Ed here with my first blog from Edinburgh. Apologies for the blog silence up until now. It has been even busier than usual!
So – Paul and I arrived on Wednesday and already we have covered rather a lot of ground. Lots of shows, 2 conferences, lots of meetings.
Our highlights so far…
Great shows… of the things I’ve seen so far there are some standout un-missables:
Fuel’s The Simple Tings in Life takes place over the course of a walk through the Botanical Gardens. They’ve commissioned Frauke Requardt, David Harradine, The London Snorkling Team, Lewis Gibson and Barnaby Stone to each make a new piece of work for a garden shed. Its great, beautiful, moving, witty… and a very good way to see a real range of work in one go… and an enormous pleasure to have an excuse to get away from the madness of the festival for a few hours. Blind Summit’s The Table at The Pleasance Dome is a piece of virtuouso puppetry – highly skilled, highly entertaining and very likely to sell out so buy your tickets now! Next up, David Greig’s The Monster in the Hall at The Traverse, a four hander musical about a teenager fighting not to be put into care, motorbikes, campery, second life, and multiple sclerosis are the unlikely ingredients in a brilliantly moving and sparky story.
Lots more seen but running out of time so I’ll come to them the next time I get a chance to blog.
Alongside the shows – the conferences. We were invited to take part in the annual symposium on talent development organised by Festivals Edinburgh. It was a genuinely exciting 2 days of discussions, provocations and conversations about how organisations can nurture talent. It will undoubtedly have a significant impact on how Paul and I work with people. The whole event was broadcast by Amplified. Its really worth checking out – particularly Ruth Little’s Keynote and Chris Thorpe’s rallying cry about making art.
And then today, The Edgelands flash conference at Forest Fringe, very different and also rather inspiring. Its all been webbed up here. And again Chris Thorpe stole the day…
This week don’t miss Inspector Sands’ If That’s All There Is – its at The Pleasance Courtyard at 3.00 for just 6 performances from Tuesday. It’s a rather brilliant witty and existential portrait of a couple on the brink of marriage. It was a huge hit at the festival in 2009 when it was at the Traverse –where it won the Edinburgh International Festival Prize and has since been travelling the world – its been all over – from New York to China! Anyway – I’m producing their next show – Mass Observation at The Almeida next year – so this is a great chance to get to know their work! (4 stars in Guardian, Scotsman, Herald… ‘Brilliant, slippery, deliciously sharp and witty.’)
And lastly – something that Paul and I are hugely proud of – back in the spring we mentored a group of students at East 15 drama school to create 6 brand new pieces entirely made / written / produced by them. They’ve bought 5 of then to Edinburgh – hugely impressive in itself – and made a real success of it. They have a string of 4 star reviews to show for it and one of them was The Scotsman’s pick of last week! So – if you want to see some of the best student (or at least recently graduated) work on the Fringe get along to Ink, Kitty Litter, The Observatory, Perfection and Thugz ‘n Tearz.
Right, that’s enough from me. Do keep recommendations coming in, there are no gaps in the China Plate schedule but if something is un-missable then we’ll make room or bump something!