Edinburgh Fringe Photo Diary

This summer Mark Robson and his camera took another visit to Edinburgh Festival Fringe to capture as much circus as possible. Here are some peeks at the shows he saw…

Friday 4th August 2023:

Insomniac’s Fable, by Agit-Cirk at Summerhall

A dancer, a juggler and some nice projections take us into a world of fables.

a woman in a white dress tenderly holds a long blonde wig in her hand. Behind her is a projection of a line-drawn fox
A woman in a black dress stands immediately in front of a man in white shirt and black trousers, almost touching. She has her right arm raised in the air holding a white juggling ball. He has is left arm raised in the air doing the same. They both hold their other arm out to the side. His has an upturned hand waiting to catch the ball from her raised arm. She hold another juggling ball in hers.


#Since1994, by Eye Catching Circus at Assembly Roxy

Part of the Taiwan Season at the fringe. It was skilled, captivating and thought provoking. One of my highlights of this year.

A woman lies on her back with her legs in the air, slightly bent at the knee. In the air above her feet is a square table that she has been tossing and catching with her feet.
Four women make an acrobatic pyramid in shadowy orange light. The two on the bottom are bent over backwards into a crab pose, and a third balances between their knees in the same crab position. The top mounter holds a handstand on the third woman's hips, with her legs separated into a split position.


N.Ormes, by Agathe & Adrien at Assembly Roxy

A small woman and large man is almost a stereotype for an acro show, but this was no stereotypical acro show. A really beautiful and wonderful show that I would happily watch again.

Two acrobats wearing identical outfits of white layered shirts and shiny black hotpants hold a classi acrobalance pose: The man stands on the floor with one arm raised, hand clasped with that of the woman, who is holding a one-armed handstand
A woman and a man, who appear naked in the shadowy lighting, both hold an identical crouch position. He is balanced on her back.


Rise of the Olive, by Laser Kiwi at Assembly Roxy

Sketch comedy meets circus in this ode to the humble olive. At times I was laughing so much it was hard to keep the camera still enough to take photos.

A woman holds a straight handstand on top of two Jenga towers. A smiling man sits in front of each tower, and both push a block from their stack.
A man hangs upside-down by his feet from a triangular bar. Four white balls are in the air between his shoulders and the ground. An experienced circus goer could assume he is bounce-juggling


Saturday 5th August 2023

A Spectacle of Herself, by Laura Murphy at Summerhall

Laura Murphy’s new show is great, another highlight of this year for me. I don’t think I will see the coke advert the same ever again.

A woman stands on stage with her arm over her face as if sneezing. She holds a hip flask in her other hand. In the corner of the stage a length of rope hangs from the ceiling and coils onto the floor
At the top of the photo are two stage lights shining onto the dynamic figure of a woman, upside-down hanging onto a vertical rope with her legs. Her hand holds the rope below her knees, perhaps in the process of wrapping it rope around her ankle. The tail of the rope snakes like a long and wriggling letter s


YUCK Circus at Assembly George Square Gardens

Yuck Circus are an all female Australian circus company and the show is one that I think only an all female Australian circus company could make. Just great.

six women in black pants and crop tops strike acrobatic trio poses on a raised stage between two rows of audience members. The trios both hold the same pose, the closest one is facing us, the further one is at right angles to us. In each pose, one woman is held aloft in a splits pose by the other two, who each hold one foot
A woman in a dressing gown, and slippers with curlers in her hair sits bent forwards in a chair. She has her hand pushed into her mouth and a frowning grimace on her face.


Sunday 6th August 2023

Brave Space, by Aloft Circus Arts at Underbelly Circus Hub

Returning to the fringe for a second year, Brave Space is just as wonderful as it was last year.

photo of two aerialists taken from below
four women juggle white rings, the fabric walls are also white and shadowed with blue


Monday 7th August 2023

Cartoooon!!, by WittyLook at Assembly Roxy        

A kids show from Japanese street performers and unicyclists extraordinaire.

a man on a unicycle holds a woman above his head.
A man rides a multiwheel unicycle, which has five wheels each stacked on top of the other and a seat at the very top


Party Ghost, by Olivia Porter & Jarred Dewey at Assembly Checkpoint

I would love to know how they came up with the idea for this show. Completely bonkers show with a wake, ghosts, laughs and good circus.

Two figures wearing sheets over their heads pose with their arms spread wide. One wears a black sheet, the other wears a white one, with red high heeeled shoes
One acrobat leans backwards, holding the ankle of the other, who is balanced upside-down whith his head between the knees of the first.


Afrique en Cirque, by Cirque Kalabanté at Assembly Hall

The live music really stood out for me in this show which gives a lot of what I’d expect from an African circus show including an incredible contortionist / bone breaker.

Two men look up into the air, where a third man is horizontal, captured by the camera mid flip
A male contortionist twists his bent backwards body towards us while his feet face the opposite direction.


Wednesday 9th August 2023

Lucky Pigeons, by BrainFools at Underbelly Circus Hub     

A family show that is based around a city office worker and their interactions with some pigeons.

A man performs a one-arms handstand against a backdrop of a painted city and road marked floor
A woman pokes her head through a cardboard box, holding a plant, some headphones and a ringbinder. She is looking at a notebook that is open on the floor the other side of the box


Aloft presents Sanctuary at Underbelly Circus Hub

Aloft Circus Arts from Chicago, who also had Brave Space at the fringe, brought their regular Chicago cabaret along as well this year. An opportunity to see some of the incredible Brave Space performers doing their own acts in a cabaret setting with live music.

A woman balances on a tightwire
A Spanish web act, where a female aerialist hangs from a vertical rope whirled in circles by another woman standing on the floor below


Thursday 10th August 2023

Schërzo, by Släpstick at Pleasance Courtyard

This is what you get when the musicians are clowns and the clowns are musicians and then you leave them to it to make a show based around music. They all played so many instruments.

A musical quartet play their instruments with comically exagerated seriousness. A piano forms a small puppet theatre, where a man manipulates two statue heads.
A group of five musicians pose with classical instruments in idiosyncratic ways for the camera.


Friday 11th August 2023

Chevalier – Hobbyhorse Circus, by Race Horse Company at Assembly George Square Studios

Coming from Race Horse Company I had high expectations. It wasn’t exactly what I expected but it was a lovely quirky kids shows based around hobby horses and some short silent films.

A man with a long beard stands behind a red sign that says 'circus' in unlit neon tubing.
A view from the ground up of a man balanced on a children's scooter with a hobby horse head. He is juggling four red balls.


Sophie’s Surprise 29th, by Three Legged Race Productions at Underbelly Circus Hub

A good fun cabaret with a nice theme linking the great acts together, with some nice things I wasn’t expecting thrown in as well.

A woman spread-eagled in midair looks down to the raised face of a man several feet below. Above her, another man hangs upside-down with his arms outspread matching hers. Presumably the pair have just let go of each other..
A man standing alone in glasses and a beanie hat leans back to catch a custard cream biscuit in his mouth

One comment on “Edinburgh Fringe Photo Diary

  • Pixi Robertson , Direct link to comment

    Thanks for the interesting and beautiful images, almost as good as being there!

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