Edinburgh Festival Fringe spoken word review: Two Minute Manifesto, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Joyce McMillan
IT’S difficult to avoid the presence of David Greig in Edinburgh this year, with his huge stage version of Lanark having opened in the international festival at the weekend, and his continuing efforts – in response to last year’s freedom-of-speech row – to make sure that the voices of young Palestinian artists are heard on the Fringe.
If you want to encounter the man himself in particularly relaxed form, though – and to catch a glimpse of the kind of cheerful creative culture that grew up around last year’s referendum debate in Scotland – then you shouldn’t hesitate to head along to the Traverse today for the last of three festival editions of Two Minute Manifesto, a year-round series of sessions, co-chaired by David Greig and Scottish Green Party candidate Sarah Beattie-Smith, that involve poetry, music, and a series of short political proposals, followed by a bit of punditry and debate, and some light-touch audience participation.
Last week, the session featured Scottish-based radical poet Harry Giles and novelist Sara Sheridan with their manifesto ideas (Giles engagingly wanted a ten-year programme to abolish the police!), along with magnificent poetry from Robery Somnye of London, and a few pensive songs from Gordon McIntyre of Edinburgh band Ballboy; and although the line-up changes with every session, the sheer richness of the Edinburgh Festival scene guarantees some impressive art and politics, for those willing to get out of bed early – or stay up all night – to make it to today’s 10am session.
Traverse Theatre, run ended
Published in The Scotsman on 24 August 2015
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