Thursday, 24 July 2014

Five for Andy @ The Fringe

Andy Lindsay is officially 'alright by me.' As the marketing guy at Tramway, back in the day, he was kind to me as a fledgling critic: I can safely say I would not be the cultural colossus that I am today without his early support.

That might put him on a hit-list, but he has wisely decided not to do press at this year's Fringe. This means he asked me for a couple of top tips. Here's Andy's Five: try these out for size, Maestro of Marketing...

This was already good enough to get a mention in The List (in a piece about verbatim drama), but they have announced some guest stars.

Premiering at this year’s Edinburgh Festival, Outings is a new show inspired by Tom Daley which places true-life coming-out stories from around the world centre stage. Each day a special guest star will join the core cast members onstage.

The first guest stars have just been announced and will include a host of fringe favourites including Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Adam Riches, award-winning comic Scott Capurro, British-Asian stand-up comic Shazia Mirza, Olivier-award nominated singer and actress Adele Anderson (Fascinating Aïda), Britain’s favourite astrologist Russell Grant, Scottish broadcaster Hardeep Singh Kohli, festival favourite Stephen K Amos, Scottish stand-up Janey Godley, comedian and activist Mark Thomas and host of BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Live Reverend Richard Coles. 

Okay, I am not exactly excited by Russell Grant (astrology is the work of the devil, notwithstanding his nice jumpers), but isn't Richard Coles out of the Communards? I follow him on twitter.

30 July – 25 August 2014 (not 6, 13 & 21 August) 13:00 (70 mins)
Fringe Venue 14: Gilded Balloon Teviot Sub-venue: Debating Hall.
Tickets £10 - £13: 0131 622 6552  or 0131 226 0000

The Zulu
31 July - 25 August, 12:45
Assembly Hall - Rainy Hall
A Grammy Award winner and Tony Award nominee, South African theatre and music legend Mbongeni Ngema returns to the stage after twenty-seven years to retell stories, told to him as a young boy growing up in the heart of Zululand, by his blind great-grandmother, Mkutshana. 

I had a chat with Ngema, and the audacity of his answers makes me think this is going to special. Check it out.

Is this a play that could only come from SA (that might be a silly question, given the title)?
Yes the play could only have come from South Africa as it reflects the formation of the Zulu Nation by that awesome military genius King Shaka Zulu. The disputes and jealousies in his family and the rivalry up to his assassination by his brothers .The arrival of white British and Boer Settlers and their impact on the history of South Africa. Culminating with the Anglo/Zulu War of 1879, the battle of Isandlwana. A great Zulu Victory.

Does it reflect what is happening across SA theatre?This is a unique piece of theatre also new to South African audiences. It is a trend setter.

No self-effacement there... but then again...

Ngema co-wrote the classic Woza Albert! and created the Broadway hits Sarafina! and Asinamali!

He has got form.

Eggs Collective Get A Round
Duckie favourites Eggs Collective, present their first full-length show. Inspired by the political sharpness and levity of the people Eggs love such as Caitlin Moran, Laurie Penny, Amanda Palmer and Amy Lamé, Get A Round explores feminism, community and friendships in a darkly-comic, surreal and sharply-observational style. 

Eggs have crowd surfed through The Royal Vauxhall Tavern dressed as Dot Cotton, showered a mill-full of partygoers with white feathers at midnight on New Years' Eve and vomited on stage at the Southbank Centre. 

Andy, you know Duckie. It's the place where cabaret still has an edge and is unquestionably cool. This is going to be fun and politically comfortable. Of course, you could see Jim Davidson instead.

Venue: The Counting House, Loft (170) 
Friday 1- Sunday 24 August 2014, 00:00 to 01:00
Suitable for ages 16+ (contains adult themes and occasional use of strong language).

L’ENFANT QUI…A Circus show by T1J (Belgium)
Institut français d’Ecosse Fringe 2014
6 – 24 August, 18:00 (55 mins)

It's Belgian, Andy, it's Belgian. That is all we need to know, because the Belgians are out there when it comes to theatre... imagine what their circus must be like. 

A poetic performance inspired by the life of sculptor Jephan de Villiers and combining acrobatics, puppetry and live music.
Under the dome of the 150 seats tailor-made circus tent, the Belgian company T1J (Theatre d'un Jour) bring together acrobats, a puppeteer and a cellist in this non speaking show telling the touching story of an ill child.

Lonely, often bedridden and long considered inadequate to the world, the boy finds a way to escape the reality through arts, his connection to Nature, and the power of his imagination. Thanks to leaves, barks, fallen branches or moss picked-up from his forest walks and nearly dead just like him, the young boy creates his own poetic world to forget the jail of his sickness.

Seriously, this is like the good old days at Tramway. 

The Taiwan SeasonThe first season of Taiwanese work at the Fringe, showcasing a diverse range of contemporary dance from the five of the country’s most exciting emerging companies
Impression of Taiwan Venue150@EICC
Misa-Lisin Summerhall (Old Lab)
Kid Box Summerhall (Main Hall)
Kurakuraw Dance Glass Bead Dance Base (Studio 3)
Eggs of Blessings Dance Base (Studio 3) 

Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture proudly presents the inaugural Taiwan Season. This spectacular showcase of Taiwan’s performing arts will offer a diverse spectrum of contemporary dance, physical theatre and music, with radical new interpretations of the country’s aboriginal culture by five of its hottest companies, now emerging onto the international stage.

Feng Dance Theatre’s Kid Box integrates interactive digital effects with elegant choreography, creating innovative and moving dance works. The Grammy and American Independent Music Award nominated Ten Drum Art Percussion Group has rocked audiences from Sydney to Avignon with Impression of Taiwan, a mind-blowing work of percussive art. Jade and Artists Dance Troupe’s Eggs of Blessings explores the tensions between Eastern aesthetics and the narrative techniques of the West to form intensely dramatic dance productions that have toured Europe and South America to critical success. The Langasan Theatre’s Misa-Lisin presents the profound artistic traditions of Taiwan’s Amis tribe, with ancient songs, choreography, and rituals that bring their intriguing culture vividly to life. Tjimur Dance Theatre’s Kurakuraw Dance Glass Bead invents new creative possibilities for aboriginal dance, expressing the spirit of the ‘Paiwan’ tribe in a technically stunning and thematically innovative production.  

Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Various Venues, 1st to 24th August 2014

All I shall do here is add a picture: we need this art in our heart.

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