ED2018 Preview Edition ED2018 Theatre ED2018 Three To See

Three To See 2018: Three historical theatre shows

By | Published on Saturday 28 July 2018

ThreeWeeks Co-Editor Caro Moses helps you navigate the Festival with her Three To See tips. This time three theatre shows with historical themes.

Prehistoric | Summerhall | 1-26 Aug
Well, it feels a bit… sad to be calling this a ‘historical’ piece, given that it’s set in the decade in which I was born. But, you know, I suppose last week is regarded as history, too. Anyway, this looks ever so promising, a punk theatre gig focusing on the topic of civil liberties. It’s set in Brisbane in 1979 and is about Deb, Nick, Pete and Rachel, who meet at a gig, start their own band, and “find out – the hard way – why their town stays so quiet”. It’s based on first hand accounts of those who were, at the time, living and making music in Queensland, which apparently (I did not know this) was then under the power of a notoriously corrupt and brutal government.

Revenants | Pleasance Dome | 1-27 Aug
This new play by Nichola McAuliffe is set a long time before I was born, so that’s making me feel a bit better. And here’s what it’s all about: “25 years after the murder of the Romanovs and 25 years before the murder of Martin Luther King, a group meet in an English birch wood. Actor Ernest Thesiger, Queen Mary and her chauffeur Walcott commemorate the death of the Russian royal family. Into their midst comes Waverley Monk, a young black GI whose experience of segregation has him ready to wreak revenge on a whites-only barracks. As the group battle with notions of persecution and bravery, it’s clear that violent revolutions must have unforeseen consequences”.

Bloominauschwitz | Just Festival at St John’s | 3-25 Aug (pictured)
This one-man show isn’t just historical, it’s got a big old literary reference in it, because its protagonist is Leopold Bloom, the central character in James Joyce’s ‘Ullyses’. Escaping from the pages of that novel, he cuts a swathe through the history of twentieth century Europe, allowing the piece to explore a variety of themes, including migration, Jewish identity, and right wing nationalism in Europe. Sounds good, right? Well, we know it’s good, because it has already won much acclaim, winning the Best New Play Award at the 2015 Brighton Fringe. How lovely that we get to see it here in Edinburgh in 2018.

Photo: Andrew Wilkinson