Pleasance will make their return to Edinburgh this August, bringing the best of theatre, comedy, magic and family shows to Pleasance Courtyard and the EICC while making available a fantastic selection of shows for audiences to enjoy online wherever they can get a Wi-Fi connection!
The Pleasance’s dedication to supporting innovative emerging artists through their development schemes ensures that it is always home to some of the most exciting new productions. The recipient of Pleasance’s Charlie Hartill Theatre Reserve, ‘Screen 9’ is a remarkable verbatim piece. At the Colorado premiere of The Dark Knight Rises, a community was torn apart by gun violence. ‘Screen 9’ explores the remarkable ways the survivors responded and recovered.
Playing both in London and in Edinburgh, ‘Patricia Gets Ready’ (for a date with the man that used to hit her) is the inaugural recipient of the Charlie Hartill Development Fund for Artists of Colour. This powerful piece invites the audience to join Patricia as she gets ready for the date with her ex; tells stories of her past, how it has affected her present, and looks honestly at her future.
Edinburgh will see the return of some Fringe favourites this summer. The multi-award-winning ‘NewsRevue’ is back! Flawlessly delivered by four outstanding performers at lightning speed and expertly accompanied by an on-stage musical director, they will transform a year of doomscrolling into joyviewing.
Before it heads south to Pleasance London, ‘The Importance of Being… Earnest?’ will be calling on Edinburgh audiences for help when their own cast begin to drop out.
From music to magic to monologues, the melting pot of the Fringe wouldn’t be the same without its wonderful breadth of variety and genre. Paul Aitchison, best known through sketch act Mixed Doubles, returns to Edinburgh with his unique blend of feel-good character comedy and mind-melting magic in ‘Could It Be Magic’.
All 236 episodes of Friends are retold by resident barista Gunther, who knows them inside out, in the acclaimed ‘Friend (The One With Gunther)’.
Internationally renowned singer pianist, Jeremy Sassoon’s ‘MOJO’ is a journey through some of the most beloved hits by musicians of Jewish origin including George Gershwin, Amy Winehouse and Bob Dylan.
There will be oodles of family fun for audiences in Edinburgh too! Meet Astrid Lindgren’s ‘Pippi Longstockings’. Pippi is strong, brave and fearless and when she moves to her new home with noparents or rules, she brings chaos to the traditional town. Will Pickvance combines storytelling and musical madness in the rollercoaster ‘First Piano on the Moon’ with a little help from Mozart, magical cake and the moon.
Peeling back the curtain will be biographical pieces showing the unfiltered truth of some of biggest stars of the Twentieth Century. Richard Shelton’s masterful ‘Sinatra: Raw’ reveals the man behind the music. It returns following sold-out West End and Australian seasons. From his morning paintings to his evenings with Champagne and his nights roaming soho, ‘Bacon’ by Pip Utton explores the life of one of art’s greatest icons, Francis Bacon.
Direct from its sell-out London run and tour, ‘Black is the Color of My Voice’ is Fringe First winner Apphia Campbell’s stunning solo show inspired by the life of Nina Simone. Campbell will also bring back her Fringe First award winning Woke. Against stunning gospel and blues sung live, two women 42 years apart join the struggle for American civil rights and face the same choice: fight or flee?
There will also be more unique and unforgettable women taking to the stage this summer. In the funny, dark and filthy, ‘SKANK’, Kate confronts that she could be a successful writer if only she concentrated – but first she needs to shag sexy Gary and stop obsessing about her inevitable untimely death. The dysfunctional dance party you never knew you needed Zumba Gold follows fitness instructor Cathy as she pursues her dreams by any means necessary.
There’s still plenty to enjoy if you can’t make it to Edinburgh with unmissable shows available online through the Fringe Player. From Zoom dates to online rehearsals, Harry Potter fanatics and keyboard warriors, Conversations by award-winning writer Rob Ward sees battle lines drawn anew in the fight for equality. A biting and heartfelt one-woman odyssey about what it really means to be loud, GOBBY is a lesson in how to throw a really good party.
A weird and wonderful part-theatre, part-stand-up comedy show, ‘In One Eye, Out The Other’ tells the story of Feargal, the downtrodden but cheery man who fulfilled his lifelong dream of becoming an alcoholic. Presented as part of the Made in Scotland Showcase, ‘Shamanic Live’ is a visceral collision of live punk rock, painting and architecture, specially filmed in the iconic Pleasance Courtyard.
It may be a reduced festival this year but, with more shows to be announced, the Pleasance should certainly be the pick of your Fringe this August!
Pleasance Theatre Trust has been awarded £169,619 from the Scottish Government and City of Edinburgh Council to help fund outdoor events and support the safe return of live events at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe.
Top image credit – Neil Hanna