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First time at the Fringe

Copyright Graeme Lewis

Amy Barder spent a hectic two weeks at the beginning of August in Edinburgh. Arriving in town the Monday before the Fringe kicked off in earnest on 2 August, the calm before the storm didn’t last long with 2,871 shows at 273 venues across the city vying for review and features space in the Scottish and national press.Four Colman Getty was tasked with generating interest in six productions.The children’s show, Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs, presented by Les Petits, Greenwich Theatre and Underbelly Productions was in McEwan Hall – a huge 1100 seat venue which is big by any standards let alone at the Fringe! Great fun was had dreaming up exciting and unique ways to bring attention to the only show at the festival with a 10 foot pirate dinosaur puppet. From an impromptu photocall in the foliage outside the Underbelly’s Purple Cow to a social media campaign asking comedians at the Fringe and beyond to tweet their favourite dinosaur jokes. The show was a huge hit with adults and kids alike and was awarded the inaugural Primary Times Children’s Choice Award; beating off stiff completion from 70 other children’s shows. There is nothing quite like standing at the back of an auditorium (because there were no spare seats) hearing a packed audience shouting out their best pirate arrghhhs!It was a huge privilege to be working with IdeasTap and Underbelly to promote the 2013 winners of the IdeasTap Underbelly Awards. The winning productions displayed an incredibly diverse range of talent and subject matters. From Suba Das’ Hope, Light and Nowhere – a deliciously dark tale about post-apocalyptic brothers written by Bruntwood Prize winner Andrew Sheridan, to ANTLER Theatres’ Where the White Stops – a brilliantly simple but vivid story of curiosity and always searching for something more; Ellie Browning’s touching verbatim piece, The Love Project about love of all ages, sexes, races and religions and Amy Mason and Eddie Argos’ walk down memory lane about a holiday they took when they were teenage sweethearts in The Islanders.Les Enfants Terribles production of The Trench returned to the Pleasance Courtyard after a sell-out success in 2012 and a subsequent three month UK wide tour. Inspired by the true story of a miner who became entombed in the trenches during WW1; Burt’s story is brought to life with vivid puppetry and beautifully haunting live music from the incredibly talented Alexander Wolfe. It was no surprise that the reviews were just as glowing this year and the Radio 2 Simon Mayo Drivetime Show, which was in Edinburgh for just four days, chose The Trench as their first production to review.All in all a terrifically exciting month but the fun doesn’t stop just yet as Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs has transferred to the London Wonderground on London’s Southbank for a limited run until 8 September.

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