Lewys Holt brings two companion shows, performed on alternate days, to Summerhall’s Anatomy Theatre for Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019.

Footnotes is a dance/ theatre comedic parody of a lecture driven off course by
the repeated intervention of footnotes. As a verbose and loquacious lecturer attempts to deliver his script, he is repeatedly de-railed by his own footnotes.

Like a TED talk gone wrong, the show begins as a lecture, where the topic, subject and purpose are obscured by dense jargon and pseudo-intellectual nonsense. The footnotes begin as semi-useful, if somewhat unnecessary asides and extra information, but quickly devolve into more expressive outbursts, actions and impulses. Each triggers a shift into dancing, oversharing, flirting and ever more surreal behaviour.

‘I spent about four years trying to read Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace that had around 200 footnotes, some around 5 pages long’ said Lewys, ‘and every time you read one you’d go into this rabbit hole and forget where you were in the main text. I wanted to bring that idea of delving deep into a tangent, or something almost unrelated to what you were experiencing before, and then kind of just snapping back to what you were getting on with.’

Phrases is a funny, semi-improvised solo show in which Lewys Holt interacts with his own stream of consciousness. Exploring confusion and anxieties in language and our understanding of it, Phrases hilariously examines what would happen if we took certain sayings and words literally. Mixing contemporary dance with comedy Lewys Holt looks at the circles and binds we create for ourselves through words.

Can you have your cake and eat it too? Wound up? Or wounded? Is it time to hit the sack? Phrases can be complicated, nonsensical and misleading and yet, somehow, we all know what they mean. Or do we?

Stream of consciousness writings are projected onto the stage for Holt to interact with. Improvised movement and discussions of communication create a subtly humorous yet unnerving piece that is personal revealing and fun. Touching on themes of mental health, Lewys Holt stands united with the
anxious, the confused and those who overthink, to face awkwardness head-on. Holt’s dance-comedy has been compared to New Art Club (with whom he shares a mutual admiration) and branded as “delightfully and disconcertingly bizarre”.

Lewys Holt is an interdisciplinary dance artist based in the UK. This is his first return to The Fringe since his well-received 2016 show Of, or at a Fairly Low Temperature. While his main focus is on dance he also blends in comedy, visual arts and devised theatre, and has been compared to New Art Club.

Summerhall, Anatomy Lecture Theatre, Venue 26

Footnotes 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17, 20, 22,
24, August Phrases 31 July, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 14, 16, 18, 21,
23, 25 August 20:45 (50 mins)