Category Archives: What’s on AUGUST

NEWS: Award-winning Grid Iron Theatre Company at work on a new show to premiere this August

Experts in site specific and promenade theatre, Edinburgh-based Grid Iron Theatre Company hopes to bring a world premiere of Doppler to audiences next month. With very limited audience numbers of up to 20 people, this outdoor, socially distant show would have a limited run starting on or after 24 August with venue and exact dates still to be confirmed.

Judith Doherty, Chief Executive and Co-Artistic Director of Grid Iron Theatre Company said: “We are very cautiously excited about the possibility of bringing Doppler to Edinburgh audiences this August. We have been developing the show for over a year now and had hoped to bring it to Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Doppler was always meant to be an outdoor show and with our experience of producing shows in unusual spaces, we remain hopeful that we will be able to proceed with our plans. We are currently awaiting confirmation of our venue and then we can proceed with securing the required licensing.

“Having said that, we acknowledge the situation is developing fast and we might need to adapt quickly. We understand that 24 August, the date announced by the Scottish Government today as potentially the first day of live outdoor performances being allowed back in Scotland, is an indicative date which will be reviewed in 3 weeks.

“Safety and comfort of our audiences and team are always our top priority and we are simultaneously working on plans for a non-live sharing of Doppler.”

Adapted and directed by Ben Harrison, produced by Judith Doherty, with dramaturgy by Eszter Marsalko and translated by Don Bartlett and Don Shaw, Doppler is an adaptation of a satirical novel by a Norwegian writer Erlend Loe. It focuses on Doppler, a man who, following the death of his father, decides to abandon his family and move to the forest on the outskirts of Oslo. He is determined to live a life as far removed from his previous as possible but struggles to maintain his isolation as his existence garners a lot of unwanted attention.

Ben Harrison, Adaptor, Director and Co-Artistic Director of Grid Iron said: “Doppler has been planned for a couple of years but takes on new and unexpected resonances in the context of the pandemic. The central character is jolted out of his comfortable Norwegian existence by a bicycle accident and determines to live an isolated life in the forest away from his family and social circle.

“Determined to live a deliberately simple existence, a life fused with the rhythm of the forest, he slows everything right down. Through his comical one-sided dialogue with an orphaned elk calf that he adopts, muses on life, the excesses of capitalism, fathers and sons and the footprint we leave on the world. As the months move slowly by however, his alternative lifestyle of bartering and hunter-gathering attracts some unwanted attention, and he finds being alone not nearly as simple and straightforward as he had hoped.”

Known for the role of Lesley in Outlander, Keith Fleming is Doppler with Grid Iron-regulars Itxaso Moreno and Sean Hay portraying all the remaining characters. The Company is also working with several talented freelancers, including Fergus Dunnet who is producing the puppets for the show, David Pollock on music and foley and Becky Minto who is responsible for design.

Following weeks of Zoom meetings, the Company has now begun outdoor rehearsals strictly following all the safety measures. These include not only face masks, hand sanitizing and social distancing but also taking people’s temperature at home and then again in the outdoor rehearsal space, props being handled by only one person, introduction of a clean objects area after they are sanitized and shorter rehearsal days to avoid having to take meal breaks. The Company is also making it possible for people not to have to travel to work by public transport unless they are absolutely comfortable to do so and if yes, only outwith peak times.

The very strict health and safety regulations also impact on the design of the show with rigging and lighting designed to be handled by only one person at all times and actors wearing their own clothes and bringing some of the props from home.

Grid Iron Theatre Company has decades of experience of producing theatre in non-theatre, often outdoor spaces and is widely recognised as experts in audience management. Its past productions include Roam presented at the Edinburgh Airport, Decky Does Bronco in parks and play areas across the UK and Ireland, Dr Stirlingshire’s Discovery at the Edinburgh Zoo and Crude, produced at a huge former oil-rig manufacturing shed in the Port of Dundee.

The Company is closely following the Scottish Government’s guidelines and is in touch with local authorities, and remains hopeful the staging of Doppler late in August will be possible. It recognises however that the current landscape is uncertain and everchanging and as such, is preparing for the eventuality that the live outdoor show will not be able to proceed. If that happens, Doppler will be shared with audiences digitally as a filmed performance.


Facebook and Twitter: @GridIronTheatre

Images: Delilah Rose Niel

NEWS: First acts announced for AJ Bell Fringe on Friday as FringeMakers crowdfunding campaign launches

Today, Wednesday 29 July, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society has announced the first line up details for AJ Bell Fringe on Friday, a 60-minute Fringe variety show and fundraiser, made possible thanks to the generous support of online investment platform AJ Bell.

This new digital show will stream every ‪Friday during the Fringe (07, 14, 21 and ‪28 August‬) and will showcase a snapshot of the festival across a range of genres, including comedy, cabaret, dance and music. Each show will feature nine different acts and will go out live at 9pm, with tickets costing £9
(£1 less than the cost of the average Fringe ticket).

The broadcast has been brought to life by Scotland-based cultural producers Lucky Cat and Michael Fraser, and production company Inner Ear. The first show will be hosted by Suzi Ruffell, with Nigel Ng, Jayde Adams and Courtney Act also confirmed to host later editions.

Further acts confirmed so far include Abandoman, Magical Bones, Daniel SlossFern Brady, Briefs, Bernie Dieter, Craig Hill, Michael Odewale and Sadia Azmat. The full line-up for each show will be announced the Wednesday before the Friday broadcast.

AJ Bell Fringe on Friday is a key part of the FringeMakers campaign, a Fringe-wide fundraising initiative that has been developed in partnership with Crowdfunder. This new, zero-fee platform is designed to help Fringe artists and venues raise vital funds in the absence of a physical festival in 2020. Artists and venues keep 100% of the proceeds from tickets they sell, plus any donations made to their own campaigns. Several artist and venue fundraising campaigns are already underway, with more to follow over the coming weeks.


Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive, Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society said: “The closer we get to August, the more we’re all feeling the physical absence of the Fringe in Edinburgh. For so many creatives across the festival, this loss is compounded by the severe financial impact of the Fringe not going ahead as planned. With help from our partners AJ Bell and Crowdfunder, FringeMakers is a way to support those artists and venues and to help fund their future. They are the festival and we need to rally around them.

“As a thank you for donating, audiences will be able to access AJ Bell Fringe on Friday – a cabaret show capturing the spirit of the Fringe. It’s great to see this snapshot of the festival come to life and the lineup is truly a reflection of the wonderful talent this festival is known for. This will complement the vast array of digital offerings Fringe artists and venues have been working on over the past few months, details of which will be available through our website.”

“I’d encourage everyone who loves the Fringe to engage with the shows, donate to individual projects and get behind our amazing FringeMakers, to help ensure the artists and venues that make your Fringe every August return stronger in 2021.”

Jayde Adams, Comedian and Fringe on Friday host, said: “I’m delighted to be hosting one of the Fringe on Friday live shows. I’ve experienced how valuable the Fringe can be for an artist’s career, from my Best Newcomer nomination back in 2016, to releasing last year’s show as a comedy special, and I’m excited to bring some of that Fringe energy we’ll all be missing so much this summer.

“This is a great way to keep supporting the wonderful artists and venues that come together each August, so get behind your favourites on FringeMakers and enjoy the show.”

Andy Bell, Chief Executive, AJ Bell, said: “The Edinburgh Festival Fringe has been an iconic arts and cultural event that gives established and emerging artists the opportunity to showcase their talents and hone their performances. It has always been a truly inclusive celebration of creativity, arts and culture that is famous around the world. COVID-19 has dealt a hammer blow to the entire sector but as the saying goes – the show must go on.

“It’s great that the Fringe Society has not been deterred and will be going digital for 2020 and everyone at AJ Bell is very proud that we are supporting it. We are delighted to see the creative thinking of the team bring to life the AJ Bell Fringe on Friday and the AJ Bell Fringe Pick N Mix – initiatives that will bring joy to audiences in the UK and around the world, whilst at the same time raising much needed funds for the performers, venues and creative businesses that have been hit so hard by the pandemic.”

Simon Walker, Head of Projects, Crowdfunder, said: We’re absolutely delighted to have created the Crowdfunder platform behind FringeMakers. It’s clear that venues and the arts industry have been hugely impacted over the last five months and as a result the Edinburgh Festival Fringe will this year look like no Fringe before it.

“It’s fantastic to be weaving Crowdfunder’s technology into the Fringe 2020, where it’s being used to provide support to Edinburgh’s venues and Fringe performers by connecting with audiences and raising much needed funding.”

About FringeMakers: how it works

Fringe fans can buy tickets for each AJ Bell Fringe on Friday show through individual artist and venue fundraising pages, with 100% of the proceeds going to the artist or venue in question. They will also be able to buy tickets from the Fringe Society, with all money raised going towards a central artist and venue recovery fund, which has already been boosted thanks to the support of AJ Bell. Funds will be circulated to artists and venues at the end of this year’s festival, with an independent panel deciding on how the money is distributed.

Individual Fringe artists and venues can create their own a page on the dedicated FringeMakers platform, These pages are a space for participants to share their own stories, connect with their audiences and offer tailored rewards (from exclusive merchandise to their own online content and unique experiences). All participants can set their own rewards for donation in addition to selling access to the AJ Bell Fringe on Friday broadcast. Participants keep 100% of the ticket cost sold from their page.

Crowdfunder have generously waived all fees for the project, and are providing participants with tailored support, including dedicated webinars, one-to-one training for Fringe artists and venues, and how to guides, to enable them to raise as much money as possible during the month of August.

You can find more detail – including a range of artist and venue fundraising campaigns – by visiting the FringeMakers website here.

WHAT’S ON AUGUST: Shades of Tay from Pitlochry Festival Theatre

Shades of Tay is a series of new digitals works written by an exciting line-up of British playwrights and poets including Timberlake Wertenbaker,  Jo Clifford, Hannah Khalil, Peter Arnott, Abi Zakarian  and Chinonyerem Odimba, and brought to life by Pitlochry Festival Theatre’s 2020 Summer Season ensemble, forming a vital part of the theatre’s tri-daily, digital series #PFTLightHopeJoy, which launched just before lockdown began, and created to respond to the uncertain and isolating world in which we now find ourselves. All works will be filmed along the 119 miles of the River Tay.

Inspired by the River Tay and its surrounding landscape – including Scotland’s multi-award-winning, world-renowned outdoor extravaganza, The Enchanted Forest, with whom these commissions are in partnership – the works will be performed as audio dramas, podcasts, short films. The cast will also perform the short works later in a live festival after the Theatre reopens.

All Shades of Tay commissions will première on Pitlochry Festival Theatre’s online platforms, including YouTube: where all videos from the #PFTLightHopeJoy series can be followed.


All works will be online at 6pm except for Douglas Maxwell’s Beautiful Boy which will start at 9pm. Each new work will be online for the foreseeable future.

Friday 7  Beautiful Boy Douglas Maxwell Richard Standing  30 mins
Sat 8 After Miss Georgina Ballantine Linda McLean Rachel McAllister  6 mins
Sat 15  This is Not Schiehallion Ellie Stewart Blythe Jandoo and Richard Colvin  TBC
Sat 22 We All Need Company Sometimes Chinonyerem Odimba Dominique Jackson, Kirsty Stuart, Rachael McAllister, and Dan Willis  TBC
Sat 29 The Fish Woman Frances Poet Kirsty Stuart  TBC
Sat 5 A Man Stands in A Forest by A River Peter Arnott Richard Colvin  TBC
Sat 12 The Birch Tree Speaks Timberlake Wertenbaker Jesse Fox  TBC
Sat 19 Shadows of Tay Jo Clifford Blythe Jandoo  TBC
Sat 26 Tatha Wakes Up from A Very Long Sleep Abi Zakarian Barbara Hockaday  TBC
Sat 3 22 Mays Martin McCormick  Richard Standing  TBC
Sat 10 A Passing Dance Morna Young Rachel McAllister  TBC
Sat 17 Part of the World Michael O’Neill Richard Standing  TBC
Sun 18 This Is the Scene Jenny Lindsay Jenny Lindsay  TBC
Sat 24 Cold Water Oliver Emanuel Kirsty Stuart  TBC
Sat 31 Meeting Tatha Hannah Lavery Dominique Jackson  TBC
Sat 7 The Message Hannah Khalil Rachel McAllister  TBC
Sat 14 Here We Are Again Dan Rebellato Jesse Fox  TBC
Sat 21 Recovery Daniel Bye Kirsty Stuart