16 of the best shows at the Edinburgh International Festival

This article is from 2015

16 of the best shows at the Edinburgh International Festival

Murmel Murmel / credit: Thomas Aurin

From Juliette Binoche in Antigone to multi-instrumentalist Sufjan Stevens

This year's Edinburgh International Festival lineup is one of its most exciting for years; we pick out some of the finest shows the Festival has to offer in 2015.

Hollywood star Juliette Binoche adds a little glamour to Edinburgh's lineup this August. She stops off at the International Festival in Sophocles' Antigone, directed by celebrated Belgian director Ivo van Hove in a new translation by Anne Carson. Read our interview with Juliette Binoche.
King’s Theatre, Leven Street, 7–22 Aug (not 10, 17), 7.30pm, £15–£48.

Citizens Theatre is attempting the near-impossible task of bringing Alasdair Gray’s Lanark to the stage. We asked those close to both the original book and the new EIF production what that classic of Scottish literature means to them. Read the full feature.
Royal Lyceum Theatre, Grindlay Street, 23 Aug, 6pm; 24–30 Aug (not 26), 7pm; 25, 27, 29, 31 Aug, 1pm, £10–£32. Preview 22 Aug, 7pm, £15.

French Canadian theatremaker Robert Lepage returns to Edinburgh with the European premiere of 887. Fringe stalwart Stewart Lee told us why 887 is on his festival calendar in 2015.
EICC, Morrison Street, 13–15, 18, 20, 23 Aug, 7.30pm, 16, 19, 21 & 22 Aug, 2.30pm, £32.

Max Richter
Ahead of an EIF debut, composer Max Richter tells us how he prevented a Vivaldi classic becoming a degrading jingle. Read the interview.
Edinburgh Playhouse, Greenside Place, 24–29 Aug, 8pm, £10–£32.

We hear from those behind a project which seeks to bring Scottish bands out of their shells.
Various venues & times, free.

The Magic Flute
Komische Oper, Barrie Kosky and Fringe award-winners 1927 give Mozart’s opera the freshest of spins. We spoke to them to find out more.
Festival Theatre, Nicolson Street, 27–30 Aug, 7.15pm, £18.

Sufjan Stevens
With his new album, Carrie & Lowell, the Detroit-born singer-songwriter has returned to his folk roots. Stevens’ music will also be heard in Round-Up at The Hub with Yarn / Wire performing a live score of his work on this rodeo film.
Edinburgh Playhouse, Greenside Place, 30 Aug, 8pm, £20–£30; The Hub, Royal Mile, 29 Aug, 10pm, £25.

Murmel Murmel
This year’s EIF seems to be rife with works previously believed to be unstageable. Hot on the heels of Lanark, then, comes this adaptation of Swiss artist Dieter Roth’s psychedelic slapstick in which just one word is spoken throughout and often: ‘murmel’ (translated as mumbling).
King’s Theatre, Leven Street, 28 & 29 Aug, 8pm; 29 & 30 Aug, 3pm, £12–£32.

A meeting of perfect art-pop minds here with Franz Ferdinand (the FF) and Sparks (they’ll be the S, then) bridging the decades to collaborate on some urgent modern and theatrical music.
Festival Theatre, Nicolson Street, 24 Aug, 8pm, £20–£25.

Festival Soundbites
The International Festival isn’t just about popping into a play or concert and then disappearing off into the day or night. You can now sample more classical music online thanks to the festival’s digital media partners, Sinfini Music, who produce cartoons (see illustrator William Elliot's take on The Marriage of Figaro below), films, playlists, podcasts, guides and competitions.

16 of the best shows at the Edinburgh International Festival

Opera Strip illustrated by William Elliot for Sinfini Music

The Last Hotel
This new chamber opera comes from the pens of writer Enda Disco Pigs Walsh and composer Donnacha ‘If He Died, What Then’ Dennehy. Whenever you see a man mopping a blooded floor in a hotel you can generally sense something is not quite right. And it’s not …
Royal Lyceum Theatre, Grindlay Street, 8, 10–12 Aug, 8pm, £12–£35. Preview 7 Aug, £8–£15.

Tao Dance Theatre
Accompanied by the music of US minimalist Steve Reich and Chinese folk-rock composer Xiao He, TAO deliver another hypnotic performance which explores the human body as a purely visual form.
Royal Lyceum Theatre, Grindlay Street, 17 & 18 Aug, 8pm, £10–£32.

Lo Real
Born deep into the flamenco tradition, Israel Galván has embraced and transformed the genre with work such as his take on Kafka’s Metamorphosis. For Lo Real, he pulls singers, musicians and dancers together to portray the plight of Roma and Sinti in pre-WW2 Spain.
Festival Theatre, Nicolson Street, 19–21 Aug, 7.30pm, £12–£30.

Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra
On evening one, Vasily Petrenko conducts Grieg’s Peer Gynt and Rachmaninov’s ‘Symphony No 2’ while show two features Nicola Benedetti performing Sibelius, Glazunov and Geirr Tveitt.
Usher Hall, Lothian Road, 15 & 16 Aug, 8pm, £12–£44.

The Encounter
In 1969, National Geographic photographer Loren McIntyre found himself lost among the people of the remote Javari Valley deep in the Amazon rainforest. It was an encounter that was to change his life. Complicite and Simon McBurney retrace that voyage.
EICC, Morrison Street, 8–10, 16 & 17, 19, 21 & 22 Aug, 7.30pm; 14 & 15, 20, 23 Aug, 2.30pm, £32. Preview 7 Aug, 7.30pm, £15.

Virgin Money Fireworks Concert
This spectacular finale to the festival season is never anything less than a musical and pyrotechnical extravaganza, and this year the Strausses (Johann and Eduard), Brahms and Dvořák will be helping the month end with a sonic and visual explosion.
Princes Street Gardens, 31 Aug, 9.30pm, £17.50–£27.50.

Read all our EIF 2015 coverage.