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Theatrical performance returns to Edinburgh Book Festival

Published: 18 June 2018

Edinburgh International Book Festival will again include theatrical explorations of literature in a strand of its programme it calls "Playing With Books".

A couple of these events will cross over into another strand of this year's Festival which will celebrate the centenary of one of Edinburgh's greatest novelists, Muriel Spark. The only work written by her specifically for the stage, Doctors of Philosophy, will be given a one-off performance in partnership with Royal Lyceum Theatre, edited by David Greig and directed by Marilyn Imrie.

Spark's novel Momento Mori was broadcast as a radio play on BBC Radio 4 as part of its celebrations of her centenary, and adapter Robin Brooks and producer Gaynor Macfarlane will talk about the adaptation process accompanied by staged performances from the radio script.

The Lyceum has also brought in playwright Ella Hickson to produce a short theatrical response to Isabel Greenberg's graphic novel The One Hundred Nights of Hero, which will be realised by actors, a musician and a director followed by a discussion with Greenberg and the theatre team.

To mark the publication of musician Gaël Faye's novel Small Country (Petit Pays) in English, there will be a "musical storytelling" performance of the novel by Faye with Rwandan musician Samuel Kamanzi and actor Thierry Lawson adapted by the book's translator Sarah Ardizzone.

There will also be an immersive performance that takes place at Edinburgh's Central Library each day, where participants must piece together the story from clues found hidden in books, index cards and in other places around the building. These daily performances of The Hidden are by theatre company Visible Fictions.

A very different immersive experience will be created by Ailie Finlay from Flotsam and Jetsam Puppets and Stories as a multi-sensory, learning disability friendly event to create "out-of-this-world crafts and entertaining stories of far away galaxies".

Playwright Michael Frayn returns to the Book Festival to talk about his Pocket Playhouse short plays, while actor Greg Wise will discuss the highlights of his acting career and his time caring for his sister during her battle with cancer and actor Jim Broadbent will appear with comic artist Dix to talk about writing his first graphic novel, Dull Margaret.

There will be appearances from other writers who are also familiar from stage and TV such as Stella Duffy, Carol Ann Duffy, Luke Wright, Ruth Jones, Ruby Wax, Inua Elams, Susan Calman and Jackie Kay.

In the children's programme, which is always worth a look even for adults, familiar names from stage and screen include Harry Hill, Horrible Histories, Adrian Edmondson, Julian Clary, Charlie Higson, Frank Cottrell Boyce and David Walliams.

Edinburgh International Book Festival runs at Charlotte Square Gardens from 11 to 27 August 2018.

David Chadderton