50 Unmissable Shows at Edinburgh Fringe 2023
We’re back at the Edinburgh Fringe – for real this time!
After three years away, To Do List will return to review the very best that the Edinburgh Fringe festival has to offer! But first, we preview the most intriguing shows in the Edinburgh Fringe programme – look no further for the most unmissable quirky, offbeat, and downright amazing events at this years Fringe!
We’ve picked out 50 – yes, fifty – of the offbeat, less mainstream offerings from this years Edinburgh Fringe line-up.
Go on, knock yourselves out with fab fringe festivity!
CABARET & VARIETY
Gilded Balloon Teviot | Aug 4-8, 10-14 | 20:45 | £14
80s British Cypriot comedy music duo Martha D Lewis and Eve Polycarpou are back.
theSpace @ Symposium Hall | Aug 4-12, 14-19, 21-26 | 20:10 | £14
Tim Benzie’s kitsch romp through a Murder She Wrote episode is a fringe must-see.
Underbelly, Bristo Square | Aug 2-13, 15-27 | 17:25 | From £7
Social media sensation Suhani Shah is a mentalist (mind magician?!) and she’s here to slay.
BlundaGardens: BlundaBus | Aug 18-22 | 23:00 | Pay What You Can
Surreal trippy extravaganza from The Wrong Numba aka Zoë Padley.
CIRCUS & DANCE
Summerhall | Aug 2-13, 15-20, 22-27 | 13:00 | From £10
Queer odyssey exploring colonialism, sex and the psyche of the modern Filipino.
Assembly @ Dance Base | Aug 22-27 | 17:05 | From £13
A powerful dance theatre piece reframing the Middle East.
Assembly Checkpoint | Aug 2-13, 15-20, 22-27 | 14:55 | £10.50
Cirque, theatre, death and drag fuse in this devil’s stew.
Underbelly’s Circus Hub on the Meadows | Aug 5-13, 15-20, 22-26 | 16:10 | From £15.50
London’s spectacular contemporary circus makes its Edinburgh fringe debut. Read our first review of the show from 2021
ZOO Southside | Aug 21-22, 24-27 | 18:25 | £17
Bullyache’s TOM seems uncategorisable, fusing queered myths and pop musique for an unmissable journey into the underworld.
Summerhall | Aug 3-6, 10-13, 17-20, 24-27 | 19:30 & 21:00 | £12
A queer performance-exhibition that challenges the fringe’s boundaries of what a fringe show even is.
ZOO Playground | Aug 4-27 | 15:15 | £13
Juggling, philopsophy and water-bending all delivered by a man in swimming trunks.
Pleasance Courtyard | Aug 2-13, 15-28 | 16:25 | From £6
Cheeky stand up from Aaron who challenges him self to do his impossible; stand up, stood up.
Laughing Horse @ The Three Sisters | Aug 4-27 | 18:15 | Pay What You Can
A charming hour exploring trans masculinity.
Pleasance Courtyard | Aug 2-13, 15-28 | 15:20 | From £7
An unskippable advertising TED-talk from hilarious Bronwyn Sweeney – who makes ads we don’t watch.
Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose | Aug 2-13, 15-27 | 21:40 | From £8
If you see one comedian at the fringe this year make it Don Biswas. He tackles politics through dyspraxia and autism in a tongue-in-cheek hour full of grin-inducing one liners.
Boteco do Brasil | Aug 5-6 | 13:00 | £8
Just two days to see the impressive comedy duo of Singaporean comic Laura Quinn Goh, and Romanian comedian Sylas Szabolcs, who explore the Far East and the Eastern Bloc respectively.
Pleasance Courtyard | 20:30 | From £6
John Tothill is irresistible in this hot gossip hour of lols.
Pleasance Courtyard | Aug 2-13, 15-27 | 16:35 | From £6
Refreshingly bonkers comedy from an up and coming character comedienne supremo.
Pleasance Courtyard | Aug 2-14, 16-27 | 18:10 | From £7
Down to earth comedy with a twist from hotly tipped Mamoun Elegab.
Just the Tonic at The Grassmarket Centre | Aug 3-13, 15-27 | 20:30 | £8
Communism, COVID, dictatorship, racism & sexism aren’t usually laugh-a-minute topics but Olivia Xing is here to prove different. Expect hilarity x 10.
Underbelly, Cowgate | Aug 3-13, 15-27 | 20:00 | From £8
A campy variety show in the guise of a corporate retreat, featuring star guests including Kate Nash.
Pleasance Courtyard | Aug 2-6, 8-15 | 23:00 | From £6
‘A joyful queer-femme love story in the shape of a salad’. Don’t miss this weird and wonderful epic.
BlundaGardens: Magical SpiegelYurt | Aug 18-27 | 21:20 | Pay What You Can
Improvised batshit clowning with two adorable little dickheads.
PBH’s Free Fringe @ Brewdog Doghouse | Aug 5-7, 9-14, 16-21, 23-27 | 12:30 | FREE
Discover life outside the binary with the self-proclaimed Goth Queen of comedy.
Strathmore Bar | Aug 5-27 | 15:00 | FREE
Live, laugh and love as Juliana Heng takes you through different ways to tell their life story.
THEATRE & MUSICALS
theSpace @ Niddry Street | Aug 4-12, 14-19 | 15:10 | From £10
A company of Asian artists turn the White gaze back upon White people, in this dissection of racial capitalism sure to upset all the right people (literally).
Pleasance Courtyard | Aug 2-12, 14-28 | 15:20 | From £9
Verbatim & cabaret theatre exploring the reality of trans experience – with lashings of baby oil and, surprisingly, no monologues at all!
Assembly George Square Studios | Aug 15-20, 22-27 | 22:30 | From £9.50
Since we caught Miss Venezuela in 2018, we’ve been big fans of An(dre)a Spisto – and this show show about “a queer, autistic, latinx caterpillar, on the edge” looks unmissably bonkers!
Summerhall | Aug 2-13, 15-20, 22-27 | 15:30 | From £10
A five-star smash at the Finborough Theatre last year, this touching, hyper-realistic and messy love story is a darker on young, queer, masculine love than Jonathan Harvey’s Beautiful Thing.
ZOO Southside | Aug 4-13, 15-20, 22-27 | 14:15 | From £8
Man or banana? The time-old question is addressed by clown Michael Galligan, through stand-up, physical comedy, karaoke & magic.
ZOO Southside | Aug 4-6, 8-11, 15-20, 22-27 | 16:50 | From £8
Jamaican-Canadian singer/songwriter Duane Forrest takes inspiration from his travels to bring an oasis of soul and samba/reggae to the Fringe.
Pleasance Dome | Aug 2-14, 17-20, 22-28 | 16:30 | From £9
Linus Karp is Diana – or maybe not? Diana-ish, perhaps? A Royal romp gleefully smashing taboos around royalty and celebrity – we love it.
Summerhall | Aug 2-6, 9-13 | 11:45 | From £10
Semi-improvised dance, theatre and spoken word leaping off on tangents from a cast discussion of food stories & Elvis’s burger-based demise.
Pleasance Courtyard | Aug 2-13, 15-27 | 17:00 | From £8
Boundary busting, genre defying genius which fearlessly explores contemporary issues around sex, gender and bodies. A ★★★★★ technicolor cheese dream.
Summerhall | Aug 15-20, 22-27 | 21:55 | £15
Everybody loves a Powerpoint presentation, right? Doubters, gather round – chaotic scrutiny of gender, pop culture and obsession make this Grease deep-dive a must see.
Summerhall | Aug 2-13, 15-20, 22-26 | 19:00 | From £10
“Growler is an 82-year-old, drum-banging shamanic vulva”. How could we not recommend this show? Join Growler on her quest to ‘heal the past to heal the future’.
Pleasance Courtyard | Aug 2-7, 9-14, 16-21, 23-27 | 16:50 | From £8
The producer of smash-hit musical Six brings this Asian feminism musical which promises a “ruthless combination of sex, violence, and stilettos”.
Underbelly, George Square | Aug 2-8, 10-13, 15-20, 22-27 | 19:30 | From £10
True Crime podcasting gets a gruesomely funny skewering in this musical whodunnit.
C aurora | Aug 14-18 | 13:20 | From £9
Opera as you’ve (likely) never experienced it before: a black light/UV show inspired by the devastating threat of deforestation.
Laughing Horse @ Bar Soba | Aug 3-10, 13-15 | 18:30 | Pay What You Can
To Do List favourite Brigitte Aphrodite embarks on a literary road trip, celebrating Bowie, Poly Styrene, Aphra Behn and more!
Scottish Storytelling Centre | Aug 3-8, 10-15, 17-20 | 16:30 | From £8
A solo storytelling masterclass from Sinéad O’Brien, combining Irish folklore with home truths in an exploration of the family ties that bind us.
Underbelly, Cowgate | Aug 3-13, 15-20, 22-27 | 14:15 | From £8
Theatre Peckham present this drama unpacking British Caribbeans’ experiences of the Windrush crisis.
Summerhall | Aug 2-6, 9-13, 16-20, 23-27 | 17:35 | From £10
A dive into the ‘underbelly’ of queer culture – sweaty, pulsing dance theatre asking questions of drug use, sex, consent and mental health in the queer community.
Summerhall | Aug 2-13, 15-20, 22-27 | 17:15 | From £10
A seaside double act experience an existential crisis – what if one half of the duo refuses to perform? Expect camp chaos.
Pleasance Dome | Aug 2-6, 8-13, 15-20, 22-27 | 12:30 | From £10
Graeae’s Artistic Director Jenny Sealey takes to the stage for this one-woman true-life story about growing up Deaf in a family with a secret…
Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose | Aug 2-13, 15-20, 22-27 | 15:00 | From £9
An ‘onion-smashing, cyr-wheeling, tear-jerking tale of friendship’. A punk/circus exploration of teenage rage, loss & compassion.
Occasionally the To Do List team are forced to work together.
Rupert likes: free, cheap & offbeat London, especially: cabaret, art, theatre, pop-ups, eating out, quirky films, museums, day trips, social enterprise & much more.
Stuart likes: nice pubs, film marathons, not doing real marathons, bad comedy, plays/musicals with shorter second halves, and the Oxford comma.