Edinburgh Fringe: a preview

The Edinburgh Fringe is back and it’s bigger than ever, in its 70th year. 26 days jam-packed with more theatre, comedy, musicals and concerts than you can shake a stick at.

Wikimedia Commons: Edinburgh Castle Overview

The Edinburgh Fringe is back and it’s bigger than ever, in its 70th year. 26 days jam-packed with more theatre, comedy, musicals and concerts than you can shake a stick at. This year, our very own Mermaids Performing Arts Fund has sent 6 shows to the Fringe, so I’m here to give you a rundown on the events and let you know when and where they’re happening. Be sure to check them out and support your fellow Saints!



Premiered in the first semester of 2016 and written by Jared and Noah Liebmiller, Atlas was very well received in its first run. Back with a vengeance, it has been revamped with a new director and a new cast and details the story of how Isaac Newton came to write his legendary book, Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica. If you’re interested in the machinations of history and the reworking of the story of a scientific legend (with some fish-related humour), be sure to check this out.

“It’s 1684 and the world has entered a new era of scientific enlightenment. A friendly wager between three titans of natural philosophy – Edmund Halley, Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke – turns ugly. Enter little known and less beloved Isaac Newton, whose deep-seated grudges propel him to alter the wager’s outcome and the course of history. Atlas fuses historical fiction and character drama, and explores how rivalry and ambition changed the world.”

DATES – 4-19 (except 6 and 13) August

LOCATION – theSpace on North Bridge (Venue 36)

TIME – 18:25 (55 minutes)

PRICE – £7 (£6)



Self-described as “St Andrews’ first, best, and only improv comedy troupe,” Blind Mirth regularly entertain packed audiences at their free shows every Monday at the Barron during term time. If you fancy seeing them in an entirely new environment, but with the same wit, charm, and hilarity you expect from a Mirth show, definitely catch them at this year’s festival where they’re guaranteed to make you laugh.

“Tightly clutching their Derek Award from the 2016 Fringe, running on the adrenaline of a student diet and a spectacular year performing in St Andrews, Blind Mirth – St Andrews’ first, best, and only improv comedy troupe – is heading back to the Fringe for a two-week improv extravaganza!
Blind Mirth’s 6th run at the Edinburgh Fringe promises to be even more hilarious than before. Packed with long and short form improv games, inspired by audience suggestions, every show never fails to deliver non-stop laughs. The troupe are primed for another fringe run crammed full of sparky, spontaneous and side-splittingly funny comedy.”

DATES – 7-12, 14-19 August

LOCATION – theSpace on the Mile | Space One (Venue 39)

TIME – 21:05 (50 minutes)

PRICE – £7 (£6)



Last year was, to put it mildly, a bit of a political nightmare. This year isn’t much better. However, what a political nightmare can produce is sharp, clever theatre with more points to make than a blacksmith during medieval wartime. Commons, written by Elliot Douglas, is an example of this type of theatre, as it snapshots different events during the affair between a MP and his rent boy. Check this out for pointed Brexit analogies, a poignant script, and beautifully stylised theatre.

“Debuting at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival is a newly devised theatre piece about the failed romance between an MP and his rent-boy, and the consequences they must face for acting upon their desires.
Duchess Theatre in association with the Mermaids Performing Arts Fund is excited to present this newly devised theatre piece that combines the intimacy of domestic drama with a commentary on modern politics. Following the romance between a middle-aged MP and the rent-boy he employs, this cleverly written and darkly funny tale is told in snapshots in reverse chronology.”

DATES – 7-12, 14-19 August

TIME – 17:10 (45 minutes)

LOCATION – theSpace @ Northbridge (Venue 36)

PRICE – £8 (£6)



The 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death saw this play premiered in St Andrews. A monumental effort, an intricate reworking of Shakespeare’s language and themes by Isaac Mayne, Pistorius depicts the trial of Oscar Pistorius after the shooting of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. This tragedy blends the language of Shakespeare with the events of recent times and is a must-see for all fans of Shakespeare.

“Pistorius: A Shakespearean Tragedy unfolds the astonishing resemblance between the tragic shooting of Reeva Steenkamp and the archetypal tales of a fallen hero. Through an intricate refiguring of William Shakespeare’s language, characters, and cherished plots, this unique play presents how the ‘tragedy’ of today continues to grip audiences with unsettled viewing pleasure.”

DATES – 14-19, 21-26 August

TIME – 19:30 (1 hour)

LOCATION – Greenside @ Infirmary Street (Venue 236),

PRICE – £7 (£6)



A stalwart of the spoken word scene, Hannah Raymond-Cox has brought her smash hit coming-of-age show to the Fringe. Premiering and selling out at the On the Rocks Festival 2017, Hannah’s blend of wit, realness and wordsmithing creates a beautiful show, as she takes her audience around the world using only her voice. Conjuring many emotions and striking many different chords, this is an identity forging piece of art. You can’t miss it.

“Fresh from its sell-out run, Polaris is a free trip around the world. It’s the kind of dark humour that comes from being thwacked in the face by everything and everyone possible.
Self-aware, self-deprecating, and absolutely no selfies, this coming of age story is full of sex, sexuality, and some sad shit.
The true story of growing up everywhere and fitting in nowhere, with added queer just for fun. (haha. fun.)”

DATES – 4-9, 11-16, 18-23, 25-28 August

TIME – 14:45 (50 minutes)

LOCATION – 52 Canoes (Grassmarket) (Venue 366)




Last year, Sonder Theatre enjoyed an award-winning, five-star run with their show Delay Detach. This year they are back with another piece of original writing, Rock and Hunt by Helena Jacques-Morton. Charting the lives of six characters in search of their identities and what it means to be a person in this modern world, the show is full of wry humour, moments of high poignancy and references to Victoria sponge. Do not miss this one, you might come out of it having found a new beloved character.

“Cate’s never been to a party. Luke’s a prick. Josie can’t eat the cake alone. James needs a job. Laura wants to scream. And Fred can’t work Grindr. From the awkwardness of teenage sex to finding yourself suddenly alone after 50 years, join six characters in search of answers as they defy and succumb to the expectations the world has of them through dating apps and unemployment, alcoholism and asthma, sex, love, life, death and Victoria sponge.”

DATES – 5-12, 14-19 August

TIME – 17:50 (50 minutes)

LOCATION – Paradise in the Vault (Venue 29)

PRICE – £8 (£6)



In their first year as a mixed-voices ensemble, the Bells won the 2016 Scottish A Capella Championships. Since then, they have been going from strength to strength and not only sing arrangements of existing songs but write their own ones. Their show Gospel will showcase the vocal abilities of the group, as well as their capacity to weave beautiful melodies and fill a room with sonorous sounds. This one is for lovers of music, but is a show for everyone.

“Bells gained national prominence in its first year as a fully mixed ensemble after winning the 2016 Scottish A Cappella Championships. Combining a wide range of musical genres with original compositions and evocative arrangements, the group is known for weaving stories through their performances. Vocally sampling lyrical, harmonic and melodic motifs in a bold fusion of genres, drawing on noughties’ hip hop, indie and electronic folk, and late classical and romantic music, Gospel repackages contemporary themes with faith-emotive melodies to produce a uniquely colourful, graceful and moving masterpiece for a composed, controlled and creative vocal show.”

DATES – 4-12 August

TIME – 19:30 (45 minutes)

LOCATION – Paradise in Augustines (Venue 152)

PRICE – £8 (£6)


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