Fosse & Maxwell Premiere at 2002 Edinburgh FestivalDate: 26 March 2002
World premieres of new work by up and coming playwrights Douglas Maxwell and Jon Fosse will headline the theatre offerings at the 2002 Edinburgh International Festival, which runs from 11 to 31 August in the Scottish capital city.
The Scottish Maxwell is best known for his multi award-winning open-air piece Decky Does a Bronco, about five boys competing on a playground swingset, while his other recent play Helmet, modelled on a computer game, opened a UK-wide tour earlier this month. At the Festival, Maxwell's latest work, Variety, will document the death throes of Scotland's popular entertainment. Performed at the King's Theatre from 12 to 17 August, Variety will be directed by Ben Harrison for Grid Iron Theatre, which was also behind Decky Does a Bronco.
Norwegian Fosse's Nightsongs has just completed its UK premiere season at London's Royal Court, dividing opinion. His new play for the Festival, The Girl on the Sofa, is translated by Scot David Harrower and directed by German Thomas Ostermeier with an all-British cast. The piece juxtaposes two stories from the life of one woman - at once, a young aspiring painter and a middle-aged artist creating a self-portrait.
Also on the theatrical agenda are: the return of Vienna Burgtheater with a production of Schiller's Maria Stuart; from Roterdam, Ro Theatre's Macbeth; the French Canadian Theatre UBU's video art-installation of Maurice Maeterlinck's The Blind; Toulouse-baded Theatre Tattoo's La Cuisine (The Kitchen); and the first performances outside India of actor and political activist Pritham Chakravarthy who explores the experiences of eunuchs.
Elsewhere in the International Festival, there are offerings from Canadian Opera Company, Scottish Opera, the Royal Ballet of Flanders and a new seres of 25 late-night classical music concerts priced at only £5.
Commenting on the 2002 event, festival director Brian McMaster said: "With this year's programme, we have a combination of events which is unique in the world, aimed equally at attracting people from as far away as Los Angeles and exciting our local audience."
The granddaddy of them all, the Edinburgh International Festival is just one of some seven festivals that overtake the Scottish city in August. The others are the Edinburgh Film Festival, Book Festival, Jazz & Blues Festival, Visual Arts Festival, the Military Tattoo and, of course, the Edinburgh Fringe which, on its own qualifies as the world's largest arts festival with more than 1,400 shows annually on offer. The Fringe's 2002 programme will be announced in May.