There's a fantastic projection set up when you enter the dance space. Every surface is covered in images. It resembles a giant cathedral tapestry of portraits all thrown against the walls by a set of industrial strength projectors. Ambient calming music plays as the audience settles.
The biggest arts festival in the world.
The fundamentals of human existence – three quasi rituals, one fascinating show.
Fitch’s powerful opener was both energised and energising, in many ways a paradox: a manifesto of hope yet set in the midst of the apocalyptic. Their work, ‘Revelations’ took us to the uttermost extremities of the post-modern world and challenged the very values humankind had presupposed: “all gold is fool’s gold", “the drink that ends in thirst”. Throughout, the ‘poisoned, parched shrivelled earth’ is used as a metaphor for the human soul and spirit.
Scottish Dance Theatre is internationally renowned for creative, groundbreaking work while choreographer Colette Sadler explores the transforming perceptions of the human body. The ideal partnership.
In 2015, I reviewed Paperwork 2 for Edinburgh Guide... “do make your way to a Pop Up gallery at Venue 208, 2 Howe Street - an evocative collection of diverse yet complementary art.”
Following great success each year at the Festival Fringe, the sixth Paperwork exhibition has popped up at Venue 208 showcasing the visually exciting work of Marion Barron, Trevor Davies and Ruth Thomas. Their distinctive compositions - drawings, paintings, collages - share an artistic vocabulary in terms of line, pattern, shape, space, colour, tone and underlying reflective mood.
Picture a hospital in the 1960's NHS with the apparent hygiene standards of a 1930's abattoir, and that is the atmospheric staging you are faced with when you enter the performance of The Hospital at Dance Base. The drab, blood-smeared walls and bloody, dirty blankets, together with weak amber lighting, creates an oppressive, disquieting and foreboding dance landscape.
Pretty Knickers Productions presents a dirty, gritty comedy full of swearing and hilarious dead-pan remarks, a good ol’ fashioned farce with over-the-top, comical characters who are all fighting over the will of a wealthy, promiscuous older gentleman. Three bratty sisters believe they’re going to walk away with his entire fortune before a suspicious stranger slips in at the last second to receive the lot.
“What happens is what happens."
So we are told after audience members select from a number of boxes marked with names and containing outfits. The result is that we have Dani, Seb, Mags, Lucy and Ben standing before us.
Taking Romeo and Juliet as an inspiration for this production, two a cappella groups battle it out for supremacy in this entertaining and light-hearted show. This is very loosely connected to Romeo and Juliet - with its tongue firmly in cheek, the story unfolds of two groups with a long-term grudge and a ban on romance between the two sides.
“Let’s disappear for a while into the decadent world of the 1920’s …”
The time machine comes in the form of a gramophone, a device that our host uses whenever he is feeling a little blue. His favourite Broadway show, “The Drowsy Chaperone" provides the needed escapism with “a story, and a few good songs” that will take him away.
A somewhat esoteric and quirky look at Nan Shepherd, this show focuses on the influences around Shepherd, inspiring her work and thought processes. Featuring a range of pop-up characters, this is an unusual introduction to Shepherd, interspersed with snippets from her writing.