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Edinburgh Fringe Feminist Guide 2019

Feminist guide to edinburgh fringe

By Nikki Chung

It is almost that time of year again (where does the time go?!) where Edinburgh hosts the month-long Fringe festival. The Royal Mile is packed with street performers, and Edinburgh is ~sometimes~ dry, but definitely buzzing!

If you are, like me, overwhelmed by the amount of shows that the fringe puts on then look no further, I have compiled a short list of feminist-y and social issue performances that you can watch.

The Edinburgh Book Fringe have not released their programme for 2019 yet, but keep your eyes peeled on their Twitter for more information. There is also the Edinburgh International Book Festival's programme launches on 6 June 2019.

THEATRE

Risk Assessment

Aug 2-10, 18:30, £5-£8, Greenside at Infirmary Street – Ivy Studio

Feminism. Misogyny. Stereotypes. Three strangers discuss how experience has shaped their very different viewpoints in the #MeToo era. So who’s right? Well, it’s complicated... Will they listen to each other, or just smile and carry on?!

Marked as NOT wheelchair accessible by the Fringe guide.


This Script

Aug 4-11, 16:00, £12, Scottish Storytelling Centre

Book here

At a time of schisms within feminism, where sirens are the soundtrack to our newsfeeds, This Script combines poetic memoir with a fierce call for empathy.

With Jenny Lindsay’s trademark wit and lyrical dexterity, this is a show delving into often turbulent contemporary waters with an ultimate striving for understanding, empathy and action. From #MeToo to ageing in a gendered world: can she rewrite this script? Can you?

The Scottish Storytelling Centre is fully wheelchair accessible with lift access to all floors and hearing loops in Reception and performance spaces.

 

Shit

Aug 3-11, 13-18, 20-25, 16:50, Summerhall – Main Hall

Shit is an award-winning compelling, raw and powerful play which examines the intersections of class and misogyny. It is provocative, tragic, heartbreaking, bracing and bitterly funny. What happens when a girl spits, or swears, or screams, or shouts, or pulls down her pants to moon someone from a car, or she laughs too loudly, or she fights, really fights, head butts and punches with her fists, or cuts her hair too short, and wears too much lipstick or none at all? Out of control girls, angry girls, nasty girls are a sight to behold. They're terrifying, electrifying, they're everything.

Marked as wheelchair accessible and has wheelchair accessible toilets by the Fringe guide. Please confirm before booking. See  Accessibility page for details.


Detour: A Show About Changing Your Mind

Jul 31, Aug 1-12, 14-26, 14:35, £7-£11, Underbelly, Bistro Square – Buttercup

A show about getting lost and getting found. Diana Dinerman was a history professor on a PhD track, specialising in a niche area of Modern Dance history… then she became a stand-up comedian. Then life fell apart! She took a leap, fell on her face, and found her way to her feet. Detour is an inspiring comedic play about finding your path in unexpected ways. Both witty and insightful, Detour mixes exposition with editorial, humour with heartbreak, feminism with femininity – Diana Dinerman has her finger on the pulse of women rising.

Marked as wheelchair accessible by the Fringe guide. Please confirm before booking. See Accessibility page for details.


Everything I see I Shallow

Jul 31, Aug 2-11, 12-18, 20-25, 18:00, £5-£13, Summerhall – Demonstration Room

Everything I See I Swallow is a provocative examination of a mother/daughter relationship, set against a backdrop of shifting attitudes to empowerment, feminism and sexuality. In a world where #MeToo and #TimesUp have become rallying cries against female sexual harassment, how does a woman defend the objectification of her own body and the gaze from those around her? How are the lines drawn and how is the rope tied? Fusing theatre and aerial rope work with the erotic art of Japanese rope bondage, shibari, Swallow is an unusual and compelling encounter.

Marked as wheelchair accessible by the Fringe guide. Please confirm before booking. See Accessibility page for details.


Votes for Women!

Aug 12-17, 13:55, £7.50-£10, theSpaceTriplex – Studio

The story of Emmeline and Richard Pankhurst and the suffragette movement. This couple were the architects of two of the greatest steps forward in the fight for women's rights in Britain. In Votes for Women!, Polymorph Theatre examine what brought these two remarkable people together and the effect they would have on the cause of women's rights. Richard Pankhurst was the champion of women's property rights, while Emmeline Pankhurst drove the fight for women's suffrage to new heights and new notoriety.

Marked as wheelchair accessible and has wheelchair accessible toilets by the Fringe guide. Please confirm before booking. See Accessibility page for details.


With Child

Jul 31, Aug 1-13, 15-25, £5-£11, Pleasance Courtyard – The Cellar

A solo show – six different women, one thing in common. Inspired by society's expectations and the pressures on women to be maternal, kind, considerate individuals. There is one thing these women share, they are all pregnant, however they rarely refer to this – but do we as an audience judge them differently because of their impending motherhood? This series of talking heads style monologues will make you laugh and cringe as we share a glimpse into these women's daily lives, warts and all.

Marked by the Fringe guide as having an audio enhancement system and is wheelchair accessible. Please confirm before booking. See Accessibility page for details.


The Merry Wives of Seoul

Aug 11-17, 11:50, £6.50-£11.50, C Venues – C South – main theatre

Korean-ised adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic. Falstaff, a fat and debauched knight, tries to tempt two married women in Seoul and steal their wealth. But these two clever women see through his plan and set out to deceive him. A story that proves that women are more than the traditional helpers of men, but agents in their own right who outwit the plans society makes for them, and are ready to reform current traditions. EDP Soonchunhyang University return to Edinburgh with this brand new uniquely Korean physical comedy take on Shakespeare’s timeless tale.

Marked as wheelchair accessible and has wheelchair accessible toilets by the Fringe guide. Please confirm before booking. See Accessibility page for details.


Nightclubbing

Jul 31, Aug 1-11, 15:45, £5-£12, Summerhall – Old Lab

Rachael Young and her badass band of superhumans embrace Afrofuturism and the cult of Grace Jones in Nightclubbing; an explosive performance bringing visceral live music and intergalactic visions to start a revolution. 1981: Grace Jones releases her landmark album Nightclubbing; her body is brown and soft. 2015: Three women are refused entry into a London nightclub; their bodies are brown and soft. We are those women, zooming across galaxies, traveling through time, preparing for our moment to land... it's now! People of colour to the front, women to the front, LGBTQIA+ to the front!

Marked as wheelchair accessible by the Fringe guide. Please confirm before booking. See Accessibility page for details.


Woke

Aug 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 16:00, £12-£14, Gilded Balloon Teviot – Wine Bar

Fringe First winner returns for six shows only. Against stunning gospel and blues sung live, two women 42 years apart join the struggle for American civil rights. Both are faced with the same choice: fight or flee? ***** (Scotsman).

Marked as wheelchair accessible and has wheelchair accessible toilets by the Fringe guide. Please confirm before booking. See Accessibility page for details.


She

Aug 5-10, 12:10, £5-£10, theSpace on the Mile

What does it mean to be a woman in today’s society? How does she tackle the obstacles that life throws at her? Who is She? A verbatim performance led by the experiences of real women, unearthing the profound and individual journeys that women have gone through. The Ivy Players are an all-female company exploring what it is to be a woman, from the bloody to the beautiful, the sordid to the sensual, menstruation to #MeToo.

Marked as wheelchair accessible by the Fringe guide. May not apply to all performances. Please confirm before booking. See Accessibility page for details.


A Khosian Woman

Aug 8, 18:00, £6, Summerhall – Radio Studio

Her skin is black. Her hair is kinky. Her hips are wide. Her tongue clicks the songs of the Khoi language. Saartjie Baartman is the proud embodiment of the Khoisan women of South Africa. But in London 1810, she is the Hottentot Venus, a freak of race and sexuality. We see her displayed as a medical curiosity by British Army doctor Alexander Dunlop. Saartjie's black body has been prodded, whipped and mimicked for the audiences' amusement for years. Saartjie stands as the epitome of colonial exploitation, ridicule and commodification of black women.

Marked as wheelchair accessible by the Fringe guide. Please confirm before booking. See Accessibility page for details.


A Payment Unkind

Aug 19-22, 16:30, £8-£10, Sweet GrassmarketGrassmarket 2

Three women find themselves trapped in a small basement room of an office building. They’ve not met before. Tension builds as it is revealed why each of them is in the building. Arguments develop, the main disagreement being about Alex Naylor, the entertainment impresario. Is he a sinner or a saint? Why has Martine, his former protégé, come to see him? Is Hazel really his PA? Rhona is in the building for a different reason – but this too connects with the underlying theme of how men sexually dominate and exploit women.

Marked as wheelchair accessible and has wheelchair accessible toilets by the Fringe guide. May not apply to all performances. Please confirm before booking. See Accessibility page for details.


The Trojans

Aug 7, 16:30, £10-£15, Pleasance at EICC – Pentland Theatre

Directed by Victoria Beesley. Adapted by Mariem Omari from Euripides. A brand-new, haunting and uplifting adaptation of Euripides’ great anti-war tragedy, The Trojans, written and acted by a cast of Syrian refugees living in Glasgow. With original writing by the cast. Translated by Alaa Saloum and Sanaa Al Froukh. 'Intimate... Moving... Startling' **** (List). Produced by Trojan Women Scotland CIC with Terra Incognita and Platform. English and Arabic with sur-titles.

Marked by the Fringe guide as wheelchair accessible, has wheelchair accessible toilets and has an audio enhancement system. Please confirm before booking. See  Accessibility page for details.


She Shall Not Be Moved

Aug 19-24, 11:10, £8-10, theSpace on the Mile - Space 3

Book here

This fresh, original piece of writing, set in a modern day witch trial, is a meditation on what it means to be a woman; the challenges we face, and how they break us, bind us and shape us into the women we become.

Marked as not wheelchair accessible with 20+ stairs.


The Struggling Life of an Artist

Aug 1-12, 14-19, 21-26, 15:40, C venues - C aquila (studio)

Book here

Actor and horror writer Xiomara Meyer The Struggling Life of An Artist: The Mexican-born German writer makes her Fringe debut with Tamalynne Grant, presenting a comedy that looks at how an aspiring film actor and a novelist are offered success if the one will “sexy herself up” and the other will adopt a male nom de plume. Largely based on life, they delve deep into the insanities of the male dominated entertainment industry.

Not fully wheelchair accessible. Stairs: 11- 20 or Seated chair lift to upper floors from foyer (requires transfer from wheelchair).

Taboo

Aug 1-6, 8-11, 13-18, 20-25, 14:15, Sweet Novotel - Novotel 2

Book here

A fictitious talk show with a live audience, featuring a guest from the afterlife. Impossible? Maybe exactly as impossible as the image of the ideal woman, a topic that the play seeks to address. The highlight of the evening: Käthe Petersen. A seemingly selfless social worker who was active between the years 1932 and 1966 in Germany. Behind the facade of medals lies a bottomless pit... Against the backdrop of this historical figure, we put concepts such as female sexual self-determination up for discussion.

Listed as wheelchair accessible in the Fringe guide


COMEDY

Sofie Hagen: The Bumswing

Jul 31 Aug 1-11, 13-25, £6-£14, Pleasance Dome - Queen Dome

Book here

The Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Newcomer winner Sofie Hagen is back with a brand new stand-up show The Bumswing. Join her for an evening of outstanding comedy with a show about the things you forget, the things you remember and the things you wish you would forget. As seen on Live from the BBC and her own episode of Comedy Central Specials.

Marked by the Fringe guide as wheelchair accessible, has wheelchair accessible toilets and has an audio enhancement system. May not apply to all performances. Please confirm before booking. See Accessibility page for details.


In Conversation with Standard Issue

Aug 11-12, 13:40, £8-£10, The Stand Comedy Club – Stand 1

Standard Issue, the podcast founded by Sarah Millican, returns to Edinburgh for a fourth year. Made by women, for women, the magazine for your ears will host another two In Conversation events where the team chat to brilliant guests from the world of comedy and the media, including Rosie Jones and Laura Lexx*. Join them for an afternoon of feminism, funnies and much more. Full Line-up TBC. *Line-up subject to change.

Marked as having wheelchair accessible toilets by the Fringe guide. May not apply to all performances. Please confirm before booking. See Accessibility page for details.


Fern Brady: Power and Chaos

Aug 1-11. 13-25, 18:00, £6-£10, Monkey Barrel Comedy – Monkey Barrel 1

As seen on Live from the BBC, Live from the Comedy Store, The Russell Howard Hour and Live at the Apollo. Fern is one of the UK’s hottest comedy stars. Known for being totally unique and completely fearless, her new show will tackle sexuality, feminism, power, Brexit, Britishness, Scottishness and nationality all with her caustic wit, exceptional writing and electric stage craft. 'An astounding hour' ***** (List). Tough-talking and packed with don’t-give-a-shit honesty. It finds the right balance between sincerity and side-splitting anecdotes... I was crying with laughter' ***** (Skinny).

Marked as NOT wheelchair accessible by the Fringe guide.


Phoebe Robinson: Sorry, Harriet Tubman

Aug 12-25, 18:45, £12-£16, Assembly George Square Studios - Three

Book here

Best known as the co-creator and co-star of hit podcast 2 Dope Queens, interviewing the likes of Jon Stewart, Tig Nataro and Michelle Obama to name just a few. Phoebe is also a New York Times best-selling author of You Can't Touch My Hair & Other Things I Still Have To Explain and her second book Everything's Trash, But it's Okay and stars in Netflix film Ibiza and Paramount's What Men Want. Sorry, Harriet Tubman marks her UK stand up debut.

There is an alternative entrance used for the lift access which FOH will assist and guide with. If not taking the accessible route there are 6 steps up into the performance space.


Thunderc*nt

Aug 1-6, 8-12, 14-19, 21-25, 20:00, £5, Heroes at Boteco – Basement

This award-winning, five-star comedy show will grab you by the short and curlies. If the C-word triggers/offends and you and you’re not a fan of stand-up comedy... Mahoney will change your mind. Hilarious stories of her family’s matriarchs, her tomboy childhood, Star Wars, Disney, propaganda, censorship, men and of course the thunderous C-word. Nothing is off limits in this show that delivers wonderfully perverse laughs and a powerful message of how one woman found her superpower and what feminism should be about. 'Brilliant, Charming, endearing' (Bridget Bantick, Melbourne International Comedy Festival). 'Joyful, triumphant, enlightening, Don't miss Thunderc*nt!' (FringeFeed.com.au).

Marked as NOT wheelchair accessible by the Fringe guide.


Tiff Stevenson: Mother

Jul 31, Aug 1-25, 21:15, £7-£10, Monkey Barrel Comedy – Monkey Barrel 3

Person of interest on Mock The Week, People Just Do Nothing and The Bugle squats and delivers a show about the extreme sport of womanhood. Birthing her vision of the future before your eyes, how she hopes it will be... free from class war, poverty and consent issues. Also dragging the overdue spectre of what it is more likely to be: t-shirt feminism, Jordan Peterson and corporate wokeness from her loins. All without an epidural. 'It's jaw-droppingly remarkable how much ground she covers, how funny she is, how intelligent her attacks are' ***** (Sunday Herald).

Marked as NOT wheelchair accessible by the Fringe guide.


SPOKEN WORD

Are Women Assholes?

Aug 8, 20:10, £8-£10, The Stand’s New Town Theatre - Studio

Women are constantly measuring one another by ideals of thinness, beauty, best mummy practices and keeping a happy home with a happy partner. Why? Are their values warped? Are they not happy with themselves or are they afraid of being alone? Why is single status so threatening? Does competitiveness drive their insecurities or do women’s insecurities drive their competitiveness? Amy Andrada (University of Edinburgh) dares to ask. In her quest, she discovers that women are much more than they appear and accept far less than they deserve.

Marked as wheelchair accessible by the Fringe guide.


Neglecting Midwives Gives Mothers PTSD

Aug 15, 20:10, £8-£10, The Stand’s New Town Theatre Studio

The NHS is getting it wrong! Funny? No! Laughable? Maybe! Jenny Patterson (Edinburgh Napier University) hits out at the NHS for neglecting midwives and heartlessly letting women suffer – almost like trauma-stressed war veterans. Neglected midwives can end up lashing out or burning out, leaving some women feeling shocked and abandoned. Sadly, both midwives and women can end up with PTSD. Do midwives need to toughen up? Do women? Jenny doesn’t pull her punches and says: 'Never mind the women, what about the midwives?'

Marked as wheelchair accessible by the Fringe guide.


Akala – In Conversation – Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire

Aug 2-6, 16:30, 20:00, £16, Gilded Balloon Teviot – Debating Hall

One of the most important voices in Britain, Akala is a BAFTA and MOBO award-winning hip-hop artist, writer and social entrepreneur. Alongside an extensive and celebrated output as a musician, Akala has produced numerous projects in the arts, education and music worldwide. His online lectures, views and performances have gathered millions of views on YouTube. Natives is the recently published memoir and already a Sunday Times bestseller. These special appearances at Fringe will see Akala discussing topics raised in the celebrated work, alongside other important themes.

Marked as wheelchair accessible and has wheelchair accessible toilets by the Fringe guide. May not apply to all performances. Please confirm before booking. See Accessibility page for details.


4 Brown Girls Who Write

Jul 31, Aug 1-4, 17:30, Price: N/A, Gilded Balloon at Old Tolbooth Market – Bothy

A poetic celebration of the freshest new voices bursting onto the spoken word scene exploring sex, love, language, gender and race. Following the sell-out release of their debut poetry collection, 4 Brown Girls Who Write are raw, bold and entertaining, performing alongside a host of exciting new talent. It's gonna be vibey AF so just come! 'They're incredible – if you get the chance go and see them!' (FGRLS Club).

Marked as wheelchair accessible by the Fringe guide.


#GIRLHOOD

Jul 31 - Aug 11, Aug 13 -18, Aug 20 - 25, 16:45, £6-9, Gilded Baloon Rose Theatre - Attic

Book here

Award-winning writer and spoken word artist Cat (BBC Radio 6 Music, BBC The Social, Radio Scotland, STV) debuts the stage adaptation of her hit poetry book. Nostalgic, hilarious and heartbreaking, her performance deconstructs and satirises the milestones, conventions and pressures that girls and young women face. 'Hepburn's new collection is the lovechild of slam poetry and the snatched rant over coffee or in the loo... Bittersweet, irreverent and to-the-point, these poems speak of life's knots and identity pitfalls all too clearly' **** (Skinny). 'Cat Hepburn helped make poetry cool again' (Scottish Sun).

Not wheelchair accessible with 73 steep curved steps.

 

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