Edinburgh Fringe 2022: The Best Theatre Shows

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

Feature by The Skinny | 05 Aug 2022
  • The Skinny August 2022 Theatre Crop

The Edinburgh Fringe is a hotbed of experimental, exciting and engaging theatre, and after a couple of pandemic-affected years, it's back in full force. 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. Highlights so far include immersive theatre in a shipping container, an exploration of the modern world of work, and a genre-busting queer rodeo...

Nutcrusher @ Dance Base (★★★★★)

Unsettling yet brutally honest, Sung Im Her's Nutcrusher invites us to contemplate the sexual objectification of women, and question how we view our own bodies. Read our full review herePhoto: Ok Sang Hoon

Look at Me Don't Look At Me @ Pleasance Dome (★★★★★)

Look at Me Don’t Look At Me tells the story of a fierce, courageous woman, and asks questions about how we tell the stories of women from history. Read our full review. Photo: Sebastian Hinds

Fills Monkey: We Will Drum You @ Pleasance Courtyard (★★★★★)

The new show from Yann Coste and Sébastien Rambaud is a genuinely inventive hour of musical clowning – and a whole lot of drumming. Read our full review herePhoto: Nicolas Galloux

I Am From Reykjavik @ Portobello Promenade (★★★★★)

The artist clearly knows what she’s doing, this isn’t performative or dancelike – she’s building a house. With I Am From Reykjavik, Sonia Hughes manages to be at once open and closed, serene and defiant. Read our full review here. Photo: Solomon Hughes

Birds of Passage In The Half Light @ Gilded Balloon (★★★★★)

Kat Woods has never been afraid to make thought-provoking theatre – tackling subjects like consent, poverty, and class - And this bold, brave and ferocious tale of generational trauma is no different. Read our full review here. Photo: Carrie Davenport

Hack the Patriarchy @ Out of the Blue Drill Hall (★★★★★)

Open to all women and people of other marginalised genders who wished to engage, Anger and hope were explored in equal measure in the people-led conversations of Hack The Patriarchy. Read our full review here. Photo: Mihaela Bodlovic

Blanket Ban @ Underbelly (★★★★★)

Not simply a tale of despair, but a space where the depth of lived experiences surrounding abortion can be felt in their entirety through storytelling combined with years’ worth of recorded Zoom interviews. Read our full review here. Photo: Chalk Line Theatre

Feeling Afraid as If Something Terrible Is Going To Happen @ Summerhall (★★★★★)

Samuel Barnett's character's self-flagellating, frenetic, sense of humour is soon revealed to disguise a series of deep-rooted, unresolved traumas in an outrageously entertaining and endless surprising play. Read the full review here. Photo: Mihaela Bodlovic

A Fairie Tale @ Lighthouse (★★★★★)

In A Fairie Tale, Niall Moorjani seamlessly blends the threads of racial identity, queerness and folklore to create a fantastical and poignant picture of modern Scotland. Read the full review here. Photo: Niall Moorjani

Two rodeo clowns stand under a purple light, one offering the other a light for their cigarette.

And Then The Rodeo Burned Down @ The Space (★★★★★)

Chloe and Natasha's And Then The Rodeo Burned Down is a delightfully queer, sexy and foolish mix of clowning, physical theatre and dance. Read our full review here. Photo: Chloe and Natasha

A microphone stand sits on a stage covered with wooden blocks arranged in a variety of configurations; some resemble office furniture. Text projected on the wall reads 'The audience: As the lights rise the city hums with the sound of work'

work.txt @ Summerhall (★★★★★)

Written by Nathan Ellis, work.txt is a play with no actors that shines a light on the pointlessness and mundanity of modern work culture. It's for those who hate their boss, who are a boss, and for those who are wondering what they are doing with their lives at work. Read the full review herePhoto: Alex Brenner 

A woman, smearing mustard on her face and shoulders with a butter knife, while standing in a field of wheat.

Mustard @ Summerhall (★★★★★)

A stunning piece of performance art about heartbreak and mental health, Mustard is both a triumphant tour de force and a timely reminder of the ways we can thread our lives back together in the wake of even the most searing sadness. Read the full review herePhoto: Eimear Reilly

A scene from The Importance of Being... Earnest? A woman in a shirt and dress is held from behind by a man in a tuxedo, while two other men stand nearby.

The Importance of Being... Earnest? @ Pleasance Courtyard (★★★★★)

Say It Again, Sorry? present a delightfully interactive and uproariously funny take on Oscar Wilde's Importance of Being Earnest. A feast for Fringe-goers of all levels of experience. Read the full review herePhoto: Dylan Silk

Rob Madge: My Son's A Queer (But What Can You Do?) @ Udderbelly (★★★★)

Part monologue, part cabaret, Rob Madge shows off their palpable star power in My Son's A Queer (But What Can You Do?). Read our full review here. Photo: Mark Senior

Peaceophobia @ Q Park (★★★★)

Alongside its fast cars, dizzying theatrical devices and pounding beats, Common Wealth's Peaceophobia counters prejudice with stories of humour, passion, and belief. Read our full review here. Photo: Ian Hodgson

Dykegeist @ Summerhall (★★★★)

These vignettes are bizarre and abstract, and whether dancing or prowling, they flow effortlessly between creepy, funny, erotic, and playful, bouncing off the energy of the audience and the excellent soundscapes. Read our full review here. Photo: Anne Tetzlaff

The Grandmothers Grimm @ Greenside Riddles Court (★★★★)

With creative yet simple staging, and a cyclical structure, Some Kind of Theatre's The Grandmothers Grimm makes for a bold and moving tribute to the overlooked and marginalised women present in the story of the Brothers Grimm. Read our full review here. Photo: Grant Jamieson

I Was Naked, Smelling of Rain @ ZOO Playground (★★★★)

Preoccupied with the internal and external idiosyncrasies of the weather, this piece is slow, careful, quiet, rambling at times. As an audience member you are forced to slow down with it, and go where it's taking you. Read our full review here. Photo: Aidan Moseby

This is Paradise @ Traverse (★★★★)

This one-woman monologue weaves a brutally unapologetic tapestry of a woman’s inner psyche. The polarisation of corporeal and mental suffering is devastating. Both are balanced perfectly; each sphere of her trauma is a planet revolving around her. Read our full review here. Photo: Lottie Amor

Are You Guilty? @ Dance Base (★★★★)

Korean dance company Think Outside the Box hit the Edinburgh Fringe with a double bill of contemporary dance tackling consumerism and collective power. Read our full review. Photo: KCCUK

Happy Meal @ Traverse (★★★★)

Happy Meal is a big-hearted, funny romcom, showing love between trans people with a sharp script and great onstage chemistry. Read our full reviewPhoto: Lottie Amor

Boom @ Underbelly Bristo Square (★★★★)

Gen Z performers from Ukraine and the Czech Reupublic combine for a powerful performance exploring connectivity and freedom. Read our full reviewPhoto: Lesley Martin

Shame On You! @ Summerhall (★★★★)

By recounting real life anecdotes exploring the nature of shame, Shame On You! engenders a zen-like focus presented with dada-esque charm. Read our full review here. Photo: Hans Schuermann

Shit-Faced Shakespare: Macbeth @ Pleasance (★★★★)

The performance is compered by cast member who works, with increasing difficulty and hilarity, to keep the performance on track. Chaos and merriment ensue, leaving the cast as amused and tormented as the audience. Read our full review here. Photo: Rah Petherbridge Photography

Ode To Joy @ Summerhall (★★★★)

Ode to Joy (How Gordon got to go to the nasty pig party) is an unapologetic exploration of queer subculture, with nuanced performances and a filthy-gorgeous soundtrack. Read the full review here. Photo: Tommy Ga-Ken Wan

An abstract view of two rows of cabinets, divided by a yellow and black hatched area on the concrete floor.

Eulogy @ Summerhall (★★★★)

The Edinburgh Fringe's resident 'immersive theatre in a shipping container' experts are back. Darkfield's latest experience, Eulogy, blends an eerie and anxious mood with an extraordinary attention to detail. Read our full review herePhoto: Susanne Dietz

Photo taken during a performance of 'This Is Not A Show About Hong Kong'.Three people, their faces blurred, sit around a table pointing their chopsticks towards the centre.

This Is Not A Show About Hong Kong @ Underbelly Cowgate (★★★★)

This Is Not A Show About Hong Kong lays bare the disturbing realities of life in a surveillance state – a vital and groundbreaking piece of work. Read our full review here. Photo: Tangle Photography

Two people – on wearing a rainbow-striped top and dungarees, another dressed in a red dragon costume, stand back to back in front of a painted backdrop.

The Girl and the Dragon @ Scottish Storytelling Centre (★★★★)

A kids’ show with the thematic depth to appeal to child-free adults too, The Girl and the Dragon is a joyous adventure in storytelling performed by Niall Moorjani and Minnie Wilkinson. Read the full review here. Photo: Harry Elletson

Alok Vaid-Menon stands on stage under a purple light.

ALOK @ Traverse Theatre (★★★★)

Alok Vaid-Menon blends vulnerability with humour in an unapologetic and defiant hour of performance. Read our full review here. Photo: Lottie Amor

A woman in a yellow anorak holds two suitcases beneath a rain cloud. A yellow hexagon is visible in the background.

A Sudden Violent Burst of Rain @ Summerhall (★★★★)

Sami Ibrahim's latest show is a captivating story depicting the callousness of our immigration system. Ultimately, the performances in Violent Burst... compose a powerful odyssey of both humour and moving sentiment. Read the full review here. Photo: Conor Jatter

For all the latest from across the Edinburgh Fringe, follow us at @theskinnymag on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and take a look at our sister magazine Fest – their dedicated team are all over this year's Edinburgh Festivals with reviews, interviews and more.