Notes from the Fringe
– a series of blog posts from SHP’s CEO, Ron McAllister –
Day 2 – Sunday 21tst August: First full day at the Fringe
The Edinburgh Fringe Society’s arts industry breakfast got the day off to an exhilarating start with some keynote speeches reminding new participants that it’s not just about buying and selling shows – it’s about making contacts, gently sewing a seed that could spark into life years later.
Wise words which are promptly ignored as hoards of hopeful companies bombard venue managers with their wares! To be fair their eagerness is born of passion and a tinge of anxiety that they might get overlooked.
It’s now nearly 1am and I’m still sifting through the plethora of materials they handed me to see what might be worth a look -a dance company who perform on a bus, maybe, or a space age post-apocalyptic piece from the National Theatre of Scotland?
First show of the day was the delightful “Out of the Blue” – a hugely entertaining A Capella group from Oxford who have been making a bigger impact in Edinburgh here every year – spurred on by Simon Cowell’s attention. I have seen them perform extracts on the Royal Mile in previous years but I thought this year I would see if they could hold an audience for an entire show. The answer? – yep they certainly can!
Other highlights today included catching up with the latest work from producers,directors and writers who have had an association with SHP in the past.
Lovely to see the work that SHP’s associate company Squint has been doing with the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama for example – their piece “En Folkefiende” was political and topical, making fantastic use of sound-scaping and a revolving stage!
Also you may remember a week that we hosted with a company called “Belt Up” about 5 or 6 years ago? Well, founder member and writer Alex Wright has no less than three pieces here this year – and after seeing his “Snakes and Giants” we had a fascinating discussion about how his poetic style of writing could be married with epic outdoor theatre. (He has done some superb work on The Tempest with York Theatre Royal recently.)
After that my daughter treated me to a delicious meal in a “cow themed” restaurant called Field – Scottish cuisine at its best – thoroughly recommended!
Ok – got a meeting with a producer which the British Council has arranged for me in the morning so I better get some sleep!
Til tomorrow then,