A search of the Edfringe 2023 programme under the genre of “theatre” yields up 867 results (as we go to digital print). That’s heartening given the fact that many theatre shows have fled into the comedy section in the hope of bigger audiences. So here are some of our early picks for theatre this year. We’ll be featuring other genres in the run up to the Fringe. Here are ten early must book choices.
First up is Concerned Others at Summerhall. “Multi-award winners Tortoise in a Nutshell present Concerned Others, an intimate tabletop performance that shares the stories of critically underheard voices”. This unique piece os part of the Made in Scotland showcase. An exploration of drug addiction, here we have: “Accounts that paint us as a nation struggling to recognise a deadly culture of shame, ignorance and misunderstanding surrounding addiction and drug-related death. Immersive soundscapes, shoebox installations, turntables, micro-projection and 32mm figures combine to create a multi-textured piece exploring a defining crisis”
Our second choice is a musical black comedy award winner at the Vault Festival. Death Suits You “shows the lighter side of the inevitable. Death Suits You features an original book, lyrics and score by Sam Hooper and Robert Tripolino. Directed by Gabrielle Scawthorn.”
JM Coetzee’s Life & Times of Michael K is a must see at Assembly Hall. Theatre is blended with puppetry in a “hauntingly beautiful story” that “follows Michael K, a simple man who embarks on a journey through South Africa, ravaged by civil war, to return his mother to die on the farm where she was born. He finds strength in his own humanity, his profound connection to the earth and his unique path, which, as it unfolds, reveals to him his reason for living.”. The Baxter brings this production, adapted for the stage by Lara Foot, in collaboration with the Handspring Puppet Company.
We have given awards to Ad Infinitum and their Beautiful Evil Things at Pleasance Dome is a highly likely fringe hot ticket in the theatre genre. “Multi award-winning Ad Infinitum (Odyssey, Translunar Paradise, Ballad of the Burning Star) returns with a breathtaking retelling of the Trojan War. Enter Medusa. Monstrous gorgon? Snakes for hair? A turn-to-stone glare? Perhaps. She was there – head strapped to the shield of a goddess. Her forever-open eyes saw it all, but Medusa’s petrifying gaze focused on three extraordinary women, the key to her ultimate hope. Beautiful Evil Things is a new, high-energy, one-woman tour de force combining physical storytelling with cut-throat wit.”
Our final early choice for Edfringe 2023 is Afghanistan Is Not Funny by Henry Naylor with the author turning performer in this solo piece. ” In 2002, whilst researching a comedy, triple Fringe First winner Naylor and twice Scottish Press Photographer of the Year Sam Maynard went to the Afghan warzone. An extraordinary tale ensued: they were threatened by a war criminal, captured by Mujhadeen and nearly blown up by Taliban. Performed by Naylor himself in front of Maynard’s extraordinary photos.”. There are just eight performers from this triple FringeFirst winner.
So, there you have it. Our first five hot tickets for theatre at Edinburgh Fringe 2023.