I am very lucky this year to be working alongside the NIC , National Independent Critics at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this summer, just for a week, mid-August.
The Network of Independent Critics have a fantastic scheme to send anyone who can display a love of reviewing the arts a chance to apply for a coveted place on their team.
This includes heavily subsidised accommodation in return for reviews on your chosen arts specialism.
My focus for the NIC is predominantly Dance and New Musical Theatre.
As I am new to the Edinburgh Fringe, I thought I’d get prepared early and ordered the printed brochure, although the website is very easy to navigate, I’m still a pen and paper girl at heart.
When the 2017 brochure arrived, my mouth literally hung open at the sheer amount of performances available which is not so apparent on the website.
The brochure is thick and the pages are thin!
There are over 3,000 performances across Comedy, Dance, Theatre, Cabaret and more, not including all the sub-genres of each category – I was amazed ūüėģ
Here I’ve just done a quick round up of the shows that I think sound amazing, even though I probably won’t get to see them all, but maybe you might be able to.
THE GIRL WHO JUMPED OFF THE HOLLYWOOD SIGN
Programme:¬†(Solo Show, Drama) An actress climbs the 50-foot ‘H’. She has only ever wanted one thing: to be a star. A play with music about the quest for fame, inspired by Hollywood’s Golden Age. Written and performed by Joanne Hartstone. ‘Masterful… the best piece of theatre this Fringe’ ***** (Kryztoff.com). ‘A one of a kind show… Hartstone’s contralto vocals make you think of a young Judy Garland’ (BroadwayWorld.com). ‘Be magically transported into Hartstone’s faraway world of Hollywood at its ruthless fairy-story height’ (TheBarefootReview.com.au). Winner: @MadeinAdelaide and Holden Street Theatre Awards.
The title of this show really caught my attention and after reading about it’s success at the Adelaide Fringe Season and includes songs written and performed by true Hollywood legends, Marilyn Monroe, Jean Harlow and Judy Garland.
¬†Dates: ¬†3rd – 13th & 16th – 28th August 2017
Time: ¬†11.30am (1 hr 10mins)
Venue: Assembly Roxy (Venue: 139)
Ticket Price: ¬£13 /¬£12 Standard ¬† ¬£12/¬£11 (concessions) ¬£8 (previews) – BOOK HERE¬†
2. HEADS UP
¬†Brochure:¬†(Dance, Physical Theatre and Circus – dance)
An eclectic pick-and-mix treat of great new dance and styles curated with you, the hungry Fringe audience, in mind. Programmes of totally new dance from invited dance artists offering surprises and high-quality dance diversions that show off fresh ideas and work hot from the studio. You may even see an exclusive teaser for a future festival show. Heads Up is the perfect ticket to experience the excitement and randomness of the Fringe in one affordable dance showcase. A veritable Fringe grab bag for anyone on the lookout for something new and exciting.
The thought of watching a mix of dance styles and choreography excites me. The performances are brought to you by invited dance artists and companies including the South African Company ‘After Freedom’ and dance artists, Charlotte McLean and Kirsty Pollock.
Sounds like a bargain show, considering the ticket price!
Dates: ¬†Sat 12th & Sun 13th August 2017
Time: ¬†1pm /13.00 (1 hr )
Venue: Dance Base (Venue: 22) ¬†@dancebase
Ticket Price: ¬£6 Standard ¬† ¬£5 (concessions) ¬†– BOOK HERE
¬†3. THE UNMARRIED
Programme: (Spoken Word, Music) Luna is a bold as brass lager lout on the prowl for wild times putting two fingers up to society’s expectations. Written and performed by the award-winning Lauren Gauge. Mixing 90s rave with ‘striking, savage, rare writing talent’ (Simon Stephens, playwright of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time), The Unmarried hits Edinburgh with its much raved-about live underscore of old-school UK Garage anthems following sell-out runs at Lyric Hammersmith and Camden People‚Äôs Theatre. ‘Raw, electrifying… Kate Tempest-esque… guaranteed you’ll laugh with her and dream with her’ ***** (LondonTheatre1.com).
This show sounds like a right laugh, anything involving strong female characters and a 90’s soundtrack – you can count me in!
Ticket Price: ¬£9 Standard ¬† ¬£8 (concessions) ¬†–¬†BOOK HERE
¬†4. ¬†2 BECOME 1
Programme: Musicals and Opera¬†(theatre, comedy)
Get your butterfly clips and body glitter ready for the ultimate party! It’s the late nineties and Jess has been dumped by her perfect man, so her friends take her on a big night out with a twist ‚Äď speed dating! What better way to unbreak a heart than to meet a man a minute? With songs from The Spice Girls, All Saints and B*Witched, 2 Become 1 gets you up on your feet and dancing the night away in this feel-good comedy musical, fit to burst with hilarity, heartbreak and good old fashioned girl power!
Doesn’t this sound like fun? Especially if you were a huge Spice Girls fan, back in the day ūüėČ
If you were, then grab a ticket before they sell out and you miss out on all the best 90’s pop fun!
Ticket Price: ¬£11 Standard ¬† ¬£10 (concessions) ¬†–¬†BOOK HERE
¬†5. COMMUNISM! THE MUSICAL
Programme: Musicals and Opera¬†(comedy, new writing)¬†
Tired of musicals that make you laugh and cry? Come and see one about communism! Join Karl Kommufist, and his friends, Emily and Max, in their adventures on the capitalist island of Dollaropolis. Can they complete the mission left to them by Karl’s mother, Mildron the Destroyer? Can Karl save the world and get the girl? Can our heroes find their way along the path of growing up? All this and more from everyone’s favourite team of adolescent communist superheroes! Disclaimer: May not contain actual communism.
Dates: ¬†9th – ¬†12th August 2017
Time: ¬†5.15pm /17.15 (1hr )
Venue: Greenside @Infirmary Street ¬†(Venue: 236)
Ticket Price: ¬£10 Standard ¬† ¬£9 (concessions) ¬†¬£6 Family Ticket –¬†BOOK HERE
6. DEPARTURE LOUNGE
Programme: Musicals and Opera ( Comedy) Stuck in a Departure Lounge waiting for their delayed flight home from a riotous holiday in Malaga, four lads realise that each is hiding a secret and their week in the sun was less blissful than it seemed. Pete looks on in pain as the other boys ring their parents, Ross regrets making no headway with the girl of his dreams, JB has friends-forever fantasies that aren‚Äôt reciprocated and Jordan hides his true sexuality under a reputation for being a stud. A hilarious high energy musical
Dates: ¬†8th – ¬†12th August 2017
Time: ¬†8.25pm /20.25 (1hr ¬†20 mins)
Venue: Quaker Meeting House (Venue: 40)
Ticket Price: ¬£6 Standard ¬† ¬£8 (concessions) –¬†BOOK HERE
7. DANCE FORMS 74th INTERNATIONAL CHOREOGRAPHERS’ SHOWCASE
Programme:¬† Dance, Physical Theatre and Circus¬†(dance, contemporary)
Ticket Price: ¬£12 Standard ¬† ¬£6 (concessions) ¬†¬£7 Family –¬†BOOK HERE
Programme: Dance, Physical Theatre and Circus¬†(devised, theatre)¬†We have all been bored, trapped in monotony. We have all dreamt of escape. Our minds construct fantastic worlds to break us out of routine, taking us to our own private paradise. But eventually we have to come back. We always have to come back. Form is a non-verbal, physical journey of escape and daydreaming, taking the audience on a stunning visual voyage through environments created out of tables, stationary and 20,000 paper balls. Three performers portray office workers happily oppressed by routine, except one.
Dates: ¬†9th – ¬†13th ¬†& 15th – 28th August 2017
Time: ¬†12noon /12.00 (1hr )
Venue: Pleasance Dome (Venue: 23)
Ticket Price: ¬£9 Standard ¬† ¬£8 (concessions) –¬†BOOK HERE
9. ARAB ARTS: DOUBLE BILL¬†
Programme: Dance, Physical Theatre and Circus¬†(international, contemporary)
Due to some of the artists being refused visas to enter the UK, we have had to make some changes to the Arab Arts Focus Dance Double Bill. Choreographer Shaymaa Soukry will introduce the performance. The planned performance of Mayhkomsh will be replaced by another piece by Soukry, The Resilience of the Body, performed by Mahmoud El Haddad. This will be followed by a screening of an excerpt of Mayhkomsh. The second part of the double bill, Running Away by Yazan Iwidat, will be screened in full, not shown live.
Even with the above changes, it still sounds like an amazing look into Arab contemporary dance.
Ticket Price: ¬£8 Standard ¬† ¬£6 (concessions) –¬†BOOK HERE
10. BREXIT THE MUSICAL
Programme: Musicals and Opera¬†(comedy, musical theatre) ¬†There‚Äôs a plan for Brexit. Just one hitch ‚Äď no one knows where it is! It‚Äôs up to one man, Boris, to find it. After accidentally winning the referendum, this is his only way to gain redemption and save the nation from Brexit. Ably assisted by his sidekick Govey, our hero faces his most important mission yet. Will they save the day? Written by Brexit lawyer Chris Bryant, this musical extravaganza is set to take Edinburgh by storm this summer. A must-see!
Dates: ¬†9th – ¬†14th , 16th – 28th ¬†August 2017
Time: ¬†6.55pm ¬†/18.55 (1hr 10 mins )
Venue: C Venues ¬†(Venue: 34)
Ticket Price: ¬£15.50 Standard ¬† ¬£13.50 (concessions) –¬†BOOK HERE
11. TAIWAN SEASON: TOGETHER ALONE
Programme: Dance, Physical Theatre and Circus (contemporary, dance)
‘Together Alone talks a lot about how to live together. We tasked ourselves to never let go of each other. That creates huge limitations. It‚Äôs just the two of us, but what we experience parallels society: how we deal with people, how we use each other, how we collaborate. Sometimes we help each other, sometimes we are against each other, sometimes we need to negotiate. The relationship is always changing. It has difficulties, it has moments of being smooth, it will change again, but nothing lasts forever’ (Chen-Wei Lee).