Media Release: Leith on the Fringe – a new Edinburgh Fringe venue

LEITH on the Fringe @ Out of the Blue (LOTF), an unique, new family-focused Edinburgh Festival Fringe venue with the Leith and wider Edinburgh community very much at its heart, will open its doors to audiences for the first time from Wednesday 3 to Sunday 28 August 2011.

Inspired by the work of the many artistic companies that call Leith home, LOTF is an extension of the Edinburgh festivals network; with two performance spaces (a 190-seat main theatre and a 90-seat studio) presenting aerial and circus shows, theatre, family shows, music, performance workshops and cabaret, a box office, a cafe and a bar; all at the Out of the Blue – Drill Hall on Dalmeny Street, Leith.

Though the full programme for LOTF at the 2011 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, to be announced at the beginning of July, includes performances from a diverse range of artistic disciplines, the long-term aim of the venue is to be best known as Edinburgh’s main hub for showcasing circus, aerial and street art of the highest quality; as well as the more diverse arts, physical theatre and dance disciplines.

Organisers envisage it becoming the main platform for home grown and global talent working across these disciplines to present work, run workshops and network during the Fringe and throughout the year.

John Diamond, from Leith on the Fringe, said: “We are aiming to create a unique artistic identity that will promote Leith as a viable festival destination; to provide visitors and locals with a diverse programme of events and entertainment that will encourage them to spend more time here and benefit the community, local businesses and the arts in Leith”

Situated in the heart of Leith, a short distance from the city centre, LOTF will provide a home to both local performers and international acts during the four weeks of the Fringe.

The diverse and highly-entertaining Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2011 programme of affordable performances and workshops throughout August includes:

o    ANGELS Aerials (Germany) bring their breathtaking aerial adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s classic Peter Pan (PG). The company will also be offering flying workshops directly after their performances, suitable for all the family and children of six-pus.

o    Learn to fence like Peter Pan in our fencing workshop! (for p1-p7). Using foam swords and with a lot of emphasis on games that develop balance, co-ordination, speed and timing. Basic technical terms and the FUNdamentals of fencing are covered with some emphasis on technique and tactics and the development of a greater range of skills while continuing to offer plenty of games to improve all-round physical ability.

o    Man To Man (16+) is an electrifying solo show, directed by John Paul McGroarty, former artistic director at Leith Festival, about a woman who steals the identity of her late husband in order to hold on to his job during the Great Depression.

o    Live in Leith (16+) is an open mic night for anyone keen to showcase their song writing skills, slam a few poems, crack a few jokes or demonstrate their singing prowess.

o    Residents at Out of the Blue, Strange Town Theatre Company, bring us After You’ve Gone (PG) by Duncan Kidd. A stash of letters tells a family’s story through the tumultuous early decades of the 20th century. From war to heartbreak, they reveal that life’s never been easy as a teenager.

o    Ang Li is an internationally-acclaimed piano virtuoso whose performance credits and talents reach well beyond her years. Her youth, talent, personality and audience appeal, truly make her one the world’s rising classical piano stars. We are delighted that she will perform three pieces as part of ‘Years of Pilgrimage’ (U).

o    The Paper Doll Militia direct from San Francisco will perform their modern fairytale – This Twisted Tale (12A) – that fuses high-octane aerial acrobatics, original music, animation and puppetry.

o    Tightlaced Theatre, an Edinburgh based New Writers compmay, have two shows at LOTF. Winners Wear Crowns (12A), written and directed by Jennifer McGregor, is a comic monolgue delving into the world of American beauty pageants. From The Lilypad (U) is a family show, written by Robert Howat, which narrates the adventures of Tony, a neurotic frog as he strives to save his Kingdom from an evil goblin.

o    The Roughhausers, also from San Francisco, will be staging cheeky burlesque, bizarre magic, comedy and improvisation in their surreal variety act inspired by historical sideshows (18+)

The programme continues to grow.

For up to date listings, information and tickets, visit www.leithonthefringe.com

The team behind LOTF are determined to increase footfall to Leith during the Fringe, promoting it as a place ‘where great things happen’.

The venue has been programmed in such a way as to dictate a morning, afternoon or evening well spent; encouraging audiences to make the short trip to Leith, arriving early or staying on in order to take advantage of the available workshop and performance packages and the drinks and food promotions on offer at local bars and restaurants.

The LOTF team want Leith to benefit from the venue’s existence and are particularly keen that local residents and the business community feel a sense of ownership of the project as a result.

LOTF will become an umbrella organisation that supports and promotes Leith as an affordable and exciting alternative destination during the Fringe and throughout the year.

It also plans to develop other venues in Leith into performance spaces; organise performances, workshops and master classes at the venue all year round and build an annual multi-faceted programme of cultural events throughout Leith.

There is also a definite business focus to LOTF.

The team are keen to build collaborative working partnerships between Leith-based businesses and local arts organisations and individual artists in order to successfully produce and promote cultural projects and events in Leith.

For further information on Leith On The Fringe @ Out Of The Blue go to http://leithonthefringe.com

Media contact:

Paddy Cuthbert, Podge Publicity – T: 07968 699636 / E: paddy@podge.co.uk

The team behind Leith on the Fringe @ Out of the Blue:

Natasha Lee-Walsh, producer 

Natasha has 14 years experience in the arts and the corporate events sector. She is committed to ensuring that Leith takes its place in the Fringe and becomes synonymous with high-quality work both home grown and international.

Gemma Smith, assistant producer

Gemma has 14 years experience working in Scottish Theatre. As a resident of Leith she is keen to see the community benefit from Leith on the Fringe and provide an affordable platform for companies to showcase their work.

John Paul McGroarty, associate director

John Paul was artistic director at Leith Festival from 2002 to 2009. He co-founded Leith FM and was vice-chair and chair of Leith FM (2002 to 2009). He is a trustee of the Leith Theatre Trust (2004 to 2011) and is currently associate director for Leith on the Fringe.

John Diamond, technical manager

John has over 13 years experience in the theatre and corporate event industries and is the managing director at Diamond Event Services. DES is now recognised as the premier supplier of crew and support services to the Scottish event industry and staffs LOTF.

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Contact: Paddy Cuthbert
Phone: 07968 699636
Email: paddy@podge.co.uk
Website: http://www.leithonthefringe.com