2022-2023 Co-Presidents Abbie and Fiona visited the EdFringe this year!
This is a fun article covering our thoughts and feelings from the different shows we went to see from mid to the end of August.
The fringe was such an incredible experience! Having never been to Edinburgh before, it was a beautiful introduction to the city. The cultural importance of the arts appears a vital organ for the city, it's as if Edinburgh breaths the creative industry.
With only a few days in the city, we managed to squeeze in a bit of everything! From comedy, men throwing fires on ladders, over-overwhelmingly areal performances to intense social commentaries.
"Lost Boy" by Sarah Keyworth
If you ever have the privilege to watch a stand-up routine by Sarah Keyworth you absolutely should! Their show "Lost Boy" was hilarious, covering topics from love to loss and female masturbation. Their set was original, honest and super heart-felt. You leave their presence feeling as if you've made a new friend who's shown you how to keep your chin up through the hardest of times.
Improv always has something for everyone, as each show is different, it can be hard to review! Overall, this particular improv troop created a very comfortable space where each audience member is welcome to participate as much or as little as they like. The performance we saw was especially creative, with scenes of marmite debates performed as Theresa and Boris followed by giant insects and then the re-telling of audiences' stories of young love, I laughed the hour away.
Theatre & Dance:
Blanket Ban by ChalkLine Theatre
Where to even begin with this performance!? Astounding left me and the rest of the audience in awe and deep emotion. Two women from Malta told the story of a thousand women. It was uniquely thoughtful and thought-provoking. Incredible theatre that brings you straight into the world of women's right, sexual health and the important of body autonomy. This performance juxtaposed hilarious comedic moments with dark themes of power, fear, misogyny and the painful truth of the struggle women of the beautiful Malta face today. The peaks and valleys of this show were wonderfully balanced, allowing every audience member the space and time to digest the information being communicated. With great dignity and pride, Davinia Hamilton and Marta Vella expressed the complexities of not just Maltese women, but women across the globe.
Tea Ceremony - SrslyYours
A one man extraordinaire! A wonderfully delicate performance that made me forget to breath. Literally took my breath away. Marios Loannou created a harrowing and tense atmosphere, yet for some reason I've never had felt so safe in a man's presence. Based upon the tradition of a Tea Ceremony, the male Geisha told a story of capitalism, consumerism and control through the seasons. Captivating and unpredictable, Marios's performance was slow, careful and captivating. By the end, we were commanded to think about how our own luxuries may derive from the exploitation of others. There are many ways to interpret the bookending of this show, for me, it was how we must always think of others before enjoying any experience offered to us.
Note: there have some criticisms about this show, we have linked a few here. As we are not professionals in these subjects or theatre reviews, please take the time to read about racial sensitivity and theatre: 1 2 3 4
This show defines what the roots of the fringe stand for, building artists up and allowing young performance to take up space and test new material! The hard work of the pair who put on this show was undeniable. It was mysterious, creative, and left the audience with so many questions! It did exactly what new theatre should do; it makes its audience want to see more. As a part of free-fest, it was a privilege to show-up and give support for young performers hoping to make their mark!
The Chosen Haram
This multi-dimensional experience told a story of love, religion, addiction and sex. It's an innovative LGBTQ+ themed areal performance on two Chinese poles that was like nothing else I've ever seen! Even though it featured only one line of dialogue, "yes", the audience was captivated through every movement. Sadiq Ali has done a tremendous job, expressing the connection between religion and sexuality in a beautiful and dynamic way. Sadiq's performance partner Alexandre Duran Davins was a delight to watch, a circus performer that's re-invented what the audience will imagine when thinking of 'circus'. With every eb and flow of this story, the audience is emotionally pulled into the world of these characters, their desires and struggles. Visually, The Chosen Haram is the most stunning stage show I've ever had the privilege to witness.
Sexy. Sexy, quirky, enticing ballet. Not what I expected at all! Having never seen ballet live before, I had very stereo-typical expectations of slow extensions and tutus. Instead, I was met with drama, thrilling fast paced story telling filled with excitement and dimension. The musical soundtrack was electric, of which the dancers were harmoniously connected too. It was goofy and free, exactly what audiences experiencing a world of turmoil need right now. The Ukrainian troop captivated one of the largest audiences at the Fringe for a little under two weeks. What a pleasure it was to see dancers running into the audience to embrace family, friends and children at the finale. A must-see performance.
To conclude, EdFringe was so unbelievably enjoyable. We will be incredibly blessed to have to opportunity to attend again next year, and hopefully the year after!
The only downside was Fiona and her friend Sam realising they'd missed Bianca Del Rio's show. Distraught. #WeLoveYouBiancaDelRio