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Arts Council England to set up theatre showcase at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

The Royal Mile during last year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Photo: Shutterstock The Royal Mile during last year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Photo: Shutterstock
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Arts Council England is to fund a new performing arts showcase at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

With a focus on theatre, dance and circus, the Arts Council said it wanted the showcase to be a “major opportunity” for England-based artists and companies to get their work seen by UK and international promoters.

ACE is currently seeking proposals for an organisation or a consortium of organisations to produce up to three showcases taking place in 2021, 2022 and 2023.

The deadline for the submission of expressions of interest is October 31, with applicants able to request up to £750,000 per showcase, totalling £2.25 million for all three events.

In a recent column for The Stage, Lyn Gardner called for more financial support from ACE for Edinburgh Festival Fringe shows.

Lyn Gardner: Arts Council England should grasp the nettle and help fund Edinburgh Fringe shows

ACE’s deputy chief executive for arts and culture, Simon Mellor, said: “Arts Council England is committed to ensuring that the cultural sector in England is outward-facing and that we support artists and organisations based in England to build and strengthen international partnerships.

“This new showcase as part of the Edinburgh Fringe will be an exciting and important step in achieving this. Our ambition is for more of this country’s leading creative talent to be working across the world and for the best of global talent to be delighting audiences in this country.”

Shona McCarthy, chief executive of the Fringe Society, welcomed the news.

She said: “The new performing arts showcase strengthens the fringe’s position as a global arts market and this opportunity for collaboration, co-production, co-commissioning, UK and global touring is vital to the sustainability of our sector.”

Culture secretary Nicky Morgan added: “The Edinburgh Festival Fringe has provided a launch pad on the international stage for some of the UK’s greatest writers and performers and is a wonderful annual showcase of our nation’s talent, creativity and culture.

“We are committed to supporting our creative industries and I’m delighted with this new funding for the next generation of English talent.”

Darren Henley: Our new prime minister should grasp the opportunity to invest in the arts

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