A Feminist’s Guide to the Festivals: A dozen more Fringe shows worth investigating (in time order)

Queens of Sheba

In our final “pick of the Fringe” blog, here are the rest of the shows that caught our eye but didn’t fit them theme of any of the other hit lists. If you have any other suggestions to add, please post them in the comments!
A Good Enough Girl?
“It’s 2025 – a world of mystery, spies and secret missions. The history of women has been erased but in every regime there’s a resistance… are you courageous enough to write their stories all over again..?! An exhilarating celebration of the inspiration and courage of women; an adventure where the boys and girls are integral to the action! Writer – Xana Marwick (BBC New Talent 2017), director – award-winning director Kate Nelson, performers – Gowan Calder (Teacup Travels, Allotment, Outlander) and Maegan Hearons (UK stage debut). A Greenwich Theatre, Scene Change Productions and Nutshell Theatre co-production.”

“World premiere and programmed for Made in Scotland 2018 – Heroine is based on the true story of Danna Davis and her 10 years in the US Army. A survivor of military sexual trauma, hers is a human story exploring healing, forgiveness and what speaking your truth really means – with grit, lyricism and necessary black humour. Performed by Mary Jane Wells, directed by Susan Worsfold. ‘An impressive performance… a compelling story of resilience and survival’ **** (Scotsman). ‘Hilarious and chilling… fascinating and gloriously entertaining’ **** (AllEdinburghTheatre.com). http://www.madeinscotlandshowcase.com”

“A fearless adventure into the dark heart of a paradigm shift… Three women, aged 20, 40 and 60 (but not a virgin, mother or hag in sight), set about unpicking the fine weave of existence, re-examining with fresh and furious eyes, threads such as gender, fertility, sexual assault and the state of feminism today. What taboos need eating? Which sacred cows should we slaughter? And what will help us to thrive? As the analogue world disappears into the mists of time… What kind of world are we leaving to our daughters of the digital age?”

“There is a woman. Woman is pregnant. Abortion is still illegal in her country. She will bring a court case against the government to demand a legal abortion. There is a man. Man is a journalist. He meets Woman and starts to cover her story. A story that will change the world. A story that will change his world. ‘Laura Wyatt O’Keeffe’s two-hander is fresh, fearless and raw. Vessel is a timely yet timeless play about how we value women and fertility’ (Bryony Kimmings). #VesselPlay”

Not Yet Suffragette
“Not Yet Suffragette is a potent mix of feminist theatre and stand-up comedy surrounding how – not far – women’s rights have come since winning the vote. Do women only have themselves to blame for breaking the internet Kim Kardashian style? Or should Nigel Farage heed his own advice and go sit in a corner? The play documents women’s struggles in each decade as they juggle the stereotypes thrown at them by society whilst trying to make their own way in the world.”

The Unbinding
“Four women accused of witchcraft are locked together awaiting their sentence in the shadows. Scared and hungry, they don’t know who they can trust or who will survive… Wrong Shoes Theatre Company invites you into a dark and spellbinding world, where those who dare to stand out from the crowd are treated with hatred and suspicion. Devised from historical accounts of witches from Wiltshire and further afield, The Unbinding explores mob mentality and our insatiable need to punish those who are different. An intense performance featuring stark realism, horror, physical theatre and original new music.”

A Modern Guide to Heroism and Sidekickery
“A superhero story that refuses to be a comic book. Michelle Zahner joyfully mixes storytelling, comedy and poetry to work out how being a superhero in the real world really works. How do you rescue people from depression or broken friendships? How do you fight cyclones, rabid llamas or the patriarchy? What do you call a boy damsel? And shouldn’t there be a villain somewhere? A new hero finds herself dealing with media hype, impossible expectations and protest groups. She doesn’t understand, Batman never had to deal with this sh*t.”

“Told with a tender intimacy, dressed is a true story told by four women who have been friends since school. After being stripped at gun point, Lydia set out to redress herself with a new healing set of armour. Lydia now only wears clothes she has made. Multi award-winning ThisEgg combine choreography, live sewing, comedy and original music to celebrate the power clothes have to define us, to liberate us, to hide us and to embellish us. For Me and My Bee: **** (Scotsman). **** (Stage). ‘A rarity… ‘ (Lyn Gardner, Guardian). Untapped Award winner 2018.”

“Feminism is a tricky word. Misunderstood, misused and missing out men. Or is it? How is gender understood by the general public and what does it mean in the age of Trump, #metoo and BiC Pens for Her? We have had awkwardly frank conversations with everyone from a suffragette grandmother to pornstar Ben Dover. Fusing the frank language of interview testimony with beautiful movement inspired by Gecko, Frantic Assembly and DV8, Hysterical promises to be a fresh, varied and often outrageous take on what gender means today. It might get weird but it definitely won’t be boring.”

Queens of Sheba
“Queens of Sheba tells the stories of four black women who have been turned away from a night club for ‘being too black’ (based on the Dstrkt night spot incident of 2015). The drama focuses on the rise of Misogynoir (misogyny directed towards black women where race and gender both play roles in bias). It is the story of strong passionate women who fight to overcome the terrors of oppression in a racist and sexist society. Queens of Sheba is a journey that travels through some of the harsh realities of our time. Untapped Award winner 2018.

time vary (Aug 6-18 only)
Punching Judy
“Punching Judy is an original piece of theatre, which explores the secretive and insidious nature of domestic abuse. Through the true stories of three relationships the audience are invited to experience and connect the audience to the paradigms of both perpetration and survival. Their hidden worlds are visible through storytelling, which has potential to uncover dark truths in our lives that we may overlook. This human, honest and often funny tale is Twenty8Productions’ second project following a successful debut at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017.”

Published by Shona Craven

Writer, editor, talking head

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