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Wales in Edinburgh 2015

Wales in Edinburgh 2015

12 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.

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.

12 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 an award winning dance theatre production, inspired by author Caradoc Evans's controversial short stories of the same name, Gwyn Emberton and his company of exceptional dancers delve into the dark, turbulent and at times mythical world of Manteg in My People presented by Aberystwyth Arts Centre; a circle of 40 chairs, set out for an AA meeting as Caitlin Thomas makes a determined effort to deal with her tempestuous past in CAITLIN by Light, Ladd & Emberton in association with Laura H Drane Ltd to Smash it Up - a full-length theatre show developed from a performance-as-research project that investigates destruction as an artistic device and tool. performed by Mr & Mrs Clark and a story of endangered cultures, language suppression and the subjugation of nations in Dawns Ysbrydion by Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru. And if that wasn’t enough, three of the nation’s most pioneering performing arts organisations – Jo Fong, Sherman Cymru and Living Pictures Productions 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.

Jo Fong's An Invitation... is an experimental dance theatre piece, which depends heavily on the dynamics of the audience. Deep immersion in the experience of an evolving work is a fascinating journey but it depends heavily on what each spectator can positively contribute to the process. It's a gamble.

Iphigenia In Splott presented by Sherman Cymru is inspired by the Greek myth and focuses on the impact that the welfare cuts are having on today’s society and fuses coarse poetry with the language intrinsic to the Cardiff suburb of Splott whilst Gogol’s dark comedy, driven insane by government bureaucracy and hierarchy exposes one man’s reality spiraling deeper into a surreal fantasy world in Diary of a Madman by Living Pictures Productions.

Rachel O’Riordan, Artistic Director, Sherman Cymru, said:

"We are proud that this is part of the British Council Showcase in Edinburgh and we are thrilled with the response we have had to this performance so far in Wales. This is a powerful play that explores what it is to be a young woman on the outskirts of society. Although the play is set in a suburb of Cardiff, we see young women like Effie every day across the UK. Iphigenia in Splott explores the current state of our society, communities, and the National Health Service. Particularly pertinent themes, in this, the year of a general election. Effie will break your heart."

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:

Land of the Dragon, Puppet Soup - lose yourself on an enchanting puppetry adventure through time, landscapes and legends into the world of the Welsh Dragon!

To Kill a Machine, Scriptography Productions - a unique and innovative piece of theatre which offers an empowering and heartbreaking story of Alan Turing, a man guilty only of knowledge, homosexuality and refusing to live a lie who was turned into a hero, vilified for his sexuality and suicide and resurrected to hero after his death.

Torch in Edinburgh sees the theatre company taking two productions to this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe – Grav, fresh from its hugely successful Welsh tour, and Oh Hello!, based on Carry On star Charles Hawtrey.

Black Stuff, Volcano Theatre Company - surreal, funny and spectacular, this is an unsentimental exploration of life, art, coal and politics from one of Wales’s most consistently inventive performance company.

Hitch, Mary Bijou Cabaret and Social Club - a thrilling adventure into the dark psyche of circus cabaret.

Wales will also have its own networking event held on 25 August. 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. Wales Arts International are keen to capitalise on the opportunities during 2015 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.

Ffion Owen-Strong, 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

16/07/2015

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