Edinburgh On The Edinburgh Fringe

Aug 1 2011 | By More

Edinburgh-based professional companies appearing in the fringe

By Thom Dibdin

It’s Edinburgh’s festival, no matter what the nay-saying nutters who comment on the Scotsman‘s website might write. More tickets are sold to Edinburgh residents than to anyone else and it would seem that every Edinburgh-based theatre company, whether professional or amateur, has a show on.

It has pretty much always been this way. And it certainly was at the very first Edinburgh International Festival of 1947 – before the term “fringe” had even been coined. Then, four of the seven different companies who performed uninvited came from Edinburgh. Local amateurs outfit The Christine Orr Players had Macbeth, the Edinburgh People’s Theatre staged Thunder Rock, the Edinburgh District Scottish Community Drama Association put on Bridie’s The Anatomist and the Edinburgh College of Art Theatre Group had Strindberg’s Easter. Quite a line-up.

After the jump you’ll find details of this year’s professional productions from the Traverse, Royal Lyceum, Grid Iron, Theatre Alba, Nutshell Theatre, Emerald Blue, Gary Rodden Productions, Andy Jordan Productions, Nonsenseroom Productions, Leith on the Fringe and Lung Ha’s.

Lynda Radley’s Futureproof. Photo by Euan Myles

Traverse Theatre Company
Director Dominic Hill, in in his last production as Artistic Director of the Traverse, teams up again with designer Colin Richmond after the success of The Three Musketeers and the Princess of Spain. Futureproof is a “magical and deeply human” new play by Lynda Radley and her first for the Traverse.
“At the fag-end of freak shows’ popularity, science and religion have conspired to make peeping shameful. The audience have turned against them so Riley needs to find a new tale to tell. There’s no money in the coffers and they’ve had to eat the horse. Only the mermaid act is bringing in the punters and even she’s just holding her breath. To what lengths will Riley go to save his freak family?”
Venue 15: Traverse One. 6-28 August. Various times.
Website: http://www.traverse.co.uk/whats-on/futureproof/

Ten Plagues
Collaboration between four of the UK’s most distinctive artists – internationally acclaimed artist and iconic musician Marc Almond; playwright Mark Ravenhill; Traverse Artist in Residence and international theatre director and opera designer Stewart Laing; and the award winning Conor Mitchell.
“London is infected. The dead fall in the streets. As the plague pits fill, the people of London struggle to maintain a society in the face of overwhelming mortality. Based on eyewitness accounts from 1665 and drawing poetic parallels with modern epidemics, Ten Plagues relates one man’s journey through a city in crisis.”
Venue 15: Traverse One. 1-28 August. Various times.
Website: http://www.traverse.co.uk/whats-on/ten-plagues/

Royal Lyceum
Wondrous Flitting
In his first play for the Fringe since the award-winning A Madman Sings to the Moon, Lyceum Artistic Director Mark Thomson directs his own black comedy about a clash of worlds, inspired by a chapter in Ed Hollis’s The Secret Lives of Buildings.
“In Loreto there’s a Holy House – a divine and wondrously flitting house. A vessel for the holy. Now it’s in Sam’s house. And Sam can’t figure it. It’s not every day a miracle happens and your house becomes the vessel that contains the vessel that contained Mary (as in Mary, the vessel that contained our Lord).
“This symbol of faith and transformation comes crashing into contemporary Scotland as Sam races through 24 hours of trapped parents, girlfriends and dentists to find meaning in this darkly comic odyssey.”
Venue 15: Traverse Two. 4-28 August. Various times.
Website: http://www.traverse.co.uk/whats-on/wondrous-flitting/

Grid Iron
What Remains
Multi-award winning Fringe regulars Grid Iron and award-winning Scottish composer and pianist David Paul Jones go on a journey through life. And death.
What Remains is an immersive theatre piece that utilises its location in the Medical School and its proximity to the Anatomy Museum to explore the theme of human remains: what happens when our spirit leaves? What mark do we leave on the world once darkness falls? And what are the connections between the human body and the body of a piece of music?
“The central character, a moody and obsessive pianist, conjures up the ghosts of his past pupils. Fascinated by the perfection of the musical scale and the anatomy of music, he measures himself and his pupils against the demands of the piano, which becomes a malevolent presence in the space.”
Venue 132: Traverse @ University of Edinburgh Medical School Anatomy Department, Teviot Place; 4th – 28th August; 6.30pm, 8pm & 9.30pm (not Mons), 60 mins.
Website: http://www.traverse.co.uk/whats-on/what-remains/

Theatre Alba
Baba Yaga (and the Girl With the Kind Heart)

Theatre Alba Poster

Theatre Alba PosterPromenade performance through Duddingston Kirk Manse Gardens for family audiences, written and directed by Clunie Mackenzie. Musical Director, John Sampson.

“Based on a traditional Russian Folk tale, the story is full of songs and fun. There is plenty of interaction with the kids as each scene is revealed with each new twist in the path through the magical woods. As the audience are led through the gardens in a promenade performance geared to delight, this family show sparkles and surprises. With this winning formula Clunie Mackenzie and her experienced team of actors and musicians never fail to delight young ( and not so young) audiences every year.”
Venue 121: Duddingston Kirk Manse Gardens (outdoors)
1-6 and 8-13 August 11.am; 7 & 14 August 2.30pm (60 mins)
Website: theatrealba.com

The Good Doctor
Theatre Alba Adult Leisure Group give five lunchtime performances of The Good Doctor – Neil Simon’s series of tragi-comedic vignettes based on a number of the short stories that first brought Chekhov to prominence.
“Part of the company’s Russian season, this hugely entertaining compilation of adaptations of Chekhov short stories is by the brilliant humorist and playwright Neil Simon and is presented by Alba’s Adult Leisure Group. The small intimate space of the Marquee is perfect for this type of show.
“Alba’s Adult Leisure Group dates back to 1995 and is made up of individuals from all walks of life: teachers, solicitors, accountants, unemployed joiners, students to name but a few. All with a love of the theatre are welcome. Rehearsals and productions take place in the same way as with a professional company, under the direction of Charles Nowosielski and augmented when necessary by relevant personnel.”
Venue 121: Duddingston Kirk Gardens, In the Marquee
2-6 August 12.30pm (75 mins)
Website: theatrealba.com

Chekhov Shorts
These two farcical vaudevilles are part of Theatre Alba’s Russian season. “Smoking is Bad For You is a comic monologue of cringe-worthy amusement, whilst The Bear portrays self-seeking indulgence. Played under canvas, both are a joy to behold.
“This is only the second year of our 13 at Duddingston where we have used the marquee as an intimate theatre. The space lends itself brilliantly to the immediacy of these unusually brilliant short farces, where Chekhov parades a grotesque gaggle of egocentric and grasping individuals. If the males are comically absurd, the women are even more so.
Venue 121: Duddingston Kirk Manse Gardens (Marquee)
9-13 and 16-20 August 4pm (75 mins)
Website: theatrealba.com/

The Cherry Orchard
Jo Clifford’s new adaptation of Anton Chekhov is given an outdoor performance in the Duddingston Kirk Manse Garden. A rug and midge repellent are recommended.
“To think that Chekhov is all gloom, doom and hopelessness is completely wrong. Our two hour evening of theatrical joy is highly recommended to all!
“The Cherry Orchard bubbles with laughter and optimism scene after scene. What is sad is that it proved to be Chekhov’s last play before he died in 1904 at the age of only 42.
“This family production is enhanced by live, original music composed by Richard Cherns (sometime of Runrig), and a new script. The story, as a portent of coming and irrevocable change in Russian society, has been brilliantly adapted from the original by the celebrated Scottish playwright, Jo Clifford.
Venue 121 Duddingston Kirk Manse Gardens (Overlooking the Loch)
10-14, 17-21 & 24-28 August, 7.30pm (150 mins)
Website: theatrealba.com

Nutshell Theatre
A darkly funny physical comedy written by Jules Horne and directed by Kate Nelson which marks Nutshell’s return to the fringe after a five-year holiday. The two-hander is performed by Scottish actress Nicola Jo Cully and Belfast-born Pauline Goldsmith, former winner of Best Actress in The Stage Awards for Acting Excellence at the Edinburgh Fringe.
“Do flowers matter as much as vegetables? Join green-fingered sisters Dora and Maddy as they live out their rivalry among the plants. When the unexpected rocks their uneasy balance, it’s time to do something radical. And what nicer way to watch a major case of sibling rivalry in action than over a cuppa and a home-made scone? A feast for the senses – a tale of life, death, Pink Fir apples and the secret power of worms.”
Venue 192: Assembly @ Inverleith Allotments (Entrance on East Fettes Avenue)
7, 13-14, 20-21, 27-28 August: 4pm, 5pm &, 6pm; 9-12, 16-19, 23-26 August: 11am, noon, 1pm. 45 mins.
Website: http://www.nutshelltheatre.co.uk/








Silence in Court poster







Emerald Blue
Silence In Court
Interactive court room fiction, written and directed by Liam Rudden, that draws on real life procedures from a number of legal traditions to create a mock court in which the audience are the jury. The final decision is the audience’s – and theirs alone – with only two verdicts available: Guilty or Not Guilty.
The jury discuss what they have heard until they reach a majority decision. They are given an opportunity to cross examine both complainant and accused. Cast includes Arron Usher, Edward Cory, Julie Heatherill, Ali Macdougall and Anne Kane-Howie.
“All stand. A court room somewhere… anywhere… nowhere. Charles Brand is charged with the rape of Jennifer Lyons. Is he guilty or not guilty? Only you, the jury, can decide as there were no witnesses. As the events leading up to the alleged assault are explored, who will you believe?
Venue 7, New Town Theatre, 96 George Street, 4-28 August (not 16). 8pm (60 mins)
Website: http://universalartsfestival.com/

Cock and Bull Story
Richard Crowe and Richard Zajdlic’s controversial modern classic is directed by Liam Rudden. Maxi Moffat plays Travis, a young, up-and-coming boxer, with Matt Robertson as his neddish best mate, Jacko.
Director Liam Rudden says: “Cock And Bull Story is an investigation of male identity. Set in the working class, testosterone fuelled world of a boxing club, the piece is the result of an intense eight month improvisation process, which began with two characters, a rapist and a homosexual… and a metaphor, boxing. In their introduction, the playwrights insist, ‘The intention was to investigate the macho image that pressurises men into adopting a stereotype often alien to their true natures and feelings’. The result is a beautiful, brutal, thoughtful and emotional look at the lives of two very recognisable types. There is NO message, just a challenge for the audience.”
Venue 7, New Town Theatre, 96 George Street, 4-28 August (not 16). 7.30pm (90 mins)
Website: http://universalartsfestival.com/

Gary Rodden Productions
The Tour Guide
Set on an open-top vintage Mac Tours bus, travelling around the iconic sites of Edinburgh. Edinburgh itself provides the set, lighting, sound and weather. Produced by Edinburgh Playhouse manager Gary Roden and written by James Graham, who is currently working on a new play for the National Theatre in London and has a screenplay going into production with BBC Films. The tour guide is played by Ian Hanmore.
“Our Tour Guide is being forced to leave his home – Auld Reekie – and so today will be his last tour. Keep your arms inside the vehicle at all times. We’re going ‘off piste’ … As the evening sun sets both on Edinburgh and on our Guide’s checkered past, he must battle his demons, not to mention Princes Street traffic, in this bitterly comic tale that promises to be one of the most theatrical and moving (quite literally) shows this year, cutting right to the heart of the place the festival calls home.”
Venue 87, Departing from Market Street, 3 – 28 August (not Mons) 6.15pm & 8.15pm (60 mins)
Website: garyrodenproductions.co.uk/

Andy Jordan Productions
The World According to Bertie
The first stage adaptation of Alexander McCall Smith’s novel, The World According To Bertie – the fourth instalment of the popular 44 Scotland Street series of novels that delves into the lives of a recognisable group of Edinburgh New Town inhabitants.
“Promises an unforgettable evening in the company of young Bertie as he struggles to escape his yoga lessons and pink bedroom, his perfectionist and overbearing mum Irene, raffish painter Angus whose dog Cyril is under threat, and McCall Smith’s many other colourful characters. Bertie dreams of fried Mars Bars and having a dog while his mother insists on psychoanalysis. Everyone is seeking peace of mind and, above all, love.
“Adapted for the stage by Lydia Bruce and Sandy Burns, this lively production is directed by Warren Hooper. It immerses its audience (of only fifty people per performance) in an entertaining and poignant cavalcade of Edinburgh life.”
Venue 348: C SoCo, at C Venues, Adam House, Chambers Street, 4 – 29 August (not 15); 7.20pm and 9pm (80 mins)
Website: C Venues






Hairy Maclary





Nonsenseroom Productions
Hairy Maclary
‘Out of the gate and off for a walk, went Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy.’
“Anyone with young children will recognise these immortal words instantly as the opening lines of the book Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy by Lynley Dodd. Following a sell-out run at the Fringe 2010, Hairy Maclary and his friends are springing off the page and onto the stage once again this summer. Featuring some new stories and a whole new look.
“Featuring many of the characters from the books like Hercules Morse, as big as a Horse – Bottomley Potts, covered in spots – Schnitzel von Krumm, with the very low tum and Scarface Claw – the toughest tomcat in town. With music, singing and several of your favourite Hairy Maclary stories, this show is a must for the whole family.”
Venue 3: Assembly George Square, 3-20 August; 10.30am (55 mins)
Website: www.nonsenseroom.co.uk

Handling Bach
Bach and Handel never met in history, but they do in Paul Barz’ sharply observed portrait of the musical titans of the Baroque, Eine Moegliche Begegnung, (the Meeting That Might Have Been) or, in punning English, Handling Bach. Translated by David Bryer.
“Eavesdrop as Bach and Handel cut and thrust over their music, their passions and their life-affirming longings, in this imagined meeting, under the celestial roof of the magnificent Rosslyn Chapel… Hallelujah!
“Beautiful live music, the most atmospheric setting, a Buffet set for a king and two titans of classical music meeting for the first time. This light comedy explores the characters of Handel and Bach through their music, their passion and their stomachs – with James Bryce, Simon Tait and Andrew Dalmeyer.”
Venue 74, Rosslyn Chapel, 4-20 August: 7.30pm (7.15 on 13 and 20 August); (135 mins)
Website: www.nonsenseroom.co.uk

Leith on the Fringe
Man to Man
Man to Man, is an electrifying solo show about a woman who steals the identity and clothes of her dead husband in order to survive. Man to Man is based on the true story of an extraordinary young woman who, by means of disguise and other forms of artifice, attempts to hold on to her late husband’s job during the Great Depression. As she attempts to forge a new life from the ashes of a life past, a newspaper article threatens to reveal all. Directed by John-Paul McGroarty and introducing Samantha Seaugh.
Venue 195: Leith on the Fringe @ Out of the Blue Drill Hall, 3-28 August (not Mons), 7.45pm (75 mins)
Website: www.leithonthefringe.com

Lung Ha’s
Medea’s Children
“Medea’s Children by Suzanne Osten and Per Lysander is a landmark play in Swedish theatre. It is the story, told in a playful, humorous and challenging way, of a family who manage to go through divorce realising that life must go on. When the play was first performed in 1975 it was pioneering in the way it brought children’s everyday, sometimes difficult, lives and reality to the stage. Medea’s Children is an international co-production between renowned inclusive theatre specialists Lung Ha’s Theatre Company (Scotland) and the internationally renowned Unga Klara (Sweden).”
Venue 157: St George’s West, 58 Shandwick Place; 13-29 August (not Tue/Wed) 10.30am (60 mins)
Website: www.lunghas.co.uk


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,