Just two more sleeps till the first day of the Edinburgh festivals! If, unlike us, you haven’t yet created a multi-coloured spreadsheet to guide you through the coming weeks, here are a few pointers…
Whether you caught Hannah Lavery’s gorgeous reading at StAnza 2019 or have seen The Drift, her heart-wrenching spoken word show, you’ll understand why we’re intrigued to check out her latest offerings, Call and Response, a work-in-progress as part of the Edinburgh International Festival. If you haven’t seen Hannah perform before: be prepared to leave behind your preconceptions about what poetry performance can do. In an intimate performance, Call and Response responds to the death of 31-year-old Sheku Bayoh, died in police custody on the streets of his home town – Kircaldy, Fife. An intimate performance in an informal setting, the show invites you to join in a conversation about identity, community and belonging in Scotland.
14:00 on 5-7 August at the Lyceum Theatre
We loved The Unsung last year at the festival, a gorgeous interweaving of poetry and music to celebrate unsung musical heroes. (Admittedly, a fellow audience member, who proudly informed us that he’d been to see the show every single day that week, may have loved it slightly more…) This year, the team behind The Unsung are back with A Beautiful Way to be Crazy. Based on interviews with female and non-binary practitioners across the music industry, the show weaves together poetry, live music and audio clips in a tale of growing up and finding a voice which explores what it means to be a girl in the business of music – with a little help from Joni Mitchell, Nina Simone and Delia Derbyshire.
11:45 on 19-25 August at the Underbelly, Bristo Square
Another favourite from last year’s Fringe was 147Hz can’t pass, a stunning piece of performance poetry by Ink Asher Hemp. Ink is definitely a rising talent to watch in the poetry and theatre scenes, so don’t miss them this year in Sad Eyes to Smile With, a show of queer identity plus slam poetry divided by austerity and multiplied by three.
12:35 on 12-17, 19-24 August at Greenside on Infirmary Street