This year has so many queer voices telling tales at the Edinburgh Fringe, it’s a veritable LGBTQ celebration. As it should be, in an all-access arts explosion of the planet.
Kick it all off with the anarchic punk musical that pushes queer sex-adventuring interviews to the fore with the all-singing all-dancing ‘Delicious Fruit’ from queer theatre group Plaster Cast. Its two protagonists Ayden and Lizard are wriggling in the constraints of the cis-straight world, breaking free to explore kink, community, and self-worth with humour and glee.
Not to be confused with the similarly musical ‘Lizard Boy’, which takes a totally different ‘outsider’ turn. This tells of Trevor, drenched in dragon’s blood as a child and hidden away from the world for 20 years – he suddenly finding himself on his first magical date with a boy, as told via the medium of the rock musical. Already embraced by critics Stateside and it’s aimed at those aged 12 and over, making ‘Lizard Boy’ beautifully accessible to those suffering from restricted literature and visibility of non-hetero relationships in schools and places of education.
For those who prefer their theatre with a realism focus, ‘No Place Like Home’ is a one-man theatre show that explores the gay club scene and delivers just that. The familiar story told from an individual perspective, this winner of the 2022 Les Enfants Terribles Award shares the tale of when Connor met Rob, when a kiss led to an attack, and when different places can become home.
More unique tales arrive in the form of American stand-up Sam Morrison’s touching and funny show ‘Sugar Daddy’, arriving from NYC fully formed as a lesson in young grief and love. Morrison lost his partner to Covid, and weaves his story of loss with humour and truth.
Rising comedy star Morgan Rees’ debut ‘Bi And Large’ tells his own contrasting pandemic experience – of coming out in the Welsh Valleys, a Lockdown locked in with temper issues, and starting his own journey into therapy. Peppered with one-liners and very funny stories, Rees is tipped as one to watch.
It would be remiss to put together a collection of acts such as these without including ALOK, with their self-titled show. Author, performer and public speaker, they are in town for a fortnight’s run at the Traverse Theatre with a new comedy and poetry performance. ALOK is a mixed-media artist, using social media, fashion, performance, sound-art and all manner of different mediums, frequently finding inspiration along themes of gender, race, trauma, belonging and the human condition.
Alternatively, you may wish to spend the night camped out (pun intended) in the BlundaBus BlundaGarden, which is pretty much exploding with fresh and wonderful queer ideas off the beaten track. Whether you want your cabaret self-improvement through Bosnian coffee reading (King Of More: A Divination) or via collective clowning in fantastic outfits (Sarah Woolfenden aka Aural Bliss: Odd One), your tales to be satirical drag (Riss Obolensky: Healing King Herod) or take a darker turn into clown horror (Lucy Hopkins: Dark Mother), there’s off-the-wall out-of-the-box voices aplenty here. Plus, RuPaul fans can rock up at midnight on any Friday during the Edinburgh Fringe to the ‘Drag Race Quiz Party’ hosted by Dana Alexander.
Not forgetting, of course, the return of ‘Revolting Arts Club… Life Drawing Aboard the Blun-Doodle-Bus!’ Revolting Rosy leads the body positive class, with a different fringe performer guest modelling each night – so you never quite know who will turn up. The hour is open to anyone who buys a ticket, with no age restrictions in place, meaning that this can provide an invaluable safe retreat and space for anyone happy with the possibility of nudity (depending on the day’s muse) and the expectation of acceptance.
It’s well worth having a dig further into the venue’s listings to truly explore some creative gems in cabaret and variety.
Elsewhere, in Summerhall, crossing theatre and puppetry you will find Something In The Water – inspired by performer/creator SE Grummett’s own experience of coming out as transgender, and dressed in its own wonderful Muppets-meets-the-creature-from-the-Black-Lagoon felty goodness. Combining physical comedy with video projections and puppetry, we see ‘normal’ girl Grumms transform into a squid monster hiding their secret identity from society. Full of madcap adventure and intrigue, this show already proved a hit in Adelaide in 2021 and promises to repeat the feat in Scotland this year.
And to round things off, for three nights in the last week of the Fringe’s run you can catch live recordings of the popular LGBTQ award-winning podcast A Gay And A NonGay. James Barr and Dan Hudson finally get their chance for some live shows after their initial tour plans were scuppered by Covid. This funny and informative hour promises audience interaction and plenty of chances to see fan favourite sections like Things That Dan Cannot Say.
Tickets and details for all shows can be found at