The Edinburgh Fringe Festival returns next month for its annual swallowing up of the comedy and theatrical calendar. As ever, there will be a strong Welsh presence, hopefully with a few breakout stars in waiting.
Louder Is Not Always Clearer, directed by Mr & Mrs Clark, is a sensory experience, following the story of its star and progenitor Jonny Cotsen – a deaf performer, whose multimedia performance allows both deaf and hearing audiences to explore the power of communication. It’s won plenty of plaudits, including a handsome review in these pages, as it brilliantly explores Cotsen’s story, moving between the hearing and deaf worlds.
Likewise, How To Be Brave, written by Siân Owen, is a fresh, new, one-woman play exploring the journey of mum Katie on a discovery of power. Through Katie’s mission to remain strong as the little girl who once climbed trees, we embark on an adventure through Newport on a stolen BMX and learn how to survive in a world that is crumbling apart.
National Theatre Wales are also bringing a pair of plays up to Edinburgh. First is Cotton Fingers by Rachel Trezise, who takes the audience on an intense journey with a pregnant woman making a trip from Northern Ireland to have an abortion, whilst For All I Care by Alan Harries tells the story of Clara and Nyri as their two worlds collide. All of the above are at Summerhall.
Lightening things up on the comedy front are a cabal of excellent Welsh, or Wales-based, standups bringing new shows to the Fringe; Ignacio Lopez (EspañYOLO at The Caves), Steffan Alun (You Can’t Escape Free Stand-Up at Waverley Bar), and Chris Chopping (The Artist Currently Known As Chris Chopping at Bar Bados Complex), alongside Carys Eleri’s hilarious one-woman show on matters of the heart, Lovecraft (Not The Sex Shop In Cardiff) at Underbelly.
Last, but definitely not least, is The Death Hilarious’ Razer. Formerly a sketch duo, now a sketch uno comprising of one Darren Coles, early previews of Razer suggest a dark, absurdist trip into the disturbed headspace of Mr. Coles, via a fox reciting a bank statement.
Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Fri 2-Mon 26 Aug. Ticket prices vary per show. Info: www.edfringe.com
words Molly Catterall