Theatre News

Pleasance launches initiatives to support artists at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

The venue has partnered with Curve and three other regional theatres to provide local opportunities

Pleasance Courtyard at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Pleasance Courtyard at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
© Neil Hanna

The Pleasance and Curve Leicester have announced several initiatives to support artists who are hoping to present their work at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2020.

The venue has partnered with Curve and three other regional theatres – Bristol Old Vic, HOME, Manchester and York Theatre Royal – to select local artists and support them in taking their work to the world's largest arts festival this summer. The successful theatremakers will receive £1,500 from The Pleasance and inclusion within the venue's programme. For the Midlands, emerging writer Holly Boyden was selected to bring work to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

New work associate at the Curve Beth Shouler said: "We're so thrilled to be working with Holly Boyden to take her work to the Edinburgh Fringe this year. Holly has a really distinctive Midlands voice which is incredibly funny whilst also shining a light on young women growing up in the post-industrial areas away from the cities. We really want to find more brilliant creatives who come from or are creating work in our region who we could support so do get in touch via the website!"

Leicester's Curve has also launched Curve Connect, a free membership scheme that will act as a central community hub and networking opportunity for all theatremakers in the region. The venue has also opened applications for its Curve Resident Creatives – individuals and companies who will partner with the Curve to present work and receive bespoke support. The deadline to apply for this programme is 11pm on 1 March, with interviews scheduled for the week commencing 9 March.

The Pleasance has additionally announced the Charlie Hartill Development Fund for Artists of Colour, which will provide financing, mentorship and programming opportunities to UK-based artists of colour who are seeking to perform their work in Edinburgh. Successful applicants will receive investment of up to £5,000 to support bringing new projects to the largest arts festival in the world.

The fund is supported by the Charlie Hartill Special Reserve, the VAULT Festival, HighTide and Stories in Theatre Productions, as well the The Pleasance itself. Applications are open until 9am on 27 February, with the selection day taking place on 2 March at The Pleasance, Islington.

Director of Pleasance Anthony Alderson comments: "I'm so pleased that we are launching this exciting initiative which enables us to champion new works from artists of colour. We are partnering with a range of esteemed organisations so that this new fund has the widest reach possible and that we offer the very best support. I really hope this paves the way for ensuring the Fringe is an even more open community and making sure important voices are heard."