Features

Stacy Lynn Gould: I have been working on this show continually for about 18 months

What if you could meet your inner demons? Delve into the cobwebs of their heroine’s mind and watch her inner demons fight for control of the light. A new magical realism drama integrating original award-winning music is the new show from Bo Productions. I Am is running for the month of August at Greenside Venues, therefore The Fountain caught up with director, playwright, and executive producer, Stacy Lynn Gould.

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Notflix: Five years ago there were very few all female improvisation shows

The “Spice Girls of improv” return for a fourth triumphant year in their five-star, sell-out, totally improvised musical comedy Notflix. Inspired by audience suggestions, the all-female cast improvise the musical version of your favourite films, creating movies with 100% more singing, 99% more women and a full live band. Notflix: Originals is in Edinburgh at the Gilded Balloon Teviot for the month of August, so The Fountain spoke with the cast about what to expect from the show.

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Sam Chittenden: Metamorphosis is a dark reworking of Franz Kafka’s classic from a female perspective

‘One morning as Greta Samsa was waking from anxious dreams she discovered that in bed she had changed.’ A female take on Kafka’s Metamorphosis, this one-woman show explores Greta’s navigation of family dynamics, and her transformation into a woman. Written and directed by Sam Chittenden, she spoke with The Fountain about what compelled her to work on this show.

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Val McDermid: There’s going to be remarkable discussions, we have some very interesting people that are coming to talk to us

She’s one of Scotland’s biggest names in crime writing, with over fifteen million novels sold worldwide. You may also have seen her sing with her band The Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers (she recently performed at Glastonbury), or captain a victorious team on Celebrity University Challenge. With the Edinburgh International Book Festival Val McDermid brings our attention to another interest: the power of home and the scourge of homelessness. In insightful events featuring Ali Smith, Kamila Shamsie, Nayrouz Qarmout and Karine Polwart among others, McDermid explores the meaning of home for migrants and refugees, as well as the crisis facing the homeless in Britain today. Val took some time out of her busy schedule to speak with The Fountain about the strand she curated, Home/Less as well as her own personal highlights the Book Festival has to offer this year.

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Graham Eatough: It’s such a good idea, to create an opportunity for theatre makers to play around with brilliant books

Early 1980s Scotland in Airdrie, a former mining village. This is the setting for David Keenan’s book, This Is Memorial Device, which is to some degree, a hallucinatory love letter to the abandoned youth of this Central Belt hinterland whose lives contained little other than music. In partnership with the Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh and writer-director Graham Eatough, the Book Festival are offering a theatrical response to Keenan’s cult hit, featuring music selected by Stephen McRobbie from Glasgow band The Pastels. Director, Graham Eatough spoke with The Fountain about the show and his desire to work with Stephen McRobbie.

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Marlon Solomon: The show tells the story of my journey through the conspiracy underworld

Best Spoken Word winner, Greater Manchester Fringe 2018. Marlon’s a Jew. This didn’t bother him much until he discovered that some people he knew didn’t believe the Holocaust happened. From 9/11 to shape-shifting lizards and Holocaust denial, this is a darkly comic tale of one man’s journey through the conspiracy underworld. Marlon explores why conspiracy theories are more popular than ever, how fake news gives fresh currency to ancient slander and how this all relates to current issues in the Labour Party. He is in Edinburgh for the Fringe with his show, Conspiracy Theory: A Lizard’s Tale, and spoke with The Fountain about how it all came about, and his plans for the Fringe.

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Gerald Jenkins: I’m forever inspired by their understanding of the metaphysical world

Photographer, Gerald Jenkins, has long identified as an outsider, and his vast oeuvre spanning nearly four decades reflects his natural affiliation with others who sit similarly on the outskirts. He has recently released his new title, It’s After The End Of The World, a collaborative work with The Sun Ra Arkestra, Norman Douglas and Darius James to name a few. Gerald spoke with The Fountain about the book, and what emboldens him with his work.

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Karine Polwart: Migration is one of the great issues of our time, but it has been an issue at every point in human history

Aside from her Scottish Songbook record, which comes out imminently next month, and the Spellsongs collaborative project, Scottish folk-musician and storyteller, Karine Polwart holds a place at the Edinburgh International Book Festival this year. The acclaimed artist is not simply performing alongside Ali Smith and Nayrouz Qarmout, as part of Val McDermid’s Home/Less event on migration, but she will be seen scattered at a few including Richard King’s Unbound event on the topic of music and the environment. Supremely busy, she took a moment to speak with The Fountain about her involvement with the Book Festival and how she perceives its serenity in the midst of Edinburgh’s Fringe madness.

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Sam Chittenden: It’s based on the 19th century Sussex tale of Ol’ Sary Weaver

‘They call me witch. A teeth-gnasher. A shape-shifter. When a man says a woman turns into a hare, it means she were too quick for him!’ Based on a 19th century Sussex tale, Sary is a piece of feminist folk-horror that explores themes of female sexuality, ageing and loss as kinds of alchemy. Running in Edinburgh during the Fringe, director, Sam Chittenden spoke with The Fountain about what to expect from the show as well as the key influences behind the project.

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Carys Eleri: It’s like a ted talk on acid with some grime, garage and heavy metal

Lovecraft (Not The Sex Shop in Cardiff) is an award-winning, one-woman science comedy-musical about the neuroscience of love and loneliness. Combining heartfelt tales of relationship highs, lows and the downright confusing, Carys Eleri’s marvellously personal show is told with plenty of sass, chocolate, hugs and bangin’ tunes too. Carys spoke with The Fountain about Lovecraft as well as her plans for August.

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