It’s the Shedinburgh Fringe Festival!

A dog may be man’s best friend but his favourite space is supposed to be a shed. This may or may not have influenced producer Francesca Moody and writer and performer Gary McNair when they decided on the concept of Shedinburgh, but it’s a thought!

This August may not have the usual cornucopia of acts from around the world, and many companies are going digital, but the Shedinburgh Fringe Festival is something else. It brings a brand new online festival featuring Fringe greats of theatre and comedy to people’s homes…live from a shed. One will be in Edinburgh at the Traverse Theatre, one in London at Soho Theatre, and some even in performers’ own sheds.

Presented by Francesca Moody Productions in association with Popcorn Group, Shedinburgh will happen between 14 August and 5 September 2020. It will have daily livestreamed events including “one night only” shed based versions of performances from established Fringe favourites, slots for new artists through Open Call Submissions and industry panel discussions. It will feature shows from Helen Baer, Tim Crouch, Rosie Jones, Adam Kashmiry, Yolanda Mercy, Deborah Frances-White, Gary McNair, Sara Pascoe, Steen Raskopoulos, Jack Rooke, Joe Sellman-Leava, Mark Thomas and more. 

Gary McNair, known for award-winning shows such as A Gamblers Guide To Dying; Square Go and Locker Room Talksaid, “This all started as a joke. I love puns so I just wanted to make Francesca laugh when I said I’d be doing the Shedinburgh Fringe from my garden this year. That was meant to be the end of it. But she took it seriously and said we should do it for real. When she convinced me it could be done, it was clear that we could turn it into something that could celebrate the Fringe’s past and really help people access it in the future. I love the Fringe and I hope Shedinburgh can support others to be a part of it when it returns. It won’t be exactly like the real thing, there will be no dashing around the city’s packed streets in the rain, searching for the hot ticket but I’m sure the people watching at home will find something they love and help us raise a shed load for artists next year.”

Performances will be broadcast only once at 7.30pm each night via zoom. Tickets are available on Friday 7th August on a Pay What You Can system for a minimum donation of £4 via Crowdfunder, that is providing the platform fee and covering all transaction charges as part of their COVID-19 response.  

All proceeds raised from Shedinburgh ticket sales will go into a fund to support new artists to bring their work to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2021 under the banner A Shed Load of Future with the aim of sustaining and reinvigorating the Fringe’s future beyond this year.

 Applications for open slots in Shedinburgh will be from open 6 to 12 August 2020.

Shedinburgh is supported by Popcorn Group, Traverse Theatre, Soho Theatre, National Student Drama Festival, Crowdfunder, Solid Media and Mighty Small and sponsored by Beer52  

 Irene Brown

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