Top 10 uses of tech at this year's Edinburgh festival
The Edinburgh festivals offer the opportunity to experience cutting edge tech on stage - see what we're looking forward to the most
Traverse at Codebase, 4 to 27 August, various times
Coming courtesy of Curious Directive, Frogman combines storytelling with virtual reality headsets and binaural sound. With work from Peter Malkin, the award-winning sound designer responsible for The Encounter, the nautical exploration tells the story of a missing girl on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef. Audiences of 30 are granted the opportunity to use the headsets in conjunction with the live performer.
2. Ubu Roi
Sometimes the best use of tech can come in the blending of different media forms, and Ludens Ensemble are positioning themselves as masters of the field. After the success of their Macbeth: Without Words last year, the Edinburgh-based theatre group return with Ubu Roi, a bombastic adaptation of Alfred Jarry's classic. Replete with interactive video, projection, puppetry and live DJs.
3. Lula Del Ray by Manual Cinema
Underbelly Med Quad, 16:30
After the sell-out hit Ada/Ava last year, Manual Cinema return to Underbelly with their newest offering. Lula Del Ray combines live projection, video and shadow puppetry to present a coming-of-age tale, based on the life of a vagabond girl embarking on a solo adventure across the Mid West. Country music-lovers have even more to look forward to, with an original score based on music from the likes of Hank Williams.
4. FuturePlay VR Studio
Assembly Rooms VR Studio, 4 to 26 August, various
Assembly have fully embraced technical innovation in the arts this year with their FuturePlay series, dedicating a variety of exhibits to VR and interactive video, while also commissioning performances with an obvious technical bent. Their dedicated VR Studio has commissioned a number of new pieces in collaboration with big names including Cirque du Soleil, Oculus, Ubisoft and the Guardian. This is only the tip of the iceberg for FuturePlay, so tech enthusiasts should delve further on the Assembly site to find more.
5. The Dreamer
Pleasance Courtyard, 2 to 15 August, 13:30
Their 2014 Institute wowed audiences with its large-scale technical innovation and set, something logistically impressive for a space requiring such speedy turnarounds. This year Gecko Theatre return with The Dreamer, a collaboration with Shanghai Dramatic Arts based on an amalgamation between Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and his contemporary Tang Xianzu's The Peony Pavilion. Expect every technical trick in the book judging by the reactions to the show's 2016 run as part of the Shakespeare Lives project.
6. Foreign Radical
Foreign Radical, from Theatre Conspiracy as part of the Canada Hub, is an intensely topical work, placing audiences in rooms, forcing them to spy and collude with one another, forming allegiances and prejudices. While billed as a game, the show's underlying themes are somewhat less jovial, with tailored media content influencing and undermining spectator expectations. Weighty themes include security, profiling, freedom of expression and privacy in the age of cybersurveillance.
7. Paper Cinema's Macbeth
Pleasance Dome, 22 - 26 August, 13:45
Paper Cinema have been touring their production of The Odyssey for a number of years, but are bringing a new piece, based on Shakespeare's Scottish play, to the Pleasance Dome. A collaboration with Battersea Arts Centre, the show aims to blend puppetry, projection and live drawing to recreate the tragic tale.
Church Hill Theatre & Studio, 4 to 27 August, various
Scottish theatre company Vox Motus adapt Caroline Brothers' 2012 novel Hinterland, a tale of two young boys embarking on a perilous trip across Europe. The innovation is unprecedented - audience members are invited to sit in their own personal booths, watching the action unfold on slowly moving models based on graphic novel forms. Speech and sound are provided via personal headphone sets. Certainly a unique opportunity for tech lovers in Edinburgh.
Summerhall, 2 - 26 August, various
Billed as an "intense sonic experience", an audience of 20 are brought inside a shipping container to experience a speedy dose of intense psychological treatment. Summoned from the creative minds of Glen Neath and David Rosenberg, this seems to be on the unsettling side of technical innovation if their previous shows, Ring and Fiction are anything to go by.
10. The Standard Life Opening Event: Bloom
St Andrew Square, 4 - 5 August, 21:00 onwards
To round the list is perhaps the largest technical event of the month, now for the first time taking place on two successive nights. Celebrating its 70th anniversary, the Edinburgh International Festival goes the extra mile with its proceedings – transforming St Andrew Square into a blossoming kaleidoscope of lights and installations. Those lucky enough to have grabbed tickets are treated to the best of 59 Productions' endeavours after their successful openings in both 2015 and 2016. Those with tickets can access the arena from 9pm, and all those without will be admitted from 10:30pm, subject to capacity.