ED2011 News

EIF announce involvement in 2012 Shakespeare extravaganza

By | Published on Wednesday 31 August 2011


So, are you ready to start thinking about Edinburgh Festival 2012 yet? The programmed Edinburgh International Festival has already announced details of two of the productions that will take place next year, both part of the World Shakespeare Festival, a UK-wide celebration of the Bard involving performers from all over the world, and linked to the London 2012 Festival, that will run either side of next summer’s Olympics.

Various organisations involved in the World Shakespeare Festival gathered at the British Museum yesterday to launch the project. Via its involvement, the EIF will present two Shakespearian productions – ‘2007: Macbeth’ from Poland’s TR Warsawa and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream (As You Like It)’, a new adaptation from Dmitry Krymov. In many ways the two shows will continue a theme found in EIF’s 2011 programme, Shakespeare’s stories and plays reinterpreted, sometimes radically, by theatre companies from elsewhere in the world.

Confirming EIF’s involvement in the Cultural Olympiad’s Shakespearian strand, EIF chief Jonathan Mills told ThreeWeeks: “We are delighted to be a part of such a global celebration of Shakespeare. He remains an inspiration for artists from around the world, as demonstrated in the 2011 Festival by companies from across Asia. We look forward in Festival 2012 to presenting two exciting directors’ interpretations of his work which bring yet more international perspectives on one of the UK’s greatest cultural treasures”.

The 2011 International Festival came to a close last Sunday with the always spectacular Festival Fireworks Concert, visible from much of Edinburgh. Organisers of the festival admitted that ticket sales over all were down 3% on 2010, though figures were pretty much in line with 2009, and last year was a bumper year sales wise. Mills added that he knew his 2011 programme was more challenging, and that that was likely to have a slight impact on ticket sales, but that he felt his programming choices made for a particularly strong year artistically.

Uncertain economic times may have also played a part, of course, with the Book Festival and Edinburgh Military Tattoo also reporting slight drops in audience this year, though, as previously reported, the Fringe scored record ticket sales once again.