Steven Atkinson on our Edinburgh Fringe Mentoring Scheme

Steven Atkinson on our Edinburgh Fringe Mentoring Scheme

Posted on January 23rd, 2018

It will be fifteen years this August that Francesca and I took our first show to the Edinburgh Fringe. Like the vast majority of artists, we wanted to show to ‘The World’ what we could do. Unfortunately we didn’t know enough to ask ourselves why, of over three thousand shows, would anyone want to see a university production of an average David Mamet play revived nightly at 23:45. We learnt a lot and had great fun. But it also cost a lot of money and unsurprisingly went unnoticed.
HighTide has worked regularly at the Fringe both producing and viewing. It’s where we first presented Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s writing that won her a Fringe First and subsequent shows at the National and RSC. Another Fringe First winner was our show with Joe Douglas and Gareth Nicholls, who are now at Live Theatre and the Traverse respectively. If you do the Fringe right, it’s the best platform to present. And it’s the best platform to discover, as every year there’s a Rob Drummond Bullet Catch, a Selina Thompson salt. and a DugOut Inheritance Blues.
The Fringe is busy, saturated and expensive. But it’s also wonderfully democratic. Good shows have every chance to succeed. We’ve created our Edinburgh Fringe Mentoring Scheme because we want to help writers and their collaborators to make the most out of their productions at the Fringe. We’re offering our expertise in script development and production, along with our producing experience and deep knowledge of the Fringe as a co-producer.
Every year at the Fringe there are acclaimed shows that you can’t get in to, and great shows that don’t get the notice they deserve. We are therefore opening up the platform of our festivals in Aldeburgh and Walthamstow to ensure that the best new playwrights at the Fringe have their talents seen by people who can’t make it up to Edinburgh.
Since launching last night we’ve already had over ten applications and lots of retweets / likes / comments / forwards. We’re delighted the offer of our partnership is gathering so much interest and support, and we can’t wait to read all of the applications.
Thanks for reading, Steven