A Cambridge Guide to the Edinburgh Fringe

Lucia Revel-Chion 30 July 2018

The busiest month in any thesp's calendar has rolled around once again, with over 3000 shows set to take the stage at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Here at TCS we’ve curated 10 top picks from our very own cobbled streets to kick off a series of Fringe Guides.

The Man Presents: Women – Assembly Studios, 21:20, 1-26th

Cambridge’s favourite Strong Female Characters™ are making their debut at the Fringe festival this year with new characters, new comedy and seven wonderful women and non-binary comics taking a stand against The Man. This particular incarnation sees song, dance and a sexy siren tackling the most ingrained female stereotypes, all presented by the token Woke Bae, in what promises to be a highly entertaining hour of satire.

LUCKY – Greenside at Infirmary Street, 10:00, 3rd-25th

This year’s original musical comes from the promising partnership of Ashleigh Weir and Harry Castle, who explore reality TV and the performance of emotion by thrusting a father-daughter paradigm in front of the cameras. Integrity is pitted against artifice as characters struggle to hold onto their genuine feelings in an environment desperate to capitalise on them.

Speechless – Underbelly Cowgate, 14:40, 2-26th

2018 saw the birth of a new breed of sketch comedy as five students took to the stage deprived of their most valued tool: voice. After rave reviews in Cambridge and performances in London and at the Durham Revue, these creative comics are transferring their labour of love up to Edinburgh and bringing a much needed breath of fresh air to the sketch comedy scene by reinventing mime and pushing the boundaries of visual entertainment.

Footlights International Tour Show: Pillow Talk – Pleasance Dome, 17:20, 1-27th

Following their two week run in Cambridge and a successful UK tour, this year’s tour show hits Edinburgh for a month of sketches, silliness and an impressive array of hilarious characters. We can expect this version of the show to be at least a little different to its Cambridge predecessor, but delivered with the same high energy and sharp wit which have earned the Footlights their name.

Trump’d! – C Venues, 19:15, 1-27th

After the success of their run at C venues last year and extensive media coverage from the likes of BBC and TIME magazine, the sell-out musical returns with a new cast and in preparation for a short professional tour in September. Witty, entertaining and continuously relevant , this dazzling spectacle is back and better than ever.

Drifting Towers – C Aquila, 15:00, 2-27th

Devised theatre is noticeably lacking from Cambridge’s main venues, so it’s promising to see that it hasn’t completely gone out of fashion. Devised over the cumulative space of about ten days, Drifting Towers explores the relationship of two best friends as they struggle to finish their favourite video game before real life events catch up with them and sweep them away from the virtual world they have grown up in together.  

Reigen – theSpace at Venue 45, 10:30, 13-18th

Though this play may not seem as scandalous as at its original conception, this new translation updates and refreshes the characters and relationships explored in the intimate conversations before and after sex. Over 100 years later, the dissection of gender roles and power imbalances is still poignantly relevant and thought-provoking.

A Very Brexit Musical – Just The Tonic at La Belle Angele, 17:00, 2-26th

Following the success of their run in Cambridge last November, Mheresa Tay, Joris Bhonson and Figel Narage are coming to Edinburgh for a month of patriotic anthems and political satire like no other. Follow the Brexit campaign as it is transformed into a musical spectacle which will almost certainly be a far more enjoyable experience than the real thing.  

Ken Cheng: Best Dad Ever – Bedlam Theatre, 15:30, 1-26th

Ex-Cambridge Mathmo returns to Edinburgh with a brand new stand-up hour, following his success last year as Dave Joke of the Fringe Winner. Reflecting on his unique upbringing as the son of Chinese immigrants, Best Dad Ever is set to explore the complexities of his relationship with his parents, and how his childhood was shaped by an obsession with toy lambs.

Spoiler Alert – Greenside at Infirmary Street, 11:25, 13-25th

Charlotte Cromie’s prize-winning play is student writing at its best. Light-hearted and witty, it’s easy to imagine it being a pilot episode for a sitcom, and its charmingly absurd story is sure to captivate audiences in Edinburgh as successfully as in Cambridge. With a new cast and fresh energy, this tale of learning to embrace what makes us different is set to be a delightfully feel-good hour well spent.