Unusual highlights from Edinburgh Festival 2012 programme
Barges, a spoken word section, free shows from big names and more
This article is from 2012.
Dip in for some watery goings-on at the Art Festival as Tania Kovats invites you on a canal boat trip on 3 August. The vessel sets sail from behind Cargo on Fountainbridge at 9am, making the return voyage from Jupiter Artland at 3pm. Call 01506 889 900 for details.
Nights at the proms
The entire top floor of the Underbelly (Cowgate arm) will be devoted to London’s site-specific cabaret company, Boom Boom Club. This ‘promenade performance space’ will be the perfect spot to enter a debauched, dangerous and eccentric world of after-hours revelry.
Touching Edinburgh with a barge
The Pleasance Theatre Trust give us a comedy relay on a narrow boat as a crew of stand-ups embark on a journey from London with Edinburgh as the barge’s final destination. Impromptu gigs will be performed along the way with Janey Godley, Reg D Hunter and Jenny Eclair among those getting on board.
Olympic mind games
Is it possible to predict the medals tally of select countries at the London Olympics? Mind-reader Doug Segal certainly thinks so with his prophecies under lock and key at the Gilded Balloon before being unveiled after the closing ceremony. Red faces or hot flushes are guaranteed on the 12th.
The Adam Mickiewicz Institute is helping Polish culture make a mark across the festival as part of the Cultural Olympiad. Among those appearing are the Marcin Wasilewski Trio (Jazz Festival), Robert Kusmirowski (Art Festival), 2008: Macbeth (International Festival) and Aleksandra Borys (Fringe Dance).
Last year, the Fringe programme welcomed a whole new category for Cabaret. For 2012, Spoken Word gets its own slot across four busy pages. Among those acts breaking out of their ill-fitting comedy or theatre categorisations are Luke Wright, Liz Lochhead, Mark Grist and Superbard.
This year’s Turing Festival has an element of mystery to it with some exciting names being kept under wraps. But we can tell you that this celebration of digital culture runs from 23–25 August and features events on future medicine, hackathons and Higgs Boson. See list.co.uk/offers for your chance to win tickets to the festival.
The fifth Edwin Morgan Poetry Competition prize will be awarded during the Book Festival. Those who entered could create their poems in English or Scots but they had to be 60 lines or less. The entrants need to impress journalist and poet Gillian K Ferguson, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Don Paterson.
Given the disquiet at some prices on the Fringe, free entertainment is on the increase once again. Among those hot names doing it for nowt are Phil Kay, Kunt and the Gang, and the filth-tinged storytelling show, Shaggers. Our favourite innovation is that Cowgate venue The Three Sisters has been renamed, you guessed it, The Free Sisters.
Spreading a little Gallic charm on the Fringe is the city’s Institut Français with a full programme of kids shows, cabaret, musicals, theatre and dance. Among their highlights are an interactive play about the Elephant Man, a puppet show called Lapin Wants Ice-Cream and Rock, a musical about 1970s New York.
Featuring a collection of inspirational quotes from famous Scots (Alan Cumming, Lorraine Kelly, Ian Rankin for three) and members of the public about their dreams for a future Scotland, the Hopes of a Nation book project comes to Charlotte Square Gardens. Young people have a chance to get involved by putting their thoughts onto the Wall of Hope in the RBS Children’s Bookshop.
On the afternoon of 22 July, the centre of the capital will be awash with colour and sound for the official opening to the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival. Among those entertaining the crowds will be French funksters Jazz Combo Box, New Orleans’ brass band The Stooges, and Liverpool’s reggae-samba drumming group Batala.
Reid all about it
Britain’s Got Talent 2011 semi-finalist Edward Reid makes his Fringe debut at the Assembly’s Salon Elegance venue. The Coatbridge drama teacher wowed McIntyre, Holden and The Hoff with his idiosyncratic medley of nursery rhymes. Living the Dream One Song at a Time will head out on a Scottish tour post-August.