Queer love songs, Dolly – the sheep and the singer – and the great Pussy Riot feature in Summerhall’s Fringe 2018 theatre programme.
Summerhall has rightly made a name for themselves as the host of some of the most challenging and prescient theatre during the Fringe. This year features a mix of big names such as the thorn in Putin’s side, the punk-rock collective Pussy Riot, the return of last year’s acclaimed DollyWould and other searing explorations into identity, politics and society.
Summerhall, Fri 3–Sun 26 Aug (not 8, 13, 20), 11.50am, £10 (£8). Previews Wed 1 & Thu 2 Aug, £5–£8.
The Italian company Nina’s Drag Queens spearhead drag queen philosophy into the modern age, blending songs, film extracts and lip-syncing with live performance. In Alma, two characters are driven mad by love: Oskar Kokoschka who turned his lover Alma Mahler into a life size doll, and the nameless woman on the phone in Cocteau’s The Human Voice. Intertwining their stories with an ironic touch, a male actor in drag investigates femininity.
Summerhall, Fri 3–Sun 26 Aug (not 2, 13, 20), 9.15pm, £12 (£10). Preview Wed 1 Aug, £5.
Named Stand-Out Cabaret of the Year by the NZ Herald, Valerie is an inter-generational, interdisciplinary and interrupting piece of theatre reaching into the guts of family mythologies. Music, genetics and storytelling combine to unravel one family’s history. A love letter from grandson to grandmother, this celebration of resilience is gig theatre at its finest.
CanadaHub @ King’s Hall in association with Summerhall, Fri 3–Sat 26 Aug (not 6, 13, 20), 4.15pm, £11 (£9). Previews Wed 1 & Thu 2 Aug, £9.
Huff is a daring solo show by award-winning indigenous playwright Cliff Cardinal, which tells the wrenching yet darkly comic tale of indigenous brothers caught in a torrent of solvent abuse and struggling with the death of their mother. With his signature biting humour and raw, vivid imagery, Cardinal expertly portrays over a dozen characters in his captivating solo performance.
Summerhall, Fri 3–Sun 26 Aug (not 6, 13, 20), 12.55pm, £12 (£10). Previews Wed 1 & Thu 2 Aug, £5–£7.
After a sell-out run at the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, Scotland’s 80s gay romantic comedy hit is back. So are nostalgic bookseller Lewis and party-boy Glen, in this funny, celebratory play about Scotland’s radical, lesbian, gay and feminist bookshop that began in the cloakroom of Scotland’s first gay nightclub and became the beating heart of Edinburgh’s LGBT+ community.
Summerhall, Sat 4–Sun 26 Aug (not 8, 9, 20), 6.45pm, £10 (£8). Preview Fri 3 Aug, £5.
Samira Elagoz takes us along on her personal research project across three continents. From online platforms to close encounters, she showcases gender relations in their brutal and wonderful ambivalence and takes the audience on her journey of regaining power, reinventing autonomous expression of sexuality and attempts to relate back to men after being raped. An award-winning performance about violence and intimacy.
Summerhall, Wed 3–Sun 26 Aug (not 13, 20), 4.55pm, £12 (£8). Previews Wed 3–Sun 5 Aug, £6.
Paris. 1650-ish. Impotence is illegal. When a member of the aristocracy is accused of being less than upstanding, his wounded pride leads him towards a monumental and very public flop. But can a cast of total idiots save a show about a flop . . . from being one? See preview.
Summerhall, Tue 14–Sun 26 Aug (not 20), 7pm, £15 (£12).
The Midnight Soup is a piece of theatre during which the audience prepare a meal that they share at the end. Starting as a monologue and gently opening out to become a conversation, it tells the story of an unremarkable woman who every day sat down to meticulously record the facts of her life in a diary, until one day she chose her own death. The Midnight Soup is the love letter of a grandson to his grandmother. It is also an edible memorial, celebrating a life lived to the rhythm of the seasons.
Summerhall, Tue 14–Sun 26 Aug, 6.25pm, £10.
Sh!t Theatre return with their 100% sell-out show from 2017. It’s about Dolly Parton and they still f*cking love her. It’s also about cloning, branding, immortality and death. Becca Biscuit and Louise Mothersole are Fringe First award winners, Total Theatre award winners, Arches Brick award winners and Amnesty International award nominees.
Summerhall, Thu 2–Sun 26 Aug (not 13), 3.15pm, £12 (£11). Preview Wed 1 Aug, £5.
Trojan Horse was a local story that hit the national press, accusing ‘hardline’ Muslim teachers and governors of plotting extremism in Birmingham schools. Adapted from the real-life testimonies of those at the heart of the government inquiry, critically acclaimed theatre company LUNG (E15, The 56 and Chilcot) investigate what really happened.
Summerhall, Tue 14–Sun 26 Aug (not 20), 11.55am, £12 (£10).
The Tetra-Decathlon is a gruelling 14-event athletics competition, requiring a unique combination of skills to complete. Having never before set foot on a running track, Lauren Hendry decided to sign up for the event, joining only a dozen other women in the World Championships. This audacious solo show directed by double Fringe First winner Jenna Watt charts Lauren’s journey as she trains for and competes in this most taxing of sporting events while asking pertinent questions about the psychology of sport and what drives us to compete.