Edinburgh: Should The Fringe Start Producing?

News   Edinburgh: Should The Fringe Start Producing? David Burdett-Coutts' desire to see the Fringe get involved in producing rather than just hosting shows - if necessary getting subsidy to so - was reported in this week's The Stage, which also ran a counter-argument from Paul Gudgin, the Fringe supremo, who believes such a move would run counter to the Fringe's 50 year-old traditions.

David Burdett-Coutts' desire to see the Fringe get involved in producing rather than just hosting shows - if necessary getting subsidy to so - was reported in this week's The Stage, which also ran a counter-argument from Paul Gudgin, the Fringe supremo, who believes such a move would run counter to the Fringe's 50 year-old traditions.

It is certainly true that the whole point of the Fringe is to provide a varied platform for a wide range of theatrical talent (666 shows this year, including the inevitable stand-up comedians) but some sort of occasional sponsorship/co-production would help those who have talent but can't find the money to travel to Edinburgh and stage a show there.

The Fringe may seem like enterprise in action, with wannabe-talents somehow finding the money to put on shows they hope will catch a big producer's eye, but it is also a seller's market, with organizations like the Pleasance earning a small fortune every year by charging tiny production companies and individual artists for venues and for inclusion in their brochure.

That is how the system works, however, and people go in with open eyes. If London venues simply hire out their space then why should Edinburgh ones be any different?

—by Paul Webb Theatrenow