What better way to soften the post–Commonwealth blues than heading over to the the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh!

This year’s festival has some fantastic mental health related shows and to save you from wading through the hundreds of performances on offer, we have done your homework for you and come up with the top 5 shows we are most excited about seeing this year.


Alfie Brown: Divorced from Reality (and my wife)
Alfie Brown’s fourth Edinburgh show is another screaming, pretentious, crusading monstrosity. He takes you on a journey through his divorce and living with bipolar disorder where he questions reality, learned morality and concepts of madness. Prepare to be challenged!

Location: Pleasance Courtyard
Time: 23:00
Duration: 1 hour
Dates: 30th Jul 2014 – 24th Aug 2014
Age: 16+

Ben Verth: Anxious
Ever felt anxious? In his one man comedy show, Ben Verth discusses everything he is anxious about using stand up, sketches and film. He may include song but he hasn’t decided yet! Take a friend and have a good old giggle. 

Location: Scottish Comedy Film Festival @ The Beehive
Time: 14:55
Duration: 1 hour
Dates: Jul 29-31 Aug 1-10, 12-17, 19-24
Age: 18+ (Restriction)

LCP Dance Theatre considers the difficult theme of sex trafficking inspired by the story of Sophie Hayes in her recent book Trafficked, a Sunday Times bestseller. It explores the relationship between the trafficker and their victims in which the lines between the powerful and the disempowered become blurred.

Location: Spotlites @The Merchants’ Hall
Time: 17:40
Duration: 1 hour 15 mins
Dates: Aug 2-9
Age: 16+

The Trip
This wonderful piece of theatre was written to raise awareness about autism. Performed by a cast of adults on the autism spectrum, this play tells the story of Mr Harrison who takes his Waterloo Class on a trip to London. Tragedy strikes and the mini bus driver calls in sick leaving him to entertain a class full of expectant autistic teenagers. It promises to be an entertaining and worthwhile watch!

Time: 12:40
Duration: 55 mins
Dates: Aug 1-2, 4-9
Age: PG
Location: Greenside @ Nicholson Sq

And last but certainly not least, we are very excited to see that one of SMHAFF 2013’s most popular shows, Mental, is going to this year’s Edinburgh festival. Staged in a secret venue, artist-activist, the vacuum cleaner, presents an autobiographical performance told through his psychiatric records, police intelligence files and injunctions collected through the Data Protection Act. This show should not be missed!

Location: Pleasance Pop-Up: The Bedroom

Time: 18:30
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Dates: Aug 7-10, 14-17, 21-24
Age: 16+

Have you been to the festival this year? Have you been to see any of these shows or have you come across any other mental health related shows? Let us know on twitter @smhaff