Hunting the Big Four: Our Comedy and Theatre Picks

Feature by Ben Venables and Emma Ainley-Walker | 25 May 2015

With the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe fast approaching, last week saw the so-called ‘big four’ Edinburgh Fringe venues – the Pleasance, the Gilded Balloon, Assembly and Underbelly – launch their joint programme in Edinburgh. 

We'll have a comprehensive round-up of our picks of the festival when the full Fringe programme launches on 4 June, but for now our comedy editor Ben Venables and theatre editor Emma Ainley-Walker have each picked out four shows to see from across the ‘big four’ Edinburgh Fringe venues; here are their shows to watch out for this August.

Gein's Family Giftshop, returning to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2015


Sam Simmons: Spaghetti for Breakfast (Underbelly)
Winner of this year's Barry Award at Melbourne Comedy Festival, master of the absurd Sam Simmons now brings his winning show to Edinburgh following last year’s Foster’s Award-nominated show Death of a Sails-man.

Adrienne Truscott: One-Trick Pony (Gilded Balloon)
How do you follow up a show about rape? The last time we saw Adrienne Truscott we said: "If you missed this show you missed the Fringe." Winner of the Panel Prize in 2013, Adrienne Truscott arrives with a brand new show.

Gein’s Family Giftshop: Volume 2 (Pleasance)
Sketchfest champions, shortlisted in Edinburgh and Chortle prize winners, 2014 was some year for sketch group Gein's Family Giftshop. Now they're back with a second volume of darkly surreal sketches.

Luisa Omielan: Am I Right Ladies? (Assembly)
Remember when Luisa Omielan rocked up at the 2012 Fringe without any fanfare sporting a show with ‘Beyonce’ in the title? Now a global phenomenon, Luisa Omielan is back for a short run of last year's follow-up hit Am I Right Ladies? 

Maureen Beattie in The Carousel in 2014, part of the Jennifer Tremblay trilogy


Cut (Underbelly)
Winner of the Adelaide Fringe Underbelly Award and the Theatre Weekly Award. A one-woman thriller with an intimate audience and an 'immersive, installation-style' design.

Echoes by Henry Naylor (Gilded Balloon)
The premiere of the latest play from the 2014 Fringe First award winner tells the tale of two British women born 175 years apart: a schoolgirl Jihadi and a Victorian bluestocking. 

Fiction (Pleasance)
A collaboration between Glen Neath and David Rosenberg which promises that 'you will fall asleep and you will dream.' An immersive experience taking place in darkness using sound to explore dreams.

The Jennifer Tremblay Trilogy (Assembly)
Stellar Quines present the first English-language performance of all three plays penned by Quebecious writer Jennifer Tremblay, performed by Maureen Beattie. Parts one and two – The List and The Carousel – have each previously won Fringe First awards.

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