Fringe Winner Itsoseng Transfers, Rivers Extends

August 15, 2008

South African hit Itsoseng, which today won a Fringe First in Edinburgh (See Today’s Other News), will transfer next month to London’s Soho Theatre, where it will have a limited season from 8 to 27 September 2008.

Billed as “a scathing indictment of government indifference, cynicism and incompetence in a ’forgotten’ South African township”, Itsoseng (which means “wakes yourself up”) is written and performed by Omphile Molusi, a native of the depressed township of the title. It tells the story of Mawilla, a young man who loses the love of his life, a girl named Dolly, to prostitution. He watches Dolly’s steady decline as the township he loves withers, first under the rule of the apartheid government, then an inexperienced, apathetic government. Read more

Kitson Scores Again in Round Two of Fringe Firsts

August 15, 2008

Daniel KitsonEight winners are announced by The Scotsman newspaper today (15 August 2008) in the second round in this year’s prestigious Fringe First Awards, celebrating high quality new drama at the Edinburgh Festival.The Traverse Theatre adds two more prizes to the three it garnered in the first round (See News, 8 Aug 2008). Perrier Prize-winning comedian-turned-theatrical storyteller Daniel Kitson (pictured) wins his third Fringe First – after those for C-90 (2006) and Stories for the Wobbly Hearted (2005) – for 66a Church Road, a break-up monologue about moving out of the flat he lived in for six years. Read more

New Walsh Play Leads First Round of Fringe Firsts

August 8, 2008

Val Lilley & Catherine Walsh in The New Electric BallroomThe first winners of this year’s prestigious Fringe First Awards, celebrating high quality new drama at the Edinburgh Festival, have been announced by The Scotsman newspaper today (8 August 2008).

Amongst the winners is The New Electric Ballroom, the new play written and directed by Irishman Enda Walsh and presented by Druid Theatre company at the Traverse. The four-hander, about three sisters living in a small fishing village and mourning lost love, is a companion piece to last year’s The Walworth Farce, which transfers to the National Theatre next month. Mikel Murfi, who directed Walworth, appears in the new piece alongside Rosaleen Linehan, Val Lilley and Catherine Walsh.

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EIF Kicks Off Today, Bourne Premieres Dorian Gray

August 8, 2008

Dorian GrayThe 2008 Edinburgh International Festival (EIF) opens today (8 August 2008) in the Scottish capital (See News, 2 Apr 2008). The 62nd annual EIF – the parent to the much larger and more chaotic Edinburgh Fringe, which opened last Sunday – runs until 31 August with its mix of opera, ballet, music and theatre from around the globe.

One of the most anticipated productions in this year’s EIF schedule is the world premiere of director-choreographer Matthew Bourne’s new dance theatre piece Dorian Gray (pictured), based on Oscar Wilde’s 1891 gothic novel The Picture of Dorian Gray. Set in the image-obsessed world of contemporary art and politics, in Bourne’s version, the title character is a beautiful London ‘It boy’, in icon of beauty and truth in an increasingly ugly world. This alluring young man makes a pact with the devil.

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2008 Edinburgh Fringe Launches This Weekend

August 1, 2008

The 2008 Edinburgh Fringe, the world’s largest arts festival, gets under way in the Scottish capital on schedule this weekend – despite a technology crisis that threatened to derail ticketing for thousands of theatregoers (See The Goss, 21 Jul 2008). The 62nd annual event opens this Sunday 3 August 2008 and continues until 25 August, during which time an estimated 18,792 performers from 46 countries will present 31,320 performances of 2,088 shows in 247 venues (See News, 5 Jun 2008). Read more

Glasgow’s Arches Appoints New Artistic Director

July 3, 2008

Jackie WylieGlasgow’s The Arches, one of Europe’s leading multi-arts venues, has appointed Jackie Wylie as its new Artistic Director. She will take up the post with immediate effect. Wylie is currently Arts Programmer for the venue, having joined the organisation in 2004. Read more

Reality TV’s Keith & Niamh Head ‘Brave’ New Musical

June 21, 2008

Niamh PerryBBC reality TV fans should book their tickets to Edinburgh now. Niamh Perry (pictured), one of the finalists from this year’s I’d Do Anything to cast Oliver!, and Keith Jack, runner-up on last year’s Any Dream Will Do to cast Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, are teaming up to star in a new musical, entitled Only the Brave, which receives its world premiere at the Edinburgh Fringe, running at the George Square Theatre, the festival’s new musical theatre venue, from 31 July to 25 August 2008. Read more

Dundee’s ‘Peer’ Nabs Four Scottish Theatre Awards

June 16, 2008

Gerry Mulgrew and Keith Fleming accept the Best Actor Award for Peer Gynt, Dundee Rep
The Tony Awards weren’t the only theatre awards taking place last night (See Today’s Other
News). In Glasgow, a ceremony was held to announce the winners of the sixth annual Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland. Dundee Rep, the only permanent repertory company north of the border, scooped four prizes for its revival of Ibsen’s “famously unstageable” classic Peer Gynt: Best Male Performance (jointly awarded to Keith Fleming and Gerry Mulgrew who shared the title role), Best Design (Naomi Wilkinson), Best Director (Dominic Hill) and Best Production. Read more

3D Genie Stars In ‘Aladdin’ At Edinburgh King’s

June 14, 2008

Grant Stott as Abanazar in 'Aladdin'Audiences at the King’s Theatre in Edinburgh are in for a treat this Christmas as pantomime favourites Allan Stewart and Grant Stott are joined by a 3D genie in a spectacular production of Aladdin.

With the use of 3D glasses the audience will see the Genie of the lamp come to life and move miraculously around the auditorium. The show also includes a 3D cave of riches a thrilling 3D magic carpet ride to Abanazar’s lair. Read more

62nd Edinburgh Fringe Programme Launched Today

June 5, 2008

The 2008 Edinburgh Fringe programme, published today (5 June 2008), features a record-breaking 2,088 shows – 38 more than last year. The 62nd annual Festival Fringe, the world’s largest arts festival, runs this year from 8 to 25 August 2008 and involves an estimated 18,792 performers from 46 countries presenting 31,320 performances of those shows in 247 venues. Read more

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