edinburgh

August 8, 2017

A Chinese production of Macbeth is being performed this week at the Edinburgh Festival, with the male/female roles having been reversed and ‘Lady Ma’ playing the protagonist. Incorporating martial arts and elements of Chinese theatre, this artistic merging of song and dance combines Chinese and Western drama through Cantonese opera.

The organizers of one of the biggest draws at the Edinburgh festival, the military tattoo, are hoping to expand worldwide, eventually holding the event across Asia, the Middle East and North and South America. [...] The tattoo, which began in 1950 and is a charity, has become a showcase for British forces and their counterparts from around the world and been a sellout for the last two decades, attracting audiences of about 220,000 at the event and 100 million on television.

A charity dedicated to maintaining Edinburgh's heritage has offered to help the restoration of several of Syria's cultural sites. Edinburgh World Heritage has offered to help the work of Professor Maamoun Adbulkarim, director-general of antiquities and museums, who this week called for help to protect the country's heritage. 

Culture is now in the global "war zone", the director of a major cultural summit during the Edinburgh festivals has declared. Sir Jonathan Mills, the former director of the Edinburgh International Festival, now director of the Edinburgh International Cultural Summit, said that the endangerment or destruction of cultural heritage in several areas of conflict around the world will bring an "edge" to the summit which will take place in Edinburgh from August 24.

Cities can spend a fortune on branding and promotional slogans – but they don't always go to plan. Edinburgh's attempts to rebrand as "Incredinburgh", at a reported cost of £300,000, were scrapped. The city of Leeds got some stick a while back when it was noticed that "Leeds. Live it. Love it" bore a startling resemblance to "Hong Kong. Live it. Love it!" (The advertising agency insisted it had come up with the slogan independently.)

As we prepared recently for this week’s Scottish launch of a British Council-commissioned report by Demos into the role that culture plays in the race for soft power in the 21st century, I thought back on that episode at the LHC; how culture, like the sciences, really does bring people together – even those with very different world views.