Assembly Announces Edinburgh Shows

Edinburgh Fringe 2021 – Round-Up

Edinburgh’s longest running multi-venue producer returns with a live programme of events for the 2021 Festival Fringe. Assembly Festival will host a mix of theatre, dance, circus, comedy, music, and more, from Thursday 29 July to Sunday 29 August. Alongside this there will be a stimulating digital programme presented live or on-demand hosted on Assembly’s new online venue, Assembly Showcatcher  

As well as performances in Assembly’s year-round home, Assembly Roxy, the Festival will return to Edinburgh’s favourite festival hub, Assembly George Square Gardens, with the Palais du Variété spiegeltent, and an outdoor Garden Stage.  

The theatres are open once more, with a programme of Fringe favourites and new work at Assembly Festival. Brian Foster’s hugely popular Myra’s Story (6 – 29 Aug) returns after its sell-out success in 2019. Follow Myra, a homeless Dublin street drinker, as she relives her incredible story – at times hilarious, at others harrowing; you’ll never forget this heart-breaking journey. Smokescreen Productions (Mengele, Judas) also return with a theatrical double bill at Roxy Central. An old soldier faces one more battle with himself in Shell Shock (10 – 15 Aug), a rollercoaster ride through anxiety, by comedy veteran Tim Marriott (The Brittas Empire, Allo, Allo). And Watson faces The Final Problem (17 – 22 Aug) in an adaptation by Bert Coules (Cadfael, Rebus) based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories. 

In new theatre, Black Bat Productions bring Fear of Roses (4 – 24 Aug) to Roxy Central, a fast-paced, darkly comedic, neo-noir about three women in a nefarious plot straight out of a mid-century pulp novel; Will Close & Joe von Malachowski present Mediocre White Male (4 – 15 Aug), a tragicomedy about being the antihero in your own story; Styx (9 – 15 Aug) brings to light the experience of living with Alzheimer's disease in a theatre-concert that reveals the extraordinary power music has to reignite fading memories; and Boorish Trumpson (24 – 29 Aug) will Make Music Great Again, in an interactive, music and clowning-filled interrogation of power and those who wield it.   

Experimental acrobatic circus company, Barely Methodical Troupe, return to Edinburgh once more with their critically acclaimed Bromance (2 – 29 Aug), a show with relationships at its heart - where handshakes become handstands and backslaps become backflips - a tour-de-force of cutting-edge physical heroics, wittily exploring male companionship and its limits. Fringe favourites Best of Burlesque return with a new all-star extravaganza at the Palais du Variété, (5 – 29 Aug); and Scotland-based Penny Chivas weaves spoken word with movement to take us through Australia's fiery history in her new work, Burnt Out (16 – 22 Aug), an intimately personal account and universal meditation on climate change.  

For comedy lovers, the globally-acclaimed Police Cops return with their latest comedy blockbuster, Badass Be Thy Name (16 – 29 Aug), a gritty kitchen-sink drama turns into a vampire-slaying horror epic. With the equally popular Police Cops (6 – 30 Aug) available online on demand on Assembly Showcatcher. And Jody Kamali and Friends return to Assembly Festival, with a brand-new hour of high-energy, daft, off-piste characters including the former 80s Darts champ Mike Daly, Jeff the Chef, and more.  

Assembly Festival will have its usual choice compilation of stand-up, featuring some of the best names from the comedy circuit. Catch sets from Simon Evans (pictured, Live at the Apollo, Stand Up for the Week, Celebrity Mastermind) (14 – 22 Aug); Joanne McNally (The Late Late Show, Republic of Telly, The Tommy Tiernan Show) (15 – 29 Aug); professional silly man John Luke Roberts: Terrible Wonderful Adaptations (13 Aug); Isabelle Farah (Funny Women Shorts Finalist 2020, Funny Women New Act Semi Finalist 2018) (4 – 14 Aug); and Nina Conti (Live at the Apollo, Russell Howard’s Good News, Sunday Night at the Palladium) with both Nina Conti: In Your Face at the Palais (12 & 13 Aug), and joined by one half of the Pajama Men for Nina Conti & Shenoah Allen: Richard & Greta Live Podcast in Roxy Central (12 & 13 Aug). Plus, even more comedy as part of Best of the Fest in the Palais du Variété every Friday and Saturday night (6 – 28 Aug).

There’s fun for all the family at Assembly Festival in 2021 as Scotland based Nonsense Room Productions present the interactive musical You Choose (3 – 22 Aug), based on the book by Pippa Goodhart and Nick Sharratt. There are more stories in store from Drag Queen Story Hour (4 – 8 Aug) featuring some of the best drag performers in the UK showing the world that it’s no bad thing to be different; Comedy Club 4 Kids (11 – 22 Aug) returns for its sixteenth year in Edinburgh, showcasing the Fringe’s best stand-ups and sketch acts with a different line-up every day; multi-award-winning magician Elliot Bibby reveals the magic an everyday lunchbox can hold in Elliot Bibby: Leftover Lunch (27 – 29 Aug); and Captain Breadbeard (27 – 29 Aug) and his sidekick Davy Scones bring an hour of glutenous fun for all ages with a pun-tastic show that is bready-brilliant 

Oxford’s internationally acclaimed acapella group, Out of the Blue (10 – 29 Aug) return to Assembly Festival, comprising the vocal talents of students from Oxford University and Oxford Brookes University. There will be more music on the Outdoor Stage in Assembly George Square Gardens, with a line-up of fantastic local acts and guest musicians to be announced 

Away from the stage and the spiegeltent, Agent November will host four daily Escape Games from 6 to 29 August. With a maximum of ten participants each game, players can choose between two scenarios: the Museum of Secrets has been robbed in Robyn Yew (Tues, Thurs & Sat), and a deadly E.M.P. device must be defused in Major X. Ploe-Shun (Mon, Wed, Fri & Sun). Crack codes, follow clues, and save the day in these outdoor spy-themed escape games around Princes Street Gardens.  

Assembly George Square Gardens will open on Friday 23 July with the Edinburgh Food Festival, and a live programme of cultural events from Thursday 29 July to Sunday 29 August. Assembly Festival has been awarded £162,962 from the Scottish Government and City of Edinburgh Council to help fund outdoor events and support the safe return of live events at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe.  

For tickets and to keep up to date with the full programme at Assembly Festival this summer, visit 



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