The British Council’s biennial Edinburgh Showcase is the single biggest opportunity for UK theatre companies to introduce their work to international promoters. The programme this year is comprised of new work that represents the very best of contemporary theatre and dance, reflecting the breadth and diversity of British performing arts.
The Showcase will take place from 19-24 August, as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Since the British Council’s first Showcase in 1997, the event has given over 200 theatre and dance companies the opportunity to tour overseas, building new relationships and opening up new markets for the UK’s performing arts. For example, as a direct result of the 2011 Showcase, theatre company 1927 have toured The Animals and Children took to the Streets to over 49 international venues in 25 countries across 5 continents. The production has played to tens of thousands of audiences in venues and locations as diverse as non-theatre spaces in Nigeria to the Avignon Festival in France.
The programme this year includes theatre; new writing; live art and installation; interactive and immersive theatre; as well as an unprecedented number of dance pieces. Leading performers and companies including NoFit State Circus, National Theatre Wales and Claire Cunningham will participate alongside newer companies such as Look Left Look Right and Snuff Box.
The programme includes:
Kate Tempest Brand New Ancients
Recently awarded the Ted Hughes poetry prize, Kate Tempest will perform Brand New Ancients, an hour-long spoken story told over a live orchestral score, concerning two families intertwining and colliding against the epic back drop of mythology and the city.
NoFit State Circus BIANCO
BIANCO is an immersive promenade experience that takes place above, behind and all around a standing audience. The narrative constantly evolves to a soundtrack performed by a live band.
Action Hero Hoke’s Bluff
Hoke’s Bluff uses high school storylines, locker room speeches and sentimentality to shift and re-arrange the conventions and narratives of American teen movies.
James Cousins Company There We Have Been
James Cousins, winner of the inaugural New Adventures Choreographer Award, presents There We Have Been which takes inspiration from the troubled relationships portrayed in Haruki Murakami's best-selling novel, Norwegian Wood.
National Theatre Scotland, Claire Cunningham & Gail Sneddon, Ménage à Trois
This darkly humorous and deeply personal portrait explores Claire's twenty-year relationship with her crutches and asks if it's possible to find love when there are already three of you in the relationship. Ménage à Trois was also part of Unlimited, a series of collaborations and partnerships between disability arts organisations, Deaf and disabled artists, producers and mainstream organisations to celebrate the inspiration of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The Paper Cinema and Battersea Arts Centre The Paper Cinema’s Odyssey
The Paper Cinema performs a unique form of live animation and music. Founded in 2004 by Nicholas Rawling with Imogen Charleston and Christopher Reed, they tour bespoke pieces around Britain and internationally.
National Theatre Wales The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning
Written by Tim Price and directed by John E McGrath, The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning tackles one of the most important political and digital stories of our age about a 24-year old US soldier accused of releasing 250,000 secret embassy cables and military logs from the Iraq and Afghan wars. It will be presented simultaneously on stage and in a live stream via an interactive website.
As well as presenting high-quality live performance, the British Council will curate a supporting programme of artist interviews, industry know-how sessions and critical debates which will seek to contextualise the work shown. The official Edinburgh Showcase 2013 website will be launched in late May and will contain comprehensive information about the Showcase.
Follow the announcement on Twitter: @UKDramaDance #EdShowcase
Neil Webb, Director Drama and Dance, British Council, said:
“I am excited at the prospect of my seventh Edinburgh Showcase, and my first as Director of Drama and Dance. During my 15 years overseas, I have witnessed first-hand the value of the Showcase to our international partners, helping them to navigate the UK theatre industry, develop relationships with UK artists and companies, and experience some of the very best new work that the UK has to offer. For participating companies, the Showcase offers a huge opportunity to develop networks, foster collaborations, secure international tour bookings and build an international profile for their work. The British Council’s Edinburgh Showcase has played a key role in helping artists prosper for the past 16 years.”
Kath Mainland, Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society Chief Executive, said:
“The British Council’s Edinburgh Showcase continues to provide a vital platform for artists, ensuring that their work is seen by promoters from around the world. Most importantly, it opens up opportunities for international touring, enabling other countries to experience the excellent work that is being produced here and giving shows a life beyond the Fringe.
As the largest arts festival in the world, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe remains the first choice for performers, producers and artists to capture the attention of audiences from both far away and closer to home, and as the most significant international arts market in the UK, the natural place for the British Council to stage their Showcase.”
Claire Cunningham, said:
"Myself and Gail Sneddon, my co-creator in the making of Ménage à Trois, are delighted to be selected. The support to make this piece of work through the Unlimited scheme – an unprecedented scheme in terms of both recognising and profiling the work of disabled artists – was an incredible opportunity, made possible by our partnership with the National Theatre of Scotland and the continued support of Creative Scotland. It is our first time to be part of the British Council Showcase and we look forward to being part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2013 and to the new possibilities it will offer for the future life of this work."
Jo Crowley, Producer, 1927, said:
“Participation in the Showcase was enormously important for 1927 as we make work for a global audience and the participation has enabled us to continue this pursuit not only with the show we presented but it also allowed us to lay real foundations with audiences and industry partners across the globe, which we will continue to work with in the immediate and long term future.”
The Edinburgh Showcase is supported by Arts Council England, Creative Scotland and Arts Council of Wales.