performer information


Fringe TheatreFest 2018 is now fully programmed and there is a waiting list.


introduction

Fringe Theatrefest is an annual four-day Fringe Theatre Festival that takes place in Barnstaple, North Devon, at the end of June.

Fringe Theatrefest embraces the widest possible range of theatrical forms. Previous Fringe Theatrefests have included drama, comedy, contemporary dance, dance theatre, physical theatre, African dance and song, performance poetry, children's theatre, puppetry, cabaret, improv, juggling, music theatre, ceremonial events, film-in-a-day, magic and illusion.

Events take place in a variety of circumstances including

Fringe TheatreFest is modelled on the way that Canadian Fringes operate. The overall aim is to provide a low-cost, supportive environment and a level playing-field.

The festival is not juried or curated - selection is by picking names from a hat for Regular Venues and in order of application for Found Venues and Outside Locations. No distinction is made as to the status of the companies - amateur, professional, student or whatever. There is geographical demarcation however - 10 of the Regular Venue slots are initially offered to North Devon companies, two to international companies and the other twenty are open to companies from across the UK. We can only accept one application per company for Regular Venues but are open to multiple applications for Found Venues or Outside Locations.

Fringe TheatreFest timetables events and sets ticket prices (which are low), with 100% of the ticket revenue or collection-bucket revenue returned to the companies.

In Regular Venues the standard offer to companies is a 3-performance slot. Companies performing in their own Found Venue or in Outside Locations are welcome to perform as many times as they wish, so long as we have the capacity to steward the events adequately.

We have a large group of experienced volunteers who provide box-office and stewarding. We provide a technician to operate lights and sound for shows in Regular Venues.

We market and publicise the Festival as an entity and companies market and publicise their own shows.

We do our very best to find free billets for companies from outside North Devon if so required.


Fringe Theatrefest is probably one of the lowest-cost Fringe Theatre Festivals in the world because the outlay is so low: £35 for Regular Venues; a returnable £35 deposit for Outside Locations and Found Venues. But, whilst it won't break the bank, it won't make anyone's fortune. In 2017 the average box-office take for a three-performance run in a regular venue was £240. The highest earner grossed £456. The lowest earner grossed £69. Earnings from street-performances were lower. It's difficult to provide a meaningful guideline because the circumstances varied enormously and some acts didn't set out to make money. But the top earning street act made £193 out of a series of performances over the four days of the Festival. We're developing a plan to boost potential earnings for street performers.

What Fringe TheatreFest does do is provide an affordable context in which to develop new work, to give further life to existing work, to introduce a company to North Devon audiences and to invite local and regional promoters and, where appropriate, schools and colleges to see the work. But primarily Fringe Theatrefest is a meeting place to forge new relationships and somewhere to be inspired by a host of interesting work as well as to inspire others with what you have to offer.

Fringe TheatreFest 2017 saw an explosion of activity on the streets and other outside spaces of Barnstaple. The Festival was more visible than ever before and engaged a different group of people with a different kind of work as well as drawing attention to what was going on inside the venues. We look forward to building on those sure foundations in Fringe TheatreFest 2018.

Fringe TheatreFest 2018 will have room for 32 companies in Regular Venues and a further 32 companies performing Outside or in Found Venues.

In a change for 2018, we are prioritising companies in Regular Venues who can commit to all three performances. We won't be opening shows in a Regular Venue on the Saturday or Sunday - shows will have to have their technical rehearsals and open by Friday. Companies performing in their own Found Venue, or Outside, won't be subject to these strictures.

Fitting in tech rehearsals over the weekend puts unwarranted pressure on our tech-team. It also means that spaces are not available for the skill-sharing workshops that have been a feature of Fringe TheatreFest in previous years. As importantly, Fringe TheatreFest is more than a series of performances. It's an environment in which conversations can develop, collaborative relationships can be forged and a vision of community can emerge. This works most effectively when companies are in Barnstaple for the duration of the Festival.


Regular Venues

Applications opened 20 November and closed 15 December

We have brought the application procedure forward a month this year in response to companies wanting more time for forward planning.

For 2018 we have six Regular Venues. The level of technical support in these venues varies so please read the descriptions below.

The Baptist Hall has a flat-floor stage area 5m wide x 6m deep with raked seating for 60. It is configured as a black-box studio space. Basic warm and cold lighting states will be available along with some ability to separate areas. There will be a sound system installed. There are sensitivities that have to be observed with regard to content - specifically alcohol and strong language are non-starters.

The Golden Lion Tap has a stage area 5m wide x 4m deep with seating for 60 in a cabaret format. Basic warm and cold lighting states will be available along with a limited ability to separate areas. There will be a sound system installed. In terms of content, anything goes.

St Anne's Arts Centre is a versatile space best played with audience on two sides or in the round. In that configuration the acting area is roughly 4m x 8m. End on is possible but sightlines are tricky. There is seating for 50. Basic warm and cold lighting states will be available along with a limited ability to separate areas. There will be a sound system installed.

The Guildhall has a large flat-floor, carpeted performance area - 7m x 7m - and raked seating for 80. It is offered as the space it is - an historic, civic building that used to be the magistrates' court and which is still used for the official business of the town council. It will be blacked-out and minimally equipped with a sound-system and sufficient lighting to create an ambiance but it's not a venue for technically demanding shows. It proved a very popular venue last year.

The Southgate was used for one night only as an emergency venue last year and proved so popular that it's back as a venue in its own right. It's an intimate, well-focussed space above a bar-bistro. The performance area is approximately 3m wide x 2m deep. It will have lights and sound and seating for 30. Because the seating capacity is lower than elsewhere we offer companies four performances so that they can make up the numbers.

The Castle Centre is a new venue this year. The hall has a low stage, 5m wide and 3.5m deep. There will be a basic lighting rig - from stands at the back of the auditorium - and a sound system. There will be flat-floor seating for 60 with some higher chairs at the back to help sight-lines. For those who experienced Fringe in the Queen's Theatre, the set-up is very similar to what was created in the gallery.

Productions in Regular Venues must be between 30 mins and 60 mins in length. There will be a one-hour technical rehearsal programmed in. There will be only 15 minutes available to set-up and get-out before and after each performance.

The programming of the Regular Venues is decided by lottery. Company names are drawn from a hat to determine who is offered a slot. The on-line form was live between Monday 20th November and Friday 15th December. The draw will take place on Saturday 16th December. Companies able to commit to three performances will be drawn first followed by companies unable to make that commitment. This will establish the order in which places will be offered.

Ten slots are initially reserved for North Devon companies, two slots for International companies and the other twenty slots are available to companies from across the UK. If there aren't sufficient North Devon or International companies to take up the reserved slots, these slots are then open to companies from across the UK.

Companies have been informed of the lottery results. The first 32 companies drawn have been offered a place and asked for an initial confirmation so that outline programming of the different venues can happen. A waiting-list has been established. A firm commitment will be required by Friday January 19th, by which time venues for each company will have been settled. The firm commitment will be sealed by the payment of the £35 participation fee and the provision of a marketing image, publicity copy and required technical information. If these aren't forthcoming by January 19th then the slot will be offered to the next company on the waiting-list that fits the requirements for the vacant slot.

Ticket prices for 2018 will be £6, £4 concessions and a Frequent Fringer that works out at £3 per ticket (6 tickets for £18). 100% of ticket money is returned to the company.

The Regular Venues are now fully programmed for 2018


Found Venues

applications opened 20th November 2017 and closed 23rd March

Companies are welcome to arrange their own venue if they so wish. This could be a building, a tent, a car or any other controlled space to which an audience might be admitted.

The performing company will be responsible for all costs and any necessary permissions associated with the venue but Fringe TheatreFest will be happy to offer advice.

The company will be free to timetable their performances as they wish and Fringe TheatreFest will list those performances in the brochure and on-line.

We won't be providing ticketing for Found Venues. We suggest they operate on a pay-as-you-will basis (experience from previous years shows that this works well financially). Companies will keep 100% of monies collected.

Companies working in Found Venues will pay a £35 deposit which will be forfeited if the company withdraws but which will otherwise be fully refunded at the end of Fringe TheatreFest.

Programming for both Found Venues and Outside Locations will be decided on a first-come-first-served basis. There will be 32 slots available for Found Venues and Outside Locations combined. The application process will open on 20th November 2017 and will close on 23rd March 2018. Applications can be made through the on-line application form. Payment of the 35 deposit will secure a place in the programme but we won't collect those until we're clear that the activity can go ahead in a particular location. If the 32 places are already claimed before 23rd March, companies will be put on a waiting-list in the order in which they applied in case a slot becomes available through a company having to cancel.

The Found Venues are now fully programmed for 2018


Outside Locations

applications opened 20th November and closed 23rd March

Outside performances might respond to a particular feature - a building, a piece of street furniture, the specific layout of a square etc - or simply celebrate the open access of being in a public space. Barnstaple has an array of interesting outdoor possibilities from the busy-ness of the High Street to the relative calm of Rock Park and Castle Green, with many points in between.

Outside performances will cater predominantly to audiences that happen upon the event and income from such events will be via a collecting bucket. Stewards will be on hand to help draw attention to the event and to help with the bucket collection. 100% of monies collected goes to the performers.

Except for full-length plays, we found last year that the 15 minute event was often the most effective outside if you are looking to hold an audience for the length of the performance. It's easier for us to obtain permissions for shows of up to 15 minutes. In any event, whatever the length, we will sort out all the necessary permissions for outside locations.

We are exploring ways to help the income potential for outside performers, possibly by providing a focussed platform in the evenings that would appeal specifically to the Fringe Venue audience. This would not be allowed to dilute daytime activity in the street where the emphasis is on interacting with non-Venue audiences.

Performances will be scheduled and precise locations allocated so that there is structure to the overall event, avoiding unnecessary clashes. We will endeavour to schedule as many performances as a company wishes to present. The agreed timetable will appear in the brochure and on-line.

Companies working outside will pay a £35 deposit which will be forfeited if the company withdraws but which will otherwise be fully refunded at the end of Fringe TheatreFest.

Programming for both Found Venues and Outside Locations will be decided on a first-come-first-served basis. There will be 32 slots available for Found Venues and Outside Locations combined. The application process will open on 20th November 2017 and will close on 23rd March 2018. Applications can be made through the on-line application form. Payment of the £35 deposit will secure a place in the programme but we won't collect those until we're clear that the activity can go ahead in a particular location. If the 32 places are already claimed before 23rd March, companies will be put on a waiting-list in the order in which they applied in case a slot becomes available through a company having to cancel.

The Outside Locations are now fully programmed for 2018


The Tent on the Square

The Tent is 7.5m wide and 12m long. The height of the sides is 2m, sloping up to an apex of 4m height. The photo of the tent on the home page shows you the shape of the 7.5m elevation.

The sides of the tent can be opened or closed dependent on the nature of the piece. There is traffic about 15m from the tent. The Square is a regular thoroughfare. So whatever happens in the tent has to be fairly robust. It's better to think of it as covered outside area rather than akin to an inside venue.

We want to draw new people into enjoying Fringe TheatreFest. The Tent is an immediate draw in terms of its physical presence and it is accessible. But it is a 'rough' space.

The Tent is now fully programmed for 2018


Application forms

Found Venue application form

Outside Location application form


Information

publicity document

Fringe logo 2018 jpg

Fringe logo 2018 png

privacy policy


contact

You are more than welcome to contact us with specific questions.



"We saw some fab shows as well as making great connections with new audiences and promoters whilst at Fringe TheatreFest - may it go on from strength to strength!"