EIF programme announced

Apr 6 2016 | By More

Solid showing for Linehan’s second EIF

Circus, Shakespeare and Sappy Songs will provide just some of the highlights for this year’s Edinburgh International Festival, running 5 – 29 August 2016.

The return of Alan Cumming to Edinburgh for the whole festival is the big news of a programme that is more solid than surprising. He will be singing his Sappy Songs for 20  performances of late-night cabaret at the Hub.

Alan Cumming. Photo Steve Vaccariello

Alan Cumming. Photo Steve Vaccariello

Cumming is part of the theatre programme, as artistic director Fergus Linehan seeks to question the nature of cabaret. In the music section Barry Humphries is also producing a cabaret show with singer Meow Meow – their Weimer Cabaret will be in the much less intimate confines of the Usher Hall for two nights.

Also bringing cabaret style to the programme are two performances in the morning concert series at the Queen’s Hall. Simon Keenlyside & Friends will be performing Jazz and cabaret from Gershwin, Belin, Weill and Kern, while Patricia Petibon will be singing Songs of Belle Epoque Paris, accompanied by Susan Manoff on piano.

In more conventional theatre – if you can call anything at the EIF conventional – there are short, five-night runs for a trio of big international foreign language Shakespeare productions at the Lyceum, as the festival’s nod to his 400th anniversary.

There are festival debuts for the Schaubuhne Berlin and British company Cheek by Jowl. Thomas Ostermeier directs the former in their version of Richard III, while Cheek by Jowl teem up with the Pushkin Theatre for a radically stripped back Measure for Measure.

French director Dan Jemmett returns to the festival with a reimagined Twelfth Night called Shake. Set in a 1970s seaside resort, this will the the second revised production of the show, which features a cast of only five.

Cherry Jones in The Glass Menagerie. Photo: Michael J. Lutch

Cherry Jones in The Glass Menagerie. Photo: Michael J. Lutch

Circus appears on the programme for the first time since La Cubana’s Nuts CocoNuts in 2005. This year it is the turn of the Swiss acrobat, clown, poet and magician: James Thierree to make his EIF debut. His Compagne du Hanneton bring a new show The Toad Knew – which had its world premiere last night in Geneva.

In terms of big revivals, the American Repertory Theater is bringing over its 2013 production of The Glass Menagerie, directed by John Tiffany and staring Tony Award-winner Cherry Jones, for a solid two week run at the King’s.

The National Theatre of Scotland is getting together with New York theatre company The TEAM, who have previously had a very strong association with the Traverse, for the world premiere of Anything that Gives off Light for ten performances at the EICC

Following last year’s revival of a existing Scottish theatre works, Linehan is bringing back Vanishing Point for this year’s programme. The hugely acclaimed, award-winning Interiors, first seen in 2009, will be in rep with recent distopian experiment The Destroyed Room, both having four performances at the Lyceum.

contemporary music

A separate contemporary music section is included for the first time. Included in this is folk singer and theatre composer Karine Polwart’s show Wind Resistance, directed by Wils Wilson and with dramaturgy by David Greig, which will be at the Lyceum rehearsal space for a fortnight residency.

The majority of the section is taken up by Scottish artists, many of whom are pushing the boundaries of performance. But it also includes a rare live performance from Canadian band Godspeed You! Black Emperor which is also providing live music for contemporary dance piece monumental for two nights at the Playhouse.

Elsewhere in the dance programme, the Sadler’s Wells production of multi award-winning Russian classical ballerina Natalia Osipova and Guests will be at the Festival Theatre for three shows. Scottish Ballet will be staging Emergence by Crystal Pite, also for three performances at the Festival Theatre, ahead of taking it out on tour around Scotland.

Last year Linehan brought in works aimed at a younger audience. This year he has two in the dance programme at the EICC. Chotto Desh is the Akram Khan Company with a solo based on Khan’s work Desh. And RAW is a work for young people and adults – by young people – from Belgian company Kabinet K.

In the Opera programme, the already announced Norma from the Salzburg Festival is joined by a staged performance of Cosi fan tutte from the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence. Over the next four years Linehan will be staging concert performances of Wagner’s Ring Cycle, starting this year with the Mariinsky Opera and Das Rheingold.

Full details on www.eif.co.uk/


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