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  • Alistair Braidwood

Fringe Benefits: Scots Whay Hae!’s Top 10 Picks Of The Edinburgh Fringe 2023…

Updated: Aug 8, 2023

The Edinburgh Fringe is in full swing, but if you're unsure as to what to see, or what to see next, we thought you might find some inspiration from Scots Whay Hae!'s pick of the Fringe. Below are our Top Ten (in alphabetical order).

Click on the highlighted links for more info and tickets.

Chloe Matharu is an award-winning singer/songwriter and harpist who offers ethereal music intertwined with salty tales from her life as a Navigational Officer on ships. Get drawn into her watery world through her entrancing stage presence. Celtic Music Radio's Album of the Year Winner (2022), Celtic Connections Danny Award winner (2023) and Wales Folk Awards finalist. Chloe's Fringe appearance is not to be missed.

A new hour of stand-up by the wee guy with the glasses from Glasgow. Featuring routines and jokes on such topics as Edinburgh Zoo, going for a walk, and the collapse of the British state. As seen on Frankie Boyle’s New World Order, Comedy Central Live and BBC New Comedy Awards, and heard on the Enjoy An Album and Some Laugh podcasts. 'A master of observational comedy' **** ( 'Seemingly effortless' **** ( 'It becomes increasingly apparent he was suffering from depression' ( Tour support for Frankie Boyle and Susie Mccabe.

"I know you're reading this, look at your eyes darting about. Bet they'd be much happier shut. Dreaming about being a seal again. Anyway, please come see my show; storytelling, surrealness, a tale of woe, maybe a joke. Some reasons to see me: sold-out 2022 Fringe , got ***** (this year, I plan to get six). In 2022 I was a finalist in the BBC New Comedy Awards and 2nd place in the Funny Women Stage Awards blah blah bl.. If you're reading this, the treasure's buried under McEwan Hall. Hurry. Before it dies."

Tales of Transatlantic Freedom is a glorious exploration of our global musical heritage. Out of the pain of the diaspora narrative comes the richness of spirituals, jazz, blues, gospel, opera, and the songs of Robert Burns. From across oceans and centuries, this moving and awe-inspiring musical journey reminds audiences of our shared humanity, our cultural interconnectedness, and our potential for healing and true reconciliation. Co-created and performed by Andrea Baker and Howard Moody, directed by John Paul McGroarty.

Image by Calum Colvin.

When the flints of the old strike with the new, what story can be lit from the sparks? The ancient ballad of Tam Lin is reimagined in a near-future dystopian Scotland, exploring themes of bodily autonomy, reproductive rights and sexual freedom. Through original harp music, song and spoken word Kirsty Law, Kirsty Logan and Esther Swift tell a thoroughly modern story built on the bones of ancient wisdom. Originally commissioned for the Scottish International Storytelling Festival 2022.

From three-time Booker-nominated author Andrew O’Hagan (Mayflies), a cautionary tale of literary life, a hilarious a brilliant new play. New York's Plaza Hotel, 1966: the American writer Truman Capote throws the party of the century. As A-list guests arrive, Capote retires to his suite to drink martinis and gossip with himself about celebrity life and the meaning of self-invention. In a bantering oral ballad, he focuses on his Alabama childhood and creating a new kind of art form with In Cold Blood.

On a stormy night on Loch Ness, Sam is faced with an impossible decision. When finalising the housing development that will destroy the loch, Sam is in need of some guidance. With the loch at risk, who else should appear but the monster beneath. Fresh from their award-winning run in 2022, Simply Surreal return with a new show exploring our Scottish heritage. Featuring traditional music, and some native Scottish language, The Lady of the Loch stands up as a rallying call to act now and save our natural spaces, before they disappear forever.

Searching for escape from her mind and body, an anti-heroine finds solace in a seal skin that allows her to remove herself from her responsibilities on land as a young mother. Intertwining Scottish selkie folklore with dark observational humour, Sealed is a one-woman Fringe debut written and performed by Morgan-Drew Glasgow (LIPA MA Acting Graduate 2023). What happens when we shed the skin of our societal pressures, inhibition and sense of morality?

In her Fringe debut, outstanding choreographer Katie Armstrong presents SKETCHES/GLISK as part of the Made in Scotland Showcase. This impressive double bill created in collaboration with multi award-winning composer and DJ Mariam Rezaei, features a string quintet, DJ and four dancers. Described as a 'brilliantly bizarre... beautiful whirlwind', SKETCHES is a quirky reimagining of Bach's famous Violin Concerto in A Minor. Encompassing experimental turntablism, acoustic piano, dance and visual art, GLISK is a work inspired by the dramatic landscapes around Aberdeen and the North East. This show has been programmed by Dance Base in collaboration with Assembly.

An intensely physical, funny, and tender duet by two men wrestling with their relationship to violence – both onscreen and off. Fusing the Pow! Biff! and Wallop! of over-the-top stunt fights with personal stories of real encounters with violence from the performers' lives, Stuntman explores the relationship between violence and masculinity and the impact this has on our perceptions of men. A show for anyone who has ever enjoyed a violent action movie (but felt a bit weird about it).

Check out the full Fringe festival programme here -

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