‘What the Heart Wants’ (Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose, until AUG 28)

“The onstage chemistry pops and fizzes like kosher champagne from a crystal slipper. It’s the great bromance that never was and possibly could never have been.”

Editorial Rating: 4 Stars (Outstanding)

One is the classic, the ultimate, crooner of the American songbook. The other is among the most revered and reviled moviemakers in the history of cinema. They are, perhaps, the two greatest icons of New York culture of the last century. Frank Sinatra and Woody Allen, born two decades apart with personas and personalities light years away from one another. Yet they were both married to the same woman. It’s like finding out that Tony Soprano and Frasier Crane have the same mother (Nancy Marchand). What might two such divergent talents have created, had they ever collaborated on a project?

We enter to discover we’re the New York skyline, looking through the window into Allen’s Upper-Lower-East-Westside Manhattan apartment – we’re the Park everyone’s so keen to be looking over. Simon Schatzberger, as Allen, is a confident nebbish, confiding initial concepts for a movie into a dictaphone. The ideas all revolve around a guy who stops loving a girl, falls in love with someone else, only to have the first girl wreak a vengeance so terrible that you might be tempted to observe that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Then comes a loud knocking at the door.

I’m sitting right up at the back. The nesting bats of Patterhoose’s Big Yin have taken me and the techie for one of their own. I hope their coughing doesn’t mean anything too serious. Over my left shoulder is a presence. I glance up and all at once I am Allan Felix in company with the shade of a macho mega-star. Richard Shelton as Sinatra is Sinatra. The same swagger, sophistication, and sorrows. Sinatra’s come to talk to Allen about the woman they once both loved and the allegations she’s making. To emphasise his concerns Sinatra’s bought along a bat, the baseball type.

What follows is a superbly entertaining what-might-have-been. The ups. The downs. The chasing around the apartment. The insecurities. The egos. Writer Bert Tyler-Moore’s pedigree for lampooning luminaries includes ‘Star Stories’ & ‘The Windsors’. Full disclosure I’m a massive fan of both. “Who’s your favourite Beatle?” “Billy! What about shit in bog?!” “‘Aren’t they simply strong, independent women?’ ‘Yeah, witches.’” There are soon-to-be classic zingers aplenty on stage today, but there’s something there that’s missing. Now, I’m not just woke, I got up early, and I reckon what’s missing from this story about… and possibly… is the female perspective. How you get that in a two-hander featuring the two most toxic examples of masculinity is a mystery I don’t care to solve. Me, the bats, and the techie are too busy laughing our asses off.

Both Schatzberger and Shelton have separate EdFringe solo shows showcasing their tributes to Allen and Sinatra. This is a superb collaboration that’s rightly winning plaudits but is yet to draw the punters which is almost certainly about to change. The onstage chemistry pops and fizzes like kosher champagne from a crystal slipper. It’s the great bromance that never was and possibly could never have been. Come for the icons, stay for the magic, leave like you’ve just heard auld blue eyes singing live. Get Your Coats On and go see this now!


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‘Hamlet with Ian McKellen & The Hamlet Afterparty’ (Saint Stephens Stockbridge, until AUG 28)

“It may well be that the producers have simply gone back and got themselves the actual Hamlet. Christensen’s likeness to the troubled young prince in most minds’ eyes is so exact.”

Editorial Rating: 5 Stars (Outstanding)

Walking out of Sir Ian McKellen’s ‘Hamlet’ at the end of one of the most brilliant, startling, life-changing 75mins happening this EdFringe, you’d be forgiven for wondering what’s going wrong when so much has just gone spectacularly right. Why has the press reception been so negative? “Not since Joey redecorated his apartment in TV’s ‘Friends’ has an actor made such poor choices … eccentric staging … entirely lacking in wit … an aesthetic straight out of the 1950s.” “Crass” the hacks call this production, before ever so humbly asking you to donate towards keeping their unsustainable behemoth belchers of bourgeois banalities afloat.

Shakespeare was first and foremost… now I don’t want to shock you so take a breath, have a seat… Shakespeare was FIRST AND FOREMOST a businessman. A highly successful producer and creator, the profits from whose art enabled him to retire into the second largest house in his hometown. I can’t think of a production of which the Swan of Avon would have approved of more, not simply for its beauty, its talent, its invention – but because it’s making serious dosh towards that most ultra-Shakespearian concept, building a playhouse.

This compact retelling of that most celebrated chronicle of personal grief and royal revenge is a resurrection of a concept staged 12 years ago. Then a recording of John Gielgud’s ‘The Ages of Man’ was used alongside the classical ballet mime. Now we have another great luminary of stage and screen, a bemedaled veteran of EdFringe, live on stage, persona in persona. McKellen shares the role of Hamlet with Johan Christensen – or at least that’s what the program says. McKellen knows David Tennant and probably has access to Dr Who’s Tardis. It may well be that the producers have simply gone back and got themselves the actual Hamlet. Christensen’s likeness to the troubled young prince in most minds’ eyes is so exact.

You’ve not got a ‘Hamlet’ if you’ve not got chemistry between Gertrude and Claudius. Caroline Rees and Chauncey Parsons have got chemistry by the lab full. There are more sparks between them than if several swarms of bees with angle grinders for bums were to settle on the Eiffel Tower. Together they set the powerplay undercurrent that underpins all else. Their relationship is the counterbalance to that of McKellen, the aulder Hamlet who never was or could be, and Christensen’s youth who age shall not weary, nor the years condemn.

The (other) undisputed star of the show is Katie Rose as Ophelia. We don’t live in an age where it would be appropriate to write that she is more beautiful than the yellow glow of a taxi light coming down an empty street long after hours, so I won’t. Or that she’s more graceful than a… I actually can’t think of anything more graceful than Katie Rose right now, so I’ll have to come back to this line. It’s an extraordinary accomplishment by this early alumnus of Edinburgh Festival Ballet that when you’ve got two Hamlets for the price of one, you’ve got a performer who can tip the scales of the storytelling so decisively in Ophelia’s favour.

McKellen is McKellen, but McKellen is being McKellen in a totally new way. Here is an artist on top form. His choices are brave and bold. He open-handedly shares the stage in a way that would earn him a year’s worth of ‘I Made Good Choices’ stickers from Daughter 2.0’s nursery school. He truly is a national treasure. He should avoid visiting Edinburgh Castle in case they try to lock him up with the Stone of Destiny.

For the afterparty, we exit the Playfairian splendour of the Ashton Hall and enter the more intimate space that has been created directly below. We find a grand piano, set with silver candlesticks, behind which a group of mannequins are showcasing the costumier’s art. This is all framed by long red curtains and what might have been a rather cold, utilitarian area is instead a perfect setting for the jolly Shakespearian cabaret that is to follow. Come for the Q&A with one of planet Earth’s most celebrated thespians, stay for the ivory-tinkling mastery of Edinburgh’s own Richard Lewis accompanied by two of the company as backing vocals.

The songs chosen all have roots in the Shakespearian canon. There’s Elton John’s ‘The King Must Die’ (I bet Elton wishes he could play piano as well as Richard Lewis); a song from ‘Return to the Forbidden Planet (based, as one extremely handsome and be-bearded audience member in blue sunglasses, correctly answers on ‘The Tempest’; as well as a host of hits from a myriad of popular songbooks. Lewis is a charming, witty, and lively host. His adapted version of Pulp’s ‘Common People’ is a party piece that needs to be seen across the Shakespearian landscape this EdFringe.

These are the early days of Peter Schaufuss’ vision for Saint Stephens and the air crackles with the potential about to be unleashed. There are three Edinburgh tickets I’d like in my collection. First, to the opening night of John Home’s 1756 production of his own Douglas – a Kirk minister writing for the stage how scandalous! Second, a ticket to “Everyman” performed at Dunfermline Abbey during the inaugural EdFringe because there weren’t enough venues in Scotland’s capital. Third, a ticket to the first production in Peter Schaufuss’ superb new venue at Saint Stephens, the morning star heralding a new dawn rising above this, the eternal capital of Fringe Theatre.


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‘Covid for Kids’ (Pleasance Courtyard, until AUG 16)

“Tom became one of the faces on the news during the pandemic, an expert at communicating the complexities of the subject to a lay audience.”

Editorial Rating: 5 Stars (Outstanding)

It’s impossible to fully imagine, so we’re going to have to watch really carefully, the long-term impact the COVID19 pandemic is having on our young people. The disrupted schooling, the stretched social fabric, the pressures on families, the friendships put on hold, the fear, the anxiety. So it really matters that there’s a show which tries to help kids (and adults) make sense of the science behind such a scary time in all our lives.

We enter to find some comfortingly large cutouts – a mouth wide open, a vaccine and needle, as well as *boo hiss* a colourful picture of Corry the Coronavirus herself. We will learn that it would take a thousand coronaviruses to span the width of a human hair, so Corry’s cutout is quite a bit larger than its subject. Enter Professor Tom Solomon CBE, Chair of Neurology and Director of the National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Research Unit in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections at the University of Liverpool.

Tom became one of the faces on the news during the pandemic, an expert at communicating the complexities of the subject to a lay audience. The section of the show dealing with the Reproduction ‘R’ number, with which we all became so familiar, is unsettlingly simple and hugely effective at demonstrating why that piece of information mattered so much in the darkest days of lockdown.

[Next slide please.]

What follows is a lecture, perhaps the first lecture many in the audience have ever attended. So Tom’s simple and effective language, the careful but lively pacing of his performance, the steady-as-she-goes-way the themes of his material emerge – these all produce a genuinely entertaining educational, and enlightening EdFringe event. John Reith, founder of the BBC, would no doubt approve high and mightily of this smart and sassy show coming to the land of his birth. Daughter 1.0 wrote this in her EdFringe journal, the one with Elsa on horseback on the cover:

“I went to covid for kids with my grandad because my grandad is a scientist and my Baba (Dan) When we walked in we saw a mouth board. Some medisen and a jab. I was the news presenter and I wore some funny glasses and a tie. I read out the headlines When I saw the glases simbol. We learnt that In the begining bats in china had covid but it didn’t harm them one day a human came into the cave and got the covid then he or she went to a market place and spred it all over china! In the UK we were woried We woald get it. But covid spread all over the wold. We played some games like pass the covid and we put on a show in a show. I will not tell you what I was because it is a bit Gross. It was also quite funny. We learned that in the jab there is a litle bit of the virus. My favourite bit was when I was the news presenter. I loved it!”

You’ll be amazed to learn that her Grandad and Baba both agree that Daughter 1.0’s turn reading the news was most definitely the best bit of the show. Grandad – Professor of Evolutionary Genetics, University of Edinburgh – has spent 30 years researching HIV, the forgotten pandemic that didn’t get a mention in today’s performance. There was nothing else to ruffle his feathers, which is the strongest possible endorsement any science-based Fringe show can hope for. If, like me, you’re not a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and have to rely on your wife’s credentials to spend the night at William Harvey House when down in that there London, then ‘Corona For Kids’ is an essential slice of EdFringe from the smorgasbord of silly and serious that is Edinburgh in August.


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‘Twinkle’ (theSpace @ Surgeons Hall, until AUG 13)

“…captures the script’s heights of tragicomic absurdity creating a reflection on the human condition that is most powerful.”

Editorial Rating: 4 Stars (Nae Bad)

Revenge is a dish best served cold and ageing panto dame Harold Thropp has much to be angry about. His art form is going out of fashion. His co-stars are entitled Z-list gobshites. His dressing room is not the best. The venue he’s at for the season is as neglected and uninspired as the town it’s in. Harold has been bereaved. He’s bereft of all things, as well as that one person, who made life worth living. But he’s got himself a plan.

Our script is by Phillip Meeks, the writer of numerous pantomimes. It’s a no holds barred treatment of the genre, its eccentricities, personality types, and tropes. It’s laugh-out-loud funny, but has this chap on the edge of tears in the final bittersweet moments. As Harrold, Robert Walsh, spends the hour’s traffic of the stage, getting into character. It’s quite a palaver and to-do. There’s the makeup, rather a lot of makeup. There’s the wig, the bloomers, the shoes, and the dress of course. As Harrold prepares we are treated to his life story, reflections on seasons past, lessons learned, obstacles encountered, hearts broken.

There’s no getting away from the hot weather this EdFringe. It’s oppressive. It seems to have taken the sparkle out of the performance making it a wee bit flatter than fizzy but Robert soldiers on. He captures the script’s heights of tragicomic absurdity creating a reflection on the human condition that is most powerful. The unostentatious set speaks to the faded grandeur of the imagined playhouse while maximizing the garish impact of a fully armoured British Panto Dame sailing out in all her glory. I liked the lack of a hatstand most of all.

This is a solid, sensitive, and striking production that hits all the high notes, though not yet as loudly as it might. Go for the script, stay for a performance that (like any great panto dame) can only get better with age.

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‘Waiting for Hamlet’ (theSpaceTriplex, until AUG 26)

“A brilliant interpretive essay on the famous play, funny, insightful, and really rather exciting.”

Editorial Rating: 5 Stars (Outstanding)

Clever people like Shakespeare. They like the intricacies, the plot twists, the infinite possible readings, the characters, the entrances, and the exits. Few entrances in Shakespeare are more celebrated than that of the ghost of Hamlet’s father on the battlements of Elsinore. In ‘Waiting for Hamlet’ writer David Visick – the International Kenneth Branagh New Drama Writing Award, 2018 – imagines what the shade of the murdered king was up to in the time before that biggest of big entrances.

We enter to find King Hamlet angry, bored, and listless, determined to posthumously intervene in the affairs of Denmark and right the wrong done to him by his treacherous brother. Hamlet sr. is in company with the ghost of his auld fool Yorick who isn’t entirely certain, but suspects he may have a role in what’s to come. What follows is a brilliant interpretive essay on the famous play, funny, insightful, and really rather exciting. It was the pace wot won it.

As King Hamlet and Yorick, Tim Marriott and Nicholas Collett respectively, deliver each crackling line of dialogue, each amazing twist of the family and political drama, with aplomb. Tim and Nicholas are star strikers in the EdFringe league. It’s a joyous thing to see them masterfully unravel, pack and repack, this soon-to-be classic of the Shakespearian homage genre (is that a thing yet?).

Some say that their idea of heaven is waking up to find a new Wodehouse story on the bedside table each and every day. My idea of paradise hereafter involves a daily dose of Fringe Theatre of this calibre and not just in August. Master of the eternal revels, take note. This is the show folk will be recommending when asked for their top EdFringe tips of 2022.


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‘Baxter vs The Bookies’ (Gilded Balloon Teviot – Wee Room, until AUG 28)

“Through a superbly crafted hour of storytelling, we are privileged to see Andy deliver across the board in a masterclass of thoroughbred character acting.”

Editorial Rating: 5 Stars (Outstanding)

Andy Linden has got one of those faces you’ve seen off the telly in everything from ‘A Bit of Fry and Laurie’ to ‘Not Going Out’ via ‘Drop The Dead Donkey’ and ‘Count Arthur Strong’. He is perhaps best known as Mundungus Fletcher in the Harry Potter movies. Mundungus who, you will no doubt recall, was one of the original members of the Order of the Phoenix, is a wizard who dwells in the Wizarding underworld, dealing in controlled substances and stolen merchandise. It’s the sort of part Andy has got a knack for – a little bit shaddy, a wee bit shifty, probably up to something, possibly possessed of a heart of gold. It makes Andy the ideal fit for the stage incarnation of Roy Granville’s auld skool racing tipster.

Through a superbly crafted hour of storytelling, we are privileged to see Andy deliver across the board in a masterclass of thoroughbred character acting. His Baxter, his friends and associates, are up, they’re down, but never entirely out. In the fell clutch of circumstance Baxter occasionally winces and often cries aloud emerging into the final stretch bloody, but unbowed from the bludgeonings of chance. Baxter is rarely his own best friend, but he’s possessed of an instinctual, furtive, feral cunning combined with a genuine love and insight into the sport of kings which somehow always gets him placed. 

Not since John Mortimer put his doubts aside and let Leo McKern read for Rumpole of the Bailey (true story), has an actor seemed such a natural fit for a role. You’ll find yourself wanting to interrupt proceedings for Baxter’s tips for the 2:05 at Musselburgh next Thursday – will you win big or lose your shirt? You pays your money you make your choice. What impresses me most is Andy’s nimbleness and physicality. He’s earning his stabling fees, although he seems to have forgotten that only fools and horses work. Still, you definitely wouldn’t want to get in a boxing ring with him, especially after what you said about his beloved Spurs (the football team not the pointy cowboy accessories).

It’s standing room only, the word is out. Come for one of Britain’s best-known faces, stay for some of the best character acting anywhere this EdFringe. Exit having discovered yourself another Rumpole, another Wodehouseian gem. Get your coats on and go see this!


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‘Cirque Berserk!’ (Pleasance at EICC, until AUG 28)

“Dos Santos’ is the nitrous oxide in the tank that sends ‘Cirque Berserk!’ into overdrive.”

Editorial Rating: 5 Stars (Outstanding)

They say that the second hit of something intoxicating has a far less profound effect than the first. Is this true of ‘Cirque Berserk!’, the single biggest thing to happen to Scotland’s capital since those enlightened types in powdered wigs stopped to wonder what life was all about? I’m not a circus reviewer, I do theatre, which is why I find the concept of a circus show curated to feel like a theatrical event so intriguing. When I saw the show in 2019 (also with Daughter 1.0, who is now 7yrs auld) it blew my tiny mind. After the longest 3 years in recorded history, is the rush of awesome to the head induced by ‘Cirque Berserk!’ still as potent the second time around? Spoiler alert! Most definitely, yes, possibly more so.

The lineup of acts is, as ever, electrically eclectic harmonised by professionalism and dedication to craft that must be seen to be believed. I am especially glad that the Timbuktu Tumblers are looking in such canny fettle in the wake of a global pandemic headlined by a serious respiratory infection. Their energy and skills makes the least use of props and the most use of their own physicality. If any group of performers was going to have been disrupted by COVID it might have been these lads but, of course, they are in superb condition – a testament to clean living and regular exercise which I’ll hear after I’ve got the next round in. Daughter 2.0 (4yrs) chuffing loves these guys. Above the excitement of the crowd, you can hear the cogs in her wee brain calculating that this is what she could achieve if only her Baba would let her climb on, and jump off, the furniture.

The Lucius Team, with their hair-brained, hell-raising stunt of driving motorbikes at speeds of up to 60mph inside The Globe of Death are beyond the power of words to describe. In the skies above our home in Englandshire, you frequently see Spitfires and other members of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight flitting about in a manner most serene and picturesque. For the post-war generations, the closest we’ll get to understanding those magnificent men and their comparatively primitive flying machines, the speed, the power, the excitement, the danger, the drama, technical know-how, and the nerves of steel is to watch the Lucius Team doing their thing. You don’t have to be mad to work here, but it helps.

Elberel, the lady from the bottle, is back although her party piece of firing arrows with her feet is performed this year by Antonio and Connor, the amazing balancing act. They don’t hit the mark with Elberel’s surety, but spinning on your head and balancing on a stack of 5 chairs is more than enough to generate more excited gasps than Colin Firth coming out of a pond in the mid-1990s. Duo Garcia are from Spain and Ireland. I’d love to know how those guys met and how you even start a conversation about hanging by your teeth a mindboggling distance above the stage. Czech knife throwing act, Toni and Nikol, are an auld skool treat on target and on point.

If there’s a single star of the show it’s got to be Paulo Dos Santos, one of the most celebrated circus performers of our time. Combining incredible acrobatic power and grace with a true clown’s gift for connecting to the audience, Dos Santos is the nitrous oxide in the tank that sends ‘Cirque Berserk!’ into overdrive. His comedy partner, Whimmie, comes from a family of circus clowns. His great-great-grandfather performed at Windsor Castle for Queen Victoria who must surely have been amused at least that one time.

In her Fringe notebook, the one with Moana on the cover, Daughter 1.0 wrote: “When I walked in toit there was a big sepher. And there was music. First there was men that made towers with them selves. And there was motor bikes in a Sepher. And a lady in it! the acrobats went so high and were very bendy I could tell they had been practising. They juggled with fire! They also shot bows and aros with there feet there were lots of acrobats. The clowns were so funny one of them went in a balloon. and jumped up and down. I loved every moment of it!”

‘Cirque Berserk!’ loses none of its power to enthral, entertain, and entrance the second time around. In fact, I find myself sitting further back in my seat, settling into the spectacle more easily, sharing the moment with two of my favourite people to share anything with. I feel closer to them in those moments because for 60 minutes I am one of them. Wide-eyed at the wonder of the world and what special people can do given half a chance. I find myself recalling that the Edinburgh International Conference Centre is built on the site of a public house of which my girls’ ancestor was the landlord. I’d love to know what he’d have made of the happening on the site of his gaff a century or so later. I suspect he’d think he’d been over-sampling his own stock because with ‘Cirque Berserk!’ seeing is never quite believing that such impossible things can happen.


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‘Our Teacher’s a Troll’ (theSpace on the Mile, until AUG 13)

“Not a beat missed, not a line fluffed, every laughter line as crisp and straight as the hem on Miss Jean Brodie’s sensible tartan skirt.”

Editorial Rating: 5 Stars (Outstanding)

School’s in this EdFringe and there’s something not quite right about our new headteacher. We enter to find four coloured boxes, a mic stand, and no sign of an Ofsted inspector. The kids are pulling a prank led by a couple of naughty, but essentially nice, twins. They’re asking ‘why’ a lot, and it’s sent the previous head out of her mind. So we find ourselves at assembly, even though we’re at SpaceUK. The deputy head, nice chap but rather dim, announces the arrival and installation of the new boss who is most definitely NOT the same as the old boss.

What follows are 50 minutes of undiluted, knock-your-socks-off silliness which may (or may not) carry a serious message about listening to kids when they tell you something is wrong. Or about how we tolerate the intolerable greed and oppression of our tyranny-driven overlords. Or about how the good get eaten. Or about the need to understand those who are most different from us. Perhaps it’s a variation on the theme of auld king log, his frog subjects, and that heron – but I never read Aesop.

The young cast are masters of revelry. Their actual school, Emanuel in Battersea, is an award-winning shaper of bright young things and the things on show in Edinburgh this August are a credit to their peers, parents, and pedagogues. Not a beat missed, not a line fluffed, every laughter line as crisp and straight as the hem on Miss Jean Brodie’s sensible tartan skirt. This is a show for younger kids by slightly older kids who are, as the saying goes, neither grass nor hay. How did they get on enthralling (or should that be entrolling) Daughter 1.0 (7yrs)?

In her EdFringe notebook, the one with the sequined unicorn on the cover, she wrote: “In Our teacher’s a troll the head teacher was teaching a class and the terible twins kept on asking why. And then they found her eating sand and mooing like a cow And to replace her it was a troll. “Oh no it can’t be it’s not it is!” He made them work in a Gold mine. And all they coald eat was brusill sproutrs ip peanut butter! The terible twins put worm in sanwiches and the boy who ate worms Was eaten. a nother child and a grown up was eaten they told the prime minester there Mum the police and the school inspector but they woaldn’t lisen. They were almost eaten! All this made my teeth chata. I loved it!”

This is a show which makes a lot of good choices (like Daughter 2.0 on one of her better days). The best, in my not especially humble opinion, was to represent the troll via that mic stand, with the cast taking turns to have their voices amplified and distorted into a fearsome roar. Together with the studied use of a green spotlight, the truly menacing effect was not unlike what the Dr Who props boffins achieved with that plunger on Jacqueline Hill back in the day – you know it’s done on a budget, but it’s still pretty scary if you’re up to your lime green heels in the drama.

Dennis Kelly’s possibly poignant, definitely laugh-out-loud script is more than safe in the hands of these wunderkinds – you saw them here first.


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EdFringe Talk: Séayoncé: Res-Erection (Seayonce)

“You will also see things that will inspire you forever whilst sat in a hot damp cave with asbestos.”

WHO: Seayonce

WHAT: “The baddest b!tch in the spirit world is back, the legendary Ghost Whisperer Séayoncé! What better way to feel alive again than with a big throbbing res-erection? Ghouls just want to have fun… it’s time you did too! A desperate soul haunts the festival and no, not a fringe performer… it’s time for a little exorcism. It’s bound to be an occult classic! Created by Dan Wye, rising queer star on the comedy scene. ‘A sharp edge of wit.’ ***** (TheLGBTQArtsReview.wordpress.com). ‘Queer, overboard and full of vice’ ***** (LondonBoxOffice.co.uk). ‘Favourite show I’ve ever seen… Séayoncé slays’ *****”

WHERE: Assembly Roxy – Upstairs (Venue 139) 

WHEN: 22:00 (60 min)

MORE: Click Here!

Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

No this is my third Edinburgh fringe because apparently I’m a sadist and like to experience pain. Edinburgh is great, because it is the highest concentration of people with abandonment issues craving attention from strangers. You will also see things that will inspire you forever whilst sat in a hot damp cave with asbestos.

What are the big things you’ve learned since 2019 and have you absorbed any of the lessons yet?

To remember that the job is simply making people laugh, and that is an enjoyable thing.

Tell us about your show.

My show is a comedy cabaret séance led by the mystic Séayoncé, which I wrote and perform in, accompanied by musical genius Robyn Herfellow and produced by Berk’s Nest. The first adaptation of the show had a two week run at Soho theatre during Halloween and it has changed and evolved massively since touring it around the country. We contact the dead, sing huge ballads and just act like silly queer witches. It is pure joy. It will change your life, you will never feel the same again, you will start stalking me because the withdrawal symptoms will get so intense and end up getting a restraining order after trying to cut my hair whilst I sleep. That’s a promise.

What should your audience see at the festivals after they’ve seen your show?

Go see these gorgeous hilarious humans, Baby Lame, Siblings, Cat Cohen, Madame Chandelier and there are so ma ny more, basically support the queers! Also I am doing another show Dan Wye Am I Sam Smith at The Flick which you should also definitely see so you don’t die with any regrets.



EdFringe Talk: It’s Fraser Brown, I’m Afraid

“I don’t feel I really got enough critical acclaim last year, so I’m back to throw as much shit at the wall as I can, until some of it sticks.”

WHO: Fraser Brown

WHAT: “Fraser Brown takes the audience on a hilarious and dark analysis of his own anxieties and worries. At only 22, Fraser (hopefully) has the majority of his life ahead of him, but is preoccupied with what’s happened in those first 22 years, for him to become the person who he is today. Unable to let go of the past, Fraser asks himself if he’ll ever be able to move on and forgive the grudges he’s held since his school days. An introspective extrovert, asking what it means to be happy; it’s Fraser Brown, I’m Afraid.”

WHERE: theSpace @ Surgeons Hall – Theatre 3 (Venue 53) 

WHEN: 22:05 (50 min)

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Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

This is my second year doing stand-up at the Fringe. However, as a by-product of me being lazy and uncreative, it’s almost the exact same show as last year. I don’t feel I really got enough critical acclaim last year, so I’m back to throw as much shit at the wall as I can, until some of it sticks.

What are the big things you’ve learned since 2019 and have you absorbed any of the lessons yet?

In 2019, I knew a grand total of fuck all. (About doing a fringe show. Shapes, colours and numbers, I could understand. Although I now believe I may know more about all of the above than the fringe society does). I’ve learnt that flyering is exhausting, and so if you guys could just come to my show on your own accord, that’d be great.

Tell us about your show.

I wrote this show, for the same reason any comedian writes their first show: sheer ego. I may endeavor to write something artistic in future, but for now it’s self indulgent drivel. Luckily I’ve managed to trick critics into thinking that it holds some kind of cultural value. But as long as it’s funny, who really gives a fuck? And luckily for my audiences, it is very funny.

What should your audience see at the festivals after they’ve seen your show?

‘It’s Not Rocket Science’ is probably at the top of my recommendation list. I saw the show last year (having no clue what to expect) and I was blown away. It’s a touching story of a young girl growing up, and making her way through the aerospace engineering industry.

‘2 Mouthed Men’ are a great comedy’s duo who combine sketch comedy with beatboxing, a combination I doubt you’ll find anywhere else. I saw their show the other day, and I’ve been giggling to myself about some of their sketch ever since.