WhatsOnStage Logo
Home link
Features

Top 5 Edinburgh International Festival shows to see

Not that into Edinburgh Fringe? Find out what's hot at the Edinburgh International Festival this year

Gustavo Dudamel
© Adam Lathan

There's not just one festival up in Edinburgh over August, there are quite a few. One of the ones is the Edinburgh International Festival, which showcases brilliant pieces from around the world. Prices are higher and there are fewer shows, but it's absolutely worth checking out what's on offer. Here are a selection of some of the pieces we think will turn out to be great.

Head to our dedicated Edinburgh festivals page for all the up-to-the minute coverage.



Total Immediate Collective Imminent Terrestrial Salvation
© Mihaela Bodlovic

Total Immediate Collective Imminent Terrestrial Salvation

A new work by theatremaker Tim Crouch is always an event. This latest, created in conjunction with the National Theatre of Scotland, looks set to be no exception. Playful, as always, with form, Crouch uses stage action and illustrated text to tell the story of a man who manipulates a group of people to sit in a place together and believe in something that isn't true. Does that sound a little like theatre to you? Oh, and if you can't get to Edinburgh, the piece will also be running at the Royal Court from 3 to 21 September. The Studio, 7 to 25 August


Gustavo Dudamel
© Adam Lathan

Opening Event: LA Phil at Tynecastle

Not technically theatre, but inherently theatrical, the Edinburgh International Festival's opening event is usually a brilliant kickstarter to proceedings. This year superb conductor Gustavo Dudamel brings the LA Philharmonic to play songs from the golden age of Hollywood. It takes place in Tynecastle Park Stadium and looks absolutely epic. What's more, it's free. Tickets – only four per person – do need to be booked. Tynecastle Park, 2 August


Red Dust Road
© Jackie Kay

Red Dust Road

Scottish poet and novelist Jackie Kay published a memoir in 2010 about her 20-year search for her biological mother and father. That story is adapted for the stage by Tanika Gupta and directed by Dawn Walton for National Theatre of Scotland. In those hands, the story will likely be a remarkable, intriguing not-to-be-missed production. The Lyceum, 14 to 18 August


Roots
© Paul Barritt

Roots

Brilliant, quirky theatre company 1927 is back with a new piece. Roots uses all the company's usual techniques – animation mixed with live-action and old skool silent cinema aesthetic with a live score. The show focuses on little-known folk takes which offer a glimpse into the imaginations of those who have gone before. Church Hill Theatre, 9 to 25 August


La Reprise
© Hubert Amiel

La Reprise. Histoire(s) du theatre

Swiss theatre director Milo Rau causes controversy wherever he goes. His latest piece is an examination of a brutal, real-life murder which happened in 2012. Rau uses six professional actors and six amateur ones to bring together testimonies from the victim's family, former partner, lawyer and also killer. Likely not for the faint hearted. The Lyceum, 3 to 5 August