New Writing Leads the Pack at Underbelly

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Founded in 2001, Underbelly has rapidly become a mainstay of the Fringe lineup. The venue is the fifth largest at Edfringe 2018, but surprisingly, only placed 6th in our recent Venue Analysis. Leaning towards comedy, Underbelly's 2018 roster is nonetheless diverse, with a good helping of theatre, cabaret and circus. Wednesday saw a glitzy press launch held in George Square, stylishly hosted by Bernie Dieter, Weimer Punk Kabarett star of The Little Death Club. The show focused on high-profile acts, including acrobatics from Tabarnak, the latest offering from Fringe favorites Cirque Alfonse, and a last-minute food fight from television stars Dick and Dom.

New writing forms the vanguard of Underbelly's lineup according to our Trends tracker. Solo theatre piece Dangerous Giant Animals from Christina Murdoch comes out on top (Daily Mentions = 2.2, Positivity Share 0.6%). It explores the challenges of growing up with a disabled sister — and has already made it into our pre-Fringe picks. A collaboration between Untapped by Underbelly, Diorama Theatre and Nouveau Riché brings Queens of Sheba in a close second (Daily Mentions 1.7, Positivity Share 0.5%). This four-hander — which showcased at Wednesday's launch — focuses on the rise of Misogynoir (misogyny directed towards black women, where both race and gender play a role in the bias). Returning to Underbelly this year is The Thinking Drinkers: Pub Crawl, which rounds out the top three (Daily Mentions 1.7, Positivity Share 0.6%).