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.

Jumping Through Hoops!

What a busy week! Between finalizing things for FringeNYC and catching up on life in the outside world, things would have been exciting enough. Throw launching two new teams on both coasts in the same week and coordinating with two festivals across three time zones and you’ve got a full week indeed!

We’re very pleased to announce limited coverage of the San Francisco Fringe and FringeArts, in Philadelphia! Can’t wait to start reading those lovely reviews! More to come.

A View from the Back


As I wander from fringe to fringe, I often wear two hats.  For a few hours a day I am the Executive Officer of the QPM Zythos, second in command of the weighty and consequential task of maintaining the integrity of the beery timelines.  Or I am serving cupcakes and champaign and making rainbows in empty space.  Or I am leading people backwards in time to the couch where they wait in front of telly for mum to bring them soup and Calpol with hot Ribena.  Or whatever.  Basically, I am trying something, sharing something, doing something, driven by some unknown mania, and in the hopes that someone else will get something out of it.  That’s making theatre on the fringe – it’s bits and bobs and taking chances, experimenting, and pouring out heart and soul to create something fragile and cherished and quite possibly frivolous but no less important for…

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A Festival of Cancelled Shows

It happens at every festival, I suppose, but it’s always a blow when the show you’ve been getting excited to see gets cancelled.  You rock up to the venue, out of breath for having run from the subway, and no-one’s about.  It’s like a ghost town…  The FringeNYC staff have all been brilliant about it when it’s happened, offering to sort us out different shows and generally being really astonishingly nice, but it’s still a disappointment.  There are a million reasons a show might be cancelled, and most of the are understandable, but one can’t help wondering, in the back of the mind, if maybe, just *maybe*, the cast were on the sauce a little too much the night before and are spending the day eating chinese takeaway and watching reruns of South Park in between trips to the toilet.

Edinburgh Audio 2014: Paul Levy talks to Jack Holden about Awkward Conversations with Animals I’ve F*cked

Our stalwart leader, Paul Levy, chatting with War Horse’s Jack Holden in Edinburgh.


Since starring in War Horse in the West End, Jack Holden has pushed himself and his own boundaries with some solo theatre work. Here he talks to Paul Levy about starring in Rob Hayes’ one-man tragi-comedy Awkward Conversations with Animals I’ve F*cked.

Listen to our interview with Jack Holden

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