CULTURE

Another taste of Edinburgh Fringe

One year ago, the city of Thessaloniki had the pleasure to host the first Fringe Festival of Greece, which comprises a selection of the best performances to feature at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, notable for being on the cutting edge of experimental theater. Now, after receiving great critical and public acclaim for this inaugural effort, the city is set to host the second installment of the event next month. Five of the best theater groups to appear in the Scottish capital in 2005 will be on stage at the Principal Club and Sofouli theaters and in a private space on Aristotelous Square from April 6-9. The festival is being jointly organized with the British Council. The Edinburgh Fringe, which takes place every August within the context of the city’s International Festival, is one of the most popular events worldwide. Each year it hosts some 800 theater groups from around the world, presenting a total of 4,000 performances in 200 different venues, ranging from theaters to public spaces, galleries and other Edinburgh hangouts. This celebration of free expression through theater, dance and music has given rise to many of the world’s most innovative, subversive shows. In its turn, the Thessaloniki program will include, among others, the opera «Roadmetal Sweetbread» by Station House Opera, written and directed by Julian Maynard Smith and Susannah Hart. In the performance, a man and a woman compete with their virtual doubles to survive in an alternative world that appears very much like the real one. Hidden motives, quenched desires, violence and veiled ambitions surface in this dimension where real and fantastic events from the past and the present occur. Five comical stories by New Yorker David Ines are the focus of Peepolykus’s «All in the Timing,» in which chimpanzees try to write a Shakespeare play, new languages are invented on the spur of the moment and interventions are made on regular social exchanges. «On the Scent,» by the Curious group, presents an apocryphal examination of the fine line that connects scent to memory. Various smells are mixed together in three interwoven performances set in a private residence, with the audience invited to join in the exploration. «A Shut Up Comedy» is the title of the comedy being presented in Thessaloniki by the charismatic comedy duo from Japan Gamarjobat, composed of Ketch and Hiropon, performers who have appeared in many countries around the world from street theater to grand theaters. Lastly, Scottish stand-up comic Craig Hill will amuse the audiences of Fringe 2 with his sharp tongue, his original characters, his signature improvs and by miming, among others, great ladies of the musical stage.