12 surprise hits currently wowing Fringe audiences

From a drag show for kids to a multi-generational circus act, there are many unexpected hits and hidden gems to be uncovered amongst the 3,548 shows at this year's Fringe.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 18th August 2018, 7:23 pm
Updated Saturday, 18th August 2018, 7:29 pm

So if you’re bored with the same old headline comedians who role in year on year and are looking for a show with a real buzz about it, here are 12 of the surprise hits currently helping the Fringe live up to its aim to take you ‘into the unknown’...

FAMILIES: The Denim Juniors

THIS drag pop concert for kids has taken audiences by storm, with stunning costumes and live music from animated classics to party hits as five pop ‘princesses’ celebrate the power of being yourself.

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Denim Juniors

Assembly George Sq Gds, until Sunday, 4.35pm

SPOKEN WORD: Until You Hear That Bell

SEAN Mahoney’s one man show about boxing, obsession, growing out of hobbies and a father/son relationship is proving a knockout at Summerhall.

Selling relatively well, audience members to a person are coming out raving about how moving and enjoyable it is.

Casting Off

Summerhall, until 26 August, 8.55pm

STAND UP: Maisie Adam: Vague

LAST year’s So You Think You’re Funny Winner has done what lots of previous winners don’t do and returned to the Fringe with her debut show - usually winners take a few years to hone a show, but Maisie has already been getting top reviews and selling out most days.

Gilded Balloon Teviot, until 27 August, 4.30pm

Sweet Tango

COMEDY: Garry Starr Performs Everything

AT Underbelly they admit that although they thought this show would be fantastic, the doubted the public would cotton on so fast.

They were wrong. Starr’s spoof theatre fun in which he performs every genre of theatre in under 60 minutes, has them rolling in the aisles.

Underbelly Cowgate, until 26 August, 8.10pm & 10.50pm

Bare at Hill Street Theatre


THIS little known musical from the US is proving a massive hit with teenage audiences and their parents.

A coming of age tale of forbidden love it’s packing them in at Hill Street through word of mouth alone.

Hill Street Theatre, until 26 August, 8.20pm

MUSIC: Sweet Tango

IF it is something musical you fancy, Tango-Korean music band, Gena Tango, presents a new look at tango through Korean eyes.

In a joyful combination of the urgent passion of Argentinian tango with traditional Korean music, this fascinating fusion of Korean and Latin-American influences has created an entirely new music genre.

Gena Tango’s unique sound has seen them winning many awards and proving a big draw.

Assembly Checkpoint, Bristo Place, until 26 August (not 21)


THEY might have given their show an odd name. They might be big in London. making their Fringe Debut at Underbelly Bristo Square, however, Camels are unknown, not that it has stopped them proving “super popular”.

The sketch comedy show written and performed by occasional best friends Patrick McPherson and Zac Peel runs through slick, seamless sketches for a non-stop hour of entertainment. Definitely ones top watch.

Underbelly Bristo Square, until 27 August, 1pm

DRAMA: Ladykiller

THE Thelmas have a commitment to putting female voices on stage, and amplifying female voices in creative roles, doing so in ways that subvert the norm but it is Ladykiller’s striking female protagonist that has really captured attention this Fringe.

We’re all fascinated by male anti-heroes such as Dexter and Hannibal Lecter but putting a female character on this platform is rare and still feels taboo.

Ladykiller revolves around this, a maid covered in blood and a horrible crime scene.

She may not be a likeable character but we still root for her and are intrigued to hear her story... even in a lunchtime slot.

Pleasance Courtyard, until 27 August, 1pm

STAND UP: Alex Williamson: So Wrong, It’s Wrong

MUST be the YouTube effect say the guys at Underbelly, reflecting on what a massive popular hit Alex Williamson is proving.

Alex’s twisted outlook on like is enough to shake the staunchest faith humanity before restoring it ever so slightly, then smashing it once again beyond repair.

Underbelly Bristo Square, until 27 August, 10.15pm

MUSICAL: Six The Musical

THE cast of this musical, which had a low-profile debut on the Fringe last year are finding themselves mobbed after each performance and playing to constantly full houses at Underbelly George Square.

With an all-female cast the tale of one of the England’s most notorious monarchs unfolds.

Divorced, beheaded and live in concert. From Tudor Queens to pop princesses, the six wives of Henry VIII finally take to the mic to tell their empowering tale, remixing 500 years of ‘her-storical’ heartbreak into a 75-minute celebration of sisterly sass-itude.

Underbelly George Square, until 27 August, 7.30pm

CIRCUS: Casting Off

THREE generations of women are proving a huge draw at Assembly George Square this year.

This is circus as you won’t have seen it before and great fun for all the family.

A show that crosses the generations both on stage and off , it has lots to say and acrobatics that builds to a breathtaking finale.

Assembly George Square, until 26 August, 5.15pm

PLAY: Ailsa Benson is Missing

NINA is 14. All she wants to do is to fall in love with a cardigan-wearing tree frog expert, decide on her perfect theme song and avoid her dad’s trigonometry lessons.

But when her friend Ailsa goes missing and the police turn up at school, everything is turned upside down and inside out...

This new piece of writing is gripping audiences.

Assembly Rooms, George Street, until 25 August, 2.20pm

Tickets for all shows listed are available from the Fringe box office on 0131-226 0000 or by visiting www.edfringe.com