Theatre, Mark Fisher

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Interview: musician Sxip Shirey on maximalist circus show Limbo

22 Nov 2013

‘I wanted the sexy music to be actually sexy and I wanted the beautiful music to be beautiful'

Every circus has a ringmaster, but none is quite like Gene ‘Sxip’ Shirey. He turns up in the Limbo Spiegeltent not in traditional red livery and top hat, but in a white suit bedecked with feathers, like some fallen angel. A fallen angel, that is, with…

Theatre critic Mark Fisher on the Shakespeare productions planned for 2012

13 Dec 2011

Alan Cumming, David Hayman and more to stage the Bard next year

In 1964, the Polish critic Jan Kott published Shakespeare, our Contemporary. The book caused a stir for framing a long-dead playwright through the lens of 20th century totalitarianism. Director Peter Brook was delighted to find a commentator who could…

A guide to Scotland's cabaret, circus, magic and puppetry festivals and organisations

8 Nov 2012

Groups and festivals working in live art, including Conflux, Club Noir, Manipulate and Surge

Cabaret artiste The neo-burlesque scene has gone mainstream thanks in no small part to the efforts of Club Noir, which runs events all over the country from its base at the O2 Academy in Glasgow. Claiming a place in Guinness World Records for being…

Interview: Alan Cumming on staging a one-man Macbeth

25 May 2012

Aberfeldy’s most famous son on the toil and trouble of Shakespeare

How much doom and gloom can one man take? For most actors, it would be enough of a mental burden to take on the role of Macbeth, the warrior king whose ambition leads to self-destruction. But for Alan Cumming, that’s only the start of it. In a new…

Theatre director Vicky Featherstone discusses Abi Morgan-penned drama 27

20 Oct 2011

The play examines themes of aging, loneliness, faith and science

‘You’re such a journalist,’ says Vicky Featherstone when I ask her whether 27 is going to ruffle feathers among scientists and Christians. The play is, after all, about a crisis of faith in a convent provoked by a scientist’s request to study the nuns…

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Interview: Sofie Gråbøl on The James Plays at 2014 Edinburgh International Festival

15 Jul 2014

The Killing star talks about why she chose her first project outside of Denmark to be in Scotland

It’s not a career path any Danish actor would dare to imagine. Even for the most celebrated of that country’s stars, the prospects of working abroad remain slim. So although Sofie Gråbøl was one of Denmark’s best-known actors long before being cast as…

Interview: Diana Rigg on making her Edinburgh Festival Fringe debut with No Turn Unstoned

15 Jul 2014

Diana Rigg on Games of Thrones and her 2014 comedy show based on bad theatre reviews

Something fishy is going on in theatreland. There’s a meeting of the Critics’ Circle but one of the members hasn’t shown up. Every time a concerned journo goes to investigate, they disappear too. At the mystery’s heart is Edward Lionheart, an actor in…

Edinburgh Fringe shows explores stories of Anna Politkovskaya and Yulia Tymoshenko

15 Jul 2013

Ines Wurth and Badac Theatre present shows dealing with prominent women in Eastern Europe

Every year, Amnesty International gives an award to a play on the Fringe that presses the right artistic buttons and spreads the word about human rights. When the judges come to consider this year’s Freedom of Expression Award, two shows in particular…

Davey Anderson discusses the upcoming New Plays from China strand

17 Apr 2013

The world premiere performances showcase the talents of three Chinese playwrights

It’s not often that Scotland gets to see a Chinese world premiere before China does, but it’s about to happen three times. Joining forces with the National Theatre of Scotland, Glasgow’s lunchtime theatre season A Play, A Pie and a Pint is presenting a…

Behaviour festival features work by five of Scotland’s rising stars in Scottish theatre

19 Mar 2013

New work from Gary McNair, Claire Cunningham, Rob Drummond, Nic Green and Kieran Hurley

Five of Scotland’s most promising theatre makers have each been cultivating an intriguing new show, as part of the National Theatre of Scotland and The Arches’ Auteurs Project. Ahead of their first outings at the Behaviour festival, Mark Fisher asks…

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Ten collaborative music, theatre and film projects from Scotland

7 Nov 2012

Including Speed of Light, Pass the Spoon and Whatever Gets You Through the Night

Pass the Spoon. It sounded like an unlikely dish, with ingredients including off-beat artist David Shrigley (who wrote the libreto), modernist composer David Fennessy and Magnetic North director Nicholas Bone working with the Red Note Ensemble, but when…

A guide to children's theatre companies in Scotland

7 Nov 2012

Organisations in Scotland putting on shows for and by young people

One of Scottish theatre’s great success stories is the number of exceptional children’s companies to have emerged over the last 20 years. Catherine Wheels, Frozen Charlotte, Licketyspit, the Puppet Lab, Starcatchers, TAG, Visible Fictions and Wee…

A guide to the best upcoming Scottish theatre talent

6 Nov 2012

The brightest and most multitalented young stage talents in Scotland

Joe Douglas After graduating in 2006 with a degree in theatre directing, Douglas got an early break when he became a trainee director in residence with the National Theatre of Scotland. His production of Dennis Kelly’s children’s show Our Teacher’s a…

Wonderland from Vanishing Point theatre deals in pornography and voyeurism

17 Aug 2012

A new show from Glasgow theatre company set for UK run

Mark Fisher flies to Italy to find Glasgow’s Vanishing Point raising the Neapolitan temperature with Wonderland

It’s So Nice explores relationship between Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I

23 Jul 2012

French performers are aiming to throw light on history at Edinburgh Fringe

Talk about coals to Newcastle. Barbara Sylvain and Lula Béry are a French/Belgian double act who thought it’d be a good idea to bring a show about Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I to Scotland. The 16th-century tale of the francophone Mary and her…

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Peter Michael Marino discusses Desperately Seeking the Exit

23 Jul 2012

The writer/performer who’s hoping to turn a stage disaster into a Fringe success

It’s a classic case of triumphing in the face of disaster. In 2007, Peter Michael Marino’s adaptation of the Madonna movie Desperately Seeking Susan, opened in London’s West End and, after devastating reviews, crawled through 13 days before closing…

How to make your Edinburgh Fringe show a success

19 Jul 2012

Author of The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide Mark Fisher dispenses good advice

A couple of years ago, I was commissioned by Methuen Drama to write The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide, a 280-page manual published earlier this year and described by Lyn Gardner of the Guardian as "a wonderfully practical but also inspirational book…

Théâtre du Soleil's epic Jules Verne-inspired 2012 Edinburgh Festival show

11 Jul 2012

Serge Nicolaï on Les Naufragés du Fol Espoir (Aurores)

Multi-talented actor Serge Nicolaï tells Mark Fisher why four hours is positively speedy in the egalitarian and epic world of Ariane Mnouchkine and Théâtre du Soleil

Interview: Playwrights David Greig and David Harrower share a bill at Edinburgh Fringe

11 Jul 2012

Scottish playwrights share a bill at Edinburgh for first time

It took centuries of endeavour before the first man ran a four-minute mile. Yet as soon as he did, it happened again just two months later. Since Roger Bannister broke that barrier in 1959, many athletes have done the same. That, says playwright David…

The tragic number - Fringe shows charting the musicians who died aged 27

11 Jul 2012

Trio of Edinburgh Fringe shows explore the haunted number

John Kielty is sitting in an Edinburgh bar, listing the supernatural properties of the number 27. ‘It’s the cube of three; three being the original magic number,’ he says. ‘The moon orbits the earth every 27 days. The sun revolves on its axis every 27…

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Mark Fisher on The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide

1 Feb 2012

Theatre critic's book of essential advice to aspiring Fringe performers

1 Choosing a title takes ages It’s as straightforward as they come, yet The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide was a title born of months of discussion. The subtitle, How to Make Your Show a Success, was arrived at no quicker. My editor couldn’t believe…

Preview of 2012 - King Lear

6 Jan 2012

New Citizens Theatre boss Dominic Hill brushes up his Shakespeare

Take on the Citizens Theatre and you take on the past. Any artistic director of the Glasgow institution can only be aware of the building’s history. Opened as the Royal Princess’s Theatre in 1848, it became home to James Bridie’s Citizens’ company in…

Jackie and the Beanstalk

7 Dec 20114 stars

Johnny McKnight's panto manages to entertain while challenging traditional gender roles

According to panto dame Dott Von Trott, things have got so bad in the austerity-stricken pantosphere that ‘parents in Bridge of Allan have started firing their nannies and learning their own kids’ names’. Serious times indeed, and there’s something…

Liz Lochhead discusses her new play, Edwin Morgan's Dreams – and Other Nightmares

21 Sep 2011

The new production will premiere at this year's Glasgay! festival

It’s a sprightly Liz Lochhead who comes into Edinburgh’s Urban Angel for a breakfast coffee – latte with an extra shot – in the midst of a typically whirlwind calendar of deadlines, poetry readings and confabs with theatre directors. This summer she had…

A Day in the Death of Joe Egg

13 Sep 2011

Theatre director Phillip Breen discusses forthcoming adaptation of Peter Nichols' play

Phillip Breen is only 32, but already he has the honour of straddling three regimes at the Citz. Straight out of university in 2003, he was taken on by Philip Prowse to direct The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, returning at the invitation of Jeremy…