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Usher Hall 6 C Clark James Photo: Clark James

A weekend trip to the Festival City

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Planned your August already? If not, don’t worry! We’re here to help. Let’s take a look at what your first 48 hours at the International Festival could look like this weekend.

Night Walk for Edinburgh | Photo: Ryan Buchanan
Friday 2 August

After a day of soaking up the city atmosphere, you head to Tynecastle Park for 7.00pm for your first International Festival adventure of 2019, the Aberdeen Standard Investments Opening Event: LA Phil at Tynecastle. You’re treated to an epic concert from superstar conductor Gustavo Dudamel and his Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra as they perform musical hits from all the movies you know and love; think Pink PantherHarry Potter and Star Wars

After the concert, you’re too excited to go to bed so you stroll back in to town for the last nightly performance of Night Walk for Edinburgh at 10pm (it’s on until the 25th!), where you discover an alternative, unseen Edinburgh. Cardiff and Miller’s beautiful portrait of the city shows the Old Town’s street and cobbles as preservers of history, ideas, happenings and secrets. Afterwards you head back to your home for the night and fall into bed wondering what tomorrow will bring.

The Crucible | Photo: Andy Ross
Saturday 3 August

You wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on another day in the Festival City. You’re excited for what’s to come and rightly so, you’re off to watch the recital by Andreas Ottensamer and Yuja Wang. Mornings at The Queen’s Hall are such a blissful way to start the day in August - a moment of serenity to get you ready for more adventures.

Next, you wander through the meadows and on to the King’s Theatre where you catch the matinee of The Secret River, Sydney Theatre Company’s five-star, award-winning drama adapted from Kate Grenville’s moving novel. Or, in an alternative scenario, you head over to The Studio for Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools to get a taste of You Are Here, our brand new season of performances, conversations, readings and fresh thinking. There will be a thrilling afternoon ahead of you either way! 

After the show, why don’t you make your way to The Hub, the home of the International Festival, and grab a delicious lunch or a refreshing drink in the sun at Hub Café’s terrace? In the same building, you can also pop into Hub Tickets box office to get more International Festival tickets.

As the evening settles in, you head over to the Edinburgh Playhouse for the world premiere of Scottish Ballet’s The Crucible from pioneering choreographer Helen Pickett. This promises to have you gripped and on the edge of your seat as you watch the Scottish Ballet dancers perform alongside a live orchestra, playing a brand-new score from Peter Salem. You come out buzzing but head to bed for the night to save your energy, there’s still lots to pack in tomorrow!

Peter Gynt | Photo: Ryan Buchanan
Sunday 4 August

Let’s say you start your day with Peter Gynt at the Festival Theatre. Scottish actor James McArdle takes you on an epic and riotous journey in National Theatre’s brand new raucous production and you come out eager for more.

In the evening, why don’t you give La Reprise a go? From Milo Rau, one of the most compelling and controversial figures in contemporary European theatre, the production examines our darkest impulses and explores the cathartic power of theatre. Or, if you fancy seeing something for all the famiy, head along to the Church Hill Theatre for Cas Public’s 9, a beautiful, interactive dance piece for children aged 7+ and tick another two from this year's You Are Here programme off your list.

In an alternative scenario, you go behind-the-scenes and watch the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles and Big Noise Raploch rehearse with Gustavo Dudamel during the afternoon. You’re treated to some traditional Scottish music as well as Les Toréadors from Bizet’s Carmen (you’ll know the one!) and it’s amazing seeing the conductor and young musicians up close. 

You’ve got some time to spare between concerts so you head next door to One Square at the Sheraton to treat yourself to some local cuisine. Their new Executive Chef, Shaun Woodhouse, has a passion for the outdoors and is inspired by home cooking and the quality produce Scotland has to offer. After your delicious meal, you relax in the bar for a refreshing drink before heading back over to the Usher Hall.

You end your day watching Los Angeles Philharmonic and sensational pianist Yuja Wang perform the European premiere of John Adams’ fiery Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes?. The evening marks the final magnificent performance in the orchestra’s four-concert residency at the International Festival. 

As the day draws to a close, you wonder how it is possible that it’s only been 48 hours since the International Festival started yet you’ve already packed in so many incredible shows. Don’t worry, there’s still three more weeks ahead, and plenty more events to be enjoyed… 

Gustavo Dudamel | Photo: Adam Latham

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