The Edinburgh Festival season was once again this year full of incredible work. Poorboy was busy delivering several participant workshops for the Fringe Central program - thank you to everyone who made it along - while we were also chuffed to see Ensemble member Brian Ferguson make his International Festival debut in Anything that Gives Off Light.
Between the International Festival, the Fringe Festival and the Book Festival, here are a few of our highlights that we recommend you keep an eye out for:
Gaël Le Cornec, performer of the acclaimed shows Frida Kahlo: Viva La Vida! and Camille Claudel, returns with a gripping new play on the current refugee crisis. Expect stunning visuals, poetic text and moving storytelling! Young Mana, from the war-torn Red-Yellow planet, is catapulted into a disturbing coming-of-age, twisted fairy-tale hyphen-full adventure-thriller with shadow creatures and pumpkin-headed soldiers. Will she survive this dangerous journey to the beautiful blue planet? 'A performance of virtuoso standard' ***** (Scotsman for Frida Kahlo). 'A class act' **** (Times for Camille Claudel).
Whiteout is a heartfelt contemporary dance theatre piece that gives resonance to the complexities of bi-racial relationships. Informed by personal experiences from her marriage and as the mother of bi-racial children, Natasha Gilmore, explores this issue with honesty and humour. With original music by Luke Sutherland the six dancers use their versatility of styles to create a visually exciting show. www.barrowlandballet.co.uk
A rousing call to arms by a 15-piece guerrilla-folk punk band. Bolstered by first-hand footage from behind the barricades, Counting Sheep invites you to lose yourself in the events that changed the course of Ukraine’s history. Sing, march, protest, dance, eat, recoil, laugh, cry – experience the revolution on the main floor, including food, or from the balcony seats above. Sung in traditional Ukrainian polyphony, this is an electrifying exploration of human resilience and immersive theatre at its best. 'As close as one could get to experiencing a revolution without actually putting your life on the line' (Torontoist.com).
Multi award-winning comic/activist Mark Thomas performed his first gigs in The Red Shed in Wakefield, a 47-foot-long wooden hut that doubles up as a Labour Club. Three decades later he returns to celebrate its 50th birthday, entwining the story of his political coming of age with the tale of the people who inspired him. The struggle for hope and survival in a shed, a story of strikes, fights, dinner ladies and beer; friendship, love, memory and above all belief. Theatre, stand-up, journalism, activism and a small amount of help from the audience.
Hailing from Sweden, Sirqus Alfon perform with their unique high-tech musical innovations – including lasers. Skilfully crafting a high-tech performance imbued with rhythm, humour and a touch of magic, they represent a genre entirely of their own in which the audience gets to be the star of the show. A crossover of artistic creation and stage engineering solutions, I Am Somebody provides an immersive experience of light and sound like you've never witnessed before. A show for the internet generation... and everyone else. www.sirqusalfon.com
There has been much media discussion recently about economic migration, but what about human trafficking – the forced movement, enslavement and exploitation of people across the world? Stirling-based experts Margaret Malloch and Paul Rigby have produced a timely and necessary book exploring the experiences of victims and perpetrators involved in this hidden world of socio-economic (and often sexual) exploitation. 'Human Trafficking - The Complexities of Exploitation' - Edinburgh Book Festival