EdFringe is here again! And, as always, there is something for everyone in the festival, including us language lovers. In Polyglossic tradition, here are some picks for learners – or simply the culturally interested.
As always, the shows on offer are a mixed bag, some featuring target language, and others in English, but with links to the target language countries. Whether for language learning practice, or for cultural exploration, there should be something to keep linguaphiles happy this August in Edinburgh.
- Piaf and Brel: The Impossible Concert
I managed to catch Melanie Gall at last year’s festival, and she puts on a really warm hour of music sprinkled with anecdotes and stories about the artists. It also takes place in the very pleasant surroundings of Surgeon’s Hall (The Space). Grab a drink and relax to the concert that never was.
- Christine Bovill’s Paris
A memory wander around the French capital through song and anecdote. In French and English. The artist is also putting on a Piaf show too (never a shortage of those at #EdFringe, it seems, but this one looks well-regarded).
- Vince Ebert: Sexy Science. Made In Germany.
Although the festival show is in English, this is a chance to catch a fun show by a quirky name in German entertainment. The titular nod to the target language country makes this a clear show of interest to Germanists
- Henning Wehn: Get On With It
Similarly, there may not be much of language learning use in Wehn’s set, but the comedian has become a huge name in the UK. The title may be contentious (it pertains loosely to Brexit), but this is a great chance to get a – comedic – German take on UK affairs. Ticket availability, predictably, is already very limited, so get in there fast for a chance to catch him.
- On a more serious bent, fans of German classical music have a treat in store in the form of this recital of Strauss and Schumann at the end of August.
- Neapolitan Songs
The title says it all, really. Romance, Naples, beautiful music – for lovers of Italy, this one-date only concert looks worth noting.
Continuing the musical theme (and who can blame them, considering the country’s musical heritage?), the group Opera Allegra put on this contemporary twist on La Traviata.
- Luca Cupani: God Digger
Like Henning and Vince above, this is a chance to catch a bit of Italian comedy – in English. With four-star reviews, Luca looks like a good bet.
- Drunk Lion
As a learner, this caught my eye – a new play about an life-changing encounter that revolves around learning Spanish. And what’s more, it’s one of the festival’s many free shows!
- As always, there is a fair choice for lovers of traditional Spanish guitar music and Flamenco. Highlights include España el Vito: The Spirit of Spain, Flamenco Global and Flamenco – Up Close.
Also gaining a bit of of purchase in the jostling of myriad shows is Specters [sic], a play in Ukrainian with English subtitles. A little different, and an unexpected treat if you are studying the language.
Of course, this is a miniscule representation of the shows on offer this year. Hopefully, some of the above will grab your interest if you are in the city during August. Apologies to all the wonderful shows we missed. To trawl through the multiple offerings yourself and buy tickets online, visit https://tickets.edfringe.com/. And have a wonderful #EdFringe!