- 1. Hamlet with Ian McKellen
- 2. Sophie Duker: Hag
- 3. Victoria Melody: Head Set
- 4. You’re Safe Til 2024: Deep History
- 5. Shame on You!
- 6. 9 Circles
- 7. Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra free concert
- 8. Sam Nicoresti: Cancel Anti Wokeflake Snow Culture
- 9. The Pulse
- 10. Jacqueline Novak: Get on Your Knees
- 11. Kvartetto
- 12. A Little Life
1. Hamlet with Ian McKellen
Theatre: 2-7 August and other dates
Ian McKellen is playing Hamlet for a third time, in what is being billed as a “new performance concept”. The actor, 83, will deliver a number of the Dane’s speeches, accompanied by dancers from the Edinburgh Festival Ballet.
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
2. Sophie Duker: Hag
Comedy: 3-16 and 18-28 August
Sophie Duker is back with her new show, Hag. Sit tight for this sophomore show, “cause the sexy baby from Taskmaster is all grown up”, said the British Comedy Guide.
3. Victoria Melody: Head Set
Theatre: 3-8 August and other dates
A look at ADHD via wearable tech. Documentary theatre-maker Victoria Melody scans her brain as she delivers jokes to investigate her late-age diagnosis of ADHD and autism.
4. You’re Safe Til 2024: Deep History
Theatre: 3-8 August and other dates
A look at the 75,000-year history of humanity’s impact on the environment from the lens of the 2019 Australian bushfires, the worst fires in the country’s recorded history. Son of a climate scientist, Australian theatre maker David Finnigan spoke with 30 climate scientists to write this show.
5. Shame on You!
Theatre: 3-14 August and other dates
Shame on You! follows a journey through Switzerland, Russia and Pakistan with an archive of shame that explores seemingly banal everyday situations and painful cross-cultural experiences of violence and discrimination.
6. 9 Circles
Theatre: 4-14 and 16-29 August
Based on the true story of repatriated US Army Private Steven Dale Green, who was accused of war crimes. It’s a psychological thriller asking how a soldier with a clinically diagnosed personality disorder can be trained as a cold-blooded killing machine while clinging on to the threads of his humanity.
7. Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra free concert
Music/Opera: 6 August
Among the free events is a concert by the Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra. Pieces include Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with Anna Fedorova, and an aria from Verdi’s Aida with Ukrainian soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska.
8. Sam Nicoresti: Cancel Anti Wokeflake Snow Culture
Comedy: 6-28 August
The comedy highlights include Sam Nicoresti’s show Cancel Anti Wokeflake Snow Culture, which takes on contemporary politics, and is free.
9. The Pulse
Circus/Theatre: 8-9 August
There will be plenty of circus acts to see, but The Pulse by Gravity & Other Myths is a sure-fire winner. The group of 60 acrobats and choral singers have dazzled audiences at home in Australia with their extraordinary feats.
10. Jacqueline Novak: Get on Your Knees
Comedy: 11-14 August
Jacqueline Novak’s Get on Your Knees is a “wickedly intelligent cod-lecture” on oral sex, said The Telegraph. Described as “remarkable comedy” by The Guardian, this is a show that “never stops being audaciously funny”.
Dance/theatre: 17-18 August and other dates
A quartet of intellectually disabled performers from Finland craft a heart-warming dance show about the power of dance to showcase to society the emotional mosaic of desires and longings of people with intellectual disabilities.
12. A Little Life
Theatre: 20-22 August
Director Ivo van Hove adapts Hanya Yanagihara’s novel A Little Life, a powerful study of trauma and friendship. Performed in Dutch with English subtitles.
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.