Edmund the Learned Pig

| by Adrian Turrell-Watts

That beacon of porcine intelligence, Edmund the Learned Pig, is clicking his trotters with glee and calling on his fellow performers to dust off their travelling trunks and gear up for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this summer!


We are buzzing with the news that our show about the aforementioned pig has been selected as part of the British Council’s Edinburgh Showcase, which will see promoters descend on the Scottish capital from all over the world to see the best of what Britain’s theatre artists can produce.

This Edinburgh run will be the forerunner to a UK tour and, it’s hoped, will generate interest in opportunities for Edmund to make his international debut. The future for this clever pig could be looking rosy but life had to start somewhere…

One wet and windy evening, Garry Robson saw "anarchic Brechtian street opera trio" The Tiger Lillies performing a song called ‘The Learned Pig’. Garry knew at once that a show was there to be made. Chatting to his good friend Kinny Gardner of Lindsay Kemp Company and Krazy Kat fame, the two of them hatched a plan to beard The Lillies in one of their regular Soho haunts and convince them to write the score for a Learned Pig theatrical adventure. They then approached legendary children’s writer Mike Kenny to write the script and so the show was born.

The Royal Exchange in the people's republic of Manchester agreed to put on the show. It is one of the most ambitious creations for both companies and includes six brilliant performers:

There’s expert puppetry by Anthony Cairns (Shockheaded Peter); BSL and SSE interpretation throughout by the superb Kinny Gardner (Krazy Kat Theatre, Lindsey Kemp Company) and Caroline Parker MBE, along with original music by Martyn Jacques, played and sung by the illustrious musician and songbird Sally Clay. There is a stunning aerial performance by Annette Walker and it’s all held together by circus ringmaster extraordinaire (and Fittings Artistic Director) Garry Robson.

Edmund the Learned Pig was originally developed with The Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester and ran for two-and-a-half weeks in the theatre’s studio space in the autumn of 2013. After being selected as part of the Unlimited commissions, the show played at The Queen Elizabeth Hall at The Southbank Centre as part of Unlimited Festival in September last year and Fittings producer, Adrian Turrell-Watts, is now shaping up a tour immediately following the Edinburgh run.

Adrian Turrell-Watts is General Manager, Fittings Multimedia Arts. Edmund the Learned Pig will be playing at Summerhall from 26-30 August and is part of the British Council’s Edinburgh Showcase.

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