Staff, students and alumni star at this year’s Edinburgh Festivals

Date posted

2 August 2017


Last updated

8 December 2021

The city of Edinburgh is preparing to take on a new persona this month as the Edinburgh Festivals roll into town.

Staff, students and alumni from Edinburgh Napier will again play a starring role as they join thousands of performers taking part in various shows at venues across the city throughout August.

Selecting a show can often be viewed as a daunting task given the sheer volume that is on offer. So why not let our handy guide to the best of this year’s festivals – albeit through Edinburgh Napier-tinted glasses - help you make that all-important pick?

Is the Fringe your new BFF?

Festival and Event Management lecturer and researcher Dr Louise Todd will look at the relationships people have with the Fringe in her show The Fringe – my BFF.

Part of the Skeptics on the Fringe 2017 line-up, Louise’s performance will also look at what can affect these relationships. Do you love the Fringe? Is it a childhood friend that you don’t now see so often? Catch it on 15 August at the Banshee Labyrinth on Niddry Street.

Fitness to Witness

Fan of Making a Murderer or award-winning podcast Serial? Join Psychology lecturer Faye Skelton as she looks at the mechanics behind being an eyewitness, why many are often wrong and the research that can help reduce the number of wrongful convictions. Fitness to Witness is at the New Town Theatre (Venue 7) on 14 August at 8.20pm and 17 August at 1.50pm. Part of the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas programme.

Time to inject some sense

Why are people choosing to remain unvaccinated? Why do some continue to think that vaccines put the public in danger? Why is society, which usually stops us from harming strangers, tolerating such antisocial behaviour? Let Edinburgh Napier microbiologist Clare Taylor inject some sense with her show Anti-Vaxxers are Anti-Social! Showing at the New Town Theatre (venue 7) on 12 August at 1.50pm. Part of the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas programme.

Was Shakespeare ever really in love?

The Shakespeares: Scenes from a Marriage is written and directed by Edinburgh Napier’s Dr Donna Soto-Morettini and features a cast of students who have trained and graduated from the University’s Acting for Stage & Screen programme. You’ll get passion, cross-dressing and heartbreak in this new play that takes on one of literary history’s greatest mysteries – was Shakespeare ever really in love? Various showings at theSpace on the Mile, 6-26 August.

Do you want to see a show…man?

Returning after their sell out 2016 Fringe run, Edinburgh Napier’s Drama Society presents an all-singing, all-dancing, original parody of Frozen and the Disney universe. Frigid: A Musical Worth Melting For runs 6-19 August at Greenside on Royal Terrace. 

Festival fun in photos

Scribble it down

Starring BA (Hons) Acting for Stage and Screen graduate Alan Mackenzie, Scribble is a play about mental health and supernovas. It is an honest, open, critical conversation about how mental health is shared and how people affect, support and challenge each other’s wellbeing. It was awarded the 2017 ART Award by the Assembly Roxy Theatre which means it debuts at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe at the same venue. Shows 3-27 August. 

Comic books and the War Poets Collection

Fans of comic books will undoubtedly know the full story of 2000AD and its importance in British sci-fi comic circles. Creative Writing lecturer David Bishop is a past editor of the iconic publication and will join previous editor Steve MacManus for a very special Q&A and look back on the magazine’s rise to the top. Part of the festival’s Stripped 2017 series, it takes place on 15 August at the Bosco Theatre on George St at 8.15pm.

The University’s War Poets Collection, which is located within its Craiglockhart campus, will also be joining in with the Book Festival fun with a special pop-up exhibition on 16 August. Curator Catherine Walker will be on-hand to give a short talk and guide attendees through photographs of the Collection. This event is currently sold out.

Out of the Bad

Written by MA Creative Writing alumna Anne Hogg, Out of the Bad is a black comedy centred around a reunion for the women of the Caterpillar Occupation’s 30th anniversary. Expect complicated lives, loves, buried secrets and a realisation that the factory closure in 1987 may not have been the disaster everyone made it out to be. Shows at the New Town Theatre from 4-14 and 16-27 August.

At the oche with Jocky

Written by another MA Creative Writing graduate Jane Livingstone, Jocky Wilson Said is the story of the Scottish darts star of the same name as he sets out to hitchhike across the Nevada desert to attend an exhibition match. A funny, moving and critically acclaimed tribute to a Scottish sporting hero, it shows 2-24 August at the Gilded Balloon.

Musical magic

Edinburgh Napier’s own health and safety advisor Sean Hughes will be behind the drum kit as part of the Inverkeithing Community Big Band’s performance at the St Andrews and St George’s Church on George St on 27 August.

Lucy Pratt and Stephanie Miller will be part of Pitchcraft – a choir with a difference – when it performs two nights at St Andrew’s and St George’s Church from 18-19 August. The show will cover unique takes on popular contemporary classical songs – with a sprinkling of humour, passion and surprise added in for good measure.

Susanne Goetzold, lecturer in Child and Public Protection, will be performing with Cadenza at Greyfriars Kirk on 26 August. The programme includes Brahms – Ein Deutsches Requiem and Rheinberger – Mass in E flat “Cantus Missae”, among others.

Edinburgh-based musician and composer and Edinburgh Napier alumni John A Sampson will be performing with Carol Ann Duffy at The Stand Comedy Club 6 from 4-13 August. Expect a thought-provoking and entertaining afternoon.