LGBTQ Edinburgh Fringe
I’m staying in London this August to work on my own projects, and compiling this list has made me incredibly jealous of the LGBTQ Arts team members that are up at the Fringe. (Keep an eye out for their reviews!)
The Fringe is so delightfully queer that we’ve done some research to bring you LGBT+ theatre and comedy picks, so you can jam-pack your August with as much queer art as you can handle. Peruse these listings for a staggering range of shows – some made by LGBT+ artists and companies, others queer in their very nature. We hope there’ll be something for all. If you’d like your show added, drop us a tweet. This is a live document and will be updated through the Fringe, please bear with us as we add all of the requests, we’ve been quite inundated!
In addition, this year sees the launch of the Queer Meet-Up Edinburgh Fringe. Check them out and get involved with the chance to meet some fabulous new creatives!
Happy Fringing you wonderful people!
A Clown Show About Rain
Silent Faces Theatre in association with The Pleasance
A physical comedy about mental health and what it means to ‘brave the storm’. Forth, Cromarty and Dogger are three fools at sea. They are under the watchful eye of the lighthouse keepers, who eat their tuna sandwiches and eagerly anticipate the next Shipping Forecast. Battling the elements – wind, rain, sun, mops, buckets, maps, misdirection and cups of tea – they all set off on a journey. @silentfacesuk. This production has an LGBT+ cast / creative team.
10 Dome, Pleasance Dome
1st-27th August, 13:40pm (60 mins)
(Not showing 13th / 20th)
Empty Wallet Productions
Written and Performed by Kirsty Osmon
“Happy Birthday Cassie. You’re a fucking idiot.”
It’s the morning of Cassie’s 26th birthday. She wakes to find herself in someone’s front garden, with no recollection of getting there. As Cassie struggles to retrace the night, she’s forced to confront the horrific, sometimes hilarious mistakes she’s made over the last year. Half of this company identify as LGBTQ+.
Buttercup, Underbelly (302)
1st-27th August, 14:35 (1 hour)
Not performing 13th August.
Best in Class
Presented by Sian Davies
With Tom Mayhew, Cheekykita, Jamie Hutchinson, Nena Edwards, Vince Atta, Lindsey Santoro. Drew Taylor and Kathryn Mather
Best in Class champions the talent of working-class comedians, who are chronically underrepresented at the Fringe. “When you grow up working class you might not get much access to the arts. You might have to fight for it. You might have to fight your way out from whichever rock society has placed you under. You might get a bit of confidence and realise you’ve got a bit of talent. You might have complex, unique stories about life that the world needs to hear…”
This show has been listed as it’s creator/s identify as LGBT+
Laughing Horse at Harry’s Southside (264)
2nd – 26th August, 12:00 (noon)
Bish and Bob
Bisha K Ali and Kemah Bob
Rising starts Bisha K Ali and Kemah Bob present a shared hour of whip-smart stand-up comedy. Bisha K Ali as heard on BBC Radio 4’s Grownupland, The Guilty Feminist and BBC Asian Network and Kemah Bob is a Texan coming now based in London whose comedy is pro-black, sex positive and will leave a funny taste in your mouth.
Laughing Horse at Bar 50 (151)
2nd-26th August, 19:15 (60 mins)
Not performing 13th August
By Squabbling House Theatre
‘I limit myself to a quick look every two hour at first. But this soon becomes one long look that lasts the whole day. And soon, though I don’t know who or where she is, I feel closer to her than I ever felt to any other living soul.’ Brought together by a voyeristic relationship that teeters on the verge of stalking, introverted Sophie and eccentric Esther relive the story of how they met.
Mint Studio, Greenside at Infirmary Street (236)
3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 11th, 13th, 15th, 17th August (50 mins)
Written and Performed by Willy Hudson
Directed by Rachel Lemon
A queer coming-of-age remix about bums, Beyoncé and burnt fish fingers. Bottom lifts the lid on performance anxiety and the top/bottom politics in queer sex.
Cairns Lecture Theatre, Summerhall
1st-26th August, 16:25, 50 mins
(Not showing 2nd, 3rd, 20th)
by Sian Davies
Comedy Queers is a late night Edinburgh showcase of LGBTQIA+ comedians from across the Fringe.
Laughing Horse at The Counting House Loft (170)
2nd-26th August, 00:45
Soho Theatre and Fishamble
Cork. 1998. Brenda and her best pal are part of the city’s furniture. Dancing on tables and 3am breakfast rolls. But what if you wake up hungover and broken on the wrong person’s doorstep, realise you’ve got it wrong, all wrong, and it might just be too late? From award-winning producers Soho Theatre comes a fast, infectious, dark comedy about the messiness of being youngish, female and queer in Ireland.
Assembly George Square Theatre (8)
1st-26th August, 14:30, (60 mins)
Not performing 14th August
By Sophie Duker / Lulu Popplewell
Two rising stars split an hour of scorching hot stand-up. Sophie Juker is a social justice warrior princess with a dark secret and attention seeking hair. Lulu Popplewell is a child actor, turned drug addict, turned comedian who wants to peddle her sweet shame to whoever is buying.
Bedlam Theatre (49)
1st – 2th August, 18:30 (60 mins)
Not performing 14th August
Eat Your Heart Out
by Alistair Curtis
Directed by Philippa Lawford
Eat Your Heart Out is a new play about eating disorders, devised by a team of eating disorder survivors and written by Alistair Curtis. The play explores out relationship with food and our bodies and how this is impacted by gender and sexuality. 75% of the cast and crew of this company identify as LGBT+
The Studio in Paradise Green
4th-26th August, 16:00 (and 16:10 from 20th-26th)
Not performing 12th / 19th August
F**k You Pay Me
By Joana Nastari
F**k You Pay Me is a love letter to strippers, a no-holds-barred, surreal collision of comedy, poetry and storytelling, a storm of pink bank notes and Brazilian Favela-Funk, a bona-fide battle cry and anarchic, unprecedented and hilarious insight in to the life of a stripper in London’s fast- changing cityscape.
2nd-26th August, 15:25 (60 mins)
Not performing 7th / 14th August
Everything in Hal’s life is looking up. He was just cast as the lead in a new play with a well-known director, a friendly co-star and a hot gay playwright. Only one problem – they all think he’s straight. Can he keep up the ruse? Chet Wlison’s newest play takes a hard look at the hairy underbelly of theatre, body acceptance and the politics of Gayface.
theSpace on North Bridge – Perth Theatre (36)
3rd – 26th August, 16:05 (50 mins)
Not performing 12th / 19th August.
Hamlet (An Experience)
Brite Theatre are once again reinventing Shakespearian performance with this new production of Hamlet directed by Kolbrun Bjort Sigfusdottir. Emily Carding plays Hamlet and you, the audience, are the players arriving at Elsinore. Hamlet needs your help to take on the roles of his friends and family to resolve the great questions of life. Carding identifies as gender-fluid.
Sweet Novotel – Novotel 3 (188)
2nd-26th August, 15:00 (60 mins)
Not performing on Wednesdays
How to Be Amazingly Happy
By Victoria Firth
How do you find a new ‘once upon a time’ after the ‘happy ever after’ never turned up? Victoria is on a quest to discover how you make a new life when you can’t have the one you imagined. In this big hearted, bug thinking show of storytelling and physical comedy our heroine’s mid-life search for joy, identity and belonging features public displays of playfulness, private truths and sheer bloody mindedness.
Pleasance Below, Pleasance Courtyard (33)
1st – 27th August, 11:35 (60 mins)
Not performing 13th / 14th August
Joanna Ward and Ryan Hay’s hunger is an original short opera inspired by Kafka’s A Hunger Artist. This radical and claustrophobic piece follows a woman artist raging against the reductive categories into which the art world forces her. This company has a predominantly LGBT+ cast / creative team.
Paradise in The Vault (29)
4th – 11th August, 12:10, (30 mins)
by Powell’s World
Neither male Neither female Neither gender Neither sexuality Neither class Neither race Neither emotion Neither fear Neither binary Neither identity Neither anything at all. Meet Neither: Your genderless, identity less friend. They’re here to tear up the world with their mission of redefining the binary and cause creative chaos at the same time. @PowellsWorld
The Last Arch Theatre, Fireside
3rd-16th August, 20:45
Tickets are FREE, Not performing on Sundays.
Legacy: A Mother’s Song
By Finn Anderson and Tania Azvedo
What makes a mother? For some it’s biological, but it’s also about instinct, responsibility, what you teach and pass on. Three women, at different times in history, but each on the verge of motherhood, find connection through traditional Scottish songs passed down their family tree. This play features LGBT+ characters.
Rainy Hall, Assembly Hall (35)
August: 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 11th, 15th, 17th, 19th, 21st, 23rd and 25th, 15:00 (60 mins)
Love Song to Lavender Menace
Written by James Ley
Directed by Ros Philips
Following the burgeoning romance between two members of staff who have been tasked with packing away the show on the final evening of its existence, the production is on the one hand, a gorgeous, shameless rom-com with a cracking soundtrack and on the other, a critique of key LGBT literature, from Rubyfruit Jungle to Giovanni’s room. @LoveSongPlay.
Tech Cube Zero, Summerhall
3rd – 26th August, 12:55pm
(BSL perf 15th Aug)
The 900 Club
In to the Works
(Ross McFarlane, Bibi June, Ellen Renton and Shannon O’Neill)
This spoken word theatre show takes the long view on grief and guilt, and questions how we deal with mental illness and out memories of the dead. In to the Works are a queer-led Scottish company. @InTheWorksITW.
The Scottish Poetry Library (203)
3rd-12th August, 21:00 (60 mins)
TW: Suicide / mental health issues
Following a tough 2016, Holly&Ted explore the effect of violent language in casual conversations, on a journey that takes them back 75 million years, into outer space and back to school. Watched over by the glittering eye of Polaris, the fixed star, this story will transport you in to worlds that are so different and not-so-different from our own and cast an objective, omniscient gaze over the universe and all that the star’s light has touched, including Dinosaurs, spacewomen and a few characters a little closer to home too… Holly&Ted are a queer and female-led company.
The Pleasance Below, Pleasance Courtyard (33)
1st-27th August, 12:55pm (55 mins)
Not performing 14th August
Really Want to Hurt Me
By Ben Santa Maria
With Flaming Theatre
A funny, painfully honest new play about growing up gay in the 80s. School bullies. heartache. Dancing to Eurthymics and The Smiths on your walkman to stay alive.
Baillie Room, Assembly Hall (35)
2nd – 27th August, 15:00 (60 mins)
Not performing 13th and 20th August
By Dan Wye
‘Do you believe in love… afterlife?’ (Ghost of Cher). Presenting the late, great Ghost Whisperer… Séayoncé! Join this mismatched mystic as she explores the spirit world (her drinks cabinet) and chats with those on the other side.
Just The Tonic at The Caves (88)
2nd-26th August, 20:40 (60 mins)
Not performing 13th August.
Some Kind of Theatre
Love, hysteria and deception reign in this Victorian reimagining of Shakespeare’s classic. Cesario is in love with Orsino, who’s in love with Olivia, who’s in love with Cesario, who’s really Viola in disguise. This show has been brought to the Fringe by @SKOTheatre – an LGBTQIA+ led company.
Paradise in the Vault, The Vault (29)
13th-26th August, 21:15 (60 mins)
Not perfomring 19th August
Broken Romantics: A Unicorn’s Quest For Love: The Unicorn JAMS
Greenside @ Infirmary Street (236)
3rd-25th August, 19:35 (60 mins)
Not performing 12th / 19th Aug.
Based on Emma’s real life stories of love in all its strange, wonderful and vicious guises, Dean brings this show to Edinburgh as her debut performance at the Fringe. “I have been writing and collecting songs about heartbreak for twenty years and this show is really a mixed tape featuring some of the songs that have nursed me through my most broken, romantic times” This show has an LGBT+ production team, and we thought the theme of unicorns may appeal to some of our followers!! (Who doesn’t love a unicorn?!)
Wacky Racists / FOC It Up Comedy Club
By Sophie Duker / Kemah Bob
Wacky Racists is a madcap interactive comedy cabaret. Hosted by “triple-threat minority” Sophie Duker, it boasts a rotating cast of top comedy talent that’s mainly in the not-a-straight-white-guy mould. Each show features slick stand up, stupidly high stakes games and tone deaf tunes from the joyfully problematic house band.
Profits from the Wacky Racists will be donated to the Khadija Saye Memorial Fund.
Bedlam Theatre, 11b Bristo Place (49)
August 17th and 24th, 23:00
Who Do You Think You Are? Barbara Brownskirt.
By Karen McLeod
Barbara Brownskirt, the prolific poet in residence at the 197 bus stop, Penge, semi-welcomes you to her thought-provoking and unsettling knee-length poetry and comedy show. Charting Barbara’s life as an unsuccessful poet in 21st Century Britain, Barbara takes the language of feminism and lesbian cliché and creates an anarchic pathos-filled experience.
Front Room, Assembly Rooms
14th – 25th August, 18:20 (1 hour)