Chris Difford: What Happened? 50 Lyrical Years
Music (spoken word, solo show)
Chris Difford is the founding member of Squeeze, formed 50 years ago in South London. His new show reveals the journey he has taken. He celebrates with songs written during those years, from Take Me I'm Yours to Cool For Cats and Up The Junction. Funny, lyrical and entertaining. The show is a mixture of stand up and sit down with songs from the past and the present. Its a story woven across 50 years of being in a band and being on the edge of many footlights.
Robin Tran: Don't Look at Me
Robin Tran: Don't Look at Me. Robin Tran is an Asian transgender lesbian, but don't worry, she's still funny. A long-time student of comedy, Robin would love to list her biggest inspirations, but they've all been cancelled. If you've ever wanted to see a giant baby curse about Americans, she's your gal. Debut from half professor, half clown and half woman. Robin's musings on gender, the Vietnam War and her struggles with depression will have you laughing so hard you wont notice how sad her life is. As seen on Comedy Central and Netflix.
Dance, Physical Theatre and Circus (artist(s) of colour, acrobatics)
For thousands of years in Australia, understanding of the world came from Dreamtime stories, song lines and oral histories. In a 21st century world, the hypocrisies of a culturally diverse past linger in the wake of a globalised present. Common Dissonance explores this complexity in a moving, contemporary circus work. 'Australia makes good circus, but it’s rare to see a show this moving' (Sydney Morning Herald). 'The piece uses choreography the way opera uses music' (Cameron Woodhead, Age). ***** (HiFiWay.live). ***** (WhatDidSheThink.com).
Theatre (absurdist, new writing)
'Breathtaking, heart-stopping, terrifying' ***** (Cherwell.org). Atop a lonely rock, by the side of a dirt road, in an indeterminate, inhospitable expanse, sits a beggar. Along the very same dirt road comes a man, a bag of apples slung around his neck, dragging behind him a tremendously heavy coffin by a rope. Neither of them seem to know who it's for. Neither are in a rush to find out; they know that they both will, in time. Such is the general futility of things, such as they are. There's supper to be had in the meantime.
Comedy (theatre, alternative comedy)
Set in your average nonspecific town, in your average nonspecific time period, Bad Play is a send-up of the American “living-room drama” with an absurd edge. It’s a delirious love letter to Arthur Miller, Eugene O’Neill, and theatrical self-seriousness brought to you by four comedians who have been satirizing genres in LA for over six years. Now they’re taking on American theatre with a play that both mocks and celebrates the storied art form. Described as ‘unabashedly absurd fun’ and ‘a rare gem’ (ComedyBureau.com), Bad Play is better than good, it’s Bad.
Sikisa: Hear Me Out
Comedy (stand-up, artist(s) of colour)
Sikisa brings her second stand-up hour to the Fringe and this time it’s personal, as she asks: why is it so hard to say the right things? As seen and heard on Live at the Apollo (BBC), Jonathan Ross' Comedy Club (ITV) and the Off-Menu podcast. Three-time Leicester Comedy Festival nominee and tour support for Kiri Pritchard-McLean and Catherine Cohen. 'Uproariously hilarious' **** (Scotsman). 'Great fun' **** (FunnyWomen.com). 'Infectious charm and cheek' **** (ITalkTelly.com) **** Telegraph. **** (Entertainment Now).
Cabaret and Variety
Yes-Ya-Yebo! is a celebration of the 12 official languages of South Africa, all explored through the medium of song and dance. From traditional folk songs and dances such as The Click Song and Kwela-Kwela to modern songs sprinkled with that township vibe! The cast are all from the township areas of Lwandle / Nomzamo and areas from Macassar outside Cape Town. None have ever been in an airplane before.
Host and Compere
Mervyn has been in the entertainment industry since 1974. He started in theatre where he acted, wrote scripts, songs, and directed for around 14 years. In the 1980s, he became the 'regular topical song bloke' on the BBC TV's first ever daytime show, 'Open Air', fronted by a thin Irishman called Eamonn Holmes. Over the years he has performed weekly topical songs on many TV current affairs programmes and more of the same on radio. In the late 1980s, he took his comedy songs onto the Comedy Circuit and then touring theatres. Merv's first Edinburgh Fringe was in 1986 and he has been every year since. 'Pick of the Fringe' started life as 'Have you seen anything good?', a show to help answer the perennial Fringe-goer question. The title was changed to 'Pick of the Fringe' in 1994 and it he has built it up into one of the must-see Fringe shows.
“Mervyn Stutter is very, very good as compere of this chat show, for to make such a showcase work requires skill, talent and quick reactions. Stutter works the crowd like the showman he is.”