August in Edinburgh means one thing: festivals! We’ve seen more and more shows covering themes of climate and environment in recent years, from comedians to dancers, so we’re looking forward to seeing what Fringe 2023 has to offer.

Art has infinite possibilities and it could be argued that social change wouldn’t be possible without it. It can raise questions and spark discussion. Whether it’s reflecting dire circumstances of carrying a hopeful message of a better tomorrow, it can inspire action. 

Here are some of the shows we’ll be going to see this year across Edinburgh Fringe, the Edinburgh International Book Festival and Edinburgh International Festival. We’d love to hear your climate-themed recommendations too – tag us on Twitter and Instagram @foescot

Ted Hill: Ted Hill Tries and Fails to Fix Climate Change (comedy)

It seems like comedian and science presenter Ted Hill is not short of ambition as his show sets out to fix climate change, and finds it quite difficult. This multimedia comedy show promises ‘silliness, nature and polar bear calculations.’ 

High energy laughs sounds like just the antidote many of us need right now.


Dimanche (theatre)

If you want something a little more left-field, then maybe Dimanche at the International Festival is the climate show for you. 

Belgian artists have come together for a show combining puppetry, video, mime and clowning. The story is set against climate breaking down with a family who are trying to retain a sense of normality amidst the chaos, whilst an intrepid group of journalists want to document the end of the world. 

Dimanche aims to paint a ‘witty and tender portrait of humanity surprised by the uncontrollable forces of nature.’


Horizon Showcase: Bodies (immersive theatre)

Possibly the most unusual show at the Fringe we’ve spotted so far – requiring you to don your swimmies. Deans Community High School swimming pool is being transformed into an immersive environment through which you can explore the essential character of water and the importance of collective action in achieving climate justice. The dynamics of individual and collective energies play out as powerful and often opposing forces.


Climate Fables (theatre)

Climate Fables is two truthful new plays about the future of humanity. Debating Extinction is a romance about a young climate refugee couple deciding whether to have children on an inhospitable planet. The Trash Garden is a comedy inverting Adam and Eve about the last two human beings on Earth. 

Developed in New York by artists and environmental scientists, these stories aim to tackle your climate anxieties head on, and bring you relief, hope, and understanding of our situation in the process.


Greta Thunberg (book talk) [CANCELLED]

Greta Thunberg needs no introduction to the climate world. The Swedish trailblazer is headlining the Climate Positive strand of the Edinburgh International Book Festival talking about activism in the face of climate catastrophe.

In person tickets have sold out but you can pay what you want to catch it online. 


Mikaela Loach (book talk)

Author and activist Mikaela Loach will be talking about her new book It’s Not That Radical. The book is hopeful and far-reaching, and campaigns for a climate movement which is both inclusive and intersectional.


Chrissie and the Skiddle Witch (family show)

This show is for families/children (8+) and is about a teenager who is writing a petition to stop a new oil well off the coast of her seaside town. But her family just don’t get it – her Dad works for the oil company and her brother loves nothing more than his petrol-guzzling motorbike!

This warm and funny show has a unique blend of storytelling, science and songs in this as we follow Chrissie on her campaigning journey trying to get her family on board.

After each show (i.e. approx 13:45) there will be climate scientists and experts in the nearby courtyard at Riddle’s Court. This is a chance for kids to learn about climate change and ask questions about the issues in the show.


How to have a greener festival

If you are coming to the festivals and want to limit the environmental impact of your transport, food and accommodation, then check out this advice