Edinburgh International Festival and Fringe

Here you can find reviews, notices and other coverage of Korean performances at the UK’s leading arts festival

A detailed mining of the Edinburgh Fringe website reveals eighteen Korean performances plus one talk this year. Magic show Snap makes a return, along with the ever-popular drum show Tago, both part of a “Korean Season presented by AtoBiz Ltd” – who also bring new acts Kokdu and Ensemble Su. I must say I’m a […]

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Fringe visit: The Tiniest Frog Prince in the World

by Philip Gowman 24 August 2016
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I was feeling grumpy when I went into this show and had decided I was not going to enjoy it. I had rushed to get there having just got off the train. It had started late, and if it overran I wasn’t going to have time to get to the next show. And I’m not […]

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Fringe visit: Girl

by Philip Gowman 24 August 2016
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Modl Theatre Company is perhaps best known in this country for its work aimed at younger audiences, but it is a diverse company which also engages with more adult material too. And you can’t get much more adult than a graphic description of the surgical procedure that the Japanese forced upon young Korean girls so […]

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Fringe visit: Dandelion’s Story

by Philip Gowman 24 August 2016
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What on earth makes a theatre company think that creating a piece about doggy poo is a good idea? How do you persuade an actress that taking on the role of a talking turd is a big break for her? Well, firstly, this production is aimed at children, and kids of all ages find poo […]

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Fringe visit: Tiger in Blossom

by Philip Gowman 24 August 2016
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This is a simple retelling for children of the Korean folk tale of the Tiger and the Woodcutter, in which a woodcutter, about to be killed by a tiger in the forest, persuades the beast that he used to be human, and is in fact his elder brother. The initially sceptical tiger eventually falls for […]

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Fringe visit: The Song of Beast (after Hamlet)

by Philip Gowman 24 August 2016
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Imagine Hamlet scripted / co-directed by Park Chan-Wook (Oldboy), Ryu Seung-wan (Veteran / Unjust) and Yoon Jong-bin (Nameless Gangster), with dialogue input from Yang Ik-joon (Breathless), and music by Cho Young-wook (Oldboy) and you’re starting to get close what this production is like. The setting is moved from Denmark to an abattoir which has a […]

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Fringe visit: Chef – Come Dine with Us

by Philip Gowman 24 August 2016
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A Korean physical theatre / comedy performance involving cooking? Does that sound like Nanta? Well, yes. We loved Nanta when it came to Kingston and were happy to see what this seemingly very similar show had to offer. Judging by the poster, it certainly had a thoroughly ripped male torso to entice you. The scenario […]

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Fringe visit: Snap

by Philip Gowman 24 August 2016
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This show was far from being my highlight of the Fringe. The audience seemed to enjoy it, and the reviews are very favourable, particularly from families with children. I myself couldn’t help feeling that I’d seen it all before: the sort of sleight of hand magic tricks you see done on TV variety shows.  On […]

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Fringe visit: Tago – Korean Drum II

by Philip Gowman 24 August 2016
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On paper, one hour of Korean drumming doesn’t sound appealing, but this type of show is consistently popular with fringe-goers. There is enough variety to keep the audience interested, from Buddhist temple percussion to Samulnori, and the energy and enthusiasm of the performers is infectious. There is also some very non-traditional percussion: a trolley which […]

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Korean performers and artists at Edinburgh Fringe 2016

by Events Editor 14 June 2016
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Once again there’s a strong Korean showing at the Fringe this year. It’s particularly nice to see Modl Theatre in the UK again, this time with three productions. Two of them are geared towards families and children, but the third is a something darker: a new and topical production on the theme of the wartime […]

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Exhibition news: Chun Kwang-young’s Aggregations in Edinburgh’s Dovecot Gallery

by Events Editor 26 July 2015
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A high profile Edinburgh exhibition for Chun Kwang-young in Festival season: Kwang Young Chun: Aggregations Daily 10-6pm 31 July to 31 August | Mon-Sat 10.30am-5.30pm 1-26 September Dovecot Studios | 10 Infirmary Street | Edinburgh EH1 1LT | dovecotstudios.com Dovecot Gallery presents the first solo exhibition in Scotland of internationally renowned Korean artist Kwang Young […]

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Korean performers at the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe

by Events Editor 19 July 2015
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Once again, there is a strong representation of Korean performers at the 2015 Fringe. And scheduling clashes mean that if you want to get to all of the performances you need to allow three days – here’s a screenshot of LKL’s event calendar for peak time at the Fringe to prove it: Here’s some thoughts to […]

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KCC to host two previews of the Edinburgh Fringe

by Events Editor 19 July 2015
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On their way up to Edinburgh two groups of performers will be stopping off at the KCC to give us a preview of their shows. Not to be missed if you can’t make it up to Edinburgh. And even if you can, there are so many diary clashes between the Korean acts this year that […]

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The 2014 Fringe – a round-up of the reviews

by Philip Gowman 25 August 2014
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Now that the 2014 Fringe has come to an end, here’s a summary of the reviews of the Korean shows. I’m surprised the Taekwondo show didn’t get any professional reviews, as I heard that the BBC loved it. Show LKL rating Other ratings Brush Review Fringe Guru The List Broadway Baby ThreeWeeks Leodo: Paradise Lost […]

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Edinburgh Fringe visit: two Korean monodramas and one Korean American

by Philip Gowman 18 August 2014
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Korean acts coming to the Fringe have often majored on the non-verbal: percussion, taekwondo, comedy, physical theatre, music and dance. Last year, with Othello – Two Men, we discovered that more traditional theatre, heavy on text, can work well despite the language barrier – provided surtitles are visible. This year the Korean contingent was bolder […]

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Edinburgh Fringe visit: A Walk in the Dust

by Philip Gowman 16 August 2014
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When a play is put on for only one performance at the Fringe, you wonder what is going on. When it’s a Korean performance, and the date chosen is August 15th, National Liberation Day, the day on which Korea was freed from Japanese rule in 1945, the choice of “one day only” makes more sense. […]

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Leodo: Paradise Lost — Norian Maro returns to the Fringe

by Events Editor 6 August 2014
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Here’s the official press release for Norian Maro’s 2014 Edinburgh Fringe production Leodo: Paradise Lost. The show has developed out of last year’s production, Pudasi, which LKL reviewed here. The Stage has already given this year’s upgraded version a four-star review: “The talented seven-member ensemble never flags in energy, choreographic skill or audience engagement” The […]

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