College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Campus is centre stage as festival buzz returns

Edinburgh’s campus is yet again playing a pivotal role in the dazzling arts extravaganza that transforms the city every August.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Edinburgh Festival Fringe

The University is once more at the heart of the Edinburgh International Festival (EIF) and the world-renowned Festival Fringe, which this year celebrates its 76th anniversary.

With major venues such as Underbelly, Pleasance Theatre and the Gilded Balloon, the University is a key Fringe player, hosting more than one third of performances.

Staff and students are also taking part in a host of events that feature in this year’s EIF and Fringe programmes.

Thought-provoking discussions

Edinburgh researchers are among those involved in the 'Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas', which returns to the Fringe for its 11th year.

Shows include Thomas Bak’s 'Old dogs need new tricks', Sara Brown’s 'Palm reading is quite scientific, really!' and 'Has your phone replaced your brain?' by Miranda Anderson.

Dr Gwo-tzer Ho and Dr Rebecca Hall, research scientists at the University’s Centre of Inflammation Research and NHS doctors, will also be performing 'So! Tell Me About Your Bowels at the Cabaret', which will be hosted by comedian Susan Morrison.

Musical delights

Chancellor's Fellow and acclaimed composer Gareth Williams is set to thrill audiences with his compelling brand of ‘literary chamber pop’ in 'Songs from the Last Page'.

Williams’ performance of voice, piano and strings celebrates work by a diverse range of storytellers and is part of the 'Made in Scotland' showcase.

The University’s St Cecilia’s Hall will be host to a selection of concerts throughout August as part of the Festival Fringe, featuring traditional Scottish performances such as 'Classical Bagpipe Music – Scotland's Hidden Treasure'.

'What Draupadi Said to Penelope' is a transnational feminist creative project combining classical and contemporary styles of dance.

The project is supported by the Institute for Advanced Studies in Humanities and GENDER.ED, a cross-University hub for gender and sexualities studies.

Emerging technologies

An enthralling exhibition, curated by Design Informatics, works with sound, voice and emerging technologies to ask what it means – personally and politically – to synthesize, clone, and manipulate voices.

Supported by the Institute for Design Informatics and Creative Informatics, 'The Sounds of Deep Fake' – which takes place at the University’s Inspace gallery – is part of the Edinburgh Art Festival.

Haunting sound and video installations, inspired by a University archive spanning 70 years, are offering exhibition audiences fresh perspectives on Scotland’s rich oral tradition.

'A Carrying Stream' showcases work by artists Blair Coron, Fraser MacBeath and Carla Sayer, which takes material from the School of Scottish Studies Archives and reimagines it for the digital age.

Spotlighting academics

Three Edinburgh academics have key roles in The Hub Talks series, which the University is supporting as part of the International Festival.

Emeritus professor and acclaimed composer Nigel Osborne joins writer and performer Travis Alabanza for 'Exploring Community over Chaos' on 7 August.

Osborne and Alabanza, who previously collaborated on the award-winning show 'Burgerz', will discuss the importance of community and connection.

Professor Elaine Kelly from the Reid School of Music will join Christoph Seuferle, Director of Opera at Deutsche Oper Berlin, to delve into the music and story of Richard Wagner’s 'Tannhäuser' before it makes its International Festival debut on 25 August.

Hispanic Studies PhD researcher Beth Blakemore will host a discussion with the creatives behind this year’s EIF production of 'Life is a Dream' on 24 August.

Director Declan Donnellan, designer Nick Ormerod and Spanish translator Juan Ollero will talk about the challenges of working across different languages and cultures.

Related links

Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Edinburgh International Festival

Edinburgh International Festival discounts for students and concessions

Image credit: Paul Dodds