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Preview: Hold On Let Go at Edinburgh Summerhall

Unfolding Theatre in association with LittleMighty:
Hold On Let Go
Edinburgh Summerhall
31 July - 25 August 2019

A brand new show about memory from the company the Guardian calls
‘thrillingly talented’ with original songs by Paul Smith (Maxïmo Park),
choreography by Liv Lorent MBE and dramaturgy by Selina Thompson (salt.)

Last seen at Summerhall in 2016 with their critically acclaimed Putting The Band Back Together, Unfolding Theatre return to the Edinburgh Fringe with a new show about memory and what we pass on.

Alex is 56. Luca is half his age. Alex has an encyclopedia in his head. Luca has one on her phone. Most of us forget most things, most of the time. What if we forget something important? Something that might make the world a better place? In a world of information overload, Hold On Let Go invites audiences to discover a new kind of memory champion. One that admits how much they’ve forgotten. One that bakes bread, dances on tables and might possibly get sucked into a black hole...

Director Annie Rigby explains, “I wanted to make a show that holds up how fragmentary and partial our memories are – both as individuals and as a society. To ask questions about how we might behave right now, if we are more conscious of how little we are holding in our memories. It’s a show that takes you on a journey that starts in a kitchen and travels to the farthest reaches of our entire universe.”

Paul Smith has written original songs for Hold On Let Go - his first theatre collaboration. He says, “Music and memory is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. We called the first Maxïmo Park album, A Certain Trigger because of how music can be an emotional trigger, taking you to places and memories. In Hold On Let Go, we’re playing with how a radio broadcast of songs and words, played within the show, can build an emotional connection with audiences.”

The creative team also includes dramaturg Selina Thompson (salt.), choreographer Liv Lorent MBE (balletLORENT), writer/performer Luca Rutherford (Learning How to Die), and sound design by Mariam Rezaei (Beats North, Curious Monkey).

Led by Annie Rigby, Unfolding Theatre brings people together to experience stimulating new work that’s thoughtful, unexpected and playful. Over the last decade, the company has built a reputation for working with all sorts of people from different walks of life to make theatre with a wild sense of humour and strength of character.  2017 saw the company’s biggest national tour to date with Putting the Band Back

Together which premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2016, “Fantastic - funny, big-hearted, moving and truthful.” The Guardian

As with all of Unfolding Theatre’s work, participation drives the creative process. For Hold On Let Go Annie and the team led workshops with parents and newborn babies and elderly people to explore how to capture the things that are usually forgotten in day to day life. 
Some of their stories feature in the show as listeners’ messages sent into Paul Smith’s radio station, Too Much Information FM. We hear about Jude who can’t remember what it feels like to be carried, Mary who remembers the sound of sea ice cracking, heard in the middle of a night in the hard winter of 1963. Alex bakes sourdough bread during each show. The sourdough starter is activated by the natural yeasts in the air of each performance. A piece of freshly baked bread is offered to the
audience at the end of the show, as a tiny feast of now.

Cast and creative team
Director: Annie Rigby (Putting The Band Back Together)
Writer & Performer: Luca Rutherford (Luca Rutherford’s Political Party)
Performer: Alex Elliott (Putting the Band Back Together, Best in the World)
Songwriter: Paul Smith (Maxïmo Park)
Sounds: Mariam Rezaei (Beats North, Curious Monkey)
Choreographer: Liv Lorent (balletLORENT)
Dramaturg: Selina Thompson (salt.)

Photos: The Other Richard

Suitability: 12+

Tickets are £10 / £8 concessions and go on sale on 16 May. Visit or call 0131 560 1581 to book. Hold On Let Go will tour in Spring 2020 after its Edinburgh Fringe run.

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