The charity run initiative aims to get people thinking about death in both serious and light hearted ways
Discussions around death are set to be examined at this year’s Edinburgh Festival.
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 fifth 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.
Death on the Fringe presents audiences with different ways to engage with the topic and aims to break down the fear and discomfort people have when confronted with it. It’s naturally a difficult and unpleasant subject to think about, but sharing experiences, feelings and ideas through performance is one way to make space for contemplation and to create a more supportive and understanding environment for dealing with 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 can all relate to.”
“The arts have never shied away from confronting the big themes; in fact, some might suggest all art is a response to mortality in some way. So, in these times when modern life and modern medicine has distanced us from traditional wisdom and community support around death, we think the arts is one way to reconnect us and help us understand what it means to be mortal.”
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 shows include Fringe legend Pip Utton’s latest solo piece, And Before I Forget I Love You, I Love You, about the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s (Pleasance Courtyard, 1-26 August, 2pm) and Dante or Die’s site-specific piece about the online legacies we leave, User Not Found (Traverse @ Jeelie Piece Café, 3-26 August, 8pm).
There’s dark comedy in Paige Jennifer Barr’s show Death, Dating and I Do, (theSpace on the Mile, 14-18 August, 11.15am) the tale of finding love again after the death of her husband, and even audience participation cookery in Making Room’s The Midnight Soup (Summerhall, 14-26 August, 7pm).
In total, the programme features over 20 shows, with more to be added. The full programme can be found on thefestival’s website.