The Edinburgh Festival Guide is out! We’ve been feverously perusing the pages in the office, browsing for a few choice musical picks.
A record-breaking 3,193 shows in 299 venues will be at the festival in 2014 - a whopping increase of 11% on the already huge 2013 programme!
So for those of you looking for some melodic mayhem or some lyrical luxury at the Fringe this summer here’s the countdown of our top 5 selections exciting crop.
5. Alba - A New Scottish Musical
Blurb: An exhilarating, heart-warming story of a young man, whose reluctant return to rural Scotland sparks an emotional rollercoaster of self-discovery, triggering him to rekindle his love for his home country and its people. Infused with traditional Scottish influences, the original score is performed live by an outstanding cast of actor-musicians. Finn Anderson’s Streets was nominated for two Off West End Theatre Awards including Best New Musical and described as ‘Breathtaking’ (Stage), ‘Ground-breaking’ (WestEndFrame.com) and ‘Fiercely creative and thrillingly fresh’ (AYoungerTheatre.com).
Homespun melodies echo across the highland hills this summer with Finn Anderson’s soul-searching new piece. Alba is a crowd funded project and has gained its place at the festival through tremendous community support. We’re excited to see if this home-grown musical bears fruit atop the fertile soil of the fringe.
Dates: 11-23 Aug
Venue: theSpace @ Surgeons Hall
4. The Despondent Divorcée
Blurb: A 1940s New York hotel spirals through a storm of media speculation following the eighth-storey suicide leap of a desperate young woman. A psychological thriller featuring the bittersweet poetry of Sara Teasdale and live jazz music. The audience enter the Kendrick Hotel's hauntingly desolate jazz bar and witness flickers of the fractured final days of Frances Dupree. The shameless exploitation behind a ferocious media circus is called to question in this unsettling story of identity, morality, and disgrace. Previous reviews: ***** (ThreeWeeks). **** (Scotsman). 'HookHitch grab their audiences and don't let go' **** (FestivalJournal.co.uk).
HookHitch, the young company behind last year’s acoustic daydream This Was the World and I Was King, return to the fringe with another musical trip back in time. Stepping away from their Folk-infused roots, The Despondent Divorcée looks set to be a captivating thriller with acid jazz pumping through its theatrical veins.
Dates: 31 Jul - 25 Aug
Venue: C venues - C cubed
3. The Horror! The Horror! - The Final Curtain
Blurb: It's 1924 and Alfred Brownlow's music hall troupe is in trouble. Audience numbers are down, the critics are sharpening their knives and the wolves are at the door. But there's always time for one more show, and they've got a hell of a performance for you this evening! Inspired by a sell-out run at Wilton's Music Hall in 2012, The Horror! The Horror! - The Final Curtain is an all new evening of ghoulish mayhem and music hall glee.
With the promise of cut-throat thesps and bloody backstage antics The Horror! The Horror! - The Final Curtain looks set to take you on a devilish descent into music hall madness. Curtain up!
Dates: 4-24 Aug
Venue: Bedlam Theatre
2. Magadi - The Bride Price
Blurb: Through drama, music and dance Magadi - The Bride Price takes the audience on a celebratory tour of the beauty of African customs. It is a celebration of love - love of another human being, love for who we are, what we have become and what we used to be.
The ever effervescent African Tree Productions returns to the fringe this year with ruminations on love and legacy. The South African cast are prided on their powerful physicality and joyously comic sensibilities; we expect them to bring all their characteristic energy to their new production Magadi - The Bride Price.
Dates: 31 Jul-24 Aug
Venue: Just the Tonic at The Community Project
1. The Girl Who
Blurb: Anna is searching for her parents. It’s up to you how she finds them. Inspired by the classic Choose Your Own Adventure books, The Girl Who places the audience in complete control of the story. You will be in charge of the characters' decisions, morals, successes and failures, allowing every show's path to be unique. Combining live music and immersive storytelling, The Girl Who is the latest piece by award-winning partnership Scott Gilmour and Claire McKenzie (Forest Boy, FreakShow). Presented in association with Noisemaker and Theatre Bench.
Two roads diverge in a yellow wood; will Anna take the one less travelled? The audience will decide, and that will make all the difference. The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is offering an innovative musical experience, an immersively interactive journey through the twisting paths of a lost girl’s frightening world. Which way will you choose?