StagEHd Fest Details

May 10 2023 | By More

Full programme for 2023 edition revealed

StageEHd the open-access, free-to-attend festival of theatre is to return to the Ross Bandstand on the weekend of Saturday 10/Sunday 11 June 2023 with a dozen pieces from Edinburgh’s independent, grassroots and community theatre companies.

The weekend will include the return of last year’s hit company, Momentum Performing Arts, along with works by Shakespeare and Moliere; one-act plays, family-friendly comedy horror, an EdFringe preview and a Midsummer taster.

Momentum Performing Arts performing at StagEHd 2022 with their Musical Mania. Pic: Louise Montgomery

Currently presented under the umbrella of the Edinburgh Graduate Theatre Group, StagEHd hopes to establish itself as an annual fixture in Edinburgh’s festival programme, giving space and opportunity to performing artists to experiment and showcase their work to their local audience.

This year’s festival opens at noon on Saturday 10 June 2023 with the return of the students of Momentum Performing Arts with their Musical Mania, a mash-up of musicals new and old. The audience demanded an encore from the group in 2022, and this year is likely to be just as popular.

Saturday continues with offerings from Edinburgh’s newest community theatre companies and one of its oldest.

First The Forth Act will preview their debut production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at 1.30pm with a taster performance before their open-air run at Saughton Park later in June and previewed here: Al Fresco Midsummer Night’s Dream.

hilarious and well-observed

Then at 2.30pm, Edinburgh People’s Theatre, Edinburgh’s longest running community theatre company, reprise their hilarious and well-observed production of The Book Club of Little Witterington, which won first prize in the Edinburgh district round of the SCDA’s One Act Play Festival at the Church Hill Theatre in February (EPT’s Book Club wins One Acts)

Later on Saturday afternoon, Shifting Sands Theatre will lead an all-ages workshop in Clown & Physical Comedy at 3.30pm. Frighthouse Productions share their 2022 EdFringe show The Wheel of Misfortune at 4.30pm, a family-friendly horror anthology inspired by Goosebumps and The Twilight Zone, with three tales of the surreal and the spooky (★★★☆☆ Comically disturbing)

Finally on Saturday, Castle Rock will come alive with song as Edinburgh’s premier community choir, Sing in the City bring the first day of the festival to a close with Sing in the City – Under the Castle from 6pm.

Jacquie Clayton, Carol Bryce, Joanna Meiklejohn, Sally North and Pat Johnson in PT’s award winning production of The Book Club of Little Witterington at the Church Hill Theatre in February. Pic: Ailie Henderson

Sunday’s performances start at noon with the return of Mr Blue Productions and Our ABC Story which uses puppets, pockets, and a variety of objects to help young audiences create their very own “Once upon a time…” story.

The young dancers of KS Dance Academy take to the stage at 1.30pm with a Showcase production of their work. Scotland’s premier all-female mumming troupe, The Meadows Mummers, give A Midsummer Night’s Dream its second outing of the weekend at 2.30pm with a pastiche of Shakespeare’s play within a play and The Not-So-Rude Mechanicals.

There is more EdFringe preview work from emerging theatre company Resilience Theatre Movement at 3.30m. Former friends and roommates, Annie and Frances haven’t spoken to each other in more than a year. But sparks fly when Frances shows up at Annie’s door drunk and demanding to talk in Waiting for Champagne.

the power of words

At 5pm, emerging playwright Kate Macsween returns after debuting her play The Wishing Well at StagEHd 2022 (★★★☆☆ Good concept), to demonstrate the power of words in Letters from Holloway, a story inspired by the women and young offenders incarcerated at Holloway Prison.

The Mirror of Stage / Lustro SCENY, Edinburgh’s bilingual English and Polish theatre company close out the festival on Sunday evening at 6pm with Molière’s Garden Party, a funny yet thoughtful play that unravels the absurdity of human nature, which is an an adaptation of one of Molière’s famous comedies, The Bourgeois Gentleman.

Supported by the Edinburgh Graduate Theatre Group and The National Lottery Awards for All Scotland Fund, StagEHd Festival is an open-access, free-to-attend, two-day celebration of Edinburgh’s performing arts.

StagEHd 2023 will take place at the Ross Bandstand in Princes Street Gardens West on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 June. Entry to the festival is free with a bucket collection at the end of each performance. 100% of the proceeds will be shared amongst the artists performing.

StagEHd 2023 Programme

Saturday 10 June

12 noon- 1pmMusical Mania (Momentum Performing Arts)
1.30 – 2pm: A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Taster (The Forth Act)
2.30 – 3pm: The Book Club of Little Witterington (Edinburgh People’s Theatre)
3.30 – 4pm: Workshop: CLOWN & PHYSICAL COMEDY (Shifting Sands Theatre)
4.30 – 5.30pm: The Wheel of Misfortune (Frighthouse Productions)
6 – 7.30pm: Sing in the City – Under the Castle (Sing in the City)

Sunday 11 June

12 noon – 12.45pm: Our ABC Story (Mr Blue Productions)
1.30 – 2pm: KS Dance Academy Showcase (KS Dance Academy)
2.30 – 3pm: The Not-So-Rude Mechanicals (The Meadows Mummers)
3.30 – 4.20pm: Waiting for Champagne (Resilience Theatre Movement)
5 – 5.45pm: Letters from Holloway (Kate Macsween)
6 – 7pm: Moliere’s Garden Party (The Mirror of Stage | LustroSCENY)


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