Edinburgh Festival star opens student showcase
This year, the festival will kick off with a keynote speech, open to the public, by arts entrepreneur and leading light of the Edinburgh Festival, Richard Demarco, CBE on Wednesday 15 May at 4pm in the Rose Bowl Lecture Theatre A.
Richard Demarco has been promoting the arts at the Edinburgh Festival since its inception in 1947. He has amassed a unique archive of material; artworks, photographs, posters and programmes, which is on display at the Summerhall performance venue in Edinburgh.
He promoted cultural links with Eastern Europe for many years, introducing the work of many European visual and performing artists to the UK through the Demarco Gallery. He has always been a supporter of Performing Arts at Leeds Metropolitan, commissioning the University's first performance at the Edinburgh Festival and commissioning new work from the students again this year.
Professor Noel Witts, organiser of the guest lecture and Performing Arts lecturer at Leeds Met, commented: "Demarco is a force of nature with a knowledge of European culture that is encyclopaedic. The lecture will be a unique meeting with this extraordinary man and will speak about his prides and prejudices. Above all, it will offer encouragement to students about to leave that there is hope in creativity in a world of change and conflict."
The 'Lift Off' festival will encompass sit-down theatre performances and drop-in short performances around the University's city campus. The projects explore the concerns and obsessions of graduating performance makers from Leeds Met's BA (Hons) Art Event Performance course and include ghost stories, stage fights, gender politics, caged birds, confession booths, dancing and several experiences for one audience member at a time.