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Wales in Edinburgh 2013: Wales promotes culture to the world stage

Wales in Edinburgh 2013: Wales promotes culture to the world stage

With nearly 3,000 shows, covering everything from experimental circus to big-name comedy, this year's fringe offers more than ever. When it comes to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, only one rule holds true: expect the unexpected and this year’s arts extravaganza is bigger than ever before with Wales presenting some of its most innovative performances.

No less than 21 companies from Wales will take centre stage in Edinburgh giving them all the opportunity to present their work to international delegates and subsequently tour overseas.

From a show featuring three lovers who play out their passions, pleasures, anxieties and jealousies through the words of Shakespeare’s Sonnets – L.O.V.E. presented by Volcano ; a part gig, part horror movie, part love story set around Memorial Day celebrations in 1950's America in The Bloody Ballad presented by Gagglebaggle and Theatr Iolo to The Meeting Place - a feast of musical vitality in the spirit of the 1960’s folk revival by trac and a portable 360º cinema that blurs the boundaries between movement, digital technology and cinema, also known as The Dance Dome presented by a partnership between Coreo Cymru, Urban Reaction Research Lab and Chapter.

And if that wasn’t enough, three of the nation’s most pioneering performing arts organisations - National Theatre Wales, NoFit State Circus and the Wales Millennium Centre will also be presenting work as part of the British Council Showcase programme.

Every two years The British Council, supported by Wales Arts International presents a showcase of the best of British work as part of the Edinburgh Festival.

The programme, which consists of 30 productions spanning theatre, dance, live and installation art, will take place over five days towards the end of the Edinburgh fringe, between 19 and 24 August, across a number of venues.

National Theatre Wales will revive their critically-acclaimed production of Tim Price's play The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning in an Edinburgh school, with performances live-streamed online for the duration of the festival. Meanwhile, circus company No Fit State will stage its immersive work Bianco and musical drama I'm with the Band will become Wales Millennium Centre's first showcase with a performance that promises to mix theatre with live indie rock.

Conrad Lynch, Artistic Director of the Wales Millennium Centre said: "We are delighted to be working with Scotland's premier new writing theatre, for the first time and thrilled that our production is being performed in Edinburgh, highlighting the writing talent we have the privilege of developing in Wales."

John McGrath, Artistic Director of National Theatre Wales, said: "We’re very excited to be a part of the British Council showcase as it selects the best UK work from the last year or so. The British Council showcase encourages international promoters to look at work for touring. The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning is a very significant production for us and a lot of people are still talking about it."

The Festival Fringe invites some of the most interesting and challenging theatre, music and dance from across the world to Edinburgh. Audiences from across the globe can also be dazzled by the following performances from Wales:

Aisling Kiely, Cinderella Lives! - a one-woman show that retells ‘Cinderella’ to question the relevance of outmoded social and cultural distinctions that separate people by gender and stymie their personal development.

Dafydd James and Company, My name is Sue - the story of a piano-wielding, pill popping prophet from Wales.

Richard Burton Company, Tracy - a Tesco’s employee, is after world domination in the form of a promotion.

Living Pictures Productions, Diary of a Madam - 1830s Russia. Poprishchin is in his 40's - a low ranking civil servant for the Government, struggling to make his mark on life, but one day he makes an amazing discovery. Could he really be the next King of Spain?

Theatr na nÓg, You should ask Wallace - the play tells the story of Alfred Russel Wallace (1823 -1913), a Victorian naturalist, who was born in Wales, and who discovered the theory of evolution, and then shared the idea with Charles Darwin... and as they say the rest is history.

Torch Theatre Company, Who’s Afraid of Rachel Roberts? - a unique and intriguing story of an outrageous life and an extraordinary talent.

Karol Cysewski, Wonders of the Universe - Karol uses the documentary genre to create a humorous and intelligent choreography for 3 male dancers.

Tin Shed Theatre Co, Dr Frankenstein’s Travelling Freak Show! - through the depraved eyes of one cynical raconteur and his gaggle of gormless goons, Mary Shelley’s Classic Gothic Horror story Frankenstein is retold in stunning detail as a play within a play immersed in the twisted and debauched world of a Victorian Freak Show!

Christine Buxton, Three Women - Christine Buxton’s solo performance reflects upon ancient texts and modern interpretations. And the stories of these defiant, thoughtful, inspired women are told, until curfew forces them home.

The Junket Club, Benjamin Partridge: An Audience With Jeff Goldblum - a one man comedy show in which the actor Jeff Goldblum presents his life and what he has learned from it. However, Jeff seems more like a man from Wales than you'd expect.

Eddie Ladd, Dawns Ysbrydion/Ghost dance 09.02.63 - a dance piece centred on the hard winter of 1962-63, during which it snowed and froze for three months.

Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, All That Malarkey - dazzlingly versatile, All That Malarkey’s repertoire spans operatic classics to R&B, musical theatre to cheesy pop, jazz standards to their own original material and much more besides.

Wales will also have its own networking event held on Thursday 22 August 2013. The event aims to draw on and establish interest from and develop discussions with programmers from other countries and cultures and support the development of the producing sector in Wales to enable it to be in a stronger position to engage in international working in the future.

Wales in Edinburgh is one of a suite of major international initiatives spearheaded by Wales Arts International to support the business of taking Wales’ arts to international venues. This initiative is a result of Welsh Government’s drive to support cultural businesses to extend their reach and become more sustainable. Following the very successful featuring of two national theatre companies at the Edinburgh Festival in 2011, Wales Arts International are keen to capitalise on the opportunities during 2013 by ensuring that Wales’ presence represents a significant critical mass and that organisations are ‘business ready’ to take advantage of the opportunities that the festival offers.

Harry McIver, Wales Arts International Project Manager for Wales in Edinburgh concluded: "It's the best festival in the world for reaching international promoters and audiences so it's a perfect opportunity for Wales’ performing arts companies to be profiled within the festival. The idea is to help Welsh companies present their work at the Fringe in the best possible way - with the best conditions - and importantly, put them in touch with international promoters and programmers who are coming to the festival."

For further information, please contact Sian James on 029 2044 1344 / 07812 801356 or email sian.james@artscouncilofwales.org.uk

29/07/2013

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