City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Come under Summerhall’s umbrella for Fringe delights!


By Irene Brown - Posted on 02 June 2013

Scene from Somnambules

Umbrellas may be ubiquitous (inside and out!) but bright things are ahead at Summerhall this Festival Fringe.

For the third year running, the fantastic space that is the former veterinary college is playing host to an exciting and eclectic range of theatre, dance, music, spoken word and visual arts. The programme is guaranteed to attract and challenge in equal measure, cementing Summerhall’s position as a defining and influential force in Scotland’s cultural infrastructure.

The programme with over 22 exhibitions and 80 different performances features international and local artists, representing over 20 nations, many of whom are pushing the boundaries of their art forms in influential and potent new ways.

Highlights from the visual arts programme include a powerful new work by Gregor Schneider, Fiona Banner’s The Vanity Press, One Hundred Multiples by Lawrence Weiner, as well as the very first Scottish exhibition from household name Michael Nyman. Urban interventionist Ryanthewheelbarrow will also be in attendance, presenting an unorthodox approach to immersive art with a show that involves painting on audience members’ clothes.

On the performance side, Roma Equilibiro prize-winner Giulio D’anna will be presenting a poignant dance exploration of illness and family relationships, Parkin’Son, as part of our exciting theatre and dance programme.

Jane Arnfield will also be offering up an extraordinary solo performance, telling the heartfelt story of holocaust survivor Zdenka Fantlova in The Tin Ring, and award-winning artists Yael Karavan and Tanya Khabarova will present an astonishing interpretation of Goethe’s theory of colours in Somnambules and the 7 Seven Deadly Sins.

The children’s programme is greatly increased this year, with headline productions from Scottish Dance Theatre (Innocence) and the internationally-acclaimed Phia Ménard (L'Après Midi d'un Foehn / The Afternoon of a FaunAlso present will be a showcase of award-winning Italian children’s theatre, all taking place within a yurt, and a new creative play area for children throughout the festival.

A recent broadcast on BBC’s Jazz on 3 prompted the Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra to be described as ‘one of the best large improvising ensembles in the world.’ They will be a headline act of the experimental music micro-festival No Silences, part of Summerhall’s programme this year that also includes shows from noise icon William Bennett (Cut Hands / Whitehouse) and the abrasive acoustic voices of Saint Seven (The One Ensemble).

Guerrilla-style events will be on offer throughout the venue, including an Exhibition in a Pocket from Summerhall’s Curator Paul Robertson, for which he will be showing small assorted objects of avant-garde material at locations around the Summerhall venue.

Summerhall, formerly Royal (Dick) Veterinary College, was bought by Robert McDowell in 2011 to create a cultural village that provides a meeting point for science and the arts. It is located just off The Meadows in the heart of Edinburgh, playing host to a diverse range of art forms and events, with over fifteen different studios, workshops and galleries housed in our former laboratories and dissection rooms, providing spaces for over 600 different events each year. It is open to the public all year round and boasts the courtyard bar, The Royal Dick, that serves food and speciality ales from Barney’s beer, a micro-brewery located on the premises.