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Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014



Productions and Projects

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe
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eff 2014 poster

This year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe overall seems a gloomier event than usual, with less prying into adolescent sex and more delving into world wars, god, cannibalism, slavery and torture. Hamlet is the Shakespeare most often performed, and there's a good number of tributes to Dylan Thomas. The ecological shows seem almost cheerful.

As far as we can tell from the programme, productions are addressing a wide spread of themes, including the sea, big-pharma, gardens, invasive plants, native peoples and colonialism, worms, volcanoes and John Muir. There is less overt activism and less food than last year, and a new genre has been added of 'walking'. The list gives the feeling that productions are exploring more of the depth of their themes than representing environmentalist agendas, within the usual playfulness of the Edinburgh Fringe.

We've cast the criteria wide for this list, bringing in a post-apocalyptic dance piece on Italian politics and a drunk lion in a bar.

And, The Man Who Planted Trees is back. (The dog is brilliant.)

Latest: The Handlebards' The Comedy of Errors won the 2014 Award for Sustainable Practice at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. See the production's page here.

theatre | dance, physical theatre, circus | children's shows | musicals and opera | spoken word | exhibitions | events


3,000 Trees: The Death of Mr William MacRae

    genre: drama, solo show
    group: Teatro Magnetico
    venue: Sweet Grassmarket (Venue 18)

    Willie MacRae - anti-nuclear campaigner, SNP politician, and successful lawyer, whose death prompted speculation that he was murdered by the state. MacRae was found dying in his car on a highland road in 1985 with a single gunshot wound to his head, apparently fired from his own gun. Was he under surveillance the day of his death? With songs by Andy Paterson and Edinburgh radical punk band Oi Polloi, it is a moving and thought-provoking play, offering a reminder of darker political times, seen through the eyes of an ageing gay man.

The Anima Project
    contemporary, horror
    Wrong Shoes Theatre Company
    C venues - C nova (Venue 145)

    In a near future where genetic screening is used to determine your place in society, the Anima Project uses controversial therapy to cure those with unfavourable genetic personality traits - who would otherwise be condemned to death or the work-camps. As members of the media and potential investors, the audience are invited to experience the first live clinical trial of this pioneering research and follow the fate of four undesirables: Patients A, B, C and D. The Anima Project is an experiential promenade piece of theatre, featuring music, dark comedy and horror.

Animal Farm
    drama, physical theatre
    Theatre Tours International, Guy Masterson, Tumanishvili Film Actors Theatre (Georgia)
    Assembly George Square Theatre(Venue 8)

    Orwell's satirical masterpiece staged by Georgia's premier theatre company. Olivier Award winner Guy Masterson directs a cast of thirty in an epic new production of stunning physicality. From the home state of Josef Stalin, the world famous Tumanishvili Film Actors Theatre poignantly recreates the barnyard satire that exposes his totalitarian abuses.

Awkward Conversations with Animals I've F*cked
    comedy, new writing
    Ten Dead Men
    Underbelly, Cowgate (Venue 61)

    One-night stands are awkward. One-night stands with animals are more awkward. And when you're as desperate to please as Bobby, things get awkward as f*ck. He's just a guy with too much love to give, and a burning desire to give it to consensual adult mammals. A one-man tragi-comedy from award-winning playwright Rob Hayes.

Dinner is Swerved
    interactive, tasting
    Food For Thought
    C venues - C nova (Venue 145)

    The multisensory dining experience returns for a brand new culinary adventure! On tonight's menu: Edible shrubs. Taste transfiguration. Dream rambles. Interactive play. Audible dishes. Loving service... Each evening, just sixteen lucky guests will join us in our secret top-floor setting and together we will feast our imagination. New menu, all welcome.

Drunk Lion
    solo show, comedy
    Chris Davis / Free Festival
    Laughing Horse @ The Newsroom(Venue 93)

    A lonely alcoholic lion spends his days drinking himself into oblivion in a cantina, until he meets Chris, a young foreigner learning how to speak Spanish. The unlikely pair forge an intoxicated bond over life, love and alcohol.

Eden Gate
    drama, interactive
    Produced Moon
    C venues - C nova (Venue 145)

    Edinburgh, 2017. The city has been brought to a sudden standstill by the outbreak of a deadly virus. The disease has since claimed millions of lives. At GTNV, we have been working tirelessly to bring you Eden Gate, a sanctuary where we are working with survivors to rebuild civilisation. Offering shelter and a new beginning to anyone who can find their way to Eden Gate, GTNV need your help.

Fairway Manor
    absurdist poetry
    Pottergate II in association with The Beacon Boy Players
    Paradise in Augustines

    The Cowards have a problem: an invasive species of killer weed* threatens their historic country home with collapse. And today, as the party rages and gossip spreads, they must battle to keep the foundations alive. But will Sir Horace Foot arrive? And can the two servants possibly survive? This frenetic two-hander premiered in Oxford in 2011 to much acclaim, and makes its Edinburgh debut with the original actors and new ambitions. * A weed is a herbaceous plant found in areas of wild growth, not considered for its use or beauty.

Grace and the Sea
    new writing, multi-media
    MATE Productions
    Sweet Grassmarket

    A new play by Rob Brannen set on Crosby Beach. Flip-flops essential! A multitude of characters come to the beach; to picnic, to kite fly, to beachcomb, to dog walk. Shipwrecks, 5,000 year old footprints, brave lifeboat men and a living chorus of Anthony Gormley statues transport you to another place. Film, live music, physical theatre and storytelling combine in this hilarious and poignant celebration of an amazing landscape and those who have left their mark.

Guinea Pigs on Trial
    performance art, satire
    Sh!t Theatre / Escalator East to Edinburgh

    Sh!t Theatre have decent bodies. They are trying to sell them. Pharmaceutical trials such as Flu Camp are being marketed to job seekers and students as a way of making money, essentially turning poor people into guinea pigs. Delving into the murky ethics of Big Pharma, broke Sh!t Theatre ask: is guinea-pigging a good cure for an empty bank account? And what happens when profit takes priority in the creation of medicine?

The Horses
    drama, new writing
    Two Halves Theatre Company
    Quaker Meeting House

    A young couple with hopes and dreams for a new future, but what happens when the world goes wrong? There is mystery in our relationship with nature and each other, but who makes the sacrifice? Inspired by the work of Scottish poet Edwin Muir, this new play by Phil Tong confronts Muir's thoughts in his autobiography when he writes that there are times when our lives become part of the greater story.

    physical theatre, new writing
    Square Peg Theatre

    In 2010 the Mars One Foundation set out their plans to establish a human settlement on the red planet by the year 2024. They received over 250,000 applicants for the one-way mission. Inspired by real events, Icarus explores our desire to reach for the stars and the consequences of our failure. In a story of hope, ambition and legacy, Square Peg Theatre ask what would drive someone to leave Earth forever.

John Muir. Rhapsody in Green
    Mike Maran Productions
    Valvona & Crolla

    A new play by Mike Maran explores the Sierra Nevada and Alaska with the Scottish naturalist and celebrates his deep understanding of the need to preserve the wilderness for the spiritual well-being of humanity.

Lorraine & Alan
    drama, folk
    Bucket Club/Farnham Maltings/Pleasance Theatre/Colchester Arts Centre/Escalator East to Edinburgh
    Pleasance Dome

    Alan. 23. Recent graduate in Marine Biology. (High 2:2.) Son of Blakeney, Norfolk. Bedroom dweller and seal tour guide extraordinaire. One August, Alan discovers a young woman lying amongst the seals and their lives become irreversibly entwined. But who is Lorraine? Where does she come from? And why does she take so long in the bath? Lorraine & Alan is a modern retelling of the Selkie myth with live sound design, song and several hundred plastic bottles.

    new writing, drama
    Paines Plough
    Summerhall @ Roundabout

    Lungs by Duncan Macmillan. 'I could fly to New York and back every day for seven years and still not leave a carbon footprint as big as if I have a child. Ten thousand tonnes of CO2. That's the weight of the Eiffel Tower. I'd be giving birth to the Eiffel Tower.' A couple are deciding their future. Thirty-something, educated, thoughtful, they want to have a child for the right reasons. But in a time of overpopulation, erratic weather and political unrest, what exactly are the right reasons?

The Man Who Planted Trees
    puppetry, storytelling
    Scottish Storytelling Centre
    Scottish Storytelling Centre

    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 six years, with appearances off-Broadway and at the Sydney Opera House. A unique blend of comedy, puppetry and inspiring storytelling

    new writing, drama
    TwoBox Productions
    Greenside @ Nicolson Square

    With the human race threatened by a polluted environment, an environment that after prolonged exposure causes infertility, the government has created an incubator in which men and women are sent until they reproduce. While a database judges compatibility to match a man and woman with one another, a process similar to that of modern dating websites, even those unable to conceive have a place within this artificial reality, tracking the progress of assigned couples. Mates follows Sian as she oversees two couples, acting as their dysfunctional guardian angel and trying to counteract the government's intentions for them.

    comedy, new writing
    Pembroke Players
    Greenside @ Royal Terrace

    Students have occupied this theatre. They haven't got all the answers but at least they're trying to do something. Occupied is a (hopefully optimistic) comedy about the difficulties of student activism. It won the RSC/Marlowe Society Other Prize for playwriting in 2013 where the judge admitted she was trying to find a less cringe-worthy way of saying this captures the zeitgeist. It's got some shouting, some hummus, and someone's writing worryingly personal protest songs.

On the Upside Down of the World
    drama, international
    New Zealand Season | Auckland Theatre Company
    Assembly Roxy

    Lady Martin, an intrepid British woman, sails to New Zealand to civilise the natives but instead finds liberation and love as she fights against injustice dealt to Maori at the hands of the English. On the Upside Down of the World is set during the colonisation of the last place on earth. It's the story of an unlikely pioneer who blazes a unique trail through the untamed landscapes of New Zealand's early history when she's forced to foster a young Maori warrior.

Out of Water
    site-specific, performance art
    Helen Paris and Caroline Wright / Escalator East to Edinburgh
    Summerhall @ Portobello Beach

    The singers are out of breath. The swimmers are out of their depth. At sunrise and sunset, for three days only, a captivating spectacle will emerge on Edinburgh's beach. Singers and swimmers strike out towards the water's edge looking out intently, searching the horizon. Is somebody lost at sea? Stories of endeavour are interwoven with haunting music, lifeguard drills, calls for help and struggles for breath. Featuring a score from award-winning composer Jocelyn Pook and acclaimed soprano Laura Wright, Out of Water takes you on a poetic journey from land to the water's edge.

Paradise Lost
    adaptation, puppetry
    Paul Van Dyck

    Paradise Lost is a one-man, multi-media, theatrical adaptation of John Milton's epic 17th century poem. It involves puppets, state of the art computer animation, and a rock 'n roll soundscape. The story begins moments after the battle of heaven, as Satan finds himself and his followers cast into hell. In search of revenge, Satan travels to the Garden of Eden. Combining traditional techniques in puppetry and groundbreaking special effects, along with the greatest epic poem ever written.

    children's, comedy
    Aireborne Theatre Leeds
    Paradise in The Vault

    Dan Onaschuk is down on his luck. After kicking his now ex-girlfriend's cat out of the window, he thinks he's finally hit rock bottom, until Rat steps in. Teaching Dan all the tricks the careers centre won't, Rat sends Dan skywards on the social ladder, but can't quite make up for the lost love of his ex-girlfriend. Brimming with colourful flair and wit with a wickedly bombastic array of furry characters, Rats! examines the consequences of living the life of someone you're not. An Aesop's Fable for the corporate world.

Riding with the Night
    contemporary, new writing
    American High School Theatre Festival
    Pilrig Studio

    Sparked by the repercussions of Arizona's recent, controversial politics, Riding With Night is a poetic journey that examines the ripple effect of loss. Tangled in the dangers of the southwest's abandoned mining industry, the play dips into magical realism as its characters wrestle with a secret from long ago. Featuring native music and dance elements, the play redefines our need for permanence and our thirst for fences. This world premiere is presented by Chaparral Theater, who are all Arizona residents and proud to bring a play based on their community to an international audience.

    adaptation, contemporary
    Traverse Theatre
    TheEmergencyRoom/ Galway International Arts Festival/ Cusack Projects Limited

    '...Soft morning, city! Lsp! I am leafy speafing. Lpf! Folty and folty all the nights have being falling... Not a sound, falling. Lispn! No wind no word ...' Olwen Fouere, one of Ireland's leading theatre-makers, performs her acclaimed adaptation of the voice of the river in James Joyce's Finnegans Wake, following celebrated performances in Ireland and at the National Theatre, London. In a unique approach to Joyce's extraordinary sound-dance, RIVERRUN embodies the river Life (Liffey/Anna Livia Plurabelle) who generates a powerful transformative energy as she dissolves into the great ocean of time.

The Selkie and the River God
    new writing, multi-media
    Lip Theatre Company
    Sweet Grassmarket

    Passion, conflict, love and betrayal. Join Sheemah on a journey of self-discovery as she explores her place not only in the world of man, but also in the world of Celtic myth and folklore. Set on the Hebridean island of Colonsay, ancestral home of the Clans Macfie and MacNiel, the Selkie and the River God tells a story of temptation, betrayal and power. As a descendant of both Selkie and Faerie Folk, Sheemah is torn between two worlds, that which she knows and that which she is drawn towards.

Seven Missed Meals Leads to Anarchy
    devised, political
    Four Average Tomatoes Theatre Company
    theSpace @ Jury's Inn

    We all waste food and yet never give it a second thought. You never see the amounts of food wasted and the facts differ from one source to another. How much do we truly waste? Where does it go? Why is it hidden from us? Food waste issue is criminal. Let's eradicate it. Agit-prop, political and physical theatre are combined into one piece, on a mission to stop food wastage.

SOS - Save Our Spaces
    comedy, new writing
    Bristol Theatre Troupe
    Just the Tonic at The Caves

    SOS is a new musical comedy about a local community trying to save their town. Based on true events, it tells the mad story of one local area housing committee. Six eccentric characters gather to save their village green from the town planners. Is their community lost? Will politics or the common people win the day? An exciting 45 minute piece of new writing featuring live music, gags, mayhem and all kinds of fun and antics.

    devised, new writing
    New Celts Productions and Seam Theatre Company
    theSpace on North Bridge

    Spectrum is based on the life of Temple Grandin, a remarkable woman who was diagnosed with severe autism at the age of three. Drawing comparisons with her autistic mind and animal thinking, she develops an acute understanding of animal behaviour. Her findings revolutionize the slaughter industry across the US and earn her a doctorate in animal science, making her one of the leading spokespeople for autism and significantly changing the world's understanding of the disorder. Spectrum is a charming and funny piece of theatre that takes the audience on a journey through another way of thinking.

The Three Peaks
    drama, comedy
    Dunnington Players
    Quaker Meeting House

    In this new play we join the preparations and exertions of two groups of walkers who set out to walk the famous Yorkshire Three Peaks. Their walks are separated by 12 months. 12 months that have shaped the lives of all involved. Walking the Yorkshire Three Peaks is an adventure and this comedy with tears captures some of the challenge, excitement and uncertainty associated with an exploration of 'a landscape which brings those prepared to explore it on foot as close to heaven as you can get on earth' (Alfred J Brown).

Trailer Park Plays
    Eagles Theatre Company / Free Festival
    Laughing Horse @ Gorgie City Farm

    Mason and Harper live in a trailer park in a corner of what was once a powerful city. They struggle to survive, and to hold on to their love, in a dystopian future where a caste system has arisen as pervasive as any in India, shackling citizens to their work and to their allotted living space. The only alternative is joining small survivalist colonies outside the system. Some are savage and brutal, others altruistic and resourceful. Acceptance to one has become a matter of life and death. Resistance has become the only way of stealing back hope.

The Villains, the Vote and the Black, Black Oil
    comedy, political
    Caught Red-Handed
    Sweet Grassmarket

    Scottish comedy, live music, excessive Donald Trump-ing. What could possibly go wrong? This sequel to 7:84 Scotland's The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil, explores three harrowing tales of capitalism's effect on Scotland from the past forty years. Caught Red-Handed present The Villains, the Vote and the Black, Black Oil to open a new avenue of discussion surrounding the Scottish Independence Referendum. Come along - laugh, sing and boo Donald Trump. That's all we ask.

A Walk at the Edge of the World
    new writing, walk
    Magnetic North
    Summerhall @ The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

    A wonderful meditation on journeys, lives and spaces. A Walk at the Edge of the World begins with a short silent walk for the whole audience: accessible alternative available. Once inside the theatre, audience and performer find the projected images leading us all on another journey. The hidden secrets of the landscape and the constantly shifting border between land and water remind us that the past is always with us. Text Nicholas Bone, design Sans facon, performer Ian Cameron.

We Have Fallen
    drama, new writing
    InSite Performance
    Underbelly, Cowgate

    Then, yesterday, 12 planes fell from the sky. A global crisis. Three journeys across Europe. What do we do when there is nothing to be done? A story about coming home and why we choose to fly. Winner of IdeasTap Underbelly Award.

A World Beyond Man
    new writing
    Sweet Grassmarket

    Captain Brusilov underestimated the Kara Sea and by October 15th 1912, the Saint Anna had become trapped in the ice. 'We survived the first winter well, but the following summer came and went without any prospect of a thaw. The second winter was brutal and we had to concede we were trapped.' Based on a true story, A World Beyond Man is the tale of Valerian Albanov. His is a saga of determination and betrayal; of man against savage nature. An intimate telling of an epic story of ice and polar bears and determination and betrayal.

The World Mouse Plague
    comedy, new writing
    Ridiculusmus / Jon Haynes and David Woods

    The show features a man who comes home from the shops to find he's cohabiting with two friendly and peculiar-looking mice. Avoidance becomes intolerance as the two parties come up with increasingly ingenious methods to steer clear of each other. Hate propaganda, pest control instructions and current political policies are played out in a Tom and Jerry style battle over cream cake and biscuits. A wibbly wobbly world of silence, squelches, slaps and traps.

dance, physical theatre, circus

Homme | Animal

    genre: contemporary, hip hop/breakin'
    group: Vendetta Mathea and Co
    venue: Greenside @ Nicolson Square

    UK premiere. Homme|Animal is the animal in all of us who tries to find ways to face our complicated emotional states.

La Nina Barro
    theatre, poetry
    Fronteiras Theatre Lab/ Free Festival
    Laughing Horse @ The Newsroom

    Nothing more natural than clay and water to give shape to woman and understand that her, like Earth, was once young and brave, strong and unbreakable, old and tired, weak and broken. And able to give herself and others life, meaning, flesh and self-awareness. Nothing links better these ideas than movement, embodied in Elizabeth Sogorb's dancing and interpretation to Ale Rodes' mbira compositions. Directed by Flavia D'Avila, and based on the poems of Marta Masse, this is the stage version of the link between everything that we basically are and what we could be.

Marcel Vol. I - Italian Politics as a Work of Art
    contemporary, drama
    Ursa Maior Teatro
    theSpace on North Bridge

    In homage to Duchamp, this performance is an attempt to turn into art even the grossest Italian politics. Marcel is an outcry of grief, a performance running on two tracks: two survivors in an apocalyptic set on one and the characters' nightmares on the other. The nightmares are readymade, created from the recorded calls from the Ruby case involving the former Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi and an underage Moroccan girl. Violence is like dust.

Misa Lisin
    contemporary, international Langasan Theatre (Taiwan) / Performance Infinity

    Langasan Theatre derives its name from Cilangasan mountain, and celebrates the remarkable fables and tales of the Cilangasan clan. As an Amis senior aboriginal performer in Taiwan, the founder Adaw Palaf incorporates performance with dancing, singing and story-telling, which combines the aboriginal culture with concepts of modern action art. Misa-Lisin means ceremonies of all seasons. Imagine the blowing wind stirring the grain, the mud wrestling from our childhood memory, the healing received from the ocean... all recollections transform into powerful energy, giving birth to this touchable fable: a performance shaped by the power of humanity and motherland

    devised, sci-fi
    LSU Physical Theatre

    Origin tells an allegory of a fictitious species on a distant planet using aerial fabric and a football like structure three metres in diameter. Drawing inspiration from many sources including string theory, cell biology, evolution and cultural myths. All the performers are college students from Louisiana State University many of them involved from the beginning of the creative process. Coming from disparate academic disciplines and varying levels of performance experience, these young artists are thrilled to tell this unique tale at the Fringe.

Playing Landscape
    visual art, international
    Point View Art Association presents Made in Macao
    C Venues - C

    Direct from Macao, theatre and dance combine with the contemporary Chinese ink art of Beijing-based artist Cindy Ng. Since 2008, this non-text-based original collaboration between artists from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Beijing, Melbourne and Macao has been performed in fourteen different cities in Asia, Europe and Africa (Taipei, Macao, Beijing, Suzhou, Wenzhou, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Bytom, Seoul, Guimaraes, Maribor, Porto, Mindelo and Praia). Part of the 2012 European Capital of Culture official programming, Playing Landscape also received the Mindelact International Theatre Homage Award from the Presidency of Cape Verde in 2013.

    performance art, dance
    Zoo Southside

    Mount Fuji is a beautiful mountain but it's a volcano, my dear. You never know when it's going to erupt. It might be today. Our mountain Mount Fuji is the tallest in Japan and is loved by its people. The mountain, however, is littered with hikers and there is a nuclear power station nearby. How can we deal with this paradox?

    music, drama
    Barrowland Ballet

    A troubled family's world turns upside down when a tiger invades. It's chaotic, emotionally charged but brilliantly comic. With captivating dancers and live music the evocative sound score brings the tiger to life, whilst the impressive set unleashes the chaos of the tiger in exciting and unexpected ways.

children's shows

The Bee-Man of Orn

    genre: adaptation, storytelling
    group: Newbury Youth Theatre
    venue: Quaker Meeting House

    This award-winning young company returns with an adaptation of Frank Stockton's magical tale about a man in search of himself. Told in NYT's trademark style of rambunctious storytelling and suitable for anyone over five, the Bee-Man's journey takes him to the deepest ocean, the court of a cruel king and the cave of the Very Imp.

Dr Longitude's Marvellous Imaginary Menagerie
    physical theatre
    Les Enfants Terribles
    Pleasance Courtyard

    Roll up for the most magnifical, tremendible and fantasticulous experience in town! Ever wanted to count a Decapus' legs? Or wondered what a Whistling Pank eats? Would you like to catch a glimpse of the fabled 'Massive Paw', lick a Tresillian toad? Or see a cow that looks like Brian May? Then you've come to the right place! Dr Longitude and his team of 'experts' are here to guide you through a puppet-packed, ludicrously lyrical and magically musical tour of the Imaginary Menagerie's finest exhibits.

The Enormous Turnip
    theatre, inter-active
    Spotlites Theatre Productions
    Spotlites @ The Merchants' Hall

    Help grandad plant the tiny seed! Slide in the snail slime! Heave up the enormous turnip! Professional interactive theatre for kids who don't just want to sit still and watch! Little'uns come onstage throughout! 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 the turnip ever stop growing?

The Ice Wolf
    drama, storytelling
    American High School Theatre Festival
    The Church Hill Theatre

    From the East Coast Hudson Bay Inuits comes an authentic tale of a fair haired child, exiled by her own people simply because she was born Anatou, The Pale One. In a village ruled by superstition and myth, such a difference has no place. During a famine, her parents disappear while in search for food and Anatou is cast out. She retreats to the forest, a place forbidden by the Inuit. There she prays to the Wood God to escape her past and begs to be transformed into a wolf.

The Jungle Book
    physical theatre, music
    Flying High Theatre Company
    theSpace on Niddry St

    Join Mowgli, the man cub reared by wolves, as he ventures into the jungle accompanied by Baloo and Bagheera to find the man village where he will be safe from Shere Khan the tiger. This colourful, musical, physical interpretation will delight adults and children alike with all the familiar Jungle Book characters.

The Little Leaf
    devised, children's
    Inside I'm a Mermaid / Free Festival
    Laughing Horse @ The Free Sisters

    One day, a curious little girl stumbles across a lonely little leaf, hiding in her attic. The pair quickly become friends, and set off on a journey to the end of the world. They build a boat, and sail down winding rivers, gushing waterfalls, and vast seas. Our two explorers face many challenges and obstacles along the way, but although they may be small in size, together they find courage they need to survive their voyage. This is the story of how the unlikeliest of friendships can lead to the most extraordinary of adventures.

The Man Who Planted Trees
    puppetry, storytelling
    Scottish Storytelling Centre
    Scottish Storytelling Centre

    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 six years, with appearances off-Broadway and at the Sydney Opera House. A unique blend of comedy, puppetry and inspiring storytelling

Princess Taz and the Fearsome Forest
    family, puppetry
    OddFlock / PBH's Free Fringe
    Cafe Camino

    Join ramshackle clowns, Elf and Harry on their fantastical retelling of the life and adventures of the legendary punk Princess Taz and her pet rapdragon Eehore. Follow their quest to save the Fearsome Forest from being knocked down to make way for a new high speed croquet pitch in the Perfectly Perfect Kingdom! Warning: the show includes riddles, ridiculous accents, silly songs, puppetry, live forests, rap music, cartoons and village people.

Tony and Mike - The Country Owl and the City Squirrel
    family, puppetry
    Tom Frankland and Laura Mugridge

    Tony the Owl lives in the countryside. He's really happy until Joe and Charlotte move from the city and ruin his peace and quiet. To make matters worse, they've brought Mike the squirrel with them. He's loud, cheeky and he likes to party! A new story, from Fringe First Award winners Tom Frankland and Laura Mugridge, inspired by the Tale of the Town Mouse and the Country Mouse.

The Worm - An Underground Adventure
    theatre, family

    Underneath your feet in the muddy brown soil squirms the world's best kept secret...a wonderful, magical creature called the Worm. Join Wilma and William, two nature lovers, on a journey underground as they discover a family of friendly, musical worms and their colourful miniature world. With laugh out loud songs, including one about worm poo, The Worm is a fun filled musical tale guaranteed to make everyone giggle, wiggle and love the squirmy wonders beneath our feet. After the performance, the audience are invited to see some real worms in a specially designed wormery.

musicals and opera

Song of the Earth

    genre: folk, acoustic
    group: Gruppo del Cerchio
    venue: Italian Cultural Institute

    A woman escaping from noisy modern life finds herself in a garden, the shelter of gods, through an inner flux helped by songs, she shares reflections, visions and epiphanies. Can gardens be our natural rebellion against modernity? She tells thoughts of some extraordinary travellers and eternal spirits leading us towards secret truths: Hildegard von Bingen, Raimon Panikkar, Pierre Rabhi and Vita Sackville West. 45 minutes of trance, this electro-folk hypnotic musical will lead us to the depths of the earth, through enchanting metaphysical dimensions. Performer: Susanna Paisio, text and direction: Carola Benedetto and costumes: Luciana Ciliento.

spoken word

Edinburgh Traditional Building Festival

    genre: workshops, events
    group: Edinburgh Traditional Building Forum
    venue: Acheson House

    The 10 events of The Edinburgh Traditional Building Festival celebrate Edinburgh's traditional buildings and offer everyone an opportunity to learn about the skills and materials used to build and maintain them for future generations. Traditional skills are the crafts and techniques used to work with materials such as stone, wood, slate and wrought iron. These skills are vital to maintaining Edinburgh's world-renowned architecture. Hands-on demonstrations will show the importance of these vital skills and provide an interesting and valuable insight into each trade.

The Lie of the Land
    spoken word
    Book Festival Fringe
    St Andrew's and St George's West, George St

    In a momentous year for Scotland, a chance to hear two of the country's best writers on land and people. Roger Hutchinson, author of the international best seller Calum's Road, in discussion about a giant of a man and the building of his epic Raasay road and Andy Wightman in conversation about the genesis of his seminal book The Poor Had No Lawyers, and the question of land ownership in Scotland. 6 August

Robert Lewellyn: Electric Cars Are Rubbish. Aren't They?
    spoken word
    Lakin McCarthy / The Assembly Rooms
    The Assembly Rooms

    Environmentally friendly? Sustainable? More like greenie hogwash! Red Dwarf star Robert Llewellyn suggests we take off our Clarkson ear muffs and hear a different take.

The Trial of Chimpanzee Jack
    spoken word, true life
    Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas
    Stand in the Square

    You are summoned for jury service. Jack and his gang killed a member of another gang. He is now on trial for murder. But this trial has a difference - Jack is a chimpanzee. As a chimp, does Jack understand that others are like him? Can he predict what will happen when he attacks another chimp? Does he have morals? As members of the jury, you will hear the arguments from both sides, quiz the expert witnesses and help decide: can a chimp do human wrongs? Created by Lewis Dean (University of St Andrews). 10 August

We'd Eat GM Meat: Would You?
    spoken word, true life
    Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas
    Stand in the Square

    Would you eat bacon from a lab designed pig? Is GM meat really a solution to future food shortages? Debates about genetically modifying our food raise many concerns. Some are about the methods used. Some are about the concept itself. And some people can't see what all the fuss is about. Hear about the cutting edge genetic engineering research happening right here in Edinburgh, discuss the risks and opportunities with the scientists involved and decide for yourself - would you eat GM meat? With Professors Helen Sang and Bruce Whitelaw (The Roslin Institute). 24 August


Digital Alchemy in association with Weston Earth Images

    genre: photography, visual art
    group / artist: Weston Earth Images in association with Macintyres Jewellers Ltd
    venue: Macintyres of Edinburgh Jewellers

    Professor Richard Weston's enchanting images of gemstones from around the world, surrounded by award winning gemmologist Stephen Turner's examples of mother nature's most precious creations. Situated between the George Street Assembly rooms and the Princes Street tram stop. Here you can discover why nature is, in our view, the world's greatest and most prolific artist. Combine that with digital technology to create the naturally exclusive and wholly original images on canvases and other media.

Flowers from the Desert
    Galerie Mirages
    Galerie Mirages

    Textiles from Western India. A magnificent exhibition selling printed and embroidered textiles from Western India. From the 17th century, Indian textiles have greatly influenced British fashion and design. This exhibition presents the beauty of floral decoration in traditional and modern textiles. Wall hangings, throws, etc.

India Street
    craft, international

    Newly commissioned textile designs from Scotland and India provide a critical response to The Bombay Sample Book in the National Museum of Scotland's archive. The exhibition also examines Scotland's boom-to-bust Turkey red dye industry through contemporary eyes.

John Ruskin: Artist and Observer
    visual arts
    National Galleries of Scotland
    Scottish National Portrait Gallery

    John Ruskin (1819-1900) is renowned as the greatest British art critic of the nineteenth century and the champion of Turner, but his role as an artist remains relatively little known. This exhibition will illustrate the role of John Ruskin as an artist, through examples of his drawn and painted work. An artist who took inspiration from the natural world and architectural subjects, Gothic palaces in Venice, wild and spectacular Scottish and Alpine landscapes, and minutely defined and brilliantly coloured birds and plants will all be highlights of the show.

No Strangers: Ancient Wisdom in a Modern World
    group exhibition
    Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh - John Hope Gateway

    A group photography exhibition focusing on the plight of indigenous people throughout the world and the ways cultures express a shared humanity. Posing a fundamental question of what it means to be human and alive, No Strangers celebrates the 7,000 different languages used globally, half of which could be silenced within a generation or two. Photographers featured in the exhibit and short documentary include Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher, Wade Davis, Chris Johns, Lynn Johnson, Steve McCurry, Randy Olson, Chris Rainier and Hamid Sardar-Afkhami. Image: Wade Davis.

This Land Is Our Land: Three Scottish Landscape Photographers
    Stephen Drew, Hamish King and Neil Shaw
    Gladstone's Land

    Showcasing the breathtaking natural beauty of Scotland, from the Borders to the Northern Highlands; spectacular, original and contemporary images by Scottish landscape photographers Stephen Drew, Hamish King and Neil Shaw.


Carnival of Curious Animals

    group: Hosted by 5x15
    venue: Hendrick's Carnival of Knowledge

    Discover the bizarre stories and examine specimens of some of the world's most celebrated and strangest animals, from Lonesome George the bachelor tortoise, Chi-Chi the pre-eminent panda to Ham the astrochimp. Join scientific journalist Henry Nicholls and Paolo Viscardi of the Horniman Museum to discover more about the amazing animals that have graced our planet.


  Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014


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