Edinburgh Fringe 2023: Horizon Showcase preview

This year's Horizon Showcase offers a broad range of immersive, experimental, and impactful theatre

Preview by Catherine Renton | 26 Jul 2023
  • Always Already

Featuring work that looks at new ways of encountering technology, history, politics and identity, the third Horizon showcase commissioned by Arts Council England is not to be missed. Check out the nine works in a series of traditional and unusual venues across the city; all you need to bring is an open mind (and, in one case, swimwear).


Assembly Rooms (Ballroom), 3-27 Aug (not 9, 14, 20), 7.15pm
Birthmarked follows the story of Brook Tate, a young, gay Jehovah’s Witness, on his journey from door-knocking to the stage. The joyful, colourful show is full of heart and features tap dancing, glorious costume and song, with Tate supported by a five-person band.

The Talent 

Summerhall (Main Hall), 22-27 Aug, 2.35pm
Featuring a virtuoso solo performance from Gemma Paintin, The Talent probes the roles of voice, human presence and capitalism in the 21st century. The piece poses many questions, asking you to consider the legacy of the human voice in a non-human future and challenging you to come to your own conclusions.


ZOO Southside (Main House), 21-27 Aug (not 23), 6.25pm
A fresh, stylish dance work that explores working class and queer identity in relation to pop culture. Loosely inspired by the opera Orpheus, TOM sees six performers draw on their experiences and influences from drag pop ballads, rave culture, and TikTok to investigate notions of gender identity and power.

Little Wimmin

ZOO Southside (Main House), 21-27 Aug, 10.20pm
This anarchic, feminist adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel starts as a straightforward retelling but soon descends into unrecognisable chaos. The latest piece from genre-bending collective Figs in Wigs, who combine live art, theatre, comedy, cabaret, and dance into their work.

Little Wimmin. Credit: Rosie Collins

Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World

Traverse Theatre (Traverse 2), 15-27 Aug (not 21), times vary
A theatrical investigation into the unsolved murder of Iranian singer Fereydoun Farrokhzad takes a thrilling ride through the rabbit hole of the internet via Wikipedia and murder mystery podcasts to examine a clutch of competing theories about the final days of a charismatic entertainer murdered in exile.

Always Already

Summerhall offsite @ Edinburgh LifeCare Centre, 23 & 25 Aug, 11.30am-7.30pm
An eight-hour performance installation using materials, text, song, sound and movement to bring together plant, human and machine. The room becomes a loom, where songs and dances encapsulate themes of patience and perseverance, with the audience having the option to come and go throughout the day.  


Lyceum Theatre Workshop, Roseburn, 23-25 Aug, times vary
In 2014, somebody stole the iron Welcome Gate from the Dachau concentration camp. A replica was created to stand in its place. Over three days, Rachel Mars will ask you to bear witness as she creates her own replica gate. Join her in welding gear to take part in the cathartic experience.


Summerhall offsite @ Deans Community High School, Livingston, 20 & 26 Aug, times vary
Ray Young’s work BODIES is an immersive water, light and soundscape experience that takes place in a swimming pool. The audience is invited to an active sensory experience of water, discovery and rest, led by Young’s narration and exploring our bodily and sensory connection with water.

A Crash Course in Cloudspotting

Summerhall offsite @ Institut Français d’Ecosse, 22, 23, 24 Aug, times vary
In this piece, you are welcomed to lie down in a specially designed immersive environment where an intricate soundscape unfolds. The audience listens to collective stories from across the country of people’s experiences of needing to lie down in public.