The Edinburgh International Festival announces the first shows of the 2022 program
As people across Scotland and beyond prepare to mark the birth of Robert Burns the Burns Night, the Edinburgh International Festival and The National Theater of Scotland celebrates his life and legacy with Burn, featuring Alan Cummingpremiering in 2022 Edinburgh International Festival. Scotland national theater company also brings a whole new staging of Liz Lochheadthe powerful adaptation of Euripides’ Medea at this year’s Festival. These two theatrical productions are the first announced as part of the 2022 International Festival, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year.
Burn is a creative collaboration between Scottish artist Alan Cumming and award-winning choreographer Olivier Steven Hogett (Black Watch, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child). Co-produced by The National Theater from Scotland, from New York The Joyce Theater and Edinburgh International Festivalthis powerful new piece of dance-drama challenges the traditional image of the Scottish national bard’s ‘cookie tin’ and explores his personal struggles and spectacular successes.
Interpreted by Alan Cumming for her solo dance theater debut, Burn features the music of acclaimed contemporary musician and composer Anna Meredith, with visually arresting set design and video design by Ana Inés Jabares Pita and Lewis den Hertog.
Alan CummingThe signature mix of cabaret, storytelling and song has made him an International Festival favourite, with recent performances such as Alan Cumming Doesn’t act his age in 2021 and Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs in 2016. He also appeared as the god Dionysus in The National Theater of the Scottish production of Bacchantes at the 2007 International Festival.
Old Scot Makar Liz Lochhead makes its debut at the International Festival with its modern adaptation of Médée, in a contemporary interpretation full of lyrical intensity and poetic flair. The title role is played by award-winning performer Adura Onashile, with production directed by Michael Boydformer artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Lochhead’s Medea was first staged in Glasgow in 2000 by Theater Babel, before touring nationally, as well as visiting the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2000 and 2001, where it received critical acclaim and the public.
The National Theater of Scotland returns to the International Festival following Hannah Lavery’s Lament for Sheku Bayoh in 2021 and her acclaimed film Ghost Light for the Festival’s 2020 digital programme. Previous Festival performances include Red Dust Road by Jackie Kay, Tim Crouch‘s Total Immediate Collective Imminent Terrestrial Salvation, Midsummer, Realism and The James Plays.
Fergus Linehan, director of the festival Edinburgh International Festival noted:
“It’s always a pleasure to see The National Theater of Scotland’s work in the Edinburgh International Festival, and I am particularly happy to welcome them back with these two extremely exciting works in this year of our 75th anniversary. The caliber of artists involved is exceptional, from ancient Makar Liz Lochhead to award-winning artists from Adura Onashile and Alan Cumming and two of our most famous theater artists from Michael Boyd and Steven Hogett.”
Alan Cumming noted:
“I think every artist wants to tell a story. And if I have one regret in my artistic life, it would be not having become a dancer and not being able to tell a story completely, with my whole body. Robert Burns has always fascinated me. Through his work I feel like he tells us the absolute truth about who we are as Scots, but the more I researched him the more I realized I didn’t know the absolute truth about him. Burn is my attempt to try to tell more of his story using my whole body.”
Dates and ticket information for Burn and Medea will be announced in Spring 2022, along with full details for the 2022 edition. Edinburgh International Festival program.