Monday 17 August 2009

Looking forward to Edinburgh

Forest Fringe opens today. It feels odd to refer to Forest Fringe as “our Edinburgh venue”, because it’s more than a venue – it’s a whole two week festival, and in any other city at any other time of year it would seem pretty big. But in the sprawling chaos of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe it probably seems quite small. Small but not lightweight in any way, it’s already massively influential in only its third year.

It’s not part of the Fringe, and this year neither are we, which makes the whole Edinburgh experience much more affordable, for companies and audiences – all the shows are free. This economy means you can’t book in advance by phone or internet – but you can book in advance in person – or just turn up for the show. And that’s the way it seems that Forest Fringe works – the more flexible approach means that the programme changes daily, and it’s worthwhile for audiences just to hang out there and come back from one day to the next (certainly that’s what I’m planning on doing as much as possible) – so booking in person isn’t a massive hardship in that context.

I’m particularly looking forward to seeing work by Lucy Ellinson, Chris Thorpe, Curious, Action Hero, Coney, Tim Nunn & Gillian Lees, Rotozaza, Zoo Indigo... and also being surprised by artists whose work I’m not familiar with. See the full list on the Forest Fringe site.

I will be venturing beyond Forest Fringe to see a few things – I’m booked up for: Land Without Words, featuring a solo performance by Third Angel Associate Artist Lucy Ellison; Internal, because I’ve heard so much about Ontroerend Goed's work and formally this piece sounds not-dissimilar to Homo Ludens, but thematically very different; Stan’s CafĂ©’s Home of the Wriggler, which is powered by the performers riding bicycles; and I’m really hoping to get to Little Johnny’s Big Gay Musical by Random Accomplice.

I’m sadly not going to get to see Nic Green’s Trilogy, but if I was going to be in Edinburgh for longer it would be on my must-see list.

Monday 10 August 2009

Potential Performance spaces

Last week I got a tour of Leeds Town Hall to look at some of the spaces they have available for performances and installation work. Their arts team is clearly really forward thinking, using these spaces for their annual Light Night event every October. I looked at the older and more modern cells, and got to climb the clock tower, which feels like a movie set. They are such great spaces you would really have to work with them, and not install or perform too much; audience members would get so much just from looking around. Something to bear in mind as we think about possible future projects.

Some of the photos I took on the tour are on our Flickr Photostream.

Thursday 6 August 2009

Homo Ludens on - now with subtitles

The piece about Homo Ludens - shot at one of the preview performances, so the space isn't quite finished - now has English subtitles. Watch it here.

Sunday 2 August 2009

Psalter Lane, one year on

Just over a year ago, I wrote this piece for the Sheffield Telegraph about the closure of Psalter Lane campus. We (people who live nearby) were expecting demolition of the more recent buildings, some new build and the conversion of the old library building into flats and luxury apartments.

One the routes I take in my walk to work goes down Psalter Lane (not very lane-like, if you don't know Sheffield), so I've been watching with interest whilst not much has happened. Apparently the developer has pulled out - there are a lot of empty luxury flats and apartments this side of the city. So this it what I see on my way past.