Waiting for Godot in the Marketplace: Setting the 2018 Edinburgh Festival in Context

  • Mark Brown
Keywords: Curated, open-access, Edinburgh International Festival, Fringe, Song of the Goat, Beckett, Druid, Duras, Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, SKaGeN, Summerhall, David Ireland, Traverse


This article seeks, for those who are unfamiliar either with Edinburgh’s summer festivals or, at least, with their origins and history, to set the festival programmes we have today (and, in particular, the theatre programmes of the Edinburgh International Festival and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe) in their broader historical, economic and cultural context. It then considers (from the author’s subjective standpoint) four of the best theatre productions presented in Edinburgh during the festivals of August 2018: namely, Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, staged at the Edinburgh International Festival (EIF) by the Druid theatre company of Ireland and directed by Garry Hynes; La Maladie de la mort, a new adaptation of Marguerite Duras’s novella, written by Alice Birch and directed by Katie Mitchell, presented at the EIF by French company Theatre des Bouffes du Nord; Unsung, a new monodrama about the public and private lives of a career politician, by the Flemish 

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