Death on the Fringe

Death on the Fringe Showcase

Death on the Fringe is back at the Edinburgh Fringe 2017. Billed as “A series of thought-provoking shows at the Edinburgh Fringe”, this is a showcase of events and shows that explore different aspects of death and dying. And don’t expect it all to be dark and morbid. Death on the Fringe hosts shows from across the genres.

They kick off with a Death on the Fringe showcase…

Death on the Fringe Showcase...

Join us for a night of death-themed performances to kick off the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Featuring music, theatre, comedy, dance and storytelling, the evening will showcase excerpts from a range of Fringe shows that explore themes of death, dying and bereavement.

Co-hosted by the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care and Edinburgh University’s Primary Palliative Care Research Group, the event will be an opportunity to see extracts from some of the diverse shows taking place in Edinburgh this August.

The Showcase is the first in a series of Death on the Fringe events taking place in Edinburgh this August as part of our Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief work to promote more open and supportive attitudes and behaviours relating to death, dying and bereavement in Scotland.

People’s experiences of death and grief are personal and wide-ranging…

Death on the Fringe embraces artistic endeavours which promote exploration and discussion of these subjects, neither endorsing nor censoring the views put forward within performances.

You can RSVP by booking (free) tickets via the following link:

We’ll be covering Death on the Fringe in August, so check back here for more over the coming weeks.

Our 2016 Archive, written by Kate Saffin

No, not performers exhausted by flyering, but a series of shows and events looking at death and dying which takes place during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe each year – a festival within a festival. Some events are serious, some are comical – but they all make you think about what it means to live well and die well.

It is part of the ongoing charity-led campaign, Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief, which works to promote more openness about death, dying and bereavement. The campaign’s aim is to make people aware of ways to live with death, dying and bereavement and help them feel better equipped to support each other through those difficult times.

‘World mortality rate holds steady at 100%’ was the headline for the launch of the third year for this themed collection. Attended by a broad mix of those involved in palliative care in Scotland as well as Fringe performers and press we heard from Healthcare managers, performers and academics. A good blend of town and festival.

It’s a subject so many shy away from but, as one of the shows featured points out on the their flyer ‘talking about sex doesn’t make you pregnant and talking about dying won’t make you die’.

Dr Phil Hammond introduced the show element of the evening (between two shows daily on the subject of death – who said it couldn’t be a fringe subject?) and concentrated on the meaning of life and how to make the most of the time we have here. With a healthy dose of humour needless to say.

There are a total of twelve shows and events spanning theatre, spoken word, comedy music and talks from specialists including one specifically looking at the questions children have about death.

Details of all the shows can be found at

This page includes links to reviews and interviews with some of those taking part as well as some other shows we’ve found that have something to say about the subject.

Helping children to start to grasp the concept of death is a challenge – Dr Sally Paul will be addresing this in What Happens to Dead People’s Bodies on August 24th – but another important route is storytelling. Kate Saffin talked to Jane Deane and Eden Ballantyne of Avva Laff Productions about their show based on some of the untold Brothers Grimm tales. Tales written at a time when the idea of protecting children didn’t include avoiding talking about death. It was all around them…

Grimm tales: Kate Saffin talks to Jane Deane and Eden Ballantyne about telling tales of death to children

Death and grief are popular topics for comedy. Here are some comedy shows we’ve talked to: 

Farewell Tim: Kate Saffin hears from a sketch show that has grief at the heart of it

And a spoken word piece

A Live Show About Death: Kate Saffin talks to Liz Rosthchild about talking about death