From its base in St. John’s Church on Princes Street, Just Festival has, for fifteen years, been championing social justice, diversity and equality with a packed programme of events each August. The Festival now also has a second home – Central Hall in Tollcross, most recently the venue for Young Fathers‘ hometown extravaganza. The extensive programme includes music, comedy, dance, talks and workshops by artists and performers from around the world.
After Freedom will be one of the showpiece musicals in the new space of Central Hall, a blend of tribal and urban dance and music from South Africa. On the evidence of their performance at the launch event, it will be phenomenal.
Monica Salvi offers a very different musical style in her show, Mad Women In My Attic. Her powerful voice shook the church to its rafters on launch night as she performed snippets from this cabaret celebration of the mentally unstable.
There’s theatre too, including a triplet of provocative plays about the Holocaust by Red Card Theatre. Breeze Productions examine prejudice against the gypsy and traveller communities in Building Bridges, a topic which is something of a theme at this year’s Just. Meanwhile, Resilience is an interactive theatre piece focussing on the economic hardship of our times.
The Just Conversations series each weekday at 6pm gives audiences a chance to hear pre-eminent thinkers on topics such as equality and human rights, modern day slavery and childhood abuse. There are also four end-of-life experts, including former BMJ editor Richard Smith (brother of comedian Arthur), in the Monday afternoon Death on the Fringe lectures.
If you fancy trying your hand at anything from African dance to a Japanese tea ceremony, Just’s Workshops may have what you are looking for, and for the kids there’s puppetry, storytelling and yoga among other things.
We’ll be at Just Festival throughout August as their media partner, so keep an eye out for interviews, reviews and more.