What The Dickins: A Tale Of Edinburgh City

Pleasance Highlights for Fringe 2016

Another one of the big players of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Pleasance, started out in 1985 with only two theatres facing onto a deserted courtyard-come-car-park in the eastern part of the Old Town. Since then the Pleasance has become one of the biggest and most respected Fringe venues, with over 240 shows to choose from in 2016! Here are a few recommendations from the lovely folk at the Pleasance: 

1. What shows at the Pleasance are you particularly excited about this year?

With over 240 shows across the programme, it’s almost impossible to choose! There’s such a vast array of fun to be had – from the sequin-soaked fun of Eurobeat, to our first ever live-streamed show Live at the Pleasance and a death defying (we hope) turn by Fringe favourite Mr Swallow in Houdini. Come by the box office and take a chance – whatever you see, you won’t be disappointed!

2. What shows do you recommend for parents with young children?

We’ve got some brilliant shows for kids, including an adaptation of Julia Donaldson’s The Snail & The Whale by Tall Stories, fast paced improvised song and dance from the Olivier Award winners Showstoppers and Plasti-Scene mayhem from Wallace & Gromit creators Aardman with the Amazing Scene Machine. And if you just can’t make up your mind, come join us for free arts and crafts sessions at the Courtyard’s Kidzone and see where the day takes you.

Front of House - Credit Jassy Earl for Pleasance Edinburgh Picture Show

3. What shows do you recommend for the older generation?

For those rising a little earlier than the 5am Fringe-going crowd, the Bite-Size Breakfast Show returns with a brand new selection of mini-plays, complimented with a free breakfast. As part of the company’s 10th anniversary, they’re also presenting a lunchtime show, Best Bites, with their favourite plays from the past decade of performances. There’s the original grumpy old man Arthur Smith with his show Mindlessness – A Beginners Guide, Flanders & Swann and not to forget Just A Minute’s Nicholas Parsons, who brings his Happy Hour back for a triumphant 16th year! But why stop there, join the 5am crowd and show the young-uns what for!

4. Are there any late night laughs we shouldn’t miss out on?

From big-name acts you’ll know to debut performances from comedians you’ll know soon, there are hundreds of hilarious comedy shows on every night. Why not check out Best of HUB – a showcase of the best acts on the scene, all for a mere £5! Or there’s the Pleasance’s own Comedy Reserve; where this year’s 4 hand-picked acts will be following in the footsteps of reserve alumni Jack Whitehall, Holly Walsh and Joe Lycett (to name but a few!). The best thing to do: come to the Box Office and take a chance on something – you won’t be disappointed!

Totem Pole - Credit Jassy Earl for Pleasance Edinburgh Picture Show

5. What show should we see if we want to be amazed?

Alongside Mr Swallow’s Houdini, this year’s programme has more magic than you can shake a rabbit at! The brilliant Neil Henry and Ben Hanlin will blow you away, but if you want to be left speechless the Naked Magicians may well do just that.

6. Last but not least; what makes the Pleasance special?

A day in the Pleasance is like a day all over the Fringe – with something for everyone at every hour of the day… only without all the hills!

Make sure you also check out the Fringe highlights for the Gilded Balloon, the Assembly and the Underbelly!


  • Grahame Higginson

    August 14, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    Pleasance venues concentrate so heavily on comedy shows (most of which deserve to be avoided) that it is easy to miss the small number of excellent theatre pieces which are to be found there, including “Erik Satie’s Faction”, “En Folkefiende”, “Hamlet in Bed”, “Krapp 39”, and “All Quiet on the Western Front”.


    • Dickins

      August 15, 2016 at 10:02 am

      It is a shame that many small theatre pieces (and other small performances) don’t get attention they deserve – so thanks for sharing your tips!

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