The Edinburgh Festival presents so many shows that choosing what to see can be like trying to find a a in a haystack. Nevertheless, some shows come with such a strong track record, or are just so intriguing, that they jump out of the programme.
New York company The TEAM emerged as one of the most impressive new companies on the Fringe in 2005. On last year’s showing, their latest piece, Particularly in the Heartland (Traverse, 3-27 Aug), should be rich, radical satire.
Also at the Traverse (3-13 Aug) ¡El Conquistador! promises to be visually stunning and deeply engaging. It combines theatre, film and the Latin American telenovela (a kind of soap opera) to tell the story of Polonio, a peasant who flees his war-ravaged Colombian village to become a soap opera star, but ends up becoming a doorman to the rich and famous.
Socialist theatre goers who remember Mercury Theatre’s powerful anti-war play The Pull of Negative Gravity will be excited to learn of their latest piece, Devil’s Advocate (Assembly Rooms, 5-27 Aug).
Written by US playwright Donald Freed, it is set during the US invasion of Panama in 1989, and focuses on the meeting between Catholic Archbishop Laboa and General Noriega.
The visual theatre programme of Aurora Nova always holds a number of gems, and Ketzal, by wonderful Russian company Derevo (St Stephen’s, 4-28 Aug), is likely to be a highlight this year.
Perhaps the number one show in Edinburgh this summer, however, is the operatic double bill of The Lindbergh Flight/The Flight Over the Ocean and The Seven Deadly Sins by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht (Edinburgh Festival Theatre, 14-16 Aug).
Performed, as part of the Edinburgh International Festival programme, by the orchestra and chorus of the Opera National de Lyon, it is the work of multi-talented Quebecois director Francois Girard.
For programmes for the festivals go to www.edinburgh-festivals.com