The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the biggest arts festival in the world, with nearly 3,500 shows. This year, Playbill will be going to Edinburgh in August for the festival and we’re taking you with us. Follow along this summer as we cover every single aspect of the Fringe, aka our real-life Brigadoon!
Edinburgh Festival Fringe officially opens August 4, and Playbill is celebrating the beginning of the festival with a final round-up of this year's most anticipated shows. For newcomers and veterans alike, it can be overwhelming to decide what to see—but not to worry. Check out these guides to some of Fringe's biggest venues to help narrow down the choices and figure out what shows you might want to prioritize at the world's largest arts festival.
Underbelly is a theatre producer that produces shows in London and Edinburgh (they are one of the lead producers of the Cabaret revival with Eddie Redmayne, which is transferring to the Broadway next year). They have a permanent venue in the Soho neighborhood in London called Underbelly Boulevard. They are also one of the biggest producers at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, producing over 100 shows annually across four venues in Edinburgh's city center: George Square, Circus Hub, Cowgate, and Bristo Square.
For this article, we are listing 10 shows that we're looking forward to at the Circus Hub. Created in 2015, the Circus Hub was the first major venue dedicated to circus at the Fringe. The Circus Hub contains two performance spaces: the Lafayette and the Beauty. So do you love to see performers flying through the air? Then check out these 10 shows at Underbelly's Circus Hub
Aloft Presents Sanctuary
This is part circus, part cabaret, as the Chicago-based Sanctuary Cabaret presents a revolving line-up of internationally renowned circus artists, who will perform to live music that fuses classic standards and modern faves. Aloft Presents Sanctuary August 5–26 runs at The Beauty.
This all-female acrobatic show puts the audience up close and personal with its performers (hence the title). Brave Space was a hit at the 2022 Fringe. Brave Space runs August 5–26 at the Beauty.
The show combines circus, comedy, and cabaret and features a variety of artists. The company behing La Clique, Spiegeltent, has been a regular fixture at the Fringe since 2004, frequently selling out shows in Edinburgh and around the world. La Clique runs August 4–26 at the Beauty.
This show contains two cellist and a live opera singer, in addition to circus. This show will invite audience into a powerful collective experience to reconnect with one another and imagine a sustainable future. Reclaim runs August 6–26 at the Beauty Inspired Underbelly’s Circus Hub on the Meadows (The Beauty) | 15:10 (60 mins)
Sophie’s Surprise 29th
This '80s-themed circus show features performers from Cirque du Soleil, Britain's Got Talent, Gogglebox, and more as they perform death-defying feats on roller skates, unicycles, and more. Sophie's Surprise 29th runs August 4–26 at the Beauty.
Circa's Peepshow (Club Remix)
Peepshow (Club Remix) is a new version of a previous Circa show, Peepshow. It features a live DJ, who provides a thumping soundtrack to the thrilling acrobatics. Peepshow (Club Remix) runs August 4–26 at the Lafayette.
Circus Abyssinia: Tulu
Tulu had a well-received run last year at Fringe. It takes its name from Derartu Tulu, the first African woman to win Olympic gold medal. The show from Circus Abyssinia contains contortions, acrobatics, and fire-juggling. Tulu runs August 5–26 at the Lafayette.
The 7 Fingers: Duel Reality
This new acrobatic show from popular Canadian circus company The 7 Fingers (Les 7 doigts de la main) takes its inspiration from Romeo and Juliet. Expect the Montagues and Capulets to fly through the air. Duel Reality runs August 4–26 at the Lafayette.
The Revel Puck Circus: The Wing Scuffle Spectacular
The Revel Puck Circus makes their Edinburgh Fringe debut. This show includes performers balancing on top of a giant wheel, diving from 15 feet in the air, and somersaulting out of the path of a swinging chainsaw. The Wing Scuffle Spectacular runs August 5–26 at the Lafayette.
Trash Test Dummies
This circus show may be for children but it doesn't make it less entertaining. Here, the acrobats dance on top of trash bins, dodge helium balloons, and encourage the youngsters in the audience to throw colorful plastic balls at them. Trash Test Dummies runs August 5–26 at the Lafayette.