Binge Fringe Magazine

EDITORIAL: 5 Queer Musicals You Won’t Want to Miss at EdFringe 2023

Stretching from Shakespeare to Section 28, and well beyond into a contemporary expression of any form of modern Queer identity – there is plenty to love about this year’s offerings of fresh LGBTQIA+ musicals landing at EdFringe 2023. There’s nothing more cathartic than letting yourself and your story rip in the medium of song. This selection of some of the most exciting and pertinent musical talent taking to the stage in one month’s time will be sure to whet your appetite.

Join us as we delve into celebration, protest, love and reclamation with five queer musicals you won’t want to miss as next month’s festival looms around the corner.

Gay Shakespeare with Pirates – Antonio!

With an ever-intriguing concept, Antonio! asks a question that’s no doubt been on all of our minds – what if Antonio from the Bard’s Twelfth Night was actually based on a real life Queer Punk Pirate looking for love in all the wrong places? Co-produced by a team of Queer artists from New Zealand and the United States, this piece offers a reframing and reclamation of the provenance of Shakespeare’s works. Also, we’re pretty sure it’s going to be a hell of a load of fun.

Binge Fringe is looking forward to… hopefully saying “Pardon me sir, your good entertainment!”.

Antonio! – TheSpace @ Surgeon’s Hall (Stephenson Theatre), Aug 4-6, 9, 11, 16, 18, 20, 23, & 25 (17:00). Tickets are available through the EdFringe Box Office.

Rom-Coms and Pop Songs – Actually, Love

Is that Richard Curtis Love, Actually kind-of love just for straight people? A self-described “musical rollercoaster” sees Alex, a songwriter with writer’s block, and Stevie, an actor auditioning for a rom-com, bump into each other after many years apart. The show charts the highs and lows of gender trouble, romantic cliches, and open-mic nights, with that hazy, 2003 kind of nostalgic glaze.

Binge Fringe is looking forward to… a queer love story questioning the sugar-coated kind-of love we grew up watching in the movies.

Actually, Love – Pleasance Courtyard – The Green, Aug 2-8, 10-15, 17-22 & 24-27 (15:45). Tickets available through the EdFringe Box Office.

A Coming-of-Age Immigrant’s Journey – Blossoming (You Undo Me)

The slightly indefinite listing for Blossoming (You Undo Me) leaves a lot of intrigue in this one-person musical about a young Chinese man growing into his queerness, tackling both an immigrant’s journey as well as family dynamics in a broader thread of self-revelation. With recent reports in world media of the crackdown on LGBTQIA+ groups in China, this is sure to be an event that has something to say.

Binge Fringe is looking forward to… an intersectional, unique perspective delivering a powerful one-person musical about a topic that doesn’t always have a light shone over it.

Blossoming (You Undo Me) – Gilded Balloon (Patter Hoose), Aug 2-13 (12:00, 19:30). Tickets available through the EdFringe Box Office.

Pride, Protest and Abseiling Lesbians – After The Act (A Section 28 Musical)

Pride, protest and abseiling lesbians is what’s being promised by Breach Theatre in their bold new musical tackling the troubling history of the infamous Section 28 laws that “prohibited the promotion of homosexuality” in the UK all the way up until the early 2000s. It’s the series of laws that silenced a generation of Queer people and now, two decades after its’ repeal in England & Wales, Breach Theatre offer us the chance to “sing and dance on the grave” of this watershed moment in LGBTQIA+ history. With 80s synth music guiding us, it’ll be hard to miss a beat.

Binge Fringe is looking forward to… a rebellious, righteous reclamation of Queer history with a banging soundtrack.

After The Act (A Section 28 Musical) – Traverse Theatre (Traverse 1), Aug 3, 5-6, 8-13, 15-20 & 22-27 (times vary). Tickets available through the EdFringe Box Office.

Queer Jukebox Musical Comedy – Losing the Plot

Featuring all your favourite Queer pop anthems from the 70s and 80s, we reckon this is a show that will make you want to grab a cocktail/mocktail and let loose in the audience. Follow Eric Little, a writer dreaming of creating the musical of his generation. Joined by a misfit band of unlikely but loveable co-writers, we watch relationships burst, crumble and reignite as we rattle through a nostalgic pop vocabulary.

Binge Fringe is looking forward to… having a great deal of fun with a cast of unusual and interesting characters, while definitely singing along!

Losing the Plot – TheSpace @ Niddry Street (Lower Theatre), Aug 14-19 (09:55). Tickets available through the EdFringe Box Office.

Jake Mace

Our Lead Editor & Edinburgh Editor. Jake loves putting together reviews that try to heat-seek the essence of everything they watch. They are interested in New Writing, Literary Adaptations, Musicals, Cabaret, and Stand-Up. Jake aims to cover themes like Class, Nationality, Identity, Queerness, and AI/Automation.

Festivals: EdFringe (2018-2023), Brighton Fringe (2019), Paris Fringe (2020), VAULT Festival (2023), Prague Fringe (2023-24), Dundee Fringe (2023)
Pronouns: They/Them