Wednesday morning saw Thom and I go our separate ways; he left to get a ticket to see Daniel Kitson and I met up with fellow theatre lover and Facebook wife Rachel. Thankfully, she and her theatre work colleagues have great taste and recognise the good production companies. They work at a school and hope to bring something up next year so they wanted to check out the ‘fairy tale’ market hence out first show: Cirque Tsuki: Birthday, a piece of children’s installation theatre based on Little Red Riding Hood. It was so adorable! The actors got the children playing birthday party games, the monochrome theme was beautiful. I feel awful being this harsh but it was more style than substance. The narrative could have been smoother and some moments weren’t necessary and slowed the story down but this can be forgiven because it was magical.
We then headed to the outskirts of Edinburgh, to Summerhall, formerly the Royal School of Veterinary Studies, the perfect setting for some of the more sinister, hard hitting plays of the Fringe. An older lady was brought out of a show on a stretcher by paramedics; Rachel deduced that they must have seen The Flood by the fantastic Badac Theatre Company but featured a copious amount of liver. It’s now a creative hub for the arts with studio and workshop spaces. After a bacon roll and sweet potato fries, I managed to squeeze in a show, thankfully, no sign of an operating theatre; it was to be performed in the Red Lecture Theatre.
I wanted to see Leaving Home Party because it was supported by the Escalator East to Edinburgh scheme, I’d like to work with them in the future being from the east and wanting to take something to Edinburgh, so I thought I’d check out the kind of work they are involved with. Leaving Home Party was simply gorgeous, there’s no other way to describe it. It’s Catherine’s story of leaving home, it’s told through soft, honest and original songs. She has such a way with words, it doesn’t matter if she is singing them or speaking them. Irish born Catherine learns that home “isn’t a where, it’s a when. It’s not a there but a then. Home is a now” or something to that effect. She said it better and with her hypnotising Irish twang.
And now for something completely different, we travel from Ireland to Spain and Chile. AuMents Visual Dance Theater’s Malasombra, a “fairy tale for adults and heavy-metal kids.” We’ve all seen the shadows of dancers projected onto giant screens, there’s always one at Britain’s Got Talent, but AuMents is far superior. They had dancers on both sides of the screen, there was animation that ran alongside seamlessly and the choice of music is much better. They delivered on the heavy metal front! It was nature vs industry as a girl’s naughty shadow is stolen and set to work in a factory owned by our long fingered villain. After seeing touring companies fail so spectacularly at syncing multimedia and theatre, it made me very happy to see it done well. I won’t be so quick to judge next time.