It seems like there have been a lot of late night meetings and Skype calls with Beth, Dan and Tom all running up to the point where we could finally launch the Plymouth Fringe Festival. Hitting the send key on 101 emails/websites/tweets and Facebook posts seemed a slightly low key way to start the application process. No fanfare, no fireworks and no big red button! But it was done. Then it was a waiting game for the most important part of a theatre festival – the applications from performers to come in.
The first one didn’t take long! In fact there were three within a few hours of the website going live, and there’s been a steady string of them since then. From brand new shows which will be first seen at the festival, to performances that have been seen as far afield as Prague and South Africa. Talking about this over the last 9 months we were sure there was a good mix of talent both locally and further afield but it is reassuring to know that they also want to perform at the festival!
If you are thinking of applying but aren’t quite sure whether your show is suitable here are some of the most asked questions we have had… Oh and please don’t worry if your show doesn’t meet all of the guidance below, let us know what the issue is and we will try our best to accommodate just make sure you tell us as part of your application!
I’m not based in Plymouth/Devon/Cornwall/UK…can I still apply?
Yes! We have received applications from international companies and welcome more. All that matters is you want to share your work with the audience here in Plymouth. There will be plenty of opportunities for local and the not so local companies.
Is it just for traditional theatre?
We are looking for theatre in it’s broadest sense (including, but not limited to plays, solo shows, dance, performance poetry, cabaret, circus and mime), the more variety the better. If you are still unsure please drop an email to email@example.com
I have a family show, can I apply?
Absolutely! As the festival will take place in half term we are keen to include some family shows and we will try to offer a family ticket for such events. And even if it wasn’t half term we would still hope to have some family orientated performances in the festival.
Can I apply with multiple shows?
Of course, however please make it clear in the application if the shows share any performers – they can’t be in two places at once!
Will every show that applies get in?
Sadly not, we have a limited number of performance slots. However the programming committee will consider every application carefully to generate a varied and exciting programme.
This is my first show, does that mean I won’t get in?
Definitely not, we are keen to ensure there are opportunities for emerging artists just as much as more established performers.
How long do shows have to be?
There is no fixed limit but as a rule of thumb shows should be a minimum of 30 minutes – the majority of shows will be between 40-60 minutes. It is important that your running times are accurate as the programme will not always be able to allow flexibility. If you do discover your show is significantly shorter or longer let us know asap. There is space in the programme for longer pieces so please do not feel you are constrained by this but we do need to know when we are considering your application.
I don’t know the exact running time of my show, can I apply?
Yes, but you must give us an upper and lower range for the length of the show. You must ensure that your show meets this when it comes to the festival.
What technical facilities will there be?
Lighting will vary between venues but there will be a pre-set warm and cool wash as a minimum. In some venues there will be specials that are pre-focussed (i.e. white spot stage left, centre and right) due to height of the rig. In others it maybe possible to re-focus/colour a special for each performance. Any essential requirements must be listed on the application.
Sound – a PA system, CD player and mic.
If you have any further requirements above this please be aware that you may need to find these yourself. Feel free to add a wish list – we can’t promise anything but we will try! All this must be clear on your application so it can be properly considered.
Do I need my own technician?
Whilst we will have someone available to operate the lights/sound please remember that you will only have an hour long technical rehearsal time in most cases. If your show is complex then bringing your own operator who knows the show would be best.
Will there be any storage space at each venue?
Whilst each venue will have some storage space it will be limited due to the number of companies taking part in the festival. Please consider this in your application if your storage requirements are over 1 square meter.
How long will there be between performances?
Until the programme is complete we will not know however all show’s sets must be able to be struck within 15 minutes and assembled within the same length of time to allow for a 30 minute turn around. We want to give as many opportunities for performances. You will be responsible for getting your set in and out, so if you need any extra bodies let us know very early, again we will try to help.
If that has inspired you to fire off your application then we look forward to receiving it at firstname.lastname@example.org
Still got questions? Then contact me at email@example.com