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Thursday, 3 August, 2000, 15:03 GMT 16:03 UK
Feast of festivals
Edinburgh Festival
Festival fever puts everyone on a high
The annual Edinburgh extravaganza is made up of several different events. We give you the lowdown on the festival's main features with tips on this year's hottest attractions.


13 August - 2 September 2000

Edinburgh's International Festival was the city's original event from which all the others later sprang.

Begun in 1947, it has become one of the world's greatest celebrations of the arts.


Festival director Brian McMaster said: "The Edinburgh International Festival survives and renews itself each year because we invest in the world class quality and range of our programme.

"The 2000 programme contains many events that can only be seen in Edinburgh and I hope that it will bring pleasure to a large number of people."

This year, vistors can enjoy 180 performances ranging from Shakespeare to never performed modern ballet.

Covers: Classical/contemporary dance, opera, theatre, music: orchestral/solo recitals

Features: 180 performances

Highlights

  • Hamlet - Shakespeare's Danish tragedy is directed by acclaimed director Peter Zadek with German actress Angela Winkler as the tormented king.
  • Alcina - The Stuttgart Opera pays its first visit to the UK to perform Handel's popular opera.
  • Barbaric Comedies - Set in the brooding landscape of Galician Spain, Valle-Inclan's classic tells the story of a noble family tormented by feuds, treachery, sexual jealousy, betrayal, torture and murder.
  • Bryn Terfel - Acclaimed Welsh tenor Terfel performs with the Budapest Festival Orchestra.

  • 6 -28 August 2000

    What started as an off-shoot to the main festival, is now considered the season's most compelling event.

    The wacky and eclectic Fringe has a cutting-edge reputation for showcasing a wide range of entertainment talent.


    Festival director Paul Gudgin said: "This year we welcome artists from Hollywood to Hong Kong and everywhere in between. This is the first time that we've highlighted world premieres in our programme.

    "It will provide audiences with opportunities to see exciting new theatre, music and dance performed by a whole host of performers from all over the world."

    Scores of Britain's leading comedians, performers and artists have enjoyed their first success at the Fringe.

    Just as many established famous names now make a point of putting in an appearance.

    Covers: Comedy, music, theatre, opera, dance, visual and performance art, discussions, children's events

    Features: 14,000 performers, 600 companies

    Highlights

  • Starsky and Hutch star David Soul - Directs and takes the lead in this multi-media production of Sam Shepard's acclaimed play.
  • Comedians Graham Norton, Jackie Clune, Lee Hurst and Father Ted star Ardal O'Hanlon make a welcome return to the festival.
  • Jerry Sadowitz - Last seen on Channel 5's The People vs Jerry Sadowitz, the outrageous comic comes to the Fringe to perform his close-up magician show.


    13 - 27 August 2000

    Edinburgh's International Film Festival has, like the Fringe, a reputation for showcasing big box office hits of the future.

    Home-grown British movie talent rubs shoulders with major Hollywood names.


    There is an emphasis on screenings for first-time directors, premieres and talent from around the world.

    Director Lizzie Francke said: "We have films that will replenish the imagination, sustain the mindm tickel one's fancy which will remind us just why cinema is the light in the dark."

    Covers: Thrillers, black comedy, documentary, retrospective, world cinema, animation, shorts, new film-makers

    Features: More than 300 films from 45 countries

    Highlights

  • Dancer in the Dark - Lars von Triers' acclaimed musical opens the festival with a flourish. The film won the coveted Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Singing star Bjork also picked up the title of best actress.
  • The House of Mirth - Terence Davies' period drama set in early 20th century New York, stars X-Files actress Gillian Anderson and receives its world premiere.
  • O Brother, Where Art Thou? - George Clooney in humorous mode in the Coen brothers' escaped convict picture.
  • Titus Andronicus - Sir Anthony Hopkins and Jessica Lange appear in an ambitious adaptation of the Shakespeare play.
  • The Little Vampire - Richard E Grant and Jonathan Lipncki star in this comic horror which looks set to be a big hit.
  • Eu Tu Eles (Me, You, Them) - Brazilian comedy about a woman with three husbands.
  • In The Mood For Love: Hong Kong's top director Wong Kar-Wai closes the festival with his lavish tale of unrequited love.


    12 - 28 August 2000

    Established in 1983, Edinburgh Book Festival has become one of Europe's largest public book events with over 350 authors from around the world participating in over 400 events.


    These cover discussions, readings, lectures and workshops for adults and children.

    The topics and genres covered are endless, including fiction, biography, poetry, science, crime, comedy, politics, psychology, lifestyles, food & drink, music, religion, travel, film, theatre, gardening, architecture, cultural identity and children's literature.

    Highlights
    Meet renowned authors JK Rowling, Iain Banks, Malcolm Bradbury, Edwina Currie, Susie Orbach, Norman Mailer, Carol Shields, Thomas Lynch, Philip Gourevitch. Chinua Achebe, Nadine Gordimer and Juan Goytisolo.


    25 - 28 August 2000

    Edinburgh's International Television Festival (GEITF), in its 25th year, is the UK's leading event for broadcasting and television professionals.

    Attended by over 1500 delegates, each year GEITF attracts speakers from all sectors of the television industry.


    With over 40 debates and lectures looking at the most pertinent issues of the year, the festival is the place to watch the powers-that-be in the TV industry. This year's festival Advisory Chair is Channel 5's Director of Programmes Dawn Airey.

    Past speakers: Media moguls Rupert Murdoch and Ted Turner, former BBC director-general Sir John Birt, film-maker Nick Broomfield, Channel 5 boss David Elstein, Lord Puttnam, ITV chief executive Richard Eyre.

    Highlight
    The annual MacTaggart Lecture delivered by a top figure from the world of television - this year the BBC's Director-General Greg Dyke - is usually a platform to spark controversial debate.


    28 July - 8 August 2000

    Britain's longest-running jazz festival returned for its 22nd year with some of the world's leading jazz and blues musicians perform 60 shows in concert halls, theatres, clubs, pubs and at free open air events.


    Around 50,000 people attended this year's event which encourages a diverse range of music styles from international artists.

    Among those making headlines this year were Rolling Stone Bill Wyman, Courtney Pine, George Melly, Acker Bilk and Sam Brown.

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