Tabby Lamb’s joyful queer rom com is featuring this year


It’s almost that time of year again! The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the world’s largest arts festival, and it’s returning from 5-29 August 2022. This year, there’s an array of LGBTQI content up for grabs, including WILF at Traverse Theatre, queer superstar ALOK and The Last Return from Sonya Kelly. Brace yourselves – there’s a hell of a lot of queer content on this year! Have your diaries at the ready.

Need some queer comedy in your diary? Do not fear! Sophie Duker brings her sophomore show Hag to the Pleasance Courtyard, a show about “gleefully not caring anymore.” Similarly, with over 1 million views behind them on BBC Three, Rachel WD and Ruby Clyde comprise comedy duo Shelf. They’ll be bringing Hair to the Pleasance, their debut hour exploring the importance of one life-changing haircut told through a combination of stand-up and music.

Award-winning writer, actor and comedian Elf Lyons is unleashing Raven at Gilded Balloon, described as half Mad Clown spectacle, half Hammer Horror. Combining horror and comedy, Elf brings her eccentricity to the Fringe. She’ll also be returning to the Wine Bar stage at Gilded Balloon each Saturday evening for Elf Lyons Talks Dirty For An Hour. As a heads up: don’t take your parents to this one. Or your girlfriend’s parents.

Sophie Duker. Credit: Sarah Harry Isaacs

Ania Magliano is bringing Absolutely No Worries If Not to the Pleasance, combining storytelling, snappy observations, silliness and surreal tangents. Half-Polish, half-Italian and bisexual, she delves into her background and identity alike. Similarly, Sarah Keyworth is bringing the lols with Lost Boy, her homemade recipe on how to find laughter when you think you’ve lost it all. This is a lesson on how to be silly and find the fun in not-so-fun situations.

Want to explore what queer sex can do for you and for wider humanity? Plaster Cast Theatre is presenting the world premiere of Delicious Fruits at the Pleasance Dome, starring Ayden and Lizard, who want to be cool, sexually liberated teenagers but struggle amongst their cis, straight peers. By chatting about queer sex as much as possible, they hope to bring about a sexual revolution of sorts. This show is comprised of verbatim sex stories and anarchic punk songs, with the project representing a wider rebellion against sex-related shame.

Next up, there’s Happy Meal from Tabby Lamb, a joyously queer rom com. Directed by Jamie Fletcher and produced by Roots and Theatre Royal Plymouth in association with ETT and Oxford Playhouse, this isn’t one to miss. This one goes back to the days of dial up and MSN, and follows two teens into their adulthood, from MySpace to TikTok, from cis to trans in a hilarious, nostalgic story of transition. On this, Tabby states: “I started writing Happy Meal during lockdown, when trans people were more often than not isolating alone or in unsupportive environments. This is a play about trans people by trans people and for trans people – a celebration of everything that makes us powerful!”

Shelf. Credit: Corrine Cumming

The Stones is a queer gothic mystery taking place at Assembly Rooms. Written by Kit Brookman and performed by Luke Mullins, this one follows the story of Nick, who after breaking up with his boyfriend takes a job as a private tutor to two children in an old house in Sussex. Everything seems perfect, until the stones begin to arrive. This one sounds eery!

For a more light-hearted afternoon, LIZARD BOY tells the story of lizard boy, Trevor, and his first date with a boy. It’s equal parts comic book lore and a coming of age story, a rock musical composed by Justin Huertas. Equally, An Audience With Milly-Liu is a late-night one-man cat-drag comedy described as the last chapter in the autobiography of an infamous feline movie star. This one takes place at Pleasance Courtyard.

Closure is a “gripping” new play about Revenge, presented by  Ink and Curtain in association with the Pleasance Theatre and HOME Manchester. A darkly comical celebration of catharsis, revenge and feminine ravage, Closure follows Mia, Alex and Laura as they enjoy a dinner party. Plot twist: they might not all leave alive.

Happy Meal by Tabby Lamb. Credit: Tabby Lamb

Next up, queer theatre maker Heather Milstead’s Period Dramas explores the history of menstruation. Recognising that it’s not just women that bleed, but trans and non-binary people too, Heather has created a succinct history of periods. The result is endlessly inclusive.

Speaking of bleeding, The Bleeding Obvious explores what happens when you tumble out of the big pink closet in a sprawling heap. Jessica Rowbottom stars in this one-woman show detailing her own coming out experiences through original songs and takes, sometimes funny, sometimes serious. Recounting memories including unexpected reactions from family and friends, dating disasters, growing up during Section 28 in the 1980s and more, this isn’t one to miss.

Comedian, writer and researcher Cerys Bradley returns with Sportsperson, a show about playing sport, fitting in and how bad Cerys is at both of those things. Expect commentary on being non-binary, arguing with male cyclists, the importance on staying hydrated and why you should never take advice from Cery’s mum nor Cery’s dad.

The Sugarcoated Sisters bring their show, Bittersweet, to Just The Tonic Waves. Directed by Laura Corcoran, Chloe and Tabby Tingley are real-life siblings. Having just taken home Best Newcomer Award at the Musical Comedy Awards, both sisters are bisexual, dealing with the hilarity that is modern-day dating in their work. Tabby lives with type one diabetes and Chloe with bipolar, so the pair address what it’s like to live with these conditions and dismantle popular misconceptions through comedy.

SAP. Credit: Chloe Nelkin Consulting

The debut play from Rafaella Marcus, SAP is produced by Ellie Keel. An urban fable about bisexuality and what we allow people to believe, the play draws inspiration from Daphne and Apollo. Ellie is a trailblazing name in the theatre industry, having established her own production company in 2019. She has worked across numerous projects, is multi-award-winning, and established the Women’s Prize for Playwriting.

How To Build A Wax Figure by Isabella Waldron is an endearing story, narrating the meeting of a girl and an anatomical wax sculptor. They fell in love, of course. Equally, Tropicana is the self-described “ultimate queer comedy cabaret” featuring queer cabaret icon Aidan Sadler. This one is set to explore and abuse the gender binary. Sign us up!

And last, but not least, Plaster Cast Theatre will be bringing Sound Cistem to the streets of Edinburgh. A radical dance party conducted by two trans performers, Sound Cistem will be inundated with lights, music and queer celebration. It features recorded interviews with trans and non-binary people.

To browse shows and access ticket information, visit the Edinburgh Fringe website here. To keep up with the Fringe, follow the festival on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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