Wanted: People searching for an alternative Edinburgh Fringe experience.

I’ve been touring a piece of theatre recently. It’s a one man show that I’ve performed in community halls, empty meeting rooms and a back yard in a block of squats.  It’s called Particles. People have enjoyed it and I’ve received a lot of great feedback for it. One of the unanimous thoughts that have come from this however has been “Are you taking this up to Edinburgh for the fringe?”

I’m not. I didn’t have my show ready when deadlines were approaching. I was tempted to jump the gun and go for it anyway but no. I was busy doing something else on deadline day. Probably something to do with watching the entire series of Always Sunny in Philadelphia or drinking too much coffee. Either way I missed the deadlines.

Since coming back from the tour and being caught up in Fringe excitement I’ve started to get a bit envious of all those performing. I’m Assistant Directing a show that’s going up so I still get to indulge in the Fringe but I want to perform.

So I thought of an idea.

I want to perform Particles in new and unique spaces. I think the piece suits being performed anywhere to anyone. I want to share what I’ve made with you. This could be from performing to mates in your living room or to family in your garden for your annual bbq.  If you have a make shift/DIY venue you are running maybe it might be of interest of you as well.

If you want I will come over to your house/flat/digs in Edinburgh ( and possibly Glasgow, I want a reason to visit) and perform Particles for you and your mates. All I ask for is for me to put out a bucket at the end of the performance for donations*.  

I’m also going to try and make each performance a bit more unique. This may include brining a friend with me to do some music or another type of performance. I’ll try and make it a bit of a party. 

I’ll be up in Edinburgh from the 12th August until the end of the festival so if you want an intimate and personal fringe experience.  The show is very low on tech as there is only one sound cue. Anyone could do it.


If you are interested then drop me an email onjoshuajcoates@gmail.com

Below are details I’m giving to venues across the country about the show so you know what you are potentially getting yourself in for.

It’ll be excellent to share this experience with you. Thank you for reading.


The Show

Particles is a humorous,playful one man performance piece about hope and retracing decisions that create who we are. 


Standing alone on stage with just a microphone, Josh tells and retells a story about a man who faces decisions that will affect how his day will turn out. With each retelling, a different path is chosen and the story expands into a glorious cacophony of love and chaos.  Between each story, Josh interacts with audience members to demonstrate how their decisions can affect their worlds; from deciding their favorite rice-based dish to their involvement in the creation of the universe. It’s in these decisions change can be made. By retelling stories, Josh links the audience to the world he creates on stage and,with child like glee, encourages the audience to join him in an attempt to change the world.

The performance style plays with the reliability of the storyteller. The initial story proves underwhelming, so the storyteller manipulates his central characters’ actions to create more devastating situations. This manipulation extends to the audience, with Josh placing audience members in playful situations, using stand-up comedy techniques, there are many variations in this interaction.  In one example, Josh represents the meeting of the first two particles and the creation of the universe by building a relationship between two audience members.  What starts as a romantic moment is complicated when he blames the couple for all humanity’s wrongdoings.

Particles does notpreach to audience about how each action a human can make can affect the grander scale of humanity but warms them to the idea that their unique perception on the world can affect society to various degrees.

This show talks about the opportunity we have to stand up and reflect on the society that surrounds us. It’s a call to arms to those who want to change what they see but don’t know how. To wake up a realise how intricately linked we are to the earth we live on and to acknowledge that we have the possibility to change it. This show is about hope. The hope a performer has in their audience and the hope an audience can have when they walk out of the theatre after the show.

The show has recently been presented at the Gregson Centre,Lancaster International Performance Festival at Chapter Arts, Cardiff and the Progkunstfetsivalen,Oslo June .Particles will next be performed at Beacons Festival in August 2014 as part of the Invisible Lecture program.


Josh Coates is a theatre maker from the grey side of Bolton, England, who explores the role of the storyteller in contemporary performance. He has worked alongside Blast Theory, Daniel Bye and Belarus Free Theatre. Currently, Josh is working with Curious Monkey on their play Beats North which will be premiering at the Edinburgh Fringe. He is co-founder of performance company and band Tin Tin and an associate artist with LEAP (Lancaster Emerging Arts Platform). Josh has presented work in Manchester, Newcastle and London but has yet to perform in Bolton. This breaks his little heart.



Absolutely loved how he took a potentially serious issue and poked fun at it. The energy was limitless and so engaging to watch as an audience member; felt completely and utterly immersed the whole time

-        Audience member, Lancaster

Josh Coates seizes the stage with all the energy, confidence and imagination of a big kid. What makes his performance is the ease with which he takes the audience with him on his thought-provoking flights of fancy. He enjoys it, and so do we.

- Audience member , Lancaster

Particles is a bright and determined work from a skilled and thoughtful writer and performer. The audience were intrigued and quickly followed Josh through this provoking and imaginative performance. 

-        James Tyson, Director of International Performance Festival Caridff

Josh is growing very quickly as an artist, making engaging work which is innovative in both form and content. Particles skilfully blends story-telling and comedy in a distinctly contemporary manner

-        Leo Burtin, Creative Producer of Live at Lica

Well done to @J_JCoates for his performance of Particles tonight! Thoroughly enjoyed it!!

-        @bosley_matthew

Particles last night by @J_JCoates was fantastic. Super warm and friendly show. Felt very caring.

-        @mrjvarney



-        Review for Particles at Chapter Arts in the Wales Art Review



-        Article about Josh in The Bolton News


Cheers and thanks for reading this pretty large post



*The reasons I ask for donations is that I might need to buy travel to the where you want me to perform and also I buy cans of beer for the performance which I then hand out.

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