The Best Theatre Shows at Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2023

Skiddle Staff

Last updated: 14th Aug 2023

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2023 is well underway, and the reviews are flying in. Whilst comedy is often touted as the main attraction of the festival, the Fringe also comes alive with both theatre production both massive and underground, for spectacles unlike any other. With the festival now heading into its third week, we decided to let you guys in on all the best happening when it comes to the theatrical and on-stage. 

Whether it's theatrical recreations of classic Scottish movies and literature; unique one-man shows with huge monologues and interesting themes; or maybe your more classic production that looks to tell some of the more interesting stories that reflect our world today. Whatever you like, the Fringe has it. 

So have a scroll down and check out all the best Edinburgh Fringe Theatre Shows for 2023. If you're heading up to the Fringe in the latter parts of the month, this list could prove invaluable!




Trainspotting Live

When: Thursday 3rd - Sunday 27th August 2023

Where: Pleasance at EICC, Cromdale Tunnel in Edinburgh

An absolute stalwart of the Edinburgh Fringe's theatrical offerings, this acclaimed and immersive adaptation of Irvine Welsh's classic novel, staged in celebration of the book's 30th anniversary in a unique, bespoke venue, is one of the very best, grotesque, and enthralling things you can see on your visit.

Back after six sold-out Fringe seasons, this show is one where the audience are literally part of the action, including the notorious 'worst toilet in Scotland' scene (be careful as you will get wet), as well as a fair share of nudity (this one isnt for the prudish), Trainspotting Live is a to ride you won't soon forget, so book early! Choose life.   



After The Act

When: Thursday 3rd - Sunday 27th August 2023

Where: Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh

Fringe veterans Breach Theatre make their Traverse Theatre debut at the festival with this acclaimed indie musical about life in the shadow of Margaret Thatcher’s infamous anti-gay legislation Section 28. Behind the production are the innovative minds, of Billy Barrett (writer/director) and Ellice Stevens (writer/performer). The duo shine in tackling weighty themes with inventive performances, with notable works including '16's 'Tank' which delved into the CIA's dolphin experiments, and '18's 'It's True, It's True, It's True,' which ingeniously uses a seventeenth-century rape case transcript to expose today's flawed rape conviction approach.

This one, from reviews that are piling in, looks set to be another intellectual masterpiece and an essential watch for all fringe Theatre nuts.  



Little Wimmin

When: Monday 21st - Sunday 27th August 2023

Where: Zoo Southside in Edinburgh

Returning once again to bring their crazy adaptations to stage, Figs in Wigs are bringing their latest iconoclastic retelling of the classic Louisa May Alcott novel 'Little Women', or as they call it, 'Little Wimmin', to the Fringe for a week this year.  

The show is full of mind-bending, campy live performance that mixes eclectic dance routines with smatterings of cabaret-style glitz. In the past, the group have taken on everything from the Backstreet Boys to Selfie Culture (a broad stroke we know), all to widespread acclaim, and we are certain that this show at this year's Fringe will be more of the same! Not one to miss if you like your theatre with a weird and experimental edge! 




When: Thursday 3rd - Sunday 27th August 2023

Where: Roundabout at Summerhall in Edinburgh

Blending the elements of a captivating stage production with the vibes of a vibrant UK garage club soirée, Danusia Samal's "Bangers" seamlessly weaves together authentic rap and R&B compositions into its narrative of youthful self-discovery. Transporting us into the midst of London's exhilarating nightlife, this dynamic theatrical experience escorts us through the exhilarating journey of two adolescents navigating the labyrinth of adulthood. Premiering at Soho Theatre just last year, the play's pulse-pounding pace mirrors the energetic rhythm of the city it brilliantly captures. 



Hello Kitty Must Die

When: Thursday 3rd - Sunday 27th August 2023

Where: Pleasance Courtyard in Edinburgh

From the producers Alchemation - who have in the past brought the epic 'Six,' a triumph portraying Henry VIII's spirited wives, to the Edinburgh Fringe - comes 'Hello Kitty Must Die', a musical adaptation of Angela S. Choi's darkly comedic novel of the same name. This rendition intricately explores Asian-American identity, cleverly personified through the titular girl-cat hybrid. Drawing comparisons to "Ali Wong meets American Psycho," the musical promises an engaging experience, showcasing the complex interplay of dual identities. A must-see at the Fringe if you like your plays with a modern societal message. 



Raising Kane

When: Thursday 3rd - Sunday 27th August 2023

Where: Studio Four in Edinburgh 

Have you ever wanted to see a black-and-white theatre production? Yes, we aren't kidding. Everything from the actors to the stage to the props and outfits are all in black and white on stage. Some feat we know. 

The show itself is all about a precocious young upstart of 1941 New York's glittering theatre scene who tried his hand at making a movie and accidentally created the greatest motion picture of all time. His name was Orson Welles. Fake Escape Artistic Director, David Shopland, returns to the stage after more than a decade to portray one of the most unique personalities in Hollywood history. Triumphs, tragedies and the truth are twisted upside down until fact and fantasy inevitably collide. 




When: Thursday 3rd - Sunday 27th August 2023

Where: Zoo Southside in Edinburgh

Belgium's experimentalist Ontroerend Goed epitomize deliberate unpredictability, making each viewing essential. Their new production, 'Funeral', delves into the theme of impermanence, featuring singing and role-play, akin to their prior works. The performance encapsulates a shared rite, where darkness sets the stage for farewells, introductions, and emotive songs, balanced by illuminating moments. Candles, nourishment, and libations pay homage to their existence, yet these connections find closure. Step into this communal observance, a novel practice unifying individuals in the face of life's ultimate finality.




Casting the Runes

When: Friday 11th - Tuesday 15th & Thursday 17th - Sunday 27th August 2023

Where: Pleasance Courtyard in Edinburgh

'Who is this who is coming?' You are invited to the edge of your seat, on a journey to the darkest corners of the night... Expert on the so-called supernatural, Edward Dunning, is a scholar and a sceptic. But when he crosses paths with the mysterious Mr. Karswell, Dunning's life becomes a waking nightmare. A chilling new adaptation of MR James' classic ghost stories featuring remarkable puppetry and a haunting original soundtrack. Our advice? Don't come alone...



Salty Irina

When: Thursday 3rd - Sunday 27th August 2023

Where: Roundabout at Summerhall in Edinburgh

In Eve Leigh’s captivating anti-fascist romance, Anna (Hannah van der Westhuysen) and Eirini (Yasemin Özdemir), hailing from a Baltic city scarred by immigrant murders, unite after Eirini discovers blood at her doorstep. As their affection blossoms, the duo, one proudly queer and the other visibly non-white, daringly decide to penetrate a local Nazi music festival to unearth the truth behind the racist killings. Directed by Debbie Hannan, the play's 70-minute runtime and small cast attempt much, perhaps needing more space to truly breathe. This queer love story intertwines intrigue and activism seamlessly. 



The Talent

When: Tuesday 22nd - Sunday 27th August 2023

Where: Summerhall in Edinburgh

In a compact sound booth, Gemma, a voice-over artist, records an advert for breakfast oats while receiving eccentric instructions from crackling disembodied English and American voices. Reminiscent of 'Toast of London,' Gemma navigates this quirky scenario with remarkable grace. Onstage, the intimate sound booth becomes a realm of possibilities as she conjures voices for various purposes, raising questions about her role as protagonist or capitalist puppet. This post-pandemic, post-human vocal exploration muses on the enduring presence of the human voice beyond the body, pondering the spectral echoes that might haunt the future.

A super unique and must-see one-woman show for the ages. 



Check out our What's On Guide to discover even more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.








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