Edinburgh Fringe 2014

In 2014, we once again donned the tartan and took another selection of fantastic Fringe shows to Edinburgh. Our very own Chloé Nelkin also won the inaugural #HappyHour ‘Nailing It’ Award.

WINNER – Fringe First 2014

WINNER – The Stage Awards for Acting Excellence

SHORTLISTED – The Brighton Fringe Award

SHORTLISTED – The Carol Tambor Award

Chef tells the gripping story of how one woman went from being a haute-cuisine head-chef to a convicted inmate running a prison kitchen. Sabrina Mahfouz’s distinct award-winning lyrical style and Jade Anouka’s mesmerising performance make this an extraordinary, must-see, new show. Leading us through her world of mouth-watering dishes and heart-breaking memories, Chef questions our attitudes to food, prisoners, violence, love and hope. Inspired by an interview Mahfouz conducted with Ollie Dabbous, Chef studies food as the ultimate art form taking stimulus from Dabbous’ obsession with simplicity and making something the best it can be. Underbelly Cowgate – Big Belly from 31st July at 6.10pm.

SHORTLISTED – Total Theatre & Jacksons Lane Award for Circus

Internationally acclaimed ensemble Circa invite you to step Beyond, into a mysterious world where bestial comedy meets irreverent vaudeville. From the company behind last year’s smash-hit Wunderkammer (winner of a 2013 Herald Angel) comes Beyond. Stunningly uncanny performances, world class circus acts, blindfolds, Rubik’s Cubes and rabbit heads come together with a backdrop of show tunes, electronica and rock ballads. Beyond conjures up a sublimely beautiful and curiously tender surreal realm where Alice in Wonderland meets Charles Darwin. With productions that have toured to 27 countries across six continents since 2006, Circa’s work is a stripped back circus of the heart. Underbelly McEwan Hall from 30th July (except 6th, 12th and 20th) at 7pm.

Comedian Deborah Frances-White was adopted when she was only ten days old. Until late 2012, she knew nothing about her birth family. Then she stumbled across some information that led her to embark on a round-the-clock treasure hunt, drawn into her past like a magnet. When Deborah finally made contact with her birth mother, she exposed a part of the past that had been hidden for decades. This is her true story. Turns out, you can’t open half a can of worms! Pleasance Dome – 10 Dome from 1st August (except 12th) at 3.45pm.

Following a five star, sell-out run at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe, Guilt & Shame’s wild, narrative-based sketch comedy returns in a brand new show – Going Straight. Orgies, murders, bank robberies and boy bands – gay virgin Rob and unstoppable womaniser Gabe have been involved in them all. These boys really need to change their hedonistic ways so they join a strange religious cult. But, their new god – Jeremy Clarkson – has some very weird rules. With crazy Christians, rapping dwarfs and a disco-loving transvestite, fresh, crude and funny Guilt & Shame seem to be doing anything but going straight! Underbelly Cowgate – Iron Belly, from 31st July (except 13th) at 9.30pm.

In the summer of 1989, a farmer’s wife gave birth to a baby girl. In this moment Buddug James Jones became heir to her family’s three hundred year old farming dynasty. Now as a modern young woman, Bud is desperate to change her destiny. Leaving five generations of tradition behind, she sets out alone into the big smoke encountering men, heartbreak, drama and hilarity along the way accompanied by live music and Welsh cakes. Through one woman’s struggle to escape and let go, Hiraeth explores the decline of Welsh identity and tradition. Hiraeth is a winner of the IdeasTap Underbelly Award 2014. Underbelly Cowgate – Big Belly from 31st July (except 13th) at 4.50pm.

WINNER – Holden Street Theatres Award (Mush and Me)

The IdeasTap Underbelly Award is back and is bringing four brilliant shows from IdeasTap members to the Edinburgh Fringe. The award offers funding and support from IdeasTap, a prime location at Underbelly Cowgate and mentoring from leading theatre practitioners as well as all the Underbelly staff. The 2014 winning shows are Karla Crome’s Mush and Me, Rachael Clerke’s How to achieve redemption as a Scot through the medium of Braveheart, Buddug James Jones’s Hiraeth and Jacqui Honess-Martin’s We Have Fallen.

Acclaimed Welsh theatre company Dirty Protest are pleased to bring Last Christmas to this year’s Edinburgh Fringe – an important contemporary story, presented in a boldly theatrical style with a very Welsh context. The play follows Tom, played by Sion Pritchard (BlinkMuscle), as he is confronted by the ghosts of his past when he returns home for Christmas. Forced to face his demons, he attempts to rescue his family and his future. Will Tom be able to save it all in time? Last Christmas is directed by Clwyd Theatr Cymru\’s Associate Director, Kate Wasserberg. Assembly George Square Studios – Five from 31st July (except 11th and 18th) at 12 noon.

Jess, Sophie, Nic and Sam re-enact Henry VIII’s weddings, feasts and river pageants. They take pride in authenticity. Well, they try. But, now ‘Visitor Operations’ have ideas about ‘the future of the past’ and want to replace the actors with a computerised experience. It has never been more vital to keep the Tudors alive. Being a good Tudor and speaking Tudorese isn’t always plain sailing. Do potatoes exist yet? Can you wear glasses with a kirtle? From the writer of Stephen & The Sexy Partridge comes a comedy drama about historical re-enactors. It’s Summer 2014 in the only shitty room at Hampton Court Palace and things are about to get shaken up. Pleasance Courtyard – Beneath from 30th July (except 11th) at 1.45pm.

Nobody is safe: from Putin to Pistorious, politicians and celebrities alike come under fire in a turbo-charged barrage of hilarious songs and sketches with punchlines that will have you in stitches. A regular Fringe favourite, NewsRevue is back for its 35th year to poke fun at all things topical. This Guinness World Record-breaking show is flawlessly delivered by four outstanding performers at lightning speed expertly accompanied by an onstage Musical Director – a post previously held by Bill Bailey. NewsRevue’s exceptional writing and original takes on current affairs mean you can expect the very best of British satire. Pleasance Courtyard – Beyond from 30th July (except 12th) at 6.30pm.

In 2008 the global economy collapsed, Obama ran for president, and Jeff took acid for the first time. Party In The USA! is a high-octane comedy about a world on the brink of financial and moral ruin and the psychotropic misadventures of the one guy who can save it. From emerging American physical-theatre company JV Squad, this is a visual smorgasbord of pulsating live music, dancing, hallucinatory video projections and madcap comedy. Capturing a clear vision of the misgivings of an apathetic society, this raucous and exhilarating production takes you on a frenzied trip to political awareness through the eyes of Jeff and his drug-addled friends. Underbelly Topside from 30th July (except 11th) at 3pm.

WINNER – The Stage Awards for Acting Excellence

WINNER – Fringe First 2014

SHORTLISTED – The Brighton Fringe Award

SHORTLISTED – Amnesty International UK Freedom of Expression Award

WINNER – The Herald Angels

From fast-rising writing star Clara Brennan, winner of the Channel 4 playwright scheme and resident playwright at Soho Theatre, comes the world premiere of a hilarious, pan-generational and heart-breaking call to arms for our modern age. This touching, delicately multi-layered monologue stars Fringe favourite Rosie Wyatt who won a Fringe First with her acclaimed performance in Jack Thorne’s Bunny in 2010. It charts the explosive friendship between a ferocious, wise-cracking teenager and a mischievous activist pensioner who is hell-bent on leaving a political legacy and saving Amy from the Tory scrapheap because, as she says, ‘there’s nothing more terrifying than a teenager with something to say.’ Spine was originally created as a 15 minute short as part of Theatre Uncut 2012 (Fringe First Award Winner) – in which Wyatt also starred – and this year sees the premiere of the full-length version. Underbelly Cowgate – Big Belly from 31st July (except 12th) at 3.30pm.

Wingman, a new father-son comedy, is the shambling story of very distant close relations from Richard Marsh, the writer of Fringe First winning Dirty Great Love Story and Radio 4 show Love & Sweets (Best Scripted Comedy at the BBC Audio Drama Awards 2014). No matter how bad life is, family can make it worse. Mum’s dead. Annoyingly, dad’s not. After twenty years apart, father and son meet again at her graveside. But can they say goodbye to mum without saying hello to each other? Mum’s final desire for them both to scatter her ashes doesn’t give them much choice… Justin Audibert (RSC) will direct Richard Marsh and Jerome Wright in this achingly funny drama looking at what it is to be both a son and a parent. Pleasance Dome – 10 Dome, from Wednesday 30th July (except 12th) at 2.10pm.