Northern Stage at the Edinburgh Fringe

Reporter: Peter Lathan

Dateline: 21st July, 2016

North East Productions

Newcastle’s Northern Stage returns to the Edinburgh Fringe for a fifth year with eight shows from across the North of England—and from even further afield this year. Yet again the venue will be Summerhall on the south east edge of The Meadows not far from George Square.

Artistic Director Lorne Campbell said, “Northern Stage is delighted to return to Edinburgh for a fifth year with an incredible group of artists. This year’s programme is diverse, political, contemporary and hugely ambitious. Our artists are taking on some huge questions and ideas ranging from the politics of housing and poverty, through to the human struggles of creating community, negotiating gender, living with disability, anxiety and grief and not forgetting the vast questions of ‘Are we alone in the Universe?’ and ‘What does happen to all the dead pigeons?’”

There are three productions from North East: Unfolding Theatre’s Putting the Band Back Together, Scott Turnbull’s Where Do All the Dead Pigeons Go? and Zoe Murtagh & Tory Copeland with Sacré Blue.

Putting the Band Back Together was commissioned by The Cultural Spring in Sunderland and South Tyneside. Inspired by theatre-maker Mark Lloyd’s wish to “put his old band back together” in the time he had left when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2014, the show looks at forgotten dreams and lost passions and asks why we stop playing and what makes us start again, pondering the guitars propped up in bedrooms, the voices only now heard in the shower and drumkits taking up too much garage space.

Sadly, Lloyd died in May this year but not before he had managed three gigs with that band and co-wrote words and music with Unfolding Theatre for the show.

Putting the Band Back Together runs at Summerhall from 6 to 27 August (not Wednesdays) at 18:50 (finishing at 19:55).

Where Do All the Dead Pigeons Go? is a one-man show celebrating love and loneliness from Stockton-born Scott Turnbull and award-winning writer, actor, comedian, director and musician Ed Gaughan and was developed in association with Northern Stage, ARC and Greyscale.

With felt-tip pens and his ex-girlfriend's overhead projector, Turnbull takes us on a journey through space and time in a frolic of cartoon and comic reason weaving science fiction, memoir, parable, fairy tale and farce.

“Where do all the dead pigeons go?” Turnbull asks. “I could give you the answer right now… but it would ruin the show. Between you and me I’m still not sure… It's also set on the moon, with lasers and a robot from Middlesbrough, which is pretty cool.”

Where Do All the Dead Pigeons Go? runs from 6 to 27 August at 22:05 (to 23:05).

Sacré Blue by Zoe Murtagh and Tory Copeland won Northern Stage’s 2015 Title Pending award, a “fresh and inspiring idea for a new piece of theatre. Once we've found it, we develop it, we nurture it, we support it and we show it.”

Inspired by punk music, science lessons and Kate Bush's dancing, the show tackles mental health issues. It’s a performance piece confronting anxiety through poetry and storytelling. It’s a performance about panic attacks based on personal experience and shared stories. It's a bubble bath, a protest, a slice of toast, a balloon. There'll be punk music, popcorn and some clumsily explained analysis of neural pathways.

Sacré Blue runs from 6 to 16 August (except Wednesdays) at 14:45 (to 15:45).

|Next page|