Sunday, August 16, 2009
An 'Edinburgh Festival' top ten.
1) Johann Kresnick and the Bremen Dance Theatre’s Ballet version of Macbeth. It terrified and inspired me aged 20. Seminal.
2) Some Polish show at the Assembly Rooms (possibly also 20 years ago) with people running around in circles pretending to be horses for an hour or so. I didn’t really like it that much at the time but I’ve never been able to forget it and think I now like it more than I ever have. Unfathomable.
3) Watching the Sowetto Gospel Choir with Sarah and Eve two years ago. At the time Eve had zero tolerance for street performers, anyone in a costume or anyone engaged in ‘make believe’ more richly encoded than “you be the Doggy, I’ll be the Mummy”. This was the only thing we could persuade her to see, early one rainy morning. Joyous.
4) Pina Bausch, Nelken: Powerful in all the predictable ways. It made me wish I had seen everything she had ever done. Obviously.
5) Robert Wilson’s version of Gertrude Stein’s Doctor Faustus Lights The Lights. He became a hero of mine via photos, text and video now finally, with this show, he delivered for me live. Cool.
6) The Tuvan Throat Singers doing their throat singing thing. Saved going to Tuva. Extraordinary.
7) Hamfisted! Bound to Fly in some scummy venue 2001. I’d met them once in Birmingham for a chat and struck out on my own to find them on a rainswept Edinburgh night. I was rewarded with a show I had no idea how to take, which I loved. Proper.
8) The Joseph Beuys retrospective at the Modern Art Gallery. Waxy (and Felty)
9) Ray Lee Siren two years ago, partly for the piece, but also for the atmosphere, the company and the reunion. Comforting.
10) The Death of Klinghoffer, by Scottish Opera: no nonsense powerful staging. The performance that confirmed practically what I knew intellectually had to be true, that opera isn’t always an utter waste of time, effort and expense. Simple.
I also messed my pants laughing at the Walker/North/Lamb vehicle "The Arthur Dung Show".
I also have a memory of some inexplicable and deeply misogynistic Spanish opera thing in 2003. It's not win win win up here.
I'm looking forward to more friends arriving. It feels lonely despite the crowds.
My pick of this Fringe so far- Accidental Nostalgia by Cynthia Hopkins.