Monday, 2 August 2010

We have moved!

Thanks to everyone who's followed what we have to say for ourselves here in the bustling online metropolis of blogspot. It's been delightful.

Now that our beautiful new website is finished and online we've moved the whole blog operation over there. You can find the blog here.

So update your RSS feeds and take a moment to join our own miniature online community, via our social networking forum - where you can leave your own posts, start groups and debates and hopefully find yourself ever more involved in the world of Forest Fringe.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

William Shatner Karaoke: Now open for 2010

fig. 1 William Shatner, ready to blast you with his love machine

So you may well have started to hear rumours of this mythic spectacular called William Shatner Karaoke. Well, if you want in, the time has come to lay down your cards, cross the line, and do all the other things that historically designate that you want to be involved.

But first, the preamble.

What is William Shatner Karaoke?

Way back when in the mists of time Forest Fringe co-director Debbie Pearson was almost unhealthily fixated on the musical oeuvre that one-time Sci-fi embarrassment and latter-day post-ironic superstar William Shatner was busily carving for himself.

If you haven't had the opportunity to experience the musical stylings of The Man the kids call Shat, then let us illuminate you:

Shatner takes a popular song.
Shatner transforms popular song into an evisceratingly earnest monologue, to a gentle instrumental backing of the original songs melody
Shatner delivers said monologue clutching a cigarette a speaking straight to camera.
The world looks on aghast/amazed.

In thrall to this spectacular act of re-interpretation, Debbie coined the idea of William Shatner Karaoke. An opportunity for all of us to treat some classic songs with the kind of painfully serious monologuing they never asked for or expected.

A legend was born.

Flash forward several years...

On Monday 9th August, as part of our night of music and performance at Forest Fringe from 11pm onwards, we are going to host William Shatner Karaoke in public for the very first time, with live musical accompaniment from the good, good people of Little Bulb Theatre.

So here's what you need to do to be involved:

1) Choose a song.
2) In the comments or via email to andy[at], leave us the name of that song and your own name, and any accompanying notes you might want us to have.
3) Turn up on the night ready to deliver that song to camera as a totally earnest spoken word monologue.
4) You do not need to deliver it in the style of William Shatner, in fact, you should almost definitely find your own style for it.
5) We'll provide musical accompaniment and a live video feed projected on a giant screen behind you.
6) Try and bring the lyrics along with you though we will also endeavour to supply them ourselves.
7) We'll also try and have some extra spots for people to join in on the night.


Please also note that if this proves spectacularly popular two things will definitely happen.

1) We won't be able to get round to everybody's song.
2) It will make a return at our closing party on the 21st August.

Right. Good luck. Get suggesting.

Let us boldly go where none of us have dared go before.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

A Festival of Secrets

Not satisfied with the four miniature festivals we've already put together for you we've decided to add another...

As is almost always the way we've had an incredible last minute rush of exciting little projects and experiments that we've decided to smuggle into our programme, all of which we've decided to gather together under the banner of a Festival of Secrets.

We can't yet tell you where and when, or even what, these may be, but keep a track of us on twitter, facebook and by dropping into the venue and you'll find out how you can experience some secret projects by the following artists:

Action Hero
Chris Thorpe
Nigel Barrett and Louise Mari of SHUNT
Kindle Theatre
Charlotte Jarvis
Ryan Van Winkle
Jo Bannon

Just two weeks to go now. Let the good times roll...

Online Reservations

We're delighted to be able to let you know that for the first time ever this year you can book reservations for Forest Fringe shows online, in advance of the festival, thanks to the lovely people at Brown Paper Tickets.

They've helped us to set up a special page where you can reserve a place for any of the shows taking place in our main hall and a number of the off-site projects we're running as well. To have a look around and make some bookings go here.

Hopefully this means that if you're the kind of person that likes to be able to plan everything out in advance you can now do so. If however you enjoy being able to roll up to Forest Fringe five minutes before a show is starting and just jump in, don't worry as we'll be making sure we still have plenty of space available on the door.

Also note that you don't need to book for anything happening in our Festival of Ideas between 12pm and 5pm every day or any of our late night performance events running after 11pm. For all those projects you're free to drop in and out whenever you like.

And, of course, all the shows and events you'll find with us are all still totally free.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Making Days and Manifestos

(Melanie Wilson at the Forest Fringe Microfestival at BAC, image by Ludovic Des Cognets)

This is a call for all the artists and actors and makers and doers who are thinking of heading to Edinburgh this summer. This is a chance to do something different with your time whilst you're there.

We wanted you to be able come together during the festival and make something new. To learn from some incredible artists. To be fired up and inspired. To leave Edinburgh with a new project, new collaborators and a different way of thinking about theatre.

To that end, we have two projects for you:

Forest Fringe's Making Days
13, 19 & 21 August 2010

Thanks to the support of the lovely people at the Jerwood Charitable Foundation we've been able to bring together an eye-wateringly exciting collection of artists to help us with a new project we're calling the Forest Fringe Making Days.

Part scratch, part workshop, part discussion, each making day is a chance for a group of artists to explore a different way of making live performance. Beginning at 10am, over the course of each day you'll create a new piece, something very raw and new in which hopefully will be the seeds not just of a new future project but of a broader understand of a whole way of making theatre. Spread over the course of the festival we'll have three of these making days, each led by two incredible artists:

Friday 13 August - Audio Performance: A chance to explore the diverse possibilities of making audio work, experienced via headphones, led by Duncan Speakman and Melanie Wilson.

Thursday 19 August - Intimate Performance: A day spent looking at the kind of intimate relationships that theatre can create between artists and performers, led by Adrian Howells and Deborah Pearson.

Saturday 21 August - Site-specific Performance: A day for exploring how performance can be site-specific and what that might mean for the relationship between a place and what we make of it, led by Grid Iron's Ben Harrison and Geraldine Pilgrim.

Each day will finish with a sharing where an audience can experience the result of your day's work, followed by an informal discussion involving artists, audience and anyone else who might be interested.

The Making Days are, like everything at Forest Fringe, a totally free opportunity. If you're interested in being involved please email andy[at] with a brief description of who you are and why you're interested.

There is unfortunately a very limited amount of space for each day. You don't need to have any prior experience in any of this kind of work to take part but if you could let us know why you're interested that will help us try and make the very tricky decision as to who can be involved. For the same reason we'd appreciate if people could apply for no more than two of the Making Days and state which of those two they are most interested in.

Take This Longing:A DIY project by Simon Bowes
20-22 August, 2010

For a weekend, outside Edinburgh, off from the Fringe, we will encourage each other. Participants will negotiate between themselves (and then name) an achievable outcome – a project for the future – enriching our various practices and creating a point of convergence between us. Together we will identify needs, wants, and frivolous wishes and aim, somehow, to fulfill them. We might discover common ground or shared need (or we might discover we have nothing in common). Whichever the case, we will find a way to agree on what needs to be done. We may end up calling this “a project”, a practice”, “an ethos” or “a movement”.

For more information please have a look here.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Forest Fringe 2010 Part 4: A Festival of Experiences

(STK International, image by Briony Campbell)

The reason Forest Fringe is able to exist at all in Edinburgh is thanks to the people at the Forest Café. It was they who first invited Debbie to use their beautiful upstairs space to create a performance programme for Edinburgh and their involvement with Forest Fringe continues to be one of the main things that gives our place its character.

Every day during the festival when we finish at 10 the hall becomes home to a series of incredible music nights and parties hosted by The Forest café. This year they are going to be particularly spectacular as it’s the Forest’s 10 year anniversary – a pretty incredible lifespan in the face of an ever-changing and city.

After experimenting last year with hosting a couple of these parties ourselves as, including a legendary night of STK International’s Live Art Speed Dating, this year the Forest have given us the chance to programme a whole series of late night events across the festival. Come along on any of these nights for a delirious cocktail of performance, music, film, unusual encounters, strange experiences and general good times.


LoveSong (a night of music and performance hosted by Forest Fringe)
Monday 9 August, from 11.30pm

Live performance and live music bleed into each other in unexpected ways. Hosted by Little Bulb Theatre, you’ll get a chance to experience music from Over the Wall and our house band The Suitcase Royale alongside hidden experiences with artists including Brian Lobel. There’s also an opportunity to play Forest Fringe’s very own William Shatner Karaoke, with live accompaniment from the lovely folk at Little Bulb.

MoveyHouse (a night of film and performance hosted by Forest Fringe)
Tuesday 10 August, from 11.30pm

A chance for artists to have a meddle with cinema and see what they come up with. Featuring an audio-visual set from Fiona Soe Paing, Andy Field’s participatory happening Moveyhouse and a secret video installation by Charlotte Jarvis, plus another set from our delightful house band The Suitcase Royale.

Cruising for Art (Brian Lobel and special guests)
Wednesday 11 August, from 11pm

A night of queer delectations. Grab a hankie, cruise the hall, and have an intimate encounter with a stranger. Your smile or wink will start a wild journey, a tender moment, or an intimate conversation. 'Cruising for Art' celebrates a history of cottaging and similar activities in public spaces and includes one-on-one performances with some of the UK's most exciting performers. Punctuated by cabaret acts and gently led by our delicious djs, 'Cruising for Art' will be a night to remember.

Ping Pong Quiz Show (STK International)
Monday 16 August, from 11pm

Following last year’s incredible Live Art Speed Dating, the boys from Stoke Newington return to Forest Fringe with another new project.
Hosted by a disgraced ex-primetime TV show host, an over the hill regional ping pong champion [U16] and held together by the adjudicator/lovely assistant, Ping Pong Quiz Show is a game show style quiz and tournament where teams pit their wits and ping pong skills against each other in a dazzling array of challenges. Part Satirical Show, part absurdist parlour game, the evening rounds off with a full on ping pong tournament and some dancing.

My Time (BAC Young Producers)
Saturday 21 August, from 11.30pm

To say goodbye to Forest Fringe for another year we’re giving the space over to BAC’s delightful and inspiring young producers, all aged between 16-20. There’ll be programming events and encounters across the building, along with music and partying to celebrate the end of another year in Edinburgh.