Page last updated at 14:35 GMT, Thursday, 27 August 2009 15:35 UK

Garden show provokes green praise

By Angie Brown
Edinburgh reporter, BBC Scotland news website

Power Plant
One of the Victorian glasshouses has been lit up at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

A huge light and sound show at the Fringe has been hailed by Green MSP Robin Harper for "provoking thought on climate change and nature".

Mr Harper has urged people to go to Power Plant, at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, to learn about nature through the experience.

The Edinburgh MSP said the promenade show, which travels through the site's Victorian hothouses, was a "must see".

In just two weeks 5,000 tickets have been sold for the spectacle.

The hour-long walk takes groups through the garden as dusk falls along a lamp lit path towards the glasshouses.

Inside there are thousands of lights in the undergrowth and unusual sounds.

Luminous roots, shards of light through leaves and flashing lights fill the large plant-filled rooms.

Robin Harper
This very vivid experience is unmissable because it will alter peoples view of nature quite deeply and provokes thought on climate change
Robin Harper
Scottish Green Party

A specially adapted hothouse has been filled with atmospheric steam, while windscreen wiper motors have been used to make lights dart within the tree branches.

Vacuum cleaners attached to organ pipes as well as an old World War II air raid siren have been used to create the sounds.

Pushing through overhanging tendrils in the murky light and lightning-like flashes are all part of the experience.

A disco ball casts thousands of flecks of light around one of the glasshouses, which is full of unusual object d'art such as vintage gramophones.

Outside there are huge pipes blowing out fire in time to the music and a pot of snails are projected onto a screen creating beautiful shapes.

Images of flowers are projected around the grounds and one of the glasshouses is lit up from the outside to look almost like it has electricity running all over it.

Mr Harper told BBC Scotland news website: "I lived in Africa and I'm very conscious that there is a third or fourth dimension to a rainforest and that it is a noisy place.

"This very vivid experience is unmissable because it will alter people's view of nature quite deeply and provoke thought on climate change.

"The depth of the experience comes from technology being put alongside nature and in doing so I think it will cause people to think about climate change."

'Overwhelmingly super'

After the show, Angela Barrie, 36, a project manager from Edinburgh, said the experience had been far more than she had expected.

She said: "It was fantastic, absolutely magnificent. I was only expecting it to be in one area, not all over. The flames and the lollipop things were my favourite parts."

Bill McDowall, 68, a retired lawyer from Edinburgh, said the show was suitable for all ages.

He said: "It was first class, what a clever use of space to create a very clever atmosphere.

"It is very evocative of nature and the technology enhanced the plants. It was overwhelmingly super."

Producer Simon Chatterton said the installations - by artists Mark Anderson, Anne Bean, Jony Easterby, Ulf Mark Pedersen and Kirsten Reynolds - took a week to install.

He said: "The pieces have been made up from years of collecting, old bits of machinery, which are fixed up in the artists' sheds.

"We spent six months planning with officials at the botanic garden and we were very curious as to how it would work.

"It is the third time we have shown Power Plant, but it is the first time we have put it on in hothouses, which has made it a very different experience."

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