Reviewing has ended and we now have a chance to reflect on the 21 shows we have seen over the past 3 weeks. This week our reviewers caught the final 6 shortlisted shows.
For more information on all of the 21 shortlisted Fringe shows, click here.
For details on the upcoming Fringe Sustainable Practice Awards Ceremony, check out our event page here. Come along and help us celebrate sustainability in the arts at its best, in the 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe!
Maiden: A Recycled Fairytale is not, as some might expect, about recycling. Rather it takes various tropes of fairytales and arranges them into a new tale – literary recycling tales. A natural theme flows throughout, from the beautiful garden to commemorate a lost mother, to the Maiden with the rose on her forehead, to the delicious cherries in the orchard on the top of the hill. In a set constructed entirely of found, second-hand and recycled materials, 3 Bugs Theatre conjure an environment far from their central Edinburgh location. Like all good fairytales however, there is a great deal of darkness and despair to remind us that, despite mark upon the Maiden’s face, life isn’t all rosy.
Current Location is an adaptation of an original Japanese text by Toshiki Okada which responds to the Fukushima nuclear disaster to a piece about climate change. The story is told through an all female cast and while some of the girls challenge climate change, others refuse to even acknowledge it—brushing it off as just a rumour.
Current Location uses minimal production aspects and responds to their venue space. Instead of altering Summerhall’s dissection room to fit their piece, they have adjusted their piece for the room and have taken advantage of the natural light from the large windows to reduce their energy consumption.
This surrealist piece of performance art manages to keep its young audience entertained despite the performers never uttering a word. Rather, they let the visual and sound effects do the talking as we watched a creature being developed in a darkened laboratory setting – strange machines whirring and emitting puffs of smoke, neon tubes giving the stage an eerie glow. One minute we’re focusing on how a tiny version of the creature’s skeleton move, before being startled by a looming giant creature that had slowly inflated, exploiting our distraction. The Assembly of Animals is a delightful and surreal show about the creation of a creature, full of technical and creepy wizardry.
Martin Kiszko addresses an array of sustainability issues in his entertaining stand-up performance poetry. Green Poems for a Blue Planet ranges from how to travel round the world sustainably to poo-powered busses, and from a lost hedgehog to solar di da neighbours. In addition to the amusing content of the poems the stand-up performance is supported by an array of comical illustrations, drawn by Wallace and Gromit creator Nick Park.
The show will made you chuckle, explore your geographic knowledge, test your rhyming skills and make you rethink about your own actions and involvement in sustainability.
AtomKraft directly proposes to its audience the following question, “would you accept a nuclear power station in the centre of your city in return for free electricity for 50 years?” The show encourages its audience to question this proposition and then subsequently utilises audience participation to set the tone of the piece, creating a conference like style environment.
This show highlights the dichotomy that underpins nuclear power and the current debates that exists around it. Ultimately the show address power relationships, the responsibility we feel for the world around us, and what happens when society does not ask enough questions. AtomKraft, though bizarre at points, is definitely what you would call a thought provoking performance incorporating song, discussion and theatre.
Emily Tracey, of the British Geological Survey, guides this lovely tour through both the natural and built heritage of the city. Though situated on Calton Hill the tour does not limit itself to this exact location, rather this vantage point is used to transport attendees around Edinburgh from 300 million years ago back to the present day.
The tour was an insight into the natural building materials used in our city, the craftsman ship that is required to work and restore these materials, and both the social and industrial issues that arise out of the closures of local quarries. Ultimately, the tour emphasized the importance of a sense of place and how this comes down to the surrounding geology of an area, such that the Edinburgh sense of place can be put down to the local sandstones.
Remember, tomorrow is the day we announce the 2015 Fringe Sustainable Practice Award winner! If you cannot make the awards ceremony in Fringe Central 1 from 4 – 5pm then be sure to follow us on Twitter and check our Facebook page for live updates from the event.
Image, Brown Linen Lace Coptic Journal, courticy of Samandra Vieira
A project initiated by Edinburgh’s Festivals with key partners the Federation of Scottish Theatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network
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