Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Forest Fringe 2010 Part 3: A Festival of Adventures

(James Baker, 30 Days to Space)

We like the unlikely places in which live performance can make a home for itself. The strange encounters you might discover in tiny rooms or on park benches, in grand cinemas and cramped video stores. We like the ways we find to look at the things around us in a different way.

These are projects that will take you somewhere unusual. Some of them are scattered across Edinburgh, others are hidden in corners of our own building. Some happen only once or twice, others are repeated throughout the day, and others are available whenever you want or need them. Come down to Forest Fringe and you can guarantee there’ll always be some miniature experience to be unravelled.

Regardless of where you’ll end up, all these events will begin at Forest Fringe. You’ll then be guided by us to wherever you need to be.


every minute, always - Melanie Wilson & Abigail Conway
Monday 9 – Saturday 14 August, 4pm

every minute, always is a headphones performance taking place in the main auditorium of the Filmhouse cinema on Lothian road, created for two people to encounter together. From the intimate, low-lit vantage of the cinema seat, the participant is guided by the voice of the narrator into a rich and sonically transporting world of cinematic perspective.

PLEASE NOTE: This is a performance for pairs. You must register for this performance with another person.

Away Into the Night – Sarah Hopfinger
Monday 9 & Tuesday 10 August, 6pm & 8pm

Away Into The Night is a new performance that investigates the question: How do we say goodbye? For a small audience at a time, this personal and participatory piece asks us to remember in order to move forwards into an unknown future with hope.

Like You Were Before – Deborah Pearson
Monday 9 – Saturday 21 August (not 14), 10pm

Debbie will take you on a journey through time but she can only access her own time and she can only access it through a video. The video never changes, but she does. An intimate performance in Alphabet Video in Marchmont, Debbie’s old place of work.

DEDOMEGAMIX – Richard Dedomenici
Monday 9 – Saturday 21 August, all day

To commemorate the looming tenth anniversary of his leaving art school, Richard DeDomenici forensically reexamines the first decade of his creative output and draws some damning conclusions. In what is described both as a groundbreaking challenge to the existing Fringe venue status quo, and a pragmatic austerity measure, DeDomenici intends to perform DEDOMEGAMIX in a small portable tent, which he stubbornly refers to as a ‘Pop-Up Nomadic/Boutique Autonomous Microvenue’.

Jarideh - Tania El Khoury
Monday 9 – Friday 13 August, all day

A secret encounter and a suspicious one on one performance. It is inspired by both crime films and real events such as the Metropolitan Police’s terrorism awareness and operations made in the past by women fighters in the Lebanese resistance.

The Bench – Ant Hampton (Rotozaza) and Glen Neath
Monday 9 – Saturday 21 August, all day

In the same vein as Rotozaza’s internationally successful ‘autoteatro’ work, 'Etiquette', TheBench invites two audience / participators to respond to instructions given via headphones, but with some significant differences...- they are outside, on a bench and, they don't know each other.

30 Days to Space - James Baker
Monday 9 - Saturday 21, all day

I want to become an astronaut. I want to get to Space. Space (as defined by NASA) is 50 miles up from the Earth’s surface. That sounds doable. By climbing a 6ft ladder 1467 times each day for 30 continuous days I will eventually reach a height of 50 miles; space. Each climb of the 6ft ladder will be marked by drawing a chalk star onto the wall.

As if it were the last time: A subtlemob – Duncan Speakman
Friday 13 August, 7pm

'as if it were the last time' invites you to take part in a secret event this August.
You've seen the people freeze in train stations and the mass pillow fights, well this will be a more invisible experience, like walking through a film.

To take part in this event register in advance at and you'll be invited to download an MP3 and turn up at a secret location to listen to the soundtrack at a specified time.

When We Meet Again (introduced as friends) - Me & The Machine
Monday 16 – Friday 20 August, all day (till 8pm)

When We Meet Again is a wearable film and a one to one sensorial performance featuring you, your invisible friend, a 3D soundtrack and an old forgotten dance, an ocean, a flavour and me. Video filmed from a first person perspective and played on video goggles replaces your point of view by that one of a film character.

This is just to Say – Hannah Walker
Monday 16 – Friday 20 August, 5pm & 9pm

This is just to say is… a conversation with poems in it. It’s about manipulation, Britishness, love and winning. This is just to say… is smudging its make-up, buying you bouquets and screening your calls. This is just to say… is an intimate audience piece set around a table. Pull up a chair and drink some wine.

It’s Like He’s Knocking – Leo Kay
Tuesday 17 & Wednesday 18 August, 6pm and Thursday 19 August, 4pm

A stripped back performance incorporating storytelling, dance theatre and afro Brazillian percussion, set in the intimacy of a bedsit. A collage of moments taken from the lives of three generations of men. Drink a toast to loved ones, bet on some cards and close your eyes to remember your past.

Audience capacity 12.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Forest Fringe 2010 Part 2: A Festival of Ideas

(Search Party Growing Old With You. Image by Finlay Robertson)

From 5pm every afternoon Forest Fringe will once again have the kind of brilliantly diverse line-up of works-in-progress and unusual performances that people have come to know over the last few years. We’re delighted with this year’s group of artists – some who we’ve worked with before but many others we haven’t, but all of whom make things in a brilliantly unique and fascinating way.

If there’s any theme running through all of this work it is perhaps, like the whole festival, one of reflection. Whether it’s Polarbear reflecting on where he’s from, or Dylan Tighe and Kieran Hurley reflecting on where they’re going, Search Party thinking about growing old together, or Tinned Fingers thinking about falling in love, everyone seems to be looking again at our everyday experience of the world.

Maybe at a time of irresistible globalisation, of epic international crises broadcast on 24 hour news, we need to begin here – by thinking about the politics and the meaning embedded in how we live our own lives day by day; in how we understand our relationship to each other and to the world around us.


Chip – Glas(s) Performance
Monday 9 & Tuesday 10 August

This is a show about fathers and daughters that stems from the real life experience of Jess Thorpe and Tim Thorpe. ‘Fabulously life-affirming and beautifully-structured’ **** The Scotsman

Journey to the End of the Night – Dylan Tighe
Tuesday 10 – Friday 13 August (with a special show on Sunday 15)

A solo performance based on Dylan Tighe’s personal diary written on the Trans-Mongolian Express from Beijing to Moscow, spanning five time zones and two continents.

Hitch – Kieran Hurley
Monday 9 – Friday 13 August

Kieran Hurley recounts his journey across Europe to the G8 summit protests in this intimate and uplifting one-man show, with live music from Over The Wall.

Two Trillion – Fish & Game
Monday 9 & Tuesday 10 August

There are many creatures in this world, and I am one trillion of them.
Glasgow’s Fish & Game take it right back for this new performance – back to basics, back to nature, and all the way back down to the trillions of cells that make up their bodies – real old skool.

Never Park Your Body in a Wadi (Working Title) – Tom, John & Len Frankland
Wednesday 11, Thursday 12, Monday 16 & Tuesday 17 August

A show created by three generations of the same family about being a man, the twentieth century, fathers and sons and cowboys and indians...

Return – Polarbear
Wedesnday 11 – Friday 13 August

Return tells the story of Noah, a man trying to figure out where he fits. Convinced he had to leave home in order to make his mark, Noah returns to find a world where a lot of things seem the same but nothing actually is.

Doris Day can Fuck Off – Greg McLaren
Monday 16 & Tuesday 17 August

Greg McLaren has been singing in the street. Where he would talk, he has sang. This has resulted in many hilarious encounters. But it has also resulted in a feeling of isolation and rejection. The problem with singing is that it is too heady a means of communication when buying stamps or a bun, or trying to change details with the gas man.

The Last Romance Club (ever) – Tinned Fingers
Monday 16 – Friday 20 August

We are hopeful. We are looking for love. We want to get lucky. We want to serenade you outside your window at night. We want to give you our last rolo. We can't sing but, for you, we'll try.

“I Belong to this Band!” (work-in-progress) – Kings of England and others
Wednesday 18 & Thursday 19 August

“I Belong to This Band!” uses live/performance art to explore folk traditions. We are doing R&D residencies and Scratch showings, making songs and dances, before a Rural Tour of Great Britain 2011/12.

Growing Old With You (work-in-progress) - Search Party
Wednesday 18 – Friday 20 August

Growing Old With You is a life long performance project which attempts to document lived experience in real time. Starting in 2010 and for every 5 (or so) years for the rest of their lives Search Party will create a performance exploring ideas of age, duality and accumulation.

Senior Moments – Kristin Fredricksson (Beady Eye) & Robert Vesty (Box Social)
Friday 20 August

Kristin Fredricksson (Beady Eye) & Rob Vesty (Box Social) spend a week in the run-up to each Senior Moments performance during which they meet & recruit older people. They go to bingo halls, housing estates, community groups, shopping centres and Bridge clubs to enlist up to 40 participants aged 65 and over.

Forest Fringe 2010 Part 1: A Festival of Thoughts

(H Plewis' Cabinet of Ideas. Image by Finlay Robertson)

For some time at Forest Fringe we’ve been dreaming of a different kind of space for Edinburgh. We imagined a room that was always open, that you could drop in and out of as you pleased. A place where something would always be happening. A place where you could slip away briefly from the mayhem of the city and experience a miniature encounter that transforms your day, or where you could stay for hours – meeting people, talking, sharing, feeling at home. We wanted people to know, as they squeezed their way through the festival, that there was always somewhere they could return to, to rest and think and maybe experience something remarkable.

This year, thanks to the support of the Jerwood Charitable Foundation, for the first time we’re going to be able to try this out. It’s another new experiment and we’ve asked a whole range of folk to help us realise it, from brilliant organisations such as Artsadmin and Residence to artists like Third Angel, H Plewis and Non Zero One. We also hope that you’ll all offer your thoughts and ideas and help us as we try and build something new.

So how will it work?

Between 12pm and 5pm every day there’ll be something happening to engage with. Miniature encounters, conversations, inspiration exchanges, living archives and sound libraries. Things you can alight upon fleetingly or devote your whole day to.


Forest Fringe Microfestivals: Reminiscences and Restagings
Monday 9 & Tuesday 10

This year we’ve been travelling around the country finding ways of generating some of the unpredictability and experimentation of Forest Fringe in Edinburgh to new spaces and new audiences. This is a chance for you to find out about that adventure and experience some of the projects that came out of it, including work by Brian Lobel, Little Bulb Theatre, Shellshock Theatre and Stadium Rock. Drop by and see what we’ve been up to and help us start dreaming and planning for where we go next.

Future Editions - A collaboration between Artsadmin and Forest Fringe
Wednesday 11 & Thursday 12 August

An interactive archive of visions, involving a dizzying array of people from across Edinburgh and beyond. A chance to find yourself in the most surprising and inspiring of conversations, sharing somebody's dream of the future. More details coming very soon.

Hold Hands / Lock Horns (Non Zero One)
Thursday 12 & Friday 13

Join in / pass up; stick / twist; follow / lead; win a friend / gain an enemy.
Non zero one have some decisions for you to make. You do want the choice, don't you?

Residence in Residence
Sunday 15

Residence are a loose collective of artists and companies based in Bristol who we’ve worked with regularly over the last few years and are generally very inspired by. Their number include Action Hero, Jo Bannon, Tom Marshman and both Tinned Fingers and Search Party who will be performing at Forest Fringe in the week following this event. We wanted to give Residence the opportunity of a space to simply be in residence, with what that might entail left entirely up to them. You can come along at any time and join them, getting yourself embroiled in whatever it is they might be planning.

Travelling Sounds Library
Monday 16 & Tuesday 17

The Travelling Sounds Library is a wandering collection of audio experiences, captured on MP3 player and hidden inside hollowed out hard back books. A chance to escape from the festival and drift away into somebody else’s world. Featuring Stan’s CafĂ©, Blast Theory, Duncan Speakman & Unlimited Theatre, Ian Campbell many more.

Wednesday 18

We wanted to play with the idea of getting yourself a slot in Edinburgh by offering people a chunk of time, stripped of all the proscriptions and baggage normally associated with it. We offered anyone the opportunity to apply for a slot, and indeed the chance to apply is still open. We’ll pick the names randomly out of a hat and those selected will be given an entirely free hour in which to do whatever they want – put on a show, have a rehearsal, hold a discussion or just sit and have a think for a while. If you’d like your name in the hat just email andy[at]

Cabinet of Ideas (H Plewis)
Thursday 19

You are invited to buy or sell an idea. Prices range from 1p - £1. Ideas range from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Inspiration Exchange
Friday 20

Developed out of an original idea by Alex Kelly from Third Angel, the inspiration exchange is an opportunity to hear a beautiful collection of stories detailing what has inspired some Forest Fringe’s artists and friends. In return we also want you to let us know what you’ve inspired by – whether it be a book, or a film, or a drunken conversation at 2 in the morning. Featuring Alex Kelly, James Stenhouse of Action Hero, Forest Fringe’s Deborah Pearson and Laura McDermott, joint artistic director of Fierce Festival, Birmingham.

What I Heard About the World: Research Map (Third Angel & mala voadora)
Saturday 21

Created out of Forest Fringe’s Microfestival in Glasgow as part of the development process for their new piece What I Heard About the World, this project is a 12 hour durational performance by Third Angel and Lisbon-based mala voadora. Over the course of the day they will attempt to map the world in stories collected from the audience.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Introducing Forest Fringe 2010: A Year of Reflection

Image from the Forest Fringe Microfestival, by James Baster

So yes, we’re probably repeating ourselves, but it’s really been a breathless few years. The way that people have believed in and helped supported us has been incredible and propelled us to places that we never could have imagined being. Now we want to make sure we make the most of that without losing the messy, resourceful, collaborative spirit that got us all here in the first place.

We’ve met some impressively inspiring people, listened to a deal of good advice and enjoyed experimenting with some new projects, such as the Microfestivals and the Forest Fringe Travelling Sounds Library. We’ve discovered things that work and things that don’t.

We've learnt that maybe the best way of summing up what Forest Fringe does well is to say that we bring people together in ways that make the sum greater than its parts. Opportunities for co-operation and collectivity that mean that out of very little we can create the spectacular and the implausible, benefiting everyone involved. Maybe its flash-mob curating, providing exciting invitations and leaving it up to artists to decide if and when they want to be involved. Maybe it’s just about being a moveable home that people can keep coming back to.

As we’ve been doing all this talking and thinking and sharing we’ve been thinking about our home in Edinburgh and realising it’s a shame there isn’t more space for these conversations and collaborations to happen there. Edinburgh is an arts festival that has a bigger and more dizzying array of people involved than any other. Yet every possible cupboard and dungeon and bar is transformed into a venue, meaning anything other than putting on shows is crowded out. And that can be an exhausting experience, especially when all the bars and cafes are overcrowded and overpriced and your flat is a crampt bolthole 40 minutes walk away.

The thing we’ve always liked about Edinburgh is that whatever you may think its failings may be, the best possible response is to offer your own alternative. If you build it they will come, as sad-eyed baseball-loving movie star Kevin Costner once said. So we've decided to try and create our own space for reflecting and catching our breath. We wanted to see how we might build something more than just a venue for putting on shows. After all, people have often said that Forest Fringe felt more like a refuge or a home – we felt we wanted to live up to that.
Far from expanding ever outwards in some ever-accelerating tidal wave of growth, this year we’d try and take the chance to reflect on what we do and how we do it. To experiment with what else we might do. To find space in Edinburgh for things that should happen but at present don’t really seem to, all the while continuing to support artists and put on weird and brilliant shows and experiments in the way we’ve always done.

All of which is a kind of long, quite heartfelt but potentially over-earnest way of trying to explain what you’ll get to experience at Forest Fringe this year. And the way we’ve figured out of organising all of this is to give you four miniature festivals in one:

Forest Fringe 2010: Monday August 9 – Saturday August 21

A festival of thoughts, from 12pm-5pm, offering a whole range of new and exciting ways for people to gather at Forest Fringe and talk and collaborate and generally be inspired.
A festival of ideas, from 5pm till 11pm, showcasing a lovely collection of work by some great artists in the way we’ve always done in the past.
A festival of experiences, from 11pm till late, where we’ll transform our space into a series of massive late night parties full of music and art and good times.
And a festival of adventures, all over the shop, inviting you to head out into the city and explore a range of hidden off-site projects.

So that’s what we’re up to. In the following few days we’re going to post some more details on exactly what you’ll be able to experience and be a part of in each of these joyous fandangos. But for now we hope you appreciate us trying to explain what it is we’re up to and we definitely appreciate you taking the time to read down to the last but one sentence – good job.

These are frightening times and exciting times – let’s see what we can make of them.

Saturday, 12 June 2010