The Fringe is Over: Long Live the International.
One more week to go, woo hoo.
All the low-lifers have headed off (hey, I’ve been High-Arting it, allow me this once). The city is empty again and the sun has come back to us, wahay.
Or boo, depending on your perspective. Me? I’d prefer we had festivals all year round. They are our biggest tourist revenue to the city.
Pubs, clubs, hotels, taxis, restaurants are all bursting at the seams. I don’t understand why they’re talking of cutting arts funding. They should cut it from the tourist budget and give more to the Festivals.
After all, where else are we going to feed our souls in these tough economic times?
Speaking of which, you MUST go see Sin Sangre tonight 1st Sept or Friday, 3rd Sept at the King’s Theatre, starting at 8pm. I’m not joking. There are even tickets for students and unemployed, YoungScot Card Holder and Senior Citizen Card holders starting at £6. Six quid to see one of the best shows of the whole Edinburgh International Festival.
Well, on the one hand, best. On the other hand, not so best.
Sin Sangre is an incredible, genre-busting mixture of theatre and cinema. When a guy pretends to throw a stone into the audience, you can hear the crash behind you. It’s a totally intense 3D experience where actors perform between two screens to make it look like they are on cinema, but are actually live.
The actors have conversations with film characters, who sometimes become real characters. People swim in rippling water on film then arrive on stage drenched. Bullets shoot through a plate-glass window and the 3D explosion is better than anything James Cameron could conjure up on Avatar. All with Dolby surround-sound atmospheric music.
When a house is set alight, the fire consumes the whole stage. People dining at a restaurant remember a conversation when they were on a train, and immediately, the seated diners are on the train rattling along with the story.
Breathtaking work, by Chile’s Teatro Cinema. The half-dozen actors play about 10 different roles and sometimes use creepy ‘Beauty and the Beast’-type masks to differentiate and add drama.
Three quarters of the way through, I dozed off.
I hadn’t had a drink. I’d only had a light supper of mushy peas. I was thoroughly enjoying the spectacle. But I dozed off. Was it me? Or was it the piece?
It was the show. Once the wonder of it all has swooped you up and you are totally involved in the whole phantasmagorical genius of it, and you are really enjoying the kitschy B-movie, film noir feel of the work, it loses pace.
For 3/4 of the time, Sin Sangre hurtles along with intense dialogue and raw action, then suddenly turns into a long draw-out Latin American soap tragedy.
Shame, but still an incredible piece of art to experience.
Go! And let me know what you think. I’m happy to stand corrected.
Also, check the video on the Edinburgh International Festival website. The video is way too tiny to get the full effect but you will get a good idea. Or, you can see it a bit larger on Teatro Cinema‘s website.
Or phone the box office for tickets: (0)131 473 2000
Listen to the review I gave Sin Sangre on Leith FM 98.8 arts and culture show, Leith Tonight, on Weds 2nd Sept. We did a special review show for the end of the Fringe.
- Sin Sangre (Without Blood) | Edinburgh theatre review (guardian.co.uk) 2 stars
- Sin Sangre, Festival theatre, Edinburgh, review (telegraph.co.uk) 4 stars
- Edinburgh show blends cinema and live action (bbc.co.uk)
- Fringe box office breaks records (bbc.co.uk)
- Edinburgh Guide 5 stars
- The Scotsman 3 H’s(!)
- The Herald‘s Neil Cooper talks to Teatro Cinema’s director, Juan Carlos Zagal
- Joyce McMillan of The Scotsman 4 stars