Review: Jackie Kay – National Treasures, EIBF 2019

While I dislike the expression ‘National Treasure’ I think it probably applies to Jackie Kay. As Scottish Makar, she is officially honoured – at least, if you treasure poetry. In keeping with this year’s Book Festival theme – ‘We Need New Stories’ – Jackie Kay’s story is very much out there, with her 2010 memoir, Red Dust Road, having been adapted for the stage and currently showing at The Lyceum as part of the International Festival.

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Review: Richard Holloway – Stories We Told Ourselves, EIBF 2019

To hear Nick Barley, Director of Edinburgh International Book Festival, talking at the Programme Launch back in July you’d think he was on some kind of mission to save the world – with books. Cut to August, and James Runcie introduces a keynote speaker by saying that a book festival has a ‘moral purpose; a conscience.’ Cue Richard Holloway, who gives a speech that verges on evangelical – not a word usually associated with the former Bishop of Edinburgh.

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Review: Drawn and Quartered, Fringe 2019

The plan to re-paint a room after a break-up is no bad idea, and one that I’ve executed in fiction and real life. But asking the ‘ex’ in question to do the decorating is something I probably wouldn’t have considered… even less-so after seeing Drawn and Quartered. The play opens with Ana (Elise Arnold) arriving at her re-decorated flat with an incredulous expression that says, ‘what the f**k.’

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Review: A Letter To Alice, Fringe 2019

Despite the name of the piece, and the claim on the flyer that this was an ‘award-winning youth company,’ I wasn’t expecting this production to be the work of such a young cast. With themes of anxiety and depression, seen through the ‘mental’ (in both senses) world of Alice, I figured this piece would require a degree of maturity well-beyond the dancers’ years.

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