Features Essays Published 18 June 2011

Spectacular puppets that glow in the dark

There are 2543 shows in the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe programme, each with their own potted synopsis. An over-caffeinated Exeunt stayed up until 3am going through each one. Here are the results.
Natasha Tripney

A wide-eyed orphan on the run. A woman’s husband disappears. An ageing militant with a dark secret. A drunken barber. A vengeful psychotic doll. A foreign country on the brink of civil war. An affair under the influence. A thought provoking vulgar pantomime. An unforgettable filmic journey for one. A darkly seductive aesthetic. A haunting memory play. A brilliant cocktail of songs. An adult fairy tale. A vibrant young cast. A witty and radical reworking. A dance of glances. A 21st century Coen-esque farce. An overnight experience with live DJ. A visionary devised performance. An immersive love story set in the belly of a whale. A night of secrets and seduction in NYC. A lovingly disrespectful homage. A pressure pot of a piece. A genuine Swedish classic. A pudding of prostitution. A dark, dirty chuckle.

What if hell were a reality show? How many times would you dismiss being cursed? Having survived the explosion can they survive each other? Will they give in to the overwhelming deluge? Between the dusk and the dark, what terrors lie? What would you do for a million dollars? Can monkeys give evidence? Ever wanted to howl like a wolf? Ever lost an argument you felt you could have won? Does your curtain flutter on a still night? Why would a mother become a suicide bomber? What happens when she starts tracing a history that isn’t hers? Where does love cross the line?

The shadow of my porn star dad. The global wanderer collides. The world ended two years ago. Interactive zombie entertainment. Bursts of pumping adrenaline. Spectacular puppets that glow in the dark. Rumbustious sari-wearing eunuchs. Gorging pity like a leech. Invisible cabbages. In love with a bear. The wreckage of the financial crisis. The art of the clown. The monstrous course of defeat. The hotel of the future. The wrong sized elephant. Ten years of close encounters. Tainted by a dark secret. Obsession reaches beyond the grave. Where saying sorry is just the start.

Oblivious to her impending fall. Giving in to her schizophrenia. She prefers to be called Venus. Meanwhile society, haunted by inflation, reels towards fascism.

Direct from San Francisco. Based on the popular video game. Inspired by true events. Created intoxicated. Made up on the spot. Show includes partial nudity. Show includes live guitar music. For grown-ups only. Free coffee and croissants.

Innovative object manipulation. Solo live action. Pedal-powered anarchic theatre. Mesmerizingly dark animation. Airborne physicality. Explosive choreography. Amazing street dance. Side-splitting wit. Iranian history. Celtic lyricism. Teenage effervescence. Trouserless bankers. Dangerous closeness. The most pressing issues of our age. True life sex stories from real women. Told entirely through a Facebook wall-to-wall.

Fine art and codpieces. Karaoke and bad science. Alienation and filicide. Homespun contraptions and cabaret songs. Richly blended with percussion. Viewed through a veil of lace.

Descend with us.

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe runs from 5th to 29th August 2011. For tickets and full programme details, visit the Edinburgh Fringe website.


Natasha Tripney

Natasha co-founded Exeunt in 2011 and was editor until 2016. She's now lead critic and reviews editor for The Stage, and has written about theatre and the arts for the Guardian, Time Out, the Independent, Lonely Planet and Tortoise.



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