Theatre (new writing, contemporary)

  • Summerhall - Cairns Lecture Theatre
  • 15:30
  • Aug 27
  • 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Suitability: 16+ (Guideline)
  • Country: United Kingdom - England
  • Group: Sophie Swithinbank, Directed by Matthew Iliffe, Produced by HFH Productions
  • Warnings and additional info: Contains distressing or potentially triggering themes, Scenes of sexual violence, Scenes of violence, Strobe lighting, More information
  • Accessibility: May not apply to all performances. You'll find more information about accessibile performances and how to book tickets in the accessibility tab below.
  • Babes in arms policy: Babies do not require a ticket
  • Policy applies to: Children under 2 years


Bacon. Sophie Swithinbank, directed by Matthew Iliffe, produced by HFH Productions. The return of the multi award-winning play, Bacon is an unflinching and unexpectedly humorous look at masculinity, sexuality and power, through the dizzying lens of youth. Winner of the Tony Craze Award and three Off-West End Awards for Best Director and Best Performance in a Play. First performed at The Finborough Theatre, London. 'Utterly compelling… beautiful and devastating to watch' **** (Stage). 'You will laugh, you will cry and you will be breathless when you leave' ***** ( 'Unmissable' ***** (

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General venue access

  • Accessible entry: Stepped entrance: Once into the courtyard, get to the front of the Royal Dick Pub, take the alleyway to your left, around the back of the large tent. Through the doors; the venue is then up the stairs. Lift entrance: in the reception of the main building, a duty manager will take you up the main half lift, through the galleries, into a level lift, through the dissection room and to the Cairns. Please contact [email protected] if you would like to use this accessible route.
  • Wheelchair access type: Wheelchair accessible (please contact the venue for more information)

  • Stairs: 20+
    Number of stairs is provided as guidance and is not in addition to any wheelchair access type (lift/ramp etc) stated above.

Each venue can contain several space with different accessibly information. Visit the venue page for full venue accessibility info

How and when to make an access booking

Our access tickets service is available to anyone who:

  • Would like to book specific accessibility services, e.g. a hearing loop, audio description headsets, captioning units, seating in relation to the location of the BSL interpreter
  • Requires extra assistance when at a venue
  • Has specific seating requirements
  • Is a wheelchair user
  • Requires a complimentary personal assistant ticket to attend a performance

Carmen 95 days ago

Incredible play with excellent writing and acting. Most impressive theatre I have seen at fringe. A must see

Mark 99 days ago

This is an intense drama, absolutely brilliantly played by both actors. The venue is a small intimate black box adding to the intensity of the acting. I was completely consumed by the show and needed a bit of an emotional rest afterwards. Very well done. I would highly recommend it.

Emma Smart 100 days ago

An absolute must see … fabulous writing, direction and staging - story was heartbreaking and the acting from both actors exquisite. Pulled me in from the minute I entered the auditorium and kept me utterly engaged to the very end. Made my heart hurt and my eyes leak … well done all involved. Top class. So sorry we hadn’t realised you had another production until we were on the train home. X

Alison Harper 101 days ago

It's a story that's been told before, but it felt entirely new, tense and immediate in the theatre. Incomparable acting from both performers; I was gripped. Cannot believe how impressive they were -- going to remember this one for a long time.

MB London 102 days ago

This wasn’t on my radar until my daughter recommended it and I’m glad we made the trek to Summerhall. Intense and powerful I’d say this is a must see, but do appreciate it may not appeal to everyone. Give it a go.

Gary Nunn 103 days ago

Well worth a trip up to Summerhall for this one. A beautifully written story covering important issues acted by two young, very professional future stars.
Put this on your list as a must watch.
Five Stars

Ian Bennett 104 days ago

This is a powerful and emotional story told by two excellent young actors with a strong script dealing with an important issue. Make time to fit this into your Fringe schedule

Matt Crabtree 104 days ago

Wow, utterly beautiful. Every emotion and incredible performance and direction. Both actors just awesome, honest and grounded. No fakery here. You have to watch this show this year. My joint favourite performance of the fringe with ‘boy out the city’ .

Dawn Crabtree 104 days ago

The most brilliant show and outstanding performance of the entire festival. If you only see one show, don’t miss Bacon.

Gracef 105 days ago

***** Outstanding performance by two incredible young actors. At times funny, punchy, raw and very moving. Highly recommended.

James Gordon 105 days ago

For me, one of the highlights of the Fringe so far. A new play, 2 searing performances and a near-faultless script held a full house's full attention for over an hour. The dynamic between the two leads shifts constantly, from word to word rather than minute to minute, with musical fluidity, perfectly reflecting their complex, ever-shifting relationship. Especially impressive are the inter-cutting monologues, delivered with split-second timing, showing how the pair's thoughts and feelings move in parallel, often giving contrary meaning to the same scraps of phrases, never (or only disastrously) converging.

I don't understand why several of the reviews below question the use made of the seesaw set. It is a clear enough metaphor and doesn't have to illustrate every plot twist. The two characters' attempts to stop its movement by placing blocks underneath illustrate how they let prejudice win out. Whether the ending need be as bleak and final as it seems, is a matter of opinion: is there perhaps a slim chance that stubbornness might be overcome and the seesaw might move again?

Julia Bolden 106 days ago

This is a powerful, superbly well-performed drama about the sexual awakening of two fifteen years old boys and the aftermath of their confrontation. I loved the seasaw set but craved a more literal use of it, in highlighting their shifts in status.

Susan Pritchard 106 days ago

A brilliantly acted, totally absorbing performance raising complex issues. Don’t miss it.

John Porteous 107 days ago

Our #1 Fringe favourite so far this season. Absolutely superb acting, great dialogue, really moving and compelling storyline too, we just didn't want it to end. A truly joyous and memorable experience, we both totally loved this show. ♥️

gabbi paisley 110 days ago

A fantastically performed and very moving play. Go and see it if you can get a ticket.

John Handscombe 110 days ago

The trigger warnings shouldn't be for content, but for style. I haven't seen a piece of theatre this up itself since the 1980s. However, if you like your theatre unbelievably pretentious, then you have hit pay dirt.

If you prefer believable characters who behave and talk in ways consistent with their given backgrounds and experience then this is ABSOLUTELY not one for you.

Emperor's new clothes. That is 7 hours of my life I'm never getting back. Wish I'd sat near the door.

Thomas 112 days ago

A terrific two-hander, well-paced, and deeply moving. The best play I've seen at the Fringe so far. (Should definitely have a life beyond the fringe; might work better in a different sort of space. In the round, perhaps.)

Snap Judgement 112 days ago

★★★★★ Go NOW, thank later!

A parallel story of hardship and growth.

* Deep Performances. Profoundly moving portrayals that brought a tear to my eye.
* Balanced Pace. The narrative didn’t dawdle, flowing at the necessary speed to avoid oversimplification or needless over-explanation.
* Engaging Plot. Not your run-of-the-mill teen drama.

* Underutilised Props. Although compelling, the seesaw's narrative potential seemed underexploited.

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Adam 113 days ago

One of the best plays at the Fringe in years. Rock solid, beautiful performances handling a terrific script full of jeopardy, tension and emotion. Don’t miss it!

Apphia Campbell 114 days ago

A brilliant play! Go See - it really stays with you long after the bows. Beautiful performers and writing - you could vocally hear the audience let out a collective 'whew' at the end - we were all holding our breath. Transfixed.

Lauren Aspery 114 days ago

Absolutely stunning piece of theatre. A difficult watch at times, very poignant and performed beautifully.

David Murphy 114 days ago

Simply brilliant. Go to see it.

Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

Bouquets & Brickbats (5/5 stars) 93 days ago

Bacon is a whip-smart, tightly-constructed duologue that pulls me into its tenacious grip and holds me spellbound.

Read the full review

North West End UK (5/5 stars) 94 days ago

Bacon is a perfect example of a writer, director and cast firing on all cylinders.

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Fringe Review 98 days ago

A masterpiece

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Butterwort (5/5 stars) 102 days ago

they literally cast a spell on the audience. Bacon is a strong story that should be told and retold.

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Everything theatre (5/5 stars) 104 days ago

Impeccably written and delivered, Bacon is an emotional tour de force. Powerful acting from the two leads take this piece to another level.

Read the full review (5/5 stars) 109 days ago

Powerful and tense, this is a play not to be missed.

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Culture Fix (5/5 stars) 109 days ago

Masterfully executed by its director and performers, Bacon is deeply affecting watch that will linger with audiences.

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The Recs (5/5 stars) 111 days ago

The intensity of the performances by both actors is staggering.

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Theatre Travels 112 days ago

A complex exploration of hard hitting issues, this play completely hits the mark. Fierce, exciting and completely unexpected, Bacon is a must see show at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe.

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The Student (5/5 stars) 112 days ago

Bacon is a play that I will be thinking and dreaming about for years to come and urge anyone and everyone at this year’s fringe to see it.

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Fest (5/5 stars) 114 days ago

Bacon is a must-see of this year’s festival - trek up to Summerhall and brace yourself.

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.