Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2023 is fast approaching, meaning we’d better get familiar with what’s to come, pronto. With the full programme having been released in June, there are 3,013 shows to choose from, which kind of makes it impossible to see them all. However, for those looking for something a little different, we’ve put together a wee list of the most unusual, quirky shows to see during Edinburgh Fringe.
1. Séance: Live
3 – 27 August, 21:00 at Gilded Balloon, Other Yin
Séance: Live brings their unsettlingly atmospheric live audience interaction show to this year’s Edinburgh Fringe. Guests will really witness one of the most haunted cities in the world that is Edinburgh. Unlike any theatre experience, spectators will get the chance to peek into the afterlife as the self-proclaimed sceptical host attempts a Victorian-style séance, complete with live audience interaction. Using magic tricks and theatre to offer an exhilarating and one of the most unusual shows of the Edinburgh Fringe, the production has also taken place in some of the UK’s most haunted buildings in the past, or so we’ve heard…
2 – 27 August, 17:00 at Gilded Balloon, Big Yin
A hypnosis comedy show set to a soundtrack of your favourite 80s hits? What! Hypnotist Matt Hale’s TOP FUN: 80s Hypnosis Spectacular is a high-vibe energetic performance, perfect for a wee day out with a twist and also suitable for children over the age of 8. The Aussie comedian is well-known for his “hypno-laughs” which is not like any other comedy (or hypnosis) show you’ve witnessed before. No two shows are ever the same, so expect the unexpected!
3. Lady Marmite
13 – 16 August, 22:00 at Gilded Balloon, Debating Hall
For a thrilling tribute to the world-famous ‘Moulin Rouge’s’ Lady Marmalade, an all-singing and all-dancing drag show Lady Marmite is coming to Edinburgh Fringe this year. The extravagant tribute show features A’Whora as P!nk, Sminty Drop as Christina Aguilera, Kiki Snatch as Lil’ Kim and Coco Couture as Maya. Guests will be transported to Paris for a cabaret-filled night at the Moulin Rouge as the ensemble revives the iconic pop culture moment with unbelievable burlesque looks and drag cabaret.
2 – 28 August, 13:00 at Gilded Balloon, Debating Hall
The Slightly Annoying Elephant show is based on the David Walliams novel and is a side-splitting children’s story, brought to life by London’s award-winning home of puppetry, Little Angel Theatre. The production is open for families and children aged 3+, the wholesome tale of the Slightly Annoying Elephant as they stomp their way to the Edinburgh Fringe.
2 – 20 August, 22:20 at Gilded Balloon, Sportsmans
Now this one is even more unusual. Petting Zoo Comedy involves actual animals! Expect pet snakes, iguanas, parrots, chinchillas and doves on stage, making the show a true petting zoo. While we will opt out of reptile petting, we kind of want to keep the chinchilla now… Brooklyn sensation Petting Zoo Comedy sees comedians perform stand-up whilst holding exotic creatures. From a tiny, soft chinchilla to a giant boa constrictor, this comedy performance has never been more pet friendly!
17 – 26 August, 23:30 at Gilded Balloon, Nightclub
Who doesn’t love a good pub quiz, yet this one is not what one might expect at first glance. Spectators can expect shenanigans like nowhere else within the immersive quiz show, with crazy prizes, appearances from surprise characters, D-list celebs and interactive bonus games. There’s even a DJ on the decks in between questions to set the mood straight, as well as a cash prize for the top winner. Host Jake Bhardwaj says: “If you like quizzes, you’ll love this…but you don’t need to be a brainbox to take home one of a number of prizes on offer.”