Reviews & features: Edinburgh International Festival

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TR Warszawa's 2008: Macbeth relocates the Scottish Play to Iraq

4 Aug 2012

Artistic director Grzegorz Jarzyna brings the production to Edinburgh International Festival 2012

Grzegorz Jarzyna is something of a wunderkind in Polish theatre. Since being appointed artistic director at TR Warszawa – the acclaimed theatre company based in Poland’s capital city – in 1998, aged just 30, he’s become known for his genre-pushing…

Edinburgh International Festival 2012 highlights

11 Jul 2012

Highlights from the 2012 International Festival programme

Batsheva Dance Company. They last stirred the festival in 2008 with the blazing Deca Dance, which featured the relatively rare sight of some members of an EIF audience on stage with the performers. Under the guidance of innovative choreographer Ohad…

Interview: Camille O’Sullivan on her 2012 Edinburgh Festival and Fringe shows

11 Jul 2012

Songstress on her ballsy, ballad show hitting Australia and Edinburgh

Camille O’Sullivan is the tireless workhorse and sultry glamourpuss who has Edinburgh in the palm of her hand. Kelly Apter meets the woman who is breaking new ground at this year’s festival

Interview: Laurent Garnier and Angelin Preljocaj at Edinburgh Festival 2012

11 Jul 2012

Producer and choreographer collaborate on And then, one thousand years of peace

‘Laurent Garnier has been making the planet dance for 25 years.’ So states the opening line of the Frenchman’s personal website. While there’s a hint of hyperbole in that statement, it’s fair to say Garnier has filled a few floors in his time. From…

Interview: NVA's Speed of Light at Edinburgh International Festival 2012

11 Jul 2012

Sport and art combine to cover Arthur’s Seat with light and colour

Arthur’s Seat will be a dramatic spectacle of light and colour thanks to NVA. Claire Sawers talks to Angus Farquhar and some of his runners ahead of this ambitious meeting of sport and art

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Interview: Soprano Sophie Bevan set for 2012 Edinburgh Festival

11 Jul 2012

Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Bach and Handel

‘Fun’, ‘wonderful’ and ‘luck’ are words which crop up regularly in conversation with Sophie Bevan. The 28-year-old soprano clearly enjoys her chosen career and the growing number of prestigious opportunities which are coming her way. They may be fun and…

Opera North bring The Makropulos Case to 2012 Edinburgh International Festival

11 Jul 2012

Janáček opera features soprano Ylva Kihlberg and Tom Cairns

As Opera North prepare to bring us a new version of The Makropulos Case, Kate Molleson recalls the history of a tale whose central character is either a nihilistic vixen or feminist icon

Théâtre du Soleil's epic Jules Verne-inspired 2012 Edinburgh Festival show

11 Jul 2012

Serge Nicolaï on Les Naufragés du Fol Espoir (Aurores)

Multi-talented actor Serge Nicolaï tells Mark Fisher why four hours is positively speedy in the egalitarian and epic world of Ariane Mnouchkine and Théâtre du Soleil

Twenty top shows at the 2012 Edinburgh Festivals

11 Jul 2012

Highlights from the Fringe, Book and International Festivals

Having scanned the 23.6m shows, exhibitions and events across the festival in late July, August and early September, we pluck out the ones that simply cannot be missed

Scotrail announce expanded Edinburgh Festival 2012 train timetable

4 Jul 2012

Additional night services to Glasgow, Dundee, Perth and North Berwick

New late-night train services to and from Edinburgh will make it easier for those outside the city to visit the 2012 festival. In Glasgow, there will be a Fringe box office at Queen Street station from July 27. Tickets bought online in advance can be…

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How to visit the Edinburgh Festival

2 Jul 2012

A guide to getting the best from the Edinburgh Festival and Fringe

The phrase 'planned itinerary' might might be at odds with the spirit of chaos and wild abandon you associated with your visit to the Edinburgh Festival. The brutal truth is that shows do sell out, so book tickets to things you definitely want to see.


2 Sep 20115 stars

Mesmerising epic journey of dance

Even as we file into the auditorium, the mesmerising spectacle has begun. The dancers sit holding golden bowls, calmly anointing the final touches on a huge mandala - a geometric Buddhist symbol - made from blue and white confetti covering the whole…

Scottish Ballet

1 Sep 20114 stars

An evening of contemporary classics

For a programme dominated by music from the great canon of composers, the opening to Finnish choreographer Jorma Elo’s Kings 2 Ends, a silent dynamic solo, comes as a surprise. But it’s curiously pleasing. It lets the clean stretched lines of the dance…

Scottish Ballet at 2011 Edinburgh International Festival

25 Aug 2011

Ashley Page and Jorma Elo on the EIF programme

Ashley Page maintains that, when putting together Scottish Ballet’s new double bill for the Edinburgh International Festival, pairing the legendary Scottish choreographer Kenneth MacMillan’s neo-classical 1965 piece Song of the Earth with a completely…

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

24 Aug 20114 stars

Haruki Marukami's novel is given multimedia stage adaptation by Stephen Earnhart

Toru Okada is 29 and shares an apartment with his wife, Kumiko and their cat. When both the wife and cat vanish and don’t come back for several days, Toru tries to work out what’s happened to them, with the help of a spiritualist who doubles as a…

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Drought and Rain (Re-creation 2011) at Edinburgh International Festival

24 Aug 2011

Ea Sola dance piece gives voice to the pain of war

In 1995, when Vietnamese choreographer Ea Sola created her original version of Drought and Rain, she cast elderly women who were once dancers in their youth. Due to circumstances – a war raging through their country – the women had swapped dancing shoes…

Ravi Shankar - Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Mon 22 Aug

24 Aug 20114 stars

A mesmerising show of classical Indian music as part of 2011 EIF

Ravi Shankar crossed over into popular culture with his associations with various 60s musicians, working with and/or influencing the likes of The Beatles, The Kinks and The Byrds. Going on to play at iconic festivals such as Woodstock and The Monterey…

Shen Wei Dance Arts perform Re-Triptych at 2011 Edinburgh International Festival

24 Aug 2011

Five reasons why missing it is not an option

1: The Inspiration Shen Wei made a personal pilgrimage to Cambodia, Tibet and his birthplace, China to create Re (i), (ii) and (iii). Now the three works have been sewn together to form Re-Triptych, they form a diverse, largely abstract emotional…


24 Aug 2011

Ancient dance in a modern era

Studying for ten hours a day, six days a week for six years, the dancers at the Nrityagram school near Bangalore know that to truly absorb Indian classical dance takes time. The first student to emerge from the residential course, Surupa Sen graduated…

One Thousand and One Nights

22 Aug 20114 stars

Flagship EIF production feels like a rediscovery of a lost classic

There’s a tremendous life force pulsating through director Tim Supple’s reclamation of these ancient folk tales. It’s a life force that exists, most palpably, for Houda Echouafni’s Shahrazad, whose survival depends on her ability to spin a yarn and…

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Interview: Hiroshi Sugimoto

16 Aug 2011

Renowned photographer on his EAF exhibition

Is this your first visit to Edinburgh? I did pass through here once in the late 90s. I was shooting seascapes around the Scottish coast. Which wasn’t so successful: mostly, I saw many oil towers, so I couldn’t get clear seascapes. I thought it was a…

Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra at 2011 Edinburgh International Festival

16 Aug 2011

Programme of Messiaen, Tchaikovsky and Unsuk Chin

When it comes to Edinburgh’s festivals, most Koreans have an upside-down view. Thanks to enormous hit shows from Korea such as the Matrix-style circus spectacle Jump! and last year’s Chef!, the Fringe has a huge profile back in South Korea. What goes on…

The Qatsi trilogy at the 2011 Edinburgh International Festival

15 Aug 20115 stars

Godfrey Reggio's film trilogy with Philip Glass Ensemble live score is a masterpiece

It’s been twenty-eight years since I saw Koyaanisqatsi, twenty-odd since I saw Powaqqatsi, and almost a decade since Naqoyqatsi. The first two I saw in empty art house cinemas on wet afternoons, I watched the third in a somnambulistic state from my sofa…

The Tempest

14 Aug 20115 stars

Anarchic comedy showcases Korean theatrical traditions and retains spirit of the original

Shakespeare’s swansong enjoys a unique status in the playwright’s canon. Part magical realist fantasy, part forerunner to the absurdist tragicomedy, part wry comment on the nature of playwriting itself, The Tempest floats outside of the classifications…

King Lear

14 Aug 20113 stars

Engaging spectacle gives Shakespeare a Jingju interpretation at 2011 EIF

Two artforms, alike in their lengthy traditions and explorations of familial and martial subjects but divergent in their aesthetic, are brought together by their areas of commonality. Wu Hsing-kuo (Contemporary Legend Theatre) adapts aspects of…