Edinburgh Fringe Festival Roundup

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Edinburgh oh Edinburgh such a lovely city especially for the month of August, where we see many talented actors travel far and wide to perform in plays for the annual Fringe Festival which started in the grand year of 1947. Whilst at the festival you can watch dance, cabaret, and comedy among many other arty categories. Despite comedy making up 1/3 of the programme, below you will find many play adaptions that fall into rather different categories.

Helter Skelter

We may be in Edinburgh in 2022 however do you wish you lived in LA in the 1960’s? If so transport yourself back in time to Helter Skelter. The 60s may have looked all glitz and glam in the history books but in this play something much darker lies. We follow the journey of a troubled young lady named Susan fleeing home to end up in an even more traumatic lifestyle with the iconic Charles Manson and his cult of wacky and wonderful outcasts of society. How she got to the Californian desert well you will have to watch Helter Skelter to uncover the plot.

Were people drawn to Charlie due to his insanity and violence which made them feel more normal, or did his madness enable others to break away from the traditions society held on them, it comes at a time of much suppression and its one question that we may never know the answer to. If you’re not a fan of sharing belongings then you may struggle as much as Jackie who played the role of the no-nonsense Kas. 

Helter Skelter follows a stellar cast of individuals made up of Joey Maragakis, Danielle Quinn-Taylor, Auguste Voulton, Tallulah Bond, Jackie Macatiag, Eleanor Wood as runaway Susan and Mike Narouei as Charlie. Speaking to cast member Joey Maragakis who plays the role of Susan’s father John, Susan’s client Terry and Kas savior. Joey says the following “It’s been surreal to do a run in a beautiful place like Edinburgh with such an incredibly talented cast”.

Edinburgh fringe-helter skelter

Lucy Hopkins: Dark Mother

If you are a fan of something a little quirky or mysterious then you must go see Lucy Hopkins:Dark Mother. Production takes place aboard the Blundabus and if you favour dark sarcasm then you are in for a real treat. Part improvisation, part script, the best of both worlds which keeps you guessing over what mother will do next. A very original play and the closest comparison one could give to a similar character would be Missy/The Master from beloved series Doctor Who, ironically an audience participant did indeed mention Doctor Who, which Lucy execndently incorporated into the piece one must say. Demons were mentioned and crystals among many other elements and even a song to close off the story. 

Words really cant give this piece justice, its one of those plays you need to see and to some individuals you could say the piece would be like marmite, you will either love mother and laugh or perhaps be petrified by her and wanting to leave, thats the beauty of plays, it’s down to personal feeling. 


With a play like Beneath, an imagination certainly is in order and if you have a stronge analytical mind then you may be finding yourself with many unanswered questions for example where are they, are they in Edinburgh and how did they get there? For example we know that the cast are 300 metres under water and we know an apocalyptic event of flooding has happened, however what caused the flood, and why would a bunker be on the peak of Mount Everest? If not Mount Everest then one would simply be much lower down than 300 metres. We are not giving a definitive answer on the year either but based on the casts clothes it is a very dystopian apocalyptic so who knows what may have happened, there may have been gradual flooding resulting in people moving away from cities to seek higher ground.   

With oxygen running out, the cast did indeed showcase the variety of symptoms of brain hypoxia from memory loss to difficulty paying attention, plus they all had different variations of severity of symptoms which would be true depending on age and health. Fear was involved and I just wish a little more insanity was included, it’s the end of the world, so you wouldn’t be holding it together that well. Sounds were on point and very realistic which did aid the storytelling aspect of “Beneath”.

Fashion Spies

One isn’t always the biggest fan of comedy however my gut certainly paid off for “Fashion Spies”. Amazing talent on screen and great humans off-screen with some amazing songs throughout thanks to the likes of Will Jackson. One of the most interactive plays I’ve ever been too, for those that don’t like coffee but need the energy effects just go watch “Fashion Spies”. An incredible well put-together play that is suitable for all ages from young to old, we all like to have fun and “Fashion Spies” will keep you feeling joy throughout the day. If you grew up liking “Totally Spies” then I urge you that you need to watch this play and from the very beginning you are welcomed and are a participant throughout, Dylan Wheeler, Eleanor Rattenury and Abigail Greenwood make up the cast as well as the participants as recruits of the fashion spy academy. 

Speaking with Abigail about the play and her character she states the following, “Multi-rolling in a cartoon universe in the midst of a fashion crisis, I’m everything from a European world-wide renowned fashion icon to a tech-obsessed gadget creator. There’s diversity of roles, across the board, along with the many tracks of the choose your own adventure and room for improvisation, keeping the show fresh every time it’s performed.

Fashion Spies- Edinburgh Fringe


This was one production that I was heavenly anticipating in seeing due to the amount of positive reviews that one had heard from actors. I think it was clever how it was done and certainly different to many other productions however I didn’t connect with the piece as much as one would have liked too, perhaps because one is rather familiar with that of the other side and it didn’t seem too believable in it’s approach. It did give an adrenaline rush when the table was shaking and you do forget you’re wearing headphones. If you had an opening scene which was in the light before descending into the darkness I think it would have aided in it’s believerability. Just my personal opinion and it shouldn’t discourage you from seeing Seance.

Once Upon A Midnight Dreary

One has also been a fan of Gothic fiction, so it was no surprise that one had to certainly check out “Once Upon A Midnight Dreary”. Although the play had a rather ghastly atmosphere undertone, it was filled with a comedic element that made it rather intriguing to watch. If you are a fan of the writer Edgar Allan Poe, then you may just wish to watch this rather dramatic musical. 

Due to the plays plot, it may not appeal to those that do not appreciate the urge of breaking boundaries and stepping outside the box. Yes the characters were odd beyond belief but they are indeed playing demons and whose to say how a demon should behave. When an individual’s mind is shattered into pieces they may indeed see the unimaginable, to watch this show you need to be a rather open individual and kudos to the female performer her madness aided the believe-ability of Edgar’s confused thoughts.  

Spring Awakening

Themes of romanticism intwined into this 19th century themed drama musical taking place in Germany. Different to the other plays in terms of running time, one could of endured much longer as was thoroughly kept engaged throughout the performance. The only play which brought a tear to my eye, due to the talented Matthew Don’s portrayal of character Moritz Stiefel. The play is set in a different time and forshadows the story of teenagers innoncence and them discovering themselves.

Spring Awakening delves into some rather challenging scenarios, such as the pressure one puts on themselves and the darkness some may go to cover up their sins, as Lucy Hopkins: Dark Mother may say being at the top is the only position that matters darling. The production behind Spring Awakening supports the mental health charity SAMH which highlights the importance of seeking out for help when in times of despair.  

Till next time Edinburgh, we look forward to what the Fringe Festival will bring in 2023!

Young entrepreneur and freelance model. Founder of the AW20 Hope & Glory Fashion show, with interests in mythology, spiritualism and astrology among many others. One can be contacted via Instagram @Connormantle

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