Features Published 14 June 2018

Into the Unknown

In an annual Exeunt tradition, Natasha Tripney condenses the contents of the entire 2018 Edinburgh Fringe programme into a single poem.
Natasha Tripney

In a city of half a million people. In the age of unpaid internships. In a deserted farmhouse. Built on a paupers’ graveyard. A hot gay playwright. Raised as a devout Christian. Haunted by the death of his father. Obsessed with Jane Austen. Woken from his eternal slumber. In search of a tribe to call his own. Forced to face his past. With help from the stars. One devastating secret. Will change his life forever.

Years later. A young feisty single mum. Staring down the lens of her 30th birthday. Two confused squaddies. Three Edinburgh vigilantes. An eccentric string quartet. Four valiant vaudevillians. Awaiting nuclear annihilation. Trying to work out where it all went wrong. An unbreakable bond forms between them. Passions run high. When one disappears. Allegiances shift. Nobody will return unchanged. Expect romance. There’s no pause button.

An improvised epic. As old as humanity itself. Based on true events. Set in a hellacious no man’s land. In the wake of #MeToo. Written from personal experience. Written in verse. Using artificial intelligence. Using verbatim memories. Inspired by Waiting for Godot. Inspired by Chuck Palahnuik. The jokes might be alright.

A radically modern adaptation. An all-male reinvention. A steam punk reimagining. A wickedly funny sexual odyssey. A searing exploration. A fevered excavation. A kaleidoscopic investigation. An existential voyage. A brutal clown show. A late night search for intimacy. A ridiculously competitive game of Scrabble. Turns into something sinister. On a trampoline. In our gig economy. In a shipping container. In absolute darkness. Wear your best knickers.

Laced with acerbic wit. Painfully honest. Grimly humorous. Endearingly funny. Guerrilla burlesque. Surreal plot twists. Interactive freestyle performance. Multimodal techniques. Twisted pop songs. Breath-taking profanity. Ironic jazz hands. Ukulele serenades. Lashings of sass. Fake news. Post-Brexit alt-reality. Ruthless state control. Duck-based propaganda. Wisdom from budgerigars. Revenge through art. (With a cat).

Across an infinite multiverse. Alone in the ruins. Between orgies and roast dinners. Behind the scenes of Scottish football. The magic of the internet. The intangibility of things. The wasteland of mental illness. The neuroscience of love. The hypocrisy of society. The normalisation of hatred. The polarisation of politics. The toxicity of violence. The banality of evil. Free haggis. Complimentary gin and tonic.

Loss. Love. Loss. Love. Loss. Love. Loss. Please don’t judge us.

Can revolutions happen in a day? What remains when memory evaporates? Why don’t we talk about porn? Where do you draw the line? Will there soon be nothing left to say? Are you thirsty?

There will be confetti.

It might get weird.

Enjoy your stay.


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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