August 11, 2009
Operators of some of the leading independent venues at the Edinburgh Fringe are warning that spiralling costs may squeeze them out of participating in future years, which could substantially alter the nature of the internationally famous annual event, perhaps even jeopardising its status as the world’s largest arts festival.
The 63rd annual Fringe – which launched on Friday (7 August) and continues until 31 August – involves an estimated 18,901 performers from over 60 countries presenting 34,265 performances of 2,098 shows in 265 venues (See News, 7 Aug 2009). While the scale of the festival has once again broken its own record (albeit just – there are ten more shows in the programme than in 2008), operators point out that, over the past three years, Edinburgh Council licence fees for this year’s 265 venues – the vast majority of which are small and independently run – have increased by a staggering 800 percent. Read more
August 9, 2009
The Pleasance yesterday (8 August 2009) launched its 25th anniversary season at the Edinburgh Fringe with a sneak-peek highlights show attended by an audience of over 200 at the Pleasance Back of Beyond. The season comprises 200 shows across 27 performance spaces at the Pleasance Courtyard, the Pleasance Dome Pleasance OvertheRoad and Pleasance Gardens.
Pleasance director Anthony Alderson rivalled many of the comics at his venue with a speech that took on the history of jelly, ice cream and evolution before moving onto more serious matters. As the only registered charity among the major Fringe venues, the Pleasance has a special place at the Festival as an institution with the capacity to nurture emerging artists. Alderson described the history of the Pleasance’s 25 years of artists development, honouring Pleasance founder Christopher Richardson as well as paying tribute to the late Charlie Hartill, whose memorial fund has supported emerging artists since 2004. Read more
August 8, 2009
Last year, the Musical Theatre @ George Square made history, debuting as the first-ever venue specifically dedicated to the musical genre at the Edinburgh Fringe. Last night (7 August), it officially launched its second season at the Fringe, with a showcase event held at its 400-seat main stage, George One.
The 2009 programme comprises 22 full musicals, including 15 world premieres, as well as 72 free nightly cabarets, gala performances and 40 masterclasses led by industry experts. Read more
August 7, 2009
The 2009 Edinburgh Fringe, the world’s largest arts festival, gets officially under way in the Scottish capital today (7 August 2009). The 63rd annual Fringe, which continues until 31 August, involves an estimated 18,901 performers from over 60 countries presenting 34,265 performances of a record-breaking 2,098 shows in 265 venues (See News, 10 Jun 2009).
Whatever the meteorological predictions for Edinburgh (August is often notoriously wet), pre-festival reports indicate that the Fringe seems to be weathering other conditions well – namely, the recession, a debilitating box office system crash in 2008 and worries about swine flu. Read more
August 7, 2009
The Gilded Balloon last night (6 August 2009) launched its programme at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe with a special highlights celebration in its Teviot space which gave a sample of its eclectic comedy and theatre offerings. Read more
August 6, 2009
The Underbelly launched its tenth anniversary season at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe yesterday (5 August 2009) with a special show in its Udderbelly venue (this year celebrating its third anniversary in Bristo Square) that showed off a blend of music, comedy and spectacle. Attended by members of the press, as well as producers, promoters, companies and venue staff, the 400-seat auditorium in the upside down purple cow was packed to bursting with a loud and appreciative audience. Read more
August 4, 2009
Following their debuts at the Edinburgh Fringe, Stefan Golaszewski’s two solo shows, Stefan Golaszewski Speaks About a Girl He Once Loved and Stefan Golaszewski Is a Widower, will both transfer to London for a Christmas season. Presented together for the first time, The Stefan Golaszewski Plays, portraying one man’s love at two very different stages of life, will run from 4 December 2009 (previews from 2 December) to 9 January 2010 at west London’s Bush Theatre. Read more
August 3, 2009
Perfect Pitch – the showcase for developing homegrown musicals, which is supported for a third year by Whatsonstage.com – will return to Trafalgar Studios from 3 to 8 November 2009 for its second annual West End season, following its star-studded activities at this month’s Edinburgh Fringe. Read more
July 17, 2009
Calling all musical theatre trivia experts! Do we have a challenge for you. As part of our activity at next month’s Edinburgh Fringe, Whatsonstage.com is sponsoring a University Challenge-style musicals competition at the Musical Theatre @ George Square, the only venue at the world’s largest arts festival specifically dedicated to the genre.
The organisers need to generate an awful lot of questions that will get the teams of student-contestants reaching for their buzzers – and they’re asking for input from some of the most knowledgeable musical theatre experts in the world: Whatsonstage.com readers. And what’s more, the best contributor will win a great prize, including tickets to not one, not two, but THREE blockbuster musicals: Hairspray, Sister Act and Disney’s High School Musical 2! Read more
July 13, 2009
As part of our significantly increased activity at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, Whatsonstage.com has signed up to sponsor the third annual Musical Theatre Matters: UK Awards, the only prize-giving specifically dedicated to the musical genre at the world’s largest arts festival, which runs next month from 7 to 31 August 2009.
The Awards, run by the professional theatre network organisation Musical Theatre Matters, were established in 2007 to champion the next generation of musical theatre producers, writers and shows. While musical theatre is not excluded from many other Edinburgh awards, the artform did not seem to be achieving the plaudits deserved by the creatives. In the first two years, 11 shows were selected for commendations and awards, and many of those pieces have moved on – six have had presentations in London, one is heading to the New York Summer Play Festival, and three have had UK tours. Read more