Edinburgh 2013: Whatever Gets You Through the Night - Vignettes striving to illustrate Scotland's character
Tuesday 27 August 2013
An ambitious multimedia project pulled together by director Cora Bissett and lent direction by the dramaturgy of playwright David Greig, Whatever Gets You Through the Night is an anthology of theatrical and musical vignettes which strives to illustrate the character of Scotland after dark, of the convergence of hope, despond and a sense of being out of oneself that being up and awake while the world sleeps brings.
As essentially an episodic series of sketches created without reference to one another, the ninety-minute piece builds a symphonic ebb and flow of emotional resonances, assisted by the musical curation of Edinburgh electronic trio Swimmer One, the other key partners here. Already presented at the Arches in Glasgow and as a filmed version at the Fringe last year, this series of live shows is obviously a huge logistical undertaking, but the tight and seamless result is something unique and emotionally resonant.
It's at its best when styles come together and cross-pollinate, for example the sparse and haunting solo piano melody of Seafieldroad's "The Palace of Light" soundtracking a spellbinding display of silk acrobatics by Jen Paterson, the singer of Edinburgh's Meursault Neil Pennycook ripping the heart open with "A Kind of Cure" while a young woman (the marvellous Frances Thorburn) waits by her PC for an internet date who will never log on, and Bigg Taj and Wounded Knee's beatboxed "Club Scene" accurately reflecting an underground sound of Glasgow that's perhaps underrepresented here. The dark night of the soul is most prevalent though, from new compositions by Deacon Blue's Ricky Ross and the Vaselines' Eugene Kelly (the latter celebrating Glasgow post-pub speciality chips 'n' cheese) performed by the company to Isabel Wright's devastatingly understated portrait of a woman giving birth on her own at 2am.
Until Sunday 25th August
tv Jenny Lee may have left, but Miranda Hart and the rest of the midwives deliver the goods
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Christmas comes early to Hong Kong, as millions of bank notes spill out onto busy street
- 2 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public can visit police’s grisly crime museum
- 4 Vagina canoe artist facing two years in jail defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
- 5 The Queen’s speech 2014: Recap and Twitter reaction to Game of Thrones reference
Felicity Jones on being Stephen Hawking's wife in The Theory of Everything: 'I didn't want her to be a saint'
EastEnders Christmas Day special, TV review: It's all about the Carters this Christmas - and Danny Dyer is brilliant
Game of Thrones season five: First preview clip shows a beardy Tyrion, a moody Cersei and a distressed Arya
Doctor Who: Jenna Coleman to stay on as Peter Capaldi’s assistant Clara Oswald in next series
The Interview finally gets US release after Sony hack and terror threats – but reviews of North Korea satire are mixed
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader