First Published: August 2010
       This is an OutUK Archive Item and so some of the links and information may be out of date.
Throughout August, Edinburgh is host to over 2,400 different shows which make up the world's largest arts festival - the Edinburgh Fringe. OutUK's Mike Gray has chosen an OutUK Special Selection of shows that you don't want to miss amongst all the big-name comedy, theatre and music this year.


Sexy, funny and dangerous, Soap features eight acrobats performing in, on, and around bathtubs in a show that leaves the audience breathless in admiration.
First seen earlier this year at London's Riverside Studios it's created by Berlin company Circle of Eleven with awe-inspiring acts that are a never-forgotten experience. As you'd imagine the cast includes some stunningly fit guys in wet speedos - see the picture of Soap star Fernando right - and displays a tremendous gay sensibility without losing a real universal appeal. But simply the show is great fun and is a definite must-see.

Assembly Hall until August 30th
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Soap - The Show


In a magical tour de force, Simon Callow, one of Britain's greatest actors, tracks down the real man behind William Shakespeare, the world's greatest writer, bringing to life both the man and the unforgettable characters - lovers, kings, soldiers and clowns - who have since conquered the world's stages.
Like all the best actors, Simon possesses the rare gift of almost being able to change his physical appearance while on stage, and he uses this gift to mix vivid biographical and social detail, with beautifully performed extracts from Shakespeare's plays and poetry. Whilst not a gay show as such, it's a theatrical tour-de-force which is a rare treat.

Assembly Hall until August 30th
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Simon Callow as Shakespeare


After Gregg Araki's profoundly affecting film adaptation of Scott Heim's novel, it is an incredible challenge to put this moving story of two young American guys who live parallel but dsyfunctional lives on stage. Mysterious Skin charts their journey to find the reason for their problems with sexuality and relationships, and whilst the film had some profoundly shocking images, this theatrical adaptation is altogether more subtle.
In this lunchtime production at the Gilded Balloon a young cast directed by Peter Darney are profoundly affecting. The performances are excellent though a cramped stage makes it difficult to communicate the wide open spaces of rural Kansas where much of the story is set. What the production lacks in edge and raw dangerous sexuality, is made up by a cast who relish the material and the challenges it offers.

Gilded Balloon until August 30th
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Mysterious Skin


The hardest man on the estate has just come out and has decided to go straight. Armed with only his guitar and ghetto blaster, he rewrites gay history and assassinates celebrity bad boys, bigots and men who wax.

Richard Fry is a captivating performer and his previous one-person show Bully attracted rave reviews around the world.

Gilded Balloon until August 30th
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Homo Asbo
You can check out all the details of every Edinburgh Fringe show at