Will you see the players well bestowed?

This August, Team Yorick went on an adventure. Over the course of an action-packed 12 hours, we journeyed to Scotland’s capital city, and fully immersed ourselves in the annual celebration of culture and creativity in Scotland – the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. It’s an extraordinary event that showcases a variety of talent, and gives a platform to unique and passionate voices, so it was the perfect place for our team to come together. 

August is Festival month in Edinburgh, as it hosts not only the Fringe, but also the International Festival, Book Festival, Art Festival and the Royal Military Tattoo. Events are absolutely everywhere. From hotels and university buildings, to bars and basements – even shipping containers and gardens – anywhere and everywhere becomes a performance space. We’ve even heard tell of people being chivvied out of public toilets, after being told that there was a show about to start in there. Thankfully, none of the performances Yorick attended were located in such esteemed venues, and instead, we were able to enjoy our shows without any unnecessary toilet humour. 

When it comes to the Fringe, we learned the hard way that it’s best to leave yourself far more travel time than you think you’ll need. Our trains were delayed by nearly an hour, making us late to our very first show! Thanks, Storm Betty…


33 to 04

The first show we went to see was the student production of 33 to 04. The premise – a doctor and his elderly patient trapped together in a broken lift and forced to confront their inner demons – intrigued us. In a sweaty, frantic rush straight from Waverley Station, we snuck into the darkened room, trying desperately not to interrupt the actors in the tiny make-shift theatre. 

 Just as we were getting to grips with the plot and catching up on what we’d missed, a young, pale, and rather ill looking girl meandered onto the stage. Our team collectively gasped, thinking that she was an audience member, especially since the actors thoroughly ignored her. However, as it transpired, she was a part of the play, and the memory of a ghost. 

Photo Credit: Edinburgh Fringe website

Generally speaking, the story was otherwise easy to follow, and the dynamic between the lead actors (Alban Nolan and Emilie Jardine) was both emotionally engaging and humorous. Part of the routine, which had both actors shouting ‘Death! Death! Death!’ only to be interrupted by a concerned technician over the intercom, had the excellent timing of a Fawlty Towers skit. 

It’s no small feat for a student production to come to the Fringe, and though there was definitely room for improvement, the cast and crew did a great job at keeping us entertained for an hour.

I’ve Got Some Things to Get Off My Chest

Our second show of the day was Eve & Sea Productions’ I’ve Got Some Things to Get Off My Chest – an engaging, outraging and relatable social commentary performed by Eva Lily, detailing her experience of trying to get a breast reduction through the NHS. 

Photo Credit: Edinburgh Fringe website

The comedic anecdotes, intermingled with stark statistics made for a very entertaining hour. Though at times it was hard to hear given the dire circumstances within the NHS, it was reassuring and actually rather comforting: through retelling her own experience, Eva Lily created a sense of community and shared strength through collective struggle. 

At the close of the show, Eva stated that she’d planned for two endings: one, if she finally received the medical treatment that she so desperately needed, and the second, – as we saw – if she did not. We look forward to returning to Eva’s work in the future in the hopes that the ending will have changed. 

A Trans Man Walks into a Gay Bar (reading at Lighthouse Books)

“Are you just browsing or are you here for the event?”

The moment Team Yorick stepped through the door, this was the question that was put to us by the shop assistant in Lighthouse Books. We had only meant to kill time for an hour, perusing the shelves of one of Edinburgh’s independent bookshops, but anything goes in the Fringe, and before we even knew what it was, we had accepted the invitation to the event. Led back through the bookshop, out onto the street, and through a secret door, we followed the assistant out into an enclosed garden where an arrangement of chairs were set up for an interview, and a small audience was waiting. 

We had unexpectedly discovered another festival! The Book Fringe – a free, inclusive, month-long series of events hosting author readings and interviews across Edinburgh’s network of independent book shops.

Photo Credit: MJ Burns

Author and trans activist, Harry Nicholas, read from his new book A Trans Man Walks Into a Gay Bar. It is an autobiographical account of his experience as a gay trans man and the struggles he faced in finding acceptance within the gay community. The reading sparked great conversation between the interviewer and Nicholas about his  life, his transition and activism, and experience in writing the book.

Regrettably, we had to leave halfway through the event as we had to get to our next show. Such is life in the Fringe! Though we did make sure to return later to purchase our own copies of the book.

Let the Bodies Pile

The main reason Team Yorick went to see Henry Naylor’s latest play, Let the Bodies Pile, was because of the lead actor, Emily Carding. Our Chamberlain Critic, Cat,  had seen them perform many times before at the Fringe, including in a one-person performance of Richard III. Cat was eager to introduce Carding’s work to the rest of the team, and we weren’t disappointed.

Let the Bodies Pile connected two seemingly unrelated tragedies decades apart – the murders committed by Harold Shipman in the 1980s, and the 2020 Covid deaths in UK care homes thanks to the Conservative government’s negligence. While there were some outrageous moments, (sexual fantasies about Matt Hancock, anyone?) overall, the play conveyed a powerful message about collective social apathy and the disregard and intentional harm towards the elderly when they are deemed a burden by the people who are supposed to care for them.  

Photo Credit: Edinburgh Fringe website

The play was performed by just two people – Emily Carding, and the playwright, Henry Naylor. While Naylor played one consistent character – a man who lived through both timelines – Carding played every other role in the show, including Harold Shipman himself. Their performance was electrifying – they switched between roles and reacted to absent characters  near-effortlessly. 

We will definitely be back to see more of Carding in future Fringe festivals. 


With just a few hours until our trains left for home, Team Yorick sat together in a park, eating dinner al fresco in the fading sunshine. Each play we saw gave us plenty to think about. So as we ate our takeaway curries from the Mosque Kitchen (would thoroughly recommend btw), we had lots to discuss, reflect on, and share. Though the high energy and mad rush of the Fringe left us all thoroughly exhausted, it was a brilliant day out. We can’t wait to return next year. 

Photo Credit: Ellis Jamieson