Edinburgh Fringe 2023
United Agents are thrilled to have the following shows represented at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Mary O'Connell is conflicted: she hates capitalism but she loves to shop. A hotly anticipated debut show from a blunt and disturbed perspective of observational annoyance and mischief. The star of Stand Up for Live Comedy (BBC Three), Funny Women runner-up 2020, OnlyFans Creative Fund Winner 2023 and creative resident at Steve Coogan's Baby Cow Productions considers money, pop culture and trying to be a good person while living in London (if that's possible). Directed by Elf Lyons.
Four students find themselves stuck in dugsi detention – what did they do to end up here? And is there any chance of them getting on? Salma, Yasmin, Munira, and Hani each see the world and their place in it in radically different ways. Subverting Somali folk tales and reminiscing about their childhoods, they slowly reveal their reasons for being there. This hour together may reveal that they have more in common than they thought. Inspired by The Breakfast Club and following sell-out performances in London, this is a hilarious and authentic exploration of friendship between Somali girls.
(1 hour 30 minutes)
"Queers in classrooms!" "Perverts panicking parents!" – a new musical about pride, protest… and abseiling lesbians. Section 28: the landmark legislation that silenced a generation and offered a global blueprint for LGBTQ+ oppression. Two decades after its repeal, multi award-winning theatre company, Breach Theatre (It's True, It's True, It's True) sing and dance on the grave of this watershed moment in LGBTQ+ history. 'This musical feels exceptional... Wonderful performances' **** (Guardian). 'Full of righteous anger and euphoric 80s synths' **** (Telegraph). 'Heart-rending yet joyful…Brilliantly conveys the hysteria and outrage' **** (Stage).
Kirsty Mann (Funny Women Awards finalist) has a secret, and this is a confession: she's a doctor. But please don't tell anyone, she wants people to take her seriously as a comedian. A ridiculous true story of subterfuge from award-winning writer, 'smart character comic' (Scotsman) and 'wo-mann of many talents' (NotTheFrontRow.com). 'Excellent' (Metro). 'Phenomenal character work' (Entertainment-Now.com). 'Grabs the gig by the funny bits' (Scotsman). 'If you're looking for a pick-me-up, this is the show for you' (NotTheFrontRow.com).
Join Shropshire’s worst novelist for an evening of dipping, chipping and sipping as he dips into his oeuvre of two-page novels, chips away at life’s big questions and sips hot Ribena live on stage. This is the perfect show for anyone who likes sitting in a room for an hour while a rural oddball chucks home-grown drivel down your ears. As seen on 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown. Warning: This show contains scenes that some viewers may find extremely nice. ‘Deliciously Fun’ (Guardian). 'How character comedy should be done’ **** (Chortle.co.uk).
Star of 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, Live at the Apollo, Roast Battle, Hypothetical and the surveillance camera when she forgot to pay for petrol, Harriet’s at the Fringe for three days only. Her finished shows are chaos so god knows what a work in progress will be like… ‘A super funny show from one of the uniquest voices of the stand up circuit’ (Comedy.co.uk). **** (Scotsman). **** (Guardian). **** (List).
Join best friends Rachel and Ruby for a kids' comedy show that's fun for all the family! Full of sketches, songs, pranks and silliness. Rachel and Ruby use physical comedy and silly characters to bring sketch comedy to children of all ages – a fun way to explore emotions, friendship and shyness. Winner: Best Kids' Show, 2023 Leicester Comedy Festival. Over one million views on BBC Three. **** (Guardian). **** (Scotsman). **** (Skinny). **** (FunnyWomen.com). **** (BeyondTheJoke.co.uk).
In their last show, Hair, Shelf joked about being mistaken for teenage boys. Now, it’s time to grow up. It's time to stop being teenage boys and start being teenage men. This new show from the 'easy to fall in love with' (Scotsman) double-act features anecdotes, songs, jokes about performing for kids, the Instagram algorithm, confronting your toxicity, and more. As seen on BBC3 and ITVX. Founders of the LOL Word. 'Nuanced and fresh' **** (Guardian). **** (Skinny). **** (FunnyWomen.com). **** (BeyondTheJoke.co.uk). **** (Scotsman).
(1 hour 5 minutes)
1990. Aged 19, Danny stands at the crossroads of football violence and house music. Better Days is a one-man show that takes you on a house music journey, combining poetic storytelling with the best music from the time. If you were there, you'll enjoy a nostalgic celebration of a scene that so many people still hold dear, but with plenty of twists and turns along the way. If you weren't, you'll get a visceral sense of how it felt to come of age in the best era ever!
Character comedian Lorna Rose Treen has been pretending to be other people for fun since she could dress herself. Now she's inviting you inside her mind for an hour of characters, comedy, content, content, content, costumes and content. The greatest thing to come out of Redditch since the fishing tackle. The debut show from Chortle's Best Newcomer 2023 and Funny Women Awards' first-ever double winner (2022). 'I laughed so much I violently bit my tongue' (Independent). 'Off-kilter energy and unflagging commitment to the silly' (Chortle.co.uk).
Lucy McCormick is back with her most ambitious medium-concept catastrophic show yet. Join Lucy as she unveils her ensemble cabaret tent spectacular… Unfortunately, she has no friends, no money, and no tent. Still, there’ll be pole dancing, variety acts, strip routines and some quick reworking of social policy. In a despairing world, lonely Lucy creates community, connection, and conversation the only way she knows how.
The true-crime podcast with a twist... of lime returns to the Fringe. Each episode sees the boozed-up panel of writer/comedian hosts Hannah George, Catie Wilkins and Taylor Glenn welcome a top guest to test their drunk detective skills and solve true-crime cases. When women sit around and drink we try to solve the world's problems. So we're taking back the night and putting our inebriation to good use. You're welcome. Previous guests include: Katherine Ryan, Rachel Parris, and Romesh Ranganathan among many others. 'Thoroughly entertaining' (Guardian). Sell-out show 2019 and 2022. Only 10 nights, book early!
Rising star Mamoun Elagab brings his highly anticipated debut show to the Edinburgh Fringe. Born to academics, a dark turn put Mamoun's life into new perspective. This is not champagne socialism – this is the voice of the people. Finalist of every competition worth winning, including BBC New Comedy Award, Leicester Square New Comedian of the Year, Chortle Student Comedy Award. Alumnus of the Pleasance Reserve. 'A loaded wit and a mischievous way of tweaking liberal guilt' (Chortle.co.uk).
In 2020, the world changed forever, as Kieran Hodgson moved to Scotland. Now the three-time Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee commutes to the Fringe from his new home of Glasgow for a month to tell you how it's working out. He's that guy from the BBC's 'Two Doors Down' (he's Gordon), the 'Bad TV Impressions' viral videos of 'The Crown' and 'Happy Valley', and three Channel 4 specials.
Rhys James is right back in Edinburgh for a limited time only, fresh from a sell-out nationwide tour. One of the final Mock the Week regulars, House of Games bottle-job and tuxedo'd Pointless loser. Since his last Edinburgh stint he's released a third, ARIA-nominated Radio 4 series, appeared on Live at the Apollo, and been hurled through the air on a bungee cord by Micah Richards on A League Of Their Own, to be fair to him. 'Master of the lightning-paced, gag-dense, precision-delivered set' (Guardian). 'Scintillating stand-up' **** (Times)
A father approaching his 60th birthday learns to sing and dance for the first time, in a desperate attempt to create a hit single that will make enough money for his son to finally move out. 'They can’t sing and they can’t dance yet somehow it still works' (Rolling Stone). 'It’s a family in the middle of a conflict, which makes the music so compelling' (NME). 'One of the songs is genuinely troubling and somebody should inform the police' (Next door).
Overweight and OVER IT is about the trials and tribulations of being plus size! Lawrence Chaney made history as the first plus-size winner of RuPaul's Drag Race UK. Growing up in the late 90s/early 00s, all TV and media portrayed people's bodies negatively. Now, in 2023 people think they possess no prejudice against plus-size people because they like one Lizzo song. Lawrence will talk everything from dating and exercise to having to buy two seats on a plane but only getting one meal!
Returning after two sell-out runs at Soho Theatre, global sensation Jazz Emu is back with his virtuoso musical spectacular. 'This is a work of genius' ***** (Telegraph). In 2016, Jazz Emu played the biggest gig he'd ever landed at the Helsinki Velodrome. But during his between-song patter, he carelessly insulted one of his biggest fans. Now he's back to clear his name and regain his former glory. Will he be able to get every single person in the world to like him? Or is it time for him to face the music?
For one night only, double Emmy Award nominee and star of Ted Lasso Nick Mohammed brings Mr Swallow back to the Edinburgh Fringe. A mix of new, old, very old and previously unusable material. Expect noise, maths, magic and the whole of Les Mis! 'Impressive... Why he's on roller skates is anyone's guess' **** (Guardian). 'Uniquely joyous, there's scarcely a dull moment in this one-off comic masterclass.' **** (Times). 'An irresistible comic creation... Pure entertainment and genuinely impressive' **** (Telegraph).
Doc Brown and Bust-A-Gut Productions present a unique improvisational panel show based around rhyme and rap. Featuring wordsmith hosts Shuffle T, Cruger, Bagnall and Bleez, this hilarious quiz will put a range of special guests from the world of music and comedy on the spot to create intricate rhymes against tight time pressures and the other panellists' wits. It's seriously funny, stupidly clever, surprisingly competitive and totally addictive. In fact, it’s the smartest dumbest show you’ll ever see. In short: Sounds Like. About Rhyme. Now live. Wow, right?
(1 hour 30 minutes)
Jazz Emu and The Cosmique Perfectión invite you to attend a live concert in their Pleasure Garden: a luscious, verdant Arcadia that veritably throbs with life. Each night they'll be performing a series of Jazz Emu's finest songs, along with sets from some special guest comedians. Expect smooth grooves, wild solos, HSA-approved stage-dives and a set-list executed by unforgivably talented bandmates. Jazz Emu is 'improbable, clever and very funny' **** (Guardian), 'a work of genius' ***** (Telegraph) and 'one of a kind' ***** (Times). Please note this gig is standing only. Dancing is advised.
World's Best Fringe Theatre Winner 2022/3 (International Fringe Encore Series, New York) returns for eight performances only. In 2002, whilst researching a comedy, triple Fringe First winner Naylor and twice Scottish Press Photographer of the Year Sam Maynard went to the Afghan warzone. An extraordinary tale ensued: they were threatened by a war criminal, captured by Mujhadeen and nearly blown up by Taliban. Performed by Naylor himself in front of Maynard's extraordinary photos. 29 four and five-star professional reviews in 2022, including Scotsman, Telegraph, Stage.
Ed Gaughan has written, directed and performed work for and with the UK's most-loved acts – including Milton Jones, Josie Long, Barry Cryer and Pappy's. The voice of Baron Greenback in Danger Mouse, Gideon in Sky TV's Brassic and co-creator, co-writer and star of the BAFTA-nominated movie Skeletons. First solo show in 18 years! Expect stories, music, clowning around and plenty of surprises. 'Original and intelligent' **** (Metro). 'Eccentric, heartfelt and very funny' **** (Guardian). 'A surreal disorientating hybrid of theatre, stand-up comedy and jazz concert. Hysterical' **** (Independent).
(1 hour 30 minutes)
A young Jehovah's Witness comes to terms with his sexuality and finds his feet (and high heels...) in a world he once believed would be destroyed at Armageddon. Birthmarked is a new concept gig written and performed by Brook Tate and his grand ol' band of pals. With original music likened to Stevie Wonder and Joni Mitchell, alongside a whale, a paintbrush and a pair of tap shoes, he hopes to shine a light on what it means to be marked... at birth. Written and composed by Brook Tate. Directed by Sally Cookson.
(1 hour 25 minutes)
Bloody Elle returns to the Traverse for a strictly limited run after award-winning, sell-out TravFest22 performances. This heartwarming and belly-achingly funny story is stuffed full of those stomach-flipping, time-stopping moments, a touch, a glance, a kiss, that everyone will recognise. Set to an original live score that builds loops and layers of sound to make you feel like there is a ten-piece band on stage, audiences are transported to a sweaty, packed-out gig in the back of a pub or a 10,000-seat arena. Fringe First Award winner, 2022. ‘Blisteringly magnificent’ ***** (TheReviewsHub.com). Original run supported by Rebel Productions
( 1 hour)
Surviving the streets of Coventry in his NAF NAF jacket, discovering the gay scene in 90s Soho, exploring the lonely aisles of Hobbycraft, Declan Bennett's electric, funny and raw autobiographical debut throws us into the turbulent world of toxic masculinity, homophobia and men's mental health. This is a story of a man in desperate search of identity and sanity who, when confronted with the unexpected isolation of the Oxfordshire countryside, is forced to fight the demons of his past and come face to face with the Boy Out The City. Photo credit: Colin J Smith.
Usually, disabled people want to do the right thing. But what if they don't? What if they were out to make as much money as possible from the guilt of non-disabled, anxious people (like you)? Hot off the back of their smash-hit VAULT and Soho runs, multi award-winning, disability-led theatre company FlawBored present a scathing satire on the monetisation of identity politics that spares no one. Winner of VAULT Festival Show of the Week and nominated for two Off West End Awards. 'Witty, hilarious and absurd' (DisabilityArts.online). **** (BroadwayWorld.com). ****½ (Reviews Hub).
(1 hour 30 minutes)
BFFs Kathy and Stella are Hull’s least successful true crime podcasters. When their favourite author is killed, they are thrust into a thrilling whodunnit of their own! Can they crack the case (and become global podcast superstars) before the killer strikes again…? The hilarious musical from the Olivier Award-winners behind Fleabag, Baby Reindeer and A Super Happy Story returns! Written by Jon Brittain (Rotterdam) and Matthew Floyd Jones (Frisky & Mannish). ‘A thrilling foray into silliness’ **** (Guardian). 'A night of utter, unalloyed joy' ***** (INews.co.uk). ‘Bloody marvellous’ **** (Financial Times).
A thrilling new play by Eve Leigh and directed by Debbie Hannan, Salty Irina is about two girls falling in love and fighting nazis. After a series of racist murders in their town, Anna and Eireni decide to infiltrate a far-right festival to identify the culprits. But when the nature of their relationship is uncovered, their safety is under threat. A coming-of-age story set against the rise of the far-right.
(1 hour 10 minutes)
‘A masterclass in comedic theatre’ ***** (NorthWestEnd.co.uk). When a traditional production of Oscar Wilde’s classic play gets underway, everything seems to be going perfectly to plan… that is, until the lead actor fails to arrive on cue. You might think you know this chaotic story of love, mistaken identity and double lives, but you have never seen it like this before. Filled with wicked Wildean wit and bursting with bunburying, join us for a hilarious and unpredictable twist on the world’s favourite comedy classic. ***** (Skinny).
This is football. This is what defines my happiness. This is what makes or spoils a weekend. This is what fills my soul with joy and despair. Billy is a die-hard football fan. When he goes viral for sticking a flare between his bum cheeks before England's final, he begins to question his own love of the beautiful game. This new one-man play, written and performed by Alex Hill, asks what it means to be a "die-hard" football fan and explores themes of belonging, tribalism and toxic masculinity.