Saturday, August 27, 2011

Last orders

The Dark Philosophers
Last day of the fest for me. Started off with National Theatre Wales's The Dark Philosophers at the Traverse: really good play based on the writings of Gwyn Thomas with an extremely creative stage design of multi-layered wardrobes, perched like favellas in the Rhondda Valley, and with a very amusing Michael Parkinson sketch halfway through. Was then interviewed for a Chinese newspaper before legging it across town to see Idle Motion's The Vanishing Horizon which was the third play about aviation I'd encountered this week. Lunch with some contacts, a quick zoom around the National Gallery's The Queen: Art & Image exhibition, then one final 'show' - 3rd Ring Out's The Emergency, set in two orange containers on Grassmarket. It was less of a show and more like a training workshop where the 10-strong audience is tasked with managing a national crisis brought on by climate change.

The Vanishing Horizon
By the time I got home, Catherine's birthday party was all over, but it had had gone well with bouncy castle, party games and 3 hour window of good weather. P & I had a pint in his great little local and then picked up some fish & chips (or 'fish supper' as they call it here) to take home. Nice to have some time with them before I head off tomorrow. 

So, what to make of the last week?  First of all, I ended up having more meetings than seeing plays. Secondly, a lot of what I saw seemed to take theatre into new places. There was very little that was about a stage, some actors and a passive audience (although the first two today were, I suppose). Instead there was a blurring of boundaries, combinations of acting, film & animation, and events like yesterday's Subtlemob and today's The Emergency which could barely be described as theatre at all. But of course it is Edinburgh that has become the stage and just wandering the streets was a kind of theatre in itself. I can't deny that it's been a very enjoyable week... 

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