Need inspiration for what to see at the Festival this week? Here’s a round-up of this week’s must-see shows according to our critic, Andrew Eaton-Lewis
Autobiography, by Company Wayne McGregor
International choreographer Wayne McGregor has led a full and fascinating life, but that’s not the subject of this new show for EIF. Working with scientists from the Wellcome Trust, McGregor has sequenced his own genome, basing the order of the sequences his dancers perform on the data he gathered, to create a show “tackling profound themes of memory, ageing, sleep, past and future”. Intriguingly, every performance of the show will be in a different sequence to the one before, although there will be some constants: original music by Jlin, a former steel mill worker who has created an industrial electronic soundtrack; set design and projection by Ben Cullen Williams, costume design by Aitor Throup, and lighting by Lucy Carter. It promises to be a highlight of the EIF’s dance programme, and the shifting nature of the performance means that if you can’t see it on the opening night, you can still say you saw it first.
Festival Theatre, Saturday until 13 August, eif.co.uk
A show for children over seven and their families, by choreographer Philippe Saire, Hocus Pocus, right, promises a dream-like tale of courage and wisdom, with masks, costumes and bizarre objects.
The Studio, Friday to 12 August, eif.co.uk
Janice Galloway on Muriel Spark
Muriel Spark’s centenary is one of the big themes at the Book Festival this year, with a series of events devoted to the woman who brought us The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie, The Abbess Of Crewe, A Far Cry From Kensington and other great books. The tributes start on Saturday, the festival’s opening day, with this event in which Janice Galloway, internationally acclaimed novelist, poet and short story writer in her own right, reads selections from some of her favourite Spark texts.
Edinburgh International Book Festival, Charlotte Square, from Saturday, edbookfest.co.uk
NEHH Presents: The Kevin Rowland DJ Show
In a festival like this, a DJ set wouldn’t normally be a big event, but there are few more charismatic – and stylish – than the frontman of Dexys Midnight Runners, sharing his record collection for one night only this week.
Summerhall, Friday, summerhall.co.uk
Light on the Shore
As previewed on these pages last week, Leith Theatre is a hive of musical activity throughout August thanks to the EIF’s eclectic Light on the Shore programme. This week’s treats include King Creosote, below, plus special guests (Thursday), Django Django, with support from C Duncan and Free Love (Friday) and Anna Meredith, performing her SAY Award winning album Varmints in full, with help from the Southbank Symphonia (Saturday).
Leith Theatre from Thursday, eif.co.uk
Esther Rantzen: That’s Life!
Why this is in the cabaret section isn’t exactly clear, but fans of the long-running TV show will certainly enjoy the chance to hear presenter Esther Rantzen share some anecdotes from her 50 years in broadcasting – from That’s Life to Hearts Of Gold and I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! – with prompts from her daughter, Rebecca Wilcox.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, Friday until 12 August, gildedballoon.co.uk
Dick And Dom: Dick vs Dom
While older generations can indulge in childhood TV nostalgia this year with not one but two shows inspired by Blue Peter, this is one of the hot tickets for younger viewers – the Fringe debut of Dick and Dom, stars of 1990s Children’s BBC and, more recently, Dick And Dom In Da Bungalow, Dick And Dom’s Hoopla, and Absolute Genius With Dick And Dom.
Underbelly, until 12 August, underbellyedinburgh.co.uk