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Edinburgh festival 2013 to celebrate art and technology

The Wooster Group's Hamlet was among the shows at this year's EIF
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The Edinburgh International Festival will examine the relationship between art and new technology this summer, in a programme that is particularly strong in theatre and sees two mini-festivals within it.

Of 11 world premiers in the three week programme, site specific specialists Grid Iron Theatre company and Taiwanese actor Wu Hsing-kuo both have new work.

Speaking to The Stage before the launch in Edinburgh, EIF artistic director Jonathan Mills said: “Artists’ innovation in everyday materials has played a key role in the evolution of artistic techniques and thinking, and of how we experience the world.

“So it is not simply that technology is a useful tool, it is pragmatic, it also has its poetic dimension. What I am trying to do with this festival is suggest that it is an intermingling of materials and poetry that creates the really powerful reminders of our shared humanity.”

He points to a production of Hamlet from the Wooster Group which remixes and uses as a backdrop for live performance the 1964 film of a Broadway production, staring Richard Burton and directed by John Gielgud. The original film used what was at the time cutting edge technology to broadcast in 2000 cinemas across the USA, while the current production illustrates Hamlet’s existential question of being.

In the theatre section there is a mini-festival of five of Samuel Beckett’s non-theatre plays, performed on the stage. This includes Embers and All That Fall in which he explored the then new medium of radio drama.

Scottish Ballet appear in a second mini-festival, Dance Odysseys, taking over the Edinburgh Festival Theatre for a long weekend. Using the auditorium and areas around the theatre, the programme includes a world premiere from La La La Human Steps founder Edouard Lock and new SB artistic director Christopher Hampson’s 2011 choreography of the Rite of Spring.

The opera programme sees staged productions of Fidelio from Opera de Lyon, Oper Frankfurt’s double bill of Dido and Aeneas with Bluebeard’s Castle, and American Lulu, a co-production between Scottish Opera and the Opera Group, staring Angel Blue.

The programme also includes orchestral works by Frank Zappa and a world premiere of a new work by Laurie Anderson for the Bang on a Can All-Stars.


Leaving Planet Earth

Grid Iron Theatre Company use the Ratho climbing centre for a site-specific production where the audience are projected into an off-world environment.

The Tragedy of Coriolanus

European premiere of Beijing People’s Art Theatre large production – featuring two live heavy metal bands.


World premiere of Wu Hsing-kuo’s adaptation of Kafka. His one-man Lear in 2011 astonished with his ability to take on different characters, here he transforms into an insect.

Histoire d’amour

European premiere of Teatrocinema’s adaptation of a Regis Jauffret’s controversial novel of a forced love affair.

On Behalf of Nature

Meredith Monk brings the European premiere of her poetic meditation on the environment.

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