theSpaceUK Edinburgh Fringe Programme Launch 2019, featuring the largest new-writing and most diverse programme at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

May 30th 2019 at 9:44pm
  • The largest new-writing programme at the Fringe with over 400 shows, more than any other venue
  • A fantastic new musical from the company behind SIX Clouds, The Good Scout and Teach. All brand-new shows from companies that earned rave reviews last year
  • Phil Hammond is back in Edinburgh and sure to make headlines after being sacked by the BBC for planning to stand against pro-Brexit MP Jacob Rees-Mogg in the next General Election
  • Topics range from Sci-Fi, Women in STEM, Politics & Noir Comedy
  • Are there any awards left to win? Sensational Strings from The Russian String Orchestra, Misha’s Gang return after picking up last year’s Herald Angel Award
  • theSpace @ Surgeons' Hall sumptuous courtyard bar is now weatherproof, with a spectacular lit-up roof where you can gaze at the stars with a cocktail

Today theSpaceUK announces its 2019 Edinburgh Fringe Season with over 400 shows and the biggest new-writing programme at the Fringe. There are household names to hunt down an autograph from, award-winners with their eyes on another prize, up-and-coming companies back to make their mark, and plenty of debut performances.

Now in its 24th year, theSpaceUK has added two new theatres at its Surgeons' Hall hub (named after the biologists Fleming and Haldane) and you can now gaze at the stars with a cocktail in hand whatever the weather as the Surgeon’s Hall Courtyard has a spectacular new see-through roof.

New-Writing Highlights

Back with a brand-new show, award-winning writer Glenn Chandler (Taggart, Kids Play) returns with The Good Scout, the true story of 1930s British Boy scouts playing host to the cycling parties of Hitler Youth.

Can lightning strike twice? The company behind SIX is back with Rust, a moving and life-affirming original new musical about addiction & mental health services.


Telling the tale of Winifred Baxter – the first Englishwoman to enter an air race, Clouds is a new play from Time & Again Theatre aiming to make Women in STEM a talking point. Last year their debut show, Greyhounds was a sleeper hit so they’re hoping to build on its success.

Looking for a bit more weight to your drama? 10:31, MCR is a sombre and poignant piece set at the Manchester Arena on 22 May 2017 10:31 pm, about the devastating results of the attack and the need to make sense of it all. A lesson that will change your life - following on from his smash-hit Canoe in 2018, Matthew Roberts is back with Teach. A compelling and timely new piece of comic/tragic physical theatre from Nth Degree Productions, The Words are There delves into the lesser-known side of domestic abuse.

Despite only being recently written, Christopher Tajah (a fishmonger by day) has already picked up an Offie nomination for his superb performance in Dream of a King - set the night of Martin Luther King’s shooting in a Tennessee motel room. We’re back in time again with the 1980’s set show, Section 28: The Legacy of a
Homophobic Law about the struggles of sexuality at the time of the Local Governments Act.

Need a bit of light-relief? There’s the wild new comedy, Noir Hamlet, which has already picked up the Boston Globe Critic’s Pick earlier this year and updates Hamlet to a wise-cracking 1940s detective up to his neck in a comedic case with more twists than a gallows tie. From peeing in public to dealing with bulimia, there’s more comedy-theatre in Bodily Functions and Where to Find Them. Hopefully not based on a true story, a delusional woman deals with her adventures pursuing Sue Perkins with In PurSUEt. Box is a new funny solo performance about one man's struggle to traverse the toll road of middle age... all using just a single cardboard box.

Prepare for a nerdgasm with plenty of Sci-Fi themed shows this year. Conscious explores a world where the rich replace the working class with humanoid AIs in an all too possible future. Chaika: First Woman in Space is the true story of Valentina Tereshkova, a young textile worker plucked from obscurity to lead the Soviet Union’s race to the stars. 24 candidates remain for the Mars Mission Programme in the reality TV show in If I Die on Mars. On the verge of a natural disaster, an artificial intelligence named Sally joins the team in futuristic Auto-Nation.

Inspired by China’s social credit system, Level Up explores a near-future utopia where real love is impossible to measure. The first man in space is back on Earthand facing new temptations. Fame, fortune, alcohol, nostalgic space anthems and sex – in a brand-new musical, Space Junk: A Soviet Musical from Slipshod Theatre.

Theatre Highlights

There’s outrageous comedy from Out Cast Theatre and writer Steven Dawson with two shows: Adventures of Butt Boy and Tigger and Bitch, Antigone. Fresh from a national tour and sell-out shows in 2016 & 2017, award-winning comedian Tom Taylor’s one-man murder mystery, A Charlie Montague Mystery: The Games’ a Foot, Try the Fish returns for a short-run.

Lorca: A Theatre Beneath the Sand
Lorca: A Theatre Beneath the Sand

Two young drama school students play a surrealist game of poetry and acrobatics exploring the passionate world of the Spanish poet Federico García Lorca in Lorca: A Theatre Beneath the Sand from Spanish company Enebro Teatro. In a screwball comedy, inspired by actual events, The Penguin Tango is about a community of penguins is hilariously turned upside down by sex, stereotypes and soggy sardines.

Comedy Highlights

After being fired by the BBC for announcing his intention to run against Jacob Rees- Mogg in the next General Election, Phil Hammond is bound to make further headlines at the Fringe in his two shows: The Great Health Con & Vote for Dr Phil. Sony-award winning Writer and Broadcaster, Jeremy Nicholas, is on a mission to make all public speaking more entertaining and engaging in Jeremy Nicholas: What Are You Talking About?

In a fish-out-of-water comedy of errors, Hopwood DePree tells how researching his ancestry online led to him leaving Tinseltown to save his 600-year-old British ancestral pile, Hopwood Hall in The Yank is a Manc! My Ancestors & Me. Set in a TV studio, News@1066 is a fast-moving and wacky, one-woman comic show racing across time from one breaking story to the next.

How to Hide a Body in New York
How to Hide a Body in New York

NYC’s acclaimed sketch group, SisterWives, heads across the Atlantic for their debut Fringe show, How to Hide a Body in New York packed full of upcoming NYC comedy stars: Sterling Mulbry (Comedy Bang! Bang!), Brandon Follick (Reductress), Emily Draper (Magnet Theater), Heather Cook (A&R Factory) and Blair Peyton (SiriusXM).

Music Highlights

They say you haven’t really lived until you’ve seen a live flamenco performance and with three shows keeping the flamenco flame well and truly you’ll be spoilt for choice. FlamencoNova is a fusion of samba, jazz and flamenco from a talented group of five musicians and a spectacular flamenco dancer. Recently interviewed by Clive Anderson on BBC Radio 4 about his incredible finger work, Daniel Martinez is on a UK tour with Art of Believing – Flamenco. Bringing the heart of Andalucía to Edinburgh, Flamenco Tablao is a new creation every year from two top-class flamenco musicians and two stunning sublime dancers from Edinburgh’s Flamenco school.

Winner of the ThreeWeeks Editors Award and, far more importantly, one of Edinburgh’s favourite daughters, Elsa Jean McTaggart is back once more with gorgeous vocals, the biggest smile in town, and three shows, Elsa Jean McTaggart Presents McTaggart Sisters, Elsa Jean McTaggart: Hebridean Fire and Eva Cassidy: The Story.


Having topped the Jazz charts with their genre-bending blend of sounds, BBC Radio 3 regulars, Ron Davis’ dazzling SymphRONIca returns with an exciting, unpredictable and fresh show. Intertwining tales from Marilyn Monroe’s life with classic songs from Cole Porter and Irving Berling, Viviana Zarbo stars as a blend of innocence and feminine sexuality in I am not Marilyn.

Herald Angel (2017) and Spirit of the Fringe (2018) award winners, Misha Rachlevsky and his Russian String Orchestra return with a new series of captivating afternoon concerts in Misha’s Gang and Misha’s Gang: Strings on Fire. After working with some of the music industry’s biggest names including Mark Ronson, Boy George and Florence + The Machine, MKC step back into the spotlight with The MKC Experience.

Night Owl return with a packed programme of musicographies to the Fringe with an array of sell-out shows including a few new ones: The Aretha Franklin Story, Back to Black: The Music of Amy Winehouse, The Carpenters Songbook, The Nashville Story, Southern Nights: The Story of Southern Soul and The Tina Turner Story.

It’s lonely out in space… Elton John: Rocket Man Live! is the brand-new tribute show from Liquid Lunch Productions showcasing the eclectic songbook of Elton John and Bernie Taupin. Critically acclaimed as one of the world’s greatest tribute shows, Simon & Garfunkel Through the Years returns to the Edinburgh Fringe after five consecutive sell-out years with an all-new production. Following the show’s sell-out nationwide tour, A Tribute to Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill makes its debut at the Edinburgh Fringe paying tribute to Alanis Morissette and her iconic album.

Cabaret Highlights

Cabaret of Curiosities
Cabaret of Curiosities

Mix one-part physical theatre, one-part bubble artistry and one-part neo-burlesque and you get a soapy concoction of kinky, in-your-face theatrics in the Bubble Show for Adults Only. There’s a modern reimagining of the traditional puppet show booth, Tatwood Puppets have a gothic vaudeville experience in the bizarre world of the Cabaret of Curiosities.

Through sensual storytelling, glittery puppets and live music, join Drag Prince Sun and his little sister Drag Princess Moon in a fairy tale tent under the stars in Brother Sun and Sister Moon.

Get your groove on in this fabulously fun musical chat show hosted by Aussie singer, producer, talent coach and ex kid’s TV star John Rowe in The John Rowe Show. Inspired by daily life: Life. In Hong Kong is a mime show which promised to bring laughter and tears. A show that has ‘brilliant for Royal Mile stages’ written all over it.

Charles Pamment, Director of theSpaceUK, said:

It's our 25th year of presenting work at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and at a time when the Fringe is undergoing much change we are very proud that we continue to offer the most diverse programme in Edinburgh as well as the largest platform for new and original work with over 400 shows across our venues this August. Above all, we are very excited to be able to offer reviewers and the wider media a selection of work that crosses all genres with particular focus on the social and topical issues that our programme has become known for. We urge you to step away from the herd and explore by the far the most diverse and original programme at the modern Festival.