The YTAS Guide to the Fringe

Sing it now… It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And to make your Edinburgh Festivals experience all the better, stick with us! We’re sharing top tips for shows, money saving opportunities, and giving the sector the chance to shout about their own shows. So drumroll please, for the Official YTAS Guide to the Fringe. Patent pending…

Listings… assemble!

First things first: if you’re rehearsing a show to take to the festivals this summer (or for later in the year), make sure you list it here at ytas.org.uk.

Members have logins (and if you don’t, please get in touch) which will let you submit your own productions for us to list on this website, so let us help spread the word about the awesome youth arts work going on in Scotland. Remember to write in the third person (YTAS aren’t staging a show as far as we know, so no ‘we’ and ‘our’, thankyaverymuch) and include a nice hi-res image.

If you’re not a member yet, you can sign up here.

Get shorty

Secondly, the shortlist. Ah, the dreaded shortlist. How on EARTH do you pick from an eyewatering 3359 shows at the Fringe alone?! Well, let us help you! We’ve resurrected the traditional YTAS Picks of the Fringe list for 2022 to help you to narrow down your itinerary.

​​And if you need that little bit of extra-special help, one of our fabulous Young Critics from years-gone-by, Flora, has a brand new Fringe planning service to take the hassle out of your visit. Flora will create made-to-measure schedules for your group, put together with a professional eye and a personal touch, that will save you hours of scrolling through listings and reviews. Read more about it over on her website.

YTAS Picks of the Fringe

But anyway, on with the show! Here is a list of some recommendations from the YTAS Team to whet your appetite for live performance this summer. We’ll keep adding to the list throughout the month of August, and if you have any top tips please share them with us and we’ll add them in below…

Happy MealAn online show IRL. Travel back to the quaint days of dial up and MSN, where you’ll follow two strangers on their journeys to become who they always were. A funny, moving and nostalgic story of transition. From teen to adult, from MySpace to TikTok, from cis to trans. A coming of age and coming out story featuring trans actors and theatre makers.
Lots and Not LotsA performance of thrilling extremes: lots of performers, lots of singing, lots of dancing. Choral singing blends with vocal weirdness as the exceptional young performers question the universe and their place within it. Created by award-winning performance artist and composer Greg Sinclair in association with Lyra Young Artists.
The Ultimate PickleJoin Dill on an adventure to understand the unexpected surprises in life. A new play by award-winning writer Laura Lindow, The Ultimate Pickle is about the importance of stories, the imagination and how little ones deal with grief. A show for all the family… and any friendly wolves! Paines Plough new writing.
The TrialEnter into a thrilling kaleidoscope of action where nothing is quite as it seems, privacy has been abolished and Big Brother is always watching. This heady re-imagining of Kafka’s absurdist masterpiece explores the desire to forge your own identity, to find somewhere to belong and to make sense of a nightmare we now all share. Presented by Young Pleasance with their trademark large ensemble and physical visual style.
Americana: A Murder BalladNew writing collaboration between Scotland and America. A nation’s youth are trapped in a murder ballad they cannot escape, where a gunman lurks on every corner. How do we break the ballad? Multiple Fringe First winners Pepperdine Scotland make new music from old songs in this perpetual story of fear.
The BushIn this one-woman performance, Alice Mary Cooper recalls the inspiring true story of thirteen 1970’s “housewives” who battled for 10 years to save bushland in their native Sydney – starting a nationwide movement to protect the natural environment from destruction across Australia. A timely celebration of community environmental action that promises to entertain, encourage and empower. 
In the Interests of Health and Safety…A show examining society’s reluctance to let kids take risks. In a place where children’s lives are unbounded by constant adult surveillance and all dominant generational power relations are destroyed… Do you dare to join us in our new world order? Featuring very special dancers and very loud music, be prepared to come on in and raise merry hell.
SandcastlesBeth is moving to New York. Hannah should be happy for her. When Beth goes missing Hannah can’t reconcile how she reacted with the fact that Beth might be gone. Sandcastles is an exploration of grief, millennial angst, friendship and growing up. New writing from Brite Theatre, with performances by Marion Geoffray and Sarah Miele.
She WolfSpoken by a woman hiding out at the zoo, She Wolf tears open questions of gender and class in a capitalist world. What does it take to succeed when only the fittest survive? As Maggie’s life falls apart, becoming animal is only human… Written and performed by Isla Cowan, former YTAS office resident.
The Smile Off Your FaceYou are blindfolded. You are tied up in a wheelchair. There is no stage, no audience, no place where actors perform under lights. Actually, you don’t know where you are, but you have your suspicions. You are imagining something. Maybe you were here before. Maybe not. An immersive one-to-one performance of Onterond Goed’s 2007 show, updated and recreated by ten students of KASK School of Arts to be relevant for 2022.
Mary, Chris, MarsWildcard choice… we’re intrigued by the puppetry! Lonely, single astronauts Mary and Chris meet by chance in outer space and spend a surreal Christmas Day together on Mars. An absurdist’s journey through what it means to spend time together.
Our BoyJoe’s assault spirals his family into chaos leaving Joe struggling to understand why. His father, alienated from his family by his failure to understand his son’s autism, returns only to be left alone with a traumatised boy he barely knows. A heart-warming fictional tale inspired by real events.

Fringe Days Out

Remember you can save yourself some cash and take advantage of Fringe Days Out! YTAS have partnered again this year with Fringe Days Out to provide our members the opportunity to take their youth theatre’s to the Edinburgh Fringe – for free! The scheme has been open for a few weeks now, but we still have some ticket vouchers left, and tickets are open to all members across Scotland. If you would like to apply, please complete the form below with your ticket requests. Allocations will be confirmed on a first-come, first-served basis.

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