Anyone heading to Edinburgh (an alternative to the Olympics?) next week will be planning to see a lot of shows — in many cases, in the gaps between presenting and promoting your own show.
Don’t forget though that, great as it is, there are so many shows that are not the be all and end all of Edinburgh. The Fringe also includes a good, wide ranging education programme, with lots of opportunities for learning at all levels, much of it free.
The Stage Events will be running a range of nine free seminars with a range of experts. Theatre critic Mark Shenton will be hosting events on theatre blogging and arts journalism, photographer Michael Whorley will be dispensing invaluable advice about your headshots, and other sessions include advice on working with agents and unleashing your success. The full list is on The Stage Events website. While each event is free, you will need to book your ticket in advance as spaces will be limited.
Away from The Stage’s own events, you can also learn more about physical theatre and clowning in a free Cirque de Soleil seminar on August 23. Or try one of Spotlight’s several seminars: So You Want to Be an Actor on August 15, Sell Yourself: Self-Marketing for Actors on August 14 or Meet the Casting Directors on August 16. All of these are free but ticketed.
Theatre for young audiences is one of my passions (as regular readers can’t fail to have noticed). Edinburgh Fringe Festival Society has an interesting sounding seminar/talk on The Creative and Commercial Worth of Children’s Theatre on August 6. And Playwrights’ Studio Scotland is running a workshop called Making Theatre for (and with) the Very Young on August 11. Both of these events are free but you need a ticket.
Anyone wondering whether or not to train as a performer could do worse than attend East 15’s seminar Training - Is It Worth the Money? on August 16. Or, if you have taken a show to Edinburgh or need advice about how to do it, Mark Fisher will be there on August 9-10, 16-17 and 23-24. He will talk to performers live and talk about the issues raised in his book The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide which I reviewed earlier this yearTickets are £4 (concessions £3) And, as a complement to that you might find Edinburgh Fringe Festival Fringe Society’s How to Sell Your Show interesting on August 1. The latter is a free, ticketed event.
Ideas Tap’s Getting to Grips with Producing looks good too. It’s on August 15 and is also free but ticketed.
All I’ve done here is to pick out a handful of events which I think could help festival goers on a quest for information as well as entertainment. But I’ve merely scratched the surface. See the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Guide for more detail - venues, times etc - and for many more events. It is also online at www.edfringe.com