Death returns to the Fringe

Death on the fringe

A host of events curated by a charity will look at death, dying and bereavement

22nd July 2019 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

A series of events which examine death and the emotions associated with it are taking place in Edinburgh this summer.

Death on the Fringe, the charity-run initiative to get the world’s largest arts festival talking about the one thing that faces us all, returns to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for its sixth year.

The mini-festival draws together shows and lectures within the Fringe that deal with the big issues of death, dying and bereavement. It is curated by Good Life Good Death Good Grief, an alliance of organisations and individuals working to make Scotland more open and supportive around death.

“There’s no shortage of issues being talked about at the Fringe,” said Robert Peacock, director of Death on the Fringe. “But death is one we all have to experience.

“We wanted to present people with thought-provoking, moving or sometimes even amusing ways to look at the topic. Our hope is that people will engage and maybe start a conversation with friends and family about their own feelings, fears and plans for the end of life. It’s not a pleasant thing to discuss but it’s easier to face if you’ve taken some time out to think about it.”

The Death on the Fringe programme offers a range of perspectives on the subject – some heartbreaking, some comical, some profound, some perverse. This year’s programme includes ex-River City star Gary Lamont’s show Fancy A Stiff One? (Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre, 31 Jul – 25 Aug (not 12) at 8.45pm) in which he talks about his new sideline as a funeral celebrant, and acclaimed duo Ridiculusmus whose Die! Die! Die! Old People Die! (Summerhall, 13 – 25 Aug (not 19) at 5.40pm) is a farce about ageing, dying and grieving.

The programme also includes three public lectures run in partnership with Just Festival at St. John’s Church on Princes St. They start on 5 August with acclaimed author, Dr Kathryn Mannix, who will be looking at how deaths on screen influence our own thoughts on mortality. On 12 August, mortuary technician Barbara Peters will explain what happens in a forensic post mortem. Finally, on 19 August, psychologist Dr Elaine Kasket will introduce some of the learnings from her book All the Ghosts in the Machine: Illusions of Immortality in the Digital Age. All talks start at 4pm.

In total, the programme features over 40 events, with more still to come. The full programme can be found on the festival's website. 

Death on the Fringe takes place across Edinburgh from 31 July – 26 August 2018. For more information, contact Robert Peacock on [email protected] or 0131 272 2735.