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Mark Fisher
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Follow me on Twitter at MarkFFisher, WriteAboutTheat and LimelightXTC I am a freelance journalist and critic specialising in theatre and the arts. Publications I write for include the Guardian and the Scotsman. I am the author of The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide: how to make your show a success and How to Write About Theatre: A Manual for Critics, Students and Bloggers. I am also editor of The XTC Bumper Book of Fun for Boys and Girls: A Limelight Anthology. From 2000-2003, I was the editor of The List magazine, Glasgow and Edinburgh's arts and events guide.
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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Edinburgh by Rupert Thomson, theatre review

Published in the Scotsman

NOT content with running an ambitious international programme in the former Dick Vet, Summerhall’s artistic director Rupert Thomson is paying homage to the city he made his home 13 years ago in a delicate and beguiling one-man show that’s somewhere between walking tour and art installation.

A tall man in a suit, he meets us in the foyer and launches into the performance without introduction. He was born in Manchester, he explains but, like so many of us, it was the Scottish capital to which he gravitated and fell in love with.

He takes us upstairs to a series of rooms – one decked out as kitchen, one as artist’s garret, the third a gloomy loft. Each space represents a stage in his engagement with Edinburgh itself. The kitchen signifies the home, a place to share food, stories and word games. The garret stands for the imagination, somewhere for daydreams and creative leaps. And the loft is a metaphor for the unconscious, a mysterious room of brief erotic visions. 

As we travel, Thomson offers a mixture of personal anecdotes and philosophical musings. He considers the architectural allure of Edinburgh and the psychogeography of the towering Old Town, the streets of Leith and the Waverley trains that cut straight into the city’s heart. This is a city where he felt immediately at home, even as a six-year-old visitor, yet he also sees it as a place of loss, a home that conceals a terrifying abyss.

Lest this sound too heady, he roots his monologue in stories of romance and community, asking us to share our own visions of this beguiling capital. Those people who ask why Edinburgh of all cities should have become home to the world’s largest arts festival may well find the answer in this subtle and warming show.

Star rating: * * * *

© Mark Fisher, 2012
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