Rosana Cade, Unfinished Business and Harry Giles present shows at Forest Fringe 2013
Let a mix of artistic experiences, intimate shows and experimental installations push your performance boundaries
This article is from 2013.
After a two-year break, the always-intriguing Forest Fringe has returned in the form of an imaginative creative occupation of the Out of the Blue Drill Hall in Leith. Drop into the former military building (positioned slightly away from the central festival hubbub, and now reborn as an arts space) to find a thought-provoking variety of performances, installations and encounters.
Everything on offer is free, though donations are welcome, and the diverse pieces are distinctive for their strong focus on experimental collaboration, intimacy and unpredictability.
Put simply, if you don't quite know what you're looking for at this year's festival, the Forest Fringe is where you might find it. Here are some pointers to get you started
If you'd like a chance encounter …
see Rosana Cade's Walking:Holding. You'll be taken, alone, on a walk through the city, all while holding hands with a series of strangers of different ages, appearances, sexes, sexualities and backgrounds. It's a chance to challenge your own preconceptions and ideas about intimacy (and to test your capacity for awkward small talk).
If you can't decide between a performance and a dinner party …
take some food to Only Wolves and Lions, from Unfinished Business. Billed as 'a night of collective action, anecdotal storytelling and the odd philosophical treatise' over dinner, the event is an exploration of human behaviour and our most basic needs. Bring one raw ingredient to contribute to the meal for 16–20, and if you're coming with friends, you're instructed to keep your own ingredients secret from them.
If you're looking to consolidate your debts …
then maybe take Harry Giles' advice with a pinch of salt (if you can still afford salt, that is). In a one-on-one consultation called What We Owe, Giles dispenses entirely unqualified debt advice based on your own personal loans: financial, emotional, ecological and social. After 20 minutes you'll have a colour-coded spreadsheet detailing your very own mildly absurd Debt Audit and Debt Action Plan, which lists all those meals you really should cook for your parents.
If you'd like to peek into someone else's personal catastrophe …
see Brian Lobel's Mourning Glory Trilogy, three performances based around the death of Lobel's first boyfriend. The second of the three pieces recounts a disastrous incident in which Lobel deleted his Facebook friends one by one, by public vote. In the third piece, Lobel searches for resonances of his boyfriend inside the words of a 2000-page Lehman Brothers Examination Report, neatly tying together impending emotional and international financial collapse.
If you're not fazed by getting into the back of a stranger's van …
clamber into Sarah-Jane Norman's stationary truck and experience Rest Area. You'll find a bed, a body, and a moment of sexual confusion. Not unlike your average Friday night at the Fringe, then, but with the added invitation to ruminate on the complexities of human desire, as Norman's one-on-one performance installation provides 'a meditation on longing, comfort, and the melancholy eroticism of loneliness.'
Out of the Blue Drill Hall, 16–25 Aug, all events free (donations welcome), forestfringe.co.uk