What do I do with this theatre company I have lying about from September to July? (What options do new theatre companies have outside of the Fringe?)

Convener(s): Will Bourdillon 

Participants: Simon Treves, Lizzy Walcott, Becky Haines

Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations:

General Advice and Comments

Importance of networking, generating contacts, leads. A surprising amount of new opportunities will arise through just being willing to talk to other people in the industry.

‘Write to Your Heroes’ – Aim high, don’t exclusively communicate with people you feel are in the same situation as you. The more successful members of the artistic community may well be flattered by your interest in, and appreciation of their work.

There’s a certain wariness and lack of confidence within new companies over booking venues outside of the Fringe. The Fringe is made very accessible, will other venues be similarly so?

Venues will be interested in hearing that you are new and emerging, as it will help them to appear fresh and exciting.

Explore the ideas of outdoor/street theatre, as they avoid some of the more complex organizational aspects of booking venues.

Do research on venues, making sure that you do a few thorough applications to ones that suit you, as opposed to many underdeveloped applications to venues of varying suitability.

Find someone to act as a mentor, who you can meet with every month or so, so it doesn’t feel like you are working in an isolated environment for most of the year.

Stage Edinburgh Fringe shows in London, or other cities after the festival.


Specific Opportunities

Empty Spaces (?) – Some local councils/authorities offer empty shops as performance spaces.

Residence – A collection of disused spaces in Bristol that are offered as performance spaces.

Latitude Festival – Showcases theatrical works, and is earlier in the summer than Edinburgh.

Other Fringe Festivals – e.g. Brighton, Camden. Also on at different times from Edinburgh, and less competitive.

Scratch Nights – Currently very popular, a good way to showcase work you are developing.