Edinburgh Festival Fringe returns for its 71st year this August, promising a huge number – and vast variety – of theatre shows across the month.
With themes ranging from masculinity in crisis to fake news and capitalism, many of this year’s shows highlight the power of theatre to address, scrutinise and articulately respond to major political events and social issues with creative flair.
Here are our five of the must-see shows at this year’s Fringe.
The theme of masculinity in crisis takes centre stage in Penelope Skinner’s darkly comic and insightful play, Angry Alan. Written in response to the men’s rights movement, and starring Skinner’s partner Donald Sage Mackay, Angry Alan presents Roger, a man frustrated with the world (particularly after his girlfriend discovers feminism) who are radicalised online by an extremist movement.
Where: Underbelly Cowgate (Big Belly)
When: Thursday 2nd – Sunday 26th August at 15.20 (not 13th)
In Gbolahan Obisesan’s adaptation of Chigozie Obioma’s novel of the same title, The Fishermen tells the story of two brothers from a small Nigerian town who begin fishing in a forbidden river with their two older brothers. They continue, unaware of any danger until the prophecy of a “madman” changes the course of their lives. This allegorical play is directed by Jack Namara and stars Michael Ajao and Valentine Olukoga.
Where: Assembly George Square Studios – Studio Two
When: Thursday 2nd – Monday 27th August at 13.20 (not 13th or 20th)
Featuring a break up that takes place in the inconvenient location of a spaceship, The Journey combines humour with a deep, complex commentary on gender power relations. Written by Stuart Laws, co-directed by Phoebe Ladenburg and starring Will Brown and Phoebe Sparrow, this intelligently structured play is one not to miss.
Where: Pleasance Dome (ten)
When: From Wednesday 1st August at 17.40 (not 3rd)
In the world premiere of Extinguished Things, the play’s writer and performer Molly Taylor creates a fascinating narrative that explores the impact we have on our inhabited spaces. Centred around the story of a married couple who abruptly leave their home one day and don’t come back, the play sees their neighbour piecing together the stories of their lives based on what they left behind.
When: Wednesday 1st – Sunday 26th August at 19.25 (not 2nd & 20th)
Set in a world where emotions are currency, Theatre Témoin’s Feed examines the themes of click-bait culture, fake news and cyber gluttony. Considering the impact of capitalism on the media landscape and society, the play – written with contributing playwrights Eve Leigh and Erin Judge, and aided by Mentoring Dramaturg Chris Thorpe – explores ideas that are as critical as they are current.
Where: Pleasance Dome (King Dome)
When: Friday 3rd – Monday 27th August at 14.00 (not 15th)