The Best Theatre Shows of Edinburgh Fringe 2019

Our review team's favourite theatre from this year's Edinburgh Fringe – find our four- and five-star reviews here

Feature by The Skinny | 01 Aug 2019
  • August 2019 Cover

The Edinburgh Fringe is a hotbed of experimental, exciting and engaging theatre, but with so many shows to choose from it can be hard to work out where to start. Hopefully this page can help – we'll be updating it throughout the Fringe with the best reviews from our Theatre team.

The Fishermen @ Assembly George Square

This adaption by Gbolahan Obisesan is a powerful and gut-wrenching piece of theatre. Assembly George Square Studios (One), until 24 Aug, 12.15pm, £14

Woke @ Gilded Balloon Teviot

A galvanising piece of political theatre, drawing parallels between the Black Panthers and Black Lives Matter. Gilded Balloon Teviot (Wine Bar), 23 & 25 Aug, 4pm, £13-14

Myra Dubois: Dead Funny @ Underbelly Bristo Square

Putting the fun into funeral, Myra DuBois makes death look like a party. Underbelly Bristo Square (Buttercup), until 25 Aug, 3.55pm, £10-11; extra show, Underbelly Bristo Square (Clover), 24 Aug, 5.30pm, £10-11

Frankenstein: How To Make a Monster @ Traverse

The Battersea Arts Centre's Beatbox Academy present a stunning adaptation of Frankenstein. Traverse Theatre (Traverse 1), until 25 Aug, various times, £15-22 

Typical @ Pleasance Courtyard

Richard Blackwood is phenomenal in this one-man show about the tragic case of Christopher Alder. Pleasance Courtyard (Beneath), until 25 Aug, 4.30pm, £9-12 

8:8 @ Summerhall

Mercimax's show, part of the Swiss Selection programme at Summerhall, is a peculiar, quiet piece with a delicate intimacy. Summerhall (Former Womens' Locker Room), until 25 Aug, various times, returns only

Splintered @ Bedlam Theatre

A sparkling cabaret about the experiences of queer Caribbean women that will tickle your sides as much as it will touch your heart. Bedlam Theatre, until 25 Aug (not 20), 9.30pm, £8-10  

Raven @ Assembly Roxy

A candid but thrilling show that combines confessional vignettes with impressive circus craft.  Assembly Roxy (Central), until 26 Aug (not 20), 5.50pm, £13-16

Staged @ Zoo Southside

An extremely clever, absolutely mind-bending show from Circumference: expect to question everything you thought you knew about circus, and much more besides. ZOO Southside (Main House), until 25 August, 7pm, £12-14

America Is Hard To See @ Underbelly Cowgate

A brave and honest depiction of sex offenders struggling to come to terms with their crimes. Underbelly Cowgate (Big Belly), until 25 Aug, 7.45pm, £10-12 

La Galerie @ Assembly Rooms

Playful, elegant, flawless – La Galerie simply sparkles. Assembly Rooms (Music Hall), until 25 Aug (not 19), 6pm, £16-18.50

Boulder @ Pleasance Courtyard

Half-A-String's new show is a puppet-powered re-imagining of the Sisyphus story. Pleasance Courtyard (Forth), until 17 Aug, 12.10pm, £9.50-12

Blood and Gold @ Scottish Storytelling Centre

Scottish-Kenyan storyteller Mara Menzies builds a fluid world in this exploration of Scotland's relationship with colonialism. The Storytelling Centre (Netherbow Theatre), until 26 Aug, £10-12

Are we not drawn onward to new erA @ Zoo Southside

An inventive, meticulously choreographed, high artistic commentary on humanity’s collective destruction of the Earth from Ontroerend Goed. Zoo Southside, until 25 Aug (not 19), 11am, £12-14

Daddy Drag @ Summerhall

Leyla Josephine gives a heart-wrenching performance in this thoroughly enjoyable show about fathers. Summerhall (Cairns Lecture Theatre), until 25 Aug (not 19), 5.45pm, £8-10

The Three Deaths of Ebony Black @ Underbelly Bristo Sq

Ridiculous yet compassionate, The Three Deaths of Ebony Black looks at the three ways an individual dies. Underbelly Bristo Square (Daisy), until 26 Aug, £8.50-10.50

Adolf @ The Stand New Town Theatre

Bringing back his monologue for the final time, Pip Utton's Adolf is as relevant and powerful as ever. The Stand New Town Theatre, until 12 Aug, 3.50pm, £15-13

Pizza Shop Heroes @ Summerhall

Fierce, bold, defiant – Pizza Shop Heroes puts refugee voices centre stage in this luminous production from Phosphoros Theatre. Summerhall (Techcube 0), run ended

Blind Date @ CanadaHub, Summerhall

Outrageous and miraculously polished, this improvised date takes more than one audience member on a night they won’t forget. CanadaHub @ Summerhall (Kings Hall), until 25 Aug (not 12, 19), £9-11, 9pm

Yours Sincerely @ Assembly Rooms

Based on real-life correspondences, Will Jackson's Yours Sincerely is an escalating comedy that takes you on a wild ride. Assembly Rooms (Front Room), until 24 Aug (not 13), 8pm, £9-10

Mouthpiece @ Traverse Theatre

Kieran Hurley's latest play is an outstanding, powerful and gut-punching piece of theatre. Traverse Theatre (Traverse 2), until 25 Aug (not 12), various times, £15-21 (returns only)

Working on My Night Moves @ Summerhall

A tender and captivating piece of performance art that explores and interprets the way women exist in and alter spaces. Summerhall (Old Lab), until 25 Aug (not 12, 19), £10-12

Bryony Kimmings: I'm a Phoenix, Bitch @ Pleasance Courtyard

Kimmings' latest show is a heightened but honest reflection of the tornado that is mental illness; deeply connected and incredibly moving, do whatever you can to get a ticket. Pleasance Courtyard (Pleasance One), until 25 Aug (not 12), 5.30pm, £17 

The Patient Gloria @ Traverse Theatre

A daring feminist critique of the infamous 'Gloria Films' scandal. Traverse Theatre (Traverse 1), until 25 Aug, various times, £16-£22

Traumboy / Traumgirl @ Summerhall

A pair of interconnected solo performances from Daniel Hellman and Anna Welenc, reflecting experiences of sex work in the western world. Summerhall (Old Lab), Traumboy on even-numbered days until 24 Aug; Traumgirl on odd-numbered days until 25 Aug, 8.10pm, £10-12

Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools

A theatrical, interactive and spiritual experience from two talented Canadian theatre-makers. The Studio, Edinburgh International Festival, run ended

Appropriate @ Summerhall

Like a prosecco fuelled heart-to-heat with your best friend, Sarah-Jane Scott's Appropriate is bubbly, hilarious and real. Summerhall (Anatomy Lecture Theatre), until 25th Aug (not 12 or 19), 7.15pm, £8-£10

Twice Over @ Greenside

Thoughtful piece from Edinburgh University's Theatre Paradok that takes a look at two northern women making their way under Thatcher and May. Greenside @ Nicolson Square (Fern Studio), until 10 Aug, 6.40pm, £8-£12

Fatty, Fat, Fat @ Pleasance Courtyard

A charming exploration of the way in which our language and experience is personally defined and created by contemporary body politics. Pleasance COurtyard (The Attic), until 26th Aug (not 13), 3.15pm, £9-£10

Moonbird @ Pleasance Courtyard

Handprint theatre inspire audience to take strides in the right direction with Moonbird, a new children's show that is fully accessible for the deaf community. Pleasance Courtyard (Beside), until 25th Aug (not 12 or 20), 10.30am, £8-£9

Resurrecting Bobby Awl @ Summerhall

A splendidly morose surprise that celebrates the life and death of a man who you never knew while trawling the history of Edinburgh. Summerhall (Anatomy Lecture Theatre), until 25 Aug (not 12, 19), 4pm, £15-14


Rachael Young's NIGHTCLUBBING is a performance art exploration of race, intersectionality and the dream of a radically inclusive future. Summerhall (Old Lab), until 11 Aug, 3.45pm, £8-12

If You're Feeling Sinister @ Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose

An irreverent and anarchic jukebox musical based on Belle and Sebastian's classic album. Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose, until 26 August (not 12), 3.45pm, £14-15

Trying It On @ Traverse Theatre

David Edgar's Trying It On is a thoughtful, self-questioning play of ceaseless invention. Traverse Theatre, until 25 Aug, various times, £5-22

Last Life: A Shakespeare Play @ Greenside

Every year at the Fringe, there are countless Shakespeare productions. Last Life: A Shakespeare Play uses the frame of Shakespeare’s works to do something rather different. Greenside (Infirmary Street), until 17 Aug (not 13), 6.30pm, £5-8

Crocodile Fever @ Traverse Theatre

A smack in the face in all of the best ways possible. Crocodile Fever is dark, hilarious, violent, gruesome, wholesome and a clusterfuck of religious iconography and blasphemy. Traverse Theatre (Traverse 1), until 25 Aug (not 12 or 19), various times, £15-22

Deer Woman @ CanadaHub

An epic solo show featuring a powerhouse of a performer, Cherish Violet Blood is a woman on a mission with a steely nerve and an unapologetic anger. Summerhall (Kings Hall @ CanadaHub), until 24 Aug (not 12, 19), 2.30pm, £9-11

Islander: A New Musical @ Summerhall

Islander is an immersive, elemental and beautiful musical reflection of life in Scotland's island communities. Summerhall (Roundabout), until 25 Aug (not 13 or 20), 10am, £8-15

Enough @ Traverse Theatre

An explosive, humourous production looking at two female flight attendants who tire of the expectations placed upon them. Traverse Theatre (Traverse 2), until August 25, various times, £15.50-21

Until the Flood @ Traverse Theatre

A much-needed post-Ferguson dialogue, Until the Flood is anchored by an incredible set of performances from Dael Orlandersmith. Traverse Theatre (Traverse 2), until 25 Aug (not 12 or 19), various times, £15.50-21

Burgerz @ Traverse Theatre

Travis Alabanza's new show takes the mundane burger and turns it into a vehicle to explore gender, race and transphobia. Traverse Theatre (Traverse 2), until 25 Aug (not 12, 19), various times, £5-21

DNA @ Assembly George Square

Casus Circus pull off a slick, seamless and jaw-droppingly risky performance in their new show. Assembly George Square Gardens (Palais Du Variete), until 25 Aug (not 12, 19), 3.15pm, £12-15 

Phoenix @ Pleasance Dome

A rockstar tries to cope with life as a single dad in this music-filled and heart-warming story following the rocky road to parenthood. Pleasance Dome (10 Dome), until 26 Aug (not 13), 1.20pm, £11-12

To keep up with our review team's verdicts on this year's Edinburgh Fringe, follow The Skinny on Twitter, and sign up for our Zap! newsletter to get the best of the Fringe (and all the other great stuff going on across Scotland) direct to your inbox.

Take a look at our Theatre Editor's highlights from this year's programme, or check out one of our Fringe newcomers to watch from our list.

Photo credits (from top): Pamela Raith, Mihaela Bodlovic, Holly Revell, Lara Cappelli, Aly Wight, Nelly Rodriguez, Myah Jeffers, Daniel Porsdorf / Assembly Festival, Alex Brenner, T Charles Erickson, L-W Théberge, Half-A-String, Robin Mair, Zoo Venues, Daniel Hughes, Mark Gambino, Andy Doornheim, [uncredited], Greg Tjepkema, Elafris Photography, Lara Cappelli, Andi Crown Photography, Richard Davenport (The Other Richard), Lara Cappelli, Till Böcker / Summerhall, Jeremy Mimnagh, Cáit Fahey / Summerhall, [uncredited], [uncredited], Handprint, Mihaela Bodlovic, Marcus Hessenberg, Gilded Balloon, Lara Cappelli, azumi / Life Box Collective and Piece of Yourself, Lara Capelli, Prudence Upton, Jazzy Earl, Lara Cappelli, Alex Brenner, Lara Cappelli, Assembly, Pleasance