Scottish programme for 2016’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe unveiled

Picture: Robert Day

Picture: Robert Day

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A NEW soundtrack for the science fiction film Metropolis, a play based on a forgotten JRR Tolkien short story and work created by an artist based in a lighthouse will help form an official showcase for the 70th Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Funding of £590,000 from the Scottish Government will also support a revival for a musical inspired by the schoolgirl campaign over the treatment of asylum seekers in Glasgow and a new play inspired by the controversy over the spy mirror in one of the city’s nightclubs.

Picture: Robert Day

Picture: Robert Day

Other productions in the 2016 line-up include a dance show set to the music of Lady Gaga, Kylie Minogue and Nick Cave, and the first solo theatre show from singer-songwriter Mairi Campbell/

Campbell shot to fame when she was featured on the soundtrack of the Sex and the City film, which will chart a “musical homecoming” to Scotland.

The 19 shows are in this year’s “Made in Scotland” programme, which was unveiled at the Dovecot Studios by new Fringe chief executive Shona McCarthy. Writers, directors, producers and performers are all expected to benefit from exposure to visiting arts industry delegate, with the possibility of shows having another life after the Fringe.

Nearly 60 theatre, music and dance productions have toured overseas since the fund, which is ring-fenced for Fringe productions, was launched in 2009.

The Fringe is an extraordinary international stage, and it is fantastic that such a platform exists

Shona McCarthy

Disabled artist Ian Johnston and fellow performer Gary Gardiner will be exploring “what it really means to be a dancer” in a show they created with the late theatre-maker Adrian Howells before he passed away two years ago.

• READ MORE: Emma Cowing: Shimmy Club mirror antics reflect badly on us all

Jazz musician and composer Graeme Stephen will be performing the world premiere of his score for Metropolis, Fritz Lang’s ground-breaking 1927 silent film, while playwright Kieran Hurley, who is best known for rave culture play Beats, will return with Heads Up, which will be set in “a familiar city at the moment of its destruction.”

Singer-songwriter Karine Polwart, who will be unveiling a new music and storytelling show at the Edinburgh International Festival, has also created the score, along with Michael John McCarthy for Leaf by Niggle, which Tolkien write while he was struggling to finish Lord of the Rings.

Picture: Robert Day

Picture: Robert Day

Mark Lyken, who was an artist-in-residence at the Lighthouse Field Station in Cromarty, will be unveiling a new audio-visual show inspired by his experience working alongside a team of ecologists.

More than a decade on from the launch of the award-winning Glasgow Girls campaign, theatre-makers Cora Bissett and David Greig will be reviving their hit musical theatre show during the Fringe.

Adura Onashile will be drawing on the 2013 controversy which flared when the Shimmy Club in Glasgow installed a mirror allowing male 
customers to see into the women’s bathrooms with her show Expensive Sh*t, which will focus on the experiences of a Nigerian nightclub attendant working in a club in the city.

Other acts and artists to benefit include the virtuoso world music outfit Moishe’s Bagel, contemporary dance company Barrowland Ballet and virtuoso guitarist Simon Thacker.

Ms McCarthy said: “Made in Scotland opens up an array of opportunities both during the Fringe, when thousands of industry professionals and media are in town, and after, by way of an onward touring fund.

“The Fringe is an extraordinary international stage, and it is fantastic that such a platform exists.”

Scottish culture secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “The Made in Scotland programme has built a strong track record of showcasing high quality productions which push boundaries, fire imagination and examine the intricacies of real life.

“The opportunity that the showcase offers is invaluable.”

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