SPOKEN WORD, CABARET
Two Minute Manifesto
3 stars ***
Traverse Theatre (Venue 15)
IT’S DIFFICULT TO AVOID the presence of David Greig in Edinburgh this year, with his huge stage version of Lanark opening in the international festival this 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 on Monday morning for the last of three festival ediions 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 Robert Somyne 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 Monday’s 10 am session.
Not in Fringe programme