Last week, I took a flying trip to the Edinburgh Fringe and it was excellent. I had forgotten how bonkers and beautiful the atmosphere is. Apparently, if all the shows were performed back to back, it would take four and a half years to watch them all! So much creativity. Below is just a little snapshot of the creativity that can be found in London – it’s my top fringe theatre to see this week:
Coming Clean – King’s Head Theatre (Nearest tube station: Angel)
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality – a milestone in the fight for equal rights for gay men and women. The King’s Head celebrates this with their first Queer Season – a nine-week programme spotlighting LGBTQI theatre.
Coming Clean was the first professionally produced play by Kevin Elyot. He wrote it in 1982. It gives a unique insight into the lives of his four characters, post-legislation but before the AIDS crisis. This production has had some great reviews and it seems fitting this play is being put on here, where Kevin Elyot spent time in his early years as an actor. Coming Clean explores ideas of fidelity and love and remains relevant while being very much of its time. On until 26 August.
Boom – Theatre 503 (Nearest train station: Clapham Junction)
The apocalypse is coming and the harbingers of doom are… fish, naturally. Marine biologist, Jules catches on before the rest of humanity and puts out an ad for ‘sex to change the world’. Jo – a cynical journalism student looking for a good time answers the call and it’s definitely not what she was expecting.
With familiar face Will Merrick taking the part of Jules (he was in Poldark, don’t you know), the story sounds sci-fi and silly. In my opinion there can never be too much of that. With good reviews across the board, Peter Sinn Nachtrieb’s play will be on until 26 August, so get yourself to Clapham for some end of creation comedy.
InMotion Festival – The Bunker (Nearest tube station: London Bridge)
Not strictly theatre, this festival is, unsurprisingly, all about movement. Running until the beginning of September, The Bunker has brought together a range of exceptional ensembles. One of my favourite shows of all time, Translunar Paradise closes the festival. I cannot encourage you strongly enough to see it. A physical theatre piece about love and loss, it is the most eloquent play I have ever seen and there is not a single word.
Other highlights include They Dance on 17 & 18 August. This is an experimental audio-described dance piece, exploring the crossover between words and movement and the joyous difficulties of trying to bridge the gap. There’s also Dirty.Tap.Funk, from 22 August. Get yourself along if you feel like watching some talented dancers and getting your funk on.
Blue Stockings – The Yard (Nearest overground station: Hackney Wick)
The National Youth Theatre have taken up residence at The Yard for their East End Season. Blue Stockings is the second of their three productions. It tells the story of four female undergraduates’ fight to be awarded degrees from Cambridge University in 1896.
I saw this during its original run at Shakespeare’s Globe. Jessica Swale’s writing really highlights the barriers and attitudes that our feminist forebears had to handle and overcome. What could be more fitting than watching NYT actors of the same age bringing their stories to life. And you never know you might be watching the next Rosamund Pike or Chiwetel Ejiofor.