Cardiff Fringe?

Lisa Wells-Turner, 15 September 2012

The session opened with a conversation about fringe festivals, the lack of a major fringe festival in Cardiff (or other nearby areas inc. Swansea) and whether this would be something that it would be good to have. We discussed what fringe festivals offer emerging artists in terms of providing a forum to show work which they can manage and organise on their own without having to approach a more established arts organisation and the enabling aspect of that.

Anna mentioned the Made in Roath festival which happens in October and works in the same way.

A conversation started about empty shops in Newport and Swansea and how those could be used by emerging artists at no cost to play and create work.

The discussion then returned to the fringe and that fundamentally a fringe festival tends to need an accompanying international festival which Cardiff also tends to lack. We observed that there are a large number of festivals in Cardiff and surrounding areas but that they tend to be venue specific. It was also noted the fringes tend to be about reacting to a larger festival which is in place.

It was also noted that festivals and accompanying fringes offer an opportunity to perform to a wider audience but also a chance to welcome a wider cross section of other theatremakers into the city and see a bigger cross section of work.

Mention was made of a new work in progress night at Chapter in November ('The Forge') which will be organised on a fringe basis with the aim of developing into a strong open forum.

Discussion then explored the wide range of possibilities for small companies in Cardiff and that emerging companies actually have far more options than in somewhere like London in terms of venues and people willing to see their work. It was observed that larger organisations and the ACW are very good at going out to see emerging companies work and giving feedback. Also that most companies are very open to supporting and assisting young companies making work.


theatre, Fringe, festivals, fringe, discussion, Theatre, international, cardiff