Assembly and Pleasance announce Fringe 2018 shows

Assembly are bringing a Game of Thrones musical to Edinburgh this Fringe while Ruby Wax, Rob Kemp and Kiri Pritchard-McLean are among the talent on the Pleasance stage this August

Article by Jamie Dunn | 22 Mar 2018
  • Rob Kemp: The Elvis Dead

The Fringe hype train is well and truly here with two of the biggest venues announcing their talent for this year’s festival.

Assembly Festival: Game of Thrones musical, Massaoke, boy burlesque and more

This morning some more tantalising theatre, comedy and music has been added to Assembly’s line-up for this August, including New Perspectives’ stage adaptation of Nigerian author Chigozie Obioma's The Fishermen. Also announced this morning is comic play Sophie, Ben and Other Problems, which follows a young millennial couple through “low-key alcoholism, deep rooted regret and unfortunate sexual mishaps”.

In terms of comedy, blind standup Jamie MacDonald is returning to the Fringe with new show Blinkered; MacDonald joins already announced shows from standup favourites Andrew Maxwell and David O’Doherty. Also heading to Edinburgh with Assembly is impressionist Josh Berry, who’s making his Edinburgh debut with a repertoire that includes tennis star Andy Murray, Daniel Radcliffe and Prince Harry among others; and magician Chris Dugdale, described as the undisputed "king of the close-up card trick", who’ll be at the festival for the sixth time with Up Close!, a show “where the impossible happens right before your eyes”.

Another highlight looks to be the show from long running improv act The Completely Improvised Full Band Musical, who’ll be in Edinburgh once again with Baby Wants Candy, which will be fresh from a sell-out run in the States. And Game of Thrones meets musical theatre with Thrones! The Musical. Describes as a hilarious and gory parody of the hugely-popular HBO show, it's sure to prove popular this August.

If you prefer to do the singing yourself, there’s always late night riot Massaoke, where a club night and karaoke sing-a-long are smashed together to the cheesiest anthems from the 80s and 90s. There’s also more late night fun with the raunchy and ridiculous show from Briefs called Close Encounters, which is said to “test the limits of masculinity and decency” with Briefs' singular brand of circus, drag, boy burlesque and comedy.

“This is just the start,” says Assembly Festival director William Burdett-Coutts. “August is shaping up to be another fantastic year for Assembly Festival with the very best theatre and comedy at the heart of our programme. I hope that our 2018 Festival will provide Edinburgh’s audiences with an excellent selection of shows that are both memorable and entertaining.”

Assembly Festival runs 1-27 August, with tickets on sale now at

Pleasance at Edinburgh Fringe 2018: Ruby Wax, Rob Kemp, Kiri Pritchard-McLean and more

News from Pleasance is that the mighty Ruby Wax will be returning to the Fringe this year with her one-woman show Frazzled, and she’s joined on the Pleasance lineup by Rob Kemp, reprising the blood-drenched, chainsaw-wielding The Elvis Dead a combination of Elvis Presley tunes and the plot of Sam Raimi horror Evil Dead 2 that proved to be one of last year’s Fringe highlights. Several other comedians nominated for prizes in last year’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards, including Best Newcomer nominee Ed Night and Best Show nominees Jordan Brookes and Elf Lyons are also on the Pleasance’s roster this year.

Other standups confirmed for Pleasance this year are Kiri Pritchard-McLean, Gary Delaney, Brennan Reece, John Hastings, Chris Turner and Mawaan Rizwan along with impressionist Luke Kempner and Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Adam Riches, who bringing a pair of shows to Edinburgh this year. The Noise Next Door also return, as will the Chortle-presented compilation show Fast Fringe

In theatre, the Pleasance Grand hosts physical theatre from mask theatre masters Familie Floz in the form of show Infinita, and Tall Stories also bring two new works to Edinburgh: The Canterville Ghost and Wilde Creatures.

We also like the sound of Enter the Dragons, described as “a riotous, surreal odyssey exploring the pressures facing women as they age” and Some Riot Theatre’s Weird, which explores how one person's mental health can affect their whole family.

For the full Pleasance line-up and tickets, head to