The Edinburgh International Festival has started and I have posted as a festival blogger on their website. My post on Watt based on Samuel Beckett's story and performed by Barry McGovern can be found on: http://www.eif.co.uk/news/watt-festival-blogger-review and http://www.eif.co.uk/news/conversations-barry-mcgovern-festival-blogger-review .
My review of Waiting for Orestes: Electra can be found on: http://www.eif.co.uk/news/waiting-orestes-electra-festival-blogger-review
The EIF home page can be found on: http://www.eif.co.uk
*** end of update
(my review of this can be found on: http://profwhitestick.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/van-gogh-to-kandinskysymbolist.html)
(my review of this can be found on: http://profwhitestick.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/expanding-horizons-giovanni-battista.html)
*** update 24/7/2012
Having arrived in the Edinburgh area, the weather was truly dreich on Monday (23rd July). This was a demonstration without any need of audio description of this weather phenomenon. The forecast is likely to be for some appearance of the sun.
*** end of update
Edinburgh is my home town, so here are a few tips for visually impaired people and their friends if they are attending any of the many events at the Edinburgh Festivals this year. The city can appear to get very busy though there is often a quiet area round the corner. There is much to do in the town, but you are also never far from hills, wind and strange music.
Layout of The City centre has several roads/streets which run from West to East. In the New Town, Princes’ Street is the main shopping street with shops on one side offering an uninterrupted view of the castle. The major
The National Library of Scotland has an exhibition on Scottish cinema through the years.
There is no touch screen involvement, but if you wave your hands in front of a screen, it will trigger off the soundtrack and this can be quite funny. I managed to get the soundtrack of Whisky Galore on one screen and a steamengine against the backdrop of Edinburgh in an other.
The Bank of Scotland has the Museum on the Mound, where you can experience one million pounds in Bank of Scotland banknotes. I was given a tour by Nicola Miller and it's possible to examine the very old iron safes or kists (chests). As a souvenir I was given some samples of banknotes (shredded).
Main Scottish papers include Scotsman and Herald. The Evening News (paper) has up to date details of many fringe events.
TelevisionI don’t have a television, but BBC Scotland, BBC Alba and Scottish Television cover the Festival.
RadioRadio Scotland has many offerings from the Edinburgh Festival and their café series on at lunchtime is very interesting and they often have erudite people commenting on events. (I was on Culture Café last year!) Tune in to the Festival Cafe or follow them on Twitter: @BBCFestivalCafe.
The Festival Cafe
For radio listening, I would recommend Radio nan Gaidheal, the Scottish Gaelic radio channel. There is much to enjoy in the music on offer which ranges from “Gaelic Belters” through Celtic Fusion to the latest chart toppers.
Events informationThe Artlink Edinburgh website (http://www.artlinkedinburgh.co.uk/whatsOn.html) is a good start for details of some special events. Notes of audio description, not always live, can also be found here. I have picked out some events which are of interest to me. For further information and booking for these events (or others on the Artlink website) please contact Susan at Artlink either via email on: email@example.com or phone 0131 229 3555 and select option 1.
Finishing at St James Centre, Leith Street entrance
2 - 4pm Monday 13th August
This event was very enjoyable and we toured round the Scotsman Steps with Juliana and noted the stirens on the lampost on North Bridge, ending up in St Andrew's Square at the Waiting Place of Edinburgh Art Festival.
Tim Rollins – Black Spot
2 pm Wednesday 22nd August
My early visits to Talbot Rice and this show can be found on:
6.30-8pm Wednesday 5th September
Fringe eventsMany of the Fringe events can be more or less walked into. You will be accosted with flyers often for free admission. There is also a lot of street theatre, though you may not come across many of the locals.
My reviews of shows that I have attended can be found on: http://profwhitestick.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/edinburgh-fringe-festival-reviews-2012.html
ExhibitionsVan Gogh to Kandinsky: Symbolist Landscape in Europe 1880-1910
The National Galleries of Scotland
My post on my visit to #ScotPortrait is on: http://profwhitestick.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/scottish-national-portrait-gallery.html
Another interesting exhibition called Weaving the Century is on at the Dovecot Studios. My review of this can be found on: http://profwhitestick.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/weaving-century-dovecot-studios.html
Other useful websites
Edinburgh Festival Guide:
http://edinburghfestival.list.co.uk/ and http://www.edinburghartfestival.com/events
Edinburgh International Book Festival: http://www.edbookfest.co.uk/
I visited the Book Festival on the first day (11 August) and enjoyed a coffee in Charlotte Square, listening to happy book lovers meeting authors. I thought I heard Simon Callow booming in a gangway and it was he, indeed! I will be updating my stories from last year in a separate post.
I have been in touch with Nicola Robson, the Marketing Officer, for the Book Festival. She has kindly said that:
Offering our brochure in alternative formats is something that we offer
to anyone who would like it, and we try to publicise this, … Customers can order these by contacting our box office on 0845 373 5888 or emailing our administration address which is firstname.lastname@example.org.
On 24th August I spent an evening in Charlotte Square and attended 2 events, one with Amnesty Ssotland and the other featuring the former Chancellor of the Exchequer (finance minister) Alistair Darling and James Naughtie, the BBC interviewer/presenter. Really enjoyable. Many thanks to Alva and Sophia for guiding me round.
The festival has now finished and my review of my two visits, three coffees, two talks and two lucky bags can be found on: http://profwhitestick.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/edinburgh-international-book-festival.html
Edinburgh Art Festival: http://www.edinburghartfestival.com/
Lothian Buses: http://www.lothianbuses.com/ 0131-555-6363
Edinburgh Coach Lines: http://www.edinburghcoachlines.com/ 0131-554-5413