Countdown to EIF 2015

It’s August.  It’s Edinburgh.  It’s Festival time.

On the eve of this, the 69th Edinburgh International Festival, the city’s six major theatres and concert halls – not to mention myriad smaller venues – are ready to showcase some of the best national and international music, theatre, opera and dance. 

The Festival goes head to head with the Fringe – and some might say it’s at risk of being hidden underneath it.  This year, new Festival Director, Fergus Linehan (pictured), may be set to tackle this.  Back when his appointment was first made public, Linehan probably spoke for many when he said: ‘Everyone who falls in love with Edinburgh probably has opinions – you could do this with it, or that with it. And with the international festival, I’ve always loved it. But I’ve always thought there’s stuff to be done, there are possibilities there.’

Love it or loathe it, live in the Lothians and it’s hard not to be part of it.  At Lothian Life, we’re embracing that full-on, with two of our most experienced arts critics, Christine Richard and Ros Mackenzie, taking up the challenge to review their selections of the 2015 performances.

Christine Richard 4

Christine Richard OBE FRSA, writer, artist and business-woman, is most well-known (here) as a regular Gallery visitor and our reviewer of Art Exhibitions, but her interest and expertise crosses the arts. For 6 years Christine served as a non-executive Director of the Edinburgh International Festival, and she is shortly to conclude 10 years as a director of The Friends of the Royal Scottish Academy. Christine was also part of the original incarnation of Lothian Life…

Ros Mackenzie is the stalwart of Lothian Life’s theatre reviews, and – in keeping with Fergus Linehan’s words – she already has an opinion that can only be done justice in her own words!

Ros‘Cheers! Here’s to yet another cultural beano! I have been around as long as the Festival so have grown up and old along with it over the years. I’ve seen so many Festivals come and go, each marked with the stamp of different directors. Some events have been worthy, some frankly boring, but  each has been a challenge to our ideas and expectations. The Fringe has gone from a timid experimental testing ground for students to a bloated world class monster that is threatening to suffocate in its own success. It’s time the Comedy section was hived off in a class of its own. It’s time professional performers stopped hogging the best venues, and first time experimental newcomers had more of a platform in this sector.’

In a few weeks time, I’ll be asking Christine and Ros to sum up EIF 2015 so watch this space… Meantime, I can guarantee their reviews will make you think!

Forthcoming Reviews: Antigone; The Last Hotel; Justified Sinner; HMS Pinafore Royal; Buchbinder Concert 9; Lanark; En Avant Marche; Murmel Murmel; Ballet Zurich.  These will be posted as they happen – go to the heading ‘Arts’ and scroll down to ‘Show Reviews’.

The 2015 Edinburgh International Festival runs from 7-31 August.

The Edinburgh International Festival is supported by the City of Edinburgh Council and Creative Scotland. Scottish Charity Number SC004694.


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