Festival cabaret queens drag and drop a sparkling showcase of talent into this year’s festival

Words Anna Rieser

Alfie Ordinary Help I Think I Might Be Fabulous

Alfie is a drag prince extraordinaire who regularly opens for the Ru Paul’s Drag Race girls. He welcomes us to Madame LeCoq’s Preparatory School for Fabulous Boys – with a little help from his good friends Whitney Houston and Bette Midler (in puppet form). He aims to set free the fabulous, sequined genie in every one of us – and help us celebrate who we really are.


Gilded Balloon – Roxy Theatre, 31 Jul–26 Aug. 6pm, £9, gildedballoon.co.uk

Ginger Johnson’s Happy Place

Legendary Sink The Pink host Ginger’s Fringe debut is part-cabaret confessional, part-Sesame Street special, as she sticks two fingers up to sadness with her twisted comedy act.

WHERE & WHEN: Pleasance Dome – 10 Dome. 31 Jul–26 Aug (not 12, 19). 9.40pm. £12, pleasance.co.uk

Little Death Club

Bernie Dieter heads up the darkest, funniest and most debauched cabaret club this side of the Weimar Republic. A smash hit at last year’s festival, join the punk-jazz band, miscreants and fantastic freaks for an unmissable night at the Circus Hub. There are no rules, and no seat is safe in this dark and defiant den of iniquity.

WHERE & WHEN: Underbelly’s Circus Hub on the Meadows –  The Beauty, 3-24 Aug(not 12). 8pm. £16 underbellyedinburgh.co.uk


Piñata makes its debut at the Fringe, bringing you a late
night arty party stuffed with goodies. A South London staple, this alternative comedy variety party showcases Fringe favourites, new talents and, of course, the gutting of a large object until treats come out.

WHERE & WHEN: Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose –Doonstairs, 24th Aug, 11.15pm. £10

Crystal Rasmussen presents

The Bible 2 (Plus a Cure for Shame, Violence, Betrayal and Athlete’s Foot) Live!

Author of Man Booker Prize-winning book Diary of a Drag Queen, Crystal Rasmussen returns to Edinburgh for her first solo show. Through song, dance and writhing in a children’s swimming pool, she explores the daunting task of getting from A to She.


Underbelly Cowgate – Belly Dancer. 1-25 Aug (not 12). 5.50pm. £11.50 underbellyedinburgh.co.uk

Frisky and Mannish Poplab

Fringe sell-outs for a decade, the Professors of Pop, Frisky & Mannish, are qualified to scientifically analyse the molecular intersections within every pop song. Join them for some outlandish dissections.

WHERE & WHEN:  Assembly George Square Gardens – Palais du Variete. 1-25 Aug(not 12, 19), 7pm. £16 assemblyfestival.com


The sweatiest, messiest, queerest, most outrageous party, Pollyanna is celebrating its fifth birthday and graduating from its home at Paradise Palms to the Gilded Balloon for two nights only. Expect the most notorious faces of the Fringe and be sure to get there early.


Paradise Palms. Every Sunday from 8pm. Free theparadisepalms.com


Burlesque performer and Funny Woman finalist Lolly Jones offers up political satire with a cabaret twist. Last year’s Fifty Shades of May saw a disturbing yet captivating Theresa strip tease, this year she takes on Marine Le Pen, Nicola Sturgeon, and Angela Merkel in lip sync battles and nipple tasselled power struggles.
You have been warned!


Assembly Roxy- Downstairs, 31 Jul–25 Aug (not 14), 8pm, from £6, assemblyfestival.com

Just Desserts

Winner of Best Cabaret at this year’s Adelaide Fringe, this musical cabaret explores empowerment, obsession with perfection and desire. Performances include dessert!

WHERE & WHEN: Underbelly Cowgate – Belly Button, 1-4, 7-11 Aug, 10.40pm. £15.50, underbellyedinburgh.co.uk

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