Students from Queen Margaret University's BA (Hons) Acting for Stage and Screen degree, and other courses, will be taking centre-stage at the world's largest art festival: the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

A number of talented students and graduates from our University are ready to take the arts circuit by storm, with exciting and innovative shows listed in this year's festival programme. Edinburgh Fringe is known to showcase current and upcoming talents in the arts, so to have so many high quality performances from QMU is not just a huge achievement for our University and Students' Union, but for the city as well. 

Below are details of some of the shows coming up over the next few weeks, including information on how to get tickets. If you are a student or graduate of QMU with a show featured in this year's Edinburgh Fringe and you'd like to have your production listed on this page, please get in touch by emailing


A Clockwork Orange

Date: August 19-22 2019
 Greenside Forest Theatre (venue 236)
Cost: £8.50 (full price); £5.50 concession
Twitter: @TinTubTheatre

Synopsis: Tin Tub Theatre presents a female-led abridged adaptation of Anthony Burgess' iconic novel and play, A Clockwork Orange. Starring Eirinn Rollo as Alex, the brainwashed rebel who is longing to find himself. This re-envisioned production is directed by Connor Williams.

QMU connection: This production is performed by members of QMU's Drama Society.


Breakfast Plays

Date: August 13-25 2019
 Traverse Theatre
Cost: £12
Twitter: @traversetheatre

Synopsis: At the heart of the Traverse is a past and present full of daring, forward-facing artists. This year’s Breakfast Plays give a glimpse of the now and new from four of the most exciting rising voices in Scottish theatre.

Mentored by established playwrights Zinnie Harris, Stephen Greenhorn, Linda McLean and Douglas Maxwell, four emergent women writers (Erin McGee, Eve Nicol, Kolbrún Björt Sigfúsdóttir, Diane Stewart) showcase the imminent future of Scottish new writing talent.

Their plays; poetic, punchy, generous and unforgiving will tackle topics exploring where we are and where we might be headed next - politically, socially, culturally.

Kick start your festival day with these world premiere script-in-hand readings, and enjoy a breakfast roll with your ticket.

QMU connection: Writers Diane Stewart and Erin McGee wrote two of the Breakfast Plays, and are graduates from Drama and Performance at QMU in 2014 and 2015 respectively.


Enough by Stef Smith 

Winner: 2019 Scotsman Fringe First award

Date: July 27 - August 25 2019
Various (see website for more details)
Traverse Theatre
Cost: £21 (full price); £15.50 (standard concession); £15 (under 30s & students); £5 (other concession)
Twitter: @stefsmith

Synopsis: When I walk into a room, in my uniform. There is a look that gets thrown my way. When I walk into a room, in my uniform. It’s as if for a second everything stops.

Jane and Toni are immaculate, iconic, accommodating flight attendants. They’re here for your safety, your comfort and your pleasure. Or so you think. But 30,000 feet below them their seemingly perfect lives are rapidly unravelling.

In the sky, over the sea and in cheap hotel rooms around the world, they can feel the ground shake beneath them. Something is rising up, something which cannot be ignored. And it’s calling out for them. If they’re going to survive what’s coming, something needs to change.

Poetic, unpredictable and explosive, Stef Smith’s (Swallow) latest play is a fragmentary and intense journey into female friendship and unearths what happens when you can no longer be the woman people want. Directed by the Royal Exchange’s Associate Artistic Director Bryony Shanahan, this epic elegy to modern women will linger in your thoughts and heart.

QMU connection: Stef Smith is a graduate of QMU.


New Ways with Words

Date: 19 August 2019
Wolfson Lecture Theatre, The Royal Society of Edinburgh, 22-26 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2PQ

Synopsis: Academic and award-winning director Kate Nelson offers new ways of applying analysis and interpretation to dramatic texts to open new perspectives on performance.

QMU connection: Kate is an academic member of staff at QMU


The Brunch Club

Date: August 19, 21-24
Time: 20:15 (1 hour run time)
Location: Pleasance Pop-Up:  Levels Café and Lounge, 9C Holyrood Road, Edinburgh EH8 8FQ (venue 175) 
Cost: £12 (full price); £11 (concession)

Synopsis: Rebel, geek, emo, which were you? Or were you the popular one? Scotland’s brightest new talents, The Network, take on the cliques in a homage to classic coming-of-age movies. Site-specific masters and seven-time Fringe First winners Grid Iron, in co-production with SDTN and Pleasance, transform Levels café bar for a vibrant exploration of the continuing need to label ourselves in uncertain times. With a soundtrack that will take you right back to the tears and triumphs of finding your place in the world. ‘Grid Iron line up unpretentious modern classics one after another' (Stage).

QMU connection: Starring QMU Drama and Performance graduate, Nicole Macari.


Prisoners or Patients

Date: Until 30th August 
Time: 10:00 - 16:30
 National Records of Scotland, East End of Princes Street.  
Cost: Free
Twitter: @NatRecordsScot

Synopsis: Prisoners or Patients provides an insight into historic penal policies and the infancy of psychiatry, revealing the stories of people – occasionally dangerous, often vulnerable but always severely disturbed – who experienced mental health problems and impairments in the most extreme circumstances. 

The exhibition examines how those labelled at the time as criminal lunatics and afflicted by mental health issues were treated and recorded in the Victorian era. As such, it uses the medical and social terminology and references the practices of that time.

QMU connection: Graduating students from the Acting for Stage and Screen programme are bringing the transcripts to life in short audio clips.


Princes Pumpalot: The Ghostly Farting Monk Hunt

Date: August 6 - 9, 11 - 12
Time: 11am (50 minutes run time)
 Le Monde (venue 47)
Twitter: @Ppumpalot

Synopsis: A brand-new show for 2019! Can Princess Pumpalot (The Farting Princess) and her best friend Guffy locate the Ghostly Farting Monk and save the Kingdom of Wiffyville from Prince Nastavia and the Low-Flying Gnomes? With the help from Rat-A-Tat (a giant rat) and from regulars Steve the Werewolf, FAQ and The Bearded Witch, Princess Pumpalot and Guffy embark on another absurd adventure. Based on characters from the top-selling children's books by Robin Mitchell, this fast-paced, fun-packed show is for all the family. Warning: The Toilet of Truth returns!

QM connection – Arron Usher (Guffy) is a graduate of QMU's Acting for Stage and Screen degree.


The 27 Club

Date: August 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23
Time: 13:50 (1 hr 10 minutes run time)
Location: theSpace on the Mile (venue 39)
Cost: £9.50 (full price), £6.50 (concession); £7.50 (family ticket)
Twitter: @PigeonRebel 

Synopsis: It is the evening of a new art gallery exhibition where Nick finds himself surrounded by the chaotic memories that brought him there: a host of fellow artists, jilted lovers and everything in between. The gallery is thrown into disarray as the evening grows darker. With pressure building, Nick’s world begins to crumble as his past comes back to haunt him, forcing the artist to come to terms with himself and his work. A dark comedy about love, loss and what it means to be an artist in the 21st century.

QMU connection: Students from QMU's BA (Hons) Acting for Stage and Screen course.

Level Up

Date: August 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24
Time: 14:05 (1hr 10 minutes run time)
Location: theSpace on the Mile (venue 39)
Cost: £9.50 (full price), £6.50 (concession); £7.50 (family ticket)
Twitter: @BreakfastFull

Synopsis: Newly engaged Jimmy and Natasha feel they’re the perfect match. However, the state-controlled social credit system thinks otherwise. Jimmy has two weeks to improve his score or the couple face eviction. Is it possible to be both model citizen and model partner? And how far is Jimmy willing to go to become the person the state wants? Inspired by China’s social credit system, Level Up explores a near-future utopia where real love is impossible to measure, doing good becomes an obsession and not everyone plays by the rules.

QMU connection: Students from QMU's BA (Hons) Acting for Stage and Screen course.

In Her Corner

: August 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23
Time: 15:20 (1 hour 10 minutes run time)
Location: theSpace on the Mile (venue 39)
Cost: £9.50 (full price), £6.50 (concession); £7.50 (family ticket)
Twitter: @TearintheTarta1 

Synopsis: World premiere. A visceral and exciting new Scottish play about a young woman trapped between family loyalty and the need to escape a cycle of crime and violence through boxing: the lengths she has to go to, the devastating consequences of her decisions and the ongoing class struggle in Scotland’s capital. A richly imagined piece by Mikey Burnett. What would you do if you were in her corner?

QMU connection: Students from QMU's BA (Hons) Acting for Stage and Screen course.


Date: August 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24
Time: 12:25 (1hr 10 minutes run time)
Location: theSpace on the Mile (venue 39)
Cost: £9.50 (full price), £6.50 (concession)
Twitter: @ColdPizzaPR

Synopsis: This dark comedy by Mike Bartlett shows the cruelty of human nature through bizarre power play, manipulation and vindictive honesty. Three colleagues fight for their lives in this savage battle of wit. The odds are stacked against underdog Thomas from the get-go, while Tony and Isobel use every dirty trick in the book, even going as far as targeting Thomas’s son. They’ll do anything to ensure their own survival. Only two can return…

QMU connection: Students from QMU's BA (Hons) Acting for Stage and Screen course.


Date: August 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23
Time: 12:25 (1 hour 5 minutes run time)
Location: theSpace on the Mile (venue 39)
Cost: £9.50 (full price), £6.50 (concession); £7.50 (family ticket)
Twitter: @SeesomeT  

Synopsis: Expelled from school aged 15, Alicia battles for her right to exist. Charities and the welfare state view her as the one thing everybody hates: a parasite. But who are the real bloodsuckers? A provocative coming-of-age dramedy from award-winning playwright James Harker (***** (Skinny), for Gary: a Love Story) and award-winning director James Beagon (****½ (Manchester Theatre Awards), for Antigone na h’Éireann). Parasites explores the complicated relationship between the state and the individual in today’s society. What is the price of dignity? How do systems define us? And can Alicia ever truly take control of her own life?

QMU connection: Students from QMU's BA (Hons) Acting for Stage and Screen course.


Date: July 31 - August 25
Time: 22:35 (1 hour run time)
Location: Assembly George Square Studios
Cost: £12 (full price), £11 (concession)

Synopsis: The world needs a new kind of warrior - a woman, a Russian, a wee Glesca hairy... Cold as ice, deadly as a cobra, common as muck! Storytelling and stand-up with a little light killing on the side... Our Glaswegian heroine shares a typical day as a deep-cover operative. Starring Nicola Jo Cully, Svetlana is a welcome tonic in troubled times. Written by Paul Matthews and directed by award-winner Laila Noble. Produced by Ed Littlewood Productions. On ELP: **** (Stage.) ****

QMU connection: Laila Noble (director), Nicola Jo Cully (actor), Pinescope Productions (teaser).


Date: August 12-17
Time: 13:45 (1 hour run time)
Location: Greenside @ Infirmary Street - Mint Studio (venue 236)
Cost: £8 (full price), £6 (concession)
Twitter: @broadswordstage

Synopsis: 'Together we can build our fortresses and break their foundations. Together, we can be invincible.' The enigmatic cult of Atlantis has been gradually gathering followers. Now, two new initiates have joined their island community: a young couple who have abandoned civilisation to pursue the attractive new lifestyle offered by the group's charismatic leader, Matthew. As they adjust to the Atlantis lifestyle, cracks begin to reveal themselves in both their relationship and the integrity of the cult itself. Atlantis is a dark new drama from Broadsword Theatre exploring trust, betrayal and the power of persuasion.

QMU connection: Alexander Cook (director).

La Sonnambula

Date: August 22-25
Time: 19:00 (2 hours 30 mins)
Location: Stockbridge Church (venue 317)
Cost: £12 (full price)

Synopsis: 1955 has been slow at sleepy Dunroamin Hotel. The wedding of the owner’s daughter is nigh. She has stolen her fiancé from the minister's daughter who has taken to drink. In turn, she schemes to sully the bride-to-be’s reputation by enlisting the returning laird as her secret weapon. Not to mention the ghost! Will the wedding be derailed? Will the ghost be exorcised by Angus the ghillie? For the eighth year running, Aria Alba-Opera for All bring their operatic re-imagining to the Fringe in the form of Bellini’s La Sonnambula! Your invitation to the ceilidh awaits...

QMU connection: QMU Drama and Performance graduate Rosie Simpson is performing on Saturday, 24 August's show. 

What does Homelessness mean?

Val McDermid with Danny Dorling, Geetha Marcus & Joelle Taylor - at Edinburgh International Book Festival 2019

Date: Thursday 15 August 2019
Time: 11:45 to 12:45 ( 1 hour)
Location: The New York Times Main Theatre
Cost: £12 (full price), £10 (concession)

Synopsis: This discussion led by guest selector Val McDermid explores the many forms of homelessness: sleeping rough, sofa surfing, living in cars and temporary accommodation. Geographer Danny Dorling presents evidence about homelessness in British cities, while award-winning poet and playwright Joelle Taylor performs verse responding to her experiences. Glasgow-based sociologist Geetha Marcus discusses the lives of young women in Scotland’s traveller community.

QMU connection: Dr Geetha Marcus is Senior Lecturer, Psychology, Sociology and Education at QMU