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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 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.

Robert Peacock, Director of Death on the Fringe said : “There’s no shortage of issues being talked about at 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 20:45) 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 17:40) is a farce about ageing, dying and grieving.

There’s drama in Ticker (Underbelly, 1 – 25 Aug (not 13) at 16:10), in which a young man struggles with the untimely death of his girlfriend from an undiagnosed heart condition, and in Cut The Cord’s show I Run (Pleasance Courtyard, 31 Jul – 26 Aug (not 7, 13, 20) at 13:55), one man finds that running is the way to cope with the death of his six year old daughter. Meanwhile, Stephanie Greenwood’s It’s Beautiful, Over There relates the death of various members of her family tree, from resistance fighters to Polish Aristocrats (Venue 13, 3 – 24 Aug (not 7, 12, 21) at 20:10).

There are other personal tales too. Some Things Are Meant To Be, Anna (theSpace on North Bridge, 12 – 17 Aug at 19:25) is the true story of Gretel Brice’s journey through cancer, put together as a legacy to her family. And Love, Loss and Cake (theSpace on North Bridge, 5 – 10 Aug at 18:40) is the Fringe debut by two gentlemen of a certain age calling themselves The Swells, who are singing jazz tributes to their late wives. 

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 2019 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 4.00pm.

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

Death on the Fringe takes place across Edinburgh from 31 July – 26 August 2018. For more information, contact Robert Peacock robert.peacock@palliativecarescotland.org.uk or 0131 272 2735 or visit the website www.deathonthefringe.org