09 August, 2008

And we're off!

The Festival is upon us and we have hit the ground running thanks to the well oiled machine behind the EIF. Friday was a calm day by all accounts and at the end of the Opening Concert the crowds were all smiles - to hear the audience feedback check out our latest audio feature. The press pack headed to the Blue Bar of the Traverse Theatre afterwards for a press reception and obligatory wine. The following day a pack of photographers were treated to a preview of TR Warszawa's Dybbuk at the King's Theatre as rehearsals took place in the run up to the opening night which takes place tonight. This was the first chance to get photographs of the cast in Scotland and you can have the exclusive first peek at the press pictures of the production below.

The picture at the top is of Andrzej Chrya (Poland's answer to Jude Law apparently) and below it is Renate Jett. Pictured below as the demonised bride is Magdalena Cielecka and in the red and blue ensemble is Director, Krzysztof Warlikowski.
Other members of the press were also privvy to rehearsals for Giselle and The Two Widows. All reports trickling into the press office from these lucky spectators are extremely positive.
Press coverage we received in the last few days (that we know of) includes:
  • A feature on The Two Widows during STV's 5.30 show and an interview with Jonathan Mills on their news program
  • A feature which included footage of Class Enemy and Jidariyya on the BBC news
  • A story about the Usher Hall being ready and open for business on BBC Radio Scotland's Newsdrive and a Festival opening story on their Lunchtime News
  • Stories about the Festival opening on BBC Radio Manchester, Galaxy 105, Forth One, Westsound, BBC Radio Northamptonshire and Borders Radio
  • And BBC Radio Scotland also included interviews with Jonathan Mills, Giselle Allen and Hannah Gordon

There was a very large picture of Jonathan Mills sweeping the Festival Theatre stage on page 4 of The Times yesterday and the accompanying article also focused on the EIF's enhanced internet presence this year (hear hear!). There was a newstory about this year's increased ticket sales on the BBC website and a quirky story about Jonathan Mills on the Scotsman website. During this frenzy of press coverage media relations manager Susie Burnet has maintained a calm exterior throughout. She said: 'It's fantastic to at last get things underway after all the months of planning. It makes it all incredibly worth it.'

Today saw the start of The Queen's Hall Series with the Ysaye Quartet performing and the Borderlines series of discussions also kicked off with 'The New Europe Should Prefer The New Atheism' at the Usher Hall. Tonight's performances include Naji Hakim, The Two Widows, Dybbuk, Giselle, The Tell-Tale Heart and Dmitri Hvorostovsky.

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