Five of the weirdest Fringe shows to see this year
tank with fish

The Fringe is full of strange and wonderful performers, each trying to make their mark on the world’s largest arts festival

Some of these acts go a little further than we can comprehend, falling into a weird otherworldly category.

The festival is full of little surprises and just because it’s freaky doesn’t mean that it’s a bad show, it’s just something really different from the usual comedy gig you might see.

Iraq Out & Loud: Reading the Chilcot Report in Full

chilcot report. Iraq and out loud
A range of performers and artists such as Omid Djalili, Reginald D. Hunter and Ian Rankin are participating in a non-stop, 24/7 reading of the monumental Chilcot report, which at 2.6 million words is an arduous task.

They won’t finish until it’s finished, inviting audience members to read it as well to accomplish the feat and finally try and understand why we went to Iraq.

 August 8-22, Bob’s BlundaBus, South College St. Tickets from edfringe.com

Come Look at the Baby

look at the baby
This year’s stand out weird show stars an unsuspecting 7-month old and their grandmother. ‘Come Look at the Baby’ invites you to see the baby sit on it’s grandmother’s lap in a sensory room for half an hour.

That’s about all the show is, but it is said to be an emotional experience where the audience feels a sense of awkward wonder, watching a little human look back at them. It’s technically a theatre show, with a lead that nails their performance every time.

August 9, 11 – 14, 16 – 21, 23 – 28, Just the Tonic at Community Project, tickets from edfringe.com

The Naked Magicians

naked magicians
Nudity at the Fringe can be seen as a gimmick to make a show more risqué, but the Naked Magicians are like this all year round. They’ve done sell out shows all over the world with their mixture of comedy, magic and full frontal nudity.

Hailing from Australia, they pride themselves in their tricks that don’t need clothing and genuinely funny magic comedy into the act. It’s certainly impressive that they don’t have sleeves to hide their tricks, but where are they keeping them?

Aug 9-15, 17-29 Pleasance Courtyard. Tickets from edfringe.com

Tank

tank with fish
‘Tank’ is a play based on a NASA experiment from 1965, where a scientist attempted to teach a dolphin how to speak the English language. It’s a strange idea for a play, one that touches on both animal rights and human psychology in a complex way.

Breach, the company helming the show, won awards for last year’s show ‘The Beanfield’ about a riot between new age travellers and police. Tank looks to be even more emotional and weird, featuring the age old question “What happens to a dolphin on LSD?”

August 9 – 20, Pleasance Dome, Tickets from edfringe.com

Strictly Come Trancing

ben dali strictly come trance
Ben Dali has come to the Fringe with the ‘only hypnotist cabaret’ show. Hypnotists who do shows for adult are infamous for what they manipulate audience members into doing, but Dali assures that volunteers will not be humiliated on stage, instead handing out boosts in self confidence and morale to the public.

Part of the act is giving his volunteers a degree of free will while under hypnosis, choosing certain paths at points while under Dali’s spell. Dali, was a contestant on ITV’s Take Me Out earlier this year and wrote an interesting blog about his experiences here. He seems to be dispelling the stereotype that hypnotists are scary weirdos, but this comedy-hypnotism hybrid is still very unorthodox.

August 9-28,  Liquid Room Annexe, tickets (free) from Edfringe.com

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