For those who have paid close attention to the cream of the Edinburgh Fringe's theatrical scene over the last few years, the return of New York's Team is a cause for much celebration. They exploded on to the UK stage with two student productions exported to Edinburgh in 2005 – A Thousand Natural Shocks and the Fringe First-winning Give Up! Start Over! (in the Darkest of Times I Look to Richard Nixon for Hope).
The following year commenced the Team's (promisingly, it stands for Theatre of the Emerging Artistic Movement) association with the Traverse Theatre, probably Edinburgh's most relentlessly high-quality producing theatre.
With 2006's Particularly in the Heartland and 2008's Architecting, the group have expended their repertoire of densely referenced but visually absorbing dissections of their home country's psyche. Their stock-in-trade is the exploration of brutally real tragedies like Katrina and the Iraq War through the soft-focus representations of iconic Hollywood artifice, of The Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind, with this year's work promising a further leap of ambition.
Ironically delayed from a 2010 debut due to funding problems, Mission Drift will be no less than an overview of the history of American capitalism, from 17th- century Amsterdam across the Atlantic to New Amsterdam and finally to the ravaged wasteland of foreclosed dreams that is present- day Las Vegas, where the piece was originally devised. Part political treatise and part rock concert – it's a musical.
The piece recasts America as a charitable organisation, which has strayed from its original purpose through the pursuit of voracious acquisition.Reuse content