On Thursday 3rd June, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society (EFFS) announced the recipients of the first ever Fringe Artist and Venue Recovery Fund, meaning that fifteen different productions can bring work to the world-renowned festival with shows taking place in both 2021 and 2022.
The £75,000 fund was raised in 2020 through the Fringe Society’s FringeMakers platform in partnership with Crowdfunder with the total sum coming from ticket sales to the AJ Bell Fringe on a Friday live events, as well as through direct donation and support from AJ Bell, all of which is appreciated by EFFS.
Among the funded projects are a new physical theatre piece exploring the issue of identity in Hong Kong; a new digital piece of theatre that follows the journey of two women on a mission to create the perfect fairy tale for our time; new musical theatre show examining the complexity of interpersonal relationships; an outdoor, site-responsive show about a man eschewing consumerism for nature; a semi-autobiographical one-woman play – Tickbox – told in Scots-English and Urdu, which follows the stories of two Scottish-Pakistani women; a new play about a washed-up television personality who lives his own Dickensian nightmare when he is visited by the ghost of his past; new work which tells the story of those who are forced to become nomads despite being desperate for a concrete place to call home; an adaptation of a lesser-known Arthur Conan Doyle novel, The Poison Belt; a digital presentation of a show which explores the lows of sex education amidst the highs of sexual awakening in a country under religious stronghold; a live theatre piece following the life of Marigold Webb, a deaf insect collector living in the 1920s; an all-female three-hander neo-noir crime story in which an executive manager must rob her own bank; a digital production made up of a randomly generated series of monologues about death and mortality and a show exploring the music and personal lives of the original jazz and blues divas.
Five Fringe venues – Monkey Barrel Comedy; Summerhall; C venues; Scottish Comedy Festival and the Pleasance Theatre Trust’s project – will also benefit from funding for their individual projects that will benefit various aspects of the arts in their respective fields.
EFFS collected and administered applications using SmartyGrants. All applications that met the essential criteria were evaluated by an independent panel made up of expert advisors drawn from the Fringe’s stakeholder community. The grant-giving process was chaired by a representative from the Fringe Society Senior Management team as a non-voting participant.
More details on the fund, along with information on eligibility, can be found at the Fringe website.