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Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2011


Productions and Projects

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe
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eff 2011

Here are the shows we can see from the programme for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe that may have an environmental theme.

We've cast the net wide, including shows that appear to have a connection with animals, protests, food, or are post-catastrophe, or about being lost in the woods, or about poverty, capitalism or urbanisation. We've included productions of Faust and Frankenstein, and plays about Galileo, St. Francis of Assisi and Charles Darwin.

Allotment by Nutshell Theatre, was this year's winner of the Centre for Sustainable Practice in the Arts (CSPA) Fringe Award for Sustainable Production, in association with The Theatres Trust.

theatre | children's shows | dance and physical theatre | comedy | events | exhibitions


3rd Ring Out: The Emergecy
genre: theatre, multimedia
company: Metis Arts
venue: 3rd Ring Out Emergency Response Cells, on Grassmarket

    It’s 2033 and there’s a major crisis on: how will you respond? Dramatic multi-media, multi-dimensional adventure where you become the emergency team who decides how to react when the going gets hot. Metis Theatre has adapted 3rd Ring Out for Edinburgh, with an Emergency simulation, ticketed with 12 places per performance, and a Strategy installation, which is free. ‘Fascinating and chilling’ (Steve Waters, playwright). The piece is a TippingPoint commission.

    See Ashdenizen and 3rd Ring Out: Rehearsing the Future here on the Directory.

The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik
theatre, puppetry
Underbelly Productions
Underbelly, Cowgate
    Seas have risen, billions have died. Alvin Sputnik is our only hope. He must venture to the bottom of the ocean to find his wife's lost soul and save humanity. Direct from sell-out seasons in New York, Sydney and Auckland, this one-man micro-epic is about enduring love and the end of the world. Winner Outstanding Solo Show New York International Fringe Festival. Winner Best Theatre Production Auckland Fringe. Winner Best Puppetry Adelaide Fringe.
physical theatre
Nutshell Theatre
Assembly Inverleith Allotments
    Do flowers matter as much as vegetables? Join two green-fingered sisters among the plants for a cuppa, a homemade scone and a major case of sibling rivalry. Edinburgh company Nutshell return with a darkly funny physical comedy, exploring the powerful legacy of generations of gardeners. The show is performed on a real allotment, whatever the weather.
The Animals and Children Took to the Streets
Pleasance Courtyard
    Welcome to the Bayou Mansions, a stinking sprawling tenement block feared and loathed! When Agnes Eaves and her daughter arrive late one night, does it signal hope in this hopeless place, or has the real horror only just begun?
contemporary, drama
Nottingham New Theatre
C venues - C soco
    As Britain floods, Mark finds himself in charge of seven strangers seeking refuge from the waters. One man's struggle between his unforgiving wife and the survival of humanity. A witty and radical reinvention of Noah's Ark.
The Box
drama, political
Red Bobble Theatre
Laughing Horse @ Espionage
    The Box is an intense and thought provoking new production by Red Bobble Theatre Company. It is a pressure pot of a piece that depicts British society heading for dystopia and the difficult choices the characters face in such controlled and suppressive times. This piece of theatre keeps you gripped to the end, when the power of the box is revealed.
Cry of the Mountain
solo show, verbatim
Whole Theatre
Pleasance Courtyard
    One woman, 13 characters and a banjo. Real stories from America's coal fields. Coal miners, mining executives, mountaineers, hillbillies and protesters. Bluegrass music and cookies at every show. Mountaintop removal is blowing up the mountain to get the coal underneath. ‘It's like going to the barber for a hair cut, and having him cut off your head, shoulders and chest'.
Deep Waters
devised theatre
Springboard Theatre Company / University of Gloucestershire
theSpace @ Symposium Hall
    The inspiration for this creation was the flooding that had taken part in Gloucestershire and in other parts of the world and its effects juxtaposed with the idea that there are depths of human emotions that can overwhelm us too. We have explored the times that we are overwhelmed by happiness, anxiety or tragedy. Our performance is multi-skilled using song, dance, drama and comedy.
contemporary drama
Enebro Teatro
theSpaces @ Surgeons Hall
    ‘When a bullfighter closes his successful faena, mystery and beauty break out to some eternity instants, compared only to some poems by Quevedo, the music by Mozart and Beethoven or the paintings by Goya and Velazquez' (Mario Vargas Llosa). 'Bullfighting glorifies the systematic torture of a sentient animal in the name of entertainment' (Leah Garces). Going in favour or against bullfighting? Come and participate in the most intimate ceremony of dressing for a wild dance of life and death. Judge for yourself about this strongly rooted Spanish tradition. Show includes live guitar music. Performed in Spanish with English subtitles.
The Dreamcatchers
American High School Theatre Festival
Church Hill Theatre
    Many paths lead to the high road. In 1995, Ontario provincial police gun down and kill a young Ojibwe land activist. In 2010, violence erupts at Toronto’s G20 summit. Conservative, corporate politics collide with native divinity in this post modern tragedy. Inspired by real events, this epic drama contemplates the destruction of our environment and spiritual annihilation in a profit-driven world. Seen through the eyes of a modern-day warrior, a dedicated police officer and a chorus of Ojibwe spirits, we discover that ultimately we are all connected.
comedy, historical
Cambridge University ADC
C venues - C aquila
    Byron has fled Britain in scandal, Mary and Percy Shelley are visiting, but why? Surprise arrivals, rivalries, romance. New comedy unearths the scandalous creation of 'Frankenstein'. Mad, bad and dangerous to see.
multimedia, physical theatre
DBS Productions
Sweet Grassmarket
    The tragic history of Doctor Faustus, notorious magician and necromancer. World premiere of innovative new solo version of the classic tale of a man who sold his soul. Fusing animation, mixed media, and physical theatre.
4.3 Miles From Nowhere
music, theatre
Fine Chisel Theatre
    They’re lost. There’s no phone signal. And the tent’s missing a pole. Inspired by The Winter’s Tale, this is a tale of growing up and getting lost in the countryside, featuring poetry, puppetry, movement and live folk music. Five teenagers, broken down on their way to a fancy dress party, are stuck in the woods overnight. To keep themselves entertained, they begin to tell a story. A story they can't quite remember the middle of, but they know there's a bear involved.
theatre, adaptation
ExADUS Theatre Company
Venue Paradise in The Vault
    ExADUS presents a dramatisation based on Shelley's own anxieties of motherhood. The inability to give life led to the conception of a ghostly tale of 'the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together'. Frankenstein’s quest for the unknown and the creature's search for his own origins are parallel to Shelley’s academic pursuits and anxieties about her own birth. 'You seek for knowledge and wisdom as I once did; and I ardently hope the gratification of your wishes may not be a serpent to sting you, as mine has been'.
The Girl With the Iron Claws
drama, puppetry
Wrong Crowd
Underbelly, Cowgate
    Growing up isn't easy, especially when you're in love with a bear. This is a story about a girl who dares to follow her longing. The Wrong Crowd retell this powerful Nordic myth with puppets and music.
God's Fool
drama, historical
Arden Players
theSpace on Niddry St
    From its New York run, a new play about Francis of Assisi, who called himself 'God's Fool'. A revolutionary man of acts, passionate environmentalist and feminist, Francis risked his life defying Church corruption and travelling through the carnage of the Egyptian Crusade to beg the Sultan for peace. Their historic meeting illuminates issues still raging today and has inspired a new worldwide debate on the common ground of Islam, Judaism and Christianity and the legacy of the Crusades.
Grim(m) Tales of the Woods - Free
devised theatre, storytelling
Louna Productions / Laughing Horse Free Festival Laughing Horse @ Jekyll & Hyde
    Grim(m) Tales of the Woods is a brand new storytelling experience by German-Scottish theatre company Louna Productions. The Glasgow based theatre company will explore the Brothers Grimm’s darkest and lesser known tales, focusing on those taking place in the deep dark woods. Using a contemporary approach that combines storytelling with drama, folklore and physical theatre, this two women show is dark and often gory, raw and charming.
How to Catch a Rabbit
drama, music
Revolving Shed: LSE's Student Theatre Company
theSpaces on the Mile
    A gritty story surrounding an urban Gypsy family in South East London, nominated for Best Play at London Festival Fringe 2011. With live music composed by Shou Jie Eng, this show offers a brutal and exciting glimpse into life on Nettlebeck.
Howling Moon
dance, physical theatre
Flyaway Theatre
Venue C venues - C soco
    Ever wanted to howl like a wolf, dance with a tree, talk to a mushroom or hold hands with a fox? Join Maggie as she journeys through her dream forest beneath the storm clouds.
Le Cochon Entier
music, puppetry
Waste of Paint Productions
Zoo Roxy
    When a couple move to a small vegetarian town and open a shop dedicated to the selling of pork, it isn’t long before the town gives in to the temptation of the meat. From the first mouthful, their simple ways of life disintegrate. The community swell, sweat and treble in size. But when the supply cannot meet the ever-impatient demand of the community and when the grumble in their bellies can no longer be tolerated, they decide to revolt against the odd couple.
Life Still
Folded Feather
Pleasance Courtyard
    Abstract science fiction set during the aftermath of an unknown catastrophic event. Life lingers, the refuse breathes. A darkly seductive aesthetic, innovative object manipulation and life electronic soundscape create an abject universe highly comic and deeply disturbing.
Livewire Theatre's Frankenstein
adaptation, drama
Livewire Theatre Company
theSpaces @ Surgeons Hall
    A heart. Beating. Whose? Yours? Mine? His. Eyes. Open. Breathe. Who? A man? A monster? You. Shelley's original re-imagined for a future world.
Lysistrata the Musical
comedy, musical theatre
Flying High Theatre Company
theSpaces @ Surgeons Hall
    It’s 1983 and in the middle of a parliament governed by a woman! The Greenham Common women peacefully protest against the storage of nuclear missiles but to notch things up a bit, Lysistrata persuades them to withdraw all sexual activities. Based on the Greek comedy of the same name, the musical play has a satirical plot line and original music.
The Man Who Planted Trees
puppetry, storytelling
Puppet State Theatre Company
Scottish Storytelling Centre
    'Laughs, heartbreak, war, regeneration, scented breezes, sparkling wit, the best dog puppet ever. Perfect for children and grown-ups. Back by popular demand, this multi-award winning adaptation of Jean Giono's classic environmental tale by Edinburgh-based Puppet State Theatre Company has been touring internationally for the past three years, with appearances off-Broadway and at the Sydney Opera House.
Mission Drift
music, physical theatre
TEAM (Theatre of the Emerging American Moment)
Traverse Theatre
    A pioneering journey west and east across the USA in search of the character of American capitalism. Told through atomic blasts, lizard ballet and original music that fuses Vegas glitz with Western ballads and southern blues.
The Moment I Saw You I Knew I Could Love You
contemporary, installation
    Set in the belly of a whale, the production immerses the audience in gut feelings: fight, flight and freeze reactions, impulse, love and undefended moments. Film and live action with sampled sound and siren song as the audience is cast adrift in life rafts with only stories and half-remembered truths to sustain them. A performance installation made in collaboration with filmmaker Andrew Kötting, composer Graeme Miller and performer-chanteuse Claudia Barton, with guest appearances by octogenarians Geoff and Rene, still in love. Part of the British Council Showcase.
Mr Darwin's Tree
wayfarer Productions Ltd
The Playhouse at Hawke and Hunter Green Room
    Charles Darwin’s ife from the Beagle voyage to the world-shattering publication of the Origin of Species, a quest through humour, chronic illness, hesitation and brilliant discovery in this mesmerising solo performance – from the acclaimed premiere in Westminster Abbey. Written and directed by Fringe First winning Murray Watts.
Nuclear Family
comedy, drama
written by Desiree Gezentsvey / performed by Yael Gezentsvey
theSpaces @ Surgeons Hall
    Nuclear Family is a comedic drama set in New Zealand on the eve of the Chernobyl disaster following a colourful bunch of Venezuelan and Soviet Jewish immigrants as they are forced to question whether freedom and control over one’s destiny are only illusions.
Partially Mouse
comedy, solo show
Inner Smile Productions / Laughing Horse Free Festival
Laughing Horse @ Jekyll & Hyde
    What would you do if one day you became a mouse? This is exactly what Jack Rosenfeld's nagging wife made him become after he lost his job. Like Gregor in Kafka's Metamorphosis, Jack has serious readjusting to do. Does Jack find his way out of this absurd maze of life? This is a new tragi-comic monodrama that takes reality to its extreme.
Put a Sock in It
absurdist, devised
Patchwork Theatre Company
    It’s 2022, the ice caps are melting and the ozone layer is disappearing. CO2 emissions are at alarming levels and water wastage is up 500%. The People are using up resources like there’s no tomorrow ... and maybe there isn’t? The Government must take drastic action. From this day forth, to reduce laundry loads, socks are banned. With night-time stockings raids and knee-highs being sold on the black market, there are terrible things afoot.
The Simple Things in Life
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh - The Simple Things in Life Sheds
    Fuel present five short experiences to celebrate the simple things in life with Lewis Gibson, David Harradine, The London Snorkelling Team, Frauke Requardt and Barnaby Stone. A table with a story to tell, a band bursting at the seams, a sound journey through a good book, a surreal and mesmerising dance, and an installation which changes the way you look at the world — each found inside a garden shed deep in the Botanic Garden. Book through
comedy, tragedy
Theatre of the Impossible
    A work of outright conceptual theatre, RJ Thomson’s new play is the actual place of Singapore. A work of site-specific, interactive, durational, socially engaged, conceptual theatre, Singapore is also intended as a full allegory for the human condition. The writer will launch the work by explaining the emotional and theoretical context to the work. He will also answer questions.
The Station: Fourstones
physical theatre, storytelling
Idle Dream
    Al is searching for Forestonia, a tropical rainforest... in Northumberland. He's attempting to connect with a Grandad he never knew existed.
Ten Plagues
contemporary, music
Traverse Theatre Company
Traverse Theatre
    'In London came the plague in 1665. 100,000 dead, but I alive.' London is infected. The dead fall in the streets. As the plague pits fill, the people of London struggle to maintain a society in the face of overwhelming mortality. Based on eyewitness accounts from 1665, Ten Plagues relates one man's journey through a city in crisis. Libretto by Mark Ravenhill.
The Tiger's Bones
children's, comedy
Impetus Theatre Company
theSpaces on the Mile
    The end of the world has come. But the Master has a plan that might just save the human race. If only his porter can stop falling asleep... A story of savages, telescopes and tigers. Ted Hughes' forgotten comedy is brought back to life.
The Tin Can People
International Collegiate Theatre Festival
theSpace @ Venue45 Seventeen years after the nuclear holocaust, a group of survivors, cans of food and a stranger. The stranger is warmly welcomed into their midst, but one of the one of the group drops dead, it is assumed he was contaminated. As the deaths multiply, the group leader determines that this intruder must be hunted down and killed. Edward Bond’s powerful poetry comes alive in edgy, darkly comic theatre that confronts the most pressing issues of our age. ‘If you can’t face Hiroshima in the theatre, you’ll eventually end up in Hiroshima itself’ (Edward Bond). The Trials of Galileo
drama, historical
Hint of Lime Productions
C venues - C aquila
    The dramatic events surrounding Galileo's heresy trial and how he misjudged the politics and thinking of his time.
The Undoing of Man
contemporary, devised
Wizards Theatre
theSpaces @ Surgeons Hall
    A porcelain throne and a petrified forest, one man defecates and another man postulates. Gonzo journalism and poetic discourse their mediums, Hunter S. Thompson and mankind's role within the natural world their subjects... Marten is obsessed with the work of Thompson yet he can't stand the man. Whilst paying homage to his descriptive yet explicit use of language, Marten craps on the man, not the writer. Alexander wanders a forest of stone, thinking aloud to himself in the hope that anyone who hears his witty, yet poignant poetic ramblings will take responsibility and start the fire.

children's shows

Editors' note: Animals and plants feature in many children's shows. Here we list only those that may have more environmental themes as well.

The Adventurers Club - The Great Arctic Caper
genre: children's theatre
group: Tim FitzHigham
venue: Pleasance Courtyard

    Think cold snap’s a card game? Think polar bears look cuddly? Giggle about Arctic wind? Then join Tim FitzHigham and Tiernan Douieb in their haphazard journey to the coldest place on Earth.
Amoeba to Zebra
rock, science
Being 747 / Laughing Horse Free Festival
Laughing Horse @ The Counting House
    A natural history musical 4.6 billion years in the making. Pop music and science fact come together in a unique and educational concept show that tells the story of evolution through 14 songs, narration, visuals and really wild props.
Cloud Man
clown, puppetry
Ailie Cohen Puppet Maker
Hill Street Theatre
    Cloudia has always had her head in the clouds. She is a cloud expert and all her life has dreamt of seeing a Cloud Man. Cloud Men are extremely rare creatures who live a quiet life high up in the sky. Follow the clues to the very top of Cloud Mountain where the views are always surprising, and if you are lucky, you may see something very special indeed.
The Enormous Turnip
interactive, theatre
Spotlites Theatre Productions
Spotlites @ The Merchants' Hall
    Help Grandad plant the tiny seed. Slide in the snail slime. Blow up the enormous turnip. Join Boy and Grandad as they tend the seeds. The family is hungry, what will grow? Will the birds steal the seeds? Will the slugs and snails munch the leaves? Will there be enough for tea? Will this plant ever stop growing? Pop! Kapow!
The Man Who Planted Trees
puppetry, storytelling
Puppet State Theatre Company
Scottish Storytelling Centre
    'Laughs, heartbreak, war, regeneration, scented breezes, sparkling wit, the best dog puppet ever. Perfect for children and grown-ups. Back by popular demand, this multi-award winning adaptation of Jean Giono's classic environmental tale by Edinburgh-based Puppet State Theatre Company has been touring internationally for the past three years, with appearances off-Broadway and at the Sydney Opera House.
Snow Play
clown, devised
Lyngo Theatre and the Lyric Hammersmith
Pleasance Courtyard
    When Mr Green comes back from holiday to find Mr White has covered his whole house in snow it’s the start of a brilliant series of adventures. Come and roll in our snow, make a giant snowman and join in with our great snowball fight as we bring on the spring.
Under the Baobab Tree
puppetry, storytelling
I Theatre (Singapore) & Toto Tales (UK)
C venues - C too
    How did the ostrich get her neck? How do crocodiles clean their teeth? Expertly crafted for 2-8 year olds, this African folktale feast introduces curious, quirky, colourful characters through enchanting puppetry, mask, music and storytelling.
Whooooo's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?
comedy, interactive
Act II Theatre Company
theSpaces @ Surgeons Hall
    This insight into the misunderstood life of the Big Bad Wolf who appears in many treasured fairy-tales returns to Edinburgh. He's not really big and bad, he's just had a cruel press! Follow the wolf as he tries in vain to help Trev, Nige and Jim Pig who are setting up house. Along the way he meets a host of colourful characters including Flossie the singing sheep, Noisy Norman, Red the troublesome teenager and her paintballing Nannie.

dance and physical theatre

Enclosure 99 - Humans
genre: dance, site-specific
group: Janis Claxton Dance
venue: Edinburgh Zoo

    Janis Claxton Dance returns with their critically acclaimed performance inside an enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo. The Herald Angel winner of Dance Base's 2008 programme evolves as the company are joined by four guest dancers from China. A unique display of movement, behaviour and cultural interaction which is funny, disturbing and brilliant - opening a fascinating door into the profound similarities between humans and animals. Feeding time 1pm. Human Animal Talk 3pm. Regular Zoo entry applies.
Mah Hunt
Zoo Southside
    I live in a world without animals – I miss their rules. In this dynamic new duet, intimacy clashes with the natural human urge to hunt, and the hunter can easily become prey. Audience Prize winner, Czech Dance Platform 2011.


Editors' note: It's hunchwork trying to surmise whether a comedy act will include material relating to the environment. Below is a best guess

David O'Doherty Presents: Rory Sheridan's Tales of The Antarctica
genre: comedy
group: Invisible Dot Ltd.
Underbelly, Cowgate

    It is 1917 and Rory Sheridan, Ireland’s sixth or seventh greatest Antarctic explorer, delivers an illustrated talk on his not entirely successful journey to the South. A new show from the 2008 Edinburgh Comedy Award winner and co-author of the bestselling 100 Facts About Pandas.
Political Animal
Stand Comedy Club
The Stand Comedy Club
    The Fringe’s only and possibly best political stand-up gig returns to The Stand to take issue with a planet that has been even naughtier than usual this year. Hosted by the undisputed Andy Zaltzman with a different bill of universe-leading comedians each night, this show leaves no socioeconomicpolitical hot potato unbuttered.


Creative Lab: Creating a Virtual World: Rhythm, Landscape and Identity
genre: seminar, talk
group: Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society and Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland
venue: Fringe Central
date and time: 19 August, 12:00

    This practical playwriting workshop will be delivered by playwright Nicola McCartney and will look at rhythm, landscape and identity.
Greener Touring
seminar, talk
Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society
Fringe Central
16 August, 11:00
    Sustainability is an important issue in everything we do, including the performing arts. More and more artists and companies are doing what they can to make their practise environmentally friendly. What can you do?
Hidden Gardens of the Royal Mile
Greenyonder Tours
meet Outside John Knox House
10:30, 14:30
    Discover a little-known side of Edinburgh's Old Town. Behind the historic buildings, explore the surprising number of gardens and green nooks and crannies, all with a story to tell. Hear stories about grand gardens of the past, enjoy productive community gardens created by today's residents, be inspired by modern and traditional design, and take a breather in a beautiful space laid out and planted as a 17th century Scots garden. New gardens have been added this year.
WTF? (Where’s the Funding?)
seminar, talk
Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society
Fringe Central
24 August, 14:00
    Policy changes have resulted in a tough year for the arts in the UK. This event aims to look at the problems in arts funding, tries to identify solutions and new ways of making art happen.


Gold Glass Rubber and Recycling
genre: craft, visual art
artist / group: Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh in partnership with Danish Cultural Institute
venue: Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh - John Hope Gateway

    Showcasing the work of six contemporary Danish designer-makers united in their concerns with the use of resources. Fascinated by re-using things discarded by others, their jewellery, textiles and installations show imaginative responses to materials.
Robert Rauschenberg 'Botanical Vaudeville'
sculpture, visual art
venue: Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh - Inverleith House
    The first large-scale exhibition of works by the American artist Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008) in the UK for 30 years, it focuses on paintings and sculpture from the 1980s and 1990s, comprising 43 works which vary from the highly-polished, glamorous metallic Shiner and Borealis series that celebrate energy and motion, to the Gluts and Zephyr series that represent Rauschenberg's fascination with the discarded object. In collaboration with the Rauschenberg Studio and Gagosian Gallery.
Scottish Landscapes by Rail
traditional painting
Leo du Feu, ROSL ARTS
Royal Over-Seas League
    Supported by ScotRail, award-winning Edinburgh artist Leo du Feu captures the views from Scotland’s Railways. Featuring the Aberdeen-Inverness and Glasgow-Stranraer lines, detailed miniature paintings and sketches reveal Scotland’s hidden treasures. Leo explores the landscapes of Scotland, walking, cycling, sketching and taking photos, using material gathered to complete paintings in the studio.



  Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2011


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