August 2022: Fourth Week in 12 Pics
After a jam packed journey of cultural discovery, we come to the end of our August festivals season - and as in our previous weeks, we had some extraordinary experiences leaving us with some unforgettable memories.
After a two year gap due to the global pandemic, Dave’s Edinburgh Comedy Award [known previously as the Perrier Comedy Awards] returned to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe as the biggest prize in British comedy - with the winner being Australian comedian Sam Campbell [left above], best newcomer Mexican-born American Lara Ricote [right above], and support organisation Best in Class, which helps performers from working-class backgrounds, won the prize for spirit of the fringe.
The Edinburgh International Book Festival gave its younger audience an opportunity to meet Julia Donaldson’s most famous creation, Festival favourite the Gruffalo for a morning of songs, dancing and games, plus the chance to give the Gruffalo a cuddle or a high five - with Julia's return to the festival feeling like a home coming, given her role as a guest selector for the children's events programme in previous years.
In aspecial episode recorded with an audience at the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2022, Girls On Film podcast celebrated the festival's 75th anniversary with an all-star line-up including Julia Davis, Jackie van Beek and Armağan Ballantyne from NUDE TUESDAY; director and co-writer of ZUHAL Nazli Elif Durlu; EIFF 2022’s Creative Director Kristy Matheson, and film critics Wendy Mitchell and Finn Halligan.
Journeying through the spaces of Leith Academy, Muster Station: Leith marked the culmination of the Edinburgh International Festival’s four-year residency at the school, with an immersive and provocative promenade performance from Grid Iron - ‘the magicians of site-specific theatre’ (The Scotsman) - exploring themes of climate crisis and exile and exposing your fragile prejudices and assumptions.
Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop presented Dancing a Peripheral Quadrille a new commission from Ashanti Harris for the Edinburgh Art Festival - taking the novel Signposts of a Jumbie, written by Faustin Charles as a starting point, Harris interlaced ideas of communal and grassroots cultural production with her research around, and personal experience of, West Indian Carnivals.
Ian McKellen and Peter Schaufuss collaborated and performed together at St Stephen's Church Stockbrdige during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in the world premiere of Hamlet with a whole new performance concept, adapted from William Shakespeare’s play - which McKellen first played back in 1971 at the Edinburgh International Festival - and met up witht he audience after some performances to informally discuss the show.
After three weeks of performances on the Castle Esplanade, featuring over 800 performers from across the world and audiences of 200,000+ from every corner of the globe, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo came to the end of its 2022 show Voices which saw it present a theatrical extravaganza unline anything in its long history - and started looking forward to its 2023 show Stories with tickets already on sale.
In 1991, Diana Gabaldon published Outlander, the tale of a post-Second World War nurse who accidentally time travels to Jacobite Scotland, which became one of the bestselling book series of all time and spawned the hugely popular TV programme - and her return to the Edinburgh International Book Festival saw a very different type of travel as the Festival Director Nick Barkey took her for a spin down to the Festival venue at Central Hall.
Edinburgh’s Audience Award at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, voted for by the viewing public, was won by Hassan Nazer’s film Winners. Produced by Nadira Murray and Paul Welsh, Winners is set in a deprived area of a small Iranian town where children are required to work to help support their families and where nine-year-old Yahya strikes literal gold by finding an unclaimed Oscar statue.
Glasgow-based graphic designer, Maeve Redmond, was joined in conversation by Tatch Hatch-Robertson, founder of Journeyman Signs, to discuss the pairs recent commission The Mathematical River for the Edinbrgh Art Festival - with the commission honouring the labour which allowed the Union Canal to function as a key feature of the city for centuries - with the event chaired by Emmie McLuskey, the Festival's Associate Artist for 2022.
The August Festivals season cam eto an end with a special free afternoon concert, given in a spirit of gratitude to all those whose hard work, encouragement and friendship supported our community through the worst of the pandemic. Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra, created a special family-friendly programme that was performed in the Edinburgh Playhouse and relayed live to the Ross Bandstand in Princes Street Gardens.