Edinburgh based Tragic Carpet was formed in 1988 out of Middlesex Polytechnic (BA Hons Performing Arts). The company moved to Scotland in 1996 following a residency working with the children of Mull, Iona, Ulva, Kilchoan and Oban on a promenade performance called FishorMan for what was to become An Tobar. It now has its studio at Edinburgh Palette . Tragic Carpet uses ensemble visual theatre, movement, object theatre, puppetry, circus, mime, movement, music, projection and light to explore the stories of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances.

★★★★ ‘this beautiful, exquisitely made show, driven by a quiet but fierce sense of humanity and compassion’ Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman on ‘Rendition’ 2019

Associate Artists and Creatives

Sylvia Dow
Kim Edgar
Pete Searle
Euan Jackson
Derek Gilchrist
Tony Pinchuck  (South Africa)

The company is an umbrella organisation for the work of its artistic director Freda O’Byrne and her collaborations with Tragic Carpet Associate Artists and Creatives, other artists and creative partners. Projects include performances in traditional and non traditional spaces, places and galleries, and workshops and classes for professionals, audiences and communities, and for both children and/or adults.

Projects In Development:

Rendition is touring in 2020 and 2021

Rendition – Tragic Carpet’s radical new work, Rendition, uses detailed collaborative research findings to tell the story of one man’s nightmare experience as the first suspect to be taken into the CIA’s detention programme. First performed at Hidden Door Festival in May 2017 and then at Manipulate Snapshots at the Traverse in February 2018 and 2019, Rendition has been developed into a full-length work that aims to visualise research findings using an innovative mix of puppetry, soundscapes and visual theatre. Rendition took place in the Roxy Snug Bar which was transformed into an installation within which the audience experienced the work. This potent, immersive production shines a light on the collusion between the CIA and the British Government and explores the juxtaposition between extreme vulnerability and absolute power.

The Keeper Hidden Door 2018 – a performance installation for children and adults based on The Seven Ravens and using music, puppetry crafts, coding and ice to explore, in a modern context, this Grimms’ fairy tale. The show explores themes of loss, personal identity, data, privacy and things technical. (8 to 12 year olds).

‘The Keeper’ at Hidden Door 2018 was supported by The Edinburgh Ice CompanyEdinburgh Hacklab and Prewired Under 19s Coding Club.

‘Burlap’  a childrens’ outdoor puppetry show focussing on compostables, dragons and lost narratives. (5 to 8 year olds). This project has undergone research with staff and children in Castleview Primary School Craigmillar in collaboration with Karin Chipulina of Carr Gomm.

Green Arts initiative logo

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