There will be many great pieces of work that don't make these first five lists but I will be writing a daily blog from the festival itself once it begins so I hope to cover a great deal more!
Daughterhood (Roundabout at Summerhall)
Jul 31 Aug 1-3, 5, 7-9, 11-12, 14-19, 21-23, 25
Charley Miles’ Blackthorn was a real treat at this address last year. Miles’ career has since flourished, and she returns with the tale of two sisters. One stayed home to look after dad; the other sets out to “make a difference.”
Daughterhood by Charley Miles.
Dressed (Pleasance Courtyard)
My favourite show from Edinburgh 2018 is back as part of the British Council Showcase. This is autobiographical theatre at its most potent and it's based on the experiences of one of the performers, Lydia Higginson, who while on holiday was stripped at gunpoint. She dealt with the trauma by making herself a new wardrobe from scratch and this exquisite piece is not just brilliant theatre but a moving celebration of friendship and love.
Dressed by ThisEgg.
Jul 31 Aug 2-11, 13-17
A multi-media show using music, video and poetry to explore the inner workings of a military drone. How can we live in an anxious, nervy world where destruction can be triggered remotely?
Jul 31 Aug 2-4, 6-11, 13-18, 20-25
Are appearances deceptive? How quickly do we judge others based on how they look? Part of a curated season of work from Switzerland, this intriguing show has an audience of eight people and a cast of eight participants drawn from the Edinburgh community.
8:8 by Mercimax.
Aug 1-4, 6-11, 13-18, 20-25
I really love the plays of Stef Smith so I’m looking forward to this story about two flight attendants, Jane and Toni, who always provide immaculate service and accommodate their passengers’ every need. But what is the price of being the perfect woman and what if you can’t be the woman people want?
Enough by Traverse Theatre Company.
Hard to be Soft: a Belfast Prayer (Lyceum)
I saw a work in progress of Oona Doherty’s dance piece in Belfast a couple of years back. Her study of strong women and hard men has stayed with me, not least for the way it combines street dance and religious ritual. Part of EIF programme.
Hard to be Soft: a Belfast Prayer by Oona Doherty.
Hitler’s Tasters (Greenside)
Aug 2-10, 12-17, 19-24
Now I don’t know the company involved in this, but this footnote to history sounds fascinating, so I am definitely going to take a chance on it. It’s about the friendship between a group of young women who were forced to put their lives on the line for Hitler by tasting his food in case it was poisoned.
Hitler's Tasters by New Light Theater Project.
Hold On Let Go (Summerhall)
Jul 31 Aug 2-6, 8-11, 13-19, 21-25
Excellent Tyneside company, Unfolding, return to the festival with a show about what we can do when we start to forget. Not just the everyday things, but the important things. Like our mum’s voice. Apparently, it features both bread-making and black holes.
Hold On Let Go by Unfolding Theatre.
The Hospital (Dance Base)
Norwegian dance company Jo Stromgren Kompani return to the fringe after a gap of 10 years with a piece set in an abandoned hospital where a trio of nurses with time on their hands hurt and treat each other in a macabre game.
The Hospital by Jo Srømgren Kompani.
I’m a Phoenix Bitch (Pleasance Courtyard)
Jul 31 Aug 1-11, 13-25
Bryony Kimmings’ terrific dark fairy tale about her depression, her son’s illness and relationship break-up is full of trauma but also heart and humour. Enormously affecting.
I’m a Phoenix Bitch by Bryony Kimmings.
Tip: if you want to keep up to date with Lyn's coverage from Edinburgh this year, tap follow on Lyn's Edinburgh Festival page in the Stagedoor app. You'll get a reminder when each daily blog is published.