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Top 8 Edinburgh Fringe Festival Shows Every Global Citizen Needs to See

Flickr/Hamish Irvine

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is one of the biggest events in the UK summer calendar — a feast of theatre, music, comedy and deep-fried Mars Bars. 

But it takes careful planning to make sure you’re getting the best of it, and can be pretty intimidating for a novice. 

Never fear, here are the top 8 shows for Global Citizens at the Fringe.  

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Start Swimming

One step away from disaster, there’s only one instruction: start swimming. Playwright James Fritz and acclaimed director Ola Ince have combined to create this Young Vic production about the events of the last 12 months. It’s all about occupation, revolution and the future of youth.

Summerhall: Aug 2-5, 7-13, 2:40 p.m.

Locker Room Talk

This verbatim piece, inspired by US President Donald Trump’s dismissal of controversial comments made during his presidential campaign as “locker room talk," is performed by a cast of women from the Traverse Theatre Company and explores exactly what do men say about women behind closed doors. 

Traverse Theatre: Aug 21, 2:45 p.m., 7 p.m.


Following the story of three girls kidnapped by Boko Haram, High Tide’s production Girls explores the voices and stories behind the trending hashtags and headlines that so quickly become yesterday’s news. 

Pleasance Two (Pleasance Courtyard): Aug 22-27, 12 p.m.

Me & Robin Hood

This play is Robin Hood’s idea, according to its writer-performer Hugh Hughes. He’s been going crazy about the direction our world is heading. This show looks at a modern world that continues to separate the rich from the poor. It asks what society truly values and encourages us to challenge and change the story of money. 

Queen Dome - Pleasance Dome: Aug 2-27, 4 p.m.


Two-time Fringe First Award winning playwright Henry Naylor has turned his attention to the refugee crisis, and the story of one young Syrian’s journey to Europe. But this is a Europe with borders, with high fences and razor wire. The play is inspired by conversations Naylor himself had with refugees who were directly affected by the crisis. 

Gilded Balloon Teviot: Aug 2-15, 17-28, 4:30 p.m.

READ MORE: 10 Films Global Citizens Should See at the Toronto International Film Festival This Year

From the Ground Up 

This provocative interactive show from the Almeida Young Company unites and divides the audience through some powerful and challenging questions. Questions like, would you fight for peace? Is race important? Is who you are determined by where you live? It’s also written by Joeri Smet from Ontroerend Goed, and a must-see for you Global Citizens. 

Assembly Roxy: Aug 14-27, 2 p.m. 

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The Believers Are But Brothers

This bold one-man show from Javaad Alipoor weaves together the stories of a generation of young men who find themselves burning with resentment, as tech savvy extremist groups rip through 20th Century political certainties. Their crisis of masculinity leads them into an online world of fantasy, violence and reality. 

Northern Stage at Summerhall: Aug. 5-8, 10-15, 17-22, 24-26, 12:45 p.m. 

What If I Told You

Choreographer Pauline Mayers has spent her life defying assumptions made about her based on her gender, background and skin colour. Now, this seriously powerful show interweaves Mayers’ story with that of the self-ascribed father of modern gynaecology James Sims, who operated on black female slaves without anaesthetic believing they didn’t suffer as much.

Army @ The Fringe in Association with Summerhall: Aug 11-13, 15-20, 22-26. 5 p.m.