For full list of shows @ Traverse Theatre this season click here.
As the Edinburgh Fringe packs away for yet another year we are left to contemplate what other theatrical treats the city has to offer us. The Traverse has a long history of dynamic and experimental theatre that tries to engage with contemporary issues and this year is no exception. Offerings of love, self discovery and connection are explored in a fine array of diverse and traditional performances.
We’re living in the ‘information age’ detached from our fellow people, and whether you see this positively or negatively it becomes very easy to be disillusioned and bombarded by the sheer amount of thoughts and images we’re meant to digest. It seems appropriate then, that many of this year’s productions toy with the idea of intimacy. This is most apparent in Midsummer [a play with songs] which took the 2009 Fringe by critical storm. A two-hander tackling love and its intensities coupled with the boredom of regularity, which should make for an intriguing two hours. Midsummer also highlights the prevalence of music in the Traverse this year, perhaps harking back to the ballad traditions of old Scotland and emphasising even more our longing for tradition over modernity. The themes of connection which are evident in this story are also reflected with those in The Wonderful World of Hugh Hughes, a collection of works which balance fantasy and reality. In an era when we can type instead of talk, and text instead of write, the need for reconnection with humanity is at its most desperate. Bridging this gap is 360 by Hughes which questions our ability to express and share in a setting filled with dance, music and storytelling.
Although we may have the answer to every question at our fingertips (thanks wikipedia!) the agitation and impatience we feel towards real experiences is never more palpable than in Spring Awakening. Not to be confused with the rock musical, Douglas Maxwell’s adaptation takes place in Scotland at the turn of the century when Calvinist education was being quickly altered and molded by free European beliefs. This need for spontaneity and a lack of rigidity is also be recognised in Orlando. Based on Virginia Wolfe’s novel, the discovery of ‘fortune, love and gender’ is ever present. By exploring the reclamation of identity, Orlando seems to epitimise the purpose of the Traverse this year. There is no doubt that Facebook and Twitter will reign supreme but it’s nice to know that we can wallow in these immediate theatrical indulgences.
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