We’re back at HQ exhausted but exhilarated after our week in Edinburgh. Fringe decompression starts here.
Huge thanks to everyone who came to our two days of Open Auditions – more than 200 of you. We loved meeting and talking to you all, and we were very excited by the breadth and depth of talent on display.
As always we saw some brilliant extracts of plays, with Scottish playwrights like David Greig, Rona Munro, Linda McLean and Douglas Maxwell amongst the most popular. Interestingly, over the two days, female playwrights were more performed than male playwrights for the first time in Open Auditions.
On the second day I conducted a straw poll amongst auditionees asking: “Who’s your favourite playwright?” The answers make for interesting reading. Namechecked were: Anthony Neilson, Bryony Lavery, April De Angelis, Lally Katz, Steve Thompson, David Greig, Lucy Prebble, Laura Wade, Martin Crimp, Linda McLean, Philip Ridley, Sarah Kane, Arthur Miller, John Godber, Douglas Maxwell, Rona Munro, Ella Hickson, Alan Aykbourn, Jez Butterworth, Che Walker, Simon Stephens, Mike Bartlett, Mark Ravenhill, Moira Buffini and, um, Franz Kafka, who we were hitherto unaware had actually written any plays.
We’re really grateful to our friends at C Venues for hosting Open Auditions.
We also greatly enjoyed meeting and chatting to everyone who came to our Fringe Central Q&A. We had several fascinating discussions about the Fringe itself and about touring, funding and new writing in general. We talked about our favourite phrase – “force it into existence” – and how we believe emerging artists should produce their own work rather than waiting for established theatres to do so. Easier said than done, but the Edinburgh Fringe is inspiration enough to give it a go. Tenacity and enterpreneurialism built the world’s greatest arts festival.
Of course we were also in town to glut ourselves on as much theatre as possible, and we managed to see more than 60 shows between us.
George and I went up for a few days at the start of the festival and saw:
YOUR LAST BREATH
TAKETH ME AWAY
WHEN WOMEN WEE
THE MONSTER IN THE HALL
THE GOLDEN DRAGON
A SLOW AIR
MAN OF VALOUR
Then in the past week between us we covered (amongst others):
MIDNIGHT YOUR TIME
TONIGHT SANDY GRIERSON WILL LECTURE, DANCE AND BOX
PHILLIPA AND WILL ARE NOW IN A RELATIONSHIP
MY FILTHY HUNT
I HOPE MY HEART GOES FIRST
FITZROVIA RADIO HOUR
IF THAT’S ALL THERE IS
3RD RING OUT
JOHN PEEL’S SHED
THE DARK PHILOSOPHERS
FEDERER VS MURRAY
TUESDAY AT TESCO’S
YOU ONCE SAID YES
GO TO YOUR GOD LIKE A SOLDIER
WHICH ONE’S FERGAL?
THE OH F**K MOMENT
BODY OF WATER
BELARUS FREE THEATRE: MINSK 2011
MAD ABOUT THE BOY
THE SEXUAL AWAKENING OF PETE MAYO
BLOOD AND ROSES
BELT UP’S OUTLAND
We also marvelled at Kate Tempest‘s extraordinary scratch for BAC. In just five hours, she wrote a 15 minute poem which she then performed in the incredible Anatomy Theatre at Summerhall accompanied by an ace violinist. To quote a tweet from someone straight afterwards: “everyone just sat with their mouths open”.
We bopped to Little Bulb’s GOOSE PARTY and laughed a lot at TOM DEACON and RUSSELL KANE and HOLLY WALSH and ISY SUTTIE and FRISKY AND MANNISH and were wowed by LUKE WRIGHT’S CYNICAL BALLADS and AISLE 16 and THE HORNE SECTION and SHLOMO.
We did a bit of dancing and drank some beers and met lots of interesting people and got a cumulative total of about 40 minutes sleep. It was marvellous.
Inspired and invigorated and absolutely knackered we’ve headed home. Thank you Edinburgh. We had a ball.
One last thing… we’re really sorry if you invited us to see your show and we didn’t make it. We would have loved to have seen twice as much, but the schedule was jam-packed. We hope you all had great festivals.
Bring on next year.