A Generous Lover is the true, and very queer tale, of one soul’s journey through the wasteland of mental illness, to deliver their lost love. Brimming with psychedelic proletarian prose, and trenchant wit, it recounts the pandemonium of navigating mental health services on behalf of a loved one, whilst being transfeminine, and occasionally mistaken for a patient. On at Summerhall from the 1st to the 26th at 16.10 in the Anatomy Lecture Theatre.
Music’s power has erased boundaries before, but can it make us feel connected as citizens, even after Brexit? Last year, theatre maker Marieke Dermul researched if such a thing as a European identity or a common European sense exists. With this question in mind, she took a journey through Europe. By collecting opinions and musical input by citizens from all over Europe, lyrics became a collection of fears and doubts, music became a symbol of hope and the popsong for unity arose. This is that story.
18.00, Summerhall Red Lecture Theatre, 3rd to 26th August
The makers of BigMouth return with a thrilling, relevant new show, delving deeply into the politician’s life and exposing those juicy backstage scenes we all look for and asking why anyone seeks recognition in a job that is known to be the most unpopular ever. Valentijn Dhaenens’ performance unravels the DNA of the politician, creating a personage that mesmerises and repulses. While the world’s asleep, follow this political animal as he pulls into yet another hotel, peels off yet another white shirt, peps himself up for yet another speech. Today, we give you the all-time politician: the power junkie, rogue, strategist, but also the husband, father, and in the end, the very lonely human.
12.00, Main Hall, Summerhall, 3rd to 26th August
After a long military career, life back on civvy street should be a breeze… right? Tommy’s observations on the absurdities of the everyday are “comic and convincing” (InDaily) and “fabulously witty” (TheClothesline.com.au). On at Army at the Fringe from the 10th to the 25th at 17.30.
The Delusion of Home is a strong and original documentary-style depiction of everyday life in the Chiayi area of southern Taiwan, refracted through one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies. Oyster farming and Taoist funeral rites are as much of a touchstone as ‘King Lear’ in Our Theatre’s character-driven study of displacement, poverty, homelessness and the search for meaning and renewal. Live performance and projected photographs of the declining villages of Taiwan’s southern coastline are skilfully integrated to illuminate some stark human truths.
Summerhall, Tech Cube 0, 3rd to 26th August, 15.55
The team behind last year’s five-star double-bill, Love+ and BlackCatfishMusketeer, is back. This one’s for anyone who wants to be tickled, provoked, or has a brain and has ever worried about what it’s not telling them. On at Summerhall from the 1st to the 26th at 17.50 in the Old Lab.
Sun Son Theatre return to Summerhall after the success of Heart of Darkness in 2017, welcoming you to a light-hearted world of live action and hand-crafted animation. Originally created by visual artist/actor Liu Wan Chun, this disarming show is a 21st century city fairytale, telling the story of a single woman who returns home after work every day to a world of the imagination. Hand drawn animation conjures up home as a safe but possibly confining place of salty tears and sugar water, bathroom karaoke and a mermaid alter ego who isn’t at all as ugly as she might sometimes feel.
Summerhall, Tech Cube 0, 14.40, 3rd to 26th August
Love Letters from Blackpool, a comedy theatre piece about love and Blackpool, originally commissioned by The Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester and subsequently nominated for Best New Show at Leicester Comedy Festival and Best Comedy Show at Greater Manchester Fringe, uses found love letters, original songs, poetry and audience interaction to answer the questions… What is love? On at Summerhall from the 1st to the 26th at 14.40 in the Anatomy Lecture Theatre.
Ever since he was a kid Nick has loved Michael Barrymore. In this heartfelt and playful tribute, Nick invites you to examine the turbulent relationship between showman and spectator.
Duckie is a reimagining of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Ugly Duckling with a message of tolerance and self acceptance at its core. Family-friendly glamour and glitz takes centre stage as critically acclaimed cabaret star Le Gateau Chocolat breaks out of his shell in his first work for children, a classic tale of identity and belonging. Set in an animal circus, we join him on an adventure of self-discovery, asking questions of the ‘happy ever after’ in a celebration of difference. Walking a little differently? Sounding a bit strange? Watch Duckie triumph by realising these are his strengths. Babes in Arms Welcome
Time: 14.00, Summerhall Main Hall, 1st to 12th August
‘Blackouts were the worst. Blackouts made me forget… Thank God for blackouts.’ Meet the woman who finds herself urinating off the top of the Scott Monument in Edinburgh. The man who nearly burns down a stranger’s kitchen. The mother who almost beats her son to death in a drunken rage. Blackout is the honest, brutal, uplifting and darkly comic story of alcoholics, and ultimately of their hope in recovery. Scripted entirely from interviews with recovering addicts, including the writer.
Part of the Made in Scotland showcase. At the Old Lab, Summerhall, 16.20 3rd till 26th August
Named stand-out cabaret of the year by the NZ Herald, Valerie is an inter-generational, interdisciplinary and interrupting piece of theatre reaching into the guts of family mythologies. Music, genetics, and storytelling combine to unravel one family’s history. A love letter from grandson to grandmother, this celebration of resilience is gig-theatre at its finest. Summerhall, Cairns Lecture Theatre, 21.15, 3rd till 26th August
A blistering punk theatre gig about our civil liberties and our capacity to resist – with an original soundtrack played live. In Brisbane, Australia, 1979, Prehistoric follows Deb, Nick, Pete and Rachel as they meet at a gig, start a band, and find out – the hard way – why their town stays so quiet. Based on first-hand accounts of living, playing music, and making history under Queensland’s notoriously corrupt and brutal Bjelke-Petersen government, Prehistoric offers an iconoclastic and hilarious take on the pivotal ‘punk moment’ that still echoes today. On at Summerhall in the Demonstration Room from the 1st to the 26th at 21.15
An antique magic lantern projector, an iPhone 6 and a live musical score shine a new light on Samuel Butler’s classic sci-fi novel. A Victorian explorer discovers a colony of refugees; time travellers from the 21st century escaping their dependence on its technology. This delightful neo-historical head-scratcher playfully welds future, past and present into a glittering bracelet of time. A multimedia collaboration between Edinburgh’s own Magnetic North, and Kiwi playwright and newly-qualified magic lantern showman Arthur Meek. Featuring an original musical score played live by New Zealand pop powerhouse Eva Prowse. On at Summerhall in the Cairns Lecture Theatre at 13.25 from the 1st to the 26th.
Paris. 1650ish. Impotence is illegal. When a member of the aristocracy is accused of being less than upstanding, his wounded pride leads him towards a monumental and very public flop. But can a cast of total idiots save a show about a flop… from being one? Main Hall, Summerhall, 16.55
After a sell-out run at the Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, nostalgic bookseller Lewis and party-boy Glen are back in this hit gay romantic comedy set in 1980s Edinburgh. Love Song to Lavender Menace is a funny, celebratory play about the radical, lesbian, gay and feminist bookshop which began in the cloakroom of Scotland’s first gay nightclub and became the beating heart of Edinburgh’s LGBT+ community. On at Summerhall from the 1st to the 26th at 12.55 in Tech Cube 0.
Sophie works in a shop. She suffers from an irrational fear of eggs. Her nipples are behaving strangely and a black hole has appeared in her neighbourhood that could be / probably is a pervert. While precocious eight year olds and prophetic animals lurk around every corner, her dreams and reality begin to blur beyond comprehension or control. And worst of all, one of her favourite socks is missing. The Egg is a Lonely Hunter is a dark, comedic odyssey about beached whales, black holes and the redeeming power of eggs. Red Lecture Theatre, Summerhall, 14.45 3rd till 26th August.
What happens when memories disappear? Where do they go, and can we get them back? Using just his voice and a Roland TD-4KP electronic drumkit, Antosh Wojcik explores the effects of inherited Alzheimer’s on speech, memory and family. Poems become beats become glitches in time in a mesmeric display of live drumming and spoken word. On at Summerhall from 1st to the 26th at 10.15 in the Red Lecture Theatre.
The boiler’s broken, the owl with the rings is missing, the celebrant’s late and the band haven’t turned up. Can Mona and Geoff still tie the knot and live happily ever after? This is a wedding you won’t forget. An unmissable evening of ink-black comedy and brilliant performances. Summerhall Cafe, 19.40, 3rd-26th August
Big Aftermath explores how lives can turn on a word and the allure of the self-destruct button. Comedy and tragedy collide in a play about what happens when one person wants to go and the other wants them to stay. Summerhall Old Lab, 14:50
Four women, forced together as their homes are evacuated by police, squeeze into a saree shop where it doesn’t take long for tensions to rise.
Critically acclaimed musicians Novasound collaborate with playwright and performer Belle Jones to present Closed Doors – a story told through music. Three diverse artists combine spoken word, rhythm and an exhilarating live score to create this dynamic piece of theatrical storytelling. Inspired by the reality of a multicultural neighbourhood in Glasgow, Closed Doors refuses to recognise genre boundaries as it tackles questions of identity, community and isolation with rigour and heart.
Closed Doors was developed at Summerhall Lab. Cairns Lecture Theatre, 17:45, 3rd till 26th August
People Show are the UK’s oldest experimental theatre collective. Defying definition and constantly pushing the boundaries of live performance, the company continues to explore the world around us. Each show has been numbered. This is People Show 130. On at Summerhall from the 1st to the 26th at 15.00.
Vivid and lyrical, Extinguished Things is a captivating exploration of what it means to spend your life with someone, and the nature of what you leave behind. On at Summerhall from the 1st to the 26th at 19.25 (except the 2nd and the 20th)
WILLY HUDSON : BOTTOM Join Willy for a queer coming-of-age remix, as he questions if ‘bottom’ in the bedroom means ‘bottom’ in life – and whether Beyoncé can help put his love on top. Cairns Lecture Theatre, Summerhall, 16:25 1st to 26th August
In this brave and outlandish performance a grown woman attempts to be your baby to discover if innocence really is as sexy as we’re told it is. On at Summerhall in the Demonstration Room from the 1st to the 26th at 13.30.
Based on JG Ballard’s cult novel Concrete Island, VOID meshes experimental dance and abstract glitch-video landscapes. Taking in typically Ballardian themes of dystopian worlds, liminal spaces and urban paranoia, Mele Broomes performs risk-taking choreography to the backdrop of an industrial soundscape.
This a conjectural model of Schwitters’ last day at the MERZBarn in Elterwater. Only … it seems the final flourish of plaster across the corner (all that remains in the Barn after the wall’s removal to the Hatton), was added later by Harry Pierce or his son, both of whom assisted Schwitters. ‘Kurt Schwitters has left the building’ is the title of an exhibition being worked-on at MERZ with Martin Green for the 2018 Edinburgh Festival at Summerhall which also features paintings by Schwitters.
Visual Arts Scotland in association with Summerhall are delighted to present the work of eighteen of the hottest emerging talents on the Scottish Art scene.
Since its inauguration in 2015 our Graduate Showcase has celebrated the finest emerging artist graduating from art schools in Scotland, exhibiting their work in the prestigious RSA galleries in Edinburgh. SATELLITE will track the progress of aspiring artists, some of whom we have previously featured in the Graduate Showcase, and some of whom we are delighted to be showing for the first time.
Alex Weir, Emily Moore, Euphrosyne Andrews, Hanqing and Mona, Jean Oberlander, Karen Maxted, Kirsten Millar, Ladina Clement, Laren Bowman, Marine Lefebvre, Michael Clarence, Niklas Gustafson, Rhona Jack, Scott Baxter, Theo Shields, Tina Macleod, William Braithwaite
Associate Membership of VAS caters to younger and early career artists, and is our societies future. VAS strives to be part of the complex debate between contemporary fine and applied art praxis and this fine selection of upcoming artists perfectly embody the diversity of our organisation.
Andrew MacKenzie introduces the work of the eighteen artists selected for the Satellite exhibition at Summerhall, Edinburgh, from May to July. The clip features eight of the artists discussing their work and the contribution VAS is making to their early careers.
Over the last thirty years, and guided by wind-born currents and sand born by the run-off from Winter rains, Roland Chaplain has carefully crafted The Beach at Woodhall Loch, adjoining Laurieston Hall.