Theatre picks for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2011
This article is from 2011.
A Celebration of Harold Pinter
A starry triumvirate of elements conspires to make this one of the hottest tickets on the Fringe. Hollywood star John Malkovich directs British actor Julian Sands in a loving tribute to the late Nobel winner, drawing on his poems and personal memoirs in a show that has received endorsements from the celebrity likes of David Hare and Annette Bening.
Pleasance Courtyard, The Pleasance, 0131 556 6550, 6–21 Aug, 3pm, £12.50–£15 (£11.50–£14). Preview 5 Aug, £7.50.
The Animals and Children Took to the Streets
Beg, borrow, steal or forge a ticket for this unique show from 1927 theatre company. Like the group’s previous Fringe hit Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, The Animals …, which arrives in Edinburgh for a limited run after touring Australia and Europe, blends live action, music and animation to bring to life the twisted goings on at the eerie Bayou Mansions.
Pleasance Courtyard, The Pleasance, 0131 556 6550, 19–28 Aug, 4.10pm, £12 (£10).
Pop icon and one-time Soft Cell lynchpin Marc Almond stars in this intriguing new musical theatre experience inspired by the London Plague of 1665. Created by acclaimed playwright Mark Ravenhill (Mother Klapp’s Molly House, Shopping and Fucking) from witness accounts, Ten Plagues relates one man’s journey through the devastated city.
Traverse Theatre, Cambridge Street, 0131 228 1404, 7–28 Aug (not 8, 15, 22), times vary, £17–£19 (£12–£13). Previews 1 Aug, 7pm, & 6 Aug, 6pm, £12 (£6).
Audience - Ontroerend Goed
The award-winning Belgian company Ontroerend Goed is back, turning the tables on the audience to focus on what’s going on in the stalls and circle. Expect another visceral theatre experience from the company that brought us Internal and Once and For All …
St George’s West, Shandwick Place, 0131 225 7001, 8–28 Aug, 10.55pm, £10–£12 (£8–£10). Previews 5–7 Aug, £5.
Written by award-winning Scots scribe Zinnie Harris and directed by Vicky Featherstone, The Wheel follows a woman and a little girl as they embark on a journey through a world in conflict, and explores whether it is possible to remain unaffected by war.
Traverse Theatre, Cambridge Street, 0131 228 1404, 7–28 Aug (not 8, 15, 22), times vary, £17–£19 (£12–£13). Preview 6 Aug, 9.15pm, £12 (£6).
Doris Day Can Fuck Off
Taking a leaf out of Richard Herring’s book of high-concept Fringe show ideas, performer Greg McLaren challenged himself to live life as a song for several months, including singing his order for a book of stamps, warbling on the phone and even crooning in court. Witness the results in this fascinating show.
Zoo Southside, Nicolson Street, 0131 662 6892, 6–29 Aug (not 16), 6.15pm, £9 (£7). Preview 5 Aug, £7.
Sunday in the Park with George
The RSAMD’s One Academy returns to the Fringe following last year’s Spring Awakening. This year the company tackles Stephen Sondheim’s landmark exploration of art, love and obsession, inspired by the Georges Seurat painting, ‘Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte’.
C Chambers Street, 0845 260 1234, 3–29 Aug (not 15, 22), 3.35pm, £12.50–£14.50 (£8.50–£10.50).
An Instinct for Kindness
Hannah Eidinow, who directed last year’s Lockerbie: Unfinished Business, explores similarly hard-hitting subject matter in this monologue, which reflects on writer/performer Chris Larner’s experience of accompanying his terminally-ill wife to Switzerland’s Dignitas clinic. The candid story expands to take in the ethical implications.
Pleasance Dome, Potterrow, 0131 556 6550, 6–29 Aug (not 10, 17), 4.10pm, £9–£10 (£8–£9). Previews 3–5 Aug, £5.
Outgoing Traverse director Dominic Hill helms the new play by Lynda Radley, the first co-production between the theatre and Dundee Rep. The story follows Riley as he battles to keep the wolf from the door of his family when the freak show goes out of fashion.
Traverse Theatre, Cambridge Street, 0131 228 1404. 7–28 Aug (not 8, 15, 22), times vary, £17–£19 (£12–£13). Preview 6 Aug, 10am, £12 (£6).
Liberace: Live From Heaven
The irrepressible Liberace, once the highest-paid entertainer in the world, arrives at the Pearly Gates and has to play to Saint Peter for the right to enter heaven. Former Opportunity Knocks winner and Fringe virgin Bobby Crush plays the flamboyant entertainer, in what might well be the campest show you’ll see this or any other Fringe year.
Assembly George Square, 0131 623 3030, 6–28 Aug, 6.25pm, £13–£14 (£12–£13). Previews 3–5 Aug, £8.
Steven Berkoff makes a welcome return to the Fringe, playing Creon in his own adaptation of Sophocles’ tragedy. Featuring the director’s signature expressionist performance style and an 11-strong cast, the show is surely worth the price of a ticket to see ex-EastEnder Anita Dobson in the role of Jocasta.
Pleasance Courtyard, The Pleasance, 556 6550, 6–29 Aug (not 10, 17, 24), 1.20pm, £16 (£14). Previews 3–5 Aug, £10.
Somewhere Beneath It All, A Small Fire Burns Still
Edinburgh Comedy Award alumnus and founder of the Comedians’ Theatre Company Phil Nichol dons his thesp hat to perform a monologue by Dave Florez. The piece focuses on a bizarre love triangle while exploring the need for forgiveness in an unrelenting world.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, Teviot Row House, 0131 622 6552, 6–29 Aug (not 15), noon, £9–£10 (£8–£9). Previews 3–5 Aug, £6.
This sumptuous show celebrates the cultural history of the Korean city of Gwangju and commemorates the 518 residents killed during the 1980 uprising. The show draws on music, drumming and dance to tell the story of the city’s Democratisation Movement, which paved the way for freedom in South Korea.
Edinburgh International Conference Centre, Morrison Street, 0844 847 1639, 13–19 Aug, 5.30pm, £10 (£7).
Belarus Free Theatre
Banned in their own country by the authoritarian Lukashenko government, the Belarus Free Theatre have teamed up with Fringe award-winning company Fuel to present their first performance of a show in development. Expect a meditation on human rights from the company, which counts Mick Jagger, Steven Spielberg and Tom Stoppard among its supporters.
Pleasance Courtyard, The Pleasance, 0131 556 6550, 22–29 Aug, 1pm, £10 (£8).
The Girl with the Iron Claws
The Fringe debut from brand new company The Wrong Crowd is an adult fairytale about a young girl who defies her family to run off into the forest with a bear. This inventive take on a Nordic myth that shares its roots with Beauty and the Beast is told through a mix of live performance, puppetry, text and music.
Underbelly, Cowgate, 0844 545 8252, 6–28 Aug, 1.35pm, £8.50–£10 (£7.50–£9). Previews 4 & 5 Aug, £6.
The acclaimed Analogue head back to the Fringe with a new show about the world’s most famous amnesiac patient. Opening with the dissection of Patient HM’s brain in front of a global internet audience in 2009, 2401 Objects then jumps back to the childhood bicycle accident that led to his affliction.
Pleasance Courtyard, The Pleasance, 0131 556 6550, 6–28 Aug (not 9, 16, 23), 4.40pm, £10–£12 (£9–£10). Previews 3–5 Aug, £6.
David Leddy’s Untitled Love Story
Untitled Love Story is the first piece to be presented in a conventional space by Scotland’s edgiest theatrical maverick in some years, following the jaunts around the Botanics and a defunct Masonic Lodge that were Susurrus and Sub Rosa. The twist is that the audience is asked to close their eyes and take part in a meditative imagining of a journey across four decades.
St George’s West, Shandwick Place, 0131 225 7001, 6–25 Aug (not 10, 17, 24), 6pm, £15–£17 (£12–£15). Preview 5 Aug, £10.
Tuesday at Tescos
Having stormed the Fringe with his one-man interpretations of works by Dickens and Shakespeare, Simon Callow takes to the Assembly stage once more as loving daughter, carer and transvestite Pauline. The play was a stonking success in its native France, receiving a Molière nomination.
Assembly Hall, The Mound, 0131 623 3030, 6–29 Aug (not 8, 15, 22), 2pm, £17.50–£20 (£15–£18). Previews 4 & 5 Aug, £10.
A Visit From Miss Prothero
Edinburgh and Radio 4 veteran Nicholas Parsons swaps the comfort zone of his chat show for a bona fide acting job with this Alan Bennett play. The Just a Minute host plays retired Arthur Dodsworth whose afternoon nap is rudely interrupted by his brash former boss, Peggy Prothero, who arrives bearing unwelcome tidings.
Pleasance Courtyard, The Pleasance, 0131 556 6550, 23–28 Aug, 1pm, £9 (£8).
Two Johnnies Live Upstairs
Scotland’s French Institute teams up with Brittany-based company Paroles to create an ‘embassy’ in Randolph Crescent. This play traces the lives of a Breton family whose descendents live in Edinburgh with a mix of comedy, music and performance. The venue will also operate its own bistro, run by L’Escargot Bleu. Institut français d’Ecosse,
Randolph Crescent, 0131 225 5366, 8–26 Aug (not 13 & 14, 20 & 21), 6pm, £10 (£8). Preview Aug 5, £8.
Toulouse-Lautrec: The Musical
Renowned Japanese performer/songwriter Jun Sawaki presents the European premiere of his one-man show about the French painter whose images of the Moulin Rouge still hang from restaurant walls across the world. While Sawaki has never before performed outside of his native Japan but is well known at home as the original Phantom in the Tokyo version of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical.
C Aquila, Johnston Terrace 0845 260 1234, 4–29 Aug, 4.10pm, £9.50–£10.50 (£8.50–£9.50).
Federer versus Murray
Not a recreation of the Australian Open final, rather a new play by the respected Scottish actress Gerda Stevenson, dealing with war in all its aspects, from the conflict in Afghanistan to a sporting rivalry and a private war.
Assembly Hall, The Mound, 0131 623 3030, 6–29 Aug (not 15), 12.30pm, £13–£14 (£12–£13). Previews 4 & 5 Aug, £10.