Embrace the adventure at the 2015 Edinburgh International Magic Festival

FREE PIC- Edinburgh Int Magic Fest Launch 05The sixth Edinburgh International Magic Festival transforms into a world of dreams – a hub for magic, illusion and wonder. Audiences are invited to embrace the adventure as some of the world’s most accomplished magicians take over Edinburgh’s Summerhall this summer from 26 June – 4 July 2015. 

MagicFest held at Summerhall for the first time, launching a brand new festival hub
Magic and Variety Gala Show moves to Festival Theatre, home of the Great Lafayette
New MagicFest Opening Night Party with live show tasters
New adult magic classes for first time this year
New late night ‘witching hour’ shows for adults only

This year Summerhall, Edinburgh’s ‘Art Laboratory’, is the new MagicFest hub creating an irresistible world of wonder and adventure with live shows, exhibitions, food, drink and doughnuts all at one magical campus.

Kevin McMahon, Artist Director of Edinburgh International Magic Festival, said: “We’ve dreamed of having MagicFest on one site since we started the festival back in 2010, so it’s incredibly exciting to takeover Summerhall for 8 days and pack it full of magic. Imagine entering a portal, and winding up somewhere where the normal rules don’t apply. It’s kinda like that but with drink and doughnuts.” for full listings and booking

Elbow Room by Thomas Butler

ThomasButlerLoresRed Note, Sound and Music Embedded Composer in Residence, Thomas Butler‘s new work Elbow Room explores the psychogeography of cites; how we affect the city and how the city affects us.

The culmination of an 18 month residency with Red Note, Elbow Room uses composition, performance and field recording techniques to tell the story of the mid-twentieth century plan to demolish the city of Glasgow and replace it with a futuristic concrete utopia; an architect’s view of a healthier, more rational and productive city, for a healthier, more rational and productive population.

Thomas Butler said: “When I first moved to Glasgow I wondered why there was a motorway running through the city centre; that was really the starting point for this piece. Elbow Room echoes a time when Glasgow was being torn down to make way for a futuristic city powered by its inhabitants; an efficient machine with clean lines and clean living.”

Mixing period films from the Scottish Screen Archive, which extol the virtues of the Glasgow of the future, with new sound recordings made in the city and a virtuosic score featuring violin, cello, percussion, electric guitar, synthesizer, clarinet and bass clarinet, Elbow Room is a nostalgic reflection upon fantasy and reality, ideal and actuality.

John Harris, Red Note Ensemble, said: “Tom has been part of the Red Note ‘family’ since the beginning of last year, and in that time he’s worked with us many different roles – including producer, workshop-leader and even music-stand-mover (!) as part of the all-inclusive experience of his Embedded Residency. It’s now time for him to shine with us as a composer, and we’re thrilled with Elbow Room. It’s such an ambitious and thoughtful piece, and we are incredibly proud to be presenting it with him.” 

Thomas added: “In the city each generation overwrites the last and creates a layered tapestry of ways of living in constant flux. A city’s development is being told at the micro and macro level; from multi-million pound construction projects to old signs and insignia that survive long past the thing they once signified and patches of wasteland, now overgrown ghosts of their former social and commercial life.”

More than just a story, Elbow Room is an evocative, highly stylised voyage combining video footage, still images and music. Transporting the audience back to a glorified past, a time of naively optimistic urban evolution.


Elbow Room @ Summerhall, Edinburgh / 21 May / 8pm / Tickets £8/£5: 
Elbow Room @ The Arches, Glasgow / 22 May / 8pm / Tickets £8/£5:

End of the World (for one night only)

End of the World (for one night only) is one-off, site-specific music-and-theatre piece about the predicted apocalypse on 21 December, for an audience of only 100 people who will travel around the amazing spaces inside Summerhall.  

Featuring music by Gareth Williams, John Harris, Hanna Tuulikki, Colin Broom and Ludwig van Beethoven, writer Oliver Emmanuel has interwoven the stories of four everyday people living their lives in Edinburgh, on the last day of the world. There’s a man who remembers everything and wants to die, a silent PhD student who is in love with a librarian, a musician trying to finish his third symphony and a Golden Eagle who wants to be a human. 

Most productions about the end of the world tend to be grand and epic and set in New York. This is intimate and fluid and set in Edinburgh. Directed by Andy Arnold, four string players (Jackie Shave violin, Tom Hankey violin, Louise Williams viola and Robert Irvine cello) are joined by the eerie sound of the musical saw from Abi Vulliamy and the wonderful young soprano Marie Claire Breen (who sang in Red Note’s Tantallon! These Lands, This Wall spectacular in September).

The music, in all kinds of different styles, will express the things you can’t say about the world ending; lost loves, last words, hope, peace, despair, pride, loss and acceptance…