Hidden Door was the kind of DIY arts showcase Edinburgh needs
hidden door

Gillian Furmage went along to experience what the volunteer-run arts festival had to offer

When my brother, who was visiting from the US of A, asked whether I wanted to go along to the Hidden Door festival, I had to hang my head in shame and let him know that I had no clue what on earth he was talking about.

Now I do.

The festival was an absolutely perfect place to spend an early summer’s evening. With scrummy street food, cheap bars (with some killer elderflower cider), live music, experimental theatre and stunning art installations around every corner, it’s a crying shame that some people would have been stoating down Princes Street with no clue about the dazzling arts fest just a few minutes away.

After sampling the food (dumplings from Ninja Buns followed by a beef brisket roll from Wild Rover foods), we took in some of the many installations (love letters by Juliana Capes being a personal highlight), watched some live music in a room filled with creepy cages and then went to two theatre shows: The Lower Depths and Macbeth: In Silence.

Love letters by Juliana Capes

Both plays were staged in the aptly named ‘Peely Room’ which was romantically dilapidated and the perfect backdrop for the two bleak plays. The acting in The Lower Depths was fantastic, with Michael Daviot commanding the stage with ease and many of the main characters tackling more than one fully fleshed-out role.

It was standing room only for Macbeth: In Silence. And it deserved its eager audience. As a bit of a Shakespeare fan, I was unsure of a version that was stripping away what to me seemed like the main beauty of Shakespeare: the words.

But within minutes I found myself completely swept away by the performance: a masterclass in movement and sound, and still managing to pack an emotional punch despite snipping the monster play into a one-hour show. You’ll find me first in line for whatever project creators Ludens Ensemble come up with next.



Hidden Door 2016 is already being planned, but they need your money to keep the project going:

Main image: John Lord / Flickr / CC