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Belgrade Springboard Companies spring into action in Edinburgh

Posted on 31 July 2018

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Tomorrow marks the start of what may be the biggest annual event in British Theatreland, with the Edinburgh Festival kicking off on Wednesday 1 August.

This year, we’re incredibly proud that not just one, but three groups of Belgrade Springboard Artists will be heading up to the Scottish capital to tout their talents to critics, peers and theatre-lovers from across the UK and further afield – here’s a sneak peak at some of the shows they’ll be presenting.

First up, Shoot Festival co-founder and Belgrade Senior Youth leader Paul O’Donnell will be presenting his innovative Bon Jovi musical We’ve Got Each Other at the Pleasance Dome. Modern jukebox musicals might be known for massive casts, orchestras, opulent sets and extravagant dance routines, but while We’ve Got Each Other has got none of these things (they cost a lot of money), Paul will be working hard to conjure them up in his audience’s minds, inviting them to fill in the gaps as he recounts breathtakingly tragic love story of Tommy and Gina, complete with entertaining descriptions of over 180 different lighting cues.

We’ve Got Each Other is commissioned by China Plate, mac Birmingham, Warwick Arts Centre and In Good Company, and is the winner of the BE Festival Early Ideas Award 2017, BE Festivals Audience Prize 2018, FITT Festival Tarragona’s Audience Prize 2018 and FITT Festival Tarragona’s Best Performer Prize 2018.

Fellow Shoot Festival co-founder Jen Davis will also be heading to the Fringe, directing Susie Sillett’s (sorry) at the Assembly George Square Theatre. Originally produced by the Birmingham REP, this bold new work explores what it means to be a millennial, taking audiences on a journey from the supermarket aisle to the edge of a volcano. In an age of unpaid internships and avocado on toast, it offers an honest and intimate examination of young people’s most pressing concerns: job exploitation, crumbling friendships and the imminent apocalypse.

Sorry

In the Pleasance Courtyard, Strictly Arts will make their Edinburgh Fringe debut with a revival of their powerful drama Freeman. Created in collaboration with award-winning writer Camilla Whitehill, the show explores the often unspoken link between systemic racism and mental health, inspired by the first American to plead insanity as a legal defence. Combining high-energy physical theatre, powerful drama, gospel singing, shadow puppetry and more, this deeply moving production draws on extensive research into deaths and mental illness amongst prisoners, crossing time and waters to weave together stories of prisoners of colour in both the US and UK.

Freeman

Freeman is supported in Edinburgh by the Charlie Hartill Special Reserve Fund, awarded through Pleasance Futures, and has already attracted significant attention, featured in The Sunday Times’ Best of the Fest guide, and in Lyn Gardner’s festival picks for The Independent, as well as being longlisted for the Amnesty Freedom of Expression Award.

If you missed the production during its previous Belgrade Theatre run, you can also catch it here in Coventry when it returns to the Belgrade 5-8 September. Tickets are available to book here.

Hymns for Robots

Finally, at C Venues – C Aquila, Noctium Theatre will be presenting Edinburgh audiences with a flavour of Coventry history and culture as they perform their Delia Derbyshire inspired Hymns for Robots. Now best known for her work on the iconic Doctor Who theme tune as part of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, the Coventry-born artist was a pioneer of electronic music, and is credited with influencing bands ranging from The Beatles and Pink Floyd to Orbital.

Setting their scene in a small attic packed with boxes, Noctium revisit the life and work of this still relatively unsung genius, combining strange sounds and weird wobbulations with their distinctive, heightened performance style to offer an extraordinary sonic experience. Hymns for Robots will also run at the Belgrade Theatre early next season, with performances running 19-21 September.

Break a leg to all the brilliant Belgrade Springboard stars performing at the festival this year. If you’d like to support our charitable work including our Springboard scheme, please click here to make a donation. Thank you for your support!