Summerhall’s Big in Belgium strand always produces some seriously good shows. This year it includes the latest from Ontroerend Goed, who explore the super-rich in £¥€$. The Catalan company Atresbandes bring Locus Amoenus, which explores the notion of paradise. From New Zealand comes Binge Culture with Break Up (We Need to Talk), a five-hour durational performance that follows a relationship from start to end. I like the look of I Am Faransis W, a Finnish version of Woyzeck by Jari Juutinen, part of a showcase of work from Finland.
I’m looking forward to Sh!t Theatre’s Dolly Parton-inspired show DollyWould, Dancing Brick’s Heather, about a children’s writer; Graham Eatough’s National Theatre of Scotland show How to Act; Mind the Gap’s Mia: Daughters of Fortune, created with four learning-disabled artists; Action Hero’s six-hour “verbal duel” Slap Talk; the Young Vic production Start Swimming, in which playwright James Fritz considers the events of the last 12 months with a cast of young people; Rebecca Atkinson-Lord’s The Class Project; Rachel Bagshaw and Chris Thorpe’s The Shape of the Pain, exploring living in constant suffering; and The Sky Is Safe, a collaboration between Matthew Zajac and Ben Harrison. What If I Told You?, a new piece directed by Chris Goode and written and performed by Pauline Mayers, looks at the expectations others place upon us, and is part of a strand of work at the Army Reserve Centre in the New Town.
I have already seen and can vouch for FK Alexander’s (I Could Go on Singing) Over the Rainbow, Basal Zaraa and Tania El Khoury’s As Far as My Fingertips Take Me, Eggs Collective’s riotous Get a Round, Heads Up, Kieran Hurley, Glen Neath and David Rosenberg’s creepy miniature Séance and Katy Baird’s Workshy, as well as Every Brilliant Thing, Eurohouse, Manwatching and Scorch.
The Northern Stage programme at Summerhall includes Instructions for Border Crossing, the new piece from Daniel Bye; Selina Thompson’s solo show Salt, about being part of a diaspora; Graeae’s comedy Cosmic Scallies, about class and friendship; The Letter Room’s dance-marathon show No Miracles Here; and Javaad Alipoor’s The Believers Are But Brothers, all of which have a buzz about them. Paines Plough’s Roundabout programme includes new plays from Brad Birch, Elinor Cook, Middle Child, Dirty Protest and more.