Edinburgh Fringe has been and gone for another year. The Fringe has always been a great way for us at Live & local to see new shows and hear about companies perfect for rural touring. We sent Mollie Davidson, Marketing Assistant extraordinaire to Scotland’s capital to see what the Fringe had to offer…
The dance this year has been excellent from ‘Lovely Girls’ by The Hiccup Project combating sexism and stereotypes with such joy to ‘Bromance’ by Barely Methodical Troupe which was an amazing spectacle of acrobatics. New Perspectives’ ‘The Fishermen’ was a strong and devastating two-hander based on Chigozie Obioma’s novel with stunning performances. ‘Blodeuwedd Untold’ was an impressive show of haunting movement and storytelling about the woman made of flowers. Canada Hub brought playwright and composer Tompson Highway’s ‘Songs in the Key of Cree’. It was an opportunity to hear the indigenous language Cree. The stories of the Cree people were told by all performers and singer Patricia Cano and saxophonist Marcus Ali brought power and charm to Highway’s words.
Another highlight was ‘Sexy Lamp’. The name born from the idea that in some films you could just replace the female character with a lamp and the plot wouldn’t change. Funny, caustic and inventive, Katie Arnstein is an engaging performer with humorous songs about misogyny and finding you place in the world. Theatre Fideri Fidera children’s show ‘Ogg ‘n’ Ugg ‘n’ Dogg’ was an entertaining and silly show set after the ice age featuring excellent puppets. The festival was a chance to see shows, make new connections and catch up on old ones. Thanks to the NRTF for giving me the opportunity to see excellent dance, one-woman shows and spoken word. It has given me a lot to think about for rural touring. The fringe was five days that have made me laugh, wore me out with so much walking but left me feeling inspired.
It was the first time I attended the Rural Touring in the UK at Fringe Central. It was important to meet artists face to face. It was a chance as someone new to the rural touring world to put myself out there and talk to artists about what we can offer them. The event showed how much passion and how inquisitive people are about the world of rural touring. It was interesting to hear how artists have adapted their shows for rural touring and how it has given them the exposure that they didn’t think they would receive from other theatre spaces.
I enjoyed the contribution from promoters who told of their experiences about what they expect from performers and how fun it can be if you are willing to put the work in. One of the most poignant moments was about how promoters invite artists into their village, not the other way around. It was nice to hear their pride about the schemes that help them put on their shows.
Thank you to the NRTF (National Rural Touring Forum) for the opportunity and the bursary.