The Edinburgh International Festival at the Edinburgh Playhouse

We’re delighted to welcome the following shows to the Playhouse as part of the Edinburgh International Festival.

See our What’s On page for details and to book.

The Rite of Spring/ common ground[s]

17–19 Aug 7.30pm

Pina Bausch / Germaine Acogny / Malou Airaudo / Pina Bausch Foundation / École des Sables / Sadler’s Wells / Igor Stravinsky

Dancers from across Africa perform Pina Bausch’s acclaimed choreography of The Rite of Spring in a double bill with the duet common ground[s] by Germaine Acogny and Malou Airaudo.

The UK premiere of Pina Bausch’s The Rite of Spring was performed in 1978 at the International Festival. This year, it returns with the original choreography and a cast of 34 specially assembled dancers from 14 African countries. In this pioneering work, on an earth-covered stage, dancers clash and engage in a wild and poetic struggle to the music of Igor Stravinsky.

To open the evening, the new work common ground[s] is performed and created by two remarkable women: Germaine Acogny, the ‘mother of contemporary African dance’ and Malou Airaudo, who has performed leading roles in many of Bausch’s early works. This is the duo’s first collaboration; a poetic and tender piece that examines their shared histories and emotional experiences.

‘The choreography is continually unexpected yet feels gut-punchingly inevitable’ The Guardian on The Rite of Spring

Contains nudity.

Jake Bugg

23 Aug 8pm

Singer-songwriter Jake Bugg makes his Festival debut in 2023, bringing his ‘distinct no-nonsense charm’ (Vinyl Chapters) to indie folk and indie pop music. His eponymous debut album took the UK Album Charts by storm in 2012, winning the Brit Award for Best Breakthrough Artist with sounds inspired by Oasis, the Arctic Monkeys, and Bob Dylan.

After forays into acoustic and bluegrass sounds, his 2021 release Saturday Night, Sunday Morning brings back the beloved ‘infectious guitar riffs and clever introspective lyrics, which are perfectly paired with powerful atmospheric choruses’ (Vinyl Chapters), for his ‘most zestful record to date’ (Far Out Magazine).

Nickel Creek

24 Aug 8pm

Americana trailblazers reunite for the first time in a decade, bringing reflective lyrics and delightful melodies.

Nickel Creek is mandolinist Chris Thile, violinist Sara Watkins and guitarist Sean Watkins. Together a sum of more than their staggering parts, the trio revolutionised bluegrass and folk in the early 2000s and ushered in a new era of what we now recognise as Americana music. After a nine-year absence, the Platinum-selling, Grammy Award-winning trio released the highly-anticipated album, Celebrants. The result is perhaps the most audacious yet accessible release of the trio’s 34-year career. The entire enterprise is shot through with the trio’s virtuosic picking and shiver-inducing harmonies. The lyrics—addressing love, friendship, time, and the universal travails of travel—combine the poetic and plain-spoken, hitting a sweet spot of ethereal and relatable as bridges are built, crossed, burned, and rebuilt. An album ‘to return to again and again’ (Holler).

Alison Goldfrapp

25 Aug 8pm

The dancefloor priestess returns in her solo debut with her new album The Love Invention.

Best known as one half of iconic duo Goldfrapp, Alison Goldfrapp comes to the Festival to perform her debut solo album The Love Invention alongside some classic hits. As a synth-pop duo, Goldfrapp went from strength to strength – from their first album getting nominated for a Mercury Prize to receiving countless Grammy and BRIT nominations – and now Alison is making a name for herself as a solo artist.

Alison Goldfrapp is a celebrated songwriter, vocalist, producer and performer. For over 20 years, she has repeatedly set the bar high for synth-pop. Her new solo career celebrates her love of house and disco, and her latest single So Hard So Hot ‘captures glossy synths and an intense bassline, paired with a classic house beat’ (NME).