Gareth K Vile surveys the theatre offerings in store for 2015
Although the Hidden Door festival covers all of the arts – including gigs and clubbing – its theatre programme is exceptionally diverse.
This year, Darkland Collective offers a film and performance fusion, Seige Perilous take on Maxim Gorky’s The Lower Depths, Ludens Ensemble removes the words from Macbeth for a choreographic take on The Scottish play, and The Creative Martyrs are plotting a cabaret that entertains even as society crumbles.
In keeping with the spirit of the festival, these are not performances that are common during the rest of the year. Although Seige Perilious have frequently staged scripted plays in Edinburgh, they are better known for new work: but in contrast, The Lower Depths is a classic of 20th century Russian drama, a brutal depiction of life in a flophouse that might, sadly, have a renewed resonance in contemporary Britain. Macbeth is familiar, even common, yet Ludens are taking away perhaps the most important feature – Shakespeare’s poetry – to get at the essence of the action. Elsewhere, Produced Moon are following an interactive approach, with In:humanity, a technological meditation.
There’s also work from Creative Electric, a company that has become famous in youth theatre circles for an uncompromising and emotionally honest devised performance. All of these events are part of the bigger programme, and it is exciting to see theatre – and dance – make up a fifth of the shows and be placed alongside gigs. It is not just that new audiences will be introduced to the possibilities of theatrical drama, but it also draws connections between the arts and allows a healthy cross-pollination of influence.
Hidden Door, Old Street Lighting Depot, Edinburgh, Fri 22 May–Sat 30 May. Discover the full theatre programme at hiddendoorblog.org