Going to the Edinburgh Fringe is no easy feat. Armed with the hefty brochure and faced with myriad shows, how do you choose what to see? What’s hot and what’s not? Here at LGBTQ Arts we’ve put together a list of our Top 10 favourites for the Fringe to give you a heads-up on some of the best LGBTQ+ shows there.
1. Joan by Milk Presents
Put your drinks down and your hands together, all the way from Domremy in France (via Soho and 600 years) it’s JOAN!
An earthy story of courage, conviction and hope, this is Joan of Arc – quite possibly the world’s first drag king. Packed with guts, heart and some well placed couscous, JOAN fuses lyrical new writing with quick wit and cabaret prowess.
Performed by drag king champion Lucy Jane Parkinson, aka LoUis CYfer (‘a marvel to behold’ Broadway Baby), and brought together by the ever-probing and playfully anarchic Milk Presents.
Dates: 4th-15th, 17th-28th Aug Time: 19:20 Booking
2. Canon Warriors
A new play about Punch and Fleur, the premier feminist puppeteers in Thanet. Well, they’re the only feminist puppeteers in Thanet. Living in a beach hut in November is tough. Then Aidan, an acquaintance from Fleur’s university days, arrives with an eviction notice from Thanet District Council. Can Punch and Fleur and their puppets, Dog and Sid, overcome the odds to defeat the male-dominated literary canon, and Aidan, the man from the council?
3. Break Yourself by Ira Brand
Break Yourself is a piece about the performance of identity and of gender. Performed in male drag, it is about the relationship between power and desire, the complex landscape of male and female sexual desire, and the desire to be something ‘other’. And it’s about Bruce Springsteen.
Ira spoke about her show on Out in South London this may, you can listen to her interview here.
Dates: 18th – 20th Aug Time: 14:00 Booking (Tickets FREE)
4. Pond Wife by Holly and Ted
A queer / feminist retelling of the Little Mermaid, in which the young mermaid falls in love with 90s pop. If you love stylish storytelling and 90s pop then this is definitely for you!
We gave this 4* last year in London, though we hear the show has been developed since then, but you can read our review from last year here.
Dates: 4th – 28th Aug Time: 13.20 Booking
5. Other Voices Spoken Word Cabaret
An open-hearted open mic, where you can enjoy features from fantastic spoken word artists and different special guests daily, all with a sumptuous cabaret vibe. This show is dedicated to the words and voices less heard and hosted by PBH Spoken Word Artistic Director, Fay Roberts.
Artists change day to day, so check who’s on.
Dates: 6th – 28th Aug Time: 14:50 Booking (Tickets FREE)
6. Penny Arcade
“Penny Arcade is a force of nature and NYC’s undisputed underground queen. Driven by her magnetic rock’n’roll energy, Penny Arcade presents ‘an orgasm of adrenalin and sunshine’ (Sydney Morning Herald). She strikes a blow against the golden age of stupidity, turning contemporary stand-up on its head to create a crack in the post gentrified landscape.” Read our interview with her here.
Dates: 3rd – 14th Aug Time: 18:55 Booking
7. Panti: High Heels in Low Places
The Queen of Ireland Panti invites you into her gender-discombobulating, stiletto shaped world, exposing stories behind the make-up – from performance giant to accidental activist – to reveal the national f*cking treasure she is today. Hilarious and poignant, Panti traces her journey from small-town boy kicking against traditions to towering plastique woman in false lashes making history.
Dates: 8th – 14th Aug Time: 13:30 Booking
8. Silver Linings: Throwback
“The rising stars of British circus harness the power of collective memory in Throwback: a love note to nostalgia and the things you can’t forget. With awe-inspiring aerial and acrobatic work… fast-paced, feel-good explosion of physical skill and fun!”
Discarding traditional gender roles adhered to in circus, this bunch are well worth catching! – LGBTQ Arts
Dates: 4th-14th, 16th-22nd Aug Time: 16.30 Booking
9. Zoë Coombs Marr: Trigger Warning
Dave is back! After the fallout of his first show and threats from scary feminists, he’s given up stand-up and turned to the serious clown training of Gaulier. Featuring classics like What’s the Deal with Online Bullying?, Mime Caught in Political Correctness Gone Mad, The Six-Foot Duck and The Crippling Fears That Keep Us Awake at Night Sketch.
Dates: 4th-14th, 16th-28th Aug Time: 18:50 Booking
10: Callisto: A Queer Epic
A constellation of four queer stories scattered across time and space: from a London opera house in 1675 to a research lab on the moon in 2223. Forward Arena: big, progressive theatre that sculpts future worlds.
Dates: 3rd-29th (exc: 15th) Aug Time: 11:50 Booking
And there you have it. Wishing you all a wonderful, inspirational, lively, fabulous and vibrant Fringe!
All Best Wishes,
Amie – Editor