Today's full programme, more choices & comment
Havana, Cuba! A Cold War world of suspicion, suspense and silliness. Amidst the sultry climes of Havana our heroes twirl, twitch and tango away from enemy agents, MI6 and the truth. Jim Wormold, a run-of-the-mill vacuum cleaner salesman turned accidental spy, resorts to fabricating ludicrous military reports in order to save his business and satisfy his decadent daughter, beginning a hilarious and improbable rise to the top of the British Secret Service. By popular demand, Spies Like Us return with their award-winning sell-out hit which will leave you gasping for breath and an ice-cold daiquiri.<br/>SELL-OUT Edinburgh Festival Fringe Show 2017
WINNER of Theatre Weekly's 'Best Fringe Debut' award 2017<br/>***** "Unmissable... This wouldn't be out of place on the West End" - Everything Theatre
***** “If you are a fan of spy thrillers, British comedies or loved The 39 Steps, then this is the show for you” – British Theatre Guide
**** “Quite simply, a joy” - Broadway Baby
**** “An incredibly funny production” - Theatre Weekly
**** "An immensely enjoyable theatrical experience" - The 730 Review
A comedy spoken word show about gender, the media and not fitting any of the boxes, full of explosive movement, original songs and kickass video projection. Edalia Day is a banjo wielding, poetry slam winning, trans warrior, taking on the world one troll at a time. <br/>Too Pretty To Punch is a hilarious and uplifting journey through what it means to be trans in 21st century Britain. It reminds all of us (regardless of who we are) of the power of celebrating our existence.<br/>"Head-spinning, joyful, painful, funny - and I loved the tech. It's a blast from and to the heart." - Chris Thorpe<br/>Edalia is a transgender/non-binary spoken word artist, animator and theatre maker based in Norwich. Trained at Lecoq and Alra, their theatre is visually stunning, with physical comedy and a child like sense of play at the heart of everything they make.<br/>?Writer/Performer/Animator: Edalia Day
Composer: Billie Bottle
Artists: B Mure & Jack Kelly
Set Design: Leo Calder
Stage manager: David Calder
Poster Design: David Cousens<br/>The finale includes poetry, video and audio contributions from 15 transgender and/or nonbinary poets from all over the world:<br/>Lee Mokobe, Ashe Vernon, Cairo Nevitt, Ash Palmisciano Robbie Masters, Adriana Scott Newsum, Leo George, George Cook, Millie Quick, Sez Thomasin, Jay Hulme, Carey Wood-Duffy, Kit Rayne, Kay Kassirer.
Chyna is 14. She’s a dancer. She touches sound.<br/>She is a Deaf performer. Come and meet her as she tells her story.<br/>In this multimedia dance production, mixing a video documentary with a live solo performance, she takes us on a journey through her daily life, immersing us in her world as she uses all her senses. Deafness is not a disability here but the opportunity to experience the world differently. Resonating in all of us, this show is accessible to both hearing and non-hearing audiences, without the use of translation. <br/>Created in collaboration with Oak Lodge, a specialist school for the D/deaf in Balham and Deaf Dance Artist Chisato Minamimura, this performance aims at bridging the D/deaf and hearing communities. <br/>We welcome audience feedback following the performance.
Two different stories tied together by one commonality, their Vietnamese mothers. Lòng M?, which translates into Mother’s Soul/Heart/Love takes you on two very personal journeys; a son coming to terms with the lengths his mother takes to provide for him, even if it means a brush with the law, and a daughter seeing her mother in a new light through her own impending motherhood. This is a tender love letter to all mothers whose love, sacrifice, wit, and steel are what makes us who we are, whether we like it or not.
"We wander the sunset plains, like nomads awaiting the rains".<br/>Three musicians and a painter imagine an astonishing and beautiful vision of hope in ecological crisis.<br/>Processed through formulae and machine, set free in imagination and music, Diniwe and the Hadedas explode a single poem by Don Paterson in a song-cycle that speaks of migration, landscape, roots, heritage and home. A multimedia collaboration collaging voices, song, poetry and paint, calling for action on the most pressing issue in the last ten million years. Profound, ridiculous and beautiful.<br/>"Tell us who we once were, we are not afraid of ourselves."<br/>Supported by Theatre Royal Plymouth
Society puts a lot of pressure on Fat Girl. All she wants to do is be with her soulmate Pizza. Instead, her mother signs her up for the reality show The Only Way Is Pretty. What will happen to Pizza when Fat Girl meets Hot Boy?
Big by Urvashi Bohra is a personal ode to pizzas and body positivity.
Why is the ‘free world’ obsessed with walls ?<br/>A unique fusion of poetry, satire, reportage, multimedia and traveller’s diary, Closed Lands traces the history of modern walls - real and metaphorical - from Berlin to Mexico to Europe. <br/>Beginning in 1989 with the euphoria for the fall of the wall - "the end of shame", as it was described - it moves in space and time to Mexico, the Sahara desert, and the wall of water surrounding "Fortress Europe", ending with the wall of bureaucracy faced by asylum seekers.<br/>LegalAliens' powerful and evocative production features the cast rotating through the roles of migrant, politician, citizen, CEO and a VIP bot, all part of a perverse and random mechanism. A live camera projects part of the action on screen, as our lives become increasingly part of a gigantic video game in which even the most dramatic situations - boats crossing the Med, border control techniques, the selling of weapons - can be sold to the public as glamorous products. <br/>Based on factual research and testimonies, and performed by actors who are all migrants in the UK, Closed Lands chronicles the "Free world's" obsession with walls and our journey back to shame. <br/>This is the English premiere of Closed Lands (Terres Closes), by award-winning playwright Simon Grangeat and performed by an all female international cast. <br/>Presented in co-production with Exchange Theatre and part of "Migrations Harbour Europe", an ACE funded project to promote plays from across the continent focusing on migrant voices and experiences in a non cliched and theatrically original manner.
"Dad's getting married again. A second wife. As in, in addition to his first. <br/>(We were shocked too)."<br/>This is a gripping story about two sisters in the run up to their dad's marriage, as they rehearse the traditional Nigerian dance he's asked them to perform, all the while navigating the complexities that come with lies, love and bigamy. <br/>It explores what happens when religion and culture collide, under the spotlight of a family in crisis, and the things people do to try and survive.<br/>This thought-provoking play was developed as part of the VAULT Festival New Writers’ Programme 2019, led by Camilla Whitehill, and showcased during VAULT Festival 2019 in a sold-out show.<br/>She Is A Place Called Home is partnering with Solace Women's Aid, an innovative and grass roots charity that supports women and children who have experienced domestic and sexual violence to build safe and strong lives. After each performance, we will be holding a collection of donations and toiletries on Solace's behalf. Any contributions will be very appreciated.
Patrick Healy is doing an hour of stand-up comedy, or a Work In Progress, as they say in the biz. <br/>He's not entirely sure what it's about yet, but he'll have an idea by the time the show comes around. It'll probably be a bit silly with some dry humour in there, and will hopefully "ha(ve) the crowd in stitches" (Wee Review). Come along to see the "idiosyncratic worldview" (London Evening Standard) of this So You Think You're Funny and New Act of the Year Finalist in action!
Co-host of guilty feminist Alison Spittle is doing a WIP for Edinburgh 2020.
Watch her work some bits out and try and put a show together.
“Whether character or citizen, Spittle comes across as a kind of genius.” **** Irish Times
"What do you do when the love of your life breaks up with you? You get HAMMERED!" <br/>Maddy's world might be falling apart but that won't stop her dancing. In this one-woman retelling of Medea, 21-year-old Maddy has the whole world at her feet. She is sassy, beautiful, and lives for her nights out on the dance floor. When her fiancée leaves her for another woman, however, she finds herself stranded thousands of miles away from home without anywhere to turn. As her desperation increases, she begins to realise that she is rapidly spiralling out of control. <br/>With her life slowly coming apart at the seams, what will Maddy do next?
“I regret that you have been in bed, though not with me”<br/>Through carefully crafted letters that are awaited with anticipation, Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf begin an exquisite romance. Filled with sharp intelligence, wit and elegance, both iconic women’s letters conquer each other’s hearts through carefully chosen words inked onto a page - luckily, their husbands don’t mind. <br/>“You’re the first person I’ve seen on this app which isn’t posing with a dog, a baby, or in your bra.”<br/>In the overwhelmingly tangled world of dating apps Mia and Lottie meet online. Flirting through the beam of a phone screen, they navigate many challenges, including kiss politics - two x’s or three? When an emoji can change not just the tone of the conversation but the entire meaning of what you write, reading between the lines takes on a whole new meaning. <br/>Brought to you by Sprezzatura Productions, V&V charts two narratives: the iconic love story of literary treasure Virginia Woolf and esteemed socialite Vita Sackville-West; and a far newer story of Lottie from Tunbridge Wells and love cynic Mia. Shortlisted for the Charlie Hartill Theatre Reserve 2019, V&V makes its debut at VAULT festival 2020.
Failed love, crippling debt and living with an angry 83-year-old. Not exactly what Maria had in mind when she left LA for the UK. ‘A slick, gag-driven US-approach’ (Chortle.co.uk). ‘A charming, engaging storyteller’ (BroadwayWorld.com). ‘I love Maria Shehata, she is funny on an off stage.’ (Bill Burr).
“Everybody loves a show!” declares Annie Londonderry - the real-life Bostonian immigrant who, in 1894, accepted a wager to cycle around the world. And with this striking, fast-paced, thoughtful new musical, Bottle Cap Theatre deliver a show indeed. On the face of it, it’s a story of feminist empowerment - a celebration of a woman who had the confidence and chutzpah to out-balls the men. But there’s a flip-side to that brassiness. Given all that she’d genuinely achieved, why did she feel driven to tell so many outright lies?
One woman. One bicycle. One hell of a story.<br/>It’s 1895 and 24 year old Annie Londonderry has returned victorious to America, hailed as the first woman ever to cycle around the world.<br/>She’s pioneering, she’s plucky, and she's pitching her story to the New York World. But as she shares her adventures, the cracks begin to show, and she's forced to confront a past she'd rather leave unexplored. <br/>RIDE is the incredible true story of a young woman with big plans, and an even bigger imagination, from the award-winning team behind VAULT sell-out THE LIMIT (***** FringeGuru).
"When I was 12 I told my father my favourite song was 'everything.' He replied "‘No! That’s too easy. You can't like everything, you need to be specific!" I was too embarrassed to tell him that 'Everything' was track 4 on the 1976 ‘A Star is Born’ Album."<br/>When Matt was young he idolised his father, but that didn't stop him leaving when he was 5 years old to start another family. At a loss for male role models, the precociously camp Matt turned to some alternate idols for support - Barbra, Shirley and Cher! Now as an adult, he's going to need those divas more than ever when he discovers that the half-brothers he's always sent Christmas presents to... have never been told he exists. Now, he needs to break the news to them that they've got an older brother, but can he reconcile his love of glitter and show tunes with his sport-loving, laddish new family?<br/>A fabulous comedy cabaret musical play from the creators of the cult hits Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho and Margaret Thatcher Queen of Game Shows about absent fathers, family secrets, brothers who've never met and Barbra Streisand. <br/>Written by Directed by Olivier Award-winner Jon Brittain (Rotterdam, A Super Happy Story About Feeling Super Sad, Baby Reindeer).
Welcome to an ocean full of plastic, giant squid, and opportunity.
Simon & Trixie work in a submersible mining station at the bottom of the sea. Their relationship is falling to pieces, but they can deal with that later. They just don’t want to be left behind in the climate crisis.
Every day, they dig up rare earth minerals which the planet needs for green batteries, electric cars, and new mobile phones. No one said going green would be easy.
It’s business as usual until they meet Archie – a giant squid. The loveable cephalopod has a lot to say about the big holes Simon and Trixie keep making in his home.
Kraken is a classic (and the only) underwater climate crisis capitalist-cephalopod romance. It’s a story about monsters, and what (or who) we’re prepared to throw away. It’s about going green but hurting the world around you. It’s about keeping up with catastrophe. It’s about wanting to love your planet, but not knowing how.
First and foremost, this is a play about what happens when a giant squid just might be your best friend. Or life partner.
"We were eighteen years old, and just learning to love the world and being in it, and then we had to shoot it to bits."<br/>Following an international tour, the multi-award nominated and award winning Incognito Theatre Company return to VAULT Festival with their critically celebrated adaptation of Erich Remarque’s tale, exposing the harrowing reality of trench warfare. <br/>Told through the eyes of five classmates, this adaptation is gripping and unyielding in its treatment of the visceral brutality of war, an honesty that lends itself to Incognito Theatre’s unapologetically explosive physical style. 'All Quiet on the Western Front' focuses on the harsh physical reality of this violent world from the perspective of the German forces, intercut with the vulnerability of human experience. An exploration of raw humanity and the power of brotherhood in the face of total bleakness, Incognito's 'All Quiet on the Western Front' exposes the personal sacrifices that were made for the sake of the Great War. <br/>Three Weeks ***** "Enthralling, moving and fundamentally, beautifully human."
“Load in the world.” <br/>Player 1, Aiden, is sixteen, autistic, and loves video games. They can be repeated, mastered and controlled. But what happens if the game starts to glitch? In this interactive video game musical the audience take control and help Aiden navigate STAGES.<br/>Playable characters include: Ellie, Aiden’s sibling, who’s stuck deciding on which avatar to select. Owen, Aiden’s dad, who hovers over the restart button. Alice, Aiden’s mum, who faces her greatest challenge, the final boss.<br/>Featuring an original electronic 8-bit soundtrack and arcade style graphics, STAGES by Christian Czornyj examines what happens when the code of our lives is rewritten and the way the digital world interacts with our own. It is a bold new British musical that has to be played to be experienced.
This is a show about work.
But the worker isn’t here, so it’s down to you.<br/>You’ll clock in at the beginning.
You’ll get short breaks at regular intervals.
You’ll work in a team, and under your own initiative. <br/>You will be your own boss.
You will be free.<br/>work.txt is a show performed entirely by the audience. A show that explores the gig economy, financial instability and automation.<br/>14+
Supported by Arts Council England
Chasing dreams, planting seeds and mining for gold in this work-in-progress show from 'one of very few comics who manages to do something new with the art form while keeping an audience thoroughly entertained' (Guardian). 'Impressively funny' (Scotsman). 'A breath of fresh, daft air' (List). 'A joy to be part of' **** (Skinny). 'Imagine there was no Ben Target. The world would unquestionably be a darker, less interesting place' **** (Chortle.co.uk). 'Bewildering fun' (Scotsman). 'A true original and a legend in the making' (Guardian).
Hello, it is me, David McIver ('weirdly heartwarming' - The Guardian). I am doing my third hour of stupid character comedy. At the moment it's a work in progress. I think it's going to be about music festivals, being 17 years old, and indie bands from the late 2000s. <br/>'An outstanding, theatrical piece of one-man comedy' **** Chortle. 'Uniquely inventive in its approach to comedy' **** 1/2 Short Com. 'Had his audience in fits of laughter' ***** LondonTheatre1. Seen and heard on BBC Three, BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 4 Extra and BBC Radio 1.
Do you believe in the soul? Because I want yours. Seriously.<br/>An hour full of stories, silliness and sublime storytelling (a lot of S's really) with the ever inventive Matthew Highton. You'll laugh, you'll wonder, one of you will hopefully give him your soul. "Highton has the storytellers gift" **** Steve Bennett - Chortle. "Wonderful" The Guardian. "Plenty to laugh at" Time Out
***** - ‘With such an impressive debut it is exciting to imagine what Samra will go on to achieve, but for now, I simply can not recommend this show enough’ – Ed Fest Mag<br/>***** - Radio Haha
**** - Broadway World
**** - The List
**** - Fest
**** - The Student
****- Moody Comedy<br/>Recommended best shows of the Fringe by The Guardian – ‘A strong debut about himself, comedy, revolution and self acceptance’<br/>Recommended best shows of the Fringe by The Observer – ‘Establishing himself as a future Fringe star’<br/>Comedy Pick of the Fringe by Fest Mag – ‘A hugely impressive hour’<br/>‘One of the most remarkable stand up shows at this years Edinburgh Fringe’ - British Comedy Guide <br/>‘A charismatic man with a great story... a lively, engaging presence, a skilled story teller and an astute, intelligent commentator... If this industry doesn’t accommodate him, then shame on us’ – Steve Bennett, Chortle
What makes a strong woman? Mother, maid and crone are trying to find the answer. They knew this once... It’s on the tip of their tongues... Maybe the stories we once told each other will hold the key... <br/>Heroine is a storytelling show seeking to answer the important questions: <br/>How to find love when you’re a skeleton who lives under the sea.
Why it’s important to keep secrets when you’ve accidentally married a hyena.
How to fight giants and gain financial security.
How to literally become the sun.
Oh. And what even is a Heroine anyway? <br/>With stories from all across the world, including Nigeria, Mexico and the Arctic - join us for an evening celebrating our forgotten fairytale heroines.
In 1998, Sam Nicoresti was abducted by aliens. Now he's ready to reveal the beans and spill the truth in his debut show about space, alienation and dimensional string theory. Given the state of the world (ie very good), it’s natural for humanity to be content with knowing in space there is no one to hear our screams. But are we truly alone? A smuggled tape, mysterious light and charred manuscript on interdimensional filing cabinets reveal the truth. Free buffet. No government agents. Half of Sam & Tom (Sketch Off! Finalists 2018). 'Dangerously deranged' ***** (MumbleComedy.net).
‘This is a story with a crime at its heart.’<br/>A myth, a lie, a tree. When a woman tells a lie to her girlfriend, a seed is planted that grows and grows. Now roots are cracking up through the pavement and branches are coming in at the windows. A loose reimagining of the Greek myth of Daphne and Apollo, about complicity, coercion, and getting lost in the forest of sexuality.<br/>A queer urban fable of sex, truth and power from an award-winning team. Work in progress.
Steve is ?ne. No really, he’s grand. He’s a lad. He’s always been a lad — one of the lads. But the lads have changed and Steve feels like an endangered species. The last of his kind. With nobody to talk to.<br/>But there's one lad left. His lad. And his lad... talks back.<br/>Following a sold-out run in Dublin in 2019, the company behind If We Got Some More Cocaine I Could Show You How I Love You returns to VAULT Festival with this balls-to-the-wall new comedy. <br/>Thomas Martin (Collapsible; Flights; If We Got Some More Cocaine; Ross & Rachel) directs this cheeky two-hander by Rhys Dunlop and Alan Mahon.<br/>"One Duck Theatre’s fast-paced production is brimming with imaginative touches from director Thomas Martin... Both performances are excellent... this is a company and a production that deserves to be seen." - No More Workhorse (Ireland).<br/>Written and performed by Rhys Dunlop and Alan Mahon
Director Thomas Martin
Lighting Designer Cillian McNamara
Sound Designer Ekatarina Solomatina
Movement Consultant Bryan Burroughs
Set design the company
Set Builder Stephen Lockhart
Five-star sell-out show Edinburgh Fringe 2017-2019 and VAULT Festival 2017-2019.
Netflix combines the taste profiles of 98 million users to create a perfectly ideal viewing experience...
Notflix combines the taste profiles of a room full of theatre go-ers to create a brilliantly hilarious and completely improvised viewing experience – a full musical.
The all-female cast of ‘Notflix’ use audience suggestions to create a brand new, fully improvised, one-night-only musical. Every show is different but what remains is the same joyous, musical celebration of everything you wish a movie could be.
Because everything is better as a musical!
Featured in Sunday Times, Marie Claire and Elle Magazines. Funny Women and Musical Comedy Awards nominees.
***** “Notflix might very well be the best show you see this year, and the year after, and hopefully forever” Broadway Baby
**** “Professional, fun and effortlessly funny” The Observer
**** “Surprising, spontaneous and delightful” Fringe Biscuit
Isma is British multiculturalism at its best. In About a Buoy – Adventures in Adoption, her preconception-shattering, down-to-earth and engaging style, explores transracial adoption, gender, religion, sexuality, race, one homophobic Muslim mother and Freddie Mercury. As seen on BBC Asian Network Comedy and BBC Two's The Big Asian Stand-Up. ‘A one-woman antidote to Islamophobia' (Leeds Guide). ‘A natural at teasing out the underlying humour from real-life stories’ (Chortle.co.uk). ‘One of the most original and charming circuit comedians’ (BroadwayBaby.com).
No-one who enters the labyrinth ever returns.<br/>Theseus searches deep underground for the terrible Minotaur. Ariadne must decide where her loyalties lie. Daedalus and Icarus are trapped, desperate to escape. As the story unravels, revealing the choices each make, do we control our destinies or are they entirely in the hands of the three Fates?<br/>Follow the thread and join the cast of Airealism deep in the labyrinth as the Fates weave their tale inspired by Greek myths using aerial circus & physical theatre.
Mamoun Elagab has a relaxed and conversational performance style with material that focuses on observations. He has been and winner of numerous comedy competitions including the BBC New Comedy Awards. <br/>Elagab has a "chilled composure and a fascinating back-story that he’ll be mining for years [...] a comic who you’d like to hear more from" (Chortle)<br/>Finlay Christie is a 20 year old comic and nice man. He began performing when he was 18. He has made fast rise already winning the prestigious So You Think You're Funny competition, former winners include Rhod Gilbert and Peter May, and has also impressively reached the final of the Chortle Student Comedy Awards. <br/>His playful and upbeat style is already garnering hype in his short career. In the words of revered comic critic Steve Bennett "he is accessible but different enough to make a mark"
Maddy Anholt is back with a vital and hilarious new show. She appeared on BBC Three’s 'Jerk', was nominated for 'Best New Show' at Leicester Comedy Festival, performed on Radio 4’s 'No Smoke' and played Mariah Carey’s Mum on ITV (no really). <br/>HOW TO TRAIN YOUR PSYCHOPATH is a darkly witty insight into the bizarre world of controlling relationships. We’ll learn if it’s possible to train a psychopath, and when it’s better to get the f*** out!<br/>Endorsed by Women's Aid
Each show will be different as Brent would takes you from being woed by him to being wed to him. Together we will take a journey into the lurid and desire filled mind of a drag king, who longs to get it right but so often gets it wrong. This Essex lad has a love of music and has written some original sexy pieces and will even create some for you in front of your very eyes via the medium of improv. It all culminates in a game show - where you can win a date with the man himself. Score! <br/>There are interactive elements, but Brent never picks on anyone and there will be colour coded stickers at the door to indicate your comfort levels.
With his solo fringe debut talented newcomer Lew Fitz (BBC New Comedy Award Nominee 2018) comedian Lew Fitz pieces together the story of a running away from his Northern home and the decade trying to find his way back. <br/>It is a show about embracing where you are from, who made you who you are and finding who you are supposed to be. With his ''vibrant and nimble writing' (Chortle) ''Babs' is a rollercoaster ride that Lew delivers with his engaging, unhinged and inimitable approach. Fuelled by heartbreak and loss, it's a show about embracing where you are from and who made you who you are. <br/>This is a no holds barred hour from a blistering new talent that looks at running away, breaking up and breaking down and then finding the strength to piece yourself together again and be what you want to be in life, no matter where you are from and obstacles in your way.
Kate Butch, the Comic Sans of Drag,. has written a musical based on the songs of her favourite singer and namesake, but needs your help to get 'BUSH!' to Broadway. Expect jokes, songs, games, and so much cloudbusting, from one of London's best rising drag stars. Catch this "great comedian" (WhatsOnStage) as she Runs Up That Hill, Dreams of Sheep and, of course, Wuthers your Heights.<br/>"If you see a more joyous or genuinely funny show this year, I'd be very surprised"
Buxton Fringe Review, 2017<br/>"A clear show stealer"
ScotsGay<br/>Buxton Fringe Best Comedy Winner 2017/2019