Best of Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2008

A Celebration of UK performance in China

Touring Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing

Hysteria

Presented by: INSPECTOR SANDS & STAMPING GROUND THEATRE, UK

Inspired by TS Eliot's poem, Hysteria makes us witness to a painstaking attempt at social interaction: a man and a woman are on the most awkward dinner date of their lives. He is an academic whose research into modern day neuroses is threatening his sanity. She is an events manager who's terrified of missing the party. Caught in the middle is their ghost-like waiter, who is fast running out of places to hide.

The evening soon disintegrates into awkward conversation, unwanted revelations and rising physical panic. As the action progresses, each character finds themselves spiraling towards a personal apocalypse.

With irreverent humor, a visceral soundtrack and a vivid physical style, Hysteriadraws the audience into an arresting world where a cocktail party is a fight for survival and a banana can reduce you to tears.

Awards 
Winner - Argus Angel Award 2007
Winner - Total Theatre Award 2006
Short-listed for the Carol Tambor Award

Low Life

Presented by: BLIND SUMMIT THEATRE, UK
For puppets with hang ups and people with hangovers… Taking Charles Bukowski’s last 
novel “Pulp” for inspiration, Low Life is an alcohol fuelled cabaret of desperate puppetry. This is a series of vignettes about the lives of a group of characters who frequent a seedy downtown bar. By turns amusing and moving, we see into the lives of action-hero plumbers, tiny detectives and lost divas, with the puppeteers providing the narrative thread and exquisitely manipulating their characters. Beautiful, funny, poetic, moving, gin-loaded, this is a world where puppetry meets Tom Waits.

Low Life premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe 2005, and sold out for three weeks as part of the London International Mime Festival 2006 at BAC. It was shortlisted for a Total Theatre Award in Edinburgh, and was Time Out Critic’s Choice weeks running in London.

It Is Like It Ought To Be: A Pastoral

Presented by UNIVITED GUESTS THEATRE, UK
In It Is like It Ought to Be: a Pastoral, Uninvited Guests seek to found Arcadia in the theatre, a rural idyll amongst the city’s hubbub. They invent fake songs and fake dances for our green and plastic land. In the guise of some ragtag band, they declaim hip Romantic poetry, conjure epic landscapes and attempt a return to some simpler life, a golden age. They give thanks for what we’ve got, in a world in moral freefall, and offer up prayers to make better please, make better.

On a stage littered with rustic paraphernalia, fake flora and fauna and assorted bits of technical equipment, pictures and atmospheres of pre-industrial rural bliss are studiously built up and celebrated, then beautifully subverted and undermined as the theatre temporarily becomes a clearing in the urban forest.

The End of Everything Ever

Presented by NEW INTERNATIONAL ENCOUNTER, UK
Telling the story of the kinder transport – the mass evacuation to Britain of approximately 10,000 German Jewish children in the early years of World War- the show follows the journey of six-year-old Agata who, tired and hungry on the train from Germany, chews on the paper name tag tied around her neck and erases any chance of getting back home again. Featuring a five-piece band, multiple languages, and an array of theatrical styles, NIE shines a light onto one of the survival, love and hope. Vibrantly staged and emotionally engaging, the end of Everything Ever is an accessible and poignant retelling of one of the saddest stories in recent European history – the children caught up in the Nazi holocaust.