1914. Edinburgh’s Heart of Midlothian Football Club have won nineteen matches and are on the brink of winning the League Championship. In a show of extraordinary camaraderie and courage, thirteen players enlist to serve in McCrae’s Battalion. This is their story: an evocative, atmospheric and dramatic journey through Tynecastle Park Stadium in a unique, immersive, site-specific performance. Scott Kyle spoke with The Fountain about A War of Two Halves.
TF: You are performing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, how exciting?
Yes I am delighted to be back at the Edinburgh Festival, we are so lucky in Scotland to have the biggest arts festival in the world right on our doorstep. Over the past decade I have produced and performed in various different productions and was fortunate enough to win The Stage Best Actor In 2010 for my performance as Billy in Singin I’m no a Billy, he’s a Tim, which I also produced.
TF: A War of Two Halves certainly sounds intriguing, what is the premise?
A War Of Two Halves is the true story of the 1914-15 Heart of Midlothian Football team who fought in the First World War. The play doubles up as a stadium tour and the scenes are performed throughout the football stadium, so our set is definitely the most expensive set ever used at the festival (it’s a multi million pound state of the art stadium). I was asked to do the play last year but couldn’t due to other commitments, but I’m delighted to be joining the cast this year.
TF: And what drove the project, where did your influences lie?
I’m a big football fan so I was very interested in the role because of that and I have been fortunate enough to get to know more about the British Army from working on the movie Kajaki and The Greater Game last year in London. This show combines both and celebrates the men and women who sacrificed so much to allow us to live the lives we have in today’s society.
TF: What are your plans for the Fringe, having been before are there any tips or musts you would offer to first-time performers?/Have you been to the Fringe before, is there anything you are keen to see whilst in Edinburgh?
It depends on why you have decided to attend I suppose, in previous years I have been a producer and performer and spend 12 hours a day on the royal mile promoting my show. Other people come along just for the experience, but it really depends on the individual. I always enjoy supporting other shows and try to get along to as many other productions as I can.
TF: And what are your future plans beyond A War of Two Halves?
I am writing a book and have just submitted my first column for a magazine in Scotland, which should be out in August so that is exciting. My motivation talk kicks off in September in Falkirk and my Highlander Fling events are also taking place after my run in Edinburgh.
Scott Kyle brings his show A War of Two Halves to Tynecastle Stadium as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, from 1st – 26th August at various times.