The Question of Independence

Question Flag

As the Thursday vote for Scottish independence draws near, the debate among those in favor and those against rages on.  On Thursday, the Queen made rare public commentary outside her Balmoral estate, which the media have seized upon as an indication of her disapproval.

Well, I hope people will think very carefully about the future.

There are many issues at stake, ranging from concerns over currency and banking to deeper questions national identity.  With so much at stake, most people probably aren’t thinking about the impact of independence on the international theatre community.  It’s worth noting that the first (and largest) festival of fringe theatre in the world was founded in 1947 in Edinburgh.  Nearly seventy years on, the festival remains the driving force of international fringe, selling a record 1,943,493 tickets this past August.

What would you do?

As the US arm of FringeReview, it is neither our place nor our desire to weigh in on either side of this referendum but the decision, whatever it may be, will likely have a profound effect on the future of fringe.  Many of the shows which develop on the American (and other international) fringe circuits go on to play Edinburgh, and much of the most popular work on offer at our own festivals comes directly off the stages of the Festival Fringe.

In a post-independence world, there will be all sorts of unknowns to contend with, ranging from visa-related issues to questions about funding.  What other unforeseen effects might Scottish independence have on the fringe, audience and practitioner alike?

In honor of the Fringe’s Scottish roots, and of this momentous event, we’re asking what you would do?  Fill in our anonymous poll above to let us know how you would vote if you were in the booth on Thursday.

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