So on Sunday I returned from a sneaky holiday in Spain and plunged straight into one of the world’s biggest arts festival – HELLO EDINBURGH 2012!
As Ed mentioned in his blog one of the hats we are wearing this year is that of producers for Mess, Caroline Horton’s new show that is playing at The Traverse and was developed in part through the Triggered@Warwick programme . I’m delighted to report that the show is doing very well indeed, we’ve had some lovely reviews (this is a favourite piece of writing about the show) and had a tremendous response from sizeable audiences – some of which you can read on Storify
What have I seen that I have particularly enjoyed…
And No More Shall We Part made for a very weepy start to the day on Tuesday, like Lovesong (which we had at Warwick Arts Centre earlier in the year) it’s about assisted suicide and facing the emotional carnage wreaked debilitating terminal illness. It’s deeply personal in approach and really, really beautiful – wonderful writing from Tom Holloway. The performances are immaculate and if it tours it would be wonderful to bring this to our audience.
I left Rob Drummond’s Bullet Catch with a spring in my step. It’s part magic show (very good magic) but also a charming rumination on the juxtaposing human desires for understanding the world around us whilst also wanting things to remain magical. He does a bullet catch at the end but it’s the way he reveals our need for each other and for love that I found most striking and moving.
Mess is (in part) a play about anorexia (don’t let that put you off) and so I was really keen to see Fin Robertson’s Strongarm – here as part of the Old Vic’s programme. It’s the story of Roland Poland, a bullied and overweight young man who becomes obsessed with bodybuilding. It doesn’t have such a positive ending (no bad thing) as Mess but it’s a great show and really well performed by Fin – Rosie liked this one too.
Will Eno’s collection of 5 short plays Oh, The Humanity and Other Good Intentions was exquisitely written and performed. Some may remember Thom Pain being a bit of a hit in Edinburgh a few years ago – this show also produced by Soho Theatre is equally good particularly the first and second pieces. Among the fine cast of 3 is West Midlands based acting powerhouse Lucy Ellinson.
David Greig’s Letter of Last Resort is also terrific, it’s pretty lean at 40 minutes but no less profound for it.
Having been coming for Edinburgh for over 15 years I have successfully managed to avoid seeing the Tattoo until now. I didn’t go but caught a snippet of the Australian Defence Force Band at a showcase for Australian work on at The Festival. And do you know what… it was rather wonderful – in a surprisingly camp way for actual servicemen and women.
Congratulations to Monkey Bars, Chris Goode’s new show commissioned by Warwick Arts Centre which won a much deserved Fringe First Award today. Coming to Warwick Arts Centre soon…