#GreenFests Top 10 Things to See in Edinburgh This Week

14th August 2015

Can you believe we're already halfway through August and the festival season?! Time flies when you're having fun and with over seven festivals going on concurrently how can you not be? We're spoiled for choice and it can be almost impossible to decide what to see and do. So we've done the hard work for you.

Creative Carbon Scotland presents our 10 sustainable top picks for the week ahead. We have scoured through the programme of each and every festival to find the best and brightest acts engaging with art and sustainability. From shows to exhibitions, talks and discussions to events, I hope you enjoy our list of the sustainability crème de la crème on show in Edinburgh this week.

1. Workers’ Rights in the 21st Century – do we need them?

Festival of Politics

Fringe 1Although they have been synonymous with industrialization for more than a hundred years, detractors believe unions are outmoded institutions whose role has been pre-empted in the 21st century by labour laws, better human resource management and an increasingly educated and mobile workforce.  Yet many believe we still need a fairness and voice in the workplace. Join Chair Deputy Presiding Officer, Elaine Smith MSP as she discusses these issues with Ann Henderson, Assistant Secretary, Scottish Trade Union Congress (STUC); Professor Mike Gonzalez, formerly head of Latin American studies at University of Glasgow and member of Solidarity – Scotland’s Socialist Movement; and Colin Borland, Federation of Small Businesses.

A special Festival discount will apply if tickets are bought for both this panel and the film screening Made in Dagenham.

2. Lungs

Fringe 2Edinburgh Festival Fringe

‘I could fly to New York and back every day for seven years and still not leave a carbon footprint as big as if I have a child. Ten thousand tonnes of CO2. That’s the weight of the Eiffel Tower. I’d be giving birth to the Eiffel Tower.’ In a time of global anxiety, erratic weather and political unrest, a couple want a child but are running out of time. What will be the first to destruct – the planet or their relationship? ‘The most beautiful, shattering play of the year’ ***** (Sunday Express).

Shortlisted for the 2015 Fringe Sustainable Practice Award


3.  Current Location

Edinburgh Festival FringeFringe 9

Three women stand on a cliff-edge overlooking their village; a village which is soon to disappear. ‘Sometimes we need to do things like this; we need to step away from our daily lives, and look at them from a distance.’ Set in the intimacy of a choir rehearsal room, an all-female cast presents this immersive piece of theatre with live music by Ben Osborn, which explores how rumour and the fears associated with climate change disrupts families, friends and communities. ‘Quietly gripping and thoroughly unsettling, this piece climbs inside you, like the best examples of sci-fi’ (ExeuntMagazine.com).

Shortlisted for the 2015 Fringe Sustainable Practice Award

4.  We May Have To Choose

Fringe 10Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Winner: 2015 Adelaide Fringe Weekly Award – Best Theatre. A monologue of sorts, a list of 621 declarations about the universe. A darkly humorous solo show that asks: in a dying world, what is it to speak one’s mind? “a refreshingly experimental performance… surprisingly funny… provocative…an introspective experience” (Buzzcuts.org.au). Australian performer Emma Hall creates a funny, withering, and moving piece about the fallibility of thought in our quest to solve the riddles of our world. I think therefore I am…often wrong. **** ‘smart, fun and distinctly different’ (TheatreGuide.com.au). **** (RipItUp.com.au).

Shortlisted for the 2015 Fringe Sustainable Practice Award

5. Holoturian

Edinburgh Art Festival

Fringe 3For the Edinburgh Art Festival, Guzik has constructed a beautiful capsule, the Holoturian, designed to send a living plant and a string instrument into the depths of the sea. Imagined in extraordinary drawings, this ship has instrumentation, which expresses life, space, harmony and brightness as primary messages, and is dedicated to sperm whales and other deep ocean creatures.

6. Embrace Your Creativity and Improve Your Life

Fringe 7Edinburgh International Book Festival

BBC arts editor Will Gompertz has interviewed plenty of creative people. In Think Like an Artist he focuses not just on their output, but the creativity with which they approach their work. He argues that there’s a link between creativity and entrepreneurialism, and using artists like Picasso and Warhol as examples, he says we can improve our own lives by learning some of their skills.


7. The Wild Man of Orford

Edinburgh Festival FringeFringe 4

Orford, the Suffolk coast, 1167. A fisherman hauls up a mysterious catch: a scaly, glistening creature from the depths of the sea. Man or monster? Is the wild man barbaric or simply free of the constraints of society? A tale from English folklore, The Wild Man of Orford is a story of freedom, of kindness, and of the strange wild song of the sea. Beautiful and improbable, Rust and Stardust’s production features an exciting combination of handmade puppets, live theatre and music, and projected animations. Part of the Sea of Stories season at Sweet Venues.

Shortlisted for the 2015 Fringe Sustainable Practice Award

8. Ndebele Funeral

Fringe 5Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Winner! FringeNYC Overall Excellence Award Best Play, Critics’ Pick Time Out New York. From a successful run off-Broadway in New York and South Africa’s National Arts Festival. Hilariously heartbreaking, Ndebele Funeral pulls audiences into the music, dirt, and dreams of modern South Africa by examining the aspirations and loss of three characters whose lives intersect in a Soweto shack. Smoke and Mirrors Collaborative’s powerfully physical production delves bravely into modern poverty, health care and violence featuring original music and gumboot dancing from the mines of Jo’burg.

Shortlisted for the 2015 Fringe Sustainable Practice Award

9. Scarfed for Life

Fringe 6Edinburgh Festival Fringe

‘The play, Scarfed for Life, is a loud, lively piece about sectarianism in Glasgow … a mix of broad, mouthy comedy and serious agitprop’ (Joyce McMillan, Scotsman). A modern parable set against the backdrop of the first Old Firm clash of the season. Funny, hard-hitting and thought provoking, Scarfed for Life tells the story of two teenage friends caught in the crossfire of polite suburban prejudice and garden equipment. This play draws on what sectarianism and prejudice actually means to young Glaswegians, and how it affects them and their peers. Supported by the Scottish Government.

Shortlisted for the 2015 Fringe Sustainable Practice Award

10.  Fraxi Queen of the Forest

Fringe 8Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Home provider, light giver, and oxygen producer, Fraxi the Ash tree is a guardian (and BFF!) to all woodland creatures. When tragedy strikes and Fraxi is infected with the ash-dieback virus, her childhood friend Woody must choose how to save the forest. A triumph of whimsical physical theatre for young audiences written by Scotland New Playwrights award winner, Jack Dickson.

Shortlisted for the 2015 Fringe Sustainable Practice Award


[Top image courtesy of Lonely Planet]

Get info on news, opportunities & events by email

About Creative Carbon Scotland

We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

Read more about CCS

0131 529 7909

Supported by

Edinburgh Festival City Edinburgh Festival City

A project initiated by Edinburgh’s Festivals with key partners the Federation of Scottish Theatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network

Edinburgh Festival City Federation of Scottish Theatre Scottish Contemporary Art Network