Fringe Central Youth Panel Member
This year I’m a member of the Fringe Central Youth Panel. We first met in November last year to work along with the Fringe Society to curate the Fringe Central programme. Fringe Central is a backstage space just for the artists appearing at the Fringe. During August they hold a number of panels, talks, workshops, networking and skills sessions for artists, artists being anybody from performers, to actors to lighting and sound technicians and directors. Part of that process is independent facilitators, theatre companies or organisations submitting a potential event to the panel. Then we as a panel with the Fringe Society decide what is or isn’t useful for artists and programme it. It’s themed each year as well, helping to support artists in a different way from the Fringe.
I’m also the sub-editor of another festival called Fringe of Colour Films. Fringe of Colour began in 2018 as a spreadsheet created by Jess Brough listing shows by People of Colour. Last year, it was free ticket scheme for People of Colour and this year, they have programmed an online festival, Fringe of Colour Films! All the work is created by Black and Indigenous People of Colour, it’s a space for work to be seen and for artists and creators to connect and FoC is supporting artists financially, which is essential.
What do you enjoy most about working for the festivals?
I think because the festivals have always been a huge part of my life, I feel incredibly lucky to have that, it’s nice to contribute to this thing that happens in my city, but from a different place than working in a bar or front of house, which I’ve done. It’s nice to work with people who didn’t grow up in this city and who view the festival differently, and to learn from them, about what the festivals do well or what should be done differently – or not done at all.
What is your favourite festival memory?
I think wandering down the Royal Mile or sitting in George Square, every year, there’s that moment when friends come and visit and you can say ‘yes, this is my city, this is home’. We’re so lucky to have all this here. I have such fond memories of going as a young kid, my parents took me and my brother to the festival every year and made it part of our lives.
As for a standout show - last year I saw Burgerz by Travis Alabanza at The Traverse. It was the best thing I’ve seen in years and probably will see in a very long time. I performed at The Traverse in my teens, to see a performance like Travis’s made me feel hopeful and excited about the arts changing and how we reassess what we think of as ‘theatre’.
What makes you proud to be a Festival City citizen?
I will always be so proud of having the festivals in Edinburgh – to see the city totally transformed each August makes me so happy.
But I also think this moment should be used to rethink, regenerate and regroup. It should come back different, and by coming back different it will be better. I miss the people. Connecting and speaking to, learning from, being inspired by and bumping into people from all over the world, and the space that allows me to reflect on my own experiences, my work and my world.