Reviews & features: International Festival

287 reviews

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How to find work at the Edinburgh Festival 2011

3 Jun 2011

How to find a job at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2011

Thousands of people descend upon Edinburgh at this time of year for the start of festival season and now is the time to begin your search for a job within the buzzing excitement. In a study carried out last year it found that 71% of volunteers had an…

Edinburgh International Festival 2011 IN festival membership scheme

24 May 2011

EIF and The List deal for half-price tickets, events and freebies

Edinburgh International Festival - in association with The List magazine - are offering members of an innovative and exclusive membership scheme a whole host of half-price tickets, event passes and freebies for the 2011 Festival season. Membership to…

Edinburgh International Festival 2011 programme keeps an eye on the East

23 Mar 2011

National Ballet of China, Ravi Shankar, Philip Glass among highlights

The Scottish Chamber Orchestra raise the curtain of the 2011 Edinburgh International Festival in style this year with a performance Robert Schumann’s exotic musical Das Paradies und die Peri, one highlight from an EIF programme that boasts acts from…

Why Edinburgh remains unrivalled as a festival city

16 Feb 2011

A huge number and variety of festivals take place each year

In 1961, a theatre director made a proposal. It was his opinion that the Edinburgh Festival Fringe was getting too big. It would be much better, he said, ‘if only ten halls were licensed’. Nobody listened. Had the director been able to travel…

The Man Who Fed Butterflies

7 Sep 20102 stars

Sporadically phenomenal spectacle lacks magic of theatre

Something Pixar, with their melange of spacemen, rat and sea creature protagonists, seem to have worked out fairly early on in the game is that it’s very difficult to emphathise with a CGI human face. The reason the human characters in the Toy Story…

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Meredith Monk: Songs of Ascension

7 Sep 20104 stars

There is so much beauty here

It’s difficult to begin describing Songs of Ascension, a new(ish) work by composer, musician, artist and mercurial force of nature Meredith Monk, because it doesn’t fit cleanly into any of the nice, regular boxes we use to describe different kinds of…

Roadkill, The Author and 30 Days to Space worthy 2010 festival winners

7 Sep 2010

Steve Cramer's Festival blog

I know it’s not quite over, but with respect to the last couple of shows of the International Festival, now might be the time for the Festival’s final report card. This year’s Festival, if it has shown some good work, still creates the uneasy feeling of…

Myth of the far-left agenda in Alastair Beaton's Caledonia

1 Sep 2010

Steve Cramer's Festival blog

In my last blog, I accused many of the companies engaging in the Fringe of lacking courage, and I’m sticking by it. You can always tell when there’s a political elephant in the room at a fringe, since invariably the more pusillanimous companies visiting…


23 Aug 20104 stars

History repeating itself

There is a moment in Alistair Beaton’s new play that creates a collective audible intake of breath from its audience. It is the point where Paul Higgins’ deluded huckster of a banker announces that his private corporation is now bigger than the state…

The Gospel at Colonus

23 Aug 20103 stars

Greek tragedy set in an African-American Pentecostal church

That this is a spectacle worth seeing, there can be no doubt. That the cast consists of an incredible collection of highly talented singers is equally apparent. That the idea of transporting a Greek tragedy to the setting of an African-American…

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Vieux Carré

23 Aug 20103 stars

Bold, intelligent and intermittently entertaining play

The Wooster Group pulls apart Tennessee Williams’ late play set in a New Orleans boarding house and painstakingly reassembles it, adding references to the work of Warhol collaborator Paul Morrissey’s avant-garde films of the 60s and 70s and the work of…

Porgy and Bess

22 Aug 20103 stars

French company take Porgy and Bess to the Deep South

When Opera de Lyon’s Porgy and Bess is remembered, it will be for the extraordinary multimedia staging by the directorial double-act of Jose Montalvo and Dominique Hervieu. It isn’t only that we get 50-odd performers on stage - the dancers giving it…

Why The Sun Also Rises is the least successful transatlantic crossing since Titanic

19 Aug 2010

Steve Cramer's Festival blog

I suppose the one compensation of sitting through the unforgivable The Sun Also Rises at the Lyceum was that it provided a little relief from the endless prurient sex obsessions of the Traverse next door, where one leaves every other show with the…

Meredith Monk’s Songs of Ascension set for EIF

17 Aug 2010

The multi-disciplinary american composer on her Edinburgh show

Meredith Monk’s Songs of Ascension is a characteristic multi-disciplinary work that combines music, film and movement to create an uplifting ritual. She tells Claire Prentice about her background and career – and why she’s so excited about visiting…

Pina Bausch’s Tanztheater Wuppertal

17 Aug 2010

The late great choreographer Pina Bausch lives on through her work and company, as the dancers of Germany’s Tanztheater Wuppertal arrive in Edinburgh to perform Água. Inspired by Bausch’s time in Brazil, the work is filled with striking video images…

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The Sun Also Rises

15 Aug 20102 stars

Overlong and unsympathetic Hemingway adaptation

This bloated, gargantually overlong production from US company Elevator Repair Service should, at over three and a half hours, really provide its audience with a shower and a change of clothes as part of the ticket. An adaptation of Hemingway’s classic…

Tribute concert to Sir Charles Mackerras at EIF

15 Aug 2010

Fantastic celebration of a wonderful man

One of the leading lights on the EIF, Sir Charles Mackerras has long been synonymous with the talent and the creativity at the heart of the Edinburgh International Festival. Fitting then, that they should celebrate his passing earlier this year with a…

Alonzo King Lines Ballet

14 Aug 2010

Modern classical dance with an Indian beat

It’s part of our make-up to search for the meaning in things. So it’s no surprise that when an audience sits down in front of a piece of modern dance, the big question in most people’s heads is ‘what’s it all about?’. Bringing two works to this…

Sarah Connolly

12 Aug 2010

Mezzo soprano returns to jazz roots

Among other things, 2010 is likely to be memorable as the year of the mezzo-soprano at the Edinburgh International Festival. Joyce DiDonato, Petra Lang and Christine Brewer, who replaces the indisposed Susan Graham, are just three of the famous names…

Grupo Corpo - 'in Brazil dance is a way of living'

12 Aug 2010

Grupo Corpo’s International Festival performance will showcase all of the dance company’s determined creative spirit, and touch on the beliefs and traditions of their native Brazil. Kelly Apter talks to choreographer, Rodrigo Pedernerias.

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EIF show Caledonia discusses banking and Scottish nationalism

11 Aug 2010

Darien colony tale retold at Edinburgh International Festival

The last time the National Theatre of Scotland was on an Edinburgh International Festival stage they told, in 365, small, beautiful half-stories about teenagers, played by unknown actors - living in the forgotten corners of public life. That was in…

The Gospel at Colonus reveals authentic traditions at its heart

11 Aug 2010

Reworking of Greek tragedy takes centre stage at EIF

His celebrated version of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House cast dwarf actors opposite Amazonian women performers while his reimagining of Peter Pan using pint-sized puppets made audiences look anew at JM Barrie’s classic children’s tale. Now theatrical maverick…

Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra play Carl Nielsen's Fourth Symphony

5 Aug 2010

Helsinki-based orchestra bring two nights of romance and drama

In a festival blockbuster of an orchestral programme at the Usher Hall, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra’s pair of concerts stands out as a triple celebration of one of Scandinavia’s greatest composers, Wagner and the human voice. In putting on…

Jonathan Biss opens EIF Queen's Hall series

5 Aug 2010

Young American talent will bring passion to EIF launch

Whether volunteering for Barack Obama in the Primaries or traversing the globe with his intimate piano recitals, the young Jonathan Biss has long proved he’s no run-of-the-mill talent. Light on pomp and heavy in enthusiasm, the Indiana-raised pianist…

The Sun Also Rises performed by New York's Elevator Repair Service

5 Aug 2010

World premiere adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's novel

The Edinburgh International Festival’s theatre programme kicks off with this world premiere adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s first major novel by acclaimed New York ensemble Elevator Repair Service. The company apply their trademark stylised…