edinburgh fringe festival 2021 – our creative team reveal their top picks

Lucy’s picks start us off. She went for Few Are Angels which features eight scenes, presenting Shakespeare’s women in 21st-century settings.

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Lucy also suggests Run by Stephen Lughton, which highlights a world filled with school riots, first loves, beached whales, political demonstrations, sunshine, cinema, sex and rebellion.

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Our head of theatre operations, Steve Cowton, struggled to pick just one – after all, one of the joys of going to Edinburgh Festival is being blown away by a company or show that you’ve never heard of before.

As such, we’ve let him nominate a whole venue – Summerhall. In recent years Summerhall has become THE venue for the Fringe – presenting an incredibly diverse range of work across all artforms.

Steve has seen dozens of shows at Summerhall over the years and very few of them have disappointed! If he had to suggest one show – he went for The Kallo Collective with a show called TheReceptionists.

This is part of the annual ‘From Start to Finnish’ festival which promotes theatre and dance companies from Finland. Check out the trailer below.

Our senior producer for artist development, Claire Symonds, has chosen Mandla Rae’s show As British as a Watermelon. Mandla did an early sharing of this stunning autobiographical show at The Lowry in 2019. It is poetic, fierce, visually stunning work from one of Manchester’s most exciting new voices.

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Our programming associate for dance, Eckhard Thiemann, came back with two ‘must see’ dance shows. The first was Mel Broome: GRIN. Mel is a fast-emerging voice of Scottish performance arts scene and a new talent to look out for.

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Eckhard’s second choice was Hao Cheng: Touchdown. Taiwanese dancers are very technically virtuosic. This new solo by acclaims dancer Hao Cheng combines his interest in high physicality and scientific thinking.

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Michael Simpson, our director of visual arts went for Archie Brennan Tapestry Goes Pop. Archie was known as “Scotland’s Andy Warhol” … He championed weaving as an art form, sharing Warhol’s mischievousness as well as his delight in using art to comment on popular culture.  He championed small format tapestry, but his work was always vibrant, fun and technically brilliant.

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And last but by no means least, our senior programmer/producer Matt Eames went with Wardrobe Ensemble who will be sharing their unique two-woman telling of F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.

In a co-production with Bristol-based Wardrobe Theatre they tell the whole story from a settee! It’s brilliantly inventive but don’t take my word for it – two great reviews in The Guardian and The Stage.

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