Reviews & features: International Festival

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Leonardo da Vinci: The Mechanics of Man set for 2013 Edinburgh International Festival

1 Aug 2013

Extraordinary fusion of art and science at The Queen's Gallery

The fusion of art and medical science is presented in an extraordinary collection of work in Leonardo da Vinci: The Mechanics of Man, part of the Edinburgh International Festival. Thirty sheets of multi-layered anatomical drawings, on loan from the…

The best shows at the 2013 Edinburgh Festivals

16 Jul 2013

20 highlights from the 2013 festival programmes, covering Fringe, Books, International, Art and Jazz

We’ve scanned the thousands of shows, exhibitions and events across the festival in late July, August and early September, and highlight the ones that simply cannot be missed

Frank Zappa tribute set for 2013 Edinburgh International Festival

15 Jul 2013

Paul Morley wades through the history of a true sonic visionary and wonders just where he fits in

And then, finally, Z for Zappa. I sometimes think that Frank Zappa only existed in all his hyper Zappa-ness as musician, cultural critic, technician, self-publicist, libertarian social commentator, arranger, satirist, stunt guitarist whose solos were…

Grid Iron perform Leaving Planet Earth at 2013 Edinburgh Festival

15 Jul 2013

Scottish theatre company's new show 'merges Battlestar Galactica and George Monbiot'

‘It was the merging of Battlestar Galactica and George Monbiot,’ laughs director Catrin Evans about the inspiration behind Leaving Planet Earth. In 2010, Evans’ mother sent her a clipping of an article about consumerism by The Guardian’s environmental…

Interview: American soprano Angel Blue set for 2013 Edinburgh Festival with American Lulu

15 Jul 2013

Young opera singer in production of unfinished opera relocated to jazz bars of Deep South

When American soprano Angel Blue isn’t performing or rehearsing operas, there are two places she would rather be. First is in her Toyota Avalon, cruising about her hometown of Los Angeles. ‘I miss my car so much when I’m here working in the UK,’ she…

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Interview: Édouard Lock world premiere set for 2013 Edinburgh International Festival

15 Jul 2013

The influential choreographer who is aiming to build some bridges

There’s nothing like having the words ‘David Bowie’ and ‘Frank Zappa’ on your CV to add kudos to your career. Not that Édouard Lock needs it. His credentials as a choreographer and artistic director are pretty cast iron as it is. Since he founded La La…

Taiwan Contemporary Legend Theatre stage Metamorphosis at 2013 Edinburgh International Festival

15 Jul 2013

Actor Wu Hsing-kuo tackles Kafka's text in technology-heavy production

Wu Hsing-kuo knows all about transformation. In the Edinburgh International Festival of 2011, he morphed himself into all the key characters of King Lear. In his idiosyncratic one-man interpretation of Shakespeare’s play, Wu tackled each part in turn…

Interview: James Cousins at 2013 Edinburgh Festival with his own company and Scottish Ballet

15 Jul 2013

New work from upcoming dancer and choreographer at International Festival and Fringe

When the most successful British dance maker in history gives you the nod of approval, you must be doing something right. Launched by Matthew Bourne and his company in 2011, the New Adventures Choreographer Award was set up to support emerging talent in…

Dance highlights from Scottish Ballet at the 2013 Edinburgh International Festival

15 Jul 2013

Five highlights from Scottish Ballet’s curated programme Dance Odysseys

Kelly Apter picks five other highlights of Scottish Ballet’s curated programme. The Rite of Spring. Scottish Ballet’s artistic director Christopher Hampson curated the Dance Odysseys programme, so it’s only right that his own work should get a moment in…

5 premieres at the 2013 Edinburgh International Festival

15 Jul 2013

New work from Meredith Monk, Peter Gregson and Teatrocinema

Madame Freedom From YMAP comes this merger of dance, film and digital technology. Histoire d’amour. A chilling multimedia tale from Teatrocinema about obsession and alienation.

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The Wooster Group rework Richard Burton's Hamlet at 2013 Edinburgh Festival

15 Jul 2013

Video screenings of New York’s theatre crew's shows including Rumstick Road and To You, The Birdie!

New York’s experimental theatre crew The Wooster Group embark on yet another challenging proposition, as they rework Hamlet for the 21st century. Nothing new in that, you might think, except they’re using footage of the legendary 1964 Broadway…

Five talks at the 2013 Edinburgh International Festival

15 Jul 2013

Brian Eno, Philip Glass and Patti Smith among those delivering talks at EIF

Philip Glass & Patti Smith These two US creative legends discuss another, Allen Ginsberg. Nam June Paik Resounds A gathering of curators muse upon the legacy of this counter-culture tech-artist.

The International acts appearing at the 2013 Edinburgh Festivals

9 Jul 2013

Just 36 of the countries represented by acts appearing at the world's biggest arts festival

1 Argentina. Rodrigo Abd is a World Press Photo prizewinner (Politics). 2 Australia. David Quirk is a deadpan leftfield comic (Fringe)

Batsheva Dance Company - Hora

3 Sep 20123 stars

Gaga dancers showcase their inventive style

For many years Israeli-born choreographer Ohad Naharin has been developing his own language of abstract dance with the suitably eccentric name 'Gaga'. In Hora a grass green box provides the backdrop for his cast of 11 to exercise their Gaga flexibility…


30 Aug 20122 stars

Vanishing Point investigation into dark erotic fantasies and internet porn is a huge disappointment

Vanishing Point's latest production finds the Glasgow-based theatre company in combative form, delving into internet pornography's seedy demi-monde and confronting audiences with their own desire for erotic titillation. Despite some stylish moments…

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Juilliard Dance

28 Aug 20124 stars

Triple bill from the 'holy grail of dance schools'

Although student showcases abound on the Fringe, not many make it to the International Festival. But then this is Juilliard, one of the world's most highly regarded dance schools. The expectations for this triple bill are therefore justifiably high, and…

David et Jonathas, Festival Theatre, Mon 20 Aug

28 Aug 20124 stars

Psychological complexities of OT story brought to the fore in Andreas Homoki's musical feast of a pr

Musically, Les Arts Florissants’ David et Jonathas is a feast. French Baroque opera at its finest, Charpentier’s moving retelling of the biblical tragedy about two men who love each other - however that might be interpreted – is rooted in the most…

Les Naufragés du Fol Espoir (Aurores)

24 Aug 20125 stars

Théâtre du Soleil's debut production at the Edinburgh International Festival is a coup de théâtre

The first ever Edinburgh International Festival production by the great French company Théâtre du Soleil promised to be an unforgettable event. And so it proves. The brainchild of Théâtre du Soleil’s founder and director Ariane Mnouchkine, Les…

Encounters series offers insight into themes running through the Edinburgh International Festival 2012

23 Aug 2012

2 for 1 deals on Encounters talks during the last week of 2012 EIF

The Fringe/Book/International Festivals are coming to their various ends, but there's no need to dissolve into a flood of fest regrets: there are still gems to be found, and we can help you locate them. Encounters is a series of lectures and talks…

Zoe Strachan on The Lady from the Sea - interview

22 Aug 2012

The playwright is collaborating with Craig Armstrong on the production for Scottish Opera

Five years ago, Scottish Opera embarked on a brave new venture called Five:15. The plan was to put together contemporary Scottish writers and composers and commission them to come up with five new 15 minute long operas. Altogether, 15 short operas were…

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Leigh Warren + Dancers - Breathe/Impulse

22 Aug 2012

The choreographer bringing his 'group of individuals' to Edinburgh International Festival

In some dance companies you have soloists and principals, in others everybody is on the same level. But rarely are company members described as ‘a group of individual dance artists’, as they are on the Leigh Warren website. When he started his company…

Ballet Preljocaj: And then, one thousand years of peace

19 Aug 20124 stars

Radical re-imagining of the Book of Revelation

'Revolution and revelation' are two of the themes Angelin Preljocaj cites in his radical re-working of St John's Apocalypse, a piece that beguiles both with the changing textures of its movement and the surreal beauty of its images, set to a scorching…

Aditi Mangaldas Dance Company - Uncharted Seas/Timeless

19 Aug 20124 stars

Kathak dance travels from tradition to timelessness

A journey through time and space, Aditi Mangaldas' double-bill travels through the traditions of Kathak north Indian dance -- with its origins in storytelling -- to emerge spinning into the 21st century, in two pieces that connect the early temple…

Gulliver's Travels

19 Aug 20124 stars

Savage and funny adaptation of Swift’s satire

The Victorians considered Gulliver's Travels a kid's book, chortling at the notion of a big man in a tiny world and quietly omitting Gulliver's horrified realisation that the bestial Yahoos are in fact human. That uncomfortable final part of the book is…

Batsheva Dance Company: Hora

19 Aug 2012

Learning the new language of dance

For most of us, the word ‘gaga’ means one of two things: an anthemic, hands-in-the-air Queen song, or a peroxide blonde dressed in meat. At Batsheva Dance Company in Tel Aviv, however, it has a whole other meaning. The brainchild of Israeli artistic…