This feature was first published by Arts Scene in Wales on July 13th, 2016
Wales is sending a formidable army of unique and talented productions to this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival, ranging from Roald Dahl to Carry On, from children's theatre to stand-up.
There are over 30 shows on the Fringe billing from Wales-based companies and artists, so let's take a whistlestop tour through the list of theatre, comedy and music to see what Cymru is offering Alba this August.
|Alix in Wundergarten|
Created by acting students from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff's Open Letter Theatre is staging two one-act plays, Withdrawn and Chips, exploring our need to connect and to love. But how do we get back to ourselves when it's gone? Who are we now that we have to start over? Nobody wants to be damaged goods. Why is vulnerability a weakness? One thing's for sure: nostalgia is a dangerous thing.
|Saturday Night Forever|
Troupe of Herded Cats is a new amateur theatre company based in South Wales made up of graduates from University of Wales Trinity St David. Their show Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead examines friendship and teen angst in a story of rabies, drug use, suicide, eating disorders, violence, rebellion and sexual identity.
Cardiff's biggest drama society, Act One, based at the university, presents two shows at the Festival. Eat. Sleep. Breathe. Repeat asks how much you know about autism. An agency worker who has no experience of disability is thrust into the chaotic world of the care industry. Based on true events, the play is a snapshot of what life is like for adults affected by low-functioning autism. Act One's other show is GMO: Genetically Modified Organism. The story goes that in 2012, geneticist Joseph Fowler illegally used gene editing to save the life of his unborn daughter, Amelia. For this, he was sentenced to life in prison whilst Amelia was raised by her uncle. Now she is on trial: a zealous environmentalist arguing that her continued survival threatens humanity's future. You have been summoned for jury duty. How will you vote?
|A Good Clean Heart|
Break-out theatre company Familia de la Noche, which works with the Royal Welsh College, presents Gulliver's Travels, a magical voyage of exploration and adventure. Meet talking horses, mad scientists, necromancers and decrepit immortals with the secret of eternal life. A darkly funny take on the Jonathan Swift classic.
|How to Win Against History|
|Into the Water|
3 Crate Productions are a new company founded by Peter Scott, Emma MacNab and Hannah Lloyd, and their show multimedia show Killer Cells is an autobiographical play about hope, the story of five recurrent miscarriage sufferers with a twist at the end.
Aberystwyth's Louche Theatre presents The Erpingham Camp, a black farce written by Joe Orton in 1966 for the radio, although this production is based upon the 1967 Royal Court staging.
Bangor University's English Drama Society presents A New Case of Jekyll and Hyde, which follows Elizabeth Jekyll struggling to come to terms with her husband suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder. Despite the help from an intelligent yet withholding doctor and the support of an old friend, life cannot seem to return to how it was before. But to what lengths is Mrs Jekyll willing to go to get her husband and her life back?
Wales Theatre Award Best Actor winner Daniel Llewelyn-Williams presents his one man play, A Regular Little Houdini. A tenacious young boy from the docks idolises Houdini and commits himself to a life of magic. But the harsh reality of working class life in Edwardian Britain gets in the way. As he trains himself to emulate his hero’s escapology, he becomes part of the most terrifying events in British industrial history.
Shylock explores the tragic, tempestuous, often unbelievable life of fiction's most famous Jew. Villain? Victim? Or is Shylock someone even more intriguing? Port Talbot raised Guy Masterson's award-nominated, gloriously comedic yet moving performance gets to the core of Shylock's issues, rekindling his extraordinarily divisive role in The Merchant of Venice. Shylock confronts and confounds the stereotypes.
Cardiff's Rogue'z Theatre Company performs The Winter Gift, which uses original sources to tell the story of silent starlet Louise Brooks, best known for 1928's classic film Pandora's Box; the making of the film, and what happened afterwards.
In August012's Yuri, Patrick and Adele can't have children. But then Yuri appears. Who is Yuri? Why is he here? Is he dangerous? Is he Russian? Should we love him? A play about infertility, Scrabble, supermarkets, sex, nationalism, the stranger in your living room and the absurdity of wanting to bring children into our deranged world. It's also about love. In association with Chapter Arts Centre.
Squint, with Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, present En Folkenfielde, which takes Ibsen's An Enemy of the People into the centre of a very modern scandal. How does Tom Stockmann keep both people and press on side when he makes a discovery about the town’s prestigious new spa?
BAFTA Wales-winning comedian Tudur Owen takes his new stand-up show The LL Factor to Edinburgh. It's about his country, his language, hopes and fears, and there might be stuff about pissing in wetsuits.
Karen Sherrard is a South Wales based comedy writer and performer who stages A Fete Worse Than Death at Edinburgh, in which the audience joins 76-year-old busybody Eirys Evans at Llanfairchwaraesboncen's village fete, complete with competitions, slideshows and guest speaker, TV gardener Esme de Flange!
Penarth comedy team Duckspeak take over a fully-functioning hair salon for their show, Foiled. Immerse yourself in the secret world of styling while Sabrina and the team attempt mission impossible, hair-wise. The Bleach for the Stars salon specialises in celebrity dip dyes and off-kilter karaoke, but today the salon is closed, again, so that manageress Sabrina can get busy nominating herself for the prestigious Clipadvisor Salon of the Year award.
Although born in Bristol, Lloyd Langford is a Welsh comedian whose show Rascal hits Edinburgh this year. It's a new (and free) stand-up show about taking your pleasure where you can find it, and contains jokes about the weather, gangs, and what to do if you find a box of sex toys in your hotel room.
Award-winning Gagglebabble collaborate with National Theatre Wales on Wonderman, a unique gig-theatre take on Roald Dahl's short stories for adults, combining a sizzling hot score of original live music, macabre characters, soaring imaginings and thrilling twists and turns, all injected with a wicked sense of dark humour.
Plus... Welsh multi-instrumentalists The Anchoress support Scotland's own Kathryn Joseph.
- For a full guide to the thousands of shows at this August's Edinburgh Fringe Festival, visit the EFF website. I will be at the Festival between August 11th-16th, so if you see me amid the chaos, give us a wave!