Fringe showcase on the horizon

Wild, irreverent and hilariously absurd”, is how one performance included in the Horizon Showcase, which is coming to Edinburgh as part the Festival Fringe this August, has been described.

Little Wimmin is UK-based Figs in Wigs’ adaption of Louisa May Alcott’s novel Little Women and will combine art, theatre, music and comedy through a gender-defying performance from 21 to 27 August.

The female-led show, which covers the themes of climate change, feminism and gender satire, begins as a retelling of the classic story before descending into visual chaos, leaving its audience roaring with laughter and filled with adrenaline.

The stand-out production is one of nine in the curated showcase by Horizon – Performance Created in England, which is set to feature at the festival this summer when it brings some of England’s most creative and diverse performers to Edinburgh for a second in-person showcase.

It was commissioned by Arts Council England and delivered by a consortium of Battersea Arts Centre, FABRIC, Fierce, GIFT, MAYK and Transform.

Its aim is to catalyse opportunities for artists towards international touring and commissioning, in an environment where artists and presenters engage equally and equitably.

Another highly-anticipated spectacle in the programme is Brook Tate’s Birthmarked at the Assembly Ballroom between 3 and 27 August.

The musical theatre piece tells Tate’s personal story of growing up as a gay Jehovah’s Witness and it promises to be brimming with colour and overflowing with emotion.

Moving away from traditional theatre, the eclectic series features an array of immersive experiences, including BODIES by Ray Young, which takes place in a swimming pool. The audience will be invited to don their swimwear and take part in an active sensory experience of water, discovery, and rest.

The work will incorporate live art, light, text, movement and neurodiversity in a reflective experience at Deans Community High School, Livingston, on 20 and 26 August.

For three days from 23 August, festival goers can also join artist Rachel Mars in welding gear in the Lyceum’s workshop at Roseburn, where she explores politics and history while creating her own replica of the iron entrance gate stolen from the former concentration camp in Dachau.

FORGE will generate public discussion about what memorials are for during a cathartic experience featuring a soundtrack of recorded audio, silences, and a live bagpiper.

“From stand-out celebratory shows to an intimate experience in a swimming pool and an epic encounter in a warehouse, Horizon will shake the Edinburgh festivals with some of England’s most extraordinary artists,” says Amy Letman, creative director of Transform on behalf of Horizon.

“In challenging and complex times, the Horizon showcase assembles artists who offer a distinctive and uncompromising take on the world today. Audiences can experience stand-out productions while international partners will be invited to engage in deep reciprocity and exchange.

She adds: “We are excited to work with these international partners to plan a future life for these works, ensuring they are unleashed to the world post-Fringe.

“Join us at the start of the journey in Edinburgh this August.”

Tarek Iskander, artistic director of Battersea Arts Centre, is just as enthusiastic: “We are delighted to be returning to the Edinburgh festivals, building on our successes and learnings from last year.

“The consortium and our associate partners have selected nine brilliant companies from an open-call process, looking for the work we believed would appeal most strongly to our international presenting partners.

“The resulting programme is a thrilling, dynamic and diverse mix of theatre, dance, installation and durational work. We are looking forward to sharing these exceptional performances with audiences in Edinburgh and with colleagues nationally and internationally.”

Other shows from the collective to look out for this August are Things Hidden Since The Foundation of the World by The Javaad Alipoor Company; Always Already by Haranczak/Navarre Performance Projects; A Crash Course in Cloudspotting by Unchartered Collective and Raquel Meseguer Zafe;TOM by Bullyache, and The Talent by Action Hero and Deborah Pearson.

Horizon Showcase is at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from Sunday, 20 to Sunday, 27 August.

To find out more about Horizon – Performance Created in England, go online and visit

Related topics: