EdFests2019

Amantha Edmead: Mary Prince’s story is one that I was introduced to while studying African studies

‘To be free is very sweet.’ When one woman tells of her extraordinary journey to overcome the brutality of slavery, she becomes a beacon for the British anti-slavery movement. Born into slavery in the British colony of Bermuda, Mary Prince went on to become an autobiographer and champion of freedom. Her book had an electrifying effect on the abolitionist movement helping to free many Africans in bondage. Through theatre, song, music, drumming and dance, this masterpiece of Black British theatre is inspired by the storytelling traditions of the West African griot. Amantha Edmead discussed Fringe show, SOLD, in more depth below.

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Ken Cockburn: The year I’ve selected poems reflecting Edinburgh’s historical links with Europe

Edinburgh’s status as first UN City of Literature recognises its long history of welcoming international writers and Scottish writers exploring the wider world. On this leisurely walk around the historic Canongate, poet Ken Cockburn shares poems by Scots dreaming of Europe and Europeans dazzled by the Athens of the North. Here Mary Queen of Scots misses Paris, Robert Fergusson praises Italian opera, Victor Hugo imagines the French king in exile, and Theodor Fontane shares his love of Scottish ballads. Ken spoke with The Fountain about this offering and what influenced setting up this tour.

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Chris McGlade: I really want to see political comedian Konstantin Kisin and comedy impressionist Danny Posthill

Following the murder of his father, hard hitting and critically acclaimed northern comedian Chris McGlade is attempting to lay to rest the ghosts that have haunted him ever since. This show, whilst telling the story of his dad’s horrific murder, is also a funny, sincere, un- PC, no holds barred and touching homage to the man who shaped his life and humour. Forgiveness is at the Edinburgh Fringe this August and Chris spoke with The Fountain about his plans for the festival.

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Review: Rowan Hisayo Buchanan & Yelena Moskovich, EIBF 2019 Rating 85%

Review: Rowan Hisayo Buchanan & Yelena Moskovich, EIBF 2019

I was pleased to see that one of the very first events on the Book Festival programme was an exploration of “queer desire”, through the lens of two books that, as it turns out, have more in common with each other than just the title of the event would suggest. The two authors, Yelena Moskovich and Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, have both released novels this year which deal with latent and burgeoning queer female desire, and both are told from the perspective of women often deemed “difficult” – mentally ill, rebellious, or criminal.

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Micky Overman: I’ve gathered a bunch of those experiences from my life and put them together

This brand-spanking-new hour by the 2018 Chortle Best Newcomer nominee finally answers the question no one is dying to have answered: ‘where is she from?!’. It also covers: the value of friendship, the power of perception, the importance of agency and how to deal with terminally ill toys. Micky Overman takes you on a journey through the jungle of silly boys/creeps of her past, and spoke with The Fountain in a little more depth about her show.

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George Fouracres: It’s about me being a big posh git who loved umbrellas, cufflinks, Roman Emperors and computer games

George Fouracres, Wolverhampton’s fancy-pantsiest son, tells stories of a Black Country childhood, sings ancient ballads, becomes occasional grotesques and splatters his odd brain matter all over the stage in his debut stand-up hour, Gentlemon. You may know him from Edinburgh Comedy Award-nominated sketch trio Daphne, or from BBC Radio 4, BBC Three, Channel 4 and ABC. He spoke with The Fountain about the debut Fringe show and his plans for the month.

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Victor Esses: It is a show in which I invite the audience to talk about home and identity

What makes a home for you? Victor Esses is Jewish-Lebanese, Brazilian and gay. In 1975, Victor’s mother flees Lebanon as a refugee of the civil war. In 2017, Victor visits Lebanon for the first time. In 2018, amidst the elections that will see Brazil choose a far-right president, he travels from London to São Paulo to show his partner his childhood city. Where to Belong is the tender, moving story of these journeys, and is at the Edinburgh Fringe for the month of August. Victor spoke with The Fountain about the show and the influences behind it.

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Alexandrina Hemsley: It’s a work on a larger scale than we’ve made before

An Afrofuturist history of the universe from the Big Bang to dreamshout death. Propelling lived experiences onto a cosmic scale, Seke Chimutengwende and Alexandrina Hemsley shapeshift through poetic text and movement. Step into an alternative speculation on how to orbit bodies, which carry histories of marginalisation and anti-blackness. Both Alexandrina (AH) and Seke (SC) spoke with The Fountain about Black Holes in more depth, as well as their plans for the month.

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Sue Last: We are three ladies going through the menopause

The Three Menopausal Maids are back with their new comedy sketch show for 2019 after the 2018 sell-out success and it’s getting hot, hot, hotter! Fly away with Princess and the Pee Airlines, will Satsoomarooma make the comeback they are hoping for? Is Stacey’s Styles full of hot gossip? Are you ‘too old for it’? And what will the delightful ladies be discussing over afternoon tea? Sue Last from the show spoke with The Fountain about what to precisely expect from this show.

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Alex Gwyther: I’ve always wanted to do a play about ‘what it means to be a man’

96% of all male rape cases go unreported. Masking his trauma, Jack steps into the absurd world of modern masculinity and reinvents himself as a “real man”. This is his explosive story. How far will Jack go to fit in, whilst hoping his past never catches up with him? Written by and starring Alex Gwyther, Ripped exposes this national crisis and the pressures put on young men to live up to outdated ideals. The Fountain caught up with Alex Gwyther to discuss Ripped and the inspiration behind it.

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