Our pick of the Best Shows in 2022
After a 3 year hyatus, Edinburgh Fringe is back with a bang with over 3000 acts spread over venues all over the city. The calibre of shows at an all time high, performers from all over the world congregate for just over 3 weeks to bring joy, laughter and tears to lovers of the arts and culture. With prices ranging from free to £18 on average, it's possible for festival goers to cover 5 shows or more in a day without breaking the bank. Having spent four days in Edinburgh, I was able to attend 14 shows ranging from 11am in the morning to 12 o'clock at night! And with bars & clubs open till 5am during Fringe, it's easy to pull an all nighter and really soak in the spirit of fringe Scotland's wonderfully atmospheric capital.
Here is our pick of the best performances we attended during Fringe. If you are not attending Fringe, fear not as many of these performers are on the London circuit and tour further afield.
Photo by Sofie Hagen Facebook
Sofie Hagen's show 'Fat Jokes' chronicles her encounters through life as a fat woman. With the sweetest humour and lightest touch, she challenges both our perception of larger bodies and her, at times, more shaming experiences due to the way she is received by the world. Brimming with pride for who she is, Sofie Hagen brings her optimism and does not shy away from putting herself at the centre of her jokes. Through wonderfully funny story telling, Sofie not only normalises fatness but also highlights the discrepancies in society when it comes to weight in a way that makes us burst with laughter. A 5 star performance for this talented Dutch lady whose message stayed with me long after the show was over.
Photo Youtube ABC Comedy Lates
Josh Glanc, hailing all the way from Australia, is a performer like no other. He opens with an interactive experience in which he hands out imaginary food to the audience as if it were an interval. He begins to pick up the pace and we hear his great vocals for the first time. In the background, the performance is punctuated by a recording of his thoughts, live as they pop into his head. A look into the weird and wonderful mind of Glanc.
He keeps the audience engaged throughout the performance with constantly changing characters and his imaginative use of props. This show is outlandish, hilarious, bizarre and uplifting all at the same time and for a lawyer turned comedian we really feel he has found his calling - this man belongs on stage.
How to summarise this show. There was not a moment where there was silence in the audience. Almost every other word uttered by this talented powerhouse of a young woman had us laughing. She had us hanging on her everywhere word with her dynamic performance and hard-hitting feminist touch. She made a joke that she goes by the belief 'modest' that everyone fancies her, and I don't think there was a single audience member that would disagree with that by the end of the show. With several TV appearances and a live show available to stream on Amazon, this young comedian is fast becoming a loud voice for a generation of millennials. One thing is for sure, Olga Koch is going places.
Jodie Mitchell is another promising young voice emerging from Gen Z. Sounds posh, but ain't posh Jodie gained a place at a private school through academic merit. From a catholic background, a lot of their material comes from their experience of growing up catholic whilst grappling with queer identity - making for an endearing performance and an interesting look into the evolution of a non-binary person. With both whit and charisma, Jodie has a natural ability as a comedian which is hard to come by. It's as if they had just rocked up on stage with a few anecdotes and a pint of beer - ready to make the audience laugh with skill and effortlessness in equal measure.
photo by Chris Nash
Le Pain, as the name suggests, is all about bread. How JD Broussé the performer and creator of this piece grew up in a small village in the south of France as the son of baker & a gay man. Handling dough from an early age, growing up came with the expectation he would one day take over the bakery but JD broke the mold and escaped this small village mindset. Through a multimedia performance, JD does not hold back and expresses the evolution of who he is through dance, circus, video, folklore and song. Where two worlds collide under a light dusting of flour, JD grapples with being a bakers son and a gay icon as he takes us through our paces with sexy choreography and a generous dose of sexuality. Le Pain is the remedy for all your queer fantasies as JD breaks through the 4th wall with a confidence that has the power to make us all turn.
Photo by Mihaela Blodlovic
Feeling Afraid as If Something Terrible Is Going to Happen
Starring Samuel Barnett
photo by Kit Loyd Twitter
Bede Nash photo Underbelly Theatre