Seeing double: 6 of the best duos at Edinburgh Fringe this year

Twice the fun of a one-man show (that's just good maths), two is the magic number in our round-up of dramatic duos, powerful pairs and comedy couples.
Sh!t Theatre Drink Rum with Expats. Picture: Contributed.Sh!t Theatre Drink Rum with Expats. Picture: Contributed.
Sh!t Theatre Drink Rum with Expats. Picture: Contributed.

Enough, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh * * * *

A powerful and poetic look at female friendship performed by Louise Ludgate as Jane and Amanda Wright as Toni.

"The sense of a civilisation playing out its sudden end-game, at ever-increasing speed is powerfully present in the image of two immaculately-dressed female flight attendants gradually crumbling in a failing world, that lies at the centre of Stef Smith’s terrific and terrifying new stage poem for two actors."

50 words, Paradise in The Vault * * *

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A touching story about a step-father connecting with his autistic child.

"There’s a real core of emotional intelligence at the heart of this two-hander about dealing with grief and the therapeutic powers of The Shipping Forecast. Written and performed by Alex Zawalnyski and Luke Malone it manages to portray autism in an astute and understandable manner."

Arthur * * * *

Possibly the unlikeliest duo on the Festival circuit, Daniel Bye appears alongside his baby son Arthur to present a funny show all about genetics.

"It may be the first Fringe show ever to star a father-and-son double act in which the son was barely conceived at the time of last year’s Festival. When the father in question is Daniel Bye, though, we can be sure that his appearance on the Fringe alongside his baby son Arthur, born in March this year, will amount to far more than a gimmick; and so it proves, in a show that sets out to explore that fast-evolving science of epigenetics, with its growing insight into how much of our identity is shaped by our genes – and into the equally mysterious truth that those same genes often express themselves very differently, under different conditions.

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Not Quite, Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose * * * *

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Two eager young interviewees, Cassie and Georgie, explore the pitfalls of job interviews and getting a foot on the career ladder in this quickfire, satirical comedy.

"With a style perhaps inspired by the classic comedy double acts the 1980s, the two hosts, complete with office-appropriate, colour-block, wide-legged trousers, play interviewers, bosses and themselves to create an impressive number of sketches from the rich subject matter of the working world."

Sh!t Theatre Drink Rum with Expats, Summerhall * * * *

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Set in a recreated Maltese pub, discover Becca and Louise's hilarious yet poignant take on expats, immigration and Brexit.

"The DIY duo’s latest show springs from yet another of their quirky research road trips – this time to Malta at the invitation of a friend who is native to the former British colony – to sample some Mediterranean culture at a time of great volatility in our European relations."

R’n’J: The Untold Story of Shakespeare’s Roz and Jules * * *

Technically an ensemble cast, this a fresh take on a famous duo nonetheless. RnJ sees Romeo swapped out for Rosalind in a modern, feminist reimagining of Romeo and Juliet.

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"This fun and feminist-themed version continues the story through a 21st century sequel, in which ‘Jules’ decides moving on from Romeo is a more proportional reaction to what he’s done than stabbing herself in the heart with a dagger. However, there’s one problem: she’s pregnant and her family isn’t happy. It’s a cool, clever and funny little script by talented young writer Carmina Bernhardt, who also performs in the ensemble cast, in which Roz and Jules go on a Thelma and Louise-style road trip, following the kind of hot-headed altercation that’s more associated with Romeo and the lads."