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salt. Selina Thompson Ltd Northern Stage at Summerhall, Mon 7–Sat 26 Aug (not 9, 16, 23), 2.30pm, £12 (£10). Previews Sat 5 & Sun 6 Aug, £10. In February 2016, two artists got on a cargo ship to retrace one of the routes of the Transatlantic Slave Triangle – from the UK to Ghana to Jamaica and back. This show is what they brought back. Artist Selina Thompson explores Black British identity and the forgetting of the UK’s colonial history through i lm, performance and sound. Commissioned by Yorkshire Festival, Theatre Bristol and MAYK. THE SKY IS SAFE Dogstar Summerhall, Fri 4–Sun 27 Aug (not 3, 14, 21), 7.45pm, £15 (£10). Preview Wed 2 Aug, £8. Over 350,000 of the 3.5 million Syrian refugees in Turkey are in Istanbul. This new work from Dogstar is set in the alleys of Istanbul neighbourhood, Taksim, and follows a refugee and a privileged westerner as they get to know one another. Writer and performer Matthew Zajac and director Ben Harrison, creators of the multi award–winning The Tailor of Inverness, combine with composer Pippa Murphy, video artist Tim Reid and Syrian designer and artist Nihad Al Turk in this new work that explores borders and inequality. Part of Made in Scotland 2017.
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WHAT IF I TOLD YOU The Mayers Ensemble and West Yorkshire Playhouse Army @ The Fringe in Association with Summerhall, Sat 12–Sat 26 Aug (not 14, 21), 5pm, £12 (£10). Preview Fri 11 Aug, £8 (£6). Pauline Mayers fuses theatre and dance to tell us her (his)tory as a black woman, dancer and choreogrpaher. Her tale is interwoven with the story of James Sims, a 19th-century physician acknowledged as the father of modern gynecology, who operated on slaves without anaesthetic. What if I Told You is directed by Chris Goode (Men in Cities, Monkey Bars). In the second part of the show, poet, playwright and activist Khadijah Ibrahim asks any interested audience members to share their thoughts about Mayers’ work. MIA: DAUGHTERS OF FORTUNE Mind the Gap Summerhall, Wed 9–Sun 27 Aug (not 14, 21), 2.45pm, £10 (£8). Preview Tue 8 Aug, £6. Mia explores the truths and myths about learning disabilities and parenthood in today’s society. A Mind the Gap production created/directed by Joyce Nga Yu Lee, performed by four learning- disabled artists.
FLESH AND BONE Crunching physical theatre with a poetic twist
Appropriately for a company named Unpolished, and a show called Flesh and Bone, this story of East End Londoners aims at a rough and tough immediacy. Switching between the language of the street, and a Shakespearean-inspired poetry, Flesh and Bone brings the ferocity of Steven Berkoff’s physical theatre to bear on a tale of a family living on an estate earmarked for demolition.
‘We have a devout love for Berkoff,’ says writer Elliot Warren. ‘We wanted to breathe fresh air on a style that is similar to that fantastically engaging theatre.’ With co-creator Olivia Brady, Warren admits ‘a passion for London and its many characters: and these two things birthed Flesh and Bone.’ Their intention was always to capture a raw energy. ‘There are moments of hilarity, shock, anger, sadness,’ he states. ‘We were very aware that we didn’t ever want our audience to look away, no looking at watches at the 60-minute mark. Therefore, we have designed scenes that are pacy and snappy, fun and engaging.’
The characters – including two brothers and their drug dealer – introduce the audience to a squalid world, suggesting the inl uence of Trainspotting or Sarah Kane’s brutalist scripts, while alluding to higher ambitions through bursts of poetic language.
Warren’s faith in theatre as a vital place for the exploration of ideas drives Flesh and Bone’s amalgamation of high and low cultures.‘With theatre,’ he concludes, ‘you are able to truly and honestly express yourself without any of it being disregarded or ignored.’ (Gareth K Vile)
Pleasance Dome, Sat 5–Mon 28 Aug, 4pm, £7.50–£10 (£6.50–£9). Previews Wed 2–Fri 4 Aug, £6.
Festival 17 PLEASANCE, SUMMERHALL & ZOO BROCHURE 69