Lou's Top Tips for Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Here’s a blog with top tips for Edinburgh Festival Fringe, from our own expert Lou…

Today is officially the first day of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and I'm off to start the media mélange for marketing the iF Platform.
Picking shows to see at the Fringe can feel like a mammoth task when you are faced with a brochure the size of the phone book but here are some tips to help you navigate your way around the hundreds of listings!

I'm not going to include any of our iF Platform shows as hopefully you've all booked for all of those already and if you haven't, click here.

So here are some of my picks for this years Fringe in no particular order:

Light Boxes - Grid Iron
Summerhall 7th-30th
Award winning Grid Iron are firm Fringe favorites. Expect a lavish adult fairy tale, live music and visual storytelling.

Polyphony - Daniel Kitson
Summerhall 7th - 29th
Daniel Kitson is the future of theatre. Funny, intelligent, sad and beautiful. I sobbed and laughed simultaneously through It's Always Right Now Until It's Later and Songs for the Wobbly Hearted is still my favorite show title. Expect interactive, pre recorded moments of genius.

Institute - Gecko
Pleasance Courtyard 5th - 29th
Physical Theatre at its best. Quality guaranteed. I loved this and all their previous shows.

So It Goes - Show and Tell Present On The Run
Underbelly 24th-30th
I've lost track on how many times I have recommended this show. Beautiful physical theatre; a moving and funny true story about loss and how we deal with the death of a loved one. This year it's part of the British Council Showcase. Go and see it.

The Solid Life of Sugar Water - Graeae Theatre and the Theatre Royal Plymouth
Pleasance Dome 5th - 30th
Written by the very talented Jack Thorne who wrote one of my favorite pieces at the Fringe 5 years ago - Bunny - and also more famously Skins - This collaboration with the powerhouse that is Graeae should be great.

An Oak Tree - Tim Crouch
Traverse Theatre
Only on for 9 days 4th - 16th
I've waited ten years to see this show as last time I couldn't get a ticket for love nor money. Five years ago The Author was one of the most extraordinary pieces of theatre I've ever witnessed. 

Every Brilliant Thing - Paines Plough and Pentabus Theatre Company
Roundabout @ Summerhall 8th - 30th
An interactive, moving and funny piece about depression and suicide. It's uplifting and lovely. Part of the British Council Showcase.

Fake it 'til you make it - Bryony Kimmings Ltd, Soho Theatre and Avalon Promotions
Traverse Theatre 6th-30th
Kimmings is hot property. The face of the Fringe this year, this looks all set to be an award winning show.

Can I start Again Please - Sue MacLaine and Nadia Nadarajash
Summerhall 5th – 30th
This show leapt out the first time I read through the brochure. It just looks really interesting and I'm excited to see it. Mixing Spoken and sign language in a duet and duel.

Hair Peace - Victoria Melody and Farnham Maltings
Pleasance Courtyard 5th - 31st
Major Tom was a hit in Brighton last year and went on to tour. Expect a one woman slightly bonkers show. On her website she has a quote from The Guardian which says she makes work that is “startlingly bonkers and utterly ordinary at the same time” I like her already.

Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour – National Theatre of Scotland and Live Theatre
Traverse Theatre 18th – 30th
A musical version of Alan Warner's novel The Sopranos featuring a cast of 6 actresses who play fifty characters between them.

Feast - Clout Theatre
Zoo 7th -31st
Lots of people have recommended this to me. There's a lot of great dance and physical theatre on at Zoo, Dreaming in Code by 2faced Dance Company, R.I.O.T by Panic Lab and of course our own Artificial Things.

Forest Fringe
Slightly unorthodox I know but I'm recommending a whole venue. You won't find the Forest Fringe shows listed in the Fringe Brochure so take a look at their website here

This is where you'll find the avant garde, the risk takers and the award winners of tomorrow. They are hosting some great companies : Little Bulb, Volcano Theatre and iF Platform's Jo Bannon to name just a few. They have a great ethos and are supporting exciting new work

And finally don't forget to head to Summerhall to support Unlimited's Exhibition. You can find more info here

These are only a few of the hundreds of shows I have listed in my EdFringe wish list (I didn't even touch the comedy) and the joy of the Fringe is to take a chance. Pick a genre, a company you want to see or a venue you like and go and see some shows. Read reviews in The Scotsman, Lyn Gardner's blogs and walk down the Royal Mile to watch some free performances. Say 'yes' when someone hands you their flyer for their show; it might be awful or it might be a true gem - that's the joy of the Fringe! If it is awful then you can use that hour to catch up on some much needed sleep.


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Mon 10 Aug 2015
More tips

I saw the Q for Fringe while I waited for "1972: The Future of Sex" - it's also at the Zoo. I'd recommend that too! Young cast, great story, great 70s clothes! So very, very well presented. Bit lighter, I also enjoyed Johnny Awsum - a bargain at £6ish at The Gilded Balloon. Free Fringe, long Q at The Laughing Horse at The Counting House on West Nicholson St, Puppet Fiction. A Kiwi trio with glorious marionettes pay homage to Pulp Fiction. The puppeteers clearly LOVE this film and encourage the audience to hum along to the iconic sound track, and even speak certain monologues with them. I think the show could be tighter (they try the epic task of performing THE WHOLE film over 3 days, I'd rather they did just a handful of key scenes) but the puppets are incredible & this is free - great if you can get a seat in the front row and just admire the craft! Thanks for your tips Lou - I wish I had seen about Feast & Oak Tree earlier. They would have made my list :) Have a glorious Fringe All! xxx

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