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Mark Fisher
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Follow me on Twitter at MarkFFisher, WriteAboutTheat and LimelightXTC I am a freelance journalist and critic specialising in theatre and the arts. Publications I write for include the Guardian and the Scotsman. I am the author of The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide: how to make your show a success and How to Write About Theatre: A Manual for Critics, Students and Bloggers. I am also editor of The XTC Bumper Book of Fun for Boys and Girls: A Limelight Anthology. From 2000-2003, I was the editor of The List magazine, Glasgow and Edinburgh's arts and events guide.
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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Wired for sound

If you wanna get ahead you've gotta get some headphones. Edinburgh Puppet Lab's Ghost (returning to the Edinburgh Fringe) required the audience to put on a set and head off onto the streets of Leith to listen to a pre-recorded play. A couple of months ago, Visible Fictions' Prince Unleashed gave young audiences headphones to let them hear the inner thoughts of the characters. Now David Leddy is giving audiences at Glasgow's Botanic Gardens an MP3 player and headphones for Sussurus, a pre-recorded play inspired by A Midsummer Night's Dream. Leddy's back with another one on the Edinburgh Fringe, as is Irish company the Performance Corporation.

My Sussurus review is on Mark Fisher's Scottish Theatre Links as is a piece about Mull Theatre.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Moor Moors controversy

Vicky Featherstone, artistic director of the National Theatre of Scotland, is in The Scotsman today after a BBC programme to which she contributed was pulled from the schedule. It seems she said she'd have been interested to have dinner with Myra Hindley, one of the Moors Murderers. Having met Hindley in prison, Featherstone is convinced she was a reformed person and had a fascinating experience to share.

Despite all the terrible crimes that have happened over the past 40 years, the Moors Murders have not lost their capacity to provoke outrage in the UK. So sensitive the subject, so raw the wound of the victims' families, that it's impossible to say anything about the crime without causing upset.

There's a show called Wasted coming to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe based on transcripts of appeals by Myra Hindley against her life sentence. According to reports, it was banned by the Lakeside Arts Centre in Nottingham on grounds of taste. It's interesting that a verbatim transcript of something that was said in public can be considered bad taste when put in a theatrical setting.

You don't have to believe it's OK to kill five children to question the degree of thought control that's going on here.

Back to more frivolous concerns, new additions to Mark Fisher's Scottish Theatre Links include reviews of Summer Lightning and Chimneys at Pitlochry and a news report on the Edinburgh Fringe for Variety.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Agatha Christie premiere

Not every day you get a European premiere by a long dead thriller writer, but that's what Pitlochry Festival Theatre has come up with this season. Agatha Christie's Chimneys vanished from view after the orginal production was unexpectedly cancelled before the first night, only to resurface in Canada a few years ago. The Pitlochry production is the first time it's been seen in Europe. My review is in The Guardian today.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme launched

The programme for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe was launched on Thursday which means there's no let up between now and August when the biggest arts jamboree in the world hits town. The programme is so vast it's a bit like the Bible - you can prove anything from its contents. But my initial hunch is that there's an uncommon about of verbatim theatre and, perhaps, less frivolity than usual. Follow the link in the Latest Articles column in Mark Fisher's Scottish Theatre Links to see what I've said about it in today's Scotland on Sunday.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland: the winners

A lively afternoon at Dundee's Discovery Point yesterday celebrating the best theatre of the past 12 months. See CATS winners for the results.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland

Writing this before heading up to Dundee for the ceremony for the Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland. By a neat coincidence, in Scotland on Sunday today is an article I've written about Nothing, which had two nominations in CATS in 2004. The Henry Green adaptation, first seen at the Citizens' Theatre, Glasgow, has been revived for a run in New York under the direction of Philip Prowse. Follow the link at Mark Fisher's Scottish Theatre Links.

Talking of critics, playwright Catherine Czerkawska has taken up a theme from this blog on her Wordarts blog.