Fleabag Star Launches Edinburgh Fringe Support Fund



Fleabag star launches Edinburgh Fringe support fund

Fleabag star Phoebe Waller-Bridge has announced a new £100,000 fund to help performers put on shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Much of the money will come from her own charity, providing £2,000 bursaries for up to 50 performers who want to put on shows at the festival.

The actress and writer won acclaim at the 2013 Fringe with her one-woman show Fleabag.

It was later developed into an award-winning BBC comedy series.

Announcing the new bursaries, she described the festival as “one of the most unique places on the planet” for launching new work.

“For me, today’s announcement is incredibly personal,” she said.

“Edinburgh Fringe gave Fleabag a game-changing platform for everyone involved and we are thrilled that the show can continue to pay-it-forward to the creatives of tomorrow and contribute to those who might not otherwise have the opportunity to take their work to this amazing festival.”

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About half the money comes from the Fleabag for Charity campaign which is funded by streaming subscriptions for a National Theatre Live production of the show.

The campaign launched in 2020 to support communities affected by Covid-19.

The financial support comes amid growing concern that the cost of living and working in Edinburgh have become a barrier for performers.

Last month comedian Richard Herring said accommodation prices in the city meant “only people with a fair amount of wealth can attend”.

“It should be for everyone, as it felt like it was back in 1987 when I first went there,” he added.

Another Fringe regular Frankie Boyle has also highlighted the problems of costs, describing the event as “kind of an elitist festival”.

Shona McCarthy, chief executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, said: ‘We recognise how difficult the last few years have been for the cultural sector, and today’s announcement is a very direct way for us to give some support for artists performing at this year’s Fringe.

“We are massively grateful to Phoebe, and all our donors, for their generosity and ongoing support of the work of the Fringe Society.

“This fund is a first step in what we hope to be an ongoing opportunity for Fringe artists.”

The society said it hoped the “Keep it Fringe” fund would increase by next year.

Source – BBC News



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