FRINGE PREVIEW – Shakespeare at the Fringe

Looking for some Shakespeare? Edinburgh Spotlight has created a list of the shows we know about – if you know of others, you can pass on the information via Contact or Comments.

There are over 50 shows mentioned here, so plenty to choose from whatever you are seeking: comedy, tragedy, musical feasts, strongly physical pieces, solo shows, young performers, new related plays, previously acclaimed performers and productions, plays and poems – The Works, and some for free! One might even say there’s something for everyone “whether tragedy, comedy, history, pastoral, pastoral-comical, historical-pastoral, tragical-historical, tragical-comical-historical-pastoral; scene individable, or poem unlimited”, as Polonius says on introducing “the best actors in the world” (HAMLET Act 2, Sc. 2) – how apt!

There are too many offerings, then, to pick out just a few for special mention here, but the list includes some basic information about each one that can help you decide if you want to know more. When you have decided, visit and search using title / venue for performance details. (If you wish to make your own detailed search, the keyword(s) and category search facilities are useful.)

And, of course, check back for reviews – most of these productions are on Edinburgh Spotlight Reviewers’ lists.

So, below you will find information about plays by Shakespeare and productions related to him and his works. These are listed in different sections – Films; Works, Specific and Mixed; Poems; Playwright; Miscellaneous – and in the following format:

Production Title (look out for FREE productions noted here)
Venue; Company
Brief information / connection to Shakespeare [NB – quotes are from listing descriptions, not Edinburgh Spotlight reviews]


Not strictly part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, but worth a mention, is the Screen Arts Festival at the Cameo cinema, details of which can be found at

The programme includes a ‘Falstaff strand’:
Orson Welles’ ‘Chimes at Midnight’ – following the career of Falstaff using four of the history plays and ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’
Verdi’s ‘Falstaff’ – an archived Glyndebourne production of this opera based on ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’
Globe Theatre productions of ‘Henry IV Part I’ and ‘Henry IV Part II’ (separate screenings) – incl. Roger Allam as Falstaff in an Olivier award-winning performance
Globe Theatre production of ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’ – the Falstaff play reputedly created for Queen Elizabeth because she loved the character in the histories

Now, here it is, the Edinburgh Spotlight list of Shakespeare plays and related productions at the 2011 Edinburgh Festival Fringe:-


Shakespeare for Breakfast
C venues – C; C theatre
20th edition of this very popular yearly Fringe tradition; humorous adaptations based on Shakespeare’s works; incl. coffee and croissant; for text(s) involved this year, contact venue

SPECIFIC WORKS (in alphabetical order):


Antony and Cleopatra
Quaker Meeting House; EGTG
‘Shakespeare’s sexiest play, Antony and Cleopatra tells a timeless tale of lovers – and countries – at war.’


3D Hamlet: A Lost Generation
theSpaces on the Mile; Fundamental Theater Project
Classical text + multimedia; ‘featuring special guest artists Alec Baldwin, Kate Mulgrew and Anthon Rapp’

Hamlet House of Horror
Hawke & Hunter; Westminster Theatre Company
Acclaimed; incl. music; ‘Shakespeare in Vaudeville style’

theSpaces on the Mile; RSH Productions
‘Ophelia decides it’s time for action’; incl. ‘Shakespeare’s lines, but not necessarily in the right order’

‘Tis in My Memory Locked: an Adaptation of Hamlet
C venues – C eca; The Second Earth Theatre Company (USA)
‘Solo live action, film projections and original music’ examining Hamlet’s relationship with

Sailing On
New Town Theatre; ShadyJane
Loosely related – incl. an encounter with Ophelia

SEE ALSO ‘PLAYWRIGHT’ – ‘The Man who was Hamlet’

The production ‘HamletZar: Overseas’ at Dance Base has been CANCELLED


Julius Caesar – FREE
Laughing Horse @ The Three Sisters; Thrice Three Muses
Original text reset among mythical Amazonian tribes


Story Shakespeare: Love’s Labour’s Lost
C venues – C too; Year Out Drama Company
Incl. music and movement skills


theSpaces @ Surgeon’s Hall, Shakespeare Schools Festival
based on ‘Shakespeare – The Animated Tales’ within the Shakespeare Schools Festival; Milford Haven School

Greenside, Last Notion in association with on the VERGE
A ‘mixture of classical dramatic techniques’ with ‘ athleticism and raw energy’

New Town Theatre, Icarus Theatre Collective
A ‘kinetic, blood-thirsty production’ with original live music

Paradise in Augustine’s, Upstaged Theatre Company
‘Gritty interpretation’ with ‘modern, urban twist’ ‘for first timers and purists alike’; young cast

Another Macbeth
Quaker Meeting House; Flatpacktheatre
The ‘Weyward Sisters’ produce their show for you

The Curse of Macbeth
The Playhouse at Hawke & Hunter Green Room; Cambridge University ADC
Acclaimed company; incl. physical skills and new music

The Game of Roles – FREE
Princes Mall; Pirandello in Love / PBH’s Free Fringe
Pirandello play using text from Macbeth

Replaying Macbeth
Paradise in the Vault; Ray Sutton
Exploration of 18th century acting via the Macbeths of historical actors traditionalist James Quin and innovator David Garrick; includes Macbeth’s dying speech!

SEE ALSO ‘MIXED WORKS’ – ‘Suddenly Shakespeare’


Hammerpuzzle’s Measure for Measure – FREE
Princes Mall; Hammerpuzzle Theatre Company / PBH’s Free Fringe
Incl. music and visual imagery


Assembly Hall; Assembly Theatre presents Guy Masterson-Theatre Tours International
Acclaimed actor and writer / director; solo piece; ‘dazzling dissection’ of Shakespeare’s play via ‘Shylock through the ages’


A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Churchill Theatre; American High School Theatre Festival
Set in Canada’s Queen Charlotte Islands, 1962

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
theSpace on Niddry Street; WDG Productions
1950s ‘magic and mayhem’ from acclaimed company

In Your Dreams
Greenside; Woolton Irregulars
‘A comedy almost by William Shakespeare’ following the ‘rude mechanicals’ as an am-dram group

Mid-Semester Night’s Dream (For Puck’s Sake)
theSpaces on the Mile; Ginger Tom Theatre Co. in Association with Bungay High School
Student Halls, raging hormones, spiked drinks – Lord! What fools these mortals be…

PCUK – A Midsummer Night’s Remix
theSpace @ Venue 45; Pineapple Performing Arts
New blank verse script; ‘hip-hop shake-up’ version; performing arts students from Pineapple Dance Studios


Much Ado About Nothing
theSpaces @ Surgeon’s Hall; n6 Productions
A ‘rock and roll romp set to the soundtrack of the 1950s’ that is ‘faithful to the original but deliciously irreverent’

Much Ado About Nothing – The Dogberry Diaries
Henderson’s; Spin-Off Productions
Dogberry’s re-telling from a sleuth’s perspective; ‘folk theatre’

Musical Much Ado
theSpaces on North Bridge; Running Torch Theatre Company
Rock-musical version from acclaimed company; incl. physical comedy and live music


Zoo Roxy; DugOut Theatre
A ‘visceral’ production with ‘a memorable 70s soundtrack’

Gryphon Venues at the Point Hotel; Deus Ex Machina Productions
Exploring the layers of Shakespeare’s play, this is ‘a black comedy (no pun intended)’


Greenside; Makoto Inoue Ind.
Acclaimed solo piece; non-verbal; based on Shakespeare’s Richard III

Now Is The Winter
Assembly Hall; Alarum Theatre
Shakespeare’s text given to a devoted servant, examining Richard’s character


Romeo and Juliet
theSpace @ Venue 45; Hand Stitched Theatre Company
Teenage actors in ‘faithful yet raw interpretation to be enjoyed by all’

SEE ALSO ‘MIXED WORKS’ – ‘Suddenly Shakespeare’


The Tempest
C venues – C eca; Backhand Theatre in Association with C Theatre
Told in ‘circus-theatre style’; incl. puppetry and gymnastics

The Tempest
theSpace on Niddry Street; Squeeky Door Production Company
An ‘isle of sweet airs that will make you think, breathe, speak and forgive. The Tempest is healing.’

The Tempest – FREE
Gryphon Venues at the Point Hotel; Hammerpuzzle Theatre Company / PBH’s Free Fringe
A ‘twisted re-imagining of the classic tale’; music and movement skills; ‘playful, irreverent and high energy’

Return to the Forbidden Planet
C venues – C eca; Simply Theatre Academy
Popular rock’n’roll musical blending Tempest and tv series Forbidden Planet

SEE ALSO ‘MIXED WORKS’ – ‘Suddenly Shakespeare’


Shakespeare Bingo: Titus!
theSpace @ Venue 45; Bombini Theatre Company
‘Play Along as 25 frantic performers grapple ridiculously with the bloodiest of the Bard’s plays’; incl. free glass of wine

Titus Andronicus
C venues – C; Action to the Word in association with C theatre
Revival of acclaimed show; ‘cannibalism á la carte’

The Tragedy of Titus
theSpace on Niddry Street; Headlock Theatre
Physical production supported by RSC Open Stages Project (a project for amateur and community groups)


What You Will
C venues – C; Shrewsbury School
Acclaimed company transforming Twelfth Night with music and song

I, Malvolio
Traverse; Tim Crouch
Malvolio’s point of view; ‘a charged and hilarious rant from a man notoriously wronged’

All Shook Up
Church Hill Theatre; American High School Theatre Festival
Loosely related – Elvis songs in Broadway hit spoof where Presley meets Twelfth Night

SEE ALSO ‘MIXED WORKS’ – ‘Suddenly Shakespeare’


Uncle Ivan Pest Controller – FREE
Laughing Horse @ The Hive; Uncle Ivan
A ‘roller coaster cocktail of tragedy, pathos, rats, wigs, comedy hilarity’ ensues when a pest controller is passionate about Shakespeare

Youth & Will: A Portrait of Shakespeare’s Young Characters… & Us
C venues – C soco; Zikit
‘Actors’ true-life stories juxtaposed with those of characters from Shakespeare’s most-loved plays’

Suddenly Shakespeare
Church Hill Theatre; American High School Theatre Festival
’16 young Canadian actors twist four of Shakespeare’s best know works, The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and Twelfth Night’; music and movement skills, incl. swordplay

Sleeping Beauty
theSpaces on North Bridge; Another Soup Productions
Loosely related – Brothers Grimm fairytale incl. allusions to works by Shakespeare and Thomas Middleton


St John’s Church; Rough Winds
Contemporary love story told via Shakespeare’s sonnets

The Rape of Lucrece
Zoo Southside; makin projects presents Gerard Logan
Acclaimed actor in solo adaptation of Shakespeare’s ‘brilliant, brutal narrative poem’

Bards in Song
Canongate Kirk; Consort of Voices
Shakespeare and Burns in song from ‘one of Scotland’s leading vocal ensembles’

The School of Night
Gilded Balloon Teviot; The Sticking Place – Festival Highlights
Improvised ‘Shakespearean masterpiece’ based on literary material that incl. sonnets


‘Tis I, Shakespeare the Brit
C venues – C eca; Five One Productions
A ‘satirical analysis of Shakespeare’s greatest mysteries and misconceptions’ where Shakespeare himself visits an old scholar

The Man Who Was Hamlet
2 separate venues: Assembly George Square + Spotlites @ The Merchant’s Hall; George Dillon
Award-winning actor in acclaimed piece about Edward de Vere, thought by some to be the true ‘William Shakespeare’
Reviewed by Edinburgh Spotlight in 2010, receiving 4 stars:

The production ‘My Friend William’ at theSpaces @ Surgeon’s Hall has been CANCELLED


Shakespeare’s Monkeys – FREE
Laughing Horse @ The Three Sisters; Underdogs / Laughing Horse Free Festival
2 typing monkeys coming up with Shakespeare – ‘sketch show that mocks the Bard’

The Oxford Imps
Gilded Balloon Teviot; Oxford Imps
Loosely related – a ‘Whose Line is it Anyway? Style fast-paced comic show’ which may use a Shakespearean format at some point

So, plenty there to explore – have a fantastically bardic festival and let folk know about it in Comments below!

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