Interview: Edinburgh Military Tattoo producer eyes co-production with China

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-12 13:39:46|Editor: Mengjie
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by Zhang Dailei

EDINBURGH, Aug.12 (Xinhua) -- The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is looking to invite Chinese performers next year, and plans to take its show to China in 2020, its producer David Allfrey has said.

His team is currently in talks to bring some 300 young Chinese performers to the 69th Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo next year, Allfrey said in a recent interview with Xinhua.

Allfrey was appointed the chief executive and producer of the event in 2011, which takes place each August as part of the Edinburgh Festival. The 57-year-old producer has delivered seven consecutive Tattoos in Edinburgh and brought the show overseas to Australia and New Zealand.

He said as the theme of 2018 Edinburgh Tattoo is "The Sky is the Limit," with a focus on young people.

"We hope, if all goes well, for a very big act from schools in Beijing," he said, "I have even asked them to call the title Winds and Dragons."

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is an annual event performed by British, Commonwealth and international military bands and artistic performance teams on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle in the capital of Scotland. The first Edinburgh Tattoo took place in 1950.

Since 1952, military and civil performers from 48 countries and regions have travelled to Edinburgh to join the Tattoo show, which attracts more than 200,000 visitors each year, including from overseas.

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) band from China attended the Tattoo in 2004 and 2015, while a show from China's Zhejiang Province was also presented in 2015.

Allfrey said: "I do hope the PLA band could also come next year so we can enjoy both the military band and children's show from China."

He hoped his team, which will travel to China this October for more meetings and discussions on the agenda, could bring to Edinburgh about 300 young Chinese students next year.

He noted if his team could bring the Tattoo to China in 2020, as planned, it will be a great co-production.

"We will work with Chinese producers," he said, "it's not just us doing the event. Because China has the finest producers of large-scale events, anywhere in the world. You are amazing at these events and you are very good at it."

If the co-production is realized, it will be the fifth overseas tour in Edinburgh Tattoo's history.

"If it goes to China, we want to do it in three cities: Beijing , Shanghai and Guangzhou," he told Xinhua.

Military Tattoo takes its name from the cry of inn-keepers in Belgium and the Netherlands over 300 years ago, when they ordered "Doe den tap toe" (turn off the bear taps) as the fifes and drums of the local regiments marched through the streets signalling the soldiers to return to the barracks.

From its early days, the event has been an international favorite and has attracted more than 14 million visitors over 67 years.

The 2017 Tattoo, taking place on Aug. 4-28, is called Splash of Tartan, with performers from India, France, Japan, the United States and Canada.