THE return of live performance is being celebrated in a two-week festival which will also look at the future of the performing arts.

Wonder Festival is a new event that invites audiences behind the curtains of the creative process to step into the world of the artist.

From tomorrow, Edinburgh’s Lyceum will be taken over by an eclectic programme of work including rehearsed readings, scratch performances, creative workshops and talks.

The programme will showcase a range of art that is being made by artists today, including a new adaptation of Ali Smith’s boundary-breaking novel How To Be Both and experimental new work from leading theatre-maker Tim Crouch.

Also taking part are musician and composer Martin Green from folk band Lau and poet and playwright George Gunn whose new play piece is a Second World War thriller set in the Scottish Highlands. In this imagined meeting Rudolph Hess, Winston Churchill and Wallis Simpson all converge on a highland estate with the hope of bringing peace to Europe.

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Meanwhile, Green has spent a year collaborating with brass bands across the UK as a composer and storyteller, creating the forthcoming BBC documentary Love, Spit And Valve Oil and making audio drama Keli with Lyceum associate director Wils Wilson.

For Wonder Festival, they are joined on stage by Whitburn Brass Band and actors to present excerpts from an emerging stage version of that work performed by a cast including Anna Russell-Martin and Tam Dean Burn.

These performances will sit alongside work from the L20 artists, a diverse group of 21 Edinburgh-based theatre makers that are the first cohort of the Lyceum’s artistic attachment programme that was created in 2021.

“Artists who have not been able to make work for audiences have not been idle – they have been busy creating and at the Lyceum we are delighted to have supported 21 theatre-makers who have been exploring and creating over the period of the pandemic, and bring them centre-stage as the theatre comes back to life this year,” said Lyceum artistic director David Greig.

“I am really excited about launching a new festival of work in progress at the Lyceum, offering the space to artists who are seeking to present new creations, collaborations and ideas to audiences who can help shape and develop them.”

The festival runs until April 9.

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