Returning Heroes

A Fringe First Award is the Holy Grail for artists trying their luck in Edinburgh. Everyone wants one... and these guys and gals have got 'em. This summer they’re up with new delights: shows that are intriguing, delightful and downright grotesque

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Published 04 Aug 2015

Tonight With Donny Stixx

The team behind 2013 Edinburgh smash hit Dark Vanilla Jungle are back with Philip Ridley’s Tonight With Donny Stixx. Starring Sean Michael Verey, this one-man play takes a provocative look at domestic violence, constructions of gender and the catalysing power of the media. “[It] builds on many of the things I’ve found incredibly exciting about Phil’s recent work,” says director David Mercatali. "Pushing an actor to the extremes of performance and taking the audience on an exhilarating journey with them.”

Pleasance Courtyard (Beneath) 5-31 August (not 18, 25), 2:45pm 

The Alphabet Girl

Renny Krupinski won a Fringe First back in 2010 with Bare and now he’s turning his attention to contemporary womanhood. “The Alphabet Girl is a quirky, intriguing and funny [look into] the hidden depths of the psyche through three generations,” Krupinski says. “I’m really excited to be bringing this one-woman show to the festival with Kaitlin Howard.”

theSpace on the Mile, 7-29 August (not 16, 23) 5:10pm

Wail

You’ve only got three days to see work-in-progress Wail but it’s an unmissable chance to get inside the brains of Fringe favourites Little Bulb (Fringe First for Crocosmia, 2008). "By collaborating with a scientist [Professor Paul White of Southampton University], we gained inside access to facts like it is predominantly male humpback whales that are recognised as having a ‘song’,” Little Bulb’s Clare Beresford says. “It was fascinating. Ultimately though we were left asking,  ‘do humans and whales sing for the same thing?' But to say any more would be telling!''

Forest Fringe at The Blue Drillhall, 7-19 August, 2:00pm

Human Resources

Human Resources is the newest piece from long-term collaborators and Fringe First winners Chris Thorpe and Hannah Jane Walker and looks at the stories we tell that make up who we are. Thorpe says “Human Resources is about the tension between me and Hannah. She tells a lot of stories about herself. I don't. I don't know much about my history. She knows all about hers. Neither of us understands the other. I don't think we feel quite real. The show is made up of poems and stories about that. It feels like the most personal and the most open thing we've tried to do.”

Northern Stage at Summerhall, 8-30 August (not 12, 19, 26), 3:55pm

Islands 

Caroline Horton (who won a Fringe First in 2012 with Mess) matches the obscenity of tax avoidance with the obscene in her bouffant show Islands. Horton wanted to reflect the obfuscation that surrounds the issue. “It’s about something grotesque and visceral that can potential horrify,” she says. “But it will also make us feel something, something about this issue, an issue that is deliberately designed to put us off thinking about it.”

Summerhall, 22–29 August, 2:05pm