12 shows not to miss in Edinburgh this festival

It’s August – which means Edinburgh buzzing with thousands of shows and performers. Scottish Refugee Council staff have put their heads together to select a top twelve of great shows to see for people who are interested in themes of migration and refuge.

So, without further ado, here is our top 12 list of unmissable shows to jot down in your diaries. 

1-    Adam

Based on his own life story and performed by Adam Kashmiry himself, Adam is the remarkable story of a young trans man and his journey from Egypt to Scotland. It charts Adam's fight across borders and genders to find a place to call home.  







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2-    Borders

This play from two-time Fringe First-winner Henry Naylor tells the story of an ageing fishing boat sinking fast in rough seas, under the weight of refugees. As it dips lower in the water, one young Syrian is panicking. She can't swim. And she's six months pregnant.







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3-    Border Tales

If your thing is dance and physical theatre, Protein presents a thought-provoking yet poignant commentary on multicultural Britain through dance, live music and dialogue compiled from the performers’ personal experiences. Border Tales looks at post-Brexit Britain seen through the eyes of an international cast and gazes satirically on stereotypical thinking about migrant outsiders and bigoted homelanders.


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4-    Dear Home Office 2: Still Pending

A new play created with and performed by 10 refugee young men: Kareem's settled in London when his brother arrives from Afghanistan. Elgi turns 18 and dreams of uni, only to be thwarted by his unresolved asylum claim. Stardom beckons for Filmon who is courted by TV producers – but is his face "refugee" enough?







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5-    Escape 2 

Nominated for Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award this award-winning professional aerial dance theatre group from London explores the plight of refugees and invites the audience to accompany them on a challenging journey in search of refuge.







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6-    Hopeless 

Watch as Leyla Josephine tries to find hope in the utterly hopeless, from Glasgow to refugee camps in Greece. Leyla Josephine is the former UK Spoken Word Slam Champion. She has been featured on Huffington Post, Upworthy, The Guardian Witness, BBC 6 Music Festival, The Prague Fringe and The BBC Social. Join her for her first ever Edinburgh Fringe show Hopeless.







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7-    Labels 

This critically acclaimed true story of migration, family and prejudice returns to Edinburgh. Navigating a childhood in 90s England, the rise of the far right and a global refugee crisis, Labels is an honest, human story from multicultural Britain. Expect paper planes, racist romances and lots of sticky labels!

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8-    Requiem for Aleppo

Requiem for Aleppo comes to Edinburgh for a very special gala performance in aid of Syria Relief. This collaboration provides a unique expression of life in Aleppo. The real testimonies of former residents are powerfully brought to the stage through David Cazalet’s ‘big evocative score’ (The Times) and choreographer Jason Mabana’s a 'crack team of international dancers' (The Stage), including BBC Dancer of the Year Jacob O'Donnell.

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9-    The Sky Is Safe 

They meet on an Istanbul street: she a Syrian refugee, he a privileged westerner. What follows is an intimate yet epic story of identity and power, choice and its absence, a story of beauty, brutality and love. Writer and performer Matthew Zajac and director Ben Harrison, creators of the multi award-winning The Tailor of Inverness, combine with composer Pippa Murphy, video artist Tim Reid and Syrian designer and artist Nihad Al Turk

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10-  Taha

Based on the life story and poetry of the celebrated Palestinian poet, Taha powerfully communicates the sorrow, humour, resilience and tender humanity of this extraordinary man and artist. Writer and performer Amer Hlehel brings to life Taha’s poetry which tells of the experience of Palestinian refugees; his story parallels the story of a million and a half Palestinians who remained in their homeland after 1948.

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11-  Jason and the Argonauts (for children) 

Trapped in a refugee camp outside the city of Iolcus, Jason assembles a crew of misfits and outcasts to battle his way across the seas in search of the Golden Fleece of Phrixus; his passport into his homeland. This modern interpretation of the classic Greek myth is a collaborative piece of storytelling from Take Thou That. With themes of social injustice, the refugee crisis and identity, the piece speaks to adults and children alike.

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12-  A Strange New Space (for children) 

Amira is obsessed with space and dreams of becoming an astronaut. One night, the bangs, whooshes and fizzes of her imagination explode out of her dreams, becoming a deafening reality. Amira has to pack her bag for the intergalactic trip that she’s been waiting for… A Strange New Space is an imaginary voyage into space, paralleled with Amira’s real-life journey as a refugee. A new non-verbal, physical show for the whole family using puppetry and original music.

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A Strange New Space



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