This Year's Must-see Shows At The Edinburgh Fringe

Deciding what to see and do at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe can be a little daunting. Afterall, this year’s festival - which takes place the 5th-29th August - will include 49,827 performances of 3,171 shows, with acts from 58 countries!

With that much choice, as a local or a visitor, you’re bound to be asking yourself: “what are the best shows at the Fringe this year?” and “which Fringe shows should I go and see?” Don’t worry, we’re here to take care of your itinerary by outlining our picks of the best shows at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe in a series of blog posts. Welcome to the first – read on to discover the comedic shows, the thrillers, the stand-up and the incredible music that we think is unmissable.

But First... A Pre-show Drink!

We said we’d take care of your itinerary – which of course includes refreshments! (our speciality). In between shows, make sure to check out Festival Village: Waverley, a rooftop bar directly above Edinburgh’s main station that embodies the festival atmosphere with street food, live music and delicious drinks. It is also where you can find Smugglers Spirits’ range of sustainable flavoured gins. Made in Edinburgh - their naturally vibrant flavours and colours make these the ultimate festival drinks.

Click here to check out our new Scottish Vodka, the perfect way to kick off your Edinburgh Fringe experience. Right now you can get 10% off with the code PERMACULTURE 

Shows To Look Out For At The Edinburgh Fringe

Now that you’ve got your drinks sorted, here’s our first list of some of the best shows at the long-awaited Edinburgh Fringe 2022...

The Made In Scotland Showcase

This showcase supports local artists and presents some of Scotland’s brightest talent – and trust us – there’s a lot of it around!

The Made in Scotland Showcase at the 75th anniversary edition of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe will see a feast of Scottish work presented to audiences from around the world and showcasing the tantalising wave of Scottish creative talent. The work, in a broad range of forms, engages with topics old and new as the world bounces back to its feet after the forward roll of the last two years. The work from artists all over Scotland will take place across the capital in much-loved venues, exciting new spaces and online

Where: Various venues

When: Various dates from 5th-29th August

Click here to discover the 28 shows featuring in this years Made In Scotland Showcase.

Triple Bypass: Three 10-Minute Plays About Living For Death & Dying For Life

See three plays in one hour with Triple Bypass: Three 10-Minute Plays About Living For Death & Dying For Life. The award-winning trilogy, featuring an all-Scottish (most Edinburgh-based) cast and crew, runs as follows:

Seeking Dignity: Everyone hopes for an easy, peaceful death – but does everyone deserve it?

Close To Black: Two singers meet outside a nightclub and discover that, although almost thirty years divides them, not much has changed in the way the world treats female pop stars.

Tango-ed Web: Down in the Australian jungle, a hapless suitor attempts to impress a glamorous widow with his seductive moves, but will his Rumble Rumps lead to a torrid tango or a dance of death?

Where: The Royal Mile, Old Town

When: 5th-27th August (Not 14th, 21st) at 16:00

Click here for tickets.

Hiya Dolly!

Local tales and local tunes are always great to see and hear at the Edinburgh Fringe, and this is the story of a local icon who just happened to be a sheep.

The true story of how a cute, attention-seeking lamb became the most famous sheep in history, the world's first cloned mammal. Lab-created and born at the Roslin Institute outside Edinburgh, Dolly lived the good life. A worldwide celebrity who never left her farm. Mother to six lovely lambs. She changed biology forever –and irrevocably changed the lives of all her human parents. But who were they? How did they do it? Where are they now? Come find out how to clone a sheep in this new play by Vince LiCata, laced with Dollified Scottish tunes and plenty of woolly humour.

Where: theSpace @ Surgeons Hall – Grand Theatre

When: 5th-27th August (Not 14th) at 20:00

Click here for tickets.

Larkhall - Say You’re With Me

Larkhall fuses art and science at Edinburgh Fringe - through his indie classical piano and cinematic performance. Music, visual art and technology collide in Larkhall’s moving new show, to premier at Edinburgh Fringe this year. A composer, pianist and creative coder, he has written software to turn the nuances of each classical piano performance into reactive visual projections. His harmonious music and exciting visuals have earned accolades from across Europe and the USA. Centred around his experience overcoming depression after the birth of his second son, his new album and show for 2022 Say You’re With Me is coming to Summerhall at this year’s Fringe.

Algorithms play a role in our daily lives, shaping everything from weather forecasts, to driving directions, to social media feeds. But can they be… art?

These compositions shed new light on how STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) can be applied outside their traditional context and give the education system something important to think about! This comes at the very time when the education system is reconsidering a requirement for young people to choose between Arts and Science as early as 15. Perhaps they should now be able to combine the two?

Where: Summerhall, Red lecture theatre

When: 16th-28th August at 19:30

Click here for tickets.

Tiger Lady

 Tiger Lady is the tale of love, danger, excitement, and extremely sharp claws. As one of the first ever female tiger tamers, Mabel Stark, was once the queen of the circus ring but is now forgotten; Tiger Lady acts as a powerful vessel to amplify under-represented voices.  From award-winning theatre company Dead Rabbits (The Dragon, My Love Lies Frozen in the Ice) comes a show combining fast-paced, innovative physical theatre with a moving love tale.

Where: Pleasance Courtyard - Above

When: 3rd-29th August (Not 17th, 22nd) at 13:05

Click here for tickets.

Oedipus Electronica

An electrifying reimagining of the ultimate love triangle – mother, father, son –Oedipus Electronica is the eagerly awaited new show from Pecho Mama for 2022. This radical reinvention of Oedipus is a powerhouse production for our time; an intoxicating whirlwind of ecstasy and devastation.  It is an unapologetic and unflinching journey into the carnal heart of a woman pushed to the edge. Accompanied by an iconic live band onstage they drive the action, with a soundtrack that hurtles through jazz, techno, and home to Pecho Mama’s trademark throbbing Electronica.

Where: Pleasance Courtyard (Forth)

When: 3rd-26th August at 15:30.

Click here for tickets.

Tropicana

This one person festival of humour is full of sass.

Join queer cabaret icon and performance tour-de-force Aidan Sadler as they take you on the award-winning journey to Tropicana! Nothing is safe from ridicule so be led on an exploration of body image, heteronormativity and sometimes wearing a dress round the house on a muggy day. At Tropicana audiences will experience belting 80's synth-pop nostalgia punctuated with world class stand-up comedy.

Where: Assembly George Square, The Blue Room

When: 3rd-28th August at 22:20

Click here for tickets.

Out to Lunch

Marcus Tuckwell has just come back from the Annual Food Writer's Awards. Coren didn't say hello. Rayner told him to piss off. Wallace thought he was staff. The final humiliation came when his face showed up in black and white on the In Memoriam. In an attempt to save his career he strives to write the foulest review conceivable. As August brings a month of reviews to Edinburgh, Out to Lunch is a darkly comic play about critics, art and Giles Coren.

Where: Underbelly, Bristo Square - Friesian
When: 3rd-29th August (Not 15th) at 12:50
Click here for tickets.

The Greatest Hits of Lily and John

After a sell out preview at The Other Palace, London, Tritone Theatre premiers their debut show The Greatest Hits of Lily and John. A weird and wonderful mixtape of mental health struggles, talking animals, and singing through your darkest thoughts.

Calling the overthinkers and underachievers, the catastrophisers and the never time buyers - the broken hearted, the bored, the ones who’ve seen it all before…

Lily hasn’t heard from John in weeks. His depression has spiralled and he’s recording a final goodbye. When Lily bursts in uninvited, he lies and says he’s writing a play. A play with live music. About… a dressage horse. Committing to the absurd, they enact the horse play, colouring the stage with their fears, phobias, and failures.

A bitterly honest, tenderly ridiculous account of modern life and love.

Where: Pleasance Courtyard - Upstairs

When: 3rd- 28th August at 16:30

Click here for tickets.

Nightlands

A man and a woman on are on opposite sides of emerging world views in this historical yet topical drama.

Nightlands is a dislocated environmental thriller which takes place in the extraordinary ex-Soviet ghost town of Pyramiden on the Svalbard Archipelago during a ferocious Arctic winter. Set in 1999 in the twilight of a decade of capitalist chaos in Russia and the dawn of the Putin autocracy, the ghost town's caretakers, an old man and a young woman, play out a generational conflict. Slava and Sasha are antagonistic representatives of opposing world views, he nostalgic for the collapsed communist past, she embracing the possibilities of the new world order.

Where: Summerhall – Old lab

When: 3rd-14th August at 20:45

Click here for tickets.

Luke Wright’s Late Night Dance Floor Fillers

Taking on the revues and comedians in a battle to raise the game for late night entertainment at the Fringe here’s an (almost) all new selection of deliciously funny poems from the multi award winning (Fringe First, Stage Award for Acting Excellence, no less than three Saboteur Awards and more) baby faced Fringe veteran, set against a backdrop of pandemic politics, ageing parents, and an endless, droning, culture war. Wright throws a squat party in his ‘poor old heart’ (bring a bottle!).  He even finds a home for a couple of crowd-pleasing favourites, including an update on the riotous Essex Lion.  

Where: Pleasance Jack Dome 

When: 3rd-29th August (Not 15th, 16th, 17th) at 23:00

Click here for tickets.

Dan Kelly: How I Came Third in the North Korean Marathon 

A bizarre and very funny story of how experienced runner Dan Kelly entered the North Korean Marathon - and came third! This hour of intelligent comedic storytelling takes the audience through the complex application and vetting process Dan had to go through, to his arrival (with his team of 4) in the most secretive country on earth and being forced to comply with strict restrictions, armed security and unforeseen snack shortages (can you get malt loaf in North Korea?). 

Where: Just the Tonic @ The Caves

When: 4th-28th Aug (Not 15th) at 16.10 

Click here for tickets.

Surfing the Holyland

Erin Hunter, originally from Los Angeles, was inspired to write her musical tale Surfing the Holyland after her own experiences of living in Tel Aviv, Israel, where she too became a surfer and converted to Judaism for love.  But this isn’t Erin’s story. This is a show about a naïve American, Heather, who moves across the world for her husband’s job to the exotic and frenetic Holyland. There husband Zach finds ‘The Wailing Wall’ and becomes Orthodox whilst Heather tests her limits surfing a wall of water. Erin performs 12 colourful characters at breakneck speed and includes four comedy ukulele numbers and one woman searching for her inner ‘chutzpah’ (extreme self-confidence) on a surfboard. Surfing the Holyland is a classic ‘fish-out-of-water’ story which is underpinned by universal themes. It explores the immigrant experience, female empowerment and relationships through comedy, theatre and music told uniquely through a series of surf lessons. Ultimately it’s a story of hope.

Where: Underbelly Bristo Square

When: 3rd-29th August at 14:55

Click here for tickets.

Sound Cistem

This verbatim show examines the cisgender gaze on the transgender body through the identifiable stories of real people.

Featuring recorded interviews from trans and non-binary people, a self-love manifesto is made through riotous, glittering disco. This duo keep moving to reject conformity and shame, despite the current transgender debate. See the beauty in these bodies, and your own. 

Where: Pleasance Dome, 10Dome

When: 23rd-29th August at 13:35

Click here for tickets.

Movin’ Melvin Brown:  A Man, A Magic, A Music!

No one sings and dances like Movin’ Melvin Brown – one of the Black entertainers who helped defeat segregation in the US. Living legend Movin’ Melvin Brown is bringing a Broadway version of his acclaimed show devoted to Black music from the 50s-present day to the Edinburgh Fringe. It’s a rare opportunity to be entertained by a man who was at the heart of a musical, social and cultural transformation. A widely respected veteran performer, Movin’ Melvin is still hoofing it at the age of 76. As a young man he was one of the astonishing generations of Black entertainers who helped defeat segregation through music, dance and song.

Movin’ Melvin Brown: A Man, A Magic, A Music! is a journey through Black Music history in song, tap-dance, comedy and storytelling. As he narrates the story of his life, baring all and pulling no punches, the opening anecdote tells of his first encounter with the “n” word. Through the show he presents music from Ray Charles, Jackie Wilson, Sam Cooke, James Brown and many more, including Prince and Michael Jackson. He also performs characters such as the black preacher, the music box dancer and the male dancer.  The show is packed with iconic tunes, great dance moves and amazing true stories from his life.

Where: Pleasance at EICC – Lomond Theatre

When: 5th-27th August (Not 10th, 16th, 22nd) at 18:45

Click here for tickets.

 

Stand-up Comedy

 

As well as theatre and music, the Edinburgh Fringe is the ideal place to catch world-class stand-up. Here are a few you won’t want to miss.

Helen Bauer: Madam Good Tit

2019’s Best Newcomer nominee returns to the Pleasance Courtyard for the month of August with an hour about self-confidence, self-esteem and self-care. After the sell-out success of her debut hour, ‘Little Miss Baby Angel Face’, at the Fringe and a prestigious Soho Theatre run that followed, the past year has seen Helen’s star truly risen with laugh out loud appearances on Live at The Apollo (BBC 2) and The Stand-Up Sketch Show (ITV2). 

Taking care of yourself has never been more ‘in’. Like all her friends, Helen is trying to ‘be the change she wants to see’. In this cynical take on the trend of self-care, Helen explores her own self-esteem and experiences with secret eating, reality tv shows and of course her mother being thinner than her.

Where: Pleasance Courtyard – Bunker Two

When: 3rd-28th August (Not 17th) at 17:40

Click here for tickets.

John Hastings: Do You Have Any Ointment My John Hastings?

Critically acclaimed Canadian comedian John Hastings is back this year to the Monkey Barrell. Within the last two years John got a standing ovation on America’s Got Talent (with no audience!) and got heckled by Dennis Rodman…

Do You Have Any Ointment deals with the shit he has had thrown at him since his last show in 2019…. Currently residing in Los Angeles, he has had a rough couple of years after continually being punched in the balls by life!  This show deals with his divorce during Covid, his best friend dying, his near arm amputation and pooing in his own pants. 

Where: Monkey Barrell – Carnivore 3

When: 2nd-28th August at 20:15

Click here for tickets.

Sam Morrison: Sugar Daddy

US comedian Sam Morrison makes a welcome return to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year with his brand-new second hour Sugar Daddy. The show will be at the Gilded Balloon Balcony for the month of August, and is a celebration of his partner, who sadly lost his life due to Covid. Sam makes his own tragedy funny, despite his pain, giving hope to those in the same situation that light can be made from darkness…

Where: Gilded Balloon Teviot - Balcony

When: 3rd-28th August (Not 15th) at 18:20

Click here for tickets.

Tiff Stevenson: Sexy Brain

Tiff Stevenson is a critically acclaimed stand-up comedian, actor and writer, whose thought-provoking comedy and satire has played to audiences worldwide from London, Sydney, Montreal, New York, Shanghai to Los Angeles. Three of Tiff’s Edinburgh Fringe shows have been Top 20 best reviewed as recognised by British Comedy Guide. The Arts Desk also named her 2017 show ‘Bombshell’ as one of the cultural highlights of the year alongside Hannah Gadsby’s ‘Nanette’.

Sexy Brain is a study in trying to see all sides of every argument and driving yourself slowly mad in the process. From arguing about feminism with her mother (BRAIN) to trying to understand generational thinking (SEXY). From trying to be eco-friendly with a moon cup (SEXY) to realising that dolphins are the real predators (BRAIN). From dismissing American sobriety (SEXY?) to understanding what alcohol is like without the safety net of a healthcare system (BRAIN). From the superiority feminism of pointing fingers (BRAIN) to what is genuine progress for women (SEXY).

Where: Pleasance Courtyard - Above

When: 3rd-29th August at 20:00

Click here for tickets.

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