Edinburgh Festival

Edinburgh Festival 2015: Roughs (for Radio) by Monkfish Theate

Best thing I’ve seen at the Fringe so far. Possibly Becket experts don’t rate these two radio plays so highly (or pretend not). But I don’t care. Beckett is too much controlled by the academics.

As to the show… You are unnerved and disorientated right from the start. And you just get unnerved further until the performances begin. I thought the acting was some of the best Becket I’ve heard. (The second play easily matched the performance I heard once on BBC Radio Three (including Pinter playing one of the parts, I think). The acting did not sensationalise Beckett, but wasn’t afraid to fully explore the emotion and the humour. Really outstanding production.

Because the audience couldn’t see the actors were also able to take advantage of moving around the room, so the action sometimes drifted behind you or directly in font of you.

The List didn’t give the production a good a good review, saying the production added nothing to the text. I’d say the man was blind is if wasn’t for the fact he’d have been blindfolded.

Easily worth 4 to 5 stars.


Edinburgh Festivals: Sylvie Guillem — Life In Dance

I can’t stay I was to knocked over by this. Perhaps four pieces, that were quite demanding on the audience (not to mention the dancers!) was a bit to much for me. But it was clear this was world class dancing. What struck me was how self effacing Guillem was: it really was not about her. It was about the dance. Even the final section (‘Bye’ chor. Mats Ek) – which was very moving and delightful – which could be read as extremely autobiographical, could supply to any dancer. It just happened to be Guillem who was dancing it.
The music for ‘Bye’ was Beethoven’s Piano Sonata in C minor, Op 111. Extraordinary peice of music – dazzlingly modern, almost jazz age.


Photo: The Independent

Thoughts on Dance

This article is a little out of context here (Gareth Vile, editor of The Shimmy had asked his writers to challenge each other on theoretical approaches to dance) and the argument was developed so I could fit in stuff from the 2010 Edinburgh Festival. BUT I still think there’s something in this approach. In my rush at the time I didn’t check the Wittgenstein quote properly: “the face is the picture of the human soul” is correct, but he also said “the body is the picture of the human soul” which fits ever better.