Edinburgh Fringe Firsts: 5 new theatre companies to watch

With so many shows to see at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, it can be easy for great new work to fall under the radar. That's why we're profiling five shows from new & emerging companies – all bringing their work to the festival for the very first time

Article by Eliza Gearty | 23 Jul 2019
  • Fringe Firsts

Butterflies, Zoo Playground (High School Yards), 2-25 Aug

Flat4 is a brand new, female and LGBTQ-led theatre company, whose debut play Butterflies sold out at London's Vaults Festival earlier this year. Focusing on 'three girls, three bedrooms, and three phones', Butterflies tells the story of Shannon, Frankie and Floss – a working-class teenager infatuated with her Call of Duty obsessed boyfriend; a closeted uni student using Tinder to explore her sexuality for the first time; and the latest YouTube sensation battling an ex threatening to share revenge porn. Told in three interwoven monologues, this piece sounds like a funny and clever portrayal of the interrelations between technology and modern female experience. tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/butterflies

Splintered, Bedlam Theatre, 1-12, 14-19, 21-25 Aug

Lagahoo Productions creates work about and by Caribbean people, who are under-represented on British stages. Their first Edinburgh Fringe show, Splintered, is a defiant cabaret-theatre piece about issues of homophobia and misogyny in the Caribbean, developed from interviews with queer women from Trinidad and Tobago, and featuring a cast of Caribbean actresses of colour. It's all the more poignant and vital because, as Lagahoo’s Artistic Director Emily Aboud states, “the horrific sadness of this piece is that it is a wholly Caribbean piece that cannot safely exist in the Caribbean.” Lagahoo’s hope is that Splintered will make a “small but vital step in creating space for Caribbean artists on UK stages”; and, as Lagahoo is made up of graduates of the fantastic New Diorama Graduate Company and the Soho Theatre Young Company, it's bound to be good. tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/splintered

Fatty Fat Fat, Pleasance Courtyard (The Attic), 31 Jul, 1-12, 14-26 Aug

London-based poet Katie Greenall has been making waves for a while as the Roundhouse’s Resident Artist, and now she’s written an autobiographical one-woman show, Fatty Fat Fat. It received rave reviews when it premiered at Vault Festival, hailed as a funny, sensitive and exciting exploration of fatness within feminism, and how it feels to live in a body that everyone has an opinion on. Expect to laugh, cry and eat crisps. tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/fatty-fat-fat

Moonbird, Pleasance Courtyard (The Attic), 2-26 Aug

After ten years of working with Deaf and hearing young people, Handprint Theatre are bringing a cast of Deaf and hearing actors to the Edinburgh Fringe to share this story of family growth and acceptance. Suitable for Deaf and hearing families, the piece is adapted from Joyce Dunbar and Jane Ray’s popular children’s book Moonbird, which follows a family’s journey as they struggle to communicate, before realising that listening is not always about hearing. The show features British Sign Language, spoken English, physicality and puppetry, promising to be masterfully crafted as well as a beautiful story. tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/moonbird

Twice Over, Greenside (Fern Studio), 2-10 Aug

Twice Over examines the lives of two working-class women under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May. Through the lens of these two characters, Edinburgh-based writers Jane Prinsley and Eve Simpson lend a voice to history’s forgotten working women and ask what progress has been made during the last thirty years of British politics. With Jane’s establishment of the Edinburgh Alternative Theatre Festival in March, and Eva’s recent production of her own musical adaption of Lorca’s poetry, they both seem to be formidable new talents. tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/twice-over