial of Agostino Tassi for the rape of baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi, in a show about how a woman took revenge through her art. As ever with Breach, you probably need to be there, but it'll undoubtedly be worth your while.
In this highlight of the Edinburgh International Festival, the great avant-garde director Katie Mitchell adapts a 1982 French psychological thriller about an unnamed man who hires a woman to spend several weeks with him in a hotel by the sea, hoping to experience love. The text is by Alice Birch, and the production stars acclaimed French actors Laetitia Dosch and Irène Jacob.
The National Theatre of Scotland throws itself headlong into the larky Fringe spirit with this musical about a local am-dram society who decide to stage an all-singing version of the classic film ‘My Left Foot’, for which Daniel Day-Lewis won his first Oscar as an Irish artist with cerebal palsy.
Former Gate Theatre boss Christopher Haydon returens to active duty with the UK premiere of US playwright Martín Zimmerman’s acclaimed play about American gun violence. In the aftermath of a high school shooting, a woman whose son died in the attack becomes obsessed with finding out more about his final moments.
Sardonic, cerebral, very Northern British performer Chris Thorpe and mountingly superstar-ish New York director Rachel Chavkin are an odd match on paper, but they've already made one brilliant collaboration: 2014’s searing and prescient ‘Confirmation’. Four years on and they’re back with ‘Status’, another Thorpe-performed piece about the idea of attempting to escape national identity.
New writing company Paines Plough will be once again bringing back its futuristic pop up Roundabout Theatre to the 2018 fringe. There's promising looking work from Simon Longman and Georgia Christou, plus this from Bafta-nominee Vinay Patel, a comedy about a slip of the tongue that spirals horrifyingly out of control.
This is a bit of a coup for the Traverse, which looks to have its strongest Edinburgh Fringe line-up for years. ‘Underground Railroad Game’ is a ferocious and subversive comedy about race, performed by its US creators Jennifer Kidwell and Scott R Sheppard, set at a school competition.
This site-specific show from Dante or Die and the brilliant, provocative writer Chris Goode is an interactive work in which the audience becomes a fly-on-the-wall to a man’s deliberations on whether of not to have all traces of his life removed from the internet after his death.