At the febrile height of the Indyref campaign in August of 2014, the Edinburgh Fringe became a hotbed of political debate, humour, and even controversy.
There were all manner of political shows, comics of all hues squeezed in a mention or endorsement, and the No campaign even claimed that the traditional mass throng on a festival day on the Royal Mile was in fact a crowd turning out to see Jim Murphy.
But Scotland’s premier Arts event has always had a political tinge, and with Brexit, a minority Government, and even another potential referendum all dominating the political landscape, this year will prove no exception.
There seems to be less obvious independence themed material at this year’s Fringe and International Festival, but that doesn’t mean it will go unmarked, even as Nicola Sturgeon’s tears up her previous timetable for a second vote.
We look at just some of the shows that will feature the issue prominently.
Fred MacAulay: IndyFred2
Criminally underused on the ever expanding comedy panel show circuit, Fred MacAulay remains one of Scotland’s most popular comedians.
Having honed his presenting skills on his much-loved radio show MacAulay and Co, the Perth native has returned to his first love.
Based in Glasgow, the stand-up will make the journey every day to the capital to deliver his hour-long show that will focus on part on the continued fallout from the independence referendum and the possibility of another vote.
Approaching his 30th anniversary of performing at the fringe, MacAulay’s show is billed as “Part political, part topical, always, always funny.”
At the Stand Comedy Club, August 2, 4-13, 15-17, 20-27. Ages 16 and over.
In Conversation with David Hayman
Salt n Sauce Promotions In Conversation With... series runs throughout the festival and features a number of prominent figures from across the UK.
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell and Judy Murray are among those set to feature, nut the contribution of the legendary Scottish actor is most likely to touch on the independence question.
The Glasgow director and actor was a prominent backer of the Yes campaign in 2014, and has been an outspoken Independence supporter for over 20 years.
He’ll talk through his life, work, and the big political question of his lifetime in what is certain to be an engaging show.
At the New Town Theatre, August 20, one night only.
Ayesha Hazarika: State of the Nation
The former Labour adviser, who quite literally wrote the book on poor election campaigning with her Tales from the Pink Bus, has since won plaudits as a comedian.
Glasgow-born Scotsman columnist Hazarika will take her successful State of the Nation show to the fringe.
While the show’s politics will be more national, with a focus on Brexit and the flailing leadership is of Theresa May, independence is sure to feature.
Hazarika is not shy about discussing the constitutional future of her homeland, even once calling Nicola Sturgeon “The Beyonce of politics – obsessed with her independence.”
She talked about another referendum on a pre-election BBC ‘blind date’ with SNP MP Tommy Sheppard, and described their chat on independence a ‘cul-de-sac’.
At the Gilded Balloon, August 14-17, 18-20.