Distilling the adventurous spirit of Forest Fringe’s Edinburgh events and showcasing a range of new works, we supported Forest Fringe to curate five 'microfestivals' to share their idea of what a festival can be with international partners.
Forest Fringe on tour in Thailand, Japan, Portugal, Ireland and the USA
Founded in Edinburgh in 2007, Forest Fringe is an artist-led organisation that creates imaginative and unconventional performance work in the UK and internationally, while fostering the work of a diverse community of writers, theatre makers, musicians, dancers and live artists. Forest Fringe are interested in exploring what a festival is and what it could be, and we have supported them in sharing their ideas and work with international partners through 'microfestivals' across the world.
In 2012, we worked with Forest Fringe to develop a major project, aiming to bring the spirit of Forest Fringe to different places across the world. Two very successful microfestivals were organised in partnership with international venues: first in February at Culturgest in Lisbon, and second in December at The Lir in Dublin. In 2013, three further projects were supported, one in Bangkok, Thailand, one in Yokohama in Japan and finally one in Austin in Texas, USA.
The microfestivals work with a host venue, with each event operating like a single show: Forest Fringe acts as a curator and co-ordinator, working with the specific needs and spaces of a host organisation to create a programme that is entirely unique, selected from artists who make up the Forest Fringe community. After the event, Forest Fringe continue to be a valuable resource for partner organisations, helping them to stay connected to a community of exciting, UK-based artists. They also use the microfestivals as an opportunity to meet international artists with a view to involving them in the work they do in the UK.
The microfestivals so far have taken place in Dublin, Ireland; Lisbon, Portugal; Yokohama, Japan; Bangkok, Thailand; Austin, USA.
The Dublin microfestival included: the Irish premiere of Action Hero's Watch Me Fall; Dan Canham's Dublin Fringe Festival 2012 award-winning performance 30 Cecil Street; Tim Etchells's new installation in response to the space at The Lir; the Irish premiere of Kieran Hurley's Hitch; and Deborah Pearson, the live artist and co-founder of Forest Fringe, spent a week in residence at The Lir with her latest work The Future Show.
At Culturegest in Lisbon, Forest Fringe presented their first major international microfestival, supported by the British Council. Eight different Forest Fringe artists went to Portugal, accompanied by a range of installations and the Forest Fringe travelling sounds library. Artists included: Tania El Khoury, Search Party, Bryony Kimmings and Chris Thorpe. "Forest Fringe provided the perfect frame to see work that can be both daring and unassuming, deeply thought-through and unfinished... in these troubled times the example set by Forest Fringe is more important than ever." (Francisco Frazao, Theatre Programmer, Cultergest, Lisbon)
In Bangkok, we collaborated with Forest Fringe to present a diverse range of works at Live at The Scala, a microfestival of live performance, video and installation which ran in February 2013. It featured critically-acclaimed work alongside new project-responsive pieces by artists from both the UK and Thailand. Artists involved included: Action Hero (UK), Brian Lobel (UK), Gob Squad (UK), Messy Project Space (Thailand) and B-Floor Theatre (Thailand).
Working as part of TPAM 2013 with Forest Fringe, we invited a range of the most exciting theatre artists from the UK to engage with artists in Japan at experimental project space Creative Lab. The microfestival looked at how art, and in particular live performance, can engage with urban environments. Playing With Cities, a showcase and residency in Yokohama in February 2013, explored how art informs new ways of thinking about our relationships with cities.
In April 2013 Forest Fringe travelled to Austin, Texas to curate a venue at Fusebox Festival, Austin’s annual contemporary art and performance festival. Fusebox Festival creates an environment for artists to take risks and explore their creativity both individually and collectively. Following this vision, Forest Fringe introduced eight UK artists to the festival to give each an opportunity to present work which imagined new ways of storytelling that blur the boundaries between art and life in surprising ways and through various art forms. Read one of the first reviews here.
Yokohama, Kanagawa14th Feb 2013 - 17th Feb 2013
Bangkok, Thailand3rd Feb 2013 - 7th Feb 2013
The Scala Cinema,
Dublin, Ireland1st Dec 2012 - 30th Dec 2012
National Academy of Dramatic Art,
Trinity Technology and Enterprise Campus,
Pearse Street (at Grand Canal Quay),
Lisbon, Portugal1st Feb 2012 - 29th Feb 2012
Rua Arco do Cego,
Austin, Texas, USA23rd Apr 2013 - 28th Apr 2013
Salvage Vanguard Theater
2803 E Manor Rd