Edinburgh Fringe Fest sets ’08 slate

US shows 'Architecting,' 'In Conflict' included

EDINBURGH Despite the credit crunch and the ever-spiraling costs of production, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe shows no signs of relinquishing its position as the world’s largest arts festival. This year’s edition features artists from 46 countries, giving 31,320 perfs of 2,088 shows — 40% of them world premieres.

“For the vast majority of artists, the Fringe is a unique cultural experience and an incredible opportunity to present their work on the world stage,” says helmer Jon Morgan, speaking June 5 at the announcement of this year’s fest, which runs Aug. 3-25.

Among those who will be making the journey to Scotland are Gotham’s the Team in a transatlantic collaboration with National Theater of Scotland on a new work called “Architecting,” described as a “multimedia, time-bending epic.” Other Stateside shows include “Charlie Victor Romeo,” the verbatim play based on airplane black-box recorder transcripts; and “In Conflict,” based on the testimonies of Iraq veterans and produced by Philadelphia’s Temple Theaters.

There is a strong showing of work from Poland with companies such as Teatr Provisorium, which won international acclaim for “Ferdydurke,” returning with the antiwar “Bite the Dust”; and Torun’s Teatr Wiczy with “Emigrants,” an updated version of the Slawomir Mrozek play performed, in classic Fringe style, in a camper van to an audience of 11.

Among notable faces being drawn to the city are Brit multihyphenate Steven Berkoff, whose staging of the Marlon Brando classic “On the Waterfront” has already proved a hit for the Nottingham Playhouse; Joan Rivers, with “Work in Progress by a Life in Progress”; and thesp Britt Ekland, whose “Britt on Britt” promises to reveal the woman behind the ’70s sex symbol.

Controversy is brewing because of the decision of the city’s four biggest venues to market their concurrent comedy lineup as a distinct Edinburgh Comedy Festival, much to the chagrin of many comedians performing elsewhere at the Fringe. Despite the commercial domination of standup, however, 39% of the program consists of theater, musicals and dance, amounting to more than 800 shows.

First port of call for theater lovers is the Traverse, the city’s year-round home of new writing, where productions include “Fall,” by Zinnie Harris; “Terminus,” by Mark O’Rowe; “Pornography,” by Simon Stephens; “New Electric Ballroom,” by Enda Walsh; “Nocturne,” by Adam Rapp; and “Free Outgoing,” by Anupama Chandrasekhar.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Legit News from Variety