Fringe theatre

Plays

After The Rainfall

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Throughout history, the study of ants (myrmecology) has been used as an analogy for human behaviour. This piece uses myrmecology as a prism through which to view the present day. Navigating the arid Egyptian desert, continental Europe, the British Museum and a quiet village green, this piece is a patchwork of multidimensional narratives about the aftermath of the Empire.

curious directive conjure a world where multimedia, movement and sound unpick Britain's relationship to artefacts, mining and the secret life of ants.

An epic, thumping, passionate story asking questions about the relationship between our past, present and into eternity, After the Rainfall was a collaboration between curious directive, Watford Palace Theatre and Escalator East to Edinburgh and was first performed at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2012.

The Age of Consent

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

The Age of Consent places in counterpoint two acutely uncomfortable monologues about childhood, responsibility and the shattering of innocence.

One voice is a teenager awaiting his release from a correctional facility after serving his time for the murder of a child. The other is the young mother of a child performer, ruthlessly scheming for fame and fortune, and making sure her daughter will do absolutely whatever it takes.

The characters are united by a sense of denial, as well as the humanity that can exist behind even the most monstrous abuse. Morris’s controversial and powerful play premiered at the Edinburgh Festival in 2001, and was condemned and acclaimed for tackling the subject of child killers.

As the Crow Flies

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Alfie keeps hiding Beth’s gardening gloves. She’s got lots to do and it’s just not funny anymore. Why won’t he realise that gardening is helping her forget everything? Why can’t he see she’s still not over her divorce? Why can’t he just be nice? Based on a true story of a woman who struck up an unlikely friendship with a wounded crow, As the Crow Flies is a heart-warming story of friendship, healing and kindness from award-winning playwright Hattie Naylor. A funny, moving and timeless story of our endless fascination with birds As the Crow Flies was first produced by Pentabus Theatre Company in March 2017.

Black  

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Nikki doesn't think her dad is a racist … He just cares deeply about his community … But when a Zimbabwean family move in over the road, the dog won't stop barking … The local kids start lobbing stones … And her dad starts laying down the law.

Black is a hard-hitting play about racial tensions in the UK today 

Black Mountain  

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Rebecca and Paul are running away. Away from memories and mistakes.

They're trying to save their relationship. They need time and space. An isolated house in the country is the perfect place to work things out. They set themselves rules: they have to be honest, they have to listen and they have to be fair.

But you can't run forever. Especially when you're being followed.

Black Mountain
is a tense psychological thriller about betrayal and forgiveness by winner of the Harold Pinter Commission Brad Birch.

A Paines Plough, Theatr Clwyd and Orange Tree Theatre production, Black Mountain was first performed at Theatre Clwyd, Mold, in July 2017. 

Bouncers (1990s Remix)

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Bouncers by John Godber shows a night on the tiles from the point of view of the men on the door. It is a funny, energetic piece of highly theatrical storytelling where the men are at once themselves, and every character they happen to meet on a night at work at the nightclub.

In his introduction, the author writes: 'In many ways the content informed the form. The boredom of the men on the door spills over into grotesque violence and fantasy. The antics of the girls and boys out for a night on the town hardly need developing to make them dramatic. The conflict between those wanting a good time and those stopping a good time from being had is a basic dramatic premise . . . the central theme of Bouncers is universal: men after beer after women, and the beat goes on.'

Bouncers premiered at the Edinburgh Festival in 1984. This revised version was first presented by the Hull Truck Theatre Company in 1991.

Can't Stand Up for Falling Down

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

A woman's body is found in a quarry, eight years to the day since her son died in the same place. Three women, strangers to each other, are bound by these events through one man. They have to find a way to break free from 'the fallen' and stand up for themselves.

Winner of the 1990 Independent Theatre Award, Can't Stand up for Falling Down was first performed at that year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival, before transferring to the Hampstead Theatre London.

Charolais

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

A dark comedy of love, longing and an intense rivalry with a Charolais cow. Siobhán is forced to share the affections of her farmer boyfriend with his beloved, prize-winning French heifer. Overcome with desire, Siobhán develops a homicidal jealousy for this cow, while feeling equally murderous towards her snobbish, soon-to-be mother in law.

Clockwork

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Old friends Carl and Mikey must say their farewells this evening as Mikey makes plans to leave the care home that has become their new stomping ground. Troll Face just wants to keep things running to time and Etienne is forced to see out his community service with two old geezers scrounging for fags.

Shut away from a world where pensioners steal in order to feed themselves and dreaming of a youth spent in the dingy corner of a seedy club, two lifelong friends are forced to say their goodbyes. When memory is fading and the past is clouded with a lifetime of drink and drugs, what is true and how to live are called into question.

Laura Poliakoff’s debut play is a powerful call-to-arms for a generation of twenty-year-olds not considering their own old age. How we care for our elderly, where we put them and the sacrifices that are made fuel this often comic yet touching play. Clockwork was first presented at the sixth HighTide Festival in Suffolk on 4 May 2012

Confidence  

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

If you're not interested in earning a new pair of Nikes by the end of the day…complete designer wardrobe by the end of the week…all the beers you can drink…if you don't want to meet Uma Thurman…then okay, stay here, as King of the Slackers, that's fine by me.

As another summer season on the seafront gets underway Ella is turning up the heat in a high stakes game to get as far away as possible. Whilst Ruby keeps the café going and Dean mans the ice cream kiosk Ella learns there's no fast track to success.

Judy Upton's coming of age drama first exploded onto the stage in 1998 at the Birmingham Rep. This new edition has been published to coincide with Boundless Theatre's twentieth anniversary revival at the Southwark Playhouse in May 2018. 

The word derives from the Edinburgh Festival, where groups led by Glasgow Unity appeared outside the auspices of the first official programme to press the case for greater Scottish representation. A critic noted that one of these shows had happened on the ‘fringe’ of the Festival. The following year playwright Robert Kemp used the word again, and it was then taken up by all concerned. The term was popularized by the Cambridge Footlights’ Beyond the Fringe revue (1960). The fringe compares with the US Off-Off-Broadway movement, whose work was showcased at Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre and London’s Quipu, Open Space and Royal Court. This encouraged the growth of the fringe, which flourished in the counter-cultural ‘underground’ of the late 1960s and 1970s. The Arts Lab, Inter-Action, the Brighton Combination, the Soho Poly and others hosted happenings, performance art, lunchtime theatre, and the emergent fringe theatre groups. The original aesthetic of both groups and venues was to be inexpensive, collective, hostile to mainstream theatre, presenting an anarchic, subversive combination of artistic events, enabled in part, at least, by the 1968 abolition of theatre censorship. Eventually, some groups and venues began to achieve more attention and funding than others, and the Edinburgh Fringe and venues like the Bush, Orange Tree and King’s Head became more established, and distanced from their origins, for which alternative is often the preferred term.

from Dan Rebellato, The Continuum Companion to Twentieth-Century Theatre, ed. Colin Chambers (London, 2002).