With thousands of shows at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, finding the right one for you can be a challenge. We’ve compiled a list of our favourite shows at the Fringe for you to enjoy below.
Tamar Broadbent: Best Life (*****)
What does it mean to live your best life? This question is at the forefront of Tamar Broadbent’s award winning musical comedy. Following a conversation Broadbent shared previously with her grandmother, Best Life is a perfect summary of the stark generational differences that every millennial can relate to.
Despite not being able to buy a house or find all-encompassing love, Broadbent has an optimistic approach to living life to its fullest. Armed with excellent vocals, comedic songwriting talent and a piano on stage, Broadbent turns rants and epiphanies into catchy, memorable melodies. This musicianship truly sets her aside from other cliche millennial-based comedy shows at the Fringe.
Broadbent is a master of brutal honesty, and reaps the benefits. She calls out the ridiculousness of social media and criticises bad press on millennials. The audience love what she does best, and it is evident she does too. Best Life is savvy, hilarious and a must see for any millennial in need of some worthy advice.
For more information, visit: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/tamar-broadbent-best-life
Jim Campbell: Trampoline (****)
When Jim Campbell begins to persuade audience members to buy an old engagement ring from him, it becomes clear this show is not a compilation of cheap trampoline anecdotes. Instead, it is a metaphor for Campbell’s bounce back from a breakdown following a broken engagement.
Campbell does not deviate from the norms of stand up, but what he does, he does very well. He delivers quick-witted humour and brilliant one-liners within his storytelling, all at excellent pace. The transparency of his romantic woes is refreshing and touching, and allows anyone who has experienced heartbreak to connect with Campbell’s hindsight. With a Hugh Grant-like charm, he speaks tastefully of his remaining love for his ex-fiance, which only makes him more human and helps bring sincerity back into the show.
An excellent comedian worthy of your time (and your cash).
For more information, visit: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/jim-campbell-trampoline
Trump the Musical by Blowfish Theater (****)
It’s 2020. Trump is visiting Post-Brexit Britain with his 823rd Press Secretary. Nigel Farage is King of England and, having been devastated by Brexit, is determined to sell Scotland to Trump for some quick cash. News of this special relationship spreads and Putin’s jealousy becomes too much. Meanwhile Kim Jong-un is still attempting to obliterate the world with nuclear missiles. It is almost as ludicrous as today’s global politics.
Very rarely do musicals and satire cross, but on this occasion we are glad they do. Each musical number is fun and well composed. The ridiculous characterisation of each political leader is fitting. All political figureheads are lightly mocked, but Blowfish Theater cleverly stay away from heavy political slander, which suits the tone of the musical. There are gags for every audience member to laugh at, regardless of how up to date you are with current global politics.
Trump the Musical is the perfect escape from the dynamic, unsettling state of the world. It has Brexit, betrayal and even a little bit of bondage. It is simply brilliant.
For more information, visit: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/trump-the-musical
Bristol Revunions: Paraguay (*****)
A former Bristol Revunions treasurer left the society penniless after stealing their savings and fleeing to Paraguay. Reformed and determined to bring this man to justice, four society members embark on a manhunt. The Revunions tell this story the only way they know how: through laugh out loud sketch comedy.
The Revunions lead in student comedy. They take mundane aspects of everyday life and effortlessly turn them into original, witty sketches. Each sketch is cleverly written and the delivery is sharp throughout. Every comedian illustrates exceptional skill in their fast adaptation to different characterizations throughout the performance. The random repetition of their best sketches works to their advantage, keeping the audience tight in their vice, anticipating each punchline.
Quick, authentic and utterly hilarious, Paraguay is deserving of a much larger stage and your utmost attention.
For more information, visit: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/bristol-revunions-present-paraguay
Blink by Squabbling House Theater (*****)
Following a coincidental chain of events, strangers Sophie and Esther find themselves living in the same block of flats. Both suffering from grave loneliness, Sophie anonymously sends a screen to Esther which links to a video monitor in Sophie’s flat. The pair find peace in each other’s company and develop a relationship with stalkerish tendencies.
Blink is beautifully produced. The set design is complex but succeeds in constructing many settings using only a few props for each. With the help of music the show flows fluently. Both actors thrive on stage, illustrating their love for theater. Their portrayal of the women is fully engrossing and convincing. The parallels between the women’s unconventional relationship and our own are profound. Blink connects with the audience deeply in just fifty minutes, and raises rather poignant questions about isolation and how it affects us all.
Blink certainly has our attention, and we highly anticipate Squabbling House Theater’s next production.
For more information, please visit: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/blink
There are also a selection of Sheffield-grown shows we highly recommend. Their reviews can be found here.
Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2018 has been a goldmine for talent so far. Luckily there is still time to venture to the Scottish capital in search of great artistry.
Edinburgh Festival Fringe continues until 27th August. See their website for further details.