Performance

Hidden Door

Leith Theatre, Edinburgh

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Neil Cooper

four stars

TO SUGGEST that the Hidden Door festival that filled every inch of a reinvigorated Leith Theatre took a breather following its opening weekend wig-out would be something of an over-statement. It did, however, get the cabaret tables out for some less full-on live fare, that allowed for a Sunday come-down before moving gently into week-day activities.

The flag-ship of this was Blistering Mischief, a night of poetry and song presented by Flint and Pitch. This is the new spoken-word and music night founded by poet Jenny Lindsay, formerly one half of the similarly styled Rally and Broad team with Rachel McCrum, who is now domiciled in Canada.

Neu! Reekie!'s Michael Pedersen talked about sex and wild-life. Dominic Waxing Lyrical sang a folk-tinged homage of sorts to Susan Sontag. Heir of the Cursed cooed mournful lullabys like a new age Singing Nun, and A New International played waltz-time chansons. It was Ellen Renton's powerful performance accompanied by Ross Patrizio that won the night, however, with a quietly fearless poetic display.

A science-fiction theme dominated Monday, culminating in a screening of Fritz Lang's 1927 dystopian masterpiece, Metropolis. Five contemporary electronic composers provided a bespoke live score. Le Vangelis, Matthew Collings, Dave House, aka The Reverse Engineer, Phil McBride and Kim Moore, aka WOLF, took half an hour each to add shade, colour and narrative drive to a still astonishing film.

Metropolis is set in an imagined city, where town planners create a form of social apartheid through a series of high-end developments. If this sounds close to home, the music made the screening even more of the moment in a festival that showed the endless possibilities of what a city can be.