Bedlam Fringe | Venue 49
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It is with great pleasure that we introduce the acts that make up the 2017 core programme. Even now in our 37th year at the festival, we feel that we have brought something new to this hallowed space. Our acts play to the venue’s strengths. Over the years Bedlam has become known for bringing refreshing comedy and new writing to the festival and this year is no exception. Our performers represent the most promising new talent of the festival. We believe in their work. We know that you will too. Below is a small preview of our mainstage companies.


Mainstays of the Bedlam stage, BABOLIN, return with their new play, PHOOLS. The story of Phools Mortalsby and the last song ever to be sung.


Exciting new playwright ÁINE RYAN brings us her play UP THE HILL JACKIE. Expect to laugh through your tears in this tale of two Irish sisters.


Award-winning comedian SOFIE HAGEN returns to the fringe with her third and funniest show DEAD BABY FROG.


PAULA VARJACK brings us SHOW ME THE MONEY. Is it still possible to be an artist in austerity Britain? Varjack sets out to answer this through a blend of interviews and live performance.


The EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY THEATRE COMPANY bring us SUGAR & SALT. A piece of clever and insightful writing that cuts to the heart of the student experience.


Award-winning Welsh theatre THE OTHER ROOM bring us SEANMHAIR (shen-a-var); Set in Edinburgh, Hywel John’s story is a brutal tale of fated love and lives gone by.


BRITNEY go on a road trip to America in JOHN. The fearless comedians who tackled brain tumours and left us in stitches in their last show are in search of the typical American man.


Up-and-comers PELICAN bring us their latest offering in THE CAT MAN CURSE. Three ex-Footlights tell the story of a TV actor, a solicitor, and an old Hollywood curse.


The positively regal, PRINCES OF MAIN, come to Bedlam to host NEW YEARS EVE. Bombastic characters and lightning-quick punchlines set against the backdrop of an outrageous New Year’s Eve party.


Of course. Cult classics, adored by all veterans of the fringe, the longest running improvised comedy troupe at the festival, the IMPROVERTS of the EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY THEATRE COMPANY return.

For further information, images and interview requests please contact:

We’re back!


LATE NIGHT is Bedlam’s very own, home grown, sickeningly amusing cabaret show. We’re back for our third year, so strap in for the most bizarre, awe-inspiring alternative comedy and performance rollercoaster at the festival! LATE NIGHT has one-off take-overs from your favourites of the fringe, cabarets stuffed to the gunnels with FUN, and, of course, a feeling of general satisfaction.


Last year’s stage was graced by Fern Brady (The Alternative Comedy Experience, 8 Out of 10 Cats), Andrew Ryan (Russell Howard’s Good News), 2016 Funny Women Awards Winner Harriet Braine, sketch-mongers Princes of Main, Fringe-First Nominee clown Helen Duff, and World Poetry Slam Champion and all-round funny guy Harry Baker, to name but a few.


This year’s line-up is even more epic, even more alternative, and even more moral as we’re also playing host to a load of star-studded stand-up benefit gigs (so you can feel extra good about yourself as you laugh). Keep an eye on our website for line-up announcements and get ready to nestle down to some alternative fabulousness come August!



2nd - 28th not 13th, 20th


1 hr

Embarking on the adventure of a lifetime across a country full of gun-toting, god-fearing, headline-grabbing maniacs, two teenagers go in search of the typical American man: in search of John Hancock. From the team behind Britney, John is a funny, nostalgic and irreverent onstage road trip across the USA; an endeavour to expose some of the lazy stereotyping that happens when we Brits think of our neighbours across the pond. 'Reminded me of a modern-day French and Saunders' ( ***** (, **** (,,

Suitability: 16+ (Guideline)

Group: Country Mile Productions


2nd - 28th not 9th, 16th, and 23rd


1 hr

The Cat Man Curse is a whirlwind comedy by ex-Footlights Jordan, Sam and Guy. Using sketch, clown and physical theatre, Pelican balance a cartoonish narrative with playfulness and improvisation to tell the story of a bizarre mystery. When TVt actor Charles Heron (famous for playing hotshot lawyer Harvey Hardtruth) is struck by an old Hollywood curse, he needs legal advice from a real-life solicitor, Mark Swift. Thrown into a kaleidoscopic 1970s noir investigation, the unlikely pair must come together to solve a mystery that’s ‘wildly funny’ (***** and ‘thrives off ingenuity and playfulness’ (*****

Suitability: 14+ (Guideline)

Group: Pelican


2nd - 28th


1 hr

Always different, always funny, Edinburgh's longest running improvised comedy troupe is back behind Bedlam Theatre's big red doors for yet another year of lightning fast wit, expert tech, and high energy performances. Each night a dynamic combination of players take to the stage for another round of spontaneous short form sketches based entirely on audience suggestions, resulting in a unique and hilarious show every time. 'A highly enjoyable and memorable night' ( ‘An energetic must-see for any and all who like to laugh' ( The Improverts is a show not to be missed.

Suitability: 18+ (Restriction)

Group: Edinburgh University Theatre Company


4th - 12th


1 hr

The invigorating and inventive Babolin are winners of the 2015 Fringe Review Outstanding Theatre Award. ‘The talent of this incredible ensemble is quite stunning' ( In the dingy light of a flickering streetlamp on a desolate street in the middle of anywhere, Phools Mortalsby is about to sing a song. The last song. Ever.

Suitability: PG

Group: Babolin Theatre


2nd - 27th


1 hr

2017 has been a bad year – personally, politically and particularly for sketch trio Princes of Main. Join these beautiful nightmares as they reset the clock, starting with Edinburgh’s biggest, baddest, dumbest New Year’s Eve patrty. Ever. In August. Ever. Expect general raucousness, lieutenant sketches and admiral fun. 'Fresh, crafty sketches full of gags for Generation Y' (TimeOut). 'Utter genius' **** ( 'Very bloody funny' ***** ( London SketchFest 2016 finalists. Brighton Fringe 2015 Pick of the Fringe.

Suitability: 14+ (Guideline)

Group: Princes of Main


2nd - 28th not 8th, 15th, 22nd


1 hr 10 m

Seanmhair (feminine, Scots Gaelic): grandmother. Pronunciation: shen-a-var. A chance meeting between two children on the streets of Edinburgh unleashes a terrible reckoning, leaving Jenny and Tommy forever bound together by blood and fate. Brutal and beautiful, Hywel John's remarkable new play glimmers and cuts like a jewel, fusing raw epic romance with guttural urban poetry to tell the story of a secret generational legacy of love, violence and fury. Hywel John is the Welsh writer of Pieces: **** (Guardian) and Rose **** (Telegraph, Times and Evening Standard).

Suitability: 16+ (Guideline)

Group: The Other Room


2nd - 4th, 7th - 13th


55 m

After six years of austerity, is it even possible to be an artist and make enough money for luxuries like bread? Show Me the Money is a funny, inspirational show by multimedia artist Paula Varjack looking at how artists manage to support their creative dreams. Using a blend of documentary-style interviews with live performance, Varjack lifts the lid on what artists do to make ends meet. In doing so, Show Me the Money provides a painfully honest, yet ultimately optimistic portrait of life in contemporary Britain as government cuts bite.

Suitability: 16+ (Guideline)

Group: Paula Varjack

Sofie Hagen: Dead Baby Frog

2nd - 28th


1 hr

Sofie Hagen won an award ages ago and she's still banging on about it. She is now doing her THIRD show. The confidence of this girl is appalling. This show is about anger and a funeral. This gig is anxiety-safe: meaning, if you have anxiety over attending my show, email me at and let me know what I can do to help. Maybe you want to reserve a specific seat? Maybe you want to ask a question? Either way, let's talk. I'll do my best to help.

Suitability: 14+ (Restriction)

Group: Sofie Hagen

Sugar & Salt

5th, 6th, 14th - 28th not 21st


1 hr

Moni’s got guts and a promiscuous disposition. Minu has heart and a very big mouth. Together they bumble and blunder through student life, hook-ups and hangovers, declaring their greatest hopes and fears amidst the perpetual mess of their kitchen. But when problems bigger than bills are brought to the table, they are forced to see that some things can only be solved on your own. Debut original writing for the Edinburgh University Theatre Company, Sugar & Salt is a story about intimacy and reaching out as you are growing up, whether life is sweet or bitter.

Suitability: 12+ (Guideline)

Group: Edinburgh University Theatre Company


2nd, 3rd, 13th - 28th


1 hr

Jackie is pregnant. Her sister Rita is forcing her to have an abortion. Is it too late to fix things? Dark, humorous, fast-paced Irish drama from the playwright of five-star Kitty in the Lane. Performed by Áine Ryan and Erin Ryan. Praise for Kitty in the Lane: ‘Ryan writes beautifully’ (Stage). ‘An exceptionally promising first piece’ (San Francisco Chronicle).

Suitability: 12+ (Guideline)

Group: Áine Ryan / Studio Perform


2nd - 28th


1 hr

Strap in tight to the most rad, bizarre, awe-inspiring comedy and alt-performance rollercoaster at the Fringe! We’re back for our third year with one-off takeovers from your favourites, cabaret stuffed to the gunnels with fun and a feeling of general satisfaction. Last year’s stage was graced by Fern Brady (The Alternative Comedy Experience, 8 Out of 10 Cats), Andrew Ryan (Russell Howard’s Good News), 2016 Funny Women Awards winner Harriet Braine, sketch-mongers Princes of Main, Fringe First nominee clown Helen Duff and World Poetry Slam champion Harry Baker. This year’s line-up is ruddy epic – get down here!

Suitability: 18+ (Guideline)

Group: Bedlam Fringe