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Casting announced for Nigel Slater’s Toast at Traverse 2018

Following its recent critically acclaimed world premiere at The Lowry, casting is announced for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe run of the stage adaptation of Nigel Slater’s best-selling memoir Toast, playing as part of the Traverse Festival 2018 from Tuesday 7 – Sunday 26 August.

The Edinburgh cast will be Sam Newton (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, UK Tour) who will continue to play ‘Nigel Slater’, alongside Lizzie Muncey (Twelfth Night, National Theatre) as ‘Mum’, Marie Lawrence (Murder in Successville, BBC3) as ‘Joan’, Mark Fleischmann (The Cherry Orchard, National Theatre) as ‘Dad’ and Jake Ferretti (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Apollo Theatre/National) as ‘Josh’.

Vividly recreating suburban England in the 1960s, Nigel Slater’s childhood is told through the tastes and smells he grew up with.

 From making the perfect sherry trifle, waging war over cakes through to the playground politics of sweets and the rigid rules of restaurant dining, this is a moving and evocative tale of love, loss and…toast.

Originally commissioned and produced by The Lowry for Week 53 festival, Toast is written by Henry Filloux-Bennett and directed by Jonnie Riordan. The production will play as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from Tuesday 7 to Sunday 26 August, at the Traverse Theatre – a powerhouse of vibrant new work and a champion of creativity and new writing.

The author of a collection of bestselling books and presenter of nine BBC television series, Nigel Slater has been the food columnist for The Observer for 25 years.

His memoir ‘Toast – the Story of a Boy’s Hunger’ won six major awards, has been translated into five languages and became a BBC film starring Helena Bonham Carter and Freddie Highmore.

LISTING INFORMATION

Nigel Slater’s Toast

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

Tuesday 7 to Sunday 26 August 2018

(excluding 13th & 20th)

Times vary – please visit website for full details.

Tickets: From £15

0131 228 1401

Hightide’s 2018 Festival programme revealed, as Steven Atkinson prepares to stand-down as Artistic Director

Steven Atkinson
Steven Atkinson

Steven Atkinson

  • Hightide will be in Edinburgh with World Premieres from 1-27 August, Aldeburgh from 11-16 September and will return to Walthamstow for the second year from 18-30 September.
  • Programme includes new plays by Tallulah Brown, Jessica Butcher and Danusia  Samal.
  • Hightide’s  founding Artistic Director Steven Atkinson to stand down in 2019

Steven Atkinson, Artistic Director of HighTide, has today released the full line up for the 2018 HighTide Festivals in Aldeburgh and Walthamstow. At the same time he has announced his intention to move on from HighTide in 2019 after twelve years of successful leadership.

Tim Clark, HighTide’s chairman, said: ‘Steven’s contribution to HighTide, and to theatre in the UK more generally, has been immense. Starting with Adam Brace’s Stovepipe, which was listed in the Sunday Times Ten Best Theatre Productions of the Decade, his eleven years of leadership have been filled with many successes. These include Ella Hickson’s Boys, Nick Payne’s Incognito, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins Neighbors and Al Smith’s Harrogate. He also led new festivals in Aldeburgh and Walthamstow, and secured a decade of Arts Council England National Portfolio funding. We now embark on finding a successor to Steven who will continue to bring passion, flair, integrity and commitment to the role of Artistic Director.’

Steven Atkinson said: ‘Creating and leading HighTide has been such a brilliant start to my career. I’ve decided that in 2019, after twelve years as Artistic Director and CEO, it’s the right time to take up new opportunities in theatre producing. I’m proud of HighTide’s contribution to Waltham Forest’s winning bid as the first London Borough of Culture in 2019 and my programming will conclude with HighTide Festival Walthamstow in September 2019.’

HighTide Expands to Three Festivals

For the first time, the company will present a season of five world premiere productions at Edinburgh Festival Fringe, before transferring them to its Aldeburgh and Walthamstow Festivals, as part of a brand-new mentoring scheme for new playwrights and producers. The launch of the programme marks the company’s continued commitment to creating a bridge that supports new theatre makers starting out on the fringe building on the festival’s proven ability in providing a platform for launching careers in the UK’s leading theatres.

HighTide’s centrepiece production, co-produced with their associate company DugOut Theatre, is a song-laced coming of age tale by Aldeburgh-based writer Tallulah Brown called Songlines. Set in Reydon, Suffolk, it features live folk music from the award-winning band TRILLS. HighTide’s associate productions, selected through an open script submission process, are: SparksJessica Butcher’s two-hander musical about the brain’s response to grief with original music by Anoushka LucasDanusia Samal’s gig-theatre piece Busking It, drawing on a decade of busking on the tube; The Extinction Event from David Aula and Simon Evans –  an examination of what happens when science starts thinking for itself; and finally, Harry Blake’s fierce, fabulous new comedy musical about Norse gods Thor and Loki.

HighTide Aldeburgh

2018 marks the fourth annual HighTide Festival in the coastal town of Aldeburgh, Suffolk, following eight highly successful HighTide Festivals in neighbouring town, Halesworth. Notable new plays and writers premiered in the Aldeburgh HighTide Festival include Al Smith’s Harrogate, which transferred to the Royal Court Theatre and was nominated for the Evening Standard’s Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright, and Girls by rising star Theresa Ikoko, who is currently under commission to HighTide.

Alongside the five headline shows, HighTide in Aldeburgh, running from 1116 September, will feature:

East Anglian poet Luke Wright with work in progress Poet Laureate, Jon Brittain’s acclaimed cabaret musical about depression A Super Happy Story (about Feeling Super Sad), Gail Ludlow and Jeffrey Holland’s …And This is My Friend Mr Laurel, a tribute to one of Hollywood’s greatest film comedians, Isley Lynn’s sexual odyssey Skin A Cat, Woke by Apphia Campbell and Meredith Yarbrough – a new story on 20th-century African-American experience – and Soul Sessions with Apphia Campbell direct from sell-out performances across the world. Comedy includes Flo & Joan: Alive on Stage, and Adam Kay – This is Going to Hurt (Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor). For families there’s Mrs H Sings, the unique singalong band, and One Duck Down – a big adventure about 7000 rubber ducks. Wonderful Beast will present a sharing of The Last Woodwose staring Diana Quick, and Solar Productions present Amy Gwillams’ The Profit. Performances take place across the Aldeburgh Jubilee Hall, Pumphouse, Aldeburgh Cinema, Aldeburgh Beach Lookout and for the first time ever this year late night events will take place in Ye Olde Cross Keys.  The Festival will be partnering with The Aldeburgh Bookshop for literary ‘In Conversations’ with Kate Mosse and Patrick Gale.

Festival Returns to Walthamstow

HighTide have also announced the full line-up for their second year in Walthamstow, following the news of Waltham Forest becoming the Mayor of London’s first London Borough of Culture in 2019, meaning the area will receive £1.35m in funding across the year. The festival, running 18-30 September, will once again be primarily based in the Festival Hub, situated in Walthamstow Town Square Gardens. The Festival Hub is free to enter and features an outdoor stage with nightly music gigs, along with local food and drink vendors. The Festival will include eleven family shows including local company Baby Panda presenting Five Little Monkeys, an outdoor interactive adventure in a bespokely made greenhouse – The Little Gardener, kids comedy, The Storm Whale with Walthamstow based author Benji Davies, original songs in Hey Diddle Diddle!, E17 Puppet Project’s The Vote, and How to Hide a Lion, adapted from the popular children’s book by Helen Stephens. Visiting companies include HighRise Theatre with Lil.Miss.Lady, exploring the history of Grime, and Waltham Forest company Stand and Be Counted presenting Where We Began, featuring an international cast exploring notions of home and a reading of Ali and Dahlia by Tariq Jordan presented by Pleasance Theatre, alongside several more first commissions and readings. The comedy programme will feature Tim Key’s Megadate, a work in progress from Sofie Hagen, and The Horne Section. There will also be gigs from Arthur Darvill and Inès De Clercq,  Songlines band TRILLS, and Soul in the Van will present intimate gigs in the back of a van in the Festival Hub. HighTide will also present a showcase of some of the hottest young talent from Waltham Forest in a night of variety performance.

On the return of the Festival, Councillor Clare Coghill, Leader, Waltham Forest Council said: “Returning with their beautiful pop-up venue in Walthamstow Town Centre, HighTide Festival will once again bring high quality and accessible theatre and live performance to our public spaces and local venues. Building on the successes of the 2017 Festival, this year’s HighTide is providing an even greater platform for our local artists to create work in their own community. There is a real buzz about culture in our borough as we step up to be the first ever London Borough of Culture in 2019. We are proud to support projects such as HighTide, which continue to build our reputation as a cultural destination, and which ensure arts and culture is accessible to all our residents here on our doorstep.”

New Artistic Director

HighTide has established itself as the first new major British theatre company of this Century and has been instrumental in launching the careers of many major playwrights, including Ella Hickson, Nick Payne and Vinay Patel. The HighTide Festival is the Sundance of theatre, allowing new artists to experiment and become known to audiences and the theatre world. HighTide productions have played in theatres across the UK, including the National Theatre, Royal Court, Young Vic and Traverse Theatres, introducing new writers and challenging plays to audiences. The trustees of HighTide are now looking for a successor for Steven Atkinson, who can develop HighTide’s mission, vision and values and further its role in British Theatre. The application process for the next Artistic Director is opening now, with a view to the appointment being announced before the end of the year.

Middle Child head to Fringe with new show, One Life Stand

One Life Stand Credit Jazz Harbord
One Life Stand  Credit Jazz Harbord

One Life Stand Credit Jazz Harbord

Middle Child will return to the Paines Plough Roundabout this August with a new gig theatre production: One Life Stand, written by Eve Nicol with music by James Frewer and Glaswegian band, Honeyblood.

When we can have sex whenever we want, with whomever we want, why settle for a normal relationship? With the promise of fresh excitement just a swipe away, is Kat’s long-term lover really her lifelong dream?

One Life Stand is a late-night search for intimacy across a city obsessed with sex and screens, where the expectations of lust and the limits of love are ever-changing.

It’s writer Eve Nicol’s first professional commission and the latest production from the company behind All We Ever Wanted Was Everything, which sold out the Roundabout at the Fringe in 2017 and picked up three awards, including The Stage Excellence Award for Marc Graham’s lead performance.

One Life Stand will be performed at the Paines Plough Roundabout at Summerhall (Venue 26) from 1-26 August, except Tuesdays, at 9.45pm.

The production stars Tanya Loretta Dee (Boots, Offside) as Kat, Edward Cole (Ten Storey Love Song) as Kit and Anna Mitchelson (Weekend Rockstars) as Momo, who will all perform original music written by James Frewer and Honeyblood throughout the show.

Eve Nicol is a playwright and director from Glasgow who has worked with the National Theatre of Scotland, Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh and Tron Theatre, Glasgow. She is the artistic director of Heroes Theatre, with whom she’s created theatre for fields, festivals, pools, pubs and stages across Scotland. One Life Stand is her professional debut as a writer.

James Frewer is a composer and musical director who has worked with Middle Child on seven previous productions, including Weekend Rockstars, I Hate Alone and All We Ever Wanted Was Everything and Mercury Fur.

Honeyblood are Glaswegian duo Stina Tweeddale and Cat Myers, whose 2016 album, Babes Never Die, was described by The Skinny magazine as “peppered with catchy choruses and heroic riffs… with sing-along moments galore.”

Tickets are on sale now at tickets.edfringe.com for £14 (£12 concessions).

Cast and Crew

Kat – Tanya Loretta Dee

Kit – Edward Cole

Momo – Anna Mitchelson

Writer – Eve Nicol

Music – James Frewer and Honeyblood

Director – Paul Smith

Designer – Natalie Young

Lighting Design – Jose Tevar

Sound Design – Ed Clarke

Production Manager – Emily Anderton

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Taiwan Season 2018 at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Sun Son Theatre
Sun Son Theatre

Sun Son Theatre

For the fifth year in a row the world’s biggest arts festival features a showcase of dance and theatre direct from Taiwan

In 2018 the Taiwan Season returns to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for a fifth consecutive year with some of the best live performances being made on the island today. Drawn from an open call to practitioners of all art forms in Taiwan, and carefully curated by the key Fringe venues Dance Base and Summerhall, the season spotlights dance and theatre via a quartet of meaningful and uniquely entertaining productions:

*In Once Upon a Daydream (Summerhall, Aug 1-26) a bouncy, colourful but lonely single female blurs the line between real-life and her highly active imagination.

*The Delusion of Home (Summerhall, Aug 1-26) is a strong, original documentary-style depiction of local contemporary life refracted through one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies.

*In Bon 4 Bon (Dance Base, Aug 3-26) four real-life brothers take to the stage in a fresh, literally moving story of memories and mangos.

*Ancient cultural practices receive a dynamic and sensitive new spin in the evocative dance trio Varhung – Heart to Heart (Dance Base, Aug 3-26).

[Please note: no shows on Aug 6, 13 and 20.]

Taiwan Season 2018 warmly invites audiences to experience a range of ideas, emotions and flavours in a hand-picked sampling of some the most stimulating contemporary performances from Taiwan. Whether the tone is playful or dramatic, and based in bubbly fantasy or stark reality, these four shows embrace a gamut of creative impulses, varied settings and complex themes: urban and rural, tradition and modernity, the individual and society, public and private, home and homelessness…

Taiwan Season 2018 is produced and managed collaboratively by Tai He Arts Production Co., Ltd., Taiwan and Step Out Arts, UK and funded by the Ministry of Culture, Taiwan. 

Taiwan Season 2018: four works showcasing the best of Taiwanese creativity.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/taiwanseasonfringe/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/taiwanseason18

 

INDIVIDUAL SHOWS:

Once Upon a Daydream by Sun Son Theatre

Venue 26: Summerhall TechCube 0 / Time: 14.40 (45 mins)

August 1, 2: £5 / August 3-5, 7-12, 14-19, 21-26: £8 (£6)

£25 family ticket

Box office: 0131 560 1581 / Suitable for age 5 and above

Sun Son Theatre, returning to Summerhall after its success in Taiwan Season 2017, welcomes you to enter a light-hearted world of live action and hand-crafted animation.  Originally created by visual artist/actor Wan-Chun Liu, this disarming show is a 21st century urban fairytale where the line between real-life and fantasy is sweetly blurred and dreams can come true. It introduces us to a single woman – buoyant and colourful, but also bored and lonely – who returns home after work every day to a world of the imagination. Hand-drawn film imagery conjures up home as a safe but possibly confining place of salty tears and sugar water, bathroom karaoke and a mermaid alter ego who isn’t at all as ugly as she might sometimes feel. Come and let your own imagination – and spirit – run free.

Director: Chong-Leong Ng

Concept, animator, actress: Wan-Chun Liu

Actress: Hui-Yun Chuang

Actor: Wei-Loy Chang

Composer, musician: Ivan Alberto Flores Moran, Zi-Yin Chen

Founded in 1998, Sun Son Theatre is a unique musical and physical theatre from Taiwan. Imbued with the company members’ expertise in acting, music and dance, its collectively-created performances explore the primal power of the moving body and live sound. Utilising both modern and traditional aesthetics, the work ischaracterised by an organic and unified energy free from racial and cultural boundaries.
https://www.sunsontheatre.com/

 

Heart of Darkness [Summerhall 2017] is a terrific piece of ensemble theatre that even on a second viewing left me wanting more.’ seeingdance.com

 
and….

The Delusion of Home by Our Theatre

Venue 26: Summerhall TechCube 0 / Time: 15.55 (50 mins)

August 1, 2: £5/ August 3-5, 7-12, 14-19, 21-26: £12 (£10)

£38 family ticket

Box office: 0131 560 1581 / Suitable for age 12 and above

 

The Delusion of Home is a strong, sometimes bitingly witty and original documentary-style depiction of everyday life in the Chiayi area of southern Taiwan, refracted through one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies. Oyster farming and Taoist funeral rites are as much of a touchstone as King Lear in Our Theatre’s character-driven study of displacement, poverty, homelessness and the search for meaning and renewal. Live performance and projected photographs of the declining villages of Taiwan’s southern coastline are skilfully integrated to illuminate sometimes harsh human truths.

Original Concept: I-Tseng Chuang and Lan-Chuan Yen
Director: Jhao-Cian Wang

Playwright: Cheng-Ping Hsu

Music design / musician: Chun-Yuan Ko

Actors: In-Ta Chen, Pen-Chieh Yu and Cheng-Ping Hsu

Established in 2015, Our Theatre is the first performing arts group for  contemporary theatre to be officially established in the greater Chiayi area. In choosing Chiayi as a base, it intentionally distances itself from metropolitan areas. Focusing on folk culture and common people, the troupe is devoted to developing productions from a southern point of view. Our Theatre has produced approximately twenty works in different styles. It began by adapting   Western classics in ways that fit local moods, and usually with a humorous touch. In recent years, however, it has been experimenting with a new generation of Taiwanese-language works in the Minnan dialect. By doing so it strives to set a new direction for the development of art and culture in Chiayi. At the same time, it is constantly aware of the question of how theatre can connect with people and society.http://ourtheatre.net/

‘Rich in experimental flavour and brimming with local colour.’ Taiwan Panorama

and…

 

Bon 4 Bon by Chang Dance Theatre and Eyal Dadon

Venue 22: Dance Base / Time: 17.00 (35 mins)

August 3-5: £11 (£9) / August 7-12, 14-19, 21-26: £13 (£11)

Box office: 0131 225 5525 / Suitable for age 8 and above

 

Collaborating with the prize-winning Israeli choreographer Eyal Dadon, four real-life brothers take to the stage in a literally moving story of memories and mangos. The result is a smart serving of fresh, engaging dance by a sparky young Taiwanese company that’s plainly ready to take on the world. Founded in 2011, Chang Dance Theatre produces only one work per year. Premiered in 2017, Bon 4 Bon is the first in which the siblings perform together using material that arose directly from improvisations centred round their individual experiences of being related. Featuring a soundtrack that includes tracks by Paul McCartney and Bon Iver, this is a touching and humorous look at the slippery rhythms and habitual behaviours of family.

 

Choreographer: Eyal Dadon

Company manager / performer: Chien-Hao Chang

Artistic director / performer: Chien-Chih Chang

Resident artists / performers: Chien-Kuei Chang and Ho-Chien Chang

Chang Dance Theatre was founded in 2011 by four brothers, all graduates from the dance department of Taipei National University of the Arts. The company combines the coherence and cohesion that comes from being siblings with the collaborative assistance and insights of creative partners from different disciplines.www.facebook.com/ChangDanceTheater

‘Dancing bodies able to execute precise movement and deliver poetic imagery.’ Reg’Arts.org
 
and…

                                     

Varhung – Heart to Heart by Tjimur Dance Theatre

Venue 22: Dance Base / Time: 18.15 (50 mins)

August 3-5: £11 (£9) / August 7-12, 14-19, 21-26: £13 (£11)

Box office: 0131 225 5525 / Suitable for age 8 and above

 

Taiwan’s premier indigenous dance-theatre company presents a richly-patterned, open-hearted performance in which private feelings are always on the verge of being made public. Both physically and emotionally charged,Tjimur’s work embraces a bounty of intoxicating, artfully expressed sensations. Working in close collaboration with the company’s founding artistic director Ljuzem Madiljin, in-house choreographer (and sibling) Baru Madiljin and three dynamic dancers bring ancient Paiwan cultural traditions up to date. They know that every human heart holds profound secrets. Their appealing, fine-tuned awareness lends the unique personal and tribal impulses of Varhung – Heart to Heart a distinctly universal resonance.

 

Artistic director: Ljuzem Madiljin

Choreographer: Baru Madiljin

Dancers: Ching-Hao Yang, Ljaucu Tapurakac and Tzu-En Meng

Founded in 2006, Tjimur Dance Theatre is the first contemporary dance company dedicated to the indigenous Paiwan culture of Taiwan. Through its explorations of this living cultural heritage, Tjimur has created a unique style of dance that represents the modern body aesthetics of contemporary Paiwan people. The company also works with different performing artists and groups from Taiwan and abroad, collaborations which help to develop original dance forms and innovative production models that link Paiwan culture to the world.

https://www.tjimur.com

‘Deeply touching…The passion is palpable.’ The Scotsman on Kurakuraw – Dance of the Glass Bead

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America’s largest circus makes its European premiere at Underbelly’s Circus Hub this Fringe

  • Largest American circus in the world makes European debut at Edinburgh Festival Fringe
  • UniverSoul captures the energy of urban communities through an unparalleled interactive mix of hip hop, theatrics and outstanding circus arts
  • Colossal cast includes the finest and freshest circus artists from across the world including the US, Africa and Cuba

“The Coolest Show on Earth” Newsweek Magazine

“Show Stopping Spectacle” People Magazine

“Cirque du Soul” The Atlanta Journal Constitution

Having electrified US audiences for 25 years, America’s largest circus makes it’s European premiere at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. UniverSoul: Hip-Hop Under the Big Top, combines edge-of-your-seat performances, stunning spectacle, hilarious audience participation and a soundtrack that will blow the roof off the big top tent!

UniverSoul Circus will open at The Underbelly Circus Hub this August boasting some of the most phenomenal acts ever to grace center ring! Leading the charge will be Ringmaster Lucky Malatsi of South Africa, a multitalented entertainer who brings his unbridled energy to every performance. Joining Lucky will be US internet hip hop dance sensation Fresh the Clowns, fiery limbo spectacular from Trinidad and Tobago Caribbean Dynasty and The Willie Family, a six member troupe from Colombia to astound audiences with a never-before seen hire-wire act, to name but a few from a huge cast from the world’s finest circus acts.

UniverSoul Circus is more than a circus… it’s a one of a kind, unparalleled interactive mix of music, theatrics, and circus arts that takes you on a journey of unlimited possibilities. Unmatched on the world stage, UniverSoul Circus will push you into a world of urban prisms with its non-stop, high-octane Big Top production and unique style of entertainment for all the family.

The show was created by top US concert promoter Cedric Walker, who 25 years ago had a dream to produce a live entertainment family show that celebrated urban African American communities. Walker sought to recreate the wild energy he witnessed when working with the likes of The Commodors, Jackson Five and Run DMC in a new show which authentically captured urban culture, broke down the traditional barriers between audiences and performers and was suitable for families to enjoy together. Fast-forward 25 years and Walker’s vision, UniverSoul Circus, has entertained over 20 million people and is now firmly established as beloved and highly anticipated tradition in cities across the United States, featuring performers from across the world. Cedric Walker was recently inducted into the Circus Ring of Fame and continues to innovate and push the boundaries of circus performance, traveling the world to search out the freshest new talent to join the UniverSoul family.

UniverSoul Circus: Hip Hop under the Big Top is circus for a new generation and will set the stage a blaze this August at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe!

LISTINGS INFORMATION

Underbelly and UniverSoul Circus present

Universoul Circus: Hip Hop Under the Big Top

Venue: The Lafayette, The Underbelly Circus Hub, Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2018

Dates: Sat 4th August – Sat 25th August, 5pm

Prices:

Aug 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 7, 18, 19, 24, 25 £22.30 (£21.30)

Aug 8, 9, 13, 14, 15, 16, 20, 21, 22, 23

 

First review date: 7th August

Running time: 60 mins

Tickets available at www.underbellyedinburgh.co.uk

 

CAST INFORMATION

More acts will be announced in due course.

Ringmaster, Lucky Malatsi

South Africa

The UniverSoul Circus Ringmaster Lucky Malatsi, was born in Pretoria and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. Lucky has been performing in front of an audience since the age of four when he was trained by his Uncle Prince, an accomplished performer and acrobat. At the tender age of six, Lucky made his first international trip to perform as an acrobat for festivals in Germany. In 1999, while performing in South Africa, Lucky caught the attention of UniverSoul Circus Founder and President Cedric Walker who regularly travels the world looking for new talent. By 2000, at the age of 10, he was performing a duo contortionist act with fellow South African, Lunga. After 14 years with UniverSoul, Lucky brings new meaning to the term, multi-talented. He has been an acrobatic hip hop dancer, gymnast, trapeze artist, teeterboard, trampoline and acro-dunking with basketballs. But he admits his toughest act, with the greatest rewards, has been as Ringmaster. “It’s very exciting and challenging to be the Ringmaster,” he admits. “But it’s also hard work. I love everything I do for UniverSoul Circus. My family and I are truly blessed.”

 

Caribbean Dynasty

Caribbean Dance, Limbo and Stilts

Trinidad and Tobago

The exotic paradise of the Caribbean comes to life as dancers in vibrant and colorful costumes swing to the rhythms of the islands. Marvel at the agility of the dancers as they proudly perform the national dance of the Caribbean.  When the limbo bar goes to six inches from the floor – in a blaze of fire, it’s a spectacle to behold. Join in and clap your hands and dance as the energy, the beat and the pageantry of the Caribbean engulf the big top. The Caribbean dance team, in all its glory, is a perennial favorite at UniverSoul.

 

The Willie Family

Hire Wire

Colombia

This six-person troupe is from Colombia, South America skillfully maintains balance while walking along a thin wire. And they perform these unbelievable acrobatic tricks an amazing 18 feet high. Training for this type of act requires much discipline and dedication. This incredible group spent more than a year perfecting their new act for its UniverSoul Circus debut. When asked what makes the UniverSoul Circus experience different from others, group member Dixie Meza responded emphatically: “Everything. The music, dancing, singing, just everything. The audience members are just as exciting as the performers. They are the performers!”

 

Duo Amour

Perch Pole Act

Cuba

Making UniverSoul Circus their circus debut in 2018, Duo Amour is a truly unique aerial performance on the Perch Pole that is simply breathtaking. Getting their start only three years ago, the couple has trained extremely hard to perfect a beautiful love story told through fluid twists, bends, and turns. When asked what advice they would give to young performers, they stated: “You have to be willing to sacrifice a lot and be dedicated to your craft. The life of a performer is very challenging but super rewarding.”

 

Fresh the Clownsss

USA

What started as a favor for a friend’s birthday party, turned into something larger than life. Hailing from Detroit, MI, Fresh the Clownsss bring a whole new meaning to the word clown! Forget the big red nose, big red shoes, and crazy ties . . . Fresh the Clownsss are always “swagged out” in the latest fashions and colorful hairstyles. The four members consider themselves unlike any clown brigade on the circuit today. The trio scouts the crowd daily for the best young dancers under the UniverSoul big top. Becoming an internet sensation in 2017 with their “Juju on the Beat” dance, our Clowns are taking it all in with a fresh perspective. Ira Smith, the group’s leader, was excited about their growing success: “We never thought that we would have so many fans. Traveling to different cities and touching kids all over the thru dance is the greatest feeling in the world.” When asked about his advice for young people he stated “Get an education and always believe in yourself no matter what.”

 

Bone Breakers

Guinea

The bone breakers consist of four young men from Conakry, Guinea in West Africa. These guys are gifted with the ability to bend, twist, and distort their bodies in extreme ways. To maintain their flexibility, they often practice yoga. You can catch them doing the downward dog or a simple handstand in preparation for a show.

 

Teeterboard Act

Gabon, Guinea, Ethiopia & South Africa

They’re our African Dream Team – one of the most thrilling troupes one will ever witness from the entire African continent. UniverSoul Circus has brought these acrobats from Gabon, Guinea, Ethiopia, and South Africa together in a single ring. This high-powered group performs a rousing collection of daredevil stunts utilizing a teeterboard and the human body as a prop. Without teamwork, this Dream Team couldn’t possibly work. Its perfection in motion.

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‘Big in Belgium’ returns to the Edinburgh Fringe

European Citizen Popsong - Bart Grietens
European Citizen Popsong - Bart Grietens

European Citizen Popsong – Bart Grietens

Following the huge success of the five previous seasons at Summerhall including productions such as the award-winning Us/ThemOne Hundred Homes and The Great Downhill Journey of Little Tommy which have since toured internationally and £¥€$ (LIES) which opens at the Almeida Theatre, London on 1 August, Big in Belgium, Richard Jordan Productions, Theatre Royal Plymouth and Summerhall in association with RBC/Upper Church, return to present a sixth BIG IN BELGIUM season at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.  Featuring some of the most significant theatre companies from the Flemish part of Belgium, each has previously been celebrated on the European mainland and are now presented for the first time to Edinburgh audiences, some translated and adapted, ready for breaking new grounds in English-speaking territories.

Vooruit, Arenbergschouwburg, Big in Belgium, Richard Jordan Productions and Theatre Royal Plymouth in association with Summerhall present

ANOTHER ONE –  Lobke Leirens and Maxim Storms

‘If you break my heart, I’ll break yours too.’

Two fictional mortals explore the sufferings of silence. Peacefully. Together they survive time. They defend their threatening depths, slowly squeezing into their world. This is how Another One becomes a sequence of tolerating and being tolerated. A nearly wordless creation by an inventive theatre couple which has previously toured in Belgium and the Netherlands

Lobke Leirens and Maxim Storms are both graduated from the School of Arts / KASK Ghent. In 2014, during TAZ (Theater Aan Zee), they presented their first collaboration; Krocht – a bizarre visual journey in which the spectator, while sitting on a chair, was wheeled through a macabre maze full of mealworms and half-people.

 ‘An intriguing well-performed chronicle about wanting to survive love when love hurts more than it brings comfort. ****’ (FocusKnack)

made and performed by: Lobke Leirens & Maxim Storms

Pidgeon by Diede Roosens & Carine De Swerts

Tipi by Wiebe Moerman

support/advice: Drift

 Big in Belgium, Richard Jordan Productions, Theatre Royal Plymouth in association with RBC present

DE FUUT – Bastiaan Vandendriessche

Winner of the Best International Performance Award at the Fringe Festival, Amsterdam.

Bastiaan Vandendriessche’s new play invites the audience to celebrate his sexuality towards two young girls of whom he was a leader in the Sea Scouts in Ghent, 6 years ago. ‘The thing I love about Lolita is that you’re just completely consumed and engrossed by the ardent passion of a man, who is forever doomed to crave something sinister, something twisted.’  Using theatre as an excuse to be truly honest about his feelings in these times of moral ambiguity, and as a good test if you believe that admiration is endless.

After his master International Political Sciences at the University of Ghent, Bastiaan decided that the world was too beautiful and cruel to stay stuck in reality so he went to study drama at the Conservatory of Antwerp. As an actor/performer, he has performed/performs with many companies including Ontroerend GoedOrkater and Jotka Bauwens. One of Belgium’s most exciting new young writers his next currently play, A white man’s burden, supported by Theatre Rotterdam and Theatre Zuidpool,will première in October 2018.

Recommended for those aged 16+

Vandendriessche shows himself as a gifted playwright and performer’ (Theaterkrant)

This play, with a strong text and a manipulative performer, deceives the audience to perfection’ (Focus Knack)

Marieke Dermul, DeBrakkeGrond, Big in Belgium, Richard Jordan and Theatre Royal Plymouth in association with Summerhall present

EUROPEAN CITIZEN POPSONG – Marieke Dermul

 In European Citizen Popsong, the audience takes a musical trip through Europe. Last year, theatre maker Marieke Dermul researched if such a thing as a European identity or a common European sense exists. The power of music has erased boundaries before, but can it make us feel connected as citizens, even after the Brexit? With this question in mind, she started a journey through Europe.

By collecting opinions and musical input by citizens from all over Europe, the pop song for unity arose. With lyrics as a collection of fears and doubts. With music as a symbol of hope.

Marieke Dermul studied at the Amsterdam University of the Arts, where she developed herself as a theatre maker and a multidisciplinary performer. She has worked in various theatre houses in Belgium and Holland (MAAS Theater and Dance, the Noord Nederlands Toneel theatre company, fABULEUS, HetPaleis). In Rite of Spring, she was internationally seen at the Assitej Festival in Cape Town, Schöne Aussicht in Stuttgart, Blickfelder festival in Zürich, and Schäxpir Theatre Festival in Linz.

Her theatre work is about ‘the politics of the personal’ – whether big political themes can be made personal in an interactive way. She dares to ‘not know’, always looking for an intimate and open conversation.

Music always plays a crucial role in her work, mixing pop music with documentary material to tell her story. She is inspired by the concept of ART-IVISM – whether art can be meaningful in society, by asking the questions which aren’t often asked. In her practice, humour and vulnerability go hand in hand.

 Compagnie Cornelius, Big in Belgium, Richard Jordan Productions and Theatre Royal Plymouth in association with RBC present

NELE NEEDS A HOLIDAY: THE MUSICAL – Nele Van den Broeck

Nele Needs A Holiday is the stage name of Nele Van den Broeck, Belgian musician and theatre practitioner living in London.  Nele studied Drama at The Royal Conservatory of Ghent and Music Production at The London Centre Of Contemporary Music and has performed with renowned Belgian companies including the Royal Flemish Theatre, Kaaitheater and Kopergietery.  Nele has worked a television host for VRT, the Belgian public-service broadcaster, and had her own Radio Show, Nele in Radioland, on Belgian Radio 1. She writes a biweekly column for Belgian national newspaper De Standaard, in which she reports about her life in London. Last year, she wrote and directed How to Fail At Being Perfect: The Musical at Lyric Hammersmith, which will shortly begin its second run.

Nele writes songs about the tragedies of daily life: career paths without future, bands who threw her out, impossible love stories: She scratches where it itches. She turns her desires, problems and neuroses into up-tempo melodies with cheerful backing vocals. She aims at your heart, but hits you in the kidneys.

At Nele’s side stands her all female band, who deliver a whole lot of shalala and an instant-holiday feeling. Their music could be described as mean folk, friendly lo-fi, acoustic punk or new objectivity. Nele is inspired by anti-folk heroes like Jeffrey Lewis, Daniel Johnston and The Moldy Peaches, but also by sixties girl bands like The Ronettes, The Chrystals and The Shangri-Las. Further inspirations are a desire for revenge, the occasional hangover, a wide variety of personal issues, a complete lack of self-confidence and that feeling you don’t want to wake up.

Under the stage name Nele Needs A Holiday, she has been writing music and playing live concerts for over ten years. She won the prestigious Theater Aan Zee Award for music and has brought out two critically-acclaimed full albums, It’s My Party and Love Yeah.

In 2014, Nele had an existential crisis, decided to leave her home country, and moved to London following a dream of becoming an international popstar. That might not have worked out exactly as planned – yet – but it sure left Nele with a lot of material for a very amusing musical.

 A Belgian popstar moves to London to steal the job of British popstars. Luckily, austerity is there to stop her.

A witty pop-opera about a girl called Nele who turns her life into a big international mess because she wants to be famous on the other side of the English Channel. It’s a rags-to-more rags story showing the magnificent relief of grandiose failures in love, life, and a so-called career.

Expect theatrical show-tunes and profound torch-songs with an overriding eyebrow raised at the absurdity of life, brought by an all-female band meticulously trained to sing with their tongues in their cheeks.

‘The wittiest songs in years ****’ (De Standaard)

The Belgian Lena Dunham ****’ (Het Nieuwsblad)

 SKaGeN/KVS, Big in Belgium, Richard Jordan Productions and Theatre Royal Plymouth in association with Summerhall present

UNSUNG – Valentijn Dhaenens 

Valentijn Dhaenens returns to Edinburgh following sell-out performances of BigMouth and SMallWaR at the Edinburgh Fringe and throughout the world.

The creators of BigMouth return with a thrilling and timely new show. Delving deeply into the politician’s life, exposing those juicy backstage scenes we all look for and asking why anyone seeks recognition in a job that is known to be the most unpopular ever. Valentijn Dhaenens’ performance unravels the DNA of the politician – including attendant nastiness – creating a personage that mesmerises and repulses. While the world’s asleep, follow this political animal as he pulls into yet another hotel, peels off yet another white shirt, peps himself up for yet another speech. Today, we give you the all-time politician: the power junkie, rogue, strategist, but also the husband, father, and in the end, the very lonely human.

LISTINGS INFORMATION

Venue:                                                 Summerhall, Summerhall Place, EH9 1PL

Another One                                                      4 – 26 August, (previews 1 – 3 August)

10:00-10:55 Main Hall (not 6, 11, 12, 13, 20 August)

Ticket prices – £10 (£8 concessions)

De Fuut                                                                8 – 26 August

8 – 12 August at 15.00

14 -19, 21-26 August at 19.45

Upper Church (not 6, 11, 12, 13, 20 August)

Ticket prices – £10 (£8 concessions)

European Citizen Pop Song                           4 – 26 August, (previews 1 & 3 August)

18:00 – 19:00 Red Lecture (not 2, 6, 13, 20 August)

Ticket prices – £10 (£8 concessions)

Nele Needs a Holiday : The Musical          4 – 26 August, (previews 1 & 3 August)

22:15 – 23:10 Upper Church (not 2, 6, 13, 20 August)

Ticket prices – £10 (£8 concessions)

Unsung                                                                4 – 26 August, (previews 1, 2, 3 August)

12:00-13:15 Main Hall (not 6, 13, 20 August)

Ticket prices – £12 (£10 concessions)

Box Office:                                                         0845 874 3001

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The story of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours comes to Edinburgh with a touch of magic

Creating Rumours:
 Creating Rumours:


Creating Rumours:

Creating Rumours by Emma Summerton charts the members of Fleetwood Mac at their most turbulent and most brilliant. As the band compose ‘the perfect album’, the imperfections of their own relationships start seeping through, and music history is made.

‘Engaging, intimate and thoughtful’. 8/10  – Impact Nottingham

Strangers: Pairs by multi-award winning magician Joe Strickland combines theatre and magic like you’ve never seen before. Three stories – a pair of lone survivors on a desert island, a brother and sister sifting through memories, two magicians preparing an act – appear to have no connection, but, of course, everything is not as it seems… This anthology piece is a play with an undercurrent of magic and mystery. Strickland Productions is dedicated to the reinvention of magic shows, incorporating tricks into dramatic narratives.

‘Fresh, imaginative, and thought provoking’ – The Scotsman

‘First and foremost, Strangers stands out as a well-delivered piece of conventional theatre… but it’s still triumphant proof of the creative potential of magic and theatre combined’ **** – FringeGuru

Strangers: Mindreader by Joe Strickland presents a magic show disguised as a monologue. Let us introduce you to a man who can do the impossible. Are his bizarre abilities genuine? Or is the truth stranger than fiction? After two successful previous years, Strangers returns to the Edinburgh Festival with a character who can read minds and tell the future; uniquely blending magic and theatre.

‘This theatrical magic show is ‘super [and] subversive’ – The Scotsman

‘Executed to perfection… Strickland is an excellent actor’ **** – FringeGuru

Listings Information

Ticketing website: www.tickets.edfringe.com

Box office: 0131 557 2124

 

Creating Rumours:

Greenside @ Nicolson Square (Venue 209)

3rd, 6th-11th August

4:10pm

Tickets: £10, £8 (conc)

 

Strangers: Pairs

Greenside @ Nicolson Square (Venue 209)

4th, 13th, 15th, 17th, 20th, 22nd, 24th August

4:10pm

Tickets: £10, £8 (conc)

 

Strangers: Mindreader

Greenside @ Nicolson Square (Venue 209)

5th, 14th, 16th, 18th, 21st, 23rd, 25th August

4:10pm

Tickets: £10, £8 (conc)

 

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“Chemo Barbie” Edinburgh Fringe 2018!

Chemo Barbie
Chemo Barbie

Chemo Barbie

Heather Keller shares the remarkable, heartbreaking and even comical story of her journey through breast cancer in an award-winning solo show with new material! 
 
LOS ANGELES  In 2016, Heather Kellers world was rocked by a breast cancer diagnosis. Overnight, she went from being a healthy, vegan runner to a cancer patient and since then her life has been and continues to be an inspiring journey of growth filled with love, friendships, disappointments, betrayals and yes, even some humor. 
 
Keller shares this experience in her solo show Chemo Barbie: My Lady Bits Journey Through Breast Cancer, which made its world premiere last June as part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival. 
 
Chemo Barbie is an inspiring story told with painful honesty, comedic charm and tear-jerking dignity that takes you into the mind of a cancer patient from diagnosis to treatment. Keller shows what a patient goes through from doctor meetings, testing, treatments and peoples reactions around them. It shows the strength and support that develops with some friends and family while others shy away or leave altogether. Crafted from Heathers hand written journals, videos, texts, emails, storytelling and an online chronicling of her experience, Chemo Barbie is a show spoken and performed from the heart that tells the gritty, funny, heartbreaking and uplifting journey of a young woman conquering cancer while living life as normal as possible. 
 
When I was diagnosed, I had insane decisions to make, difficult things to choose, Keller said. I survived and I’m trying to do something positive from a negative. 
 
Since its debut, which earned a Fringe Encore Award, Keller has added some new material, including a section on her most recent scare with possible metastatic breast cancer and serving as foster parents with her husband. Offering perspective and inspiring others is ultimately Kellers goal with the show. The idea for a solo show came from the journals she kept during her treatment and a private online journal she shared with family and friends. Keller also recorded video of certain key moments in the process and posted it on the YouTube channel Keep Abreast with Heather.”  
 
A sketch writer for Upright Citizens Brigade and the Groundlings as well as an accomplished actress, Keller later performed a couple monologues from her experience at WeSpark Cancer Support Centre, as well as other places. Soon, others were asking to hear more of her experience. Working with her director Jessica Lynn Johnson, Keller started to experience a catharsis in putting a show together based on her experience and a joy in the knowledge that it could help others. 
 
I’m so proud and excited to have been invited to Edinburgh and into the largest arts festival in the World. Keller said. It’s because of so much love and support from family and friends that Chemo Barbie has been so wonderfully successful! I love being around positive, supportive, productive, talented folks. 
 
Chemo Barbie 
Written and performed by Heather Keller 
Directed by: Jessica Lynn Johnson 
 
SYNOPSIS: 
Chemo Barbie is an inspiring story told with painful honesty, comedic charm and tear-jerking dignity that takes you into the mind of a cancer patient from diagnosis to treatment. Artist Heather Keller shows what a patient goes through from doctor meetings, testing, treatments and peoples reactions around them. It shows the strength and support that develops with some friends and family while others shy away or leave altogether. Crafted from Heathers hand written journals, videos, texts, emails, storytelling and an online chronicling of her experience, Chemo Barbie is a show spoken and performed from the heart that tells the gritty, funny, heartbreaking and uplifting journey of a young woman conquering cancer while living life as normal as possible. 
 
THE GILDED BALLOON : BALCONY
Teviot Square
1-27 ( not 19) August 2018 at 1.30pm
Twitter  @ChemoBarbieShow
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Don’t Panic! It’s Challenge Anneka by Sophie Winter to run as part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival

Don’t Panic! It’s Challenge Anneka
Don’t Panic! It’s Challenge Anneka

Don’t Panic! It’s Challenge Anneka

Devised and performed by Sophie Winter

‘**** The Scotsman Top Rated Show Edinburgh Fringe 2016

**** ‘It’s truthful, it’s moving and, like Anneka, it never loses its resilient, funny and upbeat perspective….A delight’  Broadway Baby

**** ‘I implore you to go and see it. It will open your eyes.’ Arts Award Voice

**** ‘a real joy to experience.’ Edinburgh 49

The show runs as part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival; it will also be performed at The Bunker, London from 29th May – 9th June 19:00 (excl. Mondays; Matinee on Saturday and Sundays at 15:00)

Inspired by real-life stories, deviser and performer Sophie Winter dons a luminescent shell suit, bum bag and sparkly positive attitude to channel the spirit of the woman for whom no challenge is too big in a continuing effort to overcome her own challenge: the anxiety she has lived with for fifteen years. This one-woman show, made with input from Anneka Rice, the creator and star of the hit 90s TV series Challenge Anneka, presents a frank, funny and open exploration of a topic that often remains taboo. Theatre company on the button have been working with Anxiety UK and #itaffectsme to raise awareness about the mental health disorder that affects 1 in 6 people every year.

As well as using her own experiences, Sophie has drawn inspiration from interviews with other people with anxiety.

Challenge Anneka was a BBC series aired between 1989 and 1995 that saw presenter Anneka Rice travelling around the country in a signature blue truck completing charitable tasks, such as building a children’s play area, within a set number of days, persuading people to donate time and resources for free to succeed.

After a full run at Summerhall during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2016, on the button toured the show to secondary schools, running workshops exploring mental health for students in Year 8 and above.

Sophie said, “Anxiety affects me in different ways, but in particular taking public transport can be a nightmare; it can lead to epic, exhausting treks that then add to my anxiety. I’ve had anxiety for the past 15 years, which still seems like quite a big thing to say. It’s amazing how many people I’ve spoken to have said ‘Wow! I had no idea!’ And I guess that’s the point about making the show: partly to encourage people to talk more about their anxiety and partly to help people understand it better. I wanted to make sure that the show was fun and accessible for everyone, and I suddenly thought of Challenge Anneka; I absolutely loved the programme when I was a kid, and I thought that Anneka was incredible at staying calm in situations that were super stressful. So as well as making the show more fun, channelling Anneka makes it easier to talk about my anxiety.”

on the button make theatre that moves. They are drawn to stories that go unheard: people who are ignored, voices of dissent, perspectives which are new to them. Their show No Place Like appeared at ZOO at the Fringe and won Best Ensemble at The Mimetic Festival 2013, and The Overcoat was nominated for best new play at the Buxton Fringe in 2012.

Performer-deviser Sophie Winter is a London based theatre maker and musician who graduated from the Ecole Jacques Lecoq in 2011. Her credits include working with Red Handed Theatre Company, Upstart Theatre, Ice and Fire Theatre Company and Forest Forge Theatre. As a director she has worked with Longborough Festival Opera and Yellow Earth Theatre. Sophie also works closely with Some Voices, an 800 strong choir, who she conducts and sings with professionally.

Director-deviser Ben Hadley is a theatre-maker – director, performer, writer – and co-artistic director of on the button with Sophie. He trained at the Lecoq School. He recently worked as a performer for Potential Difference and Concert Theatre. His recent work includes movement direction and dramaturgy for experimental choir Musarc, and as well as solo projects Camberwell Palace and iou1.

on the button have been working with #itaffectsme, an initiative to raise awareness and reduce the stigma of mental health which has reached 3.5 million people worldwide. As well as using her own experiences, deviser and performer Sophie Winter has drawn inspiration from interviews with other people with anxiety.

For more information on #itaffectsme, visit www.itaffectsme.co.uk

‎@on_thebutton | onthebuttontheatre.org

Running Time: 60 minutes | Suitable for ages 12+

Company Information

Devised and performed by Sophie Winter

Directed and co-devised by Ben Hadley

Lighting design by Jamie Platt

Sound design by Jon McLeod

Film- maker Matt Stacey

Developed with researchers from University College London