Exeunt’s Edinburgh Fringe Tips

Exeunt Magazine

It’s nearly here: the season of mists and millions of shows. Exeunt’s writers have chosen a few things they’re looking forward to.

Shows from far-flung lands
“Are you going anywhere nice on holiday?” is the perfectly reasonable request that rings out regularly at this time of the year. ‘Perfectly reasonable’ unless you’re asking someone who works in theatre, because while everyone else heads abroad for Fun in the SunTMthe theatre industry head to Scotland for a month of Vitamin D deficiency from living like auditoria troglodytes. So I like to turn Edinburgh into an opportunity to watch theatre from all the countries of the world I’d like to visit, were money, time and odd career choices not a factor. For 2018, I’m going to watch dance and theatre from Taiwan, Korea, Canada, Belgium (courtesy of my old friends Big in Belgium, who have brought such joy to my life in previous years) and, most of all, Finland. A good friend of mine recently moved to Helskini, and she regularly sends me photos of the fires she builds for the regular saunas she now takes. I won’t lie, it makes me intensely jealous. So I figure the best way to cope with this envy is to vicariously experience this cleansing ritual via The Sauna at Summerhall, a story of old lady distracted from dying by the sauna elf.(Rosemary Waugh)


Shows that surprise me
I love the ones that shouldn’t stick with you, but still do. I think that could be Katie and Pip at Summerhall, where we see the bonds that connect a dog and a young woman.


Queer romcoms (and tales of heartbreak)
My feelings are reliably a bit closer to the surface at the Edinburgh fringe: something about the daily barrage of theatre-induced emotional highs and lows, of late nights, gin hangovers, and semi-traumatic encounters with flyerers. So I look forward to shedding the odd gin tear to Love Song to Lavender Menace, which is a romcom set in a radical bookshop in ’80s Scotland.


I’m probably not going to get emotional about the fact that Hannah Gadsby has cancelled her wonderful-sounding new show No Bones About It (Nanette is still on Netflix, thank heavens). Because there’s so much enticing sounding work to fill the void: including LaJohn Joseph’s A Generous Lover, her follow-up to Boy in a Dress, which follows the author as she guides her partner through mental health services, in an hour full of music and swirling, psychedelic prose.