In any national arts publication worth its salt you’ll see a list of recommended shows from all around the world that are coming to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. But as local experts, we’d like to shine a light on some of Edinburgh’s finest home-grown artistes (that we get to enjoy all year-round) who are stepping up to present their work to global audiences this summer. Perhaps you’ll join them?
Musicals and musical revues are always popular in Edinburgh, and we start this section with Edinburgh Music Theatre’s double-bill of Mouse Music and Anthems – From West End to Broadway, which will no doubt be of equal (if not better!) quality than their 5* production of Guys and Dolls earlier this year. And speaking of 5* hits, Edinburgh University Savoy Opera Group have thoroughly impressed us with their previous two Fringe shows, will their production of The Drowsy Chaperone make it a hat-trick this year? We have high hopes.
You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown is the debut show from Bare Productions, featuring the talents of several established names on the Edinburgh musical theatre scene, while those who fancy some G&S will enjoy the consistently excellent Cat-Like Tread’s offering, Patience.
Amateur companies up and down the country rejoiced some months ago when the rights to Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s masterpiece Jesus Christ Superstar finally became available. One of the first to jump on the bandwagon were prolific local company Captivate, who as well this, are also producing rock musical RENT with a stellar young cast.
We’re also excited to see new and emerging works from new and emerging companies in our city, including Dogfight by Room 29; Bare by Edinburgh Little Theatre, and the musical we didn’t realise we needed from Malachi Reid & Jonnie Grant: Tenacious D: The Musical of Destiny.
If music be the food of love…
When it comes to music, we’ve been long-time fans of Edinburgh Quartet, and their latest offering The World’s Greatest Chamber Music will undoubtedly be very well received. A must-see for classical music aficionados.
If swing’s more your thing, may we recommend Hollywood Swings, which takes well-known songs from stage and screen and infuses them with big band razzle dazzle. The show will also feature some of our city’s very fine vocalists.
More jazz and blues, you say? You can have your fill at any number of the shows presented by local band Blueswater, who’ll be showcasing some of the hottest talent on the Edinburgh scene.
A Toast to the Lassies
It’s encouraging to see an abundance of fab work from all-female or female-led companies in Edinburgh this year. For starters, there’s Sob Story by Pretty Knickers Productions – an all-female company who aim to empower their audiences through unapologetic new writing – which follows the story of six friends attempting to win Yorkshire’s Got Talent.
Another all-female local company to watch out for are Scene Change Productions, who are sharing their exciting new show A Good Enough Girl? throughout the month. Bonus – it’s a family friendly show for ages 8+.
And last, but not least, we’re looking forward to Morna Burdon’s follow-up to last year’s triumphant Bonnie Fechters. New work Gie’s Peace is a collection of inspiring stories about women of courage.
One of Shakespeare’s finest comedies, Twelfth Night, is being presented by the rascals at Some Kind Of Theatre, who also provide a mobile theatre service – so if you ever want the show brought directly to the comfort of your home or office, you can keep the spirit of the Fringe going all year round!
The Edinburgh Graduate Theatre Group – one of the most prolific on the Edinburgh scene – are producing a post-war inspired Much Ado About Nothing, which will also be heading to Stratford later in the month. It’s got a cracking comedic cast, so pop along for a giggle, bardic style.
Are you ‘avin a laugh?
Speaking of laughs – we don’t tend to dabble in comedy at Edinburgh49, but we wanted to give a shout-out to a couple of local funsters sharing their work this summer. First up is Matt Duwell who is returning with new show Snowflake it ‘til you make it, a politically tinged look at life as a millennial.
Also playing for laughs are Headwound Theatre company, presenting their satirical view on break-ups Plenty of Linguine at Home. Interestingly, this show is the result of advice from a relationship counsellor – make of that what you will…
For us, the joy of the Fringe can often be found in the unexpected and hard to classify. For example, for those inclined to find out more about our fair city, you could try Reading the Streets: an Old Town Poetry Tour, with local expert Ken Cockburn; alternatively Love Song to Lavender Menace is an ode to one of Edinburgh’s best loved LGBT bookshops in the 1980s.
Paper Doll Militia are Edinburgh’s foremost circus and acrobatics company, and bring new work Egg to Summerhall, while the consistently impressive young company Blazing Hyena will be sharing their latest show Death is the New Porn. As you might guess from the title, this one’s an 18+ show.
And if you’re into things a little more risqué, though, then perhaps you’ll be piqued by our final recommendation: Edinburgh Little Theatre/LR Stageworks’ production of A Virgin’s Guide to Rocky Horror, which is back once again to charm and disarm those brave enough to enter the time warp…
Have a wonderful festival!