February 29, 2024

LGBTQ Shows At Edinburgh Fringe 2023: The Ultimate List

Edinburgh Fringe, one of the world’s largest arts festivals returns this year between in August 2023 – but what LGBTQ talent is on show?

Here is just a really long list of shows with LGBTQ themes:

Fat, Femme and Crippled

Alex Gibbon drives their mobility scooter in between the intersections of disability and queer culture. Using their experience as a non-verbal queer person to educate, captivate, but most of all titillate their audiences as they demonstrate that disabled people are just as filthy and capable of making the same bad life choices as everyone else. Expect to leave feeling both delighted and disgusted all at once – Aug 10-15, Tickets

Alan Turing – A Musical Biography

A musical journey through the extraordinary life of Alan Turing. His genius code breaking brain saved approximately fourteen million lives in WW2. The musical explores the loss of his closest friend, his romance with a fellow worker, the moment he realises how to beat the Germans and the growing awareness of his homosexuality. – Aug 5-12, 14-19 Tickets

Sian Davies: This Charming Man

Where do you go when your role models let you down? Comedian and “jumped-up pantry boy” Sian Davies in This Charming Man is a comedy show about gender identity and The Smiths. It’s a journey through masculinity and gender identity via Salford Lads Club – 02-27 Aug Tickets

Comedy Queers

A spicy mix of outrageous queer comedians, cabaret and drag acts that’s sold-out in recent years after launching ine 2018. Looking for diversity? Expect chaos, drag, stand-up, glitter, queer joy and an ever changing line-up of LGBTQIA+ acts to grace our stage – Aug 3-27 Tickets

Member

Life is swell, until Corey finds himself by his son’s hospital bed, the victim of a brutal attack. Everything he knows is washed away. Some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried. Some histories are bound to be repeated. Blending live music and storytelling Member delves into the gay hate-crime epidemic that blighted Australia’s coastline for three decades – Aug 2-14, 16-27 Tickets

Tied for a second

A split-bill comedy hour from two rapidly rising stars of the UK comedy scene. Queer stand up Dominic McGovern and Zoe Brownstone share biting wit, astute cultural observations, and have an hour of fast-paced jokes – Aug 3-13, 15-27 Tickets

Now. Here. This.

Four friends weighed down by their past and frightened of their future take a trip around a natural history museum and explore the big bang, loving difficult parents, chocolate turtles, missed opportunities and the joy and privilege it is for us all to be alive right now, right here, doing this. The all-female and neurodivergent-led technical production is a musical – Aug 21-25 Tickets

A Shark Ate My Penis: A History of Boys Like Me

A one-person musical about the history of trans men and transition! With stories about Alan Hart, the first trans man to get gender-confirming surgery (in 1917!); Samuel Bundy, whose legend includes a shark, a robbery, and 12 girlfriends; and renowned children’s author JK Rowling, for those reasons – Aug 8-14, 16-28 Tickets

Godot is a Woman

Since Samuel Beckett wrote Waiting for Godot, he and his estate have notoriously challenged – often legally – non-male companies that wish to perform it. Inspired by that this show is an interrogation of gender, authorial copyright and the cultural significance of Madonna’s 1989 album Like a Prayer – Aug 16-27 Tickets

Declan

A hallucinatory tale of isolation and sexual discovery set against the backdrop of Section 28-induced homophobia in the West Country. Childlike outsider Jimbo recalls the disappearance of his friend Declan and along the way makes troubling discoveries about his own childhood – Aug 15 – 27 Tickets

Waiting for Champagne

Former friends and roommates, Annie and Frances, haven’t spoken to each other in more than a year. But sparks fly when Frances shows up at Annie’s door one night, drunk and demanding to talk. Buried truths are dragged back up to the surface as the women navigate family expectations, sexuality, and their own ambitions. Will Annie and Frances be able to resolve all of the things left unsaid? Or will the weight of the past shatter any possibility of a future they might have? – Aug 18-22 Tickets

Pitch

Pitch is a bold and joyful exploration of the relationship between football and the queer community. Winner of the Pleasance’s Charlie Hartill Fund, artists Nell Bailey and Ellie Roser will dig under the surface of the world’s most popular sport by giving a voice to those who still can’t be proud of their identity when in a stadium.

Birthmarked

A Jehovah’s Witness comes to terms with his sexuality in the autobiographical new gig theatre show Birthmarked. It tells the true story of Brook growing up as a Jehovah’s Witness until he was disfellowshipped at the age of 23 – Aug 3-13, 15-19, 21-27 Tickets

Public

Plunge into the pop-rock world of Public a muscial exploring identity, connection and compassion, all set to an electrifying new score. Winner of the Pleasance’s Charlie Hartill Fund and VAULT Origins Award, it’s a witty and sensitive story about four unlikely strangers trapped in a gender-neutral public toilet – Aug 2-8, 10-20, 22-28 Tickets

Santi & Naz

Winner of the Pleasance’s Charlie Hartill Fund, Santi & Naz captures how ordinary life must continue even as world-shaking events shift everything. The vibrant production explores queer love, identity and loyalty, set against the backdrop of pre-partition India – Aug 2-8, 10-22, 24-28 Tickets

Diana: The Untold and Untrue Story

Combining drag, multimedia, audience interaction, puppetry and queer joy, Diana: The Untold and Untrue Story is a unique celebration of the People’s Princess! Told by Diana from Heaven, the show highlights her ground-breaking stances on social and queer issues and allows her to speak her (un)truth in breaking free from the monarchy – Aug 2-14, 17-20, 22-28 Tickets

Lachlan Werner – Voices Of Evil

From poof prince of puppets – Brew the squishy witch has decided to sacrifice Lanchy to help with his self-esteem. Described as the definitive queer puppet show the demonic voices come from every corner and anyone could get puppeteered by evil – Aug 2-27 Tickets

Locusts

A new play exploring lived experience of gay conversion therapy within an evangelical church. Out of the blue, Stephen is contacted by Pete – the pastor of the church he attended as a young man in the late 1980s. Back then, Pete taught that there was no such thing as a gay Christian and prayed that God would make Stephen straight – something Pete believes worked. Now he wants the same for his daughter – and he wants Stephen to help – Aug 14-19, 21-26 Tickets

June

Billy is an ex-drag queen trying to reclaim past glory. He launches a desperate attempt to do one final performance and connect to his past, even as it tests his relationships and makes him question everything he believes in. This one-man show takes a deep dive into drag, platonic intimacy and disability – Aug 21-26 Tickets

Cerys Bradley

Did non-binary comedian Cerys cause their parents’ divorce? Did they just make that interaction really awkward? Is a new year’s resolution ever going to be enough to fix their personality? In this surreal and silly interactive stand-up show/birthday party, you get to decide – Aug 3-25, 27 Tickets

Sing, River

Are you ready to be swallowed into the depths of the Thames? Midsummer comes but once a year. Weaving together an original folk score and tales from a romance best forgottem this queer solo show by Nathaniel Jones, explores the act of severing yourself from dark memories in order to survive – 2-27 Aug Tickets

Blowhole

He’s gay, twenty-something, and aspiring to be Billie Piper circa 1999. For now though, he’s still single, still horny, and still perfecting the bum-hole selfie in the work toilets. Rock bottom’s never been so fabulous. Blowhole is a screengrab of the pitfalls of swipe-right culture – Aug 2-15, 17-28 Tickets

30 and out

‘Mum, I’m a lesbian. Sorry it’s late but grab a rainbow flag… I’m 30 and I’m coming out.’ Kit just left her boyfriend and the closet. While her friends marry and get mortgages, she is starting again in a whirlwind of drugs, clubs and heartbreak. Is it too late to be a lesbian? Does she need a cat and an undercut? A memorable journey about discovering identity and losing yourself along the way – Aug 2-3, 5, 7-28 Tickets

Sam See: Government Approved Sex

During the pandemic, Sam See was asked by the Singapore government to run a series of educational panels in the National Library about love and sex. This is stand-up comedy show about relationships, BDSM and scientific facts. Get the sex education you never had at this show and don’t worry, it’s all government approved – Aug 3-7, 9-14, 16-21, 23-27 Tickets

Playing Latinx

This one-human show merges spoken-word poetry, comedy and music to explore both what the Latinx label means in the UK and, on a more personal level, the lengths we all go to to fit in. Half stand-up, half Latinx drag-king act, Guido Garcia Lueches’ fun, politically-incorrect seminar will coach the audience on how to be a good immigrant – 2-27 Tickets

Asexuality!

What does it mean to be a man in the 21st century? How does toxic masculinity affect those of us assigned male at birth? What’s so great about sex, and why won’t people shut up about it for two goddamn seconds and just let me play my video games in peace?! Transgender artist Rebecca McGlynn’s Asexuality! is an autobiographical musical comedy about Rebecca’s pre-transition life – Aug 2-3, 5-10, 12-17, 19-24, 26-27 Tickets

The Kaye Hole

Hosted by Reuben Kaye it’s queer, messy, and the hottest late-night ticket in town. Execpect the riskiest and most diverse acts let loose, all backed by a live band – 4-26 Aug Tickets

The Ocean And The Star

A moving, poignant exploration of the human condition, featuring song and physical theatre that delves into history from lesbians being burned as witches to the recent ‘don’t say gay’ Florida law. It’s fast-paced, gripping and hits you hard – Aug 4-12, 14-15 Tickets

Rik Wolters

Rik is now in his fifth decade, but he can still lie about it because he dyes hie hair. Join him for a brand-new hilarious hour of cheeky comedy with far too much oversharing – 4-28 Aug Tickets

Junk Monkey

Olivia just met the love of her life on a train. If only she can find her again. And if only her own stupid boyfriend would stop calling her. In a shameless account of 12 hours of sheer desperation, this is a new solo show about missed connections, crushing obsession, and the power of a single day. She’s not insane. She’s just in love. Properly, this time. For sure – Aug 2-5, 7-19, 21-27 Tickets

Drag Queens vs Vampires

Kate Butch and Crudi Dench jet off to Transylvania as UK finalists for the Eurovision Song Contest. The trip becomes a bloody nightmare when their sexy Airbnb host Dracula drives a wedge between the pair, threatening their lives, and more importantly, chances of stardom 3-27 Aug Tickets

My Dad Wears a Dress

This one woman show about growing up with a transgender parent by Maria Telnikoff is filled with tales from her school days and shows the difficulties of fitting in as a young person and the fears we feel about being labelled as “outside the box” – 3-27 Aug Tickets

Looking for fun?

Navigating growing up gay in a straight world, Looking for fun? explores overcoming gay shame, queer nightlife and dealing with the agony of online gay dating. This one-man play aims to expose the dark side of Grindr, prompting audiences to question their own relationship and understanding of gay hookup culture. This ‘queer manifesto against Grindr’ deals with themes of gay shame, visits to the sexual health clinic and PrEP use, sexual assault, and searching for authenticity in the world of gay hookup culture – 2-13 Aug Tickets

Hive

A new queer, weird fiction play about housing insecurity, displacement and corporate development. Reluctant Megacorp conservationist and single mum Ria has been called in to sort a hive. It’s halting work, messing up the bottom line. Plus it’s the worst possible timing because Ria’s teenage kid Salve was just suspended for unrepentant thievery. But cagey site manager Craig hints at something more… unusual. More sinister – 2-15 Aug Tickets

Secreting

Teenage chaos, comedy, and (mis)communication – wrapped neatly into five episodes spotlighting the intimate conversations that take place in the corners of a house party. An exciting mixture of comedy and drama, prioritising queer narratives, and produced by an all-female production team – Aug 14-19 Tickets

Wasteman

A bin man swaps steel-toed boots for stilettos to chase his dream of becoming a drag queen. This raucous one-person comedy play combines monologue, song and (of course) drag in a love letter to hard-working Northerners and gender euphoria, based on writer Joe Leather’s real-life experiences working as a Refuse Loader through lockdown – 4-16, 18-28 Aug Tickets

Cowboys and Lesbians

Somewhere in America a misunderstood teen girl is falling for a mysterious cowboy with a dark past. Meanwhile, in London Nina and Noa are wasting their youth on flashcards and fantasies about their teachers. They’ve never done drugs, they’ve never been to a party. They’ve never even been kissed. And they’re absolutely never going to admit that they fancy each other – 2-27 Aug Tickets

Myra DuBois: Be Well

With her passion for compassion and flair for giving care, the ‘bust a gut funny’ (Graham Norton) Myra DuBois calls out to the disadvantaged, downtrodden and tyrannised of the world with her manifesto for mental health: AdMyrism! But are you ready to receive the call? – 2-13, 15-27 Aug Tickets

We’ll Have Nun of It

Follow four friends as they navigate the angst and joys of the 60s, with all of its liberations and frustrations. Through turbulent struggles of Irish emigration, sexuality and faith, sisterhood remains the light through it all. The actor-muso shows that explores identity, queerness and migration in Ireland all through the sounds of pop, soul and folk! – 3-27 Aug Tickets

Scots

What happens when you let a toilet tell the story of Scotland? From award-winning duo Noisemaker, Scots is an irreverent and rousing musical journey through the history of Scotland. Ticket includes a pie and a pint, look out for song Daniel and Oscar for your queer hit – 14-16, 18-20, 22-27 Aug Tickets

Katherine and Pierre

It’s Friday morning. We meet Pierre in his office. In walks Katherine… their eyes lock. It’s pure passion and sexual chemistry. After a work do, they find themselves in bed with one another. The Katy perry jukebox musical promises to deliver a queer, passionate and tightly choreographed drag world – 2-27 Aug Tickets

He Wears It Well

Roleplay, costume and fanfiction form an intimate and fundamental spark within a new queer relationship. Archie and Stephen work in male-centric environments. They both feel boxed in by stereotypes and crave genuine human connection. Meeting at a costume party, they embark on a journey of self-discovery, finding freedom in disguise and cosplay – 4-12, 14-19, 21-26 Aug Tickets

He Kept Me Safe

A play that gives voice to the unheard experiences of gay men’s experiences of intimate partner violence. They delve into the traumatic nature of the abuse, the health impacts, societal invisibility, and the stigma surrounding the issue. Based in a group counselling session, the survivors disclose their experiences of unsettling acts at the hands of partners – 17-19 Aug Tickets

Aidan Sadler: Melody

Experience belting original synth-pop tunes punctuated by world-class stand-up comedy. Featuring electrifying hits that you’ll be humming to armageddon, Melody is the highly anticipated successor to Tropicana, following a central London residency, three sell-out theatre runs and a national tour – 14-19, 21-26 Aug Tickets

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