Book Fest on Stage

June 19, 2017 | By | 2 Replies More

Theatre-related events at EIBF 2017

The Edinburgh International Book Festival has ramped up its theatre-related offering for this year’s festival, even as it increases the total number of events to over 1,000.

Running from Saturday 12 to Monday 28 August 2017, the festival this year recognises its theatre offering with a special strand – Playing with Books. Tickets for all EIBF events go on sale on Tuesday 20 June 2017 at 8.30am.

Edinburgh International Book Festival. Pic: Alan McCredie

The Playing with Books strand includes specially commissioned stage adaptations of three talked-about books of the last year, staged performances of theatre work, and investigations of the path that a book takes as it goes from the written word to a staged play.

Book Festival director Nick Barley told Æ: “We are enormously excited to be exploring new ways for audiences to engage with books at the Book Festival, and as part of the Playing with Books strand bringing three exceptional books to life on stage.”

The three books are The Outrun by Amy Liptrot, His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet and Dirt Road by James Kelman. They will be staged in association with the Lyceum. Each will get one performance in the Garden Theatre in Charlotte Square Gardens, on successive Saturday nights over the festival, followed by a discussion with the author and creative teams.

“Audiences will experience first-hand the remarkable process of how directors and playwrights begin interrogating and responding to their favourite books,” Barley continued. “The raw and compelling journey from page to stage gives us the opportunity to explore characters, ideas and voyages in new and dramatic ways seldom delved into.”

Other elements of this strand include Writing for Theatre, a workshop on writing for the stage by Mexican dramatist Ximena Escalante (Tue 15), and From Page to Performance (Thurs 24), with Oliver Emanuel talking with Caroline Brothers about adapting her book Hinterland for the stage as Flight – which is being staged at the EIF.

Music and words

Music and words come together as fiddler Aidan O’Rourke and writer James Robertson discuss Robertson’s 365: Stories – a story for every day of the year – which inspired O’Rourke to write a tune a day (Thurs 17); and later the same day in Lord Fox, a “dark and transporting new performance” from song-maker Kirsty Law, author Kirsty Logan and contemporary harpist Esther Swift.

Barley adds: “With this highly anticipated strand of events featuring prominent theatre-makers and musicians creating ground-breaking new music, we endeavour to present our readers and audiences with a whole new perspective, as we explore the significance and joy of playing with books.”

Performance wise, Edinburgh-based actor and director Mark Kydd is doing four performances of his one-man show There Were Two Brothers, while performance artist, cellist and composer Greg Sinclair is performing his intimate A Piece of You, for audiences of three, Monday 14 to Friday 18 August.

Outside the official strand, there are still many theatre links, including actor Stephen McGann on his family of actors (Mon 21), festival regular Simon Callow on his career (Fri 18) and biography of Wagner (Sat 19) and Harriet Walter on Shakespeare’s gender politics (Sun 27). Sadly Charlotte Rampling has had to cancel her event on Sat 19.

On a wider level, Leonie Orton, playwright Joe Orton’s sister, discusses the impact and legacy of her brother’s work (Tue 22) and the artistic director of the Globe, Dominic Dromgoole, discusses the project of taking Hamlet around the world.

Listings by date:

A Stone’s Throw
Sat 12 – Wed 16 Aug: 10.30am (11.30am) Bosco Theatre (George Street).
For Families and children 7+.
Booking & Details: www.edbookfest.co.uk
Giddy Aunt Theatre use live music, storytelling and puppetry to explore our responsibility to the planet in their inventive and entertaining show.

Dominic Dromgoole: The Bard Goes Abroad
Saturday 12 Aug 2.15pm (3.15pm), Garden Theatre.
Booking & Details: www.edbookfest.co.uk
Artistic Director of the Globe, Dominic Dromgoole, recalls a crazy two years of confronting political strife in Ukraine, suffering food poisoning in Mexico and being threatened with ambush in Somaliland.

The Outrun by Amy Liptrot
Saturday 12 Aug: 8pm (9.30pm) Garden Theatre.
A Playing with Books event.
Booking & Details: www.edbookfest.co.uk.
Amy Liptrot’s heartfelt memoir about rebalancing her life during a winter alone on Orkney is one of the most talked-about Scottish books of the past year.

No Dogs, No Indians A Legacy that lingers on
Sunday 13 Aug 7.30pm (9pm), Garden Theatre
Booking & Details: www.edbookfest.co.uk
To mark the 70th anniversary of Indian independence, Siddhartha Bose presents an evening of readings, performance, music and discussion exploring the effects and legacy of the British in India.

There Were Two Brothers
Sun 13/Mon 14, Fri 18/Sat 19 Aug: 8.30pm (9.30pm) Bosco Theatre (George Street)
A Playing with Books event.
Booking & Details: www.edbookfest.co.uk
Inspired by brothers, both real and fictional, Mark Kydd takes an unexpected journey through his experiences with his brother and the discovery that they share more than a birthday.

A Piece of You
Mon 14 – Fri 18 Aug, 10am – 5:30pm
A Playing with Books event.
Booking & Details: www.edbookfest.co.uk
An intimate performance for up to three people at a time in which performance artist, cellist and composer Greg Sinclair creates and plays a new piece of music based on his audience’s own thoughts.

Plan: Build a New Town
Monday 14 Aug 6pm (7:30pm) Baillie Gifford Imagination Lab.
A Playing with Books event.
Booking & Details: www.edbookfest.co.uk
Scottish theatre maker Ishbel McFarlane’s Plan is an interactive performance involving a game in which you and your fellow ‘jurors’ build your own imaginary New Town.

Writing for Theatre: Creative Writing Workshop
Tuesday 15 Aug: 6.30pm (8.30pm) The Greenhouse 3 (George Street).
A Playing with Books event.
Booking & Details: www.edbookfest.co.uk
Mexican dramatist Ximena Escalante leads a workshop which guides you through writing for the stage.

Simon Callow: An Extraordinary Life
Friday 18 Aug 6.45pm (7.45pm), Baillie Gifford Main Theatre.
Booking & Details: www.edbookfest.co.uk
In this special event in memory of the much-missed Edinburgh impresario Frederick Hood, Callow talks to Jenny Brown about his extraordinary life.

Stephen McGann: An Acting Family Tree Rose Up
Monday 21 Aug 8:15pm (9:15pm). Baillie Gifford Main Theatre.
Booking & Details: www.edbookfest.co.uk
McGann discusses his motivation behind writing his memoire, Flesh and Blood, and what it’s like to be in such a close-knit acting troupe.

Aidan O’Rourke, James Robertson & Kit Downes: A Tune and a Story a Day
Thursday 17 Aug: 3.30pm (4.30pm) Baillie Gifford Main Theatre.
A Playing with Books event.
Booking & Details: www.edbookfest.co.uk.
Scottish fiddler Aidan O’Rourke was inspired to write a tune a day for a whole year as a musical response to James Robertson’s book, 365, itself a collection of stories written on, and for, each day of the year.

Lord Fox: A Tale for Our Times
Thursday 17 Aug: 6.30pm (7.30pm) Bosco Theatre (George Street).
A Playing with Books event.
Booking & Details: www.edbookfest.co.uk
Song maker Kirsty Law, author Kirsty Logan and contemporary harpist Esther Swift with a dark and transporting new performance inspired by the traditional tale of seduction, curiosity, violence and revenge.

Imagined Theatres: Visions of the World on Stage.
Thursday 17 Aug: 7.30pm (9pm) Garden Theatre.
A Playing with Books event.
Booking & Details: www.edbookfest.co.uk
Inspired by Italo Calvino and Jorge Luis Borges, American theatre maker Daniel Sack asked 121 writers and artists to respond with new visions of the world, no more than one page long.

His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet
Saturday 19 Aug 8pm (9.30pm), Garden Theatre.
A Playing with Books event.
Booking & Details: www.edbookfest.co.uk
In 1869, a brutal triple murder in a remote Scottish Highland community leads to the arrest of a young man. Graeme Macrae Burnet’s brilliant bestseller asks what drove young Roderick to commit such merciless acts of violence.

Charles Causley 100 Years: A One of a kind Performance.
Sunday 20 Aug: 7.30pm (9pm) Garden Theatre.
A Playing with Books event.
Booking & Details: www.edbookfest.co.uk
Some of the storytellers, poets, spoken word artists and puppeteers supported by The Charles Causley Trust give a one-of-a-kind performance of original work and Causley classics.

Row Your Boat
Mon 21 – Fri 25 Aug: 10.30am (11.15am) Bosco Theatre (George Street).
For children ages 4 – 7.
Booking & Details: www.edbookfest.co.uk
Daphne the duck is getting ready for her bath when she discovers she has run out of bubble bath – what a disaster! Join Grinagog Theatre and help Daphne row her boat in this bubble-making, rollicking adventure full of live music and interaction.

Leonie Orton with Jake Arnott: Keeping an Artistic Legacy Alive.
Tuesday 22 Aug 2.30pm (3.30pm), Bosco Theatre (George Street).
Booking & Details: www.edbookfest.co.uk
The sister of playwright Joe Orton shares her memoir, discussing the impact and legacy of her brother’s work with novelist Jake Arnott.

Caroline Brothers & Oliver Emanuel: From Page to Performance
Thursday 24 Aug 2.30pm (3:30pm) Bosco Theatre (George Street)
A Playing with Books event.
Booking & Details: www.edbookfest.co.uk.
Oliver Emanuel talking with Caroline Brothers about adapting her book Hinterland for the stage as Flight – which is being staged at the EIF.

Nicholas Hytner: Making Theatre Popular
Saturday 26 Aug 3.15pm (4.15pm) Baillie Gifford Main Theatre
Booking & Details: www.edbookfest.co.uk.
Does the ex-Director of the National Theatre – who revamped Shakespeare, introduced a new pricing structure and put theatre onto the big screen – have any regrets in his pursuit of making a trip to the theatre popular again? Chaired by James Runcie.

Dirt Road by James Kelman
Saturday 26 Aug 8pm (9:30pm) Garden Theatre.
A Playing with Books event.
Booking & Details: www.edbookfest.co.uk
In his latest novel, James Kelman explores the brevity of life, the agonising demands of love, the lure of the open road and the power of music.

Harriet Walter: Shakespeare’s Gender Politics.
Sunday 27 Aug 3.15pm (4.15pm), Baillie Gifford Main Theatre.
Booking & Details: www.edbookfest.co.uk
Walter recently played Brutus, Henry IV and Prospero in an all-female trilogy at the Donmar Warehouse. Having already played the Bard’s key heroines, she talks about how she approached the male roles and what choices she had to make.

ENDS

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Sites That Link to this Post

  1. The Outrun : All Edinburgh Theatre.com | August 14, 2017
  2. Book Festival Round-up : All Edinburgh Theatre.com | August 26, 2017

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