The Edinburgh Fringe Begins! | Written by Lewis C. Baird

The Edinburgh Fringe has officially kicked off in style. Theatre Scotland is proud to be covering a wide array of productions at The SpaceUK, Underbelly, The Pleasance, Greenside, The Rose Theatre, The Assembly Festival and Gilded Balloon. We’re also proud to covering the Edinburgh International Festival & Travfest, featuring a diverse variety of productions created and starring homegrown plus international talent converging on Edinburgh for August. 

On the run-up to August, we were inundated with requests to review productions. The demand was unprecedented and we were overwhelmed with the interest Theatre Scotland had built for covering the Fringe. We are very grateful to every company, marketing, and PR team that reached out to invite us to their productions. As result of this, our schedule is filled with a mix of established and emerging, artists, comedians, musicians, drag queens, and sheep? It’s fair to say that this year’s programme has something for everyone and we want to ensure we’re showing that in our coverage. 

With this, we kicked off our Fringe on Wednesday, attending press launches for Greenside, Underbelly, and the Assembly Festival. It was really great to hear from the creators of those festivals and also witness the showcase of talent these companies have in store for the residents and visitors of Edinburgh. Acts such as The Cambridge Footlights, ‘Boom’, Rob Madge, Myra DuBois, ’Rouge’, Suzie McCabe and The Choir of Man kept us thoroughly entertained. 

A notable mention has to go to the hysterically funny and incredibly talented Reuben Kaye who hosted the hell out of the Assembly’s Ruby Gala.  

Of course, there were important talking points about the Fringe plus Edinburgh itself, and how the festival will continue in years to come.

One of the points raised was the rise in prices for accommodation, which was becoming a severe worry for producers and directors. The unaffordability of coming to Edinburgh for a month was a clear restriction on performers and led to questions of viability.

There were also discussions of the collaboration of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society with production companies, and how there have been difficult issues with communication.  

These points are important and we hope that after this month when the Fringe has come back in all its glory, we see progress in discussions. Hopefully, there will be a clear route to how these matters can be resolved with the Fringe Society. There is also hope that the Scottish Government will also look into limiting the inflation of rent on short-term lets during the Fringe. As this action would stop the isolation of less accomplished companies traveling to the city to make their debut. 

Past all these issues there’s hope within the companies, artists, tech teams, press, and most importantly the audience, that this year’s Fringe will be the biggest one yet. And from looking at the programme, we reckon it’s going to be a corker. 

Get out there and see some amazing productions! 

Image Credit – Callum Bennetts