Eastern Promise: 2017 Preview

Glasgow’s Eastern Promise festival returns for its seventh outing and this year, for the first time, theatre will stand alongside the festival’s blend of vibrant and diverse live music

Preview by Amy Taylor | 15 Sep 2017
  • Make a HOO

Returning to Platform for its seventh year, Glasgow’s Eastern Promise festival is branching out by adding theatre performances from some of Scotland's most exciting companies to its latest line-up.

Taking place on Friday 6 and Saturday 7 October at Platform, the new theatre arm of the festival is currently still being curated by the organisers. But, with less than a month to go, The Skinny can reveal that two one-person shows have been confirmed, with more names still to come.

The first two shows are formally similar but explore very different subjects, both using eclectic and stunningly visual methods of performance to tell stories both familiar and new. The programme will showcase the diverse range of talent in Scotland’s theatre industry. With productions based on ancient Greek legend and contemporary Sri Lankan culture, Eastern Promise’s very first foray into theatre is sure to give theatre fans an intriguing introduction to the festival.  

One of the first to be announced is Achilles, an exclusive performance of the acclaimed Company of Wolves’ new work, which is due to be performed at Citizens Theatre and visual theatre festival manipulate at the Traverse Theatre in 2018. Presented in association with Platform, Dance House and Citizens Theatre, Achilles is a reimagining of the Greek myth about the seemingly immortal warrior. Starring award-winning actor and director Ewan Downie, the piece fuses storytelling, dance and song to tell the tale of the legendary man who was said to be the Greeks’ greatest hero during the Trojan War. Ravaged by grief at the loss of his best pal Patroclus, the play focuses on that grief, his vengeance, and his attempts to exorcise his very human demons.

The second play to be announced is solo show Make a HOO, presented by actor and theatre maker Sita Pieraccini and Feral Arts. Performed at manipulate earlier this year to great critical acclaim, the show was conceived during a two month residency in Sri Lanka and was formerly in development for Arches LIVE (RIP). This performance takes the audience to downtown Colombo and the crop fields of Tissamaharama, where she recreates the journey of a young woman, striving to reconnect with her own identity and that of the wider world in which she lives.

Caught in an elaborate and unusual game of call and response with an unknown and shape-shifting being who can only come alive at night, Pieraccini in her role weaves together elements of local folk songs, projected imagery, sound and energetic movement, to create the reality of a day and a night in the life of this young woman.

While more acts are still to be announced, Eastern Promise’s foray into theatre plans to bring together various art forms and audiences showcasing contemporary Scottish theatre at its very best.

Elsewhere on the two-day bill, the Friday sees Pictish Trail perform a headline set alongside Portland's Visible Cloaks. The globally influenced ambient duo have just released their Reassemblage album and will be accompanied by live digital and installation artist Brenna Murphy. On the Saturday, everyone's favourite SAY Award-winning solo guitarist RM Hubbert will be performing his live score to Soviet silent film By the Law, a claustrophobic adaptation of a Jack London short story set in an inundated cabin amid a swollen river. Further music will be provided by the legendary Sexual Objects while further multi-arts performance will be on hand with Pauline and the Matches, fresh from the Edinburgh Art Festival. 

Eastern Promise, 6-7 Oct, Platform (1000 Westerhouse Rd, Glasgow). Day tickets £10 (£7.50), weekend tickets £15 (£10)