Theatre that explores mythology and ancient traditions at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe

Theatre at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe that explores mythology and ancient traditions

Blood and Gold, Mara Menzies

Including The Grandmothers Grimm, Qing Snake and Blood and Gold

The origins of Western theatre may well have emerged from the religious festival in fifth century Athens, but mythology has always provided stories for the stage. From contemporary adaptations through to respectful engagement with ancient traditions, the Fringe explore the diversity and continuity of the stories that have provided societies around the world with a shared set of values and ways of making sense of the world.

Daphne, or Hellfire
Boxedin Theatre
Pleasance Pop Up (Dynamic Earth), 2–26 Aug (not 6, 13, 20), 5.15pm
From Ovid's tale of divine harassment comes a contemporary take on Graeco-Roman mythology. Daphne is an environmentalist, Apollo is a boastful boyfriend and her father is applying the pressure as the heroine battles business' lack of concern.

Blodeuwedd Untold
Jo Blake, Pleasance, Royal and Derngate
Pleasance Courtyard, 31 Jul–26 Aug (not 12), 3.15pm
Jo Blake, a recognised storyteller around the world, investigates the tale of a woman who is formed not of flesh but flowers. From the margins of Celtic mythology, Blodeuwedd is give a physical and poetic reclamation.

Gilgamesh and Me
Babolin Theatre
Paradise in Augustines, 2–10 Aug (not 4), various times
The oldest of myths is turned on its head as Hannah, the god of love, becomes enraged at rejection by Gilgamesh – who'd rather hang with his main man than an immortal, discovering that she is also the god responsible for war.

Green Knight
Debbie Cannon
Scottish Poetry Library, 7–14 Aug (not 8, 11, 12), 7.30pm
Venturing into the age of chivalry, and a supernatural warrior threatens the harmony of the famous Round Table. Cannon's storytelling sets a woman at the heart of the action and imagines how this changes an adventure of male honour and martial skill.

Hoichi the Earless
Theatre Ronin
C South, 1–10 Aug, 1.05pm
A mash-up of traditional Chinese music, storytelling and physical theatre, Hoichi delves into folklore through the story of a lute-player who has an intimate connection to those who have passed.

Where Do Fairies Come From
TypeCast Productions
Paradise in Augustines, 2–17 Aug (not 4, 11), various times
Tracing the history of the fairy-folk from Celtic mythology through Shakespeare and into contemporary fantasy, TypeCast chase down these elusive stars of much British mythology.

Qing Snake
Xiao Bai Art Co
theSpace @ Venue45, 12–17 Aug, 10.15pm
Using puppetry and shadows, Xiao Bai take a myth that has been the inspiration for opera and television series and translate Chinese folklore into intimate physical theatre.

Blood and Gold
Mara Menzies
Scottish Storytelling Centre, 1–26 Aug (not 12, 19), 2pm
From Kenya to Edinburgh, Menzies uses storytelling to transport the audience to a world where mythological imagination and mundane urban life come together to reflect on the post-colonial world.

The Grandmothers Grimm
Some Kind of Theatre
Paradise in the Vault, 3–17 Aug (not 11), 9.15pm
The Brothers Grimm may have defined the old stories for the age of enlightenment, but in their versions, much was covered and cleaned up: not only the violence and the anti-social messages, but the very women who had kept the tales alive throughout history.

Narukami Thunder God
KabukiMa
theSpace on North Bridge, 19–14 Aug, 2.10pm
A kabuki classic in which a woman rescues the dragon god from a mad monk. Brought to the Fringe by a company determined to present kabuki theatre to western audiences.

BoxedIn Theatre Presents: Daphne, or Hellfire

  • 2 stars

BoxedIn Theatre If a tree falls in a forest, and no one gives a flying f**k, does it really fall at all?… Inspired by Ovid’s myth, ‘Daphne and Apollo’, this ecofeminist drama recasts Daphne as an impassioned environmentalist, battling big business, a boastful boyfriend and a pressurising father. As tensions between…

Qing Snake

Xiao Bai Art Co Qing refers to the green of Chinese. Qing Snake is adapted from one of the four prominent Chinese folk stories: Legend of the White Snake. This performance is a new version which focuses on your shadow's recognition of you. The performance attempts to blend Chinese intangible cultural heritage with…

Green Knight

Debbie Cannon Christmas at Camelot: a monstrous green warrior issues an unwinnable challenge to Arthur's finest knight. But what if the story was retold by the woman at its heart? A one-woman version of the medieval poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Best Female Actor award at Buxton Fringe 2018. 'Superlative…

Blood and Gold

  • 2 stars

Scottish-Kenyan storyteller Mara Menzies weaves a tale about a dying mother bequeathing to her daughter a box containing three clues to a priceless treasure.

Hoichi the Earless

Theatre Ronin (Hong Kong) Hoichi lives in a temple and plays the lute. She is also blind and haunted by the dead. When a Samurai invites her to play for his master, the abbot of the temple grows suspicious and summons a monk to follow her. Dark secrets become unveiled. This wonderfully suspenseful re-imagining of…

Narukami Thunder God

  • 2 stars

KabukiMa Narukami Thunder God is a Japanese tale of deception, seduction and betrayal. This 17th-century classic of the kabuki theatre repertoire recounts a princess' quest to free the dragon god of rain from the clutches of a deranged monk. Kabuki is a traditional genre of Japanese theatre which combines ka (song), bu…

Where Do Fairies Come From?

TypeCast Productions From early Celtic tradition, through Shakespearean superstition to modern high fantasy, everyone has heard of fairies. 'Give us your hands if we be friends.' Or, if you prefer… clap if you believe. Join Puck, Oberon and Titania as they guide you through the folklore that started it all. None

The Grandmothers Grimm

Some Kind of Theatre Cannibalism, werewolf trials, deceit, and murder: Marie Hassenpflug and the Brothers Grimm are trying to edit the darkness out of old stories. But as they do so, the voices of the women who created these tales are lost… What will be saved and what will be forgotten? The Grandmothers Grimm explores…

Blodeuwedd Untold

  • 3 stars

Jo Blake / Pleasance / Royal & Derngate Northampton Unearth the unwritten Blodeuwedd, the Frankenstein of flowers. Captured in the pages of a medieval book, the ancient myth of Blodeuwedd describes a woman made out of flowers who was turned into an owl as punishment for adultery. But who was this woman before being…

Gilgamesh & Me

Babolin Theatre The god of love, right? Hannah is that god. But when she's spurned by a supercharged bromance, she discovers she's also the god of war. Gilgamesh is a mythic demigod hero, but after suffering the death of his arch-rival (turned lover?) Enkidu at the hands of Hannah (furious about being left out and the…

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