Following my first feature on the superb range of LGBTQ work on show at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, many companies got in touch to flag up their shows, It felt somewhat remiss to not cover more, and I’m tempted by many of them, so here’s a follow up!
Willy Hudson is creating a very promising piece of work called Bottom, and he is being supported by, among others, the superb Bryony Kimmings. Bottom is a ‘queer coming-of-age remix’, exploring performance anxiety, sexual politics and identity within queer culture. He says, “ I’m trying to put queer stories centre stage, and open them up to give true representation in a funny, honest and inclusive way.” Although listed as a theatre piece, it has a fusion of form with comedy, storytelling, and song. (Summerhall, 1-26 August)
Staying at Summerhall, A Generous Lover: LaJohn Joseph sounds very strong. LaJohn Joseph is a trans-feminine writer and performer, a protégé of New York queer icon Penny Arcade, and an artist Dazed has described as a “literary rebel you need to know.” Fusing prose, wit song and poetry, it charts the territory of navigating mental health services for a loved one. (Summerhall 1-26th August)
James Dean is Dead, Long Live James Dean, has just had successful previews in London, and Em-Lou productions present a play in which James Dean steps out of the wreckage of his crashed car and looks back at his short life. It’s billed as a timely look at how the film industry uses drugs, sex and power to make or break careers. (C Venues 19-27 August)
At the Gilded Balloon, Marmite is the story of Dylan and Eddie, who have just moved in with each other. It’s great. Or a bit too rushed. Between sex parties and roast dinners, Limerance Production’s play looks at the difficulty of gay monogamy, hot off the back of last year’s Fringe hit, Ginger Beer. (1-26 August)
Casus presents You and I, a portrait of who the performers are. Circus performers Lachlan and Jesse bring a piece that highlights how it is possible to make choices about how your identity is defined. As the rain starts to fall outside, stuck inside in their yurt, the duo spend an hour entertaining each other, the audience and playing with the joy in their relationship and their own identities within it. (Assembly Roxy )
More fantastic cabaret is promised with Dietrich: Natural Duty, a one wo(man) show. It’s 1942, and on the battlegrounds of North Africa, in a gold sequined gown, Marlene Dietrich takes to the stage to fight the war her way! Playing throughout the Fringe, the show has had rave reviews, many calling this a theatrical tour-de-force. (Pleasance Courtyard) Also at Pleasance is the now legendary Margaret Thatcher: Queen of Soho, the Iron Lady returning in her original 80s drag extravaganza! It’s a big gay odyssey of equal rights, this year being staged to mark thirty years since Section 28.
Kids Play at the space@niddery Street, is written by Glenn Chandler, creator of Taggert. When you read a checklist that includes pyjamas, teddy bear, money, train tickets, pills and handcuffs, you become intrigued- and hope that no harm comes to the teddy bear! (13th-25th August) The Space venues are hosting a range of LGBTQ work, including Bulgarians, Buggery, Brokeback and Beyond, a spoken word event with a catchy title! (Surgeons Hall, August 2-24), Banana Boys, 14th-18th, and a gay male led version of Romeo and Juliet, taking Shakespeare’s classic and re-imagining it as a physical theatre piece to portray two opposing rugby teams- this should be good! (Niddery Street)
Another eye catching title is Tilda Swinton Answers An Ad On Craigslist, where a gay man’s life implodes when “Tilda” insists on studying him for her next big movie role, (August 1-26, Assembly George Square)
There’s plenty of LGBTQ comedy from Andrew Sim, Comedy Queers at the Free Festival, Dean Hendry, Georgia Tasda, Hot Gay Time Machine, James Barr, John Pendall, JoJo Bellini, Justin Matson, Paul Patin, and Rik Walters, and there is more drag and cabaret than you can throw sequins at! Put LGBT in your search engine and discover a whole mass of talent- new and established, and have a happy, safe, and unique Fringe!