Grid Iron in Charlotte Square at the EIBF 2014

With the Edinburgh International Book Festival’s programme launching two weeks today, they’re building up interest already with news that this year the site-specific theatre company Grid Iron will be bringing promenade theatre to Charlotte Square this August.

Fringe audiences have been consistently wowed by Grid Iron for years, and their work has garnered many awards and attention for taking theatre outside and into unusual locations. (They stick in my mind as I recall spending hours trying to get a cutout right for a spread on Decky Does A Bronco a few years ago. Damn you, Atex!)

The new project is called Letters Home. The EIBF says: “The pieces, which have been written as fictional letters between characters and reflect themes of identity and home, have been penned by internationally acclaimed writers, each of whom offers their own perspective on what ‘home’ can mean.”

It seems appropriate that this has been announced just before the UK, according to polls, is likely to vote to send several representatives of  – to put it more politely than they deserve – an anti-immigrant party to Brussels. We’re told day after day that “you can’t talk about immigration” (while everyone does nothing but), yet seldom hear the voices of migrants themselves, so I for one am glad we’re getting a little something to redress the balance.

The EIBF article continues: “The writers of the pieces are Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie from Nigeria who is the bestselling author of the Orange Prize-winning Half of a Yellow Sun; Kei Miller, the acclaimed Glasgow-based Jamaican poet who is an expert in Caribbean epistolary fiction; Kamila Shamsie, the brilliant Pakistani-British author who was one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists in 2013; and Christos Tsiolkas, Australian author of the bestselling novel The Slap, whose family emigrated from Greece.”

And one thing to note: even though the EIBF is the venue, these are Fringe shows, which means the tickets will be on sale well before the BookFest even announces its programme, let alone starts selling its own tickets on the 24th June. So if you’re interested, get along to the Fringe Box Office from Thursday 5th June.

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