David Pollock

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Edinburgh Mela 2014 guests line-up includes Apache Indian, Soumik Datta and former-Bhundu Boys Rise Kagona

17 Aug 2014

Multinational dance festival enters its 20th year with highlights including The King of Ghosts

The second day of last year’s Edinburgh Mela may have been called off due to unprecedented high winds, but what the thousands who came to Leith Links saw in the event’s earlier stages was a summation of everything its artistic director Chris Purnell has…

Profile: Randall Munroe, xkcd creator and author of new science book What If?

19 Aug 2014

The former roboticist for NASA offers serious scientific answers to absurd hypothetical questions

What is xkcd? A word which has no meaning, and which Munroe particularly likes because it has no actual phonetic pronunciation. It’s also his regular stick-figure web comic, in which a generation of geeks and science-literate readers are tickled by…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: a guide to the best in-venue eating

15 Aug 2014

Have a full-on foodie's festival with the help of Smoak, Valvona & Crolla, Nusou, Whydo and more

It’s not entirely true to say you can judge a Fringe venue by the quality of its food offerings, but many of the more culinarily discerning of those audience members in attendance will certainly form an opinion. You’ll certainly get an idea of what a…

Pirate Gran

7 Aug 20144 stars

Swashbuckling adaptation of Geraldine Durrant and Rose Forshall’s book at the Edinburgh Fringe

Nothing spells success like putting either a dinosaur or a pirate in your Fringe kid's show, and while this doesn’t have the latter it does boast Nippy, the finest life-sized puppet crocodile in all of Edinburgh. It also happens to be produced by…

Dystopian graphic novel IDP 2043 events set for 2014 Edinburgh Book Festival

15 Aug 2014

Collaborative work featuring contributions from Irvine Welsh, Denise Mina and Pat Mills

Charlotte Square went mad for comics last year – so much so, they’ve collaborated with Freight Books on a new graphic novel. David Pollock finds out more.

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Walking Dead comic artist Charlie Adlard set for 2014 Edinburgh Book Festival events

17 Aug 2014

Artist also appears with Robbie Morrison to discuss WWI graphic novel White Death

Born in Shrewsbury in 1966, comic artist Charlie Adlard first arrived on the UK scene with work for 2000AD’s enduring monthly anthology spin-off the Judge Dredd Megazine, and has continued to work for publishers Rebellion on series in both publications…

Forth Bridges Festival 2014 celebrates 50 years since construction of Forth Road Bridge

17 Aug 2014

Celebrating the Forth Road Bridge's half decade

It just so happens that this year of historic events happening in Scotland will also see the relatively minor but not inconsiderable 50th anniversary of the Forth Road Bridge arrive, even as the Firth’s third bridge, the Queensferry Crossing, rises from…

Legendary New York spoken word night The Moth coming to Edinburgh International Book Festival 2014

14 Aug 2014

The live true storytelling event will feature Omid Djalili, Andrew Solomon and Lynn Ferguson

A literary phenomenon in its New York home for many years now, The Moth’s fame is extending rapidly overseas, partly through the open mic StorySLAMs in approaching 20 international cities that it uses to gather stories. Making its second ever appearance…

The Factory

9 Aug 20143 stars

Fun musical theatre piece with an edge of social consciousness, staged at the Edinburgh Fringe

Presented here as part of the NZ at Edinburgh showcase season, this fun musical theatre piece hits the right note both in terms of its light-hearted musical tone and its packaging of a slice of New Zealand's social history, which is doubtless largely…

Profile: Mike Carey set for two appearances at 2014 Edinburgh Book Festival

15 Aug 2014

Comic writer to discuss recent novels The Unwritten and The Girl With All the Gifts

Liverpool-born, Oxford-educated Mike Carey was a teacher for fifteen years before he broke into comics, but since then his workrate has been prolific across a wide range of titles, from underground, creator-owned efforts to some of the ‘Big Two’s…

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Calum Colvin: The Magic Box

9 Aug 20143 stars

Mythical landscapes constructed from sculpture, painting & photography at the Edinburgh Art Festival

Each piece by Calum Colvin is a treasure chest, a feast of detail, reference and delicate composition which invites the viewer to figure out precisely how he did it. Somewhere between sculpture, photography and painting (many of his works are…

Pitschi, a Kitten with Dreams

9 Aug 20143 stars

One-woman adaptation of Hans Fischer's classic for small children at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Based on the Swiss children’s story by Hans Fischer, this new solo production from the Brighton-based Komedia offers a simple and gently-realised experience for younger children in the mainly pre-school age group. It tells of Pitschi, the smallest of…

Andrew Ladd on his debut novel What Ends

17 Aug 2014

Author set to appear at 2014 Edinburgh Book Fringe with Andrés Neuman

Where he’s from, says debut novelist Andrew Ladd, is the hardest question to answer. Born to American parents living in Brighton who swiftly afterwards moved to Edinburgh, he grew up there, went to university in Montreal and Boston, and now lives in…

Augustin Rebetez: Heart (Meteorite)

15 Aug 20143 stars

An enigmatic mixed-media installation from Swiss artist Augustin Rebetez

If this is hell, it’s a very playful corner of it. Somewhere deep in the bowels of Summerhall, Swiss artist Augustin Rebetez has taken over a room and transformed it with a multi-media exhibition which unnerves as much as it entrances. A wooden frame…

Dalziel + Scullion: Tumadh | Immersion

9 Aug 20144 stars

Experimental textiles encourage engagement with the natural world at the Edinburgh Art Festival

Within the relatively sterile dimensions of Dovecot Studios, there is a sense of the exterior, of wind in faces and rain in hair. The figures in the centre of the room are properly dressed for the kind of imagined inclement weather we might associate…

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The Big Bite-Size Plays Factory Goes Down the Toilet

18 Aug 20143 stars

Toilet-obsessed public information kids' show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Parents of kids who've hit potty training age will be aware there's unlimited capacity in their wee brains for repeating the word 'poo'. The Big Bite-Size Plays Factory has turned this compulsion into a gold-mine with their short set of variations on a…

Edinburgh International Book Festival 2014 interview: Kevin Eldon

14 Aug 2014

The comedian, actor and writer discusses his biography of eerily similar poet Paul Hamilton

‘It's all a bit subjective isn't it, poetry?’ asks Kevin Eldon, comedian and well-known face around cult television comedy shows like Big Train and Brass Eye. ‘Well, everything is really. Subjective. Even that opinion.’ He’s discussing the poetry of his…

Interview: Ninja Tune / Solid Steel’s DJ Moneyshot aka Macroy ‘Roy’ Spencer

14 Aug 2014

'Expect old-school style, heavy on the funk. Don't expect modern bass music or clownstep'

We’d love to give you the guided tour around the multifarious styles of Ninja Tune / Solid Steel’s DJ Moneyshot (aka East Midlands boy Macroy ‘Roy’ Spencer), but he’s willing to do it himself, so open his Mixcloud, sit back and enjoy the ‘greatest…

Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas tackles out-of-view topics at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

14 Aug 2014

The programme of talks and debates cover GM food, women in science and sex-selective abortions

Between this and the early-afternoon Scottish Independence talk show All Back to Bowie’s, the Stand in the Square is doing a good job of cornering the festival’s debating heart this year. Self-described as ‘debate, discussion and discourse in the…

The Festival of Politics 2014 gives people a chance to ask ‘What Next for Scotland?’

14 Aug 2014

The three-day programme of talks and events aims to cover both sides of the Referendum debate

'A festival that places people at the centre of politics,’ is how the Scottish Parliament’s Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick MSP describes this year’s Festival of Politics, in which case it’s fitting that it will boldly reflect the event which people…

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Edinburgh International Book Festival 2014 interview: Lynne Segal on ageing and feminism

14 Aug 2014

‘It’s women who are aged faster by culture and discarded sooner as undesirable'

’I don’t feel old,’ was the most common response author, academic and long-time socialist-feminist Lynne Segal would receive when researching her new book Out of Time: The Pleasures and Perils of Ageing. She describes this as ‘temporal vertigo’, noting…

The Tale of the Dastardly Defrost

13 Aug 20143 stars

Food-themed Edinburgh Fringe children's show that's a light piece of fun

A light piece of fun based on a cutely compelling idea, this show from As Told By Productions and writer Holly McKinlay gives personality to the contents of a fridge – then sets the environment to defrost and waits to see what happens. Most of the…

Talks around 'Culture and Conflict' highlight the WWI focus of Edinburgh International Festival 2014

10 Aug 2014

Topics include women's roles in wartime, soft power, pacifism and anti-war activism

It may have come in for some knocks last year when it was announced that 2014’s Edinburgh International Festival wouldn’t be touching upon certain timely political subjects, but in the ancillary programme which accompanies the high-end performance…

The best nocturnal activities during the 2014 Edinburgh Festivals

7 Aug 2014

Try something alternative like ceilidh dancing or a cabaret club night

One of the best things about Edinburgh in August has to be the wealth of indulgent after-hours fun to be found in the most unexpected of places. David Pollock picks a few highlights for those seeking a lighthearted alternative to the usual late-night…

Highlights of Edinburgh Book Fringe 2014

7 Aug 2014

Guests including Alan McCombes ensure radical bookshop’s festival is antithesis to Charlotte Square

Now in its fifth year, Word Power ’s Edinburgh Book Fringe seeks to continue harnessing some of that counter-cultural spirit which first earned the Edinburgh Fringe its reputation. Elaine Hunter, Book Fringe founder and proprietor of the Word Power…