With six venues across the city including a seven-storey multiplex, a 16th century lodge and an outdoor venue in a hotel courtyard, the C Venues are characterised by their diversity. It is no surprise therefore that they have a program to match.
Theatre is particularly well-represented, with several classics getting a modern makeover. The Cambridge Shakespeare Collective has added a touch of Lord of the Flies to the Bard’s goriest work by updating Titus Andronicus to the school playground. Even more radical is Japanese mime troupe Ryukyu Cirque’s Clown Macbeth, a fusion of mime and traditional Japanese dance.
It isn’t just William who is being reinterpreted. Theater Margot present an avant-garde take on Chekhov with The Cherry Orchard: Beyond the Truth. It has won awards in its native South Korea, but some prior knowledge of the play may be advised. On the 150th anniversary of its publication, Alice in Wonderland is given a dark, political spin by Liverpudlian company, Three Mugs of Tea. Eat Me! Drink Me! Buy Me! follows Alice as she falls down the rabbit hole of debt, meeting familiar characters along the way.
Of wholly new work, Compton Little Theatre’s The Last Five Years draws the eye. A musical chronicling the marriage and break-up of a couple in a non-chronological framework, it brings to mind the likes of 500 Days of Summer, and Blue Valentine. The Night Watch is a story of war from young writer, producer and director Antonia Goddard, who looks to be a real talent.
Comedy is also well-represented. Fashion is a ‘haute-couture’ sketch show from the St Andrews Revue, following last year’s well-received Prom. Keeping things sketchy are So You Think You’re Funny? and London Sketchfest Best Show finalists Revan and Fennell, making their Edinburgh debut with Fan Club. They’ve been likened to Smack the Pony and their sketches are cheeky and irreverent. Get Ready. Get Set. Ahhh F#%k It is a stand-up show from Angus Brown, presented by Attic Erratic from Melbourne, for anyone who has had great ideas but never followed them through.
C Venues also cater for the young and the young-at-heart. C theatre themselves provide an introduction to Shakespeare with The Play’s the Thing: Shakespeare for Kids featuring the great man and a cast of his best-loved characters. Paper Finch Theatre has adapted Beauty and the Beast and The Steadfast Tin Soldier for the Fringe previously, and this year invites us to The Unbirthday Party. This is an immersive interactive show that lets the little ‘uns dine with Alice, The March Hare and other characters from Alice in Wonderland.
This is just a taste of the extensive program that C Venues are offering – something for everyone, whether it’s tragedy, drama, or something a little more light-hearted.