The brochure deadline’s passed, the tickets are going on sale. Slowly but surely this year’s Fringe is appearing over the horizon. Over the next four months, The Wee Review is going to be following three different companies’ progress toward and (hopefully!) success at, the world’s biggest open access arts festival. So, welcome Cardiff-based producer Laura Drane, Joanna Morley and Carys Tavener from Hull’s Z Theatre Company, and Laura Ingram of Orange Girl Productions from right here in Edinburgh as they give us their first thoughts in The Wee Review’s Fringe Diary


Laura Drane, Producer, CAITLIN

CAITLIN is a show by Light, Ladd & Emberton about Dylan Thomas’ wife and their relationship. It’s supported by Arts Council of Wales’ platform for the Fringe, Wales In Edinburgh. Seventeen weeks today, we’ll be teching it at Dance Base. Gulp. So what have we already done and what have we got left to do in that time?

Well, the good news is we already have an award-winning show – Best Dance Production in the Wales Theatre Awards 2014. The venue is sorted; the creative team are too. We’ve got great images [see above] and copy already with the designer. Our accommodation is booked, but have you seen the price?!?!? Yesterday I had a brilliant call with our copywriter and PR, who is just the best.

So, you know, there’s not much to do. Right? Wrong. We still need to:

– Book flights for five people and the not-yet-born-but-will-be-by-then baby of our director
– Re-rehearse the piece and do six previews in Cardiff
– Create the target list of industry and press/media we want to invite
– Liaise with the other shows that are in Edinburgh as part of the platform Wales In Edinburgh, and also the Welsh Dance Strand
– Sign off all the venue print and publicity

Oh and where did we put those 40 folding chairs we need for the show, and has anyone re-hired the costumes? Seventeen weeks; plenty of time, isn’t it?

CAITLIN is @ Dance Base from Fri 21 Aug to Sun 30 Aug 2015 (not Mon 24) @ 8:00 pm

Follow them on Twitter @caitlinedfringe


Laura Ingram, Writer & Producer, Nell Gwyn: An Epilogue

Nell Gwyn: An Epilogue has been in development for just over a year, its earliest iteration being the workshopped performances at Discover21 in Edinburgh, in April 2014; a co-production with Black Dingo Productions and Tightlaced Theatre. From there, we had a one-off performance at the Pleasance in London in January. This gave us the necessary insight to make important changes ahead of the Fringe, including hiring an external director, and clarifying and trimming areas of the script.

The last couple of weeks has seen ‘Nell’ take it up a gear. I received notice of our New Arts Sponsorship (NAS) grant funding from Arts and Business Scotland last week. This is match funding against the ‘in-kind’ sponsorship’ provided by Strange Company, in the form of our production trailer. We’re thrilled with the news.

Yesterday, I met our director, Andy Corelli, to finalise the script changes. We also discussed practicalities around rehearsals and performance timing (he has another production at the Fringe – also in Sweet at Grassmarket!), and agreed to hire a desk operator for the technical stuff so that I won’t be wearing too many hats (in addition to being mummy to my toddler!) We’re currently looking at the distribution of funds between this, the flyering team, and hiring our two ‘audience plants’. Finally, we agreed dates for his first ‘pre-rehearsal rehearsal’ with our actress, Lucy Formby, in June – a chance for them to meet and discuss the script and directing methods, ahead of the start of the formal rehearsal period in July.

Next up is to draft our Fringe press release, some related press articles, and any other marketing copy required, as well as to put some thought into the design of the flyers (my husband is the whizz on this), and work with Hugh Hancock of Strange Company on finishing our amazing production trailer (to be seen here shortly!).

Nell Gwyn: An Epilogue is @ Sweet Venues @ Grassmarket @ 4:30 pm

Follow them on Twitter @OrangeGirlProd


Joanna Morley & Carys Tavener, Company Managers, Z Theatre Company

This will be Z Theatre Company‘s 35th year at the Edinburgh Fringe. The company is made up of first year drama students from the University of Hull. However, we receive no financial support from the University. Therefore, the biggest challenge for our company is to fundraise all money to rent accommodation, the venue, hire a coach to travel all the way from Hull to Edinburgh, source our appropriate props, set and costume as well as provide flyers and posters for being on the Royal Mile.

Creatively, our writers have been doing an amazing job at writing their original plays in less than 4 months and just recently the directors underwent the intensive process of casting each play, successfully. Our four shows this year are: God’s Waiting Room, The Bench, The 229 is Never on Time and 18 Foot Story. For the majority of our company it will be their first time at the Fringe. We are yet to inform them about Scotland’s summer weather, but their excitement is building now they know what parts they’ll be playing. In the next few weeks we have many fundraising events planned such as Z 6 Nations, a Man Auction, Sketch Nights and multiple bake sales, each one bringing us closer to our Edinburgh dreams.

Z Theatre Company are @ theSpace @ Surgeon’s Hall from Mon 10 Aug to Thu 20 Aug 2015

Follow them on Twitter @ZTheatreCompany