It's been another great year at Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and the team reviewed over 130 shows in the week that we were there. There were late nights and early mornings, and plenty of hastily snaffled meals running to and from venues, but all of it was worth it to provide the extensive coverage of some of the best (and the not-so-great) shows that the Fringe has to offer.
Of course, we could only see a fraction of shows that are available at the Fringe, to see everything would be impossible. Slightly less impossible, but certainly challenging, is the task selecting from our very long list of reviewed shows who should be appear on our our Pick of the Fringe. To be chosen as Voice's Pick of Fringe, the show has to deliver something amazing, unique, inspirational, life changing, or just be outright the single best thing seen. The show doesn't necessarily have to be rated five stars, and can be selected based on the promise and potential the reviewer feels the show has. If you are interested in how we rate shows, our reviewing guide can be found here.
Difficult though it was, the team have finally chosen their Fringe picks. In no particular order, here is the best of what we saw during the 2019 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. A huge congratulations to everyone on this list!
Frankenstein: How To Make A Monster
At the Fringe a lot of shows will make you laugh, some will give you something serious to think about, but very few will energise you in the way that this show does. Frankenstein: How To Make A Monster is full of seamless movements between astounding beatboxing, powerful spoken word and angelic vocals. They manage to combine all of these factors whilst channelling the core of the novel in a way that’s appealing for a modern audience. And ultimately, what other performance at the Fringe will get you on your feet dancing and cheering?
America Is Hard To See
America Is Hard To See, in the most compelling way, has taken one of the most uncomfortable of society matters and turned it into a piece of art that left a mark. The outcome isn't clear cut and neither are the emotions you feel whilst watching it but somehow that made it all the more appealing.
Beach Body Ready
Beach Body Ready was a truly genuine and honest account of what it's like to be a woman with body issue concerns in today's society. It used humour and real life anecdotes to promote more inclusivity in one hour than mainstream media could in an entire magazine.
The Three Deaths of Ebony Black
There are three deaths; when your body dies, when you’re buried, and when you’re finally forgotten about. Sounds like a morbid concept for a play, right? Wrong! The Three Deaths of Ebony Black is painfully funny, endlessly endearing, and more than a little bit emotional. With stellar puppetry work, fantastic on-stage chemistry and an ability to ad-lib to problems in a way that kept the pace going, this show won over every member of the audience. It’s a darling little show, and absolutely deserves to be on this list.
This was a great show that was delivered really innovatively and is almost a live action dictionary of theatrical devices. The company present a very interesting story that encourages you to suspend your sense of realism to really embrace the portrayal. It’s a fast paced and excellent hour of theatre that must be improving every day with more practice on the delivery.
This double bill of exceptional contemporary dance performance is not one to be missed. With stunning lines, breathtaking choreography, and incredible technique the BalletBoyz ensure to put on a terrific show. Out of all the productions I was fortunate to catch at the Fringe, theirs was the most professional and inspiring. A stand out performance.
BOAR - Lewis Doherty
BOAR is unlike anything I have ever seen before. Not only does Doherty have an incredible talent that he manages to showcase excellently throughout the performance, but the story itself is a breath of fresh air. BOAR is lighthearted, well directed and hilarious. Another one not to be missed if you have the chance.
Phenomenal singing and stunning musical performances meant this show truly wowed audiences. The acting was powerful, emotional and enriching at times and this show thoroughly deserves recognition.
With huge acting talent and poignant delivery, this show was observant, emotional and insightful. It challenged prejudices and stereotypes around society, women and new mothers in an engaging and interesting way.