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EIF creates three-year associate artist tenure for 59 Productions

59 Productions' Harmonium Project marked the opening of the 2015 Edinburgh International Festival. Photo: Eoin Carey 59 Productions' Harmonium Project marked the opening of the 2015 Edinburgh International Festival. Photo: Eoin Carey
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The Edinburgh International Festival has appointed 59 Productions as an associate artist for the next three years.

The company, whose design work has won both Tony and Olivier awards, will begin its three-year association with an opening night event for this year’s EIF.

The first work of 59 Productions’ association, called Deep Time, will be projected on to Edinburgh Castle’s south-west walls and Castle Rock below. The digitally animated artwork will use projected animation and lighting with a soundtrack by Scottish post-rock band Mogwai. It will explore the geology of the setting and commemorate James Hutton, the Edinburgh-born scientist, known as the father of modern geology.

The company has worked on productions with the National Theatre – including War Horse – English National Opera, Improbable Theatre and the National Theatre of Scotland.

59 Productions helped open the EIF 2015 with a public art event, using Edinburgh’s Usher Hall as its canvas to entertain a crowd of almost 20,000.

This year’s continuation of the concept will be moved back to August 7 because the EIF’s opening night will clash with the opening of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Leo Warner, creative director of 59 Productions and director of Deep Time, said: “Celebrating the city and its history with a free public show that combines theatricality, spectacle and new technology feels totally appropriate for a festival – and a city – which has been the birthplace of so much ingenuity and creativity over the years.”

Fergus Linehan, director of the EIF, expressed his delight in working with 59 Productions, praising its “innovative and compelling work in the fields of music, theatre, opera, film and visual arts while pioneering the use of new technologies”.

The news comes as the EIF announces its programme for the 2016 festival, which includes circus and cabaret as a main component of the line-up for the first time.

The EIF runs from August 5 to 29.

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