Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: comedy on the fringe, dance marathon, dave gorman, Edinburgh Festival, edinburgh festival fringe, edinburgh fringe, edinburgh fringe comedy, fct, forth childrens theatre, grid iron, marc almond, marc almond in ten plagues, Mark Thomson, national theatre of Scotland, oedipus at the fringe, steven berkoff, The fringe, the raverse, The royal lyceum theatre company, the strange undoing of prudencia hart, The Wheel, theatre at the fringe, what remains, wondrous flitting
We saw the Wheel at the Traverse to kick off our festival and next we have the show that FCT is doing; The Chess Game. I chair this youth theatre and we have 40 excited youngsters treading the boards for the 33rd year in a row at the Festival.
Next, I have Wondrous Flitting, which The Lyceum is staging at The Traverse; The Lyceum Theatre Company’s first Fringe outing in many years.
Then there’s the shows I’ve booked so far. I’m seeing Steven Berkoff in action in Oedipus next Friday. That should be utterly sensational.
But also one of the hot tickets which I have is to see Marc Almond In Ten Plagues.
But my aching hollow in my chest is for Dance Marathon. Who will go with me to this experiential play in which the audience dance for four hours in a real life “They Shoot Horses Don’t They?’
There is more…all at the Traverse at the moment, a site specific piece in Edinburgh’s Medical Hospital which is about death and the afterlife called “What Remains” and David Greig’s reputedly wonderful “The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart” with its promising Kylie Minogue finale.
You’ll notice I am not doing the Fringe Cancer; Comedy.
I may do Dave Gorman, and I’ve been invited to The Stand opening night pre-fest jolly with CBS, but I don’t do comedy because I’m a miserable Quantas flyer.
Oh, and a snob.
Filed under: Arts, music, Scotland | Tags: Ann Hamilton, Avant garde, Edinburgh Festival, edinburgh festival 2010, edinburgh lyceum, Lyceum Edinburgh, Meredith Monk, PCO, penguin cafe orchestra, royal lyceum theatre edinburgh, the yceum
Well, it’s not every day you see a legend in the flesh. When I say a legend, I don’t mean of Clooneyesque proportions. I think we’re more in Daliesque territory because Meredith Monk (who records for ECM which might give you a clue) is not what you’d call mainstream. Approaching 70, she led the line in her own production with grace and conviction.
Her and co writer, Ann Hamilton’s Songs of Ascension (which was commissioned by the wildly applauded Kronos Quartet) is never, ever going to trouble any sort of populist chart any day soon. And the mass exodus from The theatre after about 15 minutes when it reached the height of “obscurity” was quite tell tale and amusing.
In the foyer beforehand I was told it was, to paraphrase, “pish”.
But it wasn’t. It’s a devastatingly original smorgasbord of jungle noises, American Indian type language and a range of string and wind instrumentation that goes from dischordant noise to utter beauty in less than a minute.
There’s quite a lot of creepy hippy dancing and some blurry meaningful monochrome video in abundance too.
But. It works. I loved it.
Although I guess I’d be a little challenged to explain the plot – other than it’s about nature, getting back to one’s roots and rebirth. Maybe.
Even Jeana loved it. Mostly (sort of).
Moments of pure Penguin Cafe Orchestra magic, particularly when what sounded to me like a harmonium was to the fore, just blew me away and actually, if you put your mind to it, you could ignore the silly dances. (She’s famous for her dancing apparently. But only in hippy circles.)
The choir (I assume put together locally) stole the show in the finale number and we all left happily.
Aah! Apart from the couple behind me who got a flea in their ear from me for chatting through the first 20 minutes. “If you don’t like it you can leave.” I informed them. “Some of us are trying to listen to this.”
Up they were shut!
Try this. You’ll no doubt hate it.
Filed under: Arts, family, jokes, life, politics, Rants, Scotland, stories, theatre, videos, Youtube | Tags: Edinburgh, Edinburgh Festival, edinburgh festival fring, fct, festival cavalcade, forth childrens theatre, holyrood park
WPC McBulldog dumped all 70 of us FCT members off the back of our float at the end of last Sunday’s Festival Cavalcade, leaving us transportless and facing the long walk back to Bangholm which, in fact Izzie and nine intrepid explorers embarked upon. The rest of us were left to ponder the demise of a tradition of 30 years where we all travel to Holyrood Park (or Princes Street in the old days) on the back of a 40 ft Artic.
So, for those of you who’ve shared the fun, have one last nostalgic look at Cavalcade 2010 starting at Bangholm as we left our spiritual home and later as we took the second of two wrong routes to the start.
It was a hoot.
Filed under: Arts, theatre | Tags: dornach, drama, Edinburgh Festival, kath howden, the last witch, The Traverse
Me and Mrs G went to see this highly recommended production yesterday and just managed to squeeze in with the last two seats in the theatre.
Let’s start on a plus note. The visual effects are stunning as is most of the acting, but especially the quite extraordinary Kath Howden. the music and sound add greatly to the experience and my overall take on it was positive. Good but not great I’d say.
The story is interesting and the dialogue is really good but something was missing for me (and I suspect most of the audience because the applause at the end was more grateful and polite than raucous).
It’s about the burning of The Last Witch in Scotland (in Dornach of all places in 1727) and I liked the way the story really centered on this madwoman’s affection for her daughter and her blind belief that she was indeed a witch when in fact she was really just an illusionist (and olden days junkie). The story of the daughter (played beautifully by Hannah Donaldson) was what actually gripped me most because there was just the suggestion that she (not her mother) might indeed be touched by the hand of the devil.
Rona Munro, in her programme notes, told us that there were many ways she could have told the tale (one thought was that the Witch may have had an ancient version of Alzheimers) and although I very much enjoyed the dialogue I just felt it missed a beat somewhere along the way.
Filed under: family, life, theatre | Tags: Edinburgh Festival, EL Doctorow, fct, Festival, forth childrens theatre, Fringe show, musical, The fringe
I spent most of today taking cast photos for Ragtime. Great fun and the kids at FCT were fab.
Well we ran off about 400 photos this afternoon at Newhaven Harbour and The Botanics. Here’s just a few as a wee taster. You can find them all on this Flickr link…
The New Rochelles were shot in sepia to reflect the stuffiness and formality of the time and their super wealth.
The Immigrants are shot in a blue duotone to represent the cold misery they are about to face in an America that ain’t gonna welcome them.
Filed under: advertising, business, for sale, humour, jokes, life, Scotland | Tags: Edinburgh Festival, fringe, juggling, lidl, unicycles
The Scottish unicyclying drought has ended. At last. Lidl has thankfully found a consignment of them just in time for The Fringe. I understand 25 million juggling balls are on the way for May.
Filed under: Arts, life, politics, Scotland | Tags: 365, David Harrower, Edinburgh, Edinburgh Festival, Festival 08, national theatre of Scotland, Scotland, theatre, Vicky Featherstone
I was privileged to be among the audience at the opening night of The National Theatre of Scotland’s Festival production of 365 -a new play by David Harrower (appropriate name) and directed by Vicky Featherstone, at The Playhouse in Edinburgh last night.
The show was sold out and for good reason.
It’s a polemic piece about the plight of young people entering society after life in care. The show explores, through a cast of about 16, mostly in their teens, what the reality of life is in such a friendless, hostile and downright scary environment.
It’s performed by an ensemble, so no one particular actor stood out. But the technical achievements were noteworthy. Set, sound design, lighting and choreography were all outstanding. Paul Buchanan’s specially commissioned song that forms a central part of the denouement is spine tingling.
The acting is universally good and at times excellent.
But the greatness of the play is all about the writing.
This is very modern theatre and, as such, doesn’t follow a plotline or typical narrative structure and although it’s fairly bleak it’s by no means humourless. Fundamentally though it touches on the very darkest side of society – misogyny, neglect, class, prejudice, sexual orientation, fear and lack of confidence. Essentially it is about loneliness because most of the relationships we witness are a veneer.
Life as a kid with no familial network is not a good place to be and David Harrower brings this into sharp relief quickly and consistently.
I think it could do with a touch of editing but overall this is an important, thought-provoking and engaging piece of work.
I notice it’s playing at the Lyric, Hammersmith from 9 – 29 September. Not knowing the theatre I suspect it will be rather less spectacular than in The Playhouse which, as a stage, offers wide open spaces (and which contributed to the theme of isolation by its very brooding presence).
It’s distinctly Scottish, but the points it makes are universal and you lot in Englandshire shouldn’t struggle too much with the dialect. (You might not like the language though. My god, the National Theatre of Scotland like a fucking swearword do they not?)
Filed under: Arts, dad, family, humour, life, photography, Scotland | Tags: cavalcade, Edinburgh Festival, festivals, peter gorman
Originally uploaded by mark gorman.
my dad doing what my dad did best. basically showing off . Found this shot in Jane’s house on Easter Sunday and fiddled about a bit in photoshop with it.
Filed under: Arts, life, politics, Rants, Scotland, stories | Tags: bombs, Counter terrorism, Edinburgh, Edinburgh Festival, security, Supt Lovegrove, Terrorism
Is it just me or is Supt Lovegrove just being a bit of a scaremonger? “It’s not just a case of “if” but “when” he tells us.
I appreciate that the public needs to be vigilant. But does it have to be terrified, and does he have to put out a message that can only damage the festival.
Superintendent Brett Lovegrove said Scotland’s capital would be an “extremely attractive” objective for terrorists – and said the Edinburgh International Festival, which last year attracted 380,000 visitors, was a prime target.
Speaking at an anti-terrorism seminar in the capital, Mr Lovegrove, the head of counter-terrorism for the City of London Police, said: “Edinburgh is an extremely attractive proposition to terrorists, as it has many international businesses, an airport, sports stadiums and crowded streets.
“In particular, the Festival ticks all the right boxes, so it’s essential the public are made aware of the threat and what action should be taken.
“Like London and New York, it is also an iconic city which is flooded with tourists all year round.
“Last year’s Glasgow airport attack proved Scotland isn’t immune to the threat of terrorism. Unfortunately, it isn’t a case of ‘if’ there will be an attack on Edinburgh but ‘when’.”
Read the whole article here. And the comments – most of which subscribe to my point of view (other than the person who wittily exclaims that a bomb going off at the Edinburgh Festival would be a good thing. Oh really? a few hundred Edinburghers and arty tourists dead and maimed would be a good thing? An interesting take on terrorism).
Should The Scotsman have risen to this sensationalism and printed the story?
You tell me…