Edinburgh Fringe show aims to ‘pay’ audiences £10k

A GAMESHOW in which the audience is handed 10,000 one-pound coins to play with and a production designed to be watched entirely by smartphone are among a host of acts on the Made in Scotland programme at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Louise Quinn strums up some publicity yesterday for the Made in Scotland programme. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Some 32 music, theatre and dance shows will be part of the programme dedicated to homegrown talent this August.

The 29 artists and companies behind the shows received a special grant of £590,000 from the Scottish Government.

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Performances include John McCann’s Spoiling, set in a newly independent Scotland.

It focuses on the foreign minister as she prepares to address the media for the first time and set out the new country’s relationship to the rest of the UK, but she refuses to speak from the script given by her superiors.

Other shows include a version of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth translated into Gaelic.

Music inspired by the Pentland Hills and a political drama about a United Nations investigator will also feature.

Fiona Hyslop, the culture secretary, launched the programme in an event at the Glasshouse in Edinburgh yesterday.

She said: “Made in Scotland 2014 is an excellent showcase for the strength of work created here. I urge all this year’s festival-goers to catch these wonderful performances as part of their Fringe experience.”

Ms Hyslop added: “The Scottish Government is supporting the festivals to grow their economic contribution and give Scottish performers the opportunity to promote our country’s rich culture, heritage and distinct identity on a world stage.”

Since 2009, 69 companies have taken part in the Made in Scotland programme, receiving funding through the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund.

Previous productions in the programme have gone on to tour the world, visiting countries including Germany, the United States, China, Australia and Denmark.

Kath Mainland, chief executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, said the funding and exposure at the world’s largest arts festival had become a “real launchpad” for new- international shows.

She said: “It allows them direct access to influential contacts in the media and arts industry, as well as the opportunity to present their work alongside many international counterparts.

“Made in Scotland goes a long way to raise the profile of these artists by allowing them to take full advantage of the unparalleled opportunity to have their work seen by promoters and presenters from around the world.”

Although the productions in the Made in Scotland programme can be in any of the 12 main Edinburgh Festivals, this year only one of them is not part of the Fringe.

Letters Home is part of a collaboration with the Edinburgh International Book Festival and focuses on stories from around the Commonwealth in a journey around Charlotte Square.

Made in Scotland is a collaboration between the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, the Federation of Scottish Theatre and Creative Scotland.

Politics and little pigs part of the programme

Spoiling: Set in a post-referendum Yes-vote Scotland, it focuses on the foreign minister while she waits to make a speech to the media setting out the new country’s relationship to the rest of the United Kingdom.

HUFF: This retelling of The Three Little Pigs is the only children’s production in the Traverse’s Made in Scotland showcase. Audience members set off in groups of three, eight minutes apart, to explore a set of rooms which represent the traditional fairy tale. Already nominated for three Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland (CATS), including Best Production, the theatrical installation premiered at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art last year.

Horizontal Collaboration/City of the Blind: Horizontal Collaboration will see four new actors every day taking the parts of UN lawyers reading transcripts of an interview with an African warlord’s widow. Like the lawyers, the actors will have no idea what they are reading until they see it.

By contrast, City of the Blind uses technology to remove the physical presence of actors. The production is made up of six half-an-hour chapters which can be downloaded on to a smartphone or tablet and watched anywhere. Inspired by real events, it questions the role of the UN as it allows the viewer to watch CCTV footage, hack into e-mails and listen to voicemails.

Unfaithful: Fringe First winner Owen McCafferty’s latest play will have its world premiere at the Traverse this August. Rachel O’Riordan, artistic director from the Sherman Cymru, is guest directing the production which focuses on the consequences of a moment of unfaithfulness in the lives of two couples.