Your Edinburgh Fringe 2019 cheat sheet

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Now that August is here, Edinburgh is bracing itself for the annual deluge of visitors. With more than five million estimated this year, including performers from over 50 countries ready to appear in more than 3,500 shows in over 300 venues, navigating the Edinburgh Fringe can be a daunting experience—even for locals. So, the Hood team has spent hours deliberating and conjugating to bring you our top picks for the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe. Here are the shows we’d recommend popping your calendar…

The Gin Show

Edinburgh Little Theatre
Hill Street Theatre, 19 Hill Street, EH2 3JP 
Aug 2-25 18+

After a successful run last year, the gin-tasting show is back with comedy, songs and, of course, gin! What’s not to love?  

Richard Shelton Sinatra: Raw

Gilded Balloon at the Museum, Lothian Street, EH1 1HB
Jul 31 – Aug 26

This was a sell-out last year – so you’ll need to book quick. The show imagines Frank Sinatra's last intimate gig in Palm Springs ahead of his first retirement concert in 1971. But he's drunk 'One for My Baby' too many as he reminisces and things take an unexpected turn. The air is electric. This is the midnight Sinatra you dream of meeting. Dangerous. Unpredictable. Startling. Brilliant.

Are Women Assholes?

The Stand’s New Town Theatre, Freemason’s Hall, 96 George Street
Aug 8

Women are constantly measuring one another by ideals of thinness, beauty, best mummy practices and keeping a happy home with a happy partner. Are they not happy with themselves or are they afraid of being alone? Does competitiveness drive their insecurities or do women’s insecurities drive their competitiveness? Amy Andrada (University of Edinburgh) dares to ask. Informative and funny.

It’s Britney, Bitches

Gilded Balloon Teviot, Teviot Row House, 13 Bristo Square, EH8 9AJ
From Jul 31 

This show follows the story of fans of Britney along with some her most-famous songs. Stories of coming out, addiction and abuse and, most importantly, Britney Spears.

Reba Martell: Salt ‘n’ Sauce!

Planet Bar, 6 Baxter’s Place, EH1 3AF
From Aug 2

Scotland’s best drag queen showcases her new show, packed with camp comedy and sensational singing. Con’drag’ulations if you manage to catch this classic!

Jason Byrne: Wrecked But Ready

Assembly, Assembly Hall, Mound Place
Aug 5 – 25

A must buy ticket for us here at Hood. Jason Byrne’s high-octane stand-up never disappoints. Absolutely hilarious every year.

The Secret Policeman’s Tour: A riotous night for human rights

Edinburgh Playhouse, 18-22 Greenside Lane, EH1 3AA
Aug 24

In cahoots with the sizzling Deborah Frances-White of Guilty Feminist Podcast fame, Amnesty International’s revered Secret Policeman's Tour is lands at the Playhouse for an evening of comedy, music and discussion.

Brendan Murphy: Friend

Pleasance at EICC, 150 Morrison Street, EH3 8EE
From Aug 2

As the iconic sitcom, Friends, prepares to celebrate its 25th anniversary – watch comedian Brendan Murphy whizz his way through ten series in just one hour…

James Barr: Thirst Trap

Underbelly at the Edinburgh Fringe, 66 Cowgate, EH1 1JX
From Aug 1

Former radio DJ, James Barr, shares his hilarious guide to 21st Century dating as a gay man. No holds barred – not for the bashful!

Danny Macaskill: Drop and Roll Live

Underbelly’s Circus Hub at the Meadows, Middle Meadow Walk, EH9 9EX
From Aug 3

Led by world-famous trials rider and YouTube sensation Danny MacAskill, Drop and Roll make their long-awaited Edinburgh Fringe debut with a brand-new hour-long show featuring jaw-dropping stunts and gravity-defying tricks.

Danza Cuba presents Havana After Dark

Pleasance at EICC, 150 Morrison Street, EH3 8EE
From Aug 5

Ballet by day, salsa by night. This breath-taking new Cuban dance musical features hot Latin hits from Beyoncé, Mark Anthony, Bad Bunny, Gente de Zona. Starring the incredible singer Luna Manzanares accompanied by a sensational seven-piece live salsa band, discover the secrets of the world's most sensual city as night falls. Dirty Dancing Havana Style. 

Night Owl Shows

Various locations
From Aug 2

Night Owl Shows presents ground-breaking and informative productions depicting the lives of some of the most influential singer songwriters of the 20th Century and this year they are bringing eleven different stories to the Fringe; think Dolly Parton, Carole King, Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, Johnny Cash and more…