The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the biggest arts festival in the world, with nearly 3,500 shows. This year, Playbill is in Edinburgh for the entire month in August for the festival and we’re taking you with us. Follow along as we cover every single aspect of the Fringe, aka our real-life Brigadoon!
As part of our Edinburgh Fringe coverage, Playbill is seeing a whole lotta shows—and we're sharing which ones you absolutely must see if you're only at the Fringe for a short amount of time. Consider these Playbill Picks a friendly, opinionated guide as you try to choose a show at the festival.
If you're on the theatre side of TikTok, you've probably seen Tim Murray come across your feed more than a few times. These days, he's an LA-based comedian sporting a pretty majestic mullet. But if you've seen his videos, you probably can tell Murray's a theatre kid at heart (a recent post hilariously lampoons the obnoxious behavior of actors who run into each other in audition rooms and need everyone to know they've been "bast frands" since partnering together in the ensemble of All Shook Up last summer at Dutch Apple.)
Murray's social feed also hints at the inspiration behind his newest comedy show, currently playing the Edinburgh Festival Fringe; He has an obsession with witches, specifically everyone's favorite misunderstood green-skinned girlie hailing from Oz's West Side. Scroll through Murray's TikTok profile and you'll find him reacting to various Wicked
slime tutorials videos, often in full green Elphaba face beat to match.
But of course there's a reason Murray has been sporting a face of Elphaba green. That's a major part of his costume in Tim Murray Is Witches, which more fully explores that witch fixation. As it turns out, Murray's witch love is about more than "Defying Gravity" riffs and sexy costumes. In a surprisingly poignant hour packed with laughs, Murray finds some surprising connections with witch culture and his experience of growing up queer while surrounded by homophobes.
Murray spent his childhood less interested in playing sports with the boys than in playing Barbies with the girls. He describes desperately wanting to sit with the girls at the lunch table, but choosing to be miserable with the boys knowing an unspoken rule would make any other choice social suicide. Most directly connected to Murray's witch obsession, he shares what he describes as a core memory of seeing a male schoolmate show up at school in a full witch costume, complete with a black, pointy witch hat. Just as Murray was thinking how much he wanted to wear a hat like that, other kids knocked it off his head. Needless to say, growing up queer is rough.
But in Murray's new act, we learn that his witchy tendencies are ultimately what gave him the power to get past those traumas. In his own estimation, it's no wonder Murray became fascinated with stories about societal outcasts with fabulous magical powers. Like many queer kids before him, Murray may have spent his childhood praying for those powers to be taken away. Now as a proud, queer, adult, Murray is in complete control of those powers and using them to their full potential. Murray also finds inspiration in witches always being backed up by their sisters, whether blood relation or chosen family.
To be clear, the show is not a downer. Murray's primary form of magic is finding the humor in almost anything, from his not-so-subtle gay tendencies as a child (when other boys would pretend to be Superman on the playground, Murray wanted to be Nicole Kidman in Practical Magic) to some very important but unwritten witch rules. Brunette witches, Murray says, are always bad, and blonde witches are always good—except for the Blair Witch. And how do we know the perpetually out-of-frame Blair Witch is blonde? "Her name is Blair. She's blonde, sweetie."
Ever the theatre kid, Murray has prepared a number of original songs to sing throughout the evening, as funny as they are utterly ridiculous. I don't want to give anything away, but let's just say if you're an admirer of Wicked's misunderstood goat professor, know that Murray has finally given him his due. Wicked superfans will also want to check this one out so they can go up against Murray in a live edition of "Guess That Elphaba," in which contestants are challenged to name the actor playing Elphaba in a randomly selected audio clip from Wicked. Be forewarned: Murray's Elphaba identification abilities are pretty strong.
And the show isn't just a Wicked fan exploration. Murray covers all of the best pop culture witches, from Bewitched's Samantha Stephens to Sabrina the Teenage Witch and The Craft. And there's confetti—because of course there is.
Tim Murray is Witches is a laugh riot from beginning to end, but also an exploration of how art touches our lives, sometimes in ways we can't even recognize until later. Murray's defying gravity and leaving those lunchroom traumas far behind him. These days, he's 100 percent that witch.