EIF reveals digital line-up

Published: 5 August 2020
Reporter: David Chadderton

Scottish Ballet dancers rehearse on stage ahead of filming for the Edinburgh International Festival

Scottish national companies National Theatre of Scotland, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Ballet and Scottish Opera and artists including Laurence Power, Aidan O'Rourke, Honeyblood and Breabach will work with Edinburgh International Festival on My Light Shines On, a new series of original digital content.

EIF will film original performances of theatre, music and dance in venues including the Edinburgh Festival Theatre, The King’s Theatre, Leith Theatre, The Hub, Usher Hall and The Queen’s Hall which will première on EIF’s YouTube channel on Saturday 8 August at 9:30PM.

The films include "a personal love letter to Scottish theatre" from National Theatre of Scotland directed by Hope Dickson Leach and co-conceived with NTS Artistic Director Jackie Wylie and dramaturg Philip Howard, along with Scottish Opera’s modern-day interpretation of Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Telephone, starring Soraya Mafi and Jonathan McGovern, filmed in the bar of the King’s Theatre. Scottish Ballet will present new work from emerging choreographer Nicholas Shoesmith, as well as a revival of Helen Pickett’s Trace.

My Light Shines On also features an outdoor light installation in which Edinburgh’s festival venues, including the Usher Hall, Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Bristo Square and the Castle Esplanade, will be illuminated by hundreds of beams of light and lit from within by glowing lanterns. Scottish lighting designers Kate Bonney and Simon Hayes have been commissioned to design the project.

There will be a one-hour gala film hosted by Kirsty Wark and cellist Su-a Lee on BBC Scotland TV and the Festival’s YouTube channel to mark what would have been the opening of the 2020 festival featuring famous faces from festivals across the years, including Alan Cumming, Fiona Shaw, Anna Meredith and Akram Khan, and collaborations with Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Edinburgh International Book Festival and The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Other artists featured include violist Laurence Power with the world première of a composition by Esa-Pekka Salonen, West African supergroup Les Amazones D’Afrique, Declan, a reimagined version of Traverse Theatre’s Mouthpiece, contemporary folk music group Breabach, a collaboration of folk performers led by fiddler Aidan O’Rourke and Glasgow indie rock musician Honeyblood.

Artists in the Age of Covid will be a programme of digital conversations for the global performing arts industry 8–15 August in partnership with The Edinburgh International Culture Summit to explore the challenges and opportunities for the performing arts in a post-COVID world.

On 25 September, The Portal, a new podcast from Martin Green, Wils Wilson and David Greig, follows the story of lovers Etteridge and Angela. This "audio tale of love, music, drugs and deceit" features an original score from Martin Green with contributions from James Holden (WARP / Border Community) and BBC Folk Award-winner Brìghde Chaimbeul.