Monday, 30 March 2009

A favour

The road to Edinburgh is long and winding, an almost unending series of stomach-churning ups and downs.

This is quite literally true, if you’ve ever had the joy of travelling through the minefield of speed cameras, hillocks and sheep that make up the Scottish lowlands. If you can make it through on time, without three points on your licence or a woolly trophy skewered on the front of your car, you’re already three quarters of the way to success.

That road is also, rather less interestingly, long and winding and very uppy downy in the metaphorical sense.

Take for example this last week.

At BAC we skidded to an incredible high with our Forest Fringe weekend. Thanks to the support of Harun Morrison and the team at BAC we were able to put on two incredible nights that genuinely felt as if a small lump of the festival had worked its way loose and landed in South London. A thrilling number of people flitted round the building to see various exciting pieces, old and new. Both nights the generosity and enthusiasm of the audiences in the face of a bombardment of strange encounters and unfamiliar experiences was a joy to behold. I was genuinely warmed.

And yet at the same time as I was practically doing cartwheels across the red tiled roof of BAC, I was also discovering a fresh attack on our already fragile budget.

You see, the hall above the Forest CafĂ© (Forest Fringe’s home in Edinburgh) is a beautiful building. A high-ceilinged church hall full of aging wood and ramshackle charm. Nestled somewhere between grand and comfortable, it is just perfect. It is a space that has its own personality, inviting shows to spend time with it, rather than just in it. And that, for me, is wonderful – that brings a sense of presence and event and belonging to the shows at Forest Fringe which I love.

And yet with the old and the fragile there are always costs. Recently Forest discovered quite a monumental one, when it was deemed that the entire building had to be rewired, theatre lights and all. It turns out this costs a lot of money. A LOT.

We weren’t quite expecting that.

Now we’re a hardy operation. The very fact I’m typing this to you demonstrates that we haven’t collapsed in paralysing fear of our imminent demise. I’m saving my all my hyperventilating panic for the news that Batman isn’t real. Forest Fringe is still dead on course to hit Edinburgh in with all its might on the 17th August. So don’t go spreading any rumours.

However, we are going to have to raise a bit more money than we anticipated. Which is where you (hopefully) come in.

Forest Fringe has always relied on the generosity of its friends. We exist in order to demonstrate that incredible, exciting, slightly magical things can still happen in Edinburgh without the crushing financial burden that the festival normally brings with it. We survive because artists volunteer their time to help organise and run the venue, and because audiences give generously even when they don’t have to. We believe that by sharing out the costs of Edinburgh everyone can benefit.

So for that reason we’re appealing to you to help us raise enough money to rewire our theatre lights and ensure that Forest Fringe this summer is every bit as exciting as it should be with the incredible line-up of artists we already have confirmed.

All you need to do to donate is go to our
website and click on the paypal link on the front page. Anything you can afford to give is massively, massively appreciated.

What with the world apparently going to hell in a very big handcart, there have definitely been better times to be asking people for a little bit of their hard earned change, and undoubtedly there are worthier causes than us. But if you can afford to spare even a few pennies, you’ll be helping send a little beam of safely-wired light through Forest Fringe and hopefully out into the festival beyond it.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Forest Fringe at BAC

Forest Fringe is three this summer. Two and a half at the moment.

Two and half is a good age. You´re growing hair and can fit into good baby clothes. Your gurgles have more clarity. You´re truly realising how brilliant nappies are.

Most importantly though, you´re learning how to walk. Giddy with excitement at this newfound mobility you´re disappearing off all over the place, turning up in unexpected corners of the house, massively pleased with yourself.

And so it is that on 27th & 28th March Forest Fringe will find itself at BAC. Totally wrong season. Totally wrong city. But still, there we are. All of a sudden we have legs and BY GOD we want to use them.

We want to give some of the artists who were around last summer a chance to try out their ideas again. To remake and improve them. We also want to give some of those people who´ll be coming up to Edinburgh this year with us a first opportunity to have a think about what they´ll be doing there. And, maybe most importantly of all, we want people who didn´t get a chance to come up to the festival last year to find out about what it is we do.

SO with the spectacular support of BAC, we´re going to filling the building with shows, miniature encounters, installations and live music. A fiver gets you in and then you can see as much or as little as you like. We´ll also have more information about what we´ll be doing up in Edinburgh this year.

There´s more information on BAC´s website or on our preposterously well-friended Facebook group (get involved - ALL the kids are with us. All of them). Hopefully I´ll see you there!