For the first time since 2019, a full scale Edinburgh Festival Fringe returned, with over 3000 productions across hundreds of venues, audiences flocked to the 75th Fringe. Our team of reviewers have come together to compile Theatre Weekly’s Best of the Fest 2022; the performers and productions who made our Fringe unforgettable.
From individual performances to our best show of the Fringe, Theatre Weekly’s Best of the Fest 2022 represents the very best of this year’s Fringe.
Theatre Weekly’s Best of the Fest 2022
Best Solo Performance – Jack Stokes in Jesus, Jane, Mother & Me at Pleasance Dome
Jesus, Jane, Mother & Me delivers so much in its seventy minute running time, that you’re left feeling somewhat exhausted by the experience, but at the same time exhilarated for having witnessed an incredible actor performing a superb play.
Best Circus/Physical Theatre – The Black Blues Brothers at Assembly Rooms
The Black Blues Brothers is a thrilling experience, that brings its audience deep into the fold. People will come for the stunts, but will leave with an appreciation for the talented and enigmatic performers. One thing was clear, the audience couldn’t get enough, and most definitely didn’t want it to finish.
Best Song of the Fringe – “Adèle’s Story” from Fascinating Aida at Assembly George Square
The lyrics of the show are gold, and the ingenious rhymes are guaranteed to catch any audience off-guard. The performance is inclusive in the sense that nothing is sacred, and the relatable content is both remorselessly flagrant and surprisingly activist.
Best Ensemble Performance – Henry Madd and Marco Titus in The Land of Lost Content at Pleasance Courtyard
The Land of Lost Content is a poignant story of a childhood that has been heavily influenced by what is often perceived as the perfect idyll of home. Lyrical and captivating storytelling combined with passionate performances from Madd and Titus make this an exhilarating watch.
Best Comedy – Police Cops The Musical at Assembly Studios
It’s so slickly delivered, you might miss just how much the cast are putting in to make this one of the funniest shows at the Fringe.
Best Play – Wreckage at Summerhall
This visceral new play is theatre at it’s finest, and Tom Ratcliffe’s searing script will leave you with a new sense of appreciation for life. Wreckage is one of those must-see performances of the Fringe that audiences will be talking about for years to come.
Best Musical – Kathy and Stella Solve a Murder at Summerhall
This is a musical that is as funny as it is uplifting, and like shows from the same producers before it, could, and should, have a future life. But until then, Kathy and Stella Solve a Murder! is the must-see musical of this Edinburgh Fringe.
Best Cabaret – How to Live a Jellicle Life…
In this solo show, Linus Karp attempts to educate the audience on how they can be as jellicle as the jellicle cats, aided by a PowerPoint presentation that unashamedly makes liberal use of the Comic Sans font, Linus talks us through the main protagonists of the movie
Best Event Theatre – Hamlet at Ashton Hall
This Hamlet‘s unrivalled excellence will secure its place in history as one of the finest re-tellings of the Bard’s work, and those of us lucky enough to see it will never forget the profound impact it had on its audience.
Best Improv – Mates The Improvised 90’s Sitcom at theSpace @Surgeon’s Hall
What is clever about MATES is that the suggestions are worked into the typical beats of a 90s sitcom. There are the familiar stories about nightmare dates, stressful jobs, strange New York denizens, but cleverly incorporating the suggestions to give the stories the bizarre twist you only get in improv shows.
Best Family Show – Hotel Paradiso at Underbelly’s Circus Hub
As spectacular circus skills meet slapstick comedy and clowning, this show is impressive, charming and fun in equal measures. Hotel Paradiso is an hour of light-hearted fun and colour that’s sure to be entertaining for all ages.
Best Writing – Ruckus at Summerhall
Fincken’s writing and performance discusses coercive control in relationships with a refreshing candour and empathy that has not been seen in many pieces of theatre before.
Best Immersive Theatre – Tiger Lady at Pleasance Courtyard
The story flowed with the help of its inventively used set, designed by Tina Bicât. The lighting designed by David Hockham and the sound designed by Greg Hall worked with the performers to deliver an immersive and fluid experience.
Best Fringe Debut – Voloz Collective for The Man Who Thought He Knew Too Much at Pleasance Dome
What’s wonderful about this company is that the four members not only perform the show, they have also written, produced and directed it. This hard working company are at Edinburgh Fringe for the first time and they have smashed it, The Man Who Thought He Knew Too Much is a delight from start to finish.
Best Show of The Fringe – Colossal at Underbelly Cowgate
Colossal is a veritable smorgasbord of theatrical stylings; spoken word, comedy, music, storytelling, all pressed into this perfect nucleus of theatrical brilliance. It’s not easy to describe just what a feast this production is.