Fringe benefits

Fringe benefits

30 March 2018

 Joanna Trainor shares tips for producers heading to the Fringe

Top tips from the director of the Pleasance, Anthony Alderson’s Producing Edfringe workshop


I’m assuming that your NSDF shows are the shows you’re taking, so we can cross that off the list of things to do. Alderson thinks it’s “impossible to break even with 80 seats or under” and it’s only from 120/150 you can start making a profit.

Show me the moneyyy!

Having done the fringe since 1985, Alderson is full of little money saving ideas like sharing vans to get to Edinburgh, and ask the University of Edinburgh about their student halls. And his top tip “The Levels on Holyrood Road has hot food for £3.” I have been to the fringe 5 years, why, WHY did I not know this?

Bums on Seats

Flyering! But before you mentally prepare yourself 

for the Herculean task ahead, Alderson’s tips suggest it may not be all doom and gloom. “The most you need is 100 flyers a day,” *weeps with joy*. What is key is that you need to speak to all of those 100 people that you give your flyer to.

Here’s the kicker though “the Royal Mile is a hopeless place to sell your show.” So many emotions. Do we even know what’s real anymore? Am I being slightly over dramatic? Basically head to venues, to Bristo Square, to the meadows, corral them into your show...

“The dreaded press”

I mean a little rude Mr Alderson, but I’ll live; I see all the shows for free so you know who’s really winning. But I get where he’s coming from, everyone wants Dame Lyn Gardner to see their show, but as Alderson says “don’t pin your hopes on that”. The “bloggy reviews are slightly useless outside of the fringe”, but don’t under-estimate them in August.

“Just wear good shoes.”

Wise words to finish with Alderson. Those cobbles are deadly.

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