tiata fahdozi’s edinburgh festival picks – artists from Africa and the diaspora

It’s finally August, and August means the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and some of the best theatre the world has to offer. After all the conversations about diverse theatre recently, we thought it would be good to do a list of some of our picks for the fringe. All artists on this list are, in some way, from Africa or the diaspora, and while some are Fringe veterans, others are first timers. Feel free to tweet us if you have any other tips, and see you in Scotland. 

  1. Adura Onashile’s Expensive Shit (Traverse Theatre) is a political play that tells “the story of a nightclub toilet attendant, working in the toilets of a fictional club based on the Shimmy Club in Glasgow” – and we can’t wait to see it.
  2. This Information Session with Black Theatre Live is specifically for Fringe participants. The active session aims to promote national touring for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic theatre at the Fringe, through the Black Theatre Live consortium. The discussion will focus on upcoming opportunities, touring and pitches, and audience development and marketing.
  3. The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre are back at the Fringe after a five year absence from the UK. The all-star line-up will include new works as well as Ailey classics including the beloved crowd-pleaser Revelations, the most widely-seen modern dance work in the world.
  4. Bianca Cristovaova has been described as the best African-Czechoslovakian comic on earth, but she’s never been to Africa and Czechoslovakia no longer exists. Her comedy show on her identity crisis, African-Czechoslovakian, is on at the Free Fringe.
  5. The “greatest figure in African music”, Senegalese musician Youssou N’Dour’s is going to Edinburgh, with an exuberant live show bringing together recent and classic songs.
  6. Theatre isn’t just for grown-ups: Africa – Weird and Wonderful Facts, Rhythm and Stories is a storytelling session that’s aimed at both kids and adults alike. 
  7. Actress Phina Oruche’s latest challenge is Identity Crisis, a one-woman-show that explores common identity struggles through nine characters from different walks of life: black, white, old, young, male, and female.
  8. Fanti Acrobats International are an award-winning dance, physical theatre and circus group from Ghana, and they’re at Fringe all month
  9. After a sell-out Fringe debut last year, comedian Lolly Adefope presents her second hour of character comedy in Edinburgh, Lolly 2.
  10. Just An Ordinary Lawyer follows Nigerian Tunji Sowande, who quietly breaks through multiple barriers to become Britain’s first black judge in 1978.
  11. Revolving around a lingerie party and Caribbean rum punch, Femmetamorphosis is a new comedy written, directed and performed by Sharron Spice with the Elicit Theatre Company. 
  12. Chino Odimba’s Amongst the Reeds comes to Edinburgh in August before a run at The Yard Theatre in Hackney Wick come September. Part of a double bill, this play is definitely one to watch.

You may also like