The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is back with an innovative, international and adventurous festival, bound to provide many unforgettable moments for festival goers travelling to Scotland’s capital city from all around the world. With theatre, dance, circus, physical theatre, comedy, music, musicals, opera, cabaret and variety, children’s shows, free shows, exhibitions, events and spoken word on offer, there truly is something for everyone. And something new for everyone to experience.
The 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 07 – 31 August will see 50,459 performances of 3,314 shows from 49 countries in 313 venues across Edinburgh. The number of shows reflects a 3.8% increase on last year’s programme, with 14 new venues becoming involved in the Fringe from across the city, with 95 shows coming from Australia.
Kath M Mainland, Chief Executive of The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society said, “The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest, oldest, most well renowned festival in the world.
“Every year we think we know what it’s going to deliver, but every year it surprises, delights, amazes and inspires. The Fringe is a festival like no other. Completely open access – where artists don’t need to wait for an invitation, where anyone with a story to tell is welcome. Where there’s no curator, no vetting, no barriers. Just incredible talent from almost fifty countries all over the world.”
Shows from Australia cover almost every genre of work that audiences can experience at the Fringe. Amongst the Cabaret shows Ali McGregor returns with a one-night only performance of her show Ali McGregor: Decadence (Assembly) while also reviving her children’s show Ali McGregor’s Jazzamatazz!, an award-winning hour of jazzy beats and trashy pop-treats that will get kids singing, twisting and dancing. Amongst the variety of acts in the Cabaret field, are classically trained and now outrageously unchained Robert Hoffman’sDesperately Young at Heart (The Boards), La Clique and The Famous Spiegeltent redefining cabaret as a disco inferno that shocks, surprises and scintillates in Velvet (The Famous Spiegeltent) and Best Cabaret Adelaide Fringe award winner, Michael Griffiths is Annie Lennox in Sweet Dreams: Songs by Annie Lennox. For shows for all the family, there is an array of Australian children’s shows ranging from Trash Test Dummies (Underbelly) where circus skills meet side-splitting laughs as three dexterous dummies take out the trash and take to the stage, to The Piper (Underbelly), an immersive retelling of The Pied Piper of Hamelin presented by acclaimed Australian theatre company My Darling Patricia. When it comes to Dance, Physical Theatre and Circus, 360 Allstars (Assembly) delivers radical urban circus through a phenomenal physical performance exploring all forms of rotation, while Circa, the company behind five-star production Beyond, challenge everything you’ve thought about circus as they wrench back the curtain and bring you the glorious, chaotic abstraction Close Up(Underbelly).
The Australian Music scene is incredibly diverse with shows ranging from incandescent star of The Famous Spiegeltent’s La Clique, chanteuse Becc Sanderson who returns to the Fringe for four nights of unbridled revelry in Bx: Becc Sanderson (The Famous Spiegeltent), to Crap Music Rave Party (Just the Tonic), an anarchic late night DJ party where you can request any song, so long as it’s crap. In addition to this GO Productions’ Lennon: Through a Glass Onion (Assembly) celebrates the genius, music and phenomenon of John Lennon, whileThe Spooky Men’s Chorale (Acoustic Music Centre), from the Blue Mountains in Australia, employ a devastating combination of immaculate musical sensibilities, cavernous vocal chords and extreme silliness to explore the paradoxes of latter day masculinity. Australian musician, Melissa Western is also running a workshop, Stagecraft for Singers and Musicians (Paradise in the Vault) about the internal, external and physical blocks that prevent singers and musicians from delivering their best onstage performance.
In theatre, Cut (Underbelly), is part installation, part theatre poem, part noir thriller and took the 2015 Adelaide Fringe by storm, while Dicing With Dr Death (Just the Tonic) features Australia’s own Euthanasia doctor Philip Nitschke, who is now master of ceremonies, teaching the funny side of the right to die debate. Out Cast Theatre return to the Fringe following their 2014 sell-out run with Distinguished Gentlemen (But Really Just a Couple of ***nts) (SpaceUK) while the acclaimed Ruth Rogers-Wright plays Nina Simone in Nina Simon Black Diva Power (New Town Theatre) following huge success at Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Meanwhile, Orchid and the Crow (Assembly) is a solo performance that features original songs from the award-winning writers of Die Roten Punkte and Who’s Afraid of the Working Class? (C Venues) from Sydney Theatre School tells four separate but interweaving stories following dispossession and alienation on the fringes of Australian society. Finally, We May Have to Choose (Laughing Horse) is a monologue of sorts, a list of 621 declarations about the universe and was the winner of a 2015 Adelaide Fringe Weekly Award for Best Theatre.
A vast number of comedy shows hail from Australia at this year’s Fringe. Aussie Edinburgh favourites Aunty Donna (Gilded Balloon) return with a new show, while in the same venue Alex Williamson: That Guy From the Internet (Gilded Balloon) comes to the fringe having sold out shows in Australia and New Zealand. Meanwhile, Ben Williams invites you to check into the Tokyo Hotel as he guides you to your room on a tour of LA’s grandest and most historically infamous hotel in Ben Russell: The Tokyo Hotel (Pleasance). Following the Free Fringe model Brendon Burns Show Again (Liquid Room Annexe), is a podcast recording which is different every day, presented as part of PBH’s Free Fringe. Winner of Best Newcomer 2015 Melbourne International Comedy festival, Corey White makes his Edinburgh debut with Corey White: The Cane Toad Effect (Assembly). Dave Callan, Irish born Australian based comedian brings Dave Callan – A Little Less Conversation 2: A Little More Less Conversation (Gilded Balloon), the sequel to last years must see comedy dance spectacular. Die Roten Punkte – Haus Party (Assembly) provides a ganz-toll line-up of musical comedy, variety and party game madness from Berlin’s self-proclaimed best band ever, while Feminazi (Gilded Balloon) which examines all things feminism has sold out runs at the Sydney and Melbourne comedy festivals. Returning with a strictly limited season to celebrate Gilded Balloon’s 30th anniversary, Jeff Green takes us on a personal journey to discover happiness in the appropriately titled, Jeff Green: Happiness (Gilded Balloon). Australian comic John Robertson brings two shows to this year’s fringe with both John Robertson: Let’s Redecorate! (The Stand) and John Robertson – The Dark Room: Symphony of a Floating Head (Underbelly), while Old Fella (SpaceUK) hits the Fringe after a fourth place finish in Australia’s Got Talent.Newcomer Penny Greenhalgh is dropping her debut show Pop Pop (Underbelly) like it’s hot – a hot mess of sketch, stand-up and ice dancing, while Ro Campbell lets his audience decide if he is going to Hell in Ro Campbell: Exercise Ze Demon (The Stand) and Australia-based Malaysian comedian Ronny Chieng is bringing his multi award-winning stand-up comedy back to the UK in Ronny Chieng: Chieng Reaction. Award-winning Sparrow-Folk are bringing sexy back to suburbia in smash-hit musical-comedy, Sparrow-Folk:SuBIRDia (Gilded Balloon), while one of Australia’s finest young comedians Tom Ballard delivers a blistering hour of stand-up about love, sex, loneliness and finding the courage to be one’s self in Tom Ballard – Taxis & Rainbows & Hatred (Assembly). Winner of Most Outstanding Comedy Melbourne Fringe 2014, WOMANz is a sexually liberated character with an accent that roves between Madrid and Transylvania in WOMANz: Jou’re Welcome (Gilded Balloon) while Zoe Coombs Mar: Dave (Underbelly) is a stand-up drag parody that is exactly what it looks like and nothing you expect.
Above is just a flavour of the Australian shows on offer at this year’s fringe and we would encourage you to contact the Media Office for a full and comprehensive list of all the shows originating from Australia at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
In addition to the international work from Australia, a showcase of four pieces of work from Finland will play at the festival, in Start to Finnish.Loranga, Masarin and Dartanjang (Pleasance) is a play for families based on Barbro Lindgren’s award-winning novel while The Outsider(New Town Theatre) uses the visual style of silent films, taking them into a contemporary format, forming a delightful fantasy for grown-ups.
The Taiwan Season will present Gaze of the Kavaluan (DanceBase), a contemporary dance piece exploring self, art and sexuality and the traditions of female chastity among indigenous Paiwan and Rukai people. The Paper Play (Summerhall) is a double bill for younger audiences and their families, exploring the incredible storytelling power of ordinary paper.
Assembly will host a Korean season with a programme of five shows across three genres – theatre, dance and a children’s show.
A variety of work will come from the Czech Republic, including Czech Dance Piece of the Year Correction (Zoo) which uses humour, passion and live music by Clarinet Factory, and puts seven performers in a perfect line and shows that limits can result in comfort, relief and happiness.
Fourteen shows will come from France including Skins and Hoods (Institut franҫais d’Ecosse), a new writing multimedia theatre piece by Gustave Akakpo performed by Cie du Veilleur.
Germany will also bring an eclectic mix of shows to the Fringe including The Power of Music (SpaceUK) about the unsung heroes of music – jingle writers.
Japan will bring 20 shows to the Fringe this year. Siro-A (Assembly) uses dance, technology and music to create a visual sensation on a whole new frequency for all the family and Messages from Japan / Super-cussion (SpaceUK) a unique drum show of Japanese traditional music created by an ensemble of drummers.
Mexico will bring Vagabond (New Town Theatre) a children’s story of three vagabonds in search of happiness and how a dandelion transforms the meaning of their lives.
Russia will also present a colourful, interactive, dance-acrobatic family show to the festival named Colors (Spotlites) exploring the values of friendship, equality of rights, understanding and love.
Science stand-up comedian Lieven Scheire comes from Belgium with The Wonderful World of Lieven Scheire (Gilded Balloon) and South African comedian Tats Nkonzo: The African with Wifi (Pleasance) will perform his UK and Edinburgh debut.
There are 807 free shows, 1,778 premieres and 49 different countries represented.
The 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe will run from 07 – 31 August.
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