by Mark Fisher
"Every single page of this book is enhanced by Mark Fisher’s lifelong enthusiasm for, and commitment to, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe – the greatest arts festival in the world."
Kath M Mainland
Chief executive, Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society
Cumming joins the CATS
ALAN Cumming will present the tenth annual Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland at the Tron Theatre in Glasgow on Sunday 10 June. Currently in rehearsal for his one-man Macbeth for the National Theatre of Scotland, the star of The Good Wife said: "I'm looking forward to catching up with old friends, and celebrating another great year of Scottish theatre at the Tron Theatre for the CATS awards."
Tickets cost £15 (including entry to the awards ceremony, a pre and post-show glass of fizz and light refreshments) and can be purchased through the Tron Theatre, box office. For the full CATS shortlist head here.
Levick and Howard: Russian about
DUNDEE Rep has announced the appointment of Philip Howard and Jemima Levick (right) as artistic directors from spring 2013. Howard, who ran Edinburgh's Traverse for 11 years until 2007, has also been made chief executive. Still buzzing with the news, the two of them spoke to theatreSCOTLAND:
Philip Howard: James Brining has left an extraordinarily strong legacy. There already is a three-year plan, which Creative Scotland is funding, and it's already got a lot of innovation in it, for example, taking over the Bonar Hall space next door and developing it as an experimental arena, and the MLit postgraduate theatre studies course that's starting in September. There's a lot in place and, in the short term, what we have to do is deliver that incredibly well.
Jemima Levick: We want to celebrate the ensemble as they are, build on their success and use their expertise to make better the system that's already in place. It's about experimenting with something that gives the theatre so much of its identity.
Howard: We are both passionate about the ensemble – and about keeping the ensemble – but it's also making quite sure that we never get to the point where the tail is wagging the dog. At that point, the ethos of the ensemble begins to backfire on itself. The next ten years has to be as much of an experiment as the last ten years. It's extremely important, if honour is being paid to Hamish Glen's original idea of the ensemble, that the questions never stop being asked.
Levick: One of the things we've been talking about is themed programming, so as an audience member, you can really see the journey that those actors are going on throughout a season.
Howard: We think the thematic programming is exciting, but to be honest, if you look back at Hamish's original vision, it's not that different. The whole idea of having a permanent ensemble was that there should be a continuous process of professional artist development built into everybody's jobs, particularly those of the permanent acting ensemble. If they are doing three plays in a row, working on, say, two classic plays and one new play whose subject matter overlaps, that is a really interesting journey to go on. They're going to be tackling similar material and similar themes, but in different writer's hands. That makes it interesting for the audience because the season has a narrative built in. As one example, we're very keen to do Brian Friel's version of Three Sisters and I have a new play by a contemporary Scottish writer, which is Russian-set with a lot of female roles in it. It will be fascinating for Jemima and I to do those two plays with one another, using the same cast in both, because of the themes in the two, as well as the obvious headline Russian setting.
CONGRATULATIONS to eight-year-old Marc Robb from Falkirk, the winner of this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society’s annual poster competition. The Bainsford Primary School pupil’s poster was selcted from 3,000 entries from 124 different schools. It will become the official poster for the Fringe and will be used on mugs, bags and T-shirts and other merchandise. “We open this competition up to every school child in Scotland and every year we are amazed at the standard," said Kath M Mainland, chief executive. "It was truly difficult for us to choose the winners. Marc’s design was terrific, and all the judges felt that it would make a fantastic poster that really captures the vibrancy of the Fringe.”
The 39 Steps, Pitlochry Festival Theatre, May 24–Oct 13
Sweet Dreams, A Play, a Pie and a Pint, Oran Mor, Glasgow, May 28–Jun 2
Rope, Pitlochry Festival Theatre, May 31–Oct 12
Krapp's Last Tape/Footfalls, Citizens, Glasgow, May 30–Jun 2
LAST CHANCE TO SEE
The Last Polar Bears, NTS, on tour, May 8–Jun 1
The Steamie, on tour, Mar 21–May 26
The Captain's Collection, Dogstar, on tour, Jan 24–May 25
23 May 2012 The Guardian
One Day in Spring: 24 Hours in the Middle East
A Play, a Pie and a Pint review
3 April 2012 The Guardian
By Tony Roper.
30 January 2012 Northings
By Hamish MacDonald. A Dogstar Theatre review.