In August it all kicks off, the 70th anniversary of Edinburgh Festival Fringe. For three weeks, Scotland’s capital, welcomes an explosion of creative energy from around the globe.
The Fringe began in 1947 when eight theatre companies turned up uninvited to perform at the inaugural Edinburgh International Festival. The companies were refused entry to the programme but decided to perform on the fringe of the Festival anyway. The Fringe has remained true to the defiance expressed by the eight companies who performed here in 1947, upholding its open access principle that permits anyone with a story to tell and a venue willing to host them to participate.
People travel from all over the word to take part in the Fringe, creating an international melting pot of culture and art in Scotland’s capital city every year. This year’s programme is as varied as ever, offering theatre, dance, circus, physical theatre, comedy, music, musicals, opera, cabaret and variety, children’s shows, free shows, exhibitions, events and spoken word.
A few exciting facts and figures about this year’s festival:
- Total shows: 3,398
- Total venues: 300
- Total number of Performances: 53,232
- Countries represented: 62
- Number of Free Shows: 686
- Number of Premieres: 1,683
Here at Culture By Night, we are incredibly excited by the biggest fringe ever. So, up until the 4 August, when the fringe really kicks off, we will be profiling some of the shows playing this year and getting to know the people, theatre companies and performers that are shaping one of the strongest fringe offerings ever seen.
- How are they feeling about the festival? How will they survive it?
- What are their future hope and dreams for the work?
- What else have they seen recently that has made them sit up and pay attention?
As well as profiles, we will be posting regular reviews, both as an independent theatre website, in conjunction with the Network of Independent Critics, as well as our editor Daniel Perks writing for Fest Magazine and Miro Magazine. Not only that, but for the first time, we will be star rating the performances – it all helps them promote their shows for the festival! Here is a quick explanation of the star ratings:
★★★★★ – One of the best shows of the festival. Don’t expect more than a couple of these in the whole month
★★★★☆ – An incredible and memorial show that goes above and beyond what it promises
★★★☆☆ – A great show, entertaining and innovative and exactly what the festival is all about
★★☆☆☆ – A sub-par show, poorly conceived or executed or simply not interesting enough to capture attention
★☆☆☆☆ – A train wreck, something that should never have been performed on stage
Just to whet your appetite a bit more, see below for photos from some of the productions featured in this year’s spotlights:
Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 plays from 4 – 28 August 2017. For more information or to book tickets, please visit the website.