Food-Based Performance Festival FEASTFEST Comes to Edinburgh Festival Fringe
For the adventurous theatre goers looking for nourishment for the body as well as the mind, FeastFest is a new mini-festival of sumptuous delights to whet the appetite. The five shows have been created by International Artists from Turkey, France, the UK, China, Taiwan and New Zealand to offer tasty morsels and cultural nutrition with immersive and site-specific performances, and has been curated by London-based international performing arts management agency Performance Infinity. Taking the universal experience as a starting point to celebrate our similarities and differences, the goal of the FeastFest is to celebrate diversity in theatres through food.
The festival comprises of theatre shows Citizens of Nowhere? (UK) and Hold On Let Go (UK), physical theatre solo FEAST (UK/Turkey/France), immersive dance and music production Chocolate (New Zealand) and children's show Feast of Fools (UK).
Citizens of Nowhere? invites audiences to eavesdrop on a family conflict through headphones as they set in a dining setting. The site-specific performance takes place in the restaurant of Sweet Novotel (16 - 25 Aug), where British-Chinese matriarch Linda Lo tries to share an exciting decision with her son and daughter, but their own life-changing events make them unreceptive to her news. The funny and moving real-time audio drama is served with light refreshments.
Hold On Let Go, featuring live breadmaking and songs by Paul Smith (lead singer of Maxïmo Park), is a show about what we do when we start to forget. Presented at Summerhall (31 Jul - 25 Aug) Unfolding Theatre's follow up to Putting The Band Back Together is the story of Alex - a 56 year old with an encyclopaedia in his head - and Luca - a woman half his age with an encyclopaedia on her phone.
FEAST is from Clout Theatre, a UK-based international company who have previously been nominated for two Total Theatre Awards. Employing physical theatre, clowning and multimedia to delve into consumerism's excesses and extremes, the show delivers a history course on food served in three chapters: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. How has our relationship with food changed throughout history? FEAST was critically acclaimed at the Fringe in 2015, and has now been reimagined as a one-woman show to be performed at Bruford @ Summerhall (6 - 18 Aug).
Chocolate melds delicious dance with lush live music and a rich dark chocolatey story complete with the aromas of deliciously melted chocolate. Java Dance Theatre from New Zealand take you through an immersive show of conflicting desires, from cacao harvest to melted liquid delight in full-bodied wild sensory dance at Assembly Rooms (1 - 24 Aug).
Finally, Feast of Fools is a children's show packed full of tales of culinary capers, from disgusting banquests, salubrious suppers and measly meals. Storyteller Daniel Serridge regales families with unusual tales of foodie fun at the Scottish Storytelling Centre (1 - 18 Aug).
Performance Infinity is a London based performing arts management agency. The company offers a range of services including international artist management, touring and events management, festival organisation and cultural consulting to a variety of arts organizations and artistic companies as well as to individual artists and performers.
Director of Performance Infinity and founder of FeastFest Joanna Dong said, "Our idea is that we want the theatre to be as close as possible to our daily life. By presenting works from different cultural backgrounds, the festival encourages people to not only respect the differences between each other but also celebrate the similarities we share. Eating is an activity which links everyone in commonality. We all have something to say about food, whether it relates to our memories of childhood, family or friends. It can also represent our countries, religions and traditional values. In this spirit, we aim to use food as a tool to promote internationalism in the theatre. The programme of FeastFest aims to present the versatility of the forms of performing arts and offers different approaches of how people can interact with food. The selected works, which use conventional tools and spaces to produce unconventional performances, will facilitate the conversation between the arts and common life, as well as address current issues facing our society."
"We hope to develop FeastFest to be a unique and high-quality theatre festival. We saw many brilliant productions while we were curating the programme, and we hope the scale of the festival will expand annually in order to include all of them. Another mission of our festival is to engage with business partners in creating a healthy link between great arts and commercial brands and making more interesting ideas into real productions in the near future"