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All things Edinburgh

It's a weird feeling. It's August and our inbox should be overflowing with pleas to review shows at the Fringe. Last year we received over 50 email invites every day during August, on top of the thousand plus we probably had even before the Festival started. Our poor scheduler read around 800 press releases, although by read, we think what they really mean is looked at the page and if it didn't grab their attention immediately, deleted. There is an art form in a good press release, but that's a topic for another day.

So yes, this year there is a big hole in our August. For us, it's not life changing, but for the thousands who rely on the Festival for income or exposure it's an absolute tragedy. Now we know one newsletter isn't going to change all that, but we hope it offers a little assistance in its own way. Maybe we can encourage you to check out a show or two online, maybe make a donation to support the artists and all those whose livelihood has been affected. Anything you can do can only help, so please, do take a look, we know you love theatre so we're sure you will do all you can.

Join us for our virtual weekend in Edinburgh

This Friday, ET is going to be heading to a virtual Edinburgh. Join us on our social media platforms to follow us as we take in four days of shows picked out by members of the team. We'll provide further details ahead of Friday in case you want to plan your weekend with us. Keep an eye on our Twitter feed and do feel free to send us any suggestions of shows you reckon we should be highlighting.

Latest reviews

It's been a little quiet on the reviews front the last couple of weeks, but with theatres now thinking about re-opening, albeit with strict rules, we do hope we'll be back watching for real soon. In the meantime, we will be reviewing a couple of outdoor performances this month, which we'll cover next time.

Socks in Space, Edinburgh Fringe Online

Author: Mary Pollard

The most talented footwear you’ll see perform this summer

Read the full review here
Socks in Space, Edinburgh Fringe Online - Review

The House That Slipped, Online

The House That Slipped, Online - Review
Author: H. Wargon

Teatro Vivo has inventively used the Zoom platform to devise a wonderful theatrical experience.

Read the full review here

Grip, Reading Fringe Festival Online

Author: Mary Pollard

This is not a play for a frivolous night out. Prepared to be challenged!

Read the full review here
Grip, Reading Fringe Festival Online - Review

The Space Between Us, Online

Author: Rob Warren

At just ten minutes in length, this short packs a mighty emotional punch.

Read the full review here
The Space Between Us, Online – Review

This week's Twitter poll

Our recent Twitter poll asked how you'd prefer to consume your online content. It wasn't really a great surprise that most of you said it would be via YouTube. That is certainly the easiest.

This week, we really couldn't do a poll that didn't include Edinburgh. So, we want to know if you've ever been to the Fringe, or if it's something that is on your bucketlist? Head over to Twitter now to cast your vote. We'll start the voting off, because, yes, we've been and we plan to go back next year.

All things Edinburgh

It's amazing how much online content is available right now from the Fringe. Massive kudos must go to all involved in working these wonders in such a short space of time. Less than six months ago they were planning as normal, but when it became obvious that just wasn't going to be possible, they pulled out all the stops to provide so much online content. Not sure where to go to find it? Well, here's your guide.

Start at the obvious place

The Fringe official website is usually packed full of show information alongside everything else you would normally need to know about a trip to Edinburgh. It might not be quite so full for 2020, but they have gathered together all the shows available online so you can't go far wrong taking a look.

Shedinburgh Fringe Festival

What do you get when you take the festival into a shed to live stream shows for three weeks? Yes, you've guessed it, Shedinburgh. They claim that they have the very best of the Fringe stalwarts of theatre, music and comedy, and the best new acts, all performed live from sheds across the country. Unlike many other offerings, these events are live streamed and will not be available again, so check out the schedule and think about getting yourself a seat to the best shed in town.

Zoo Festival

Zoo's Edinburgh venues are usually home to an eclectic mixture of dance and physical theatre. This year they have instead created six unique online channels which go live this week. Whilst we haven't yet had a chance to delve deeper, from what we've seen in advance it looks to be one of the more impressive online set ups around.

Online@theSpaceUK

Not content with just the recent Fest 2.0, the Space are now running a full fringe offering, with over 80 new shows made in lockdown. New events will be uploaded each week but better yet, there will be a live performance every Saturday. They promise a packed programme of theatre, children's shows, cabaret, film, music, musicals, spoken word and comedy. We've taken a good look and there is certainly plenty to choose from. Mostly free, but donations encouraged.

Support the Fringe

Without an actual Festival this year, many of the artists, venues and creatives who rely on it need our support. The organisers have put together a host of ways we can do this, and you can find out more over on their website. If you've ever enjoyed a trip to Edinburgh for the Festival, or watched any of the online content, why not think about how you can help?

Going for a drink this week?

The theatres might be closed, but thankfully some spaces have been able to open their bars and cafes. So, if you're heading out for a drink this week, why not think about gracing a theatre space and supporting them with the cost of your pint (other drinks are of course available).

Not sure where to go? Well, here's a few suggestions.
  • Bush Theatre's Library bar; A lovely bright open space, including outside seating, next to Shepherd's Bush market.
  • Southwark Playhouse; A couple of minutes from Elephant & Castle tube, the bar is currently opening Thursday to Saturday. Booking in advance recommended.
  • Royal Court Outdoor Pop Up Bar & Cafe; So it's not in the grand Royal Court building itself, but when you can relocate to the middle of Sloane Square, well, what a chance to watch how the other half live sometimes!
  • The Theatre Cafe; Ok, this cafe situated in the heart of the West End at St Martin's Lane might not actually be linked directly to a theatre, but it is certainly a place for theatre lovers. Currently they are opening Saturdays, between noon and 6pm.
  • Riverside Studios; Having only just opened before the lockdown following a major revamp, they are now relaunching for a second time this year. Just a few minutes from Hammersmith tube station, the theatre space may not be open just yet, but the cinema certainly is.

A little closer to home

Theatres to re-open

Within the past couple of days, it has been announced that theatres can start to re-open subject to social distancing rules. Great news, and we hope you're as excited by it as we are! Currently only a few have announced new shows, including Southwark Playhouse, who will be putting on a revival of The Last Five Years. We hope this is the first of many announcements.

The Midnight Gang

Chickenshed was hugely proud to be the first theatre to bring David Walliams' The Midnight Gang to the stage back in 2017. The show received 5 stars from us at the time. Now you have the chance to catch it in the comfort of your own home. It gets its YouTube premiere from 7pm Friday, so why not subscribe to their YouTube channel in advance and be ready for the show?

Iris Theatre's welcome return

Iris Theatre have announced a summer festival of outdoor live performances between 14 and 29 August. We've always loved going to see them in the grounds of the St. Paul’s Covent Garden, Actors' Church so this is a perfect opportunity to both catch some live theatre and enjoy the beautiful summer evenings in their stunning surroundings.

Philip Ridley's delayed return

Some of us at ET were really excited when a new Philip Ridley play was announced, and we were all ready to head off to review it in March when, well, we all know what happened next. But to hold us over until we finally get to see The Beast of Blue Yonder, we can now make do with some monologues, entitled The Beast Will Rise, and performed by the original play's cast.

Until next time

As always, we hope you've enjoyed this little round up of what is happening right now. If you think you have something worth including in the next edition, do let us know. And don't forget to follow us from Friday when we do our virtual festival. We're having a lot of fun putting it together so we hope you enjoy following us around virtually.

Hopefully next issue we'll have lots of news about actual theatre you can go and see.
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