Swiss Selection Edinburgh

In August 2019, for the first time, Pro Helvetia is supporting the presence of Swiss performing arts productions at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with its Swiss Selection Edinburgh.

Three theatre companies/artists will present their work at the venue Summerhall as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019, under the Swiss Selection Edinburgh banner.
Each August, the Scottish city of Edinburgh is transformed into the largest performing arts stage in the world. Featuring theatre and comedy, «The Fringe» was founded in 1947 as an alternative to the Edinburgh International Festival. Now, around three and a half thousand shows are presented at the festival each year, and around one million visitors attend.
Summerhall, Pro Helvetia’s partner venue for Swiss Selection Edinburgh, has a particular focus on international and contemporary performing arts, and is one of the best recognised venues at the Fringe – as The Stage put it: «It sometimes feels like Summerhall is the Fringe, or at least it is for serious theatre lovers».

The works featured in the Swiss Selection Edinburgh are:

Mats Staub_21_©Jörg Baumann
Mats Staub_21_©Jörg Baumann

«21» by Mats Staub
When did you turn twenty-one? In this ambitious video installation, Mats Staub explores how world history is mirrored in personal memories. From Germany to South Africa, Australia to Scotland, he interviews more than 200 people from all age groups and backgrounds about their memories of the year they became an adult – then several months later, asks them to listen back to their words. With warmth, humour and poignancy, «21» is an urgent reminder that we have more in common than sets us apart.
«I spent four hours… addictive.» (The Guardian)

Venue & Dates: Summerhall, Lower Café Gallery, 2 – 25 Aug 2019
Various times: 10.00, 12.00, 14.00, 16.00

«8:8» by Mercimax
Eight ordinary people stand before eight spectators. But how ordinary are they really? Can you trust how people look and what they say? What makes someone a suspect? With a diverse cast of eight accomplices drawn from the Edinburgh community, this intimate play of truth and deception challenges the judgements we make about the people we pass every day. «8:8» combines physical theatre and whispered secrets in an unsettling performance for just eight audience members at a time. Appearances can be deceptive.

Venue & Dates: Summerhall, Former Women’s Locker Room 31 July – 25 Aug 2019 (not 1, 5, 12 & 19)
Various times: 18.30, 19.15 Tue – Fri | 16.30, 17.15, 18.30, 19.15 Sat & Sun

«Traumboy» by Daniel Hellmann / «Traumgirl» by Anne Welenc
Drawing on Daniel Hellmann and Anne Welenc’s personal and professional experiences as performers rooted in theatre, music and dance, «Traumboy» and «Traumgirl» explore the relationship between sex, money, shame and identity, exposing the tensions between paying for sex and a hyper-sexualised, capitalist society. Performed in parallel, «Traumboy», which has toured internationally, and «Traumgirl», which receives its World Premiere at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, address the challenges of life as a male sex worker and a female sex worker respectively.

Venue & Dates: Summerhall, Old Lab, 31 July – 25 Aug 2019 (not 1 & 19), 8.10pm
«Traumgirl» will be performed on odd dates, «Traumboy» will be performed on even dates.

Tickets for all shows can be booked at
Programmers may request complimentary tickets from the project leader Amber Massie-Blomfield,

Download the brochure with all informations about the Swiss shows.

On 4 August, Pro Helvetia and the Embassy of Switzerland in the UK will hold a brunch reception to celebrate the launch of Swiss Selection Edinburgh. The event will feature a welcome address by Philippe Bischof, Director of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, and Alexandre Fasel, Swiss Ambassador to the UK. There will also be a chance to hear more about the programme from the artists involved and the Swiss Selection Edinburgh Project Leader. Venue and festival programmers interested in attending the event, please send an enquiry to Amber Massie-Blomfield at

Pro Helvetia is also supporting the presentation of «La Reprise. Histoire(s) du theatre (I)» by IIPM / Milo Rau as part of the Edinburgh International Festival, 3-5 August 2019.
Tickets can be booked at Edinburgh International Festival.

Mercimax_8to8_©Mischa Robert
Mercimax_8to8_©Mischa Robert