The Edinburgh International Festival announced that next Summer's programme will include a double-helping of the Bard - a comedy and a tragedy.
Polish theatre company TR Warszawa returns to the Edinburgh International Festival after bringing The Dybbuk and 4:48 Psychosis to the EIF in 2008, with "2007: Macbeth" directed by Grzegorz Jarzyna. If the trailer is anything to go by, the production will have something of an Orwellian dystopia meets gore fest tone to it.
The other play is a Russian version of the Shakespearian classic A Midsummer Night's Dream (As You Like It). It is being brought by The Chekhov International Theatre Festival/Dmitry Krymov’s Laboratory/School of Dramatic Art Theatre Production and has been commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company. It marks Dmitry Krymov’s directorial debut at the Edinburgh International Festival.
Both plays contribute to the World Shakespeare Festival which will see almost 70 Shakespearian productions performed across the UK between April and November. The shows also form contributions to the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad, the London 2012 Festival.
A third EIF production that has been a long time in development for 2012 was also announced - The Speed of Light. Arthur's Seat, the rugged mount in Holyrood Park, will see up to 5,000 runners jog a choreographed route around its windy paths at night in specially constructed self-powered light-suits. The Speed of Light project organiser NVA has been enrolling runners from across the country to take part.
The audience will also generate their own light through the movement of bespoke walking staffs as they ascend to the summit, where they will be able to view this canvas of light shifting through the night.
NVA's Speed of Light is one of Scotland's official contributions to the London 2012 Festival and the Cultural Olympiad. It is one of only four national projects commissioned by the Legacy Trust UK's Community Celebrations programme, which aims to build a lasting legacy from the UK's hosting of the Games.
The Edinburgh International Festival 2012 closes on Sunday 2 September, as in past years, with the Virgin Money Fireworks Concert, the largest fireworks concert in the world, launched from Edinburgh castle.
The full Festival 2012 programme will be unveiled on Wednesday 14 March, but for now EIF artistic director indicated that this year's theme will pluck productions from around the world rather than theming the festival on a specific geographic region as in the last three years. This year's artists will come from countries as diverse as Australia, America, Russia, Japan, Europe and the Middle East.
‘From almost the moment I was appointed to the Edinburgh International Festival," said Mills, "I thought that 2012 represented a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the Festival and for Scotland. In that year the UK hosts both the world’s greatest cultural events and the world’s greatest sporting events, with the Festival spanning the period in between London Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Mills continued: "With all that in mind, I determined early in my directorship of the International Festival that we should plan on a scale of ambition that was commensurate with this opportunity, creating a programme that was uplifting, vibrant and energetic, in order to ensure that the benefits of the Olympics are spread across the country and that the Festival delivers on this opportunity for Scotland. I think we will do that in the programme, and I look forward to fully revealing next year’s Festival at our launch on Wednesday 14 March 2012."
The Edinburgh International Festival 2012 runs Thursday 9 August – Sunday 2 September in Scotland’s capital city.