EDINBURGH 2019: Pick Of The Programme - Theatre

EDINBURGH 2019: Pick Of The Programme - Theatre

With nearly 4,000 shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, it can be a little overwhelming to select which shows to see. BWW reviewer Natalie O'Donoghue has narrowed down her top ten picks in the theatre section of the programme.

America Is Hard To See

This daring new play uses a blend of verbatim interviews, Methodist hymns and original songs to investigate the lives in and around Miracle Village, a rural American community for sex offenders buried deep in Florida's sugarcane fields.

How Not To Drown

A painful yet uplifting true story of a child asylum-seeker arriving in the UK. At 11 years old, Dritan is sent on the notoriously perilous journey across the Adriatic to a new life in Europe, only to continue his fight for survival in the British care system. 'I don't know why my Dad let me go... I was too young, too weak, to make this journey. He wouldn't have sent me unless there was a reason'. Award-winning theatre company ThickSkin (Chalk Farm, The Static) returns to the stage with an action-packed, highly visual production.


From a very young age, Nicola has been determined to prove to her four older siblings, and the world, that she is more than just a little sister. But wasting all that time incessantly seeking her siblings' approval and searching for new ways to hide the fact that one of her brothers is mega-famous meant she could never quite find her place in the world. Until now. A wonderfully honest and extremely funny autobiographical rites-of-passage comedy written and performed by Nicola Wren.

Just Checking In

A once-glamorous Scottish hotel is being sold to Donald Trump. Eccentric staff and celebrity guests conspire to prevent the sale. But first, if they are to succeed, a menacing mystery must be investigated. Lewis MacLeod (Dead Ringers, The Crown) and Ronni Ancona (The Big Impression, Last Tango in Halifax) unite their astonishing voice skills to create this surreal and dark story. However, when their characters take on a life of their own, talking back and interfering in the narrative, it becomes clear they are losing control over their own creations... and themselves!

Cardboard Citizens: Bystanders

Written and directed by Adrian Jackson. 'I was murdered once'. Shocking stories (and wild speculations) about the lives and deaths of homeless people. A Windrush generation boxer, a Polish migrant marked with a tattoo and a man with a bottle of gin and a television in his shopping trolley. Playfully serious and seriously playful. Last seen at the Fringe with Cathy in 2017, Cardboard Citizens return with an eye-opening collection of homeless histories. Are we mere bystanders?

Bible John

1969 at the Barrowlands Ballroom in Glasgow, three women are murdered by an Old Testament-quoting serial killer, nicknamed Bible John. He has never been caught. 2019, four women bound by their obsession with true crime want to change that. Immersing themselves in the world of Bible John and his victims, they try to solve the case, once and for all. A riotous, furious, joyful exploration of violence, gender and one of Scotland's darkest mysteries from Poor Michelle.

Love (Watching Madness)

'My mum threw a trifle at my best friend and that's when I first thought something was probably wrong.' A mother. A daughter. An hour. A bond. Questions. Answers. Trifle. Tides. Refresh. Restore. Release. Critically acclaimed SpeakUp Theatre present a searingly honest and personal one-woman show investigating the complexities of loving someone with mental illness. A moving, funny and relatable insight into how it feels to care for someone who can't always show that they care for you.


Jane and Toni are immaculate, iconic, accommodating flight attendants. Or so you think. But 30,000 feet below them their seemingly perfect lives are rapidly unravelling. Beneath them they feel the ground shake. Something is rising up, something which can not be ignored. And it's calling out for them. If they're going to survive, something must change. Poetic, unpredictable and explosive, Enough is a fragmentary and intense journey into female friendship and what happens when you can no longer be the woman people want. Written by Stef Smith (Swallow) and directed by Bryony Shanahan.

A Table Tennis Play

Walrus in association with Theatre Royal Plymouth present a new play by Sam Steiner. 'When does it happen?' A long summer weekend, two strangers, and a full-size table tennis table. A new play about how everything and nothing changes as people bat a ball. From the creators of hit show Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons.

What Girls Are Made Of

Based on her own diaries, the true story of Cora Bissett's rollercoaster journey from 90s indie-kid hopeful to wised-up woman. Touring with Radiohead, partying with Blur; she was living the dream. Until she wasn't... Performing with a live band, Cora celebrates life's euphoric highs and epic lows, asking what wisdom we should pass to the next generation and which glorious mistakes we should let them make.

Full show listings can be found on www.edfringe.com

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From This Author Natalie O'Donoghue

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