It’s July and summer is finally here! Next month, many creatives will be travelling to the world’s largest arts festival – Edinburgh Fringe (August 4th – 28th). It’s considered the largest because there are more than 3,000 shows, with 300 plus venues across the city hosting them. While theatre, musicals and comedy make up about two thirds of all Fringe shows, you can also enjoy dance, circus, exhibitions, children’s shows, cabaret, and a huge variety of performances. Now, that’s only the Fringe festival. If you happen to be in Edinburgh in August, you can also check out the Edinburgh Art Festival, the International Book Festival, International Jazz Festival, and Edinburgh International Festival that all take place at the same time; certainly a city filled with inspiration for the creative mind!
So, what’s the festival spirit really like in Edinburgh? Well, whether you’re going as a performer, creative or just audience member, be ready to be on your feet most hours of the day. Our actress Marta Da Silva performed in three shows with two companies in Edinburgh Fringe 2015. She says it was an amazing experience, and since one was in the early afternoon and the other at night, she spent 14-16 hour days on her feet and performing, not to mention spreading the word about her shows (and probably seeing other shows and attending events too!) Still. She says she’d do it again in a heartbeat!
But, not to worry for those of you who are looking for inspiration, yet aren’t able to travel all the way to Scotland; there will be plenty of shows that are testing the waters on London audiences all of this month before they march on up to Scotland.
So, where exactly can you catch these work-in-progress performances? Well, there are many theatres across London that are hosting previews. Now, a good place to start would be to catch shows at two of the “Big Four” venue operators at Edinburgh Fringe (Assembly, Guided Balloon, Pleasance and Underbelly) that are also based in London.
The Islington sister of the well-known Edinburgh Pleasance is offering Londoners the chance to see a season packed with exciting and memorable Edinburgh Fringe previews all this month. Their previews include many comedians, with highlights such as Ed Gamble and Annie McGrath, as well as sketches, plays and dance shows.
Be sure to also check out Underbelly Festival at the Southbank, where you’ll be sure to find affordable comedy, circus, cabaret and children’s shows, as well as be able to enjoy a hot summer’s day at one of the largest outdoor bars in the city-centre. This festival goes on until the end of September, so even if you don’t get to see any previews, you can still enjoy the entertainment they have all throughout summer.
If you’re really eager to tickle your funny bone, and overwhelmed with choice then check out TimeOut’s recommendations of the Ten Best Comedy Gigs this month or catch Five of the Best Fringe Previews! If you fancy more options to choose from, the London Evening Standard has also highlighted some previews that serve as a handy guide all things Fringe, happening at the venues such as Bush Theatre, Young Vic, Soho Theatre, The Old Red Lion Pub Theatre, Battersea Arts Centre, and Theatre503. All in all, you’re spoilt for choice in London too!
Blinkist in an app that captures big ideas and delivers them in small digestible packages. Dan says about the app that it changed his life: “In essence, the Blinkist team reads non-fiction books and sums up the key points in an easy-to-understand format (blinks), enabling you to get the gist from each of the books on their data base in under 15 minutes. All the books you save work immediately offline. I tend to use the app on the tube when there are no lines to learn, or to have something to think about before I go to bed. Do the trial and decide for yourself”
The app is free to download. It gives you a free trial for 24 hours, with unlimited blinks. After that you get one free blink a day, or you can pay 50GBP for a year and get unlimited blinks.
Where to find it : https://www.blinkist.com
Alice Birch’s stunning, Katie Mitchell-directed new play is about three generations of women struggling with their predecessors’ legacies. Alice Birch describes it as “choose your very own bleak adventure, basically”. Anatomy of a Suicide’ is essentially three dramas set in different time periods, all performed on stage at the same time. The three women whose lives are on display are Carol (Hattie Morahan) in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, Anna (Kate O’Flynn) in the ’90s and ’00s, and Bonnie (Adelle Leonce) in the 2030s. We understand shortly into the play that the three women belong to the same dynasty.
In Marta’s words, it is a spectacular play with a very interesting and ambitious staging, and beautiful acted.”
Read Alice Birch humorously talking about her play here: https://www.timeout.com/london/theatre/alice-birch-its-like-choose-your-very-own-bleak-adventure-basically
Where do I get tickets:
According to this book, You can go after the job you want…and get it! You can take the job you have…and improve it! You can take any situation you’re in…and make it work for you!
Since its release in 1936, How to Win Friends and Influence People has sold more than 15 million copies. Dale Carnegie’s first book is a timeless bestseller, packed with rock-solid advice that has carried thousands of now famous people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives.
The book offers to teach you: the six ways to make people like you, the twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking, and the nine ways to change people without arousing resentment.
Calin heartily recommends the book “because of it’s timeless approach to people and how to get yourself out of your shell as an actor and a person in general. I wouldn’t stick to the advice in it word for word but one read may have a positive effect on how to treat with people in our industry and in our lives.”
Calin is not the only one who thinks so:
“it changed my life” (Warren Buffet)
“The most successful self-help book of all time… Carnegie has never seemed more relevant” (The Times)
“It’s helped me immeasurably in life. I think everyone should read it” (Jenny Colgan, Independent on Sunday)
Where to find it https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Books/How-Win-Friends-Influence-People-Dale-Carnegie/0091906814
You probably already know about the Mono Box, but if you don’t, you’re missing out.
THE MONO BOX defines itself as “a collaborative, not-for-profit network that caters for actors and theatre-makers seeking alternative, affordable training. We are committed to empowering actors by opening the door to what can seem like a daunting industry. Over the past three years The Mono Box has become a go-to resource, creating a dialogue between the professional world and those who are emerging into it.”
Their mission is to support emerging talent in theatre
To provide access to a unique resource of play texts
To encourage the personal, professional and social development of young artists
To equip young people with practical tools for the industry
To form a collective that fosters and nurtures creative relationships
I have been astonished by the diversity and the quality of workshops offered. From Meisner, to Viewpoints, to Brecht to offering audition and speech “surgery” workshops, to comedy, you can find an astonishing range of practices taught. The faculty brought in is of incredible quality and there is a strong sense of community present.
No matter where you are in your career and craft, the Mono Box offers wonderful opportunities to refresh, expand, challenge your craft and meet wonderful, ambitious and dedicated fellow artists.
How do I take part: http://www.themonobox.co.uk/events