Go Interactive! Live Games at the Fringe

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A Guest blog from Tommy Croft

We are delighted to welcome Jollyboat‘s Tommy Croft as a guest writer! As well as their musical comedy show Jollyboat: Nerdplay, Jollyboat are also running the Fringe’s first live on-stage roleplaying game, Roleplay Cabaret.

Tommy’s a passionate fan of what he calls “Live Games”, interactive shows that are literally played by the audience. From interactive theatre to game-shows and tours, here are all the shows that let YOU decide:

Roleplay Cabaret (yes, it’s my own show!)

What’s a live roleplaying game? Well, it’s a “Choose Your Own Adventure”, but even more fun because the choices are unlimited! This has been immensely fun in previews, so much so that it’s already been booked for a regular run in London in Autumn 2015, and will be podcasted too.


Do come along – it’s free entry, next to Waverley station, and what else are you doing at 13:45?!

John Robertson – The Dark Room: Symphony of a Floating Head

A new remix of “the world’s only live-action videogame”. I’ve seen the original many times over because it’s brilliant, it’s even influenced Roleplay Cabaret to an extent, and I’ll be going to see the new version ASAP. From the blurb: “Will you: A. Panic? B. Panic more? £1,000 grand prize”


Go 8-Bit Presents…Wifi Wars!

A fantastic show, that describes itself as an “interactive comedy videogame show”. Jollyboat has gigged with these guys at computer-game themed comedy nights, and they do a great show. From the blurb: Score Points! Win Prizes! ESSENTIAL: BRING A CHARGED SMARTPHONE/TABLET.


We This Way

From the blurb: “Choose your own path through an imagined world… or perhaps your neighbour will choose for you. Without leaving your seat, you – or most of you, anyway – can go wherever you want. If not, don’t worry. Life is full of second chances.”

I don’t know what that means, but it sounds brilliant. It’s also very much from the theatre world, so something of a crossover for me (as a comedian). Can’t wait!



From the blurb: “Take a fast turn through Edinburgh town to uncover clues, solve puzzles and evade Dr Spottletoe’s patrolling henchmen in this high-energy steampunk scavenger hunt. A fiendishly diverting real-world game for adventurers everywhere. Sold out in Adelaide 2015! We are street games veterans Fire Hazard, and we’ve played Citydash from San Francisco to Krakow by way of Adelaide and London. Bring a team, or join a scratch team on the day – whether you’re a runner, a cryptic clue expert or just along for a laugh, it’ll be an event to remember.”


Theatre Engine: Flashmob

From the blurb: “A mash-up of dance, music, mobile phones and you! FlashMob begins as a game of words and ends as a dance party for all participants – with audience members interacting with movement artists and controlling lights and sounds. At its heart, FlashMob is about the simple joy of play, enhanced by cutting-edge technology. It is our pleasure to present you with a place where your actions and choices are an integral part of the performance – a unique theatrical experience, unlike anything you have seen before. Stand up, jump in, and enjoy the show!”



From the blurb: “The Mac Twins return after last year’s sell-out run with the only DJ battle that gives the power-ups to the people! Identical superstar DJs, very different music tastes – enter a musical democracy where you choose the tunes. Be a part of Crowd Awesome and twerk, shimmy and shake your way through the genres to the top of party peak. Of course, there are princesses to rescue, bosses to defeat and bonus surprises to unlock”


(if Play is your thing, also check out Pop Bingo Disco)

Miss Behave’s Gameshow

From the blurb: “A renegade Gameshow for the austerity generation. Part game show, variety show, and disco… Important: Bring-briiiiing your phones! Expect big prizes, and surprise VIP guests in this unique strain of idiocy, fun and chaos from the award-winning Miss Behave.”


Imaginary Porno Charades

From the blurb: “Forty-five minutes of unstoppable panel show mayhem. You’ll be glad they can last that long! A variety of performers from across the Fringe form our two teams ready to charade their audiences good and hard. With porno puns, sexy signals, and outrageous observations to keep you up all night, this is a game show that’s strictly adult – and if we find any prizes, we’ll give you one…”


Haven’t a Clue!

More charades! Magician Stu Turner’s a bit of a fringe veteran, though this show is new to the Fringe, having had a successful run at Brighton earlier this year.

From the blurb: “Think you know charades? Think again! Comedy meets game show meets improv, as two teams of Fringe comics hilariously pit their skills and wit against each other” […] “Stu Turner hosts the proceedings, along with audience participation, prizes, and a different line-up of comics each day.”


Gamer Gamer

A show in a similar vein to Go 8-Bit. From the blurb: “Award-winning comedians play classic, rare and brand new videogames in the battle to become Edinburgh’s Games Master. Face-offs, rants and the minimum necessary actual physical violence – with different guests every show.”


Get Your Own Back: Live!

Perhaps inspired by last year’s Knightmare Live (whose creator will be back at the Fringe in 2016 with the Roleplay Cabaret-like “MMORPG Show”), this is a live version of the Kids’ TV show.

From the blurb: “Dave Benson Phillips hosts this live version of the fast paced, slapstick game show where contestants compete in a series of fun games and challenges for the chance to gunge their opponents.”


If this is your kinda thing, you might want to research Knightmare Live and also the forthcoming live version of The Crystal Maze – reviving kids’ shows seems to be a subtrend of Live Games.

Wheely Wheely Wheely Wheely Wheely

Time & room change alert! This spin-the-wheel gameshow fell victim to the #Cowgateheadgate crisis, and is now at Cowgatehead UpOne L, at 8:00pm.

This is somewhat funny, because their fringe programme entry says “This event will go ahead no matter what happens. Power outage? The wheel will spin. Sudden outbreak of witch trials? The wheel will spin. The wheel breaking? We’ll come up with something.”

Let’s hope there’s not too many more tragedies!

https://edinburghfestival.list.co.uk/event/482711-wheely-wheely-wheely-wheely-wheely/ (Changed to Cowgatehead UpOne L, 8:00pm)

Hell to Play

I suspect this isn’t actually an interactive show, but I’m including it because it sounds great, it’s a gameshow, and I like Paul Savage who’s half of the team putting it on.

It’s described as a “Game show set in Hell, hosted by the Devil. In exquisite bad taste, top guests every day.”


Choose Your Own Adventure

Of course the most interactive show of all is the Fringe itself!

You find yourself in a twisting alley – to the left a comedian beckons you into a seedy tavern, to the right someone in a top hat waves a flyer for a circus. Where will you go? YOU decide!

Tommy is on Twitter as @ComedyTomedy.