Ones to Watch: Edinburgh Fringe and Edinburgh Book Festival 2017

26th Jul 2017

Ones to Watch: Edinburgh Fringe and Edinburgh Book Festival 2017
A treasure trove awaits you at this year's Edinburgh Book Festival and Edinburgh Fringe! In addition to our own That’s What She Said, there is a catalogue of women’s comedic, musical, poetic and dramatic talent to be discovered, alongside thought-provoking talks exploring issues impacting women’s lives. Read on to find out what's on our must-see list...

Spoken Word: Science and Politics

Is Pee a Feminist Issue?
Well, yes, it is, as Elaine Miller, a pelvic health specialist, will explain. Incontinence affects an astonishing 1 in 3 women despite being largely preventable; Elaine argues that physiotherapy can prevent a ‘leaky, traumatised, depressed, inactive’ future for women.

Juliette Burton: Butterfly Effect
In this new genre of docu-comedy, award-winning comedien Juliette Burton explores the power of kindness.

Neoliberalism, Gender and Victimhood in #KUWTK
Criminologist Gemma Flynn believes academia should try to keep up with the Kardashians (#KUWTK) and other pop culture in order to shed light on issues as wide ranging as gender fluidity, hierarchies of victimisation and neoliberalism.

Women: Science is Not for You III
Putting the spotlight on women in science: why we need them, why they’re leaving, and which women are blazing a trail.

Spoken Word: Poetry

Anxiety and Animal Gifs
Having been described as ‘fine’ by three therapists, Hannah Chutzpah is perfectly qualified to hold forth on the maintaining a balance in modern life. With her witty, warm poetry, she explores conundrums such as: ‘Can mindfulness hold anxieties about our future in check?’ and ‘Can you succeed without becoming an arse?’

My Cloth-Eared Heart
Award-winning slam poet Melanie Branton’s mission to find love leads to a show about failure, stubbornness, and being single in a world that sometimes seems to be made for couples.

The Naked Dietician
‘The literary lovechild of Allen Ginsberg and Jeanette Winterson’ is how BroadwayBaby.com described Lucy Aphramor, who combines story and science to create a hard-hitting yet ultimately uplifting performance.

Polaris: Hannah Raymond-Cox
Exploring issues in mental health and queer culture, Hannah Raymond-Cox employs an award-winning slam style to bring sense to the chaos of existence and try to find a way to belong.


Want to start running? This show will inspire you to put down the remote and pick up your trainers. Lucy McConnell takes us through the highs and lows of training for a marathon, and all proceeds go to Shooting Star Chase Children’s Hospice.

All KIDding Aside
Christel Bartelse uses mask and movement to relate her fears about becoming a mother as she awaits the results of a pregnancy test having spent years believing she could not conceive. A comic, sharply observed and warm-hearted look at parenthood … or not.

Bone Woman
In the desert borderlands, the bone woman wanders, collecting wolf bones and long-forgotten histories. Every bone tells a story – of courage and sacrifice, perseverance and renewal. Listen to them whisper … Written and performed by storyteller Imani G. Alexander, Bone Woman is an original play adapted from Irish, Gullah, Mexican-American and Inuit folklore.

The Headless Woman and Other Delights
Storyteller Jacqueline Harris and artist Marjan Wouda have collaborated to create a magical story circle that brings mystical creatures and supernatural landscapes to life, with a mixture of storytelling, peep-boxes and projection. Meet boggarts, mermaids and other strange visitors in this beautiful, lyrical performance.

We Are Not Afraid
Róisín and Chiara are the ‘improvising geniuses’ in this sensual, surreal and spiritual performance of euphoric storytelling and character vignettes.


Are you ready for a wholly new, and very frivolous, Austen masterpiece? The cast improvise a new novel based on an audience suggestion – previous titles include ‘Sixth Sense and Sensibility’ so come prepared with Austen-themed puns!

Leyla Josephine is trying to find hope in the hopeless – which right now means staying in bed all day and inhaling entire Viennettas. A former UK Spoken Word Slam Champion, Leyla Josephine’s breakneck poetry and dark comedy makes this a must-see.

Rose Red
Comedy and subversion combine as this panto full of puns tells the story of Snow White’s forgotten sister, Rose Red, who wants to change her fate: she doesn’t want the fairy tale ending of marriage!

Evie is thirteen. She wants tell us about her crush, trying to be a woman, friends, virginity … and an “Uncle” lurking in the shadows. She wants to tell us something, but first she must face it herself. This one-woman show about a stolen childhood and growing up with a secret has original music and is based on a true story.


Athena Kugblenu: KMT
With her thought-provoking, acerbic and entertaining observations on politics, class, race and gender, Athena has been described as a ‘breath of fresh air’.

Desiree Burch: Unf*ckable
Sex, race and capitalism: Desiree Burch explores them all in this her unique storytelling stand-up style. Not to be missed.

Jane Godley’s Podcast Live at the Fringe
Mother and daughter feminist comedians Jane Godley and Ashley Storrie bring their podcast live to Edinburgh.

Orwell that Ends Well
Lolly Jones, of Black Mirror fame, takes a satirical swipe at the government’s Snooper’s Charter and addresses the issue of how companies are using our digital footprint. A 2016 Funny Women finalist, the Scotsman says she’s a ‘proper punk’ and ‘the kind of “Northern bitch” that all the posh Southern rahs of politics really need to listen to’.

Sarah Keyworth: Why Not? (WIP)
What is it like growing up being told you can be anything, then reaching 24 and realising you are just like everyone else? 2015 Funny Women finalist Sarah Keyworth explores Generation Y’s dilemmas in this charming performance.


Reformed Whores: Grand Ole C*ntry
Using just an accordion and ukulele, cowgals Katy Frame and Marie Cecile Anderson address key issues of the day through the medium of country music. The resulting zaniness has been described as what you’d get ‘if Dolly Parton and Flight of the Conchords got drunk and had a baby’.

Ed Book Fest

Catherine Mayer: Why Women’s Equality is Important for All
Founder of the Women’s Equality Party Catherine Mayer explains why she felt the party was needed, why it is for everyone, and where it is headed.

Ece Temelkuran and Jacqueline Woodson
Two authors who tell stories of women fighting to find and occupy their place in the world. In Temelkuran’s ‘Women Who Blow on Knots’ three friends embark on a road trip with a murderous 70-year-old; Woodson’s heroines share a strong friendship, but their innocence is encroached on in ‘Another Brooklyn.’

Eileen Myles
Myles describes herself as ‘a loudmouthed lesbian’ – and she’s certainly one who’s made an impact! Poet, performer, novelist and journalist, the New Yorker calls her ‘a kickass countercultural icon’. She presents her book ‘I Must Be Living Twice: New and Selected Poems 1975-2014’ in this exciting opportunity to hear a unique voice in person.

Phenomenal Women Speak Out
Jemima Foxtrot, Iona Lee, Sabrina Mahfouz and Sophia Walker are some of the most electrifying new talents on the spoken word scene. This is a chance to hear them perform their work. Chaired by Becky Fincham.

Reni Eddo-Lodge
Writer of the viral blog post ‘Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race’, Reni Eddo-Lodge found that she had touched a raw nerve and decided to further explore what being a person of colour in Britain means today. Her book is a searing unpacking of class, privilege, gender and denial. (BSL Event)

Find more shows to see in Edinburgh during August with listings from the Edinburgh Book Festival, Edinburgh Fringe and the PBH Free Fringe. And don’t forget For Books’ Sake will be there from 16th-26th August with That’s What She Said, a free, daily-changing showcase of the best writing and performance by women.