Hidden Door Festival Lights Up Leith

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This week I have been delighted to attend Hidden Door, an arts festival in Leith, Edinburgh which opens up abandoned urban spaces for new and emerging artists, musicians, theatre-makers, filmmakers and poets.

You can find out more (and buy tickets for the remaining nights- the festival is on until the 3rd of June!) at hiddendoorblog.org, and read on to discover my review of the events.

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Day 1: Sunshine, Dance and Visual Art

On Monday I took my Mum along to Hidden Door in the early evening and we were lucky to be greeted with gorgeous sunshine as we enjoyed a few beers in the Leith Theatre courtyard. The next performance was a couple of hours away so we then strolled over to the old State Cinema, Hidden Door Festivals' second venue where talented creatives have taken over Leith's beautiful old, abandoned cinema throughout this week to fill it's crumbling halls with theatre and art.

We explored the exhibitions on display in the auditorium, which included 'Let's Smash The Patriachy' by Jenna Corcoran, featuring smashed up pinatas representing our misogynistic society,  'Worms fo Surplus' by Silas Perry, an art installation that seeks to unearth new life from excessive waste, and lastly 'Ghost Lines' by Jill Martin Boualaxai, a series of drawings on copper sheets representing the decay of the building itself.

To end a perfect Spring evening, we were treated to an awe-inspiring dance performance by Korean choreographer Jung In Lee, an incredibly talented dancer who studies the social, cultural and educational environment to explore unlimited possibilities of movement upon our body and imagination with her internationally toured piece, 'Skins'.

Seeing such a breathtaking performance take place in a previously ignored and abandoned old building perfectly personified the 'Persevere' spirit of Leith; unstoppable, unbreakable, and constantly being reimagined and reinvented.

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Day 2: Food, Drinks and Music

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Yesterday night, I headed down to Leith Theatre again for Hidden Door round two, this time with my boyfriend. We started off the evening with food (duh) at the festival's street food area, where Jack had chicken udon noodle stir fry and vegetarian gyoza dumplings from Harajuku Kitchen, and I stuffed my face with delicious woodfired mushroom pizza from Fire & Dough. Then we met up for a drink with Lucie from Call Me Dumpling, and headed into the theatre to see the incredible album launch for Vox Liminis's Distant Voices project, Not Known At This Address.

The Distant Voices project brings together some of Scotland’s most acclaimed songwriters with people who have first-hand experience of the criminal justice system. Co-writers on the album include prisoners, prison staff, researchers and social workers. Through these diverse collaborations, Not Known at This Address offers a unique and uniquely human portrait of criminal justice in Scotland.  An impressive roster of artists has contributed to Distant Voices over the last two years. The album features the talents of Kris Drever, C Duncan, Admiral Fallow, Emma Pollock, Rachel Sermanni, Pronto Mama, Bdy_Prts, Fiskur and Donna Maciocia.

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Here are the outfit details if you're curious:

Day 1 Dress: COS Trousers: Charity shop Belt: Vintage Shoes: Birkenstock Sunglasses: Rayban Earrings: H&M Bag: Nu Blvck

Day 2 Black top: H&M Denim shirt: Vintage Zebra print cardigan: Vintage Leather jacket: Rosy Penguin Trousers: Charity shop Necklace: Charity shop Earrings: Life Story Shoes: CDG Play x Converse Bag: Nu Blvck

A big thanks to Hidden Door for an utterly breathtaking two days at Edinburgh's most exciting and innovative festival.

Get your tickets now!