This year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival features fifty plus queer themed shows, KaleidoScot explores some of them for the LGBTI festival goers.
Some of the highlights include contemporary dance with a genderqueer theme Boys Who Like to Play With Dolls (12th to 22nd August at DanceBase) that I set in “a world where masculinity and femininity are unrelated to male and female forms”. Or Blazing Change Players’ latest work By the Bi (24th to 28th August at Spotlites) a dynamic multi-disciplinary – dance, spoken word and movement, that explores what it means to be bisexual within society and there is K’rd Strip: A Place to Stand (5th to 31st August at Assembly Roxy) by Okareka Dance Company, a dance, cabaret and variety troupe from New Zealand
There are also a number of shows that address different aspects of LGBTI history the standouts being: All the Nice Girls (6th to 29th August at Sweet Grassmarket) is an account of the careers of now almost forgotten music hall, revue and variety performers and the lesbian loves that formed, told from the perspective of male impersonator Ella Shields. Addressing altogether darker parts of our collective pasts are To Kill a Machine (6th to 31st August at ZOO, The Pleasance) is play about the tragic true life story of World War II Enigma Code breaker Alan Turing, and As Is (6th to 30th August at Bedlam Theatre) a revival of the ground-breaking 1980’s play about what it means to love someone who is HIV Positive, during the height of the AIDS crisis.
There are other plays that explore far more personal and recent histories – the exciting new play Trans Scripts, Part 1: The Women (5th to 31st of August at The Pleasance Courtyard), which recounts interviews of six real transwomen and features and exciting international cast,
including Rebecca Root the star of upcoming BBC 2 transgender sitcom Boy Meets Girl. As well as Sonya Kelly’s latest topical play How to Keep an Alien (August 6th to 30th, Traverse) which details how she and her Australian partner met, fell in love and then had to struggle get her a visa to live in her native Ireland and stay together.
The Night Shift with Gloria Hole (7th to 22nd August at theSpace) sees the renowned (and loud and drunk) Gloria Hole ask a potentially life changing question: “what on earth does an aging drag queen do when it’s time to hang-up her heels?” Another camp affair is Zanna Don’t (5th to 22nd August at C Venues – C) a musical comedy set in high school and it deals with the question: “should straights be allowed in the military?”
There is also Bear Hug (7th to 22nd August at Paradise in the Vault), a “heart-warming ‘coming-in’ story of booze, bears and queer goings-on”, and Odd Shaped Balls (17th to 29th August at Space Triplex) deals with a rugby player who comes out amid the homophobic sporting world. Another intriguing play is These Troubled Times (5th to 22nd August at C Nova, India Buildings), a comedic examination of family, religion and homophobia centred around a gay man who babysits his nephew and niece, and the deliciously titled Distinguished Gentlemen (But Really Just a Couple of ***ts) (7th to 29th August at theSpace on the Mile) which is provocatively and succinctly billed as a tale of “perverted passions, buggery and gout.”
Natasha Noman: Noman’s Land (5th to 15th August at Gilded Balloon) is an autobiographical one-woman comedy show, about her past working in Pakistan, and all the complications that ensue after arranging a lesbian Tinder date. Performance poet Little Red reveals “why the therapy didn’t work, through laughter, tears and sexual innuendo” in The Little Red Show (27th to 31st August at Spotlites). Another stand-up act is Michelle De Swarte’s: Jewish Cockney Caribbean Female (7th to 30th August at Laughing Horse @ Cellar Monkey), where she recounts her journey from a London council estate kid to a jet-setting fashion model.
And finally if you are looking for something more celebratory try the comedy acapella act The Kinsey Sicks: America’s Next Top Bachelor Housewife Celebrity Hoarder Makeover Star Gone Wild! (5th to 31st August at Gilded Balloon) a “Stunning four-part harmonies, wicked parodies, brilliant original songs, over the top drag!” or you can dip in every Tuesday to Dive and Summerhall Present… C U Next Tuesday Cabaret (11th, 14th, 18th and 25th August at Summerhall) is a cabaret and variety showcase that highlights, as its promotional material proudly states, “The queerest pick and mix of the Fringe” it even has an additional party on Friday the 14th.
But wait, this is just the queer de la creme, there are many other excellent LGBTI themed shows:
A Storm in a D Cup
Craig Hill: Playing With My Selfie!
Dandy Darkly’s Trigger Happy!
Donald Does Dusty
Evan Wonders of the World
I Am Not Myself These Days
I Went To A Fabulous Party…
If Only Diana Were Queer
Knowledge and a Girl
Loud and Proud on the Fringe
Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho
Me, as a Penguin
Mistaken: A Quartet of Plays for One Actor
Paul Sinha: Postcards From the Z List
Queens of Comedy
Sex, Hugs and Gender Roles: A Panel Show About Sexuality
Smack, Crackle n’ Pop!
Sunny Runny Runcorn
Sweet Thunder – A Show in Three Layers
The Bakewell Bake Off: A New Musical
The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven
The International Stud
The Lady Boys of Bangkok – Beauties and the Beats Tour
The LipSinkers: Evolution of the Fags
This Much (or An Act of Violence Towards the Institution of Marriage)
Title of Show
Welcome to the Cliterati
Wilde Without the Boy
Zoe Coombs Marr: Dave