10 Edinburgh Fringe Shows You Can See at Underbelly Cowgate | Playbill

Playbill Goes Fringe 10 Edinburgh Fringe Shows You Can See at Underbelly Cowgate

See a solo show from former Moulin Rouge! Duke Declan Bennett, to a boozy puppet party, to a show inspired by The Breakfast Club.

Underbelly: Cowgate Venue Courtesy of Underbelly at The Edinburgh Fringe

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!

So many shows, only so much time to see them. How do you pick what's a must-see at Edinburgh Fringe. Well, one way is to start with some recommendations, and Playbill is collecting this year's most anticipated shows for newcomers and veterans alike. Rounding up the most anticipated shows by venue, Playbill's guides highlight the major venues not to miss at Fringe as you plan out your experience of 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 Cowgate. This venue is located on a street in Edinburgh's Old Town called Cowgate. This bustling street is known for its proliferation of bars and restaurants, so much so that after 10 PM, cars are not allowed to drive on Cowgate in order to protect pedestrians. Underbelly Cowgate contains six performance spaces: Belly Laugh, Iron Belly, Big Belly, Belly Button, Belly Dancer and Delhi Belly. And true to its location, Underbelly Cowgate also includes several buzzing bars and the Cow Café, where you can grab a bite and decide which show to see next!

Below are 10 shows to see at Underbelly Cowgate. 

Bill's 44th

Bill's 44th
This tragicomedy featuring puppets and balloons, and takes place during the boozy birthday party of Bill. The show explores, according to press notes, "pitfalls of impatience, the wonder of loneliness, and the universal passage of time." Bill's 44th runs August 3–27.

Dugsi Dayz

Dugsi Dayz
The show follows four students who is stuck in dugsi, the Somali word for detention. Salma, Yasmin, Munira, and Hani meet each other for the first time and slowly reveal their reasons for being there. Does it sound like The Breakfast Club? Well don't you forget about them. Dugsi Dayz runs August 3–27.

One Way Out

One Way Out
The show is about the experiences of young British Caribbeans during the Windrush crisis, which was a 2018 British political scandal where people (primarily from the Caribbeans) were wrongly detained and were wrongly deported. One Way Out runs August 3–27.

The cast of We'll Have Nun of It

We’ll Have Nun of It
This new musical takes place in the '60s, as four friends navigate convent school life, with a background of pop, soul, and folk music. We'll Have Nun of It runs August 3–27.

The Way Way Deep

The Way Way Deep
Patrick McPherson's previous play The Man and Colossal was a hit at the 2022 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. He's back this year with a new play, which follows a 20-year friendship. The show also features original music. The Way Way Deep runs August 3–27.


This play, written and performed by Alistair Hall, follows an outsider named Jimbo who recalls the disappearance of his friend Declan. At the same time, in searching for Declan in his hometown, Jimbo also makes troubling discoveries about his own childhood. Declan runs August 15–27.

Boy Out The City

Boy Out the City
In this autobiographical solo show, Declan Bennett (who most recently was on Broadway in Moulin Rouge! as the Duke) recounts how during COVID-19 lockdown, he moved from London to the middle of the Oxfordshire countryside. There, the loneliness forces him to confront the demons of his past. The play explores toxic masculinity, homophobia and men's mental health. Boy Out the City runs August 3–27.

Life with Oscar

Life With Oscar
In this tragicomedic solo show, writer and actor Nick Cohen recalls the time he lived in Los Angeles and tried to get work in Hollywood. He soon learns more about the underbelly of Hollywood and how the Academy Awards actually works. Life With Oscar runs August 3–27.

House of Life

House of Life
This new show from Nottingham and London-based company Sheep Soup, follows a "traveling musical cult collective hosted by the RaveRend, with one mission: to get you happy, at any cost." Will you feel the spirit at this theatre party? Let us know. House of Life runs August 3–25.

The Society for New Cuisine

The Society for New Cuisine
This solo show from London-based performer Chris Fung is billed as, "an extended Buddhist allegory that deals with consumerism, mental health and existential crisis," trying to answer the question: Are you truly satisfied with how you are living, or do things feel... broken to you? The Society for New Cuisine runs August 3–27.

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