Natasha Tripney’s theatre picks: August 11
We’ve hit the second week of the Fringe and the bubble is firmly in place so this is, by necessity, an all-Edinburgh collection of picks. I’ve seen some strong work so far and heard some intriguing whispers. I’ve still yet to fully explore Summerhall, which always conceals a few surprises and hidden things, but that’s the work of the coming week.
Ross and Rachel – Assembly George Square, Edinburgh
This was one of my picks last week but James Fritz’s Ross and Rachel is one of the strongest shows I’ve seen so far and features a fantastically rich and controlled performance from Molly Vevers, the first winner of this year’s Stage Awards for Acting Excellence.
Where Do Little Birds Go? – Underbelly, Edinburgh
This harrowing but gripping piece of new writing by Camilla Whitehill, set in gangland London of the 1960s, tells an appalling story but tells it with surprisingly sensitivity. Where Do Little Birds Go? features a superb performance from Jessica Butcher.
The Encounter – Edinburgh International Conference Centre
By all accounts the world premiere of The Encounter, Complicite’s new show at the EIF, is a remarkable piece of theare-making. People who’ve seen it keep using the word ‘extraordinary.’ You can catch it in Edinburgh until August 23 and it’s at the Barbican next February too.
Walking the Tightrope – Underbelly, Edinburgh
This collection of short plays by writers including Neil LaBute, Caryl Churchill, and Timberlake Wertenbaker, are being presented in tandem with a timely series of post-show audience discussions exploring freedom of expression in the UK.
O No! – Assembly Roxy, Edinburgh
There’s some great word of mouth building for Jamie Wood’s new show, O No!. Wood was the man behind 2013’s Beating McEnroe. Stewart Pringle is certainly smitten with this “cheeky, irreverent love letter” to Yoko Ono, a reworking of some of her most famous performance art pieces.
Manwatching – Roundabout, Edinburgh
Presented by the Royal Court as part of the Earlier/Later series of early morning and late night one-off shows, programmed by Paines Plough in their Roundabout space, this is a play about female masturbation by an anonymous female playwright, performed each time by a different male performer. It’s only playing five dates but it’s already got people talking – you can catch it on August 14 and 15.
How To Keep an Alien – Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
If you’re feeling a bit wrung out emotionally by the Fringe then Sonya Kelly’s uplifting love story about her battle with Ireland’s immigration system so her Australian partner can stay in the country should make an excellent antidote. It’s genial, big-spirited and full of charm.