#GreenFests Top 10 Things to See in Edinburgh This Week

21st August 2015

There are only ten days left of this year's festival season! Ten days to cram in as much dance, theatre, comedy, poetry, acrobatics and all round fun as we can. With over seven festivals going on concurrently, 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’s 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. The HandleBards: Secret Shakespeare

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Join the HandleBards on their bikes and cycle to a secret location in Edinburgh for a Fringe experience unlike any other. The HandleBards do Shakespeare differently. Reaching the Fringe after a 1500 mile cycle from London and performing with eight very sore legs, the four ‘Bards present Shakespeare’s plays as you’ve never seen them before. Bicycles of all sizes are available, and the ride is approximately five miles. Shows alternate daily and tickets are strictly limited. ‘An unmissable show’ ***** (BroadwayBaby.com on Macbeth, 2014). For more information on the requirements for the show, please visit www.handlebards.com

Shortlisted for the 2015 Fringe Sustainable Practice Award; Winner of the 2014 Fringe Sustainable Practice Award

2. Green Poems for a Blue Planet

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Dramatic stand-up performance poetry accompanied by Wallace and Gromit creator Nick Park’s images. The show is based on their two funny and challenging books Green Poems for a Blue Planet and Verse for the Earth – winner of the Best Artistic Response at the 2014 Climate Week awards. Performed from LA to India and from Malta to the Isle of Man, the Green Apple Awards described the ‘UK’s Green Poet’ as ‘great entertainment’, ‘a wonderfully engaging performer’, ‘funny, enlightening and thoughtful’ and ‘sheer environmental magic’. www.greenpoemsforablueplanet.com

Shortlisted for the 2015 Fringe Sustainable Practice Award

3. Wave Movements

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Composers and rock musicians Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire) and Bryce Dessner (The National) are inspired by the different wave cycles of the world’s oceans in a work for string orchestra and film. The music, composed directly to the actual rhythms of waves, is performed live by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra to a film made by the photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto who created an iconic series of seascape photos in the 1980s.

4. Celebrating Edinburgh’s Traditional Buildings: Calton Hill Geology Walk

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Locally sourced natural materials – a strategy for sustainable construction? Emily Tracey of the British Geological Survey provides a rewarding walking talk on the geology that provided building stones used across the city.

Shortlisted for the 2015 Fringe Sustainable Practice Award



5. The Assembly of Animals

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Combining puppetry, magic and scientific-demonstration, THE ASSEMBLY OF ANIMALS gives a glimpse into the inner workings of a laboratory looking for life in everyday objects. As a performed sculpture, a series of delicately composed experiments reveal a proliferating system of surprises and animals within animals. Tim is an artistic inventor, and uses basic physics and a surrealist imagination to create this carefully constructed and delicate world, leaving children entertained throughout. Part of British Council Edinburgh Showcase 2015. Produced by Artsadmin for Bamboo supported by the EU Culture Programme. Co-production TJP-CDN d’Alsace-Strasbourg. Funded by the National Lottery.

Shortlisted for the 2015 Fringe Sustainable Practice Award

6. Art On The Attack – Anthony Downey

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Visual art needn’t just be nice to look at or confusing to behold, it can also be politically aware. For Art and Politics Now, Anthony Downey has searched the globe for ambitious, daring and socially engaged artworks. He describes the work of contemporary artists who are creatively reflecting upon the Middle East, the financial crisis, migration, terrorism and social activism.


7. Maiden: A Recycled Fairytale

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‘Every now and then something happens. Something extraordinary that makes people put down their bottle of Madeira and truly think.’ Who is Maiden? Where did she come from? Where does she belong? Set in a cruel, dystopian society in rural Portugal, 3Bugs proudly presents a creative adaptation of a fairy tale. A story of long summers and cherry picking, red-hot pokers and wicked revenge, lost love and locked doors. A piece of recycled theatre with set, props and costume created from sustainable sources. Accompanied with live performance of originally written folk song.

Shortlisted for the 2015 Fringe Sustainable Practice Award

8. Atomkraft

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Atomkraft is a performance with live music. Through a kind of joyfully awkward humour and audience participation it explores the itchy, antagonistic, dependent relationships between art, culture and the global systems of capital and power, as represented by the nuclear industry and large-scale urban development projects. Australia’s richest man, uranium baron Roddy Magnox, holds a public consultation on his plans to build a combined world-class arts, business and leisure complex and nuclear facility in the centre of each large city in the world, in the shape of a huge black pyramid.

Shortlisted for the 2015 Fringe Sustainable Practice Award

9. In Praise of Equality

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One per cent of the world’s population owns fifty per cent of the world’s wealth and, social justice aside, it has become common for economists to warn about the dangers of income inequality. Even in Britain the gulf between rich and poor has widened. Roy Hattersley argues that greater equality – power as well as wealth – is the key to a more prosperous and more tranquil society and that, far from being the enemy of liberty, equality is what makes a nation truly free.

10. Ventoux

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Ventoux is the most fearsome mountain encountered on the Tour de France. It is also the story of Lance Armstrong and Marco Pantani – whose drug-fuelled race there in 2000 was the greatest cycling had ever seen. Ventoux charts the parallel lives of these champions who overcame great adversity in tandem, and the mountain that cast them in opposing directions. Join 2Magpies as they restage the race using breathtaking video accompaniment and a pair of road bikes, asking the question – how far will we go to succeed?

Shortlisted for the 2015 Fringe Sustainable Practice Award


[Top image courtesy of the Edinburgh International Festival]

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