Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2022: First tickets made available as 278 Fringe shows revealed
03 March 2022
More shows to be announced monthly, as the world’s greatest celebration of arts and culture returns for its 75th anniversary this August.
Today, Thursday 03 March, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society is delighted to announce that the first set of shows for the 2022 Edinburgh Festival Fringe will be available to book at edfringe.com.
The 75th anniversary of the Fringe takes place from 05 – 29 August 2022 and will feature an exciting range of shows, with theatre, comedy, music, dance, circus, musicals, variety, cabaret, events and more all represented in the programme.
Tickets for 283 shows will be released at 12:00 GMT today, with more shows set to be announced on Thursday 07 April, Thursday 05 May and Thursday 09 June.
The official launch of the festival, including the reveal of the iconic printed programme, will take place in early July.
Below is a small representative sample of shows available to book from today. The full list of shows released this month can be found at edfringe.com.
Commenting on today’s announcement, Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, said: “It’s always a hugely exciting moment when the first set of Fringe shows are announced, and this year, it feels more important than ever to celebrate the breadth of creativity and freedom of expression that these shows represent.
“We know that so many artists are still recovering from the impact of the pandemic, and getting your tickets early is a brilliant way to support them at this vital time. It’s also an important investment in the value of culture and creativity, and with some shows offering free and Pay What You Can options, the Fringe remains an essential access point to culture for many.
“I can’t wait to see the programme continue to unfold as we get closer to August, and to see Edinburgh filled with live performance once again as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of this magnificent festival.”
At theSpace @ Surgeons Hall, acclaimed mystery maestros Highly Suspect return to the Fringe “with a new duo of hilarious and interactive murder mysteries, which you – the audience – must solve”. At the same venue, UK Underdog is a solo show based on true events in a London, Jewish boy’s life. “Bullied and humiliated at school, Steve Spiro realises his strength to move forward, but that ultimately comes at a price”.
BAFTA award-winner Jack Docherty is at Gilded Balloon with Nothing But: a darkly comic tale which grapples with lost youth, love, fatherhood, sex, secrets and truth.
At Underbelly, My Son's a Queer (But What Can You Do?) is the “joyous, chaotic, autobiographical story of actor, writer and social-media sensation Rob Madge”.
Assembly has a range of theatre to book from today, including Watson: The Final Problem, in which Sherlock Holmes’ pal tells his tale of long-buried secrets; and Myra’s Story, in which a middle-aged, homeless Dublin street drinker relives her back story.
Comoedia at Greenside is a celebration of traditional Italian masked theatre, as the most famous characters of Commedia dell’arte come together in a one-man show. At the same venue, two women use nothing but their imaginations, a skull and some fancy scarves to bring together A Two Woman Hamlet.
At theSpace on North Bridge, GirlPlay is “an exploration of love and sex spun out in slam”. On a night of firsts, Lucy opens the door to a world of relationships and sex that she had only ever dreamt about. But is the reality all she had hoped it would be?
Online, Transatlantic is a true story of the French immigrant experience. “Cookie is taking care of the last of her uncle's estate in New Mexico. As she goes through her family's belongings, she goes on an emotional journey that echoes the many trips back and forth that she and her family have taken between France and the US.”
Plus, from award-winning writer Lita Doolan comes Audrey's Art Club. “Audrey wants to know what doodling's got to do with love and goes back to her lover's childhood home to find answers.”
The Stand has a wide roster of shows on sale today, including Seann Walsh: Is Dead, Happy Now? and Stewart Lee: Basic Lee – a work-in-progress show in which “Lee enters the post-pandemic era in streamlined stand-up mode”. Also catch rising Scottish star Gareth Waugh with Doozy and Jo Caulfield with Bad Attitude.
At Assembly, Fern Brady will be tackling big issues such as “death, shagging, marriage and ageing” in her show, Autistic Bikini Queen.
David O’Doherty is back with his show whoa is me and “all of the misplaced confidence of a waiter with no pad”, while Susie McCabe returns with a brand-new show. In Born Believer, the comedian has decided to leave cynicism behind to be an “all-new positive Susie (optimistic at best, positive is pushing it)”.
Jason Byrne is at Underbelly with Unblocked, as “the constipation of Covid has been cleared, live entertainment has been colonically irrigated and readied up for us all”. At the same venue, Foil, Arms and Hogg return to the Fringe with a mix of sketch comedy, audience participation and improvisation. Plus, Richard Stott: Afterparty sees the stand-up contemplate whether he’s missed the boat. “His friends have families, six-figure salaries and houses. He has a level-two food hygiene certificate and acid reflux.”
Gilded Balloon is home to double Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee Andrew Maxwell’s Krakatoa, as well as Justin Moorhouse’s brand-new show Stretch & Think, which “may contain yoga, getting older, Madonna, shoplifters, labradoodles, middle-aged cyclists, The Menopause, running, hating football fans but loving football, not drinking, funerals” and a lot more. Plus, catch Sian Davies, winner of Best Debut Show at Leicester Comedy Festival 2020 and Funny Women runner-up. Her show is all about time, growing up and finding your place in the world.
There’s a range of Laughing Horse shows available to book from today. Shows including Annie and Angela's Disco Divorce Party: “a drag-infused comedy of musical mirth celebrating friendship and new beginnings”, and Comedy Queers: “a spicy late-night mix of outrageous queer comedians, cabaret and drag acts”. Plus, there’s stand up from the likes of Nathan Cassidy and Dave Chawner.
Fringe stalwart Nina Conti returns to Pleasance with The Dating Show, in which “finding true love can't be promised, but big laughs are guaranteed”. And after a UK and Australia tour and an Amazon special, Taskmaster runner-up and accidental YouTube cult leader Mark Watson brings his show This Can’t Be It back to where it began (at last year’s “mini Fringe”).
Also on Pleasance’s bill is Angela Barnes: Hot Mess (“trying to live your best life, as it turns out, is really bloody hard”); Ivo Graham: My Future, My Clutter (“bumbling wordsmith and tripe factory returns to discuss three years of heavy-duty pranking / parenting / procrastinating since Dave's 2019 nominations for Best Comedy Show and Joke of the Fringe”); and NewsRevue, which will return to the EICC to “parody politics in a post-pandemic world”.
At Just the Tonic, Daniel Sloss and Kai Humphries bring their hit podcast, Sloss and Humphries On The Road, to the festival. Plus, Fringe veteran Craig Hill returns with I Always Knew I Had It In Me, and rising Scottish star Connor Burns is at the festival with his show, Live, Laugh, Loathe.
At Queen’s Hall, Henning Wehn returns with It’ll All Come Out in the Wash: a show that promises to “give everything a good rinse and witness him wring sense out of the nonsensical”.
At theSpaceTriplex, California-based Hip-Hop Orchestra, Ensemble Mik Nawooj (EMN), presents music from their new album, Death Become Life, which fuses hip-hop and classical (think full strings, woodwind, French horn and soprano).
There’s also a range of Night Owl Shows to choose from, including 007 Voices Of Bond (featuring hits such as Goldfinger, Skyfall, Diamonds are Forever, Live and Let Die and many more); Back to Black: The Music of Amy Winehouse (which promises to take you on a moving journey through a modern legend's career); and California Dreams (featuring an immersive trip through California in the late 60s and 70s, with hits by The Mamas & The Papas, The Eagles, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, The Byrds and more). All are happening at theSpace UK.
Acoustic Music Centre has a range of shows on sale from today. Acts include The Willow Trio: a band of three clarsach players – Sophie Rocks, Sam MacAdam, Romy Wymer – who will be presenting a mix of Gaelic music and original new work.
The Strange Valentines are a Nova Scotian folk duo, blending acoustic instrumentation and their signature stunning two-part harmonies to tell provocative stories.
Plus, up-and-coming harpist Romy Wymer presents traditional tunes from Scotland and Netherlands in her Fringe / AMC debut. Romy recently earned second place at the World Harp Competition (2021) and was a semi-finalist in the BBC Young Traditional Musician of the Year (2022).
Cabaret and Variety
Pleasance is home to West End star and multi award-winning magician Ben Hart, as he returns to Edinburgh with his show Wonder. Using only the simplest of props and the minds of the audience, Hart conjures a show that is “always amazing, sometimes shocking and shines a light into the darkest corners of your imaginations”.
Mat Ricardo is at Gilded Balloon with The Extraordinary Gentleman: “a unique, hilarious and unmissable one-man show” from the acclaimed variety artist.
Best of Burlesque is back at Assembly, with award-winning striptease, cabaret and variety from the 2022 Fringe, plus international special guests.
Dirty Tricks – How the Illusionati Rule the World is at Greenside. In this show, The Great Baldini demonstrates “how the illusionati rig elections, launder money and orchestrate assassinations: a wholly (im)plausible conspiracy theory”.
At theSpace @ Symposium Hall, Sue Kelvin stars in Bette Midler and Me: a tribute show to Midler, covering her life and songs from the perspective of a lifelong fan. Expect musical hits, plus highlights from Midler comedy routines and a puppet version of Beaches.
Dance, Physical Theatre and Circus
Underbelly Circus Hub returns to the Meadows this year, and with it comes Circa: Humans 2.0: “a symphony of acrobatics, sound and light”, described as “a tightly woven choreography of bodies, pulsing with music”.
Also on the Meadows, Hotel Paradiso is “an irresistibly colourful, loud and fun show for all the family” from contemporary circus company, Lost in Translation. Featuring circus skills, physical comedy, theatrical storytelling and slapstick, this show “sees the staff family tackle the scheming banker as he tries to possess the Hotel Paradiso”.
Cirque Berserk! is at Pleasance. Showcasing “traditional circus thrills and skills”, Cirque Berserk! combines “contemporary cirque-style artistry with adrenaline-fuelled stunt action”, as “this astoundingly talented international troupe includes over 30 fearless acrobats, aerialists and daredevil stuntmen”.
At Assembly, Muse is a circus piece which attempts to answer the question, “what does it mean to be a woman?” Plus, The Black Blues Brothers sees “five extraordinary acrobats perform their comedy tribute to the cult movie The Blues Brothers”. Expect breathtaking jumps, fire, somersault routines, human pyramids and more.
Intambo is at Greenside. This show features Ruciteme Karyenda Culture de Buyenzi: a group of Burundian drummers, founded in 1987. Starting with 27 members, the members range in age from 8 to 50, and they will be performing an old, traditional Burundi dance that used to be played for the Kings.
Also at Greenside is Éowyn Emerald & Dancers. Éowyn presents Your Tomorrow is an “entertaining and deeply intimate jazz dance for two performers”.
Peppa Pig – My First Concert is at Assembly. This interactive introduction to a live orchestra is “an accessible, exciting concert designed for the youngest audience members, with Aurora Orchestra.”
Also at Assembly, Yellow Bird Chase follows “a clownish maintenance crew” who find a magical bird and a mad chase begins. Appropriate for the whole family and accessible to deaf and hard-of-hearing audiences.
Plus, from the creative team behind the Hairy Maclary show, young audiences can now see all three of Nick Sharratt's Shark in the Park books live on stage.
At Pleasance, The Smeds and the Smoos is an exciting adaptation of the award-winning book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. On a far-off planet, Smeds and Smoos can't be friends. So when a young Smed and Smoo fall in love and zoom off into space together, how will their families get them back?
At Underbelly, the Amazing Bubble Man Louis Pearl is back. Louis “explores the breathtaking dynamics of bubbles, combining comedy and artistry with audience participation and enough spellbinding bubble tricks to keep everyone mesmerised”.
Fox Tales: The Pied Piper is at theSpace @ Surgeons Hall. In this family puppet show, Hans the Storyteller, Reynard the Fox and Gripp the Raven give “a hilarious new telling of the classic fairy tale, The Pied Piper of Hamelin”. Expect “jokes, ridiculous rhymes, mischief and nonsense”.
At the same venue, Den of Enquiry “is a fun, light-hearted show that gets kids talking about democracy”.
In Soho Boy at theSpace @ Symposium Hall, “young, trendy Spencer leaves home and hits Soho like a whirlwind in a journey of love, laughter, heartbreak and happiness”. This work is a “modern tale of the gay scene, which can be harsh and lonely, surrounded by glamour, sex and songs”.
At theSpace @ Niddry St, Julie: The Musical is an original, new musical telling the life and adventures of historical LGBTQ+ icon Julie D'Aubigny. “One of the first public figures to live as an openly bisexual woman, she seduced nuns, dueled multiple men at once, burnt down convents, was bribed by princes, innovated opera – all before she turned 30.”
Now in its 10th year, The Improv Musical is at Gilded Balloon. Each show is a completely improvised, never-before-seen musical on its opening, and closing, night.
At Greenside, Raft follows four women, seemingly trapped on a raft in the middle of the ocean, hunted by a mystical sea monster. “An original one-act musical around abuse, bravery and friendship.”
Thumbnail photo credit: Suzi Ruffell (2019), Pleasance. Photographer: David Monteith-Hodge.