Pleasance Announces 126 More Shows For Fringe Programme
Today, 126 shows go on sale to join the phenomenal Pleasance programme. With a roster this diverse and exciting, you'll want to spend the whole of August in Edinburgh!
Cold Feet legend Robert Bathurst joins Rebecca Johnson (The Trip, The Flood) in The Song of Lunch - a hilarious and poignant drama of a disastrous attempt to rekindle lost love. Double Fringe First winner Caitlin Skinner brings Propeller to Edinburgh, a devised piece about power and the possibility of change. Build a Rocket is an exciting new play from Christopher York - don't fly too close to the sun, fly through the f***er! Or, playing on many of the resonant issues on today's world stage, No Kids reveals the personal journey that real-life couple and co-artistic directors of Ad Infinitum, Nir Paldi and George Mann, embarked upon when they asked the question, 'As a gay couple, should we go out of our way to have children?'
A number of shows in this year's programme pay specific tribute to notable people from our past. When You Fall Down - The Buster Keaton Story uses slapstick and songs to follow the personal and professional triumphs and trials of the silent movie star. Stan Laurel is remembered in ... And This Is My Friend Mr Laurel, a touching look at one of cinema's great historical partnerships. Dietrich: Natural Duty is an intoxicating one-(wo)man cabaret show as Marlene Dietrich takes the stage to fight the war her way, with an irresistible mix of songs, sequins, sex and sympathy. The lifelong friendship between composer and war poet Ivor Gurney, and musician and the first female music critic, Marion Scott, is brought to life in Composer, Author, Soldier-of-a-Sort. In Loyal Company presents the incredible true story of missing WWII soldier Arthur Robinson.
Mental health and emotional well-being continue to be pressing issues addressed on the Fringe stage; A Clown Show About Rain fuses together clowning and physical theatre in a dazzling exploration of depression. Ephemeral Ensemble present Offstage a powerful show acting as a moving tribute to all performers who have died by suicide. Schizophrenia, depression and male suicide are tackled in Electrolyte, an explosive piece of gig-theatre from Wildcard Theatre, the winners of the 2018 LET Award. While the devastating effects of Alzheimer's is brought to the stage in And Before I Forget I Love You, I Love You. The emotional hardships of those with learning difficulties are explored in Everything Is Going To Be KO. And, from the team behind the 2012 winner of the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award, comes Unspoken, bringing to light the lives interrupted and forever changed by war. These shows, and more besides, seek to explore and dispel classic attitudes to mental health through personal stories.
Innovative companies continue to push the boundaries of devised theatre using unique physical styles. This year is no exception; Theatre Temoin return to Edinburgh with Feed, bringing their vibrant visual style to the world of click-bait culture, fake news and cyber gluttony. The Bear uses dazzling puppetry, delicious music and dozens of laughs to create an unforgettable experience for the whole family. Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award Winner Ovid's Metamorphoses sets breathtaking mythological tales of love and transformation against a WWII Britain backdrop with spectacular storytelling, puppetry, music and film.
Also bringing puppetry to life is the recipient of this year's Charlie Hartill Theatre Reserve, the Pleasance's fund for new theatre - in Freeman award-winning writer Camilla Whitehill exposes the fundamental and inextricable link between systemic racism and the decimation of the self, juxtaposing monologue with physical theatre, gospel singing and shadow puppetry.
This year, the Pleasance Theatre Trust are pleased to announce a new partnership with HighTide - HighTide: Edinburgh. Pleasance will be presenting the majority of work supported by the HighTide Edinburgh Mentoring Scheme. The brilliant recipients include Sparks, a hilarious and heartbreaking two-hander with music about the brain's response to grief, and Busking It which draws on a singer's decade on the tube giving voice to passers-by and blending chance encounters with live music. Plus DugOut Theatre come together with HighTide to present Songlines by Tallulah Brown, a play with an original soundtrack from award-winning band Trills.
Many a classic has been revitalised and re-energised in Edinburgh and, in 2018, Trump meets Lear in the absurdly funny and biting political satire, Trump Lear, direct from its hit New York season. The all male, all silly troupe of Rubbish Shakespeare Company stage a hilarious Romeo and Juliet. A fast-paced retelling of Dracula has us join the first Romanian immigrant as he strikes fear into the male establishment with some surprising consequences. Young Pleasance evoke the glitz, glamour, and seedy underworld of 1920s Berlin in their exciting version of The Red Shoes.
Music and theatre converge in a number of electrifying pieces of gig theatre. For the Record brings a poignant mix of classic vinyl vibes and the unique poetic voice of Toby Thompson as we are led on a curious, moving and uplifting journey. Ad Libido explores Female Sexual Dysfunction through energising toe-tapping tunes. Paul O'Donnell entertainingly attempts to create the spectacle of a full-scale musical (hydraulic lifts and all) in We've Got Each Other. Amidst an electrifying live gig, Medea Electronica is a powerful and deeply moving retelling of the Greek tragedy, set in 1980s rural England. The Rockford Files is an appealing homage to 1970s TV private eye Jim Rockford, filtered through the lens of classic Ealing comedies and brilliant live Roots music.
The extra-terrestrials are journeying to Edinburgh to explore the Fringe. With the help of some historical abduction stories, a latex alien mask, and a bucket of flying saucers, Lights Over Tesco Car Park looks at alien reports over Tescos. Set in the depths of the Extra-Terrestrial Communications Agency, Signals asks how it feels to be lost in the cosmic ocean with just each other for company.
Pleasance Futures, the Pleasance's artist development arm, are supporting new company Clay Party with Outside, an honest new comedy exploring humanity, love and the relationships between three friends dealing with life on the inside when the outside is crumbling. Previous recipients of the Futures 'XYP' strand Incognito return with the amazing Tobacco Road - winner of the Greenwich Partnership Award, telling the story of five resourceful youngsters attempting to carve out a place in the murky underworld of 1920s London. Another company born out of the Young Pleasance ('YP'), the award-winning Spies Like Us present their version of Woyzeck, breathing new life into Buchner's classic tale with their trademark inventive physical style. They also return with Our Man in Havana - back by popular demand, it will leave you gasping for an ice-cold daiquiri.
Other great theatre shows on sale today include: Courtroom Play: A Courtroom Play featuring an all-star cast of Fringe comedians, Drenched which draws inspiration from the classic Cornish folktale The Mermaid of Zennor, Finding Fassbender by Off-West End nominated Lydia Larson, No One Is Coming To Save You - a story of hope in the wait before dawn, It's Not a Sprint by NOVAE Theatre (sister company to Idle Motion) and critically-acclaimed comedy troupe Kill the Beast's Director's Cut. Don't forget Ladykiller - a blood-soaked morality tale about social responsibility, zero-hours contracts and victimhood; the acerbic wit, punchy dialogue and intricate spoken word of Narcissist in the Mirror; Sisterhood which asks what kind of world we are leaving to our daughters of the digital age; Danielle Ward's The Half, The Journey which marks the theatrical debut from acclaimed stand-up Stuart Law; Unconditional - a joyous celebration of doing whatever it takes to be equal; and Velvet which is written and performed by Old Vic 12 shortlisted actor/writer Tom Ratcliffe. Plus award-winning Big Bite-Size Breakfast Show return to the Fringe for their 12th year along with Bite-Size Plays present: Neverwant.
Pleasance continue to build on their strong focus on children's theatre. Songs co-written by kids' favourite Jay Foreman are given centre stage in The Story Beast: Myths, Monsters & Mayhem. John Hegley: Morning Wordship invites you to join in the morning chorus of clappy, clippy, cloppy, floppy, flappy sing song and poem pong. Especially for babies and children aged 0-3 years and their grown-ups is MamaBabaMe - a beautiful dance, physical theatre and live music experience that welcomes even the tiniest of folk. The fantastic family musical adventure of Animalphabet The Musical uses high-energy actors, colourful puppets, amazing characters and fantastic songs; each show will contain BSL interpretation and the company will also be offering relaxed performances and touch tours.
2017 Edinburgh Comedy Awards Best Newcomer winner Natalie Palamides returns to Pleasance with her show Nate, while 2014 winner Alex Edelman comes to Pleasance's Cabaret Bar with his third solo show Just For Us. Newcomer nominee Chris Washington returns with his brand new show You Beauty! about the best year of his life when he used all his annual leave to bring a show to the world's biggest arts festival. Fellow nominee Darren Harriott returns with Visceral while also-nominated Kwame Asante is back with Teenage Heartblob, reflecting on his personal and professional experiences of weighing more than you'd like to. In 2017, not only was Lauren Pattison's show the best reviewed at the Fringe but she was also a Newcomer nominee. Following a whirlwind year she's back with Peachy, delivering some new home truths with her wicked, warm and authentic brand of humour. Jordan Brookes, the Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Show 2017 nominee, returns with more loosely-justified nonsense in Bleed.
Pleasance's incredible range of world-class comedians are essential must-sees, whatever your brand of humour. Angela Barnes's Rose-Tinted offers stand-up and stories that look back on the bright side of life. Ivo Graham brings us Motion Sickness, a feisty new hour about facing the future. After a sell-out national tour in 2017, Ed Gamble is back with another bracing flurry of idiocy in Blizzard. Lolly 3 is the hotly anticipated new show from the multi-award-winning character comedian, Lolly Adefope. Highly acclaimed, amazing, stand-up Marcus Brigstocke returns determined that, for once and for all, it's time to establish what is good and what is bad in Devil May Care. Last year, Brett Goldstein, award winning comic, actor and writer, fell in love but he wouldn't recommend it and he's going to tell us why in What Is Love Baby Don't Hurt Me. Felicity Ward returns to bust a nutful of jokes in Felicity Ward is Busting a Nut. Pass It On is a brand new stand-up show from the perennial Fringe favourite, Lucy Porter. Following four sell-out Edinburgh Fringe runs and marking 30 years of Section 28, Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho returns in her original 80s drag cabaret extravaganza! When you feel alienated by life, mock it vigorously - well that's what Pierre Novellie suggests in See Novellie, Hear Novellie, Speak Novellie. Rose Matafeo has kissed nearly 10 men in her life so doesn't that make her a Horndog?! Suzi Ruffell returns after last year's smash-hit, sell-out show with Nocturnal, a new hour of hilarious comedy. And, cult idiot William Andrews (Alan Partridge, Broadchurch, Him & Her) returns to present Willy.
Double Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee Kieran Hodgson joins the Pleasance programme, having previously performed on the Free Fringe, with Making Your Mind Up - the epic tale of how Britain joined Europe in the first place. Best Newcomer nominee Adam Hess brings his high-quality gags to life in Socks and Skies while critically-acclaimed musical comedy sisters Flo & Joan present an hour of dark and witty songs in Alive on Stage. Award-winning Rob Carter's cult-hit creation, Christopher Bliss, is back in the very best of character comedy with I Spy With My Little Eye Something Beginning With Why Have You Been Sleeping With My Wife: A Play By Christopher Bliss. Pleasance excitedly welcome back Sheeps with open arms for Live & Loud Sex Selfie Harry Potter, an hour of (hopefully) new sketches. Fin Taylor's finger is still on the pulse - he's done race and politics and now he's getting stuck into the War of the Sexes in When Harassy Met Sally. Remember the band Super Furry Animals? Well in Resist Phony Encores! Gruff Rhys plays selections from his forty-year career and explores how he overcame chronic shyness, stoner culture and communicative dysfunction, by placing commands on cue cards to whip audiences into a frenzy.
This year also sees loads of amazing international newcomers grace Pleasance's stages including: Venezuelan comic Ivan Aristeguieta - Winner Best Newcomer 2016 Sydney Comedy Festival and Best Comedy Adelaide Fringe 2017, Finland's number one comedian Ismo Leikola, New Zealand's amazing Alice Snedden, Anuvab Pal - one of India's top comics, Dutch rising star Micky Overman and Russian legend, Amused Moose Comedy Award Finalist, Olga Koch.
There's also some hilarious home-grown talent appearing for the first time. Check out the Piccadilly Comedy Club New Comedian of the Year 2017 Ben Pope, the colourful sketches from Moon - the M6's favourite sons, the multi award-winning Welsh talents of Matt Rees, the highly anticipated debut show from BBC New Comedy Award finalist Sindhu Vee, Owen Roberts - one third of sketch legends Beasts, the Amused Moose Breakthrough Comic 2017 Rob Oldham, 8 Out Of 10 Cats' very own Rosie Jones, Sarah Keyworth - Funny Women Runner Up, the masterful winner of BBC1's Celebrity Mastermind George Lewis, the hotly anticipated debut from Leicester Comedy Festival Best Show nominee 2018 Jake Lambert, an hour of non-stop, razor-sharp, unadulterated show business from The Crooners and stars of award-winning Fringe favourites BattleActs (BBC Radio 1), EGG who bring us sketches inspired by fierce women in EGG: Richard Pictures.
Last year saw the birth of some incredible new comedy talent and, what's more, they're back to tickle our funny bones this summer. Critically-acclaimed comedy star Tom Houghton returns to Edinburgh to discover that true honour often lies where you'd least expect it. After a sell-out debut year, Tessa Coates (Massive Dad) is back with another show about how we got here and what on earth everyone thinks they're playing at. The award-winning Swedish stand-up Evelyn Mok explores responsibility, blame and cake in this much-anticipated second hour. Tom Lucy is one of the youngest professional comedians on the circuit, a millennial, and this blistering hour of new material explores why he just isn't happy about it!
Also returning is the hilarious Daniel Cook, the sketch stylings of Briony Redman, critically acclaimed character comedian Emma Sidi and comical illustrator Richard Todd. Then there are the returning double acts providing a double whammy of fun for us - BBC Radio 4 favourite's The Pin, the gloriously silly Great British Mysteries, debauched late night sketch comedy pair Norris & Parker, Beard - the best kept secrets in comedy (well, not any more) and innovative sketch duo Sisters.
The Pleasance Comedy Reserve is back for its 14th year at the Edinburgh Fringe with another four dazzling new acts - Chloe Petts, Helen Bauer, Jack Gleadow and Michael Odewale - handpicked by the Pleasance and supported by the Charlie Hartill Special Reserve Fund. This is your chance to see the freshest comedy talent of 2018 from the show that helped launch the careers of Jack Whitehall, Roisin Conaty, Joe Lycett, Simon Brodkin, Holly Walsh, Daniel Rigby and others!
If you're looking for something a bit different later in the evening then Pleasance will have the answers. The Free Association returns with Jacuzzi, the hottest improv show on the Fringe where every night a special guest comedian will join an all-star team of improvisers. Or Comedians Against Humanity challenges the Fringe's best comedians to create material on the spot in this interactive, inappropriate and improvised show. Plus The Lampoons are back with their joyously absurd and furiously bizarre late-night reimagining of a Hollywood classic.
If your sides haven't yet split open with laughter and your eyes aren't yet watering then there's still more... AAA Stand-Up returns with a brand-new line-up after incredible sell-outs from 2005-2017! And there's a late-night version too! Clingfilm is the dark, sparkly world of Iza, Tuts & Lils - three socially anxious hipsters working it all out. Mervyn Stutter's Pick of the Fringe is a now legendary daily showcase offering an amazing mix of everything, carefully researched by Merv's dedicated team. Murder She Didn't Write: The Improvised Murder Mystery is a classic murder mystery created on-the-spot in this ingenious show. Nicholas Parsons' Happy Hour is an unmissable comedy and chat show. The Cambridge Footlights International Tour Show 2018 offers free-flowing hilarity, excellent original writing and side-splitting character comedy.
And that's not even the whole programme. Watch out for the next round of shows to go on sale and be ready with your highlighters. The Pleasance programme should certainly be the pick of your Fringe this August.
Tickets for all shows are available at www.pleasance.co.uk and 0131 556 6550.