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Seven picks for the Edinburgh Fringe

The Fringe is back and there’s plenty of amazing shows breaking open discussions and perspectives on mental health – whether you ‘re looking for introspective questions, audience interaction, or if you just want a laugh. Expect dark humour, puzzles to solve, and even a jellyfish in an attic.


Save The Male

22-24 Aug, Underbelly



Comedian Jack Rooke and poet Cecilia Knapp founded Save The Male over a kebab and their mutual support for CALM . The comedy, music and poetry showcase has run for four years at festivals across the UK. Each Fringe performance includes different special guests and will run from August 22nd – 24th. Performers include cabaret satirists Bourgeois and Maurice, comedian and activist Josie Long, and absurdist comedian Richard Gadd.

More information and tickets.


5 out of 10 Men

19-27 August, The Space on Niddry St

Cathartic, intensely gripping, and brimming with dark humour. 5 out of 10 Men addresses the high rate of male suicide through the story of one man coming to terms with the death of his brother. The performers use physical theatre and their own personal experiences to explore the issues behind the statistics. For a revelationary show with more questions than answers, join the cast of 5 out of 10 Men as they explore the relationship between masculinity and mental illness.

More information and tickets.


The Mindspace

19-20, 22, 24-25 Aug, Lauriston Halls


A show for those who cannot sit still, who want answers, who will not stop asking why. The Mindspace is an interactive performance in which the audience drives the narrative. Audience members enter the mind of a patient with mental illness and are challenged to discover how their mind works. Through problem solving and stage exploration, you may either repair psychological damage or make the issues worse. Help the patient find ways to recover and uncover new solutions for mental illness.

This show involves walking but chairs will be provided.

More information and tickets.


Normally Abnormal

19-28 August, Laughing Horse @ Espionage

Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 10.35.36

Through honest and upbeat storytelling, Dave Chawner challenges the notion that eating disorders are a ‘women’s issue’. From the age of 17, Chawner associated thinness with success. Now he uses comedy as a way of tackling the stigma surrounding men and eating disorders. Having battled anorexia completely alone for seven years, Chawner believes this stigma is what leads men like himself to go undiagnosed and untreated. Chawner’s show Normally Abnormal revolves around his experiences of anorexia, depression, and vegetarianism.

More information and tickets.



19-29 August, Pleasance Courtyard

Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 10.38.26Many fathers struggle to explain mental illness to their children, Jellyfish can help. Through the use of theatrics, puppetry and original music, Jellyfish explores mental health in a colourful and educational way for children over the age of 3. The show follows a young boy called Tom who lives with his parents beside the sea. After a tough year Tom and his father discover a jellyfish in the attic – a metaphor for his father’s depression. The duo must figure out why the jellyfish has chosen their attic and how to cope with their new houseguest.


More information and tickets.


Cracked Tiles

19-25, 27-28 August, Spotlites


A contemporary theatre play written and performed by Lorenzo Novani. Hilarious and harrowing in equal measure Cracked Tiles is  real-life inspired, one-man play set in a Glasgow chip shop. It tells the captivating story of a Scots-Italian family’s struggle with madness.

“A year ago he inherited his father’s crumbling empire, a run-down chippy in Glasgow’s East End. The sale of the shop looms but he isn’t  ready to leave; Riccardo has just discovered a compelling oddity in the  family business records. Perplexed and burning with curiosity, he now  finds himself with no choice but to revisit history, asking questions of his father he’d never have dared ask before. Do the shop’s grease-stained walls hold the answers?

More information and tickets

The Silence at The Song’s End

19-25, 27-28 August, Greenside @ Nicolson Square

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This play is based on the story of Nicholas Heiney, the son of Libby Purves, who died by suicide at the age of 23. After he died, Libby collected together all of Nicholas’ written work found in his bedroom and arranged them into the book: The Silence at the Song’s End. The piece aims to challenge the stigma surrounding mental health (especially with men in particular) and raise awareness. 


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