DCSIMG

Underbelly co-founder misses out on Fringe post

Co-founder  of Underbelly Charlie Wood. Picture: submitted

Co-founder of Underbelly Charlie Wood. Picture: submitted

  • by BRIAN FERGUSON
 

THE co-founder of the Underbelly venues has failed in a bid to win election to the board of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society.

Charlie Wood, who launched the first venue in the Cowgate with Ed Bartlam in 2000, lost out in a previous battle with The Stand Comedy Club founder Tommy Sheppard.

And his latest bid has been thwarted by a representative of the Free Fringe, Gareth Morinan. Its founder Peter Buckley Hill is already on the board, as is stand-up Kate Smurthwaite.

The Stand has also won another representative on the board to join Mr Sheppard, with regular compere Susan Morrison winning a place, while an “open place” was won by the Edinburgh-based author and psychologist Richard Wiseman.

Almost half of the Fringe’s 600 members took part in the vote which was held before the society’s AGM at the Calton Highland Hotel.

Both Ms Morrison and Mr Morinan had called for action to make the Fringe more affordable for performers and less driven by “capitalism” and “corporatism.”

More shows than ever before are being staged at this year’s Fringe - around 3000 if productions not in the official programme are counted - but there are concerns about a growing number of “financial barriers” deterring performers from appearing.

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