Manipulate Festival (2 - 16 February 2013)
One of the great things about Edinburgh is that as well as the big, bold, attention-grabbing mega-festivals, there are some truly innovative smaller scale festivals that focus on one particular theme. Manipulate Festival, held mainly at Traverse Theatre, is defiantly one of the latter and all the better for it.
Manipulate Festival concentrates on the more physical and visual aspects of theatre and film. There's no restriction to a particular form - animation, puppetry, theatre and even spoken word often feature - but they're all linked by the idea of telling a story through imagery.
Puppet Animation Scotland, who organize the festival, have put together another programme packed with enticing prospects. VoxModus' Slick returns after success at the 2009 festival, telling the story of a nine year old skateboarder coping with parents who strike oil in their toilet and then become arms dealers. Another highlight will be Yael Rasooly's Papercut, featuring an overworked and neglected Hollywood secretary who escapes loneliness into a fantasy life assembled frlom the photos in golden-era film magazines. Or how about The Paper Cinema's papercut retelling of Homer's Odyssey?
The festival's film strand also holds promise: Big Man Japan is a quirky mockumentary parody of Japanese city-trashing monster movies, following the eponymous giant as his popularity wanes. Czech feature film Alois Nebel, an adaptation of a popular graphic novel trilogy, is visually stunning and has attracted praise for its evocative and stylish rotoscoped animation.
There's also an opening cabaret evening at Summerhall, Edinburgh's breakthrough new arts venue, on 3 February.
While Traverse Theatre will be celebrating their Golden Jubilee all year, Manipulate only runs for two weeks. Make the most of this brief visit with a weekend away in Edinburgh with dinner, bed and breakfast packages from £109 per room per night.