Observations: Forest Fringe whet our appetites with microfestival

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The Independent Culture

It may be a couple of months before festival season properly kicks off but Edinburgh regulars Forest Fringe are whetting our appetites with a microfestival. At the Battersea Arts Centre, audiences can buy a ticket and wander through the space, discovering different theatrical experiences along the way.

Venture to the basement and you'll find Shunt's Mischa Twitchin, who has developed a piece based on the French playwright and director Antonin Artaud; then, head to the room in the roof and lie on a bed listening to a radio broadcast in a one-on-one encounter with the sound artist Melanie Wilson. Or, if you missed it at Edinburgh last year, take part in the conversational piece Fuzzy with the Lebanese artist Tania El Khoury, and test out your skills as a relationship guidance counsellor.

"What we're trying to do with the microfestival is find a way to take the spirit and energy of what we do in Edinburgh, where the artists are at the heart of everything, around the country," explains co-director Andy Field.

There will also be live music, posters designed by Tim Etchells for imaginary events (think wrestling mixed with politics) and the launch of the Forest Fringe Travelling Sound Library. Set up like a listening booth in a music shop, old hardback books have been hollowed out to house an MP3 player and a programme of 12 diverse sound pieces, from poetry and storytelling to music. Forest Fringe will also be touring to The Arches in Glasgow, the National Theatre in Cardiff and Bristol Old Vic.

Forest Fringe, Battersea Arts Centre, London SW11 (020 7223 2223; Bac.org.uk) 2-3 April; then touring (Forestfringe.co.uk)