Features Published 12 June 2017

Fringe Programme Poetry

"Who is torturing whom?" Natasha Tripney crafts a cut-up poem from the fever dream that is the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe programme.
Natasha Tripney
The 2017 Edinburgh Fringe programme covers - as designed by kids

The 2017 Edinburgh Fringe programme covers – designed by kids

After meeting a mysterious girl. From beyond the grave. A tortured young misfit. And his performing chimpanzee. Who claims to be King Arthur. Teeters on the brink of self destruction. Forced to face his past.

Drawn together by horrific circumstances. A Scottish Youtube star. A curly-haired soldier. A man too attached to his dog. A vigilante exposing the truth.  Embark on a journey of sordid sexual encounters. On a sinking fishing boat. In a Black Mirror-esque near future. In the age of disinformation. In a hotel room at midnight. In a bunker under a mountain. In a crumbling Victorian mansion. Does he have the balls to go through with it? Who is torturing whom? What is the price to be free? This is not a sob story.

After six years of austerity. Time is running out. Six extraordinary women  Five refugees in search of a new home.  Four panicking businessmen.  Two people in the throes of passion. A headless cat. An eccentric old elephant. A runaway turkey. A fish-filleting foursome.  Two Tudor diplomats. Darts legend Jockey Wilson. The human equivalent of a golden retriever. And a Polish housekeeper.  Race towards their final destination. What could go wrong?

Deep in the forest. On an isolated hilltop. Floating in space. Tech savvy extremists. Guys on Grindr.  Sex-crazed pioneers. An MP and his rent boy. Under video surveillance. Eaten up by inner conflicts. At war with trolls. Battling nymphs and sirens. Naked before the world. As unknown forces close in. While nuns speak for themselves. With ultimately tragic results.

This post-truth comedy. For a post-truth age. Inspired by Hollywood’s golden age. Unpacking personal experiences. Highlighting gender disparities. Oozes relevance. Contains strong sexual content. Calls stereotypes into question. Challenges societal assumptions. Using real words. Relatable to all humans. Suitable for all ages. Leave your morals at the door.

Linguistic acrobatics.  Gothic puppetry. Drag king cabaret. Hasidic humour. Haunting sea-shanties. Electro-theatrical performance. Emotional chaos. Immersive storytelling opera. Typically taboo subjects. Existential pop. Multi-rolling farcical extravaganza. Old school UK garage anthems. Genre-bent. Unflinchingly provocative. Digitally remixed. Semi-verbatim. Gig theatre.

A dance party with ghosts. A world of surreal silliness. An explosively messy mash-up. A delirious game show. A kaleidoscope of scenes. A terrible generational reckoning. A zombie epic for our time. A dark new myth about England. A long hard look at masculinity. A relationship rotting. Set to a soundtrack of Ziggy Stardust. Presented with a contemporary twist. Youthful hope and optimism. A free glass of Prosecco. The looming voice of Donald Trump. An ending. Of sorts.

Expect lo-fi aesthetics. Expect paper planes. Expect cake. Revel in the desperation. You can always turn to Morrissey.

The audience plays the jury. You pull the strings.  Don a mask. Grab a voting handset. Put on your slipper socks.

A new God is coming. This is fight or flight. It will get catty. Prepare to sweat.


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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