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We can't all be lucky enough to stroll the Royal Mile and see the plethora of shows on offer at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe every year, but fear not, we've put together a handy guide of some of the shows previewing in London this summer.
Edinburgh photo credit: Hamish Irvine (Flickr)
Bush Theatre - 25th to 29th July
Sometimes, even months of preparation isn’t enough for some performers to fend off intense stage-fright. But Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour will make his cast face the audience with no rehearsals, no preparation, and no idea what’s in the script. Each evening, a different performer will take to the stage with Soleimanpour, who will hand them a sealed envelope containing a script they have never seen. Soleimanpour will be joined by some great talents including Khalid Abdalla (The Kite Runner), Phelim McDermott, Vivienne Acheampong, Alexi Kaye Campbell, Hattie Morahan and Sabrina Mahfouz.
Nina – a story about me and Nina Simone
Young Vic - 19th to 29th July
Lady Day won’t be the only play in town about a legendary American jazz singer this month. The Young Vic have teamed up with Unity Theatre (Liverpool) and Riksteatern (Sweden) to tell the story of singer and activist Nina Simone. Backed by a live band, Josette Bushell-Mingo will work her way through Simone’s backcatalouge (which includes numbers such as “Four Women”, “Mississippi Goddam and “To Be Young, Gifted and Black”) whilst drawing on tales from her career and the Black Lives Matter movement.
I am a Tree
Ovalhouse - 27th to 29th July
Jamie Wood tells his weird and wacky story of a long walk in the woods. Wood’s last quirky comedy was his tribute to Yoko Ono, O No! and he’s also performed a show about three-time Wimbledon champion John McEnroe. Who knows what Woods will cook up this time?
Pleasance, London - 18th July
Joe Sellman-Leava won a Fringe First Award in 2015 with Labels, which explored why people feel the need to label others and put them into boxes. This year he returns to the Fringe with Monster, a new performance about violence, masculinity and anger. Sellman-Leava performs his own piece and asks “What happens to us as the red mist descends?”. Expect blood, sweat and tears, then.
There's quite a lot happening at the Pleasance in July, as it's the sister venue to major Fringe space in Edinburgh. Be sure to keep an eye out for other previews.
There’ll also be a whole host of comedians trying out their material before they head up to Scotland. These will take place all over the capital, but one of the best places to catch a preview this year is Battersea Arts Centre. There, you will see the likes of Sara Pascoe, Nish Kumar, Matt Forde, Ed Gamble and Dane Baptiste.