Jo Boon, who is exploring the Fringe while performing in Roughs for Radio, recommends her fifteen Fringe plays that engage with feminist ideas. 

Fifteen Feminist Fringe recommendations

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world and takes place every August for three weeks in Scotland’s capital city.  It is taking place from the 7th – 31st August 2015, and this year’s programme features over 3,000 events. In order to narrow it down to just fifteen recommendations, I have just selected the plays that I would recommend. The Fringe features much else from comedy to cabaret but here are my feminist themed top picks:

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  • A History of Feminism as Told by a Sexist Pig

Political sketch- writer Lloyd Evans reveals men’s secret views on suffragettes, bra- burning, Greenham, porn and Welsh lesbian separatists. Meet him afterwards to continue the debate. Or punch him.

  • Valiant

A powerful documentary and theatrical performance chronicling the role of women in war; from victim to perpetrator to peacemaker, and from Afghanistan to Japan. Meet 13 women who have fought, struggled and survived in a century of conflict.

  • Happy Girl

The company behind last year’s dynamic and raw performances of Teenage Dirtbag is back and using girls’ own words to talk about how we are conditioned as teens, and what this means for our relationships as women.

  • The International Stud

The award- winning play follows drag queen Arthur on his search for love in the backrooms of the 1980s gay scene. Exploring sexuality and identity through humour and a brutal honesty.

  • My Name is…

When Gaby disappeared from her Scottish home, it was assumed her Pakistani father had kidnapped her. Headlines were only momentarily silenced when it emerged that Gaby may have chosen to flee.

  • Pussy

Pussy. Five girls, one stage- It’s not about cats.

  • Female Transport

Set aboard a convict ship on its way to Australia, Steve Gooch’s stark, hard- hitting drama tells the story of six female convict on their six- month journey and their destination to survive the conditions below the decks.

  • Womenswear

We cook. We clean. We buy shoes. We wear bras. Sometimes we burn them. Drawn from fact and fiction, Womenswear explores where expectation and reality meet. The Lincoln Company uncovers and confronts stereotypical attitudes towards womanhood.

  • Ursula Invents Old Woman

When science fiction author Ursula K Le Guin meets her biggest fan, an agender being from another galaxy, a shapeshifting intergalactic romance ensues. Created by a young cis male, older cis- female and trans- identified playwright.

  • Magdalen

Long silenced voices spring to life in this one- woman play about the concealed lives hidden behind convent walls where unwed mothers, prostitutes, orphans ad flirts are told they can wash away their sins in commercial laundries run by nuns.

  • slut (r) evolution (no one gets there overnight)

How did it feel? What the hell was she thinking? And how will it affect tonight’s hook up? Memoir and manifesto come together in this incendiary exploration of sex, relationships and salad crispers.

  • All the Nice Girls

Lesbian love in the limelight. A tribute to pioneering performers in music hall and revue. This charming new show looks at the careers of forgotten variety artists through the eyes of male impersonator Ella Shields.

  • Black is the Color of My Voice

Inspired by the life of Nina Simone, this one woman show follows a successful jazz musician and civil rights activist struggling to come to terms with the death of her father.

  • Bold Girls

Set in 90s Northern Ireland, Bold Girls is a dark comedy that follows the lives of four women in war- torn Belfast. An unexpected arrival challenges their friendship and leads to revelations that threaten to destroy their lives.

  • A Girl is a Half- formed Thing

Ireland’s celebrated company, The Corn Exchange, brings its startling adaptation of McBride’s ground-breaking novel to the Traverse.

Go to https://tickets.edfringe.com/ to buy your tickets.

Enjoy the Fringe!