Monday, 7 August 2017

Vive le Fringe: The Institut Français d’Ecosse at the Edinburgh festivals

For the month of August, Edinburgh becomes the centre of the UK's cultural  and artistic world, with
the Edinburgh International Festival and the Edinburgh festival  Fringe taking place in the city. Thousands of events are being held at venues from the grand to the makeshift, and shows ranging from undergraduate student performances to events featuring some of the world's biggest artists.

While there is, as always, a significant French presence in Edinburgh at this busy time, the Institut français d’Ecosse again plays a starring role in giving a French flavour to events in the Scottish capital.

This year's programme at the IFE includes theatre, music and author events, but there are three shows central to their programme.

An adaptation of Marguerite Duras' work La Maladie de la Mort by Poitiers based Collectif Or Normes features dance, electonics and theatre.

Lost in Translation: A Bilingual Journey by Théâtre sans Accent is a theatrical exploration of language through the experiences of one girl, in French, English, Gaelic and Occitan.

The IFE is set to moves to new premises shortly, with the historic Lothian House in the centre of the Old Town becoming home to not only the IFE but also the French consulate, an auditorium and an exhibition space, language school and library. It will be a significant French presence at the heart of Scotland.

This building hosts a show by Erwan Keravec and Mickaël Phelippeau entitled Membre fantôme, a show that sees the piper and the choreographer reflect on the idea of identity in art.

Beyond these shows, the IFE's programme also includes a light and music installation by Heather Lander and Robert Bentall, while the Edinburgh International Festival includes clasical performances by François Leleux and Eric Le Sage and a performance of La Damnation de Faust at the Usher Hall.

With the IFE set to take a more visible part of Edinburgh and Scotland's cultural landscape, we can hopefully expect more events in the very near future cementing the historic links between France and Scotland that go well beyond the Edinburgh festivals season.

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