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Magnetic North Festivals Guide 2023

Magnetic North Festivals Guide 2023

We asked the artists who have taken part in our artist development programme if they are involved with a show during the Edinburgh Festivals.

Here are their suggestions of performances running in August which have a Magnetic North connection.

Voices from the South

Voices from the South is an international online showcase of performance work at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, co-curated and delivered with partner organisations from Brazil, India, Mexico, Scotland and South Africa.

The project involves 15 artists and companies from these countries who have engaged in an 18-month period of exchange and conversation while preparing to present their work online at Fringe 2023.

Black is the Colour of my Voice

Fringe First and Spirit of the Fringe award winner Apphia Campbell's stunning solo show, inspired by the life of Nina Simone. Back at the Fringe to celebrate its 10th birthday! Strictly limited run of five performances only. 'Campbell may wear Simone's trademark head wrap but her performance goes beyond impersonation' **** (Times). 'Apphia Campbell is nothing short of sensational... she will make you cheer for her, smile with her and then sting your eyes with tears' ***** ( 'A compelling and heartbreaking story, punctuated with bursts of song.' **** (Edinburgh Festivals Magazine).

Apphia took part in Rough Mix 2020 and performed in We WIll Hear The Angels.

Pentland Theatre, Pleasance at EICC 

Aug 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 3pm

Experts Radio Lab

Kids are experts. Some are experts on jumping, some on dinosaur fossils, some on making mud pies. Whatever it is, our mics are on, the interview chair is ready and we’re about to go live. Experts Radio Lab and the accompanying Listening Station is a free, drop-in experience, set within our pop-up radio studio at the National Museum of Scotland. Interviews are shared live to an audience of fellow interviewees, their families and anyone who’s curious. Share your expertise with us, or come along and learn from the masters! You never know what you’ll learn.

Alice Mary Cooper is our Artist Employee at Magnetic North.

National Museum of Scotland

Aug 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24

Drop in between 11am-1pm, 2pm-4pm

Alice Mary Cooper: Aznavour, Mon Amour

A delightfully silly new work from award-winning theatre maker, clown and born storyteller, Alice Mary Cooper. Experience one woman's homage to the only Charles you need to know.... the late Armenian-French crooner, Charles Aznavour.

BlundaGardens: BlundaBus & Magical SpiegelYurt - BlundaBus

Aug 18-27, 16:20

Sketches / Glisk

In her Fringe debut, outstanding choreographer Katie Armstrong presents SKETCHES/GLISK as part of the Made in Scotland Showcase. This impressive double bill created in collaboration with multi award winning composer and DJ Mariam Rezaei, features a string quintet, a DJ and four dancers. Described as a “beautiful whirlwind”(The Skinny) SKETCHES is a quirky reimagining of Bach’s famous Violin Concerto in A Minor. Encompassing experimental turntablism, acoustic piano, dance and visual art, GLISK is a work inspired by the dramatic landscapes around Aberdeen and the North East. This show has been programmed by Dance Base in collaboration with Assembly.

Katie took part in Rough Mix 2021.

Dance Base

Aug 15-20, 5:05pm


An intensely physical, funny, and tender duet by two men wrestling with their relationship to violence – both onscreen and off. Fusing the Pow! Biff! and Wallop! of over-the-top stunt fights with personal stories of real encounters with violence from the performers’ lives, Stuntman explores the relationship between violence and masculinity and the impact this has on our perceptions of men. A show for anyone who has ever enjoyed a violent action movie (but felt a bit weird about it).

Stuntman has been designed by Rachel O'Neill, who took part in Space/Time 2023.


Aug 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 5:50pm

What You See When Your Eyes Are Closed / What You See When Your Eyes Are Open

Monster vs Hero, TV Camera vs Reporter, Husband vs Husband: their battles and rituals. This new show asks what it means to 'see' and to 'be seen' in live performance, where audience and performers view the same event from different perspectives. 'The show very beautifully integrates its play with the caprices of visual perception into the performers’ own stories' (Audience review). All performances relaxed, captioned and with audio description.

Mamoru Iriguchi took part in Space/Time 2016, Rough Mix 2021, and this show has been supported by Magnetic North.


Five wildly different women gather in the muddy fields of the Highland Games circuit to compete in the obscure art of Backhold Wrestling. The pearls are off, influencer videos posted, “Gucci bag” from the Barras set aside as the bold beginners attempt to become a team and win the championship. But nothing will prepare them for the competition that could stop them taking home the trophy - each other. Will their differences face-plant Imogen, Chantelle, Jo, Pamela and Helen’s chances of success in the mud?  

Assistant Director Niloo Far Khan received a Magnetic North Micro Commission in 2020.

Poignant and dynamic, Thrown gets to grips with belonging and identity in Scotland. A unique, unmissable new production.  

It will be funny, it will be loud, it will be brutal.

Traverse 2

Aug 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, Various times

Eat Me

A luscious, incendiary dance-theatre performance by strikingly bold female-led experimental collective Snap-Elastic, Eat Me tells the story of two women who use the dark web to find one another and together commit an act of "consensual" cannibalism. With script by award-winning writer Luke Sutherland (Venus As a Boy) and choreography by internationally acclaimed Christine Devaney, Eat Me is about hunger, isolation and unconventional desire – a dark and dazzling love story for the contemporary age.

Eszter Marsalko took part in Rough Mix 2015, Space/Time 2020; Claire Willoughby was in Rough Mix 2014/2015, and also performed in Lost in Music.


Available to watch on demand from Aug 4

Fàilte Gu BSL (Welcome to BSL)

An immersive showcase of Gaelic and Scots signed-songs celebrating different aspects of traditional culture. Combining stories, dance and signing with the songs, this show explores opportunities for deaf people to own their space within Scottish culture. Evie presents a fun and accessible show which celebrates the relationship between Gaelic and BSL language, whilst exploring experiences of creative connection and isolation for diverse cultural Scots. Following a work originally commissioned for the Scottish International Storytelling Festival 2022.

Evie Waddell took part in Rough Mix 2022.

Blackwood Bar, Deaf Action

Aug 12, 4pm

Hannah Lavery and Caitlin Skinner: The Quines Are Back

At last year’s Book Festival, audiences were wowed by Quines Cast, a brand new podcast combining feminist thought with music, theatre and literature. Now artistic director of Stellar Quines Theatre Company and poet Caitlin Skinner, and playwright and performer Hannah Lavery are back and hosting an inspiring and inclusive evening, where artists and writers tackle the big questions that matter to women and non-binary people.

Caitlin took part in Rough Mix 2017.

Wee Red Bar, Edinburgh College of Art

Aug 24, 8:30pm

The Hearth

The Hearth is the stone beneath which a fire burns. A bedrock where many fires have burned before and where ash, and residue has collected over generations. The traditional centre of a home. Renowned flautist/guitarist and sound designer, Tom Oakes (Scots Trad Musician of the Year nominee 2019) presents music and stories inspired by characters past and present, real and surreal who were unknowing catalysts for artistic or societal change. Building on previous show (Can This Be) Home and celebrated solo album Water Street, The Hearth explores how our traditions are shaped and evolve.

Kolbrún Björt Sigfúsdóttir took part in Space/Time 2020.

Netherbow Theatre, Scottish Storytelling Centre

Aug 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 12:30pm

Tam Lin: A Future Tale

When the flints of the old strike with the new, what story can be lit from the sparks? The ancient ballad of Tam Lin is reimagined in a near-future dystopian Scotland, exploring themes of bodily autonomy, reproductive rights and sexual freedom. Through original harp music, song and spoken word Kirsty Law, Kirsty Logan and Esther Swift tell a thoroughly modern story built on the bones of ancient wisdom. Originally commissioned for the Scottish International Storytelling Festival 2022.

Kirsty Law took part in Space/Time 2020 and Rough Mix 2021.

Netherbow Theatre, Scottish Storytelling Centre

Aug 6, 13, 20, 23, 27, 9pm

Lightning Ridge

12-year-old Ashmol lives in the Australian Outback with his mum, dad and his little sister Kellyanne... and her two invisible friends Pobby and Dingan. When Pobby and Dingan disappear, Ashmol decides that there is only one thing to do for the sake of his sister – find them. A story about the possibility of dreams, about a community coming together, the preciousness of hope and how, sometimes, we have to believe in the impossible.

Gill Robertson took part in Rough Mix 2012.

Main Hall, Summerhall

Aug 4-20, 11:30am

Outriders Europe: Rawdna Carita Eira & Mara Menzies, Helene Bukowski & Cal Flyn

Fresh from their transcontinental journeys together, four writers offer deep insights into traditional cultures, indigenous lives, ‘wilderness’, and more. Storyteller Mara Menzies travelled with playwright Rawdna Carita Eira over Sápmi, the cultural region across Scandinavia traditionally inhabited by the Sámi people. Meanwhile Orkney-based writer Cal Flyn hiked into the mountains of Transylvania, braving the extremes with novelist Helene Bukowski. Chaired by Outriders project manager Jess Orr.

Mara received a Magnetic North Micro Commission in 2020.

Spark Theatre, Edinburgh College of Art

Aug 24,10:15am

The Real William Shakespeare… As Told by Christopher Marlowe

'Make my words reside in your language as if they never knew any other.' Marlowe, murder… Morocco? The truth behind Shakespeare is steeped in blood and political intrigue, but now Christopher Marlowe is ready to tell all. Matchmaker Theatre Productions present a provocative new production that asks: who was the real William Shakespeare? Christopher Marlowe, famed playwright and spy, has the answer. But just how far will others go to protect this secret? 'Chaotic playfulness… mixing in heaps of Queer history and theory' **** (, The Masks Of Oscar Wilde, 2022).

Jen McGregor took part in Space/Time 2020.

Thistle Theatre, Greenisde at Riddles Court

Aug 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 1:50pm

The Grand Old Opera House Hotel

When shy Aaron joins the hotel’s ramshackle team, he encounters volatile guests, inept management and even rumours of singing ghosts haunting the corridors… Amongst the madness, Aaron overhears a mysterious singer, who captures both his ears and heart, and sets about battling with the hotel’s magical chaos to find the woman who owns it, knowing they are fated to be together.

This heart-filling ensemble comedy from Olivier Award-winner Isobel McArthur (Pride and Prejudice* (*Sort Of)), directed by Gareth Nicholls (Ulster American), explores how art can bring us together in hopeless circumstances.

Michael John McCarthy took part in Space/Time 2012.

Traverse 1

Jul 27, 28, Aug 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, Various times

My Friend Selkie

Selkie (Laura Booth) is learning about the stars. Jo (Niamh O'Loughlin) needs to learn to swim. Can they help each other? With live music by Quee MacArthur (Shooglenifty), children are invited to take part. See you at the Crab Disco! This original tale is told through dance, text and songs and has been enjoyed by children aged 3+ in schools and halls across Scotland. Recently premiered at the Byre Theatre, St Andrews, My Friend Selkie is a new production from What Moves You.

Quee MacArthur took part in Space/Time 2020.

Dance Base

Aug 4, 5, 6, 3:40pm

How Do You Dance in a War Zone?

When I first posed the question ‘how do you dance in a war zone’ to Ukrainian dancer and choreographer Viktor Ruban, I wasn’t prepared for his response. He neatly batted it back with an invitation to visit Ukraine to see for myself. Often when people think of dance, they imagine something poetic involving arabesques and pirouettes. This notion couldn’t be more at odds to the stark form of resistance presented by the Ukrainian dance community. Here we found the powerful medium of dance operating in the most extraordinary and unexpected ways.

Maria Falconer took part in Space/Time 2022.

Dance Base

Aug 4-26, 1pm