August 10 2014
Suman Bhuchar and Sailesh Ram
From drama to comedy and plenty in between, there’s much in Edinburgh to look out for…
THERE’S a huge array of Asian talent and Asian-inspired shows hitting Edinburgh at the moment and we take a look principally at the drama productions and other shows and personalities that may be of interest.
Don’t miss the story on three women who are making their mark creatively at the fringe – you can read about them here.
One of the most innovative and challenging productions to come out of Australia in recent times – “Ganesh Versus the Third Reich” is hitting the Edinburgh International Festival.
“Ganesh Versus The Third Reich” caused controversy when it first was conceived in 2009 by the pioneering Aussie-based Back to Back theatre company.
A play within a play, it features an elephant headed figure, loosely based on the Hindu God Ganesh, who challenges Hitler over the use of the Hindu swastika symbol. The representation of Ganesh is respectful, sympathetic and powerful and orthodox religious groups did not object when they came to learn about the play’s depiction of Ganesh.
Performed with actors who have a physical and/or learning disability, the award-winning play which came to London in 2012, plays at the Royal Lyceum Theatre until Tuesday (August 12).
Over at the fringe is a dance adaptation of Hermann Hesse’s iconic novel, “Siddhartha”.
Fresh from a North American and European tour, and performed by an Italian outfit, it mixes Italian and South Asian pop together to make an energetic, rollicking, scintillating journey.
It was first developed as an inmate rehabilitation programme at Milan’s maximum security prison by producer Gloria Grace Alanis and singer-songwriter, Isabeau and runs until August 24 at the Assembly Rooms with a single-day break on August 12.
Tower Hamlets as you have never seen it before appears in “The Domino Effect”, where time can be bought in shops, pianos bite the fingers of players and dominoes are ivory eggs from which the future develops. This is Amina’s world.
Conceived and written by Fin Kennedy, who is set to become the artistic director of Tamasha, he has a long association with the Edinburgh fringe through his days as the writer in residence of the Mulberry School in Tower Hamlets. The school has performed at the fringe before and has won a clutch of accolades.
“The Domino Effect” has a 10-day run which comes to an end on Thursday (August 14, excluding Sunday) at the Space, Surgeons’ Hall Grand Theatre.
The Iraq War of 2003 is revisited in Scottish Bafta new talent nominee Joe McArdle’s “A Game of Soldiers”. It explores the relationship between Iraqi civilians and British soldiers and what the impact on conflict was on both parties. You can see it at Lauriston Hall until August 23.
Three drama productions begin short runs in the final week at the Edinburgh fringe.
“Motortown” is a play that deals with the aftermath of the Iraq War and has already won plaudits and praise, when it featured in the Manchester In-Fringe Theatre Awards earlier this year.
Written by the award-winning Simon Stephens, and presented by HeRo Productions – made up of a group of drama students from Manchester University, and featuring Tir Dhondy, it plays at Sweet Grassmarket from Monday, August 18-24.
“Different is Dangerous” is a verbatim and devised show, which uncovers the lives of the Asian community in Leeds, and looks at subjects such as unprovoked attacks, segregation, hijabs, “Coronation Street“, boyfriends and Tupac. It plays at thespace at Jury’s Inn from August 19-23.
“No Guts, No Heart, No Glory” looks at the world of female Muslim boxers and is set in the world of a boxing gym with four teenage Muslim female performers. There is music, ‘cinematic lighting’, ‘epic visual design’ and it promises the energy of a club night.
It’s on at Sandy’s Boxing Gym in Craigmillar, a 20 minute bus ride from Edinburgh City centre and plays from August 18-25.
“Unsung” is a play that explores how two modern-day Asian couples negotiate the trials and tribulations of living in a society that remains heavily weighted in favour of men. You can read more about it here in our story on the production and playwright, Ayndrilla Singharay.
Other theatre productions to look out for include “The Bridge”.
Fusing text, sound and visuals, it traces memories through from present day to pre-independence Kerala in India and explores history, personal identity and the acts of writing and telling.
Performed as part of the Glasgow 2014 cultural programme, it is on St John’s Church in Princes Street until August 25 (with a couple of breaks, please check listings).
There’s “Mush and Me” a drama about an interfaith relationship and it is inspired by the life of a 100-year-old Jewish spinster called Nancy Yetzes. It’s on Uderbelly in Cowgate and runs until August 24 (no show on August 11).
“Fundamentalists” looks at how a wounded soldier from the conflict in Afghanistan reacts when he finds himself at a hospital in Wiltshire and tended to by a nurse from Somalia. It plays at different venues, please check listings.
David Mamet’s “Race” comes to the fringe with a South African theatre production company staging the classic at the Assembly in George Square Studios.
“Singarevva and the Palace” is a solo show, chronicling the fate of Singarevva, a woman “whose life is repeatedly commodified by the men in her life”. It has a five-day run from August 12-17 at Sweet Grassmarket.
“The Tulip Tree – The Love Story of J Enoch Powell” has already caught the attentions of writer-actor Meera Syal, who has described the play as “a fascinating insight” and has already picked up an award. It runs until August 16 and reopens from August 18-23 at the space on Niddry Street.
“X and Y” looks at the fates of gay people in Commonwealth countries, and in particular focuses on two personal stories from Jamaica and the Maldives, alongside the experiences of a transgendered Glaswegian woman. It plays at different venues and after Sunday (August 10)takes a break before re-opening from from August 16-24.
Dance Ihyami is back, mixing Indian and Celtic rhythms with a performance on Sunday (August 10) and three day runs from August 15 and August 22. You can see them at the Life Care Centre, in Cheyne Street.
“India Flamenco” – see our story
Tashi Lhunpo Tibetan Monks from Britain bring an ancient tradition of dance, music and prayer to streets of Edinburgh from August 18-23.
Carnatic violinist Jyotsna Srikanth presents “Carnatic Nomad–Music from South India” from August 11-16 at the Space on the Mile in the High Street.
You can also hear her in “Nordic Raga” which features her alongside a saxophone played by Swede Par Moberg and fellow countryman Dan Svensson on percussion and vocals. They play the Accoustic Music centre in Orwell Terrace between August 11-16.
There are a number of comedians and shows that may tickle the Asian funny bone (such as there is one!) and most are playing until August 24 but check listings.
Among these are: Ahir Shah, Sid Singh, Anil Desai, Paul Chowdhry (limited run), Shazia Mirza, Charmian Hughes (“Raj Rage”), Bisha K Ali, Hardeep Singh Kohli, Sadia Azmat (see story), Imran Yousef, Jenan Younis, Nalika de Silva, Nick Mohammed, Neel Kolhatkar, Nish Kumar, Sunil Patel, Nick Coppin (“Mixed Racist”), Carmen Ali, Sameena Zehra, Inder Manocha, and Mawaan Rizwan and Seda Yildiz.
For further details, information and exact listings, please check