A flavour of the 2023 Edinburgh Fringe: 10 shows to whet your cultural appetite

YUCK Circus <i>(Image: Michael James)</i>
YUCK Circus (Image: Michael James)


With over 3000 shows to choose from at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe there is literally something for everyone. In lieu of a comprehensive rundown of who’s on when and where, here’s our curtain-raising ten to whet your cultural appetite.

YUCK Circus

The all-female circus troupe blend comedy, dance and jaw-dropping acrobatics – alongside what they call “ripper” Australian humour – and return to Edinburgh holding a clutch of international awards. At Assembly Palais du Variete.

Gail Porter

Calling her 2023 Fringe offering Hung, Drawn And Portered, Edinburgh native Gail Porter mounts her first ever comedy show, billed as a neurodiversity-led stand-up and carrying eth enticing tagline: “She’s been famous, she’s been homeless, she’s been sectioned with two guys who both claimed to be Jesus.” Appearing at Assembly George Square Studios.

Oasissy: Don’t Look In Anger, Babes

“Monobrowed” and “madferrit”, the world’s only “genderqueer drag-clown” Oasis tribute act invite audiences inside their rock’n’roll fantasy party at the intimate Blundagardens venue next to the Potterow.  Underpass.

Iain Dale

Political nous aside, the broadcaster and author isn’t much of a draw in his own right. But in tandem with his mouth-watering array of guests his All Talk series of interview will be one of this year’s hot tickets. It kicks off with Jeremy Corbyn and Len McClusky – surely the Ant and Dec of left-wing politics – and continues with union leader Mick Lynch, mace holder extraordinaire Penny Mordaunt MP, and winds up with current First Minister Humza Yousaf and his long-serving predecessor, Nicola Sturgeon. At the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

High Steaks

A celebration of female genitalia, this take-no-prisoners show uses comedy clowning and performance art to discuss body-shaming and cosmetic surgery among other things. Eloina Haines stars, but the show also features her mother, Annie, and pre-recorded interviews with participants described as “labia owners.” The steaks of the title are props, of a sort. At Summerhall.


A quarter of a century after he made his Edinburgh debut there, Northern Irish actor Conleth Hill returns to the Traverse Theatre to star in the world premiere of this new play by Glasgow-based Kieran Hurley, whose earlier work Beats was filmed in 2019. Hill, in case you don’t know the name, is better known as Lord Varys from blockbuster HBO series Game Of Thrones. At the Traverse Theatre.

The Messenger

A powerful slice of non-verbal mask theatre from acclaimed South Korean creative collective Geo Gi Ga Myeon, this show uses comedy, acrobatics, slapstick and dance to portray the lives of an elderly couple afflicted with dementia. At Assembly Roxy.

HeraldScotland: A scene from South Korean show mask show The Messenger
HeraldScotland: A scene from South Korean show mask show The Messenger

A scene from South Korean show mask show The Messenger (Image: Assembly)

Jon Culshaw

The Dead Ringers star and ace impressionist brings his many voices to the Fringe for a show at the Gilded Balloon Teviot titled Imposter Syndrome. Cover your ears if you have already heard enough of the politicians and celebrities he impersonates: if not, enjoy the show.

Deaf Action

The world’s first formally constituted deaf charity is based in the capital and now has its own strand in the Fringe, the Edinburgh Deaf Festival, at its Albany Street headquarters. Among those appearing this year are comedian David Sands and deaf artist Amy Helena, who will perform a British Sign Language retelling of the play Faslane.

Dom – The Play

Following a sell-out run in London, this drama examines the chief controversies – and they were many – of political advisor and uber-blogger Dominic Cummings. And yes, it’s a comedy. At Assembly.