Literatures, Languages & Cultures

LLC at the Edinburgh summer festivals 2018 - part three

This summer sees dozens of festival events featuring our staff, students and alumni. Here's what's happening during the Edinburgh Fringe and International festivals (3rd to 27th August 2018).

This year, Edinburgh celebrates its 71st anniversary as a world-leading festival city and the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC) is proud to play its part.

Following a highly-successful Edinburgh International Film Festival in June/July, we’re gearing up for the Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh International Book Festival and Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August.

In this third part of our coverage of LLC at the festivals, we focus on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (#edfringe) and the Edinburgh International Festival (#EdintFest) which run from 3rd to 27th August 2018.

Booking is now open on both the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Edinburgh International Festival websites. 

Playwriting students, old and new

A photo of this year's 'Pre-View' playwrights
This year's 'Pre-View' playwrights. From left, Madison Pollack, Derek Roland, Erica Mack and Felix Maxwell.

What’s it like for emerging playwrights to have their work read by professional actors in front of a live audience? For students on our MSc in Playwriting, ‘Pre-View’ at Traverse Theatre is their chance to find out. Run in partnership with Playwrights' Studio, Scotland, the event wraps up a year’s postgraduate study in which the students have developed new writing for performance under the guidance of professional playwright, Nicola McCartney. ‘Pre-View’ takes place over two nights as part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe, as follows:

Monday 6th August 2018 at 7:30pm: professional readings of 'The Brahan Child' by Erica Mack (Munro) and 'Pink House' by Madison Pollack, both directed by Philip Howard (Traverse Theatre and Dundee Rep).

Monday 13th August 2018 at 7:30pm: professional readings of 'Born to Rule' by Felix Maxwell and 'The Exhibit' by Derek Roland, both directed by Jemima Levick (Stellar Quines Theatre Company).

Book tickets for this year's 'Pre-View' on the Traverse website

Hear from this year's 'Pre-View' playwrights about the value of feedback and peer review, and how they’re feeling about the upcoming readings

While this year’s students prepare for their world premieres, the Fringe also sees four of our Playwriting alumni return to Edinburgh with new work or to take part in panel discussions:

  • Laurie Motherwell has been commissioned by Traverse Theatre to write ‘Old Enough’, part of the Breakfast Plays: Youthquake series. The play is being performed in a double-bill with ‘Grout’ by Ella Hickson (who studied English Literature at LLC in a joint degree with History of Art) at 9am on various dates. Book tickets on the Traverse website
  • Laurie will also join a TalkFest panel chaired by fellow graduate, Jenny Knotts, on the meaning of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018 for young(er) theatre-makers. ‘Let them lead the way’ will take place at Traverse Theatre on Monday 13th August. Find out more on the Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland website
  • Andy Mosely’s play, ‘A Beginner's Guide to Populism’, has been brought to the Fringe by NoLogoProductions and will be showing at theSpaceTriplex on various dates throughout the fringe. Book tickets on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe website
  • Melloney Flinn’s ‘The Meeting’, about “a self-help meeting like no other”, is on at theSpace @ Niddry Street, in a performance by BareWater Productions (various dates and times). Book tickets on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe website

Find out more about our MSc in Playwriting

James Tait Black Prize for Drama

The James Tait Black Prize for Drama is awarded annually for the best original play written in English, Scots or Gaelic and first performed by a professional company in the previous year. Like the book prizes of the same name, the award is judged by LLC staff and students, together with representatives from Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland, and Traverse Theatre.

Join host, Shereen Nanjiani, and the four shortlisted playwrights to find out who has won this year’s £10,000 prize at Traverse Theatre on Monday 20th August 2017. The event includes interviews with the playwrights - Alice Birch, Tanika Gupta, Gary McNair and Linda McLean - and extracts from their plays performed by a professional cast. 

Book tickets for the James Tait Black Prize for Drama ceremony 2018 on the Traverse website

A photo of a model from the 'From Shanghai With Love' exhibition
From Shanghai With Love is running from 24th to 25th August.

From Shanghai with Love

For the second year running, the Confucius Institute for Scotland is delighted to partner the Donghua Edinburgh Centre for Creative Industries to bring the combined fashion show and exhibition, From Shanghai with Love, to the stunning surrounds of the Playfair Library, Old College, from 24th to 25th August. The exhibition features Shanghai style qipao from the 1910s-1930s, when Shanghai was known as the Paris of the east, while the runway will feature contemporary and futuristic qipao designs using the latest high-tech materials and techniques, combining tradition with modernity. 

The Confucius Institute will also be supporting a delegation of five visitors to participate in Momentum - the Edinburgh Festivals’ International Delegate Programme.

Book tickets for From Shanghai With Love on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe website

Find out more about Momentum on the British Council website 

Belgian theatre and dance

In conjunction with Wallonie-Bruxelles International (WBI), the Centre de Recherches Francophones Belges is supporting a number of dance and theatre events across the course of the Fringe. Based in European Languages and Cultures at LLC, the Centre promotes francophone Belgian studies in the UK and, as well as the four unique shows, is assisting a Belgian delegation to come to Edinburgh to share learning about other WBI performers and cultural agencies.

Poster of Stoel
Stoel is one of four events being supported by WBI, taking place from 3rd to 14th August.

The four shows are:

  • Backup, a collaboration between The Focus Company and the Chaliwaté Company, creating a work which combines gestural theatre, object theatre, puppetry, acting and video to tell the story of three reporters in the North Pole face to face with a bear. The show runs from 3rd to 26th August 2018 at Summerhall.  Book tickets for Backup on the Summerhall website
  • Autóctonos II, a quintet between pianist/composer and four dancers, which "questions belonging to a group, in this society of endurance, indifference and productivity." The piece runs from 19th to 27th August at ZOO Southside.  Book tickets for Autóctonos II on the ZOO venues website 
  • Stoel, meaning 'chair'; a choreographic duet in which "using a set made of chairs and the rhythm of cello and voice, two dancers revisit these familiar objects." This takes place from 3rd to 14th August at ZOO Southside.   Book tickets for Stoel on the ZOO Venues website
  • Atomic 3001, "a futuristic dance ritual which submits a being to a perpetual and incoercible pulse drawing her into some infernal dance machine." The piece is a collaboration between the choreographer Leslie Mannès, the composer Thomas Turine AKA Sitoid and the light designer Vincent Lemaître, and takes place from 21st to 26th August at Dancebase. Book tickets for Atomic 3001 on the Dancebase website

Maz and Bricks by Eva O'Connor

Eva founded her own theatre company, Sunday's Child, while studying English Literature and German at LLC and has since written and produced five plays with the company. Her multi-award winning work includes 'My Name is Saoirse' and 'Overshadowed'.

She returns to Edinburgh and the Fringe with 'Maz and Bricks', commissioned by Triple Fringe First and Olivier Award-winning Fishamble, which opened at Project Cube in Dublin in 2017 and has just completed an Irish tour. Supported by Culture Ireland, the play runs from 1st to 26th August (except on Mondays) at Summerhall.

Book tickets for Maz and Bricks on the Summerhall website

The Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas 

In addition to events involving LLC, many of our colleagues from across the University of Edinburgh are involved in some fantastic festival shows, including this year's Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas (#CoDI18). Aiming to get research out beyond the university walls, CoDI brings together academics from different universities and organisations to create, write and perform individual shows in which they try to make their expertise more accessible in a different context by discussing provocative and ‘dangerous’ topics. 

Each show is an hour long, with 50% of time for audience interaction; there are no slideshows or videos, but lots of props, and cabaret compere comedienne Susan Morrison who "ensures the audience never go quiet…". There will be two CoDI performances every day from 3rd to 26th August - one from 1:30-2:30pm, and one from 8:10-9:10pm - at the New Town Theatre.

Read more about CoDI18, including interviews with speakers, on the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas website

Related links

Find out about the many events we're involved in at the Edinburgh International Book Festival

Look back at our involvement in the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2018