This new space has been converted into a theatrical space to house three productions which can’t be staged in conventional theatres: Grzegorz Jarzyna's 2008: Macbeth, a multi-media version of Shakespeare's play, set in the Middle East; French director Ariane Mnouchkine's returns to the UK after a gap of 20 years with Les Naufragés du Fol Espoir (Aurores); and Christoph Marthaler's rare appearance in the UK with what's described in press materials as "an off the wall and very funny adaptation" of My Fair Lady called Meine faire Dame – ein Sprachlabor.
Other theatre directors making rare appearances in the UK at the Edinburgh International Festival this year include the great theatre pedagog and theorist Tadashi Suzuki with his version of Electra and Dmitry Krymov's new production titled A Midsummer Night’s Dream (As You Like It). 2008: Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (As You Like It) are joined by The Rape of Lucrece, performed by Camille O’Sullivan and Feargal Murray, to form the Festival's contribution to the nation’s Shakespeare celebrations in the World Shakespeare Festival.
Director Silviu Purcărete returns with a new production of Gulliver's Travels in collaboration with Irish folk and rock musician Shaun Davey. This is one of seven performances and productions which form the Festival's contribution to the London 2012 Festival.
There's also an extensive opera, dance and classical program. Amongst other special events, thousands of runners are to be joined by thousands of walkers to form the participatory audience for NVA's Speed of Light, bringing Edinburgh’s iconic city centre mountain Arthur’s Seat to life over the three-and-a-half weeks of the Festival.
In a press statement, Festival Director Jonathan Mills commented, "Every year, since 1947 we have set out to create an event to inspire and uplift audiences. In the words of Sir John Falconer, Lord Provost of Edinburgh at the time, the Festival exists to 'provide a platform for the flowering of the human spirit.' In hard times as well as good the Festival remains one of the world's most important examples of the power of culture and the arts to transform individual ambitions and lives. We rejoice in our partnership with the Olympic Games. A partnership that exemplifies the greatest sporting and finest cultural celebrations in the world standing shoulder to shoulder in the same country. I urge you all to join us in Scotland’s stunning capital this August." Tickets go on sale to the public March 24. To book tickets, contact the box office on 0131 473 2000, or visit www.eif.co.uk for more details.