A rock and a drama place

May 25 2022 | By More

Full details of this weekend’s inaugural StagEHd Festival.

This weekend, Saturday 28 and 29 May 2022, the Ross Bandstand is being taken over for the first ever StagEHd Festival, Edinburgh’s newest theatre festival, which has been funded by the City of Edinburgh Council’s Community Fund.

Born out of a conversation about the commercialisation of Edinburgh’s public spaces, StagEHd is an open access, free-to-attend festival of theatre, featuring the best of Edinburgh’s independent, grassroots and community theatre companies.

The nine productions range from amateur theatre, children’s theatre and puppetry, to youth musical theatre and avant-garde opera. Full details are in the listings below.

The Ross Band Stand Under Castle Rock on an Autumn evening. Pic: Thom Dibdin

One of the most notable productions of the weekend for All Edinburgh Theatre readers will be the production of rock on Sunday afternoon, a new site-specific work written specifically for performance at the Ross Bandstand by Claire Wood for the Edinburgh Graduate Theatre Group (EGTG).

The play explores the impact that people throughout history have had on the global climate. Hot on the heels of Glasgow’s hosting of COP26, it questions whether today’s society is doing enough to mitigate the worst effects of climate change.

Written from the perspective of the Castle Rock, the play provides a potted history of Edinburgh from the Ice Age to the present day. The role of rock is shared by three actors with the remaining performers portraying some of the people who have walked through what are now the beautifully landscaped gardens on Princes Street but which weren’t always so manicured.

a cast bursting with ideas

Claire Wood says: “We’re living in a global climate emergency. The world’s temperature is rising and the worst effects of that are already irreversible. We need to take action. We need to stop thinking this is someone else’s problem to fix. rock explores how we got here and what we need to do next.”

The play, which will be staged on Sunday at 2pm and is set to last an hour, is directed by Alan Patterson with a 14-strong cast.

Patterson adds: “Getting the chance to perform in Princes Street Gardens is a pleasure, and a welcome challenge to a cast bursting with ideas. The performance and script have evolved throughout the rehearsal process and the end result is a visually interesting piece that should stimulate discussion and challenge the audience.”

All performances are free to attend, with audiences encouraged to bring a picnic and blankets to enjoy the shows. Pre-book free tickets on the links in the listings or go to StagEHd’s Eventbrite page here.

Listings Saturday 28 May 2022

A Girl Called Grace
Mister Blue
Sat 28: 10am-10.45am
How to defeat a witch with kindness: the story of Grace and what happened when she met the witch, Baba Yaga. Puppet show suitable for ages 3+ Book here

Wawel Dragon
The Mirror of Stage
Sat 28: 11.30am-12.30pm.
Funny adaptation of a famous Polish legend about the mythical dragon who once lived in a cave at the foot of Wawel Hill, under the castle in Krakow, on the banks of Vistula River. Who will become a hero and a saviour of the city? Suitable for ages 5+ Book here

Bard on the Cards: Which Witch
Strike a Prose Shakespeare Troupe
Sat 28: 1.30-2.30pm.
The StagEHd organisers report: “Due to cast illness, Saturday’s performance of Bard on the Cards: Which Witch has been cancelled.
We wish all affected a full and speedy recovery, and hope to see Strike A Prose: Shakespeare Troupe at a future StagEHd Festival.

Were Shakespeare’s characters bewitched? If so, who dunnit? Was it really possession? Help us decide and get in on the act: you can even challenge our Witches to an on-the-spot monologue! Fun entertainment that brings you famous Shakespeare characters. Suitable for ages 6+ at guardian’s discretion. Book here

The Paul Connolly Showcase
Paul Connolly
Sat 28: 3.30pm-4.15pm.
Paul Connolly, Scottish actor and improviser (Spontaneous Potter and Absolute Improv!) had been looking for a show which would show him off to the world. Then, he decided writing one probably made more sense. So join Paul as he presents a whole bunch sketches featuring a variety of comedy characters, singing, dancing and more. Ages 14+ Book here

Musical Mania
Momentum Performing Arts
Sat 28: 5pm-5.45pm.
The students of Momentum Performing Arts present songs old and new in musical theatre. Our 6 to 18 year-old cast explore different genres and encourage our audience to join in if they know a song! From emotional to upbeat, from cute to energetic, join us on the adventure of Musical Mania Suitable for all ages. Book here

Listings Sunday 29 May 2022

The Wishing Well
Kate Macsween
Sun 29: 10am-10.45am.
A woman grieving for her lost child, is drawn to the magic of the Wishing Well. She is given the gift of the thing she desires the most. She accepts that there will be a forfeit but does not know what it will be. Many happy years pass but the threat of the Wishing Well hangs over her. One day, she has to pay the price. Suitable for ages 6+. Book here

The Mummers Meadows
Sun 29: 12 noon – 12.30pm.
A 21st century adaptation of a traditional Scottish folk drama, played by an all-female cast. This is outside “normal” theatrical conventions. There is no attempt at reality. A presenter introduces the play; a villain appears, followed by a hero. There is a challenge, a sword fight, and the hero is killed. This isn’t how the story is supposed to go. How will good triumph over evil in the end? Suitable for ages 3+ Book here

Sun 29: 2pm-3pm.
Spat out of a volcano 350 million years ago, the Castle Rock has watched over Edinburgh ever since. Hundreds of thousands of lives, loves, promises kept and promises broken later, the temperature is rising. And the rock is powerless to stop it. Suitable for ages 6+ Book here

KATABASIS: an underworld opera
lonely carp
Sun 29: 5pm-6pm.
Live performance of lonely carp’s studio debut, a concept album curated as a gripping descent to the underworld through seven movements of coalescing mythology, each more intense than the last. Drawing from neoclassical and industrial influence, lonely carp utilises extended vocal and instrumental technique to create a shocking live art performance that further develops the ciphers of the album, her latest multi-disciplinary work of trans* activism. Recommended age 16+. Book here


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