The Edinburgh Festival Fringe has been going strong since 1947 and every year features thousands of acts. We’ve trawled through the very long list to pick out shows that will appeal to fans of cult entertainment from all walks of life.
1 to 11 & 13 to 25 August. 10:50pm (60 mins) – Venue 23 Pleasance Dome
Join comedian Paul Foxcroft as he takes a team of the Fringe’s best performers through their paces via a game of Dungeons & Dragons. See what happens when one of the UK’s highly lauded improv talents decides to take us all on a ridiculous adventure. Brilliant stuff and an instant cult classic. See it before it gets famous.
12 to13, 15-20 & 22 to 25 August. 1:20pm (45 mins) – Venue 188 Sweet Novotel
Emily Carding is a staggeringly talented actor, with her one-woman version of Richard III being quite rightly praised for its power and performance. Her latest work, Quintessence, is an interesting blend of sci-fi and classic theatre. Inspired by Shelley’s Frankenstein, it’s the tale of AI who has been left to rebuild the entire human race. With only the complete works of Shakespeare as a guide, can it recreate the human spirit?
1 to 24 August. 9:15pm (60 minds) – Venue 14 Gilded Ballon Teviot
The Dark Room has become something of a cult. A mix of improv comedy, nostalgia, video game pastiche and creepy vibes, it’s a thing many return to again and again. The premise of the show is that you, the audience, are trapped in some twisted 80’s style computer game. Solve the puzzle and escape the Dark Room and win big, but if you don’t, well, death is certain. But first you must find the light switch. If you haven’t experienced it yet, do make the effort.
1st, 2nd & 3rd August. 4:00pm (75 mins) – Venue 30 Scottish Storytelling Centre
How do you improve Tolkien? Why with puppets, of course. The Puppet State Theatre Company’s brings us a splendid take on JRR Tolkien’s classic short story.Niggle is an artist, struggling to complete a curious painting of a tree but plagued by constant interruptions. Unluckily for Niggle, the world has other plans in mind and he has a very reluctant journey to take. Gorgeous, haunting stuff.
9 to 16 August. 11:30am (45 mins) – Venue 277 PQA Venues Riddle’s Court
It is the summer of 1984. Douglas Adams is struggling to write his next novel, the latest in the Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy series. Douglas, having already heard the whoosing noise as he missed his deadline, has been locked away in a London hotel room in order to get the thing finished. But they are so many distractions. Including a talking plastic duck. An absolute must for sci-fi fans.
3 to 25 August. 5pm (50 mins) – Venue 276 Liquid Room Annexe/Warehouse
Bards against Humanity is jukebox of Jollyboat’s funniest songs. Laugh along as the two pirate-themed brothers perform outrageously funny songs which are sure to appeal to fans of Cult Entertainment. A must for those who like Fannish Filk and geeky parody songs.
31 July & 1 to 11 & 13 to 25 August. 10:45pm (60 mins) – Venue 33 Pleasance Courtyard
We love a bit of fantasy over in Starburst Towers, and Boar sounds like a lovely mix of classic fringe theatre and folklore. Set in the Kingdom of Skadi, this one man show tells a tale of an epic quest. When a king’s daughter is captured by an evil dragon, then the call to adventure must be answered. Lewis Doherty is always a delight, this should be legendary.
2 to 4, 6 to 11, 13 to 18 & 22 to 25 August. 1:20pm (45 mins) – Venue 188 Sweet Novotel
When horror hits the right note, it can make for stunning theatre. Father of Lies tells the chilling tale of a mysterious, unsolved murder in West Germany, 1973. This tale of woe features haunted priests, jealous widowers and satanic cults.
12 to13, 15-20 & 22 to 25 August. 1:20pm (45 mins) – Venue 236 Greenside @ Infirmary Street
Apparently, In Space No One Can Hear Sing. Fortunately this show is in Scotland. This musical comedy is set on StarShip Unsinkable II. Alas, the crew have woken up to find themselves stranded in space. A fun show produced by the Napier University Drama Society.
1 to 25 August. Times Vary (60 mins) – Venue 115 Necrobus Stop
Sightseeing bus tours are a famous part of the Edinburgh experience, so of course they’ve joined in with the fringe. Come aboard this theatrical sightseeing tour and take a 1960s Routemaster bus into the darker side. Learn the history of the city whilst being scared witless by professionals. Sounds fun.
31 July & 1 to 11 & 13 to 25 August. 9:30pm (60 mins) – Venue 33 Pleasance Courtyard
Two comedians who should know better, trapped in their own venue. Are supernatural forces involved? Is it a rogue AI? An ancient curse? Incompetence? A hackneyed plot device? We have no idea. What we do know is that comedy duo Moon are always worth a chuckle or two.