The Hibrow Hour
Multi-media arts for smart audiences including Alison Jackson and Jonny and the Baptists
This article is from 2014.
The Hi-Brow Hour, which takes over an afternoon slot at Summerhall for the third week of the Fringe, is more inclusive than the average show. Not only are the individual events be recorded, they are being streamed on BBC Arts Online and shown at Odeon cinemas across the country. From a set by satirical rockers Jonny and the Baptists, to an adaptation of anthropologist Andrew Irving's writings, Hi-Brow covers the gamut of festival genres.
This eclectic programme, and use of media to reach out beyond the live event, is typical of Hi-Brow's attitude to the arts. Don Boyd's vision for the online arts portal has encouraged diverse artists to find new ways to play. 'I say to the curators: what do you want to do?' he says. 'And when they say – you are not going to like it – I say no! It's what you want to do!'
This approach has made Hi-Brow more than an archive: it is a creative space in its own right, encouraging discussion around the entries. And as the line-up for the week at Summerhall proves, it attracts a high calibre of artists. Alison Jackson, best known for her cheeky celebrity-mocking photographs, brings an operatic satire, while The Dispute is being directed by National Theatre Staff Director and former RSC assistant director Emily Kempson.
'When you invite people to do something that they love,' Boyd explains, 'they can join the party without fear.' And the Hi-Brow Hours reflect this dynamism in a selection that has both established names and sense of experimentalism that fits elegantly in Summerhall's wider identity.
Summerhall, 560 1581, until 25 Aug, 3.40pm, £5 - £15.