“Papa CJ's Naked has received a standing ovation every single time in India.”
Every August since 1947, thousands of artists gather in the capital city of scenic Scotland to showcase their talents in various performing arts.
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe boasts to be the biggest arts and culture festival in the world.
The 2015 edition will host a staggering 50,459 performances of 3,314 shows in 313 venues across Edinburgh.
This year’s Fringe also enjoys a brilliant representation from performers of South Asian origin.
DESIblitz brings you all the Asian acts to look out for in Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2015!
Hardeep Singh Kohli
The Scottish-Sikh comedian is a prominent BBC TV presenter, until his suspension in 2009 for ‘inappropriate sexual behaviour’ with a female colleague.
He recently opened his restaurant VDeep in Edinburgh, specialising in ‘communal craft beer and curry’.
Watch him in ‘Hardeep Singh Kohli: Big Mouth Strikes Again’, and ‘Set Menu with Hardeep Singh Kohli’.
The Londoner is set to stun Edinburgh with his character comedy in his Fringe debut this year.
Watch him in ‘India’s Strongest Man (1982)’.
The East-African Indian comedian stormed the Fringe Festival in 2010 with his solo show and Best Newcomer nomination.
Though raised in London, the sharp and charming Imran is fluent in Hindi and Urdu, contributing to his wide appeal.
Watch him in ‘Imran Yusuf: Super Roar of the Underdog Turbo X: HD Remix’.
Asia’s Best Stand-Up Comedian from Delhi makes his return to Fringe in four years.
Papa CJ explains why his 2015 show is one to watch: “This show has received a standing ovation every single time it has been performed in India.
“It was the only solo English show from Asia to be invited to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
“And I’m the only comedian from a country of 1.3 billion people bringing a solo show to the Fringe.”
Watch him in ‘Papa CJ: Naked’.
Edinburgh has a special place in Romesh’s heart. The British-Sri Lankan has always been a crowd favourite at Fringe and was nominated three times there.
His third son, Charlie, was born during the festival in 2014 – the same day he appeared on stage.
He said: “I was pretty convinced the audience thought I was making it up.”
Watch him in ‘Romesh Ranganathan: Irrational’.
When Shazia is not performing in stand-up shows, the British-Pakistani is writing columns for The Guardian and Dawn.
It has not been an easy ride for the female comedian, as she says: “I’ve had bad gigs, awful things written about me.
“If I can survive all that and still be funny I must be quite resilient and thick skinned. Or stupid.”
Watch her in ‘Shazia Mirza: A Work in Progress’.
Having been a finalist in various competitions (including BBC New Comedy Award), the Lancashire native is hitting all the right notes in the comedic circuit.
Watch him in ‘Tez Llyas: TEZ Talks’.
Other comedy acts include:
- Ahir Shah
- Anil Desai
- Amir Khoshsokhan
- Asian Network Comedy Night
- Bisha K Ali
- Daryl Perry and Sunil Patel
- Don Biswas
- Hari Sriskantha
- Imaan Hadchiti
- Kishore Nayar
- Mawaan Rizwan and Seda Yildiz
- Mickey Sharma
- Natasha Noman
- Neel Kolhatkar
- Nish Kumar
- Omid Singh
- Paul Sinha
- Sajeela Kershi
- Sameena Zehra
- Sid Singh
Ticket to Bollywood
A Mumbai production performed by professional Bollywood dancers, Ticket to Bollywood is a visually stunning musical directed by Shubhra Bhardwaj – the owner of Ferriswheel Entertainment.
Nordic Raga Trio
The Nordic Raga Trio brings together the unique and mesmerising music of Sweden and Bangalore.
Jyotsna Srikanth (violin), Pär Moberg (wind instruments) and Dan Svensson (percussion and vocals) reinvent Nordic folk music by injecting it with classical elements of Indian music.
Other musical performances include:
- Triveni ~ by Prabhat Rao, Pulkit Sharma and Drupad Mistry
- Mata Hari: The Musical
- Shakuntala: A Rock Opera in English
- India Flamenco
- Yerma ~ by Amina Khayyam Dance Co.
My Name Is…
Based on Sudha Bhuchar’s play, ‘My Name Is…’ explores Gaby’s cultural identity crisis, as she leaves her home in Scotland to live with her father in Pakistan.
It has received widespread critical acclaim, with the British Theatre Guide praising its effort in ‘weaving these three voices into a conversation across continents… beautifully played’.
Other theatrical performances include:
- Ashes Afar
- Strictly Balti
- The Sacred Room of Desire
- Umrao: The Noble Courtesan
- Jewellery of the World
The Bollywood Express
‘The Bollywood Express’ is a music and dance show, performed by 26 young students from Grade 6 to 12.
It tells the beautiful and touching story about a boy who heads to Mumbai in the hopes of becoming famous.
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe will run from August 7 to 31, 2015.