Feeling Edinburgh FOMO? Us too. If you can’t make it to the Fringe, it can get quite lonely as everyone is enjoying great new theatre. If we’re lucky we’ll get to see a handful of the best shows transfer down to the capital for a run in London in the coming months. Here are a few shows that, from initial reactions online and in the press, we’re hoping will make the journey back down south at some point soon. (And if you're lucky enough to be in Edinburgh, tweet us any hot tips you might have discovered, or send them in on a nice postcard).
Travis Alabanza’s show came about after a transphobic attack they suffered in 2016, when a man threw a burger at them during a performance. The “humane and heart-rending show” (Mark Fisher, The Guardian) has had queues around the block in Edinburgh, as Alabanza looks to take control and ownership of that event.
One of Edinburgh International Festival’s headline shows this year was first performed in Australia in 2013, and, according to Michael Billington in The Guardian, has been hailed a bit of an Australian classic. Its basis is Kate Grenville novel about the clash between the natives and the white settlers in Oz. In his four-star review, he said: “It is a work that takes its time but memorably and movingly pinpoints a crucial moment in Australian history, while suggesting that we are witnessing a reenactment of an unending colonial tragedy”. If you miss it up north, it comes to the National Theatre at the end of the month.
Last year, Heathers the Musical brought a high school musical comedy with a dark twist to the West End. Cruel Intentions is another dark high school drama based on a successful film to get the musical treatment, and is making its debut at the Fringe. Starring Heathers alumna Sophie Isaacs, alongside Evelyn Hoskins, Dean John-Wilson, The Scotsman’s Rory Ford said the songs are “songs are solidly performed - although you suspect some of the cast members were teenagers themselves when the original movie came out.” Though he had less praise for the musical’s use of some tunes, including REM’s “Losing My Religion”. We think this piece has a run at The Other Palace written all over it.
Until the Flood
Dael Orlandersmith’s one-woman play is an “urgent, poetic drama about racism in modern America” according to Time Out’s Andrzej Lukowski. It stems from the death of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African American high school grad who was shot and killed by a white police officer five years ago. In the Evening Standard, Veronica Lee hailed the ‘moving and important’ piece as ‘somewhat straightforwardly political — but also deeply humane.’
Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Richard Gadd makes his theatrical debut with Baby Reindeer – which is set to come to the Bush Theatre later this year – which Veronica Lee in the Evening Standard claims is based on an ‘even more disturbing experience’ than his award-winning stand-up show about being the victim of a sexual assault. It tells of Gadd’s bunny-boiler experience with a woman he served while working in a London pub. It’s directed by Rotterdam writer Jon Brittain, and Lee calls it an ‘unsettling monologue about the nature of obsession’ in a five-star review, while The Guardian’s Brian Logan says it’s ‘a haunted, haunting hour’.
Set in Northern Ireland amidst the Troubles, this family drama sees two sisters reunite for the first time after 11 years. Their mother died in a fire, which Fianna took the blame for and spent time in prison, leaving Alannah to look after their abusive father. Production images show Fianna wielding a chainsaw, while the piece is littered with horror movie references. In The Stage, Natasha Tripney said there’s a “filmic vividness to things as the sisters hit the gin and the violence escalates”.