Announcing dates and inviting applications to be part of our platform of UK performance for international promoters
The British Council is calling for artists with exceptional new productions to apply to be part of the next Edinburgh Showcase – our biennial platform showing the best of contemporary UK theatre, dance and live art at the Edinburgh Festivals. Visit our Edinburgh Showcase website to apply.
Taking place from 19–24 August 2019, the Edinburgh Showcase programme will feature outstanding small and middle-scale productions made in the UK that are suitable for international touring. The programme is renowned for starting international careers and highlighting some of the most interesting new work in the performance scene. Previous programmes have included new writing, devised theatre, contemporary dance, live art, performance installations, and interactive and immersive theatre.
We invite over 200 delegates to attend each Edinburgh Showcase, drawing on our international network of performing arts professionals. These include key programmers and producers as well as overseas British Council colleagues. In 2017, we welcomed delegates from over 40 countries.
"The Showcase has given hundreds of theatre and dance companies the opportunity to tour overseas and develop new relationships"
The Showcase has a strong history on the UK scene – it's taken place for over 20 years. It recently underwent a major external review to bring it up to date. “The British Council worked with Arts Council England and Creative Scotland, our leading funding partners for Edinburgh Showcase, to commission an extensive evaluation,” explains Neil Webb, our Director Theatre and Dance. “As partners, we agreed to work more closely on a new strategic plan centred on market ready, export focused work.”
This brought changes to Edinburgh Showcase 2017. For the first time, it featured productions from the Edinburgh International Festival in the main programme, creating new opportunities for large-scale work. We also widened the curation panel to include more international programmers and arts professionals from all over the UK, alongside British Council specialists. These changes will continue in 2019.
“Participating on the panel was a wonderful exercise in balancing artistic prowess with the practicalities of the touring market,” says Heather Redfern, Executive Director of The Cultch in Vancouver. “The expertise around the table was awe inspiring.”
"The Edinburgh Showcase is a vital part of the cultural ecology of the UK"
Since our first Showcase in 1997, the event has given hundreds of theatre and dance companies the opportunity to tour overseas and develop new relationships.
“Showcasing at Edinburgh under any circumstances can be daunting, both financially and in terms of confidence,” says Una NicEoin of Prime Cut Productions, who presented Scorch at Edinburgh Showcase 2017. “Being part of the British Council Showcase resolves an infinite amount of this. The publicity alone guarantees high attendance and the subsequent opportunities to take the work further and the new friendships, collaboration and co-production cannot and should not be underestimated.”
She continues: “In short the Edinburgh Showcase is a vital part of the cultural ecology of the UK. It has led to outstanding international cultural co-operation that is financially viable. Its importance cannot be underestimated.”
If you’re a UK-based company or artist and would like to apply, head to our Edinburgh Showcase website.
If you’re a performing arts programmer based outside the UK and you’d like to attend Edinburgh Showcase 2019 as a delegate, contact the British Council arts manager in your country to express interest or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Online delegate registration will open in April 2019.
To hear which artists will be part of Edinburgh Showcase 2019, watch out for our programme announcement in spring 2019. To be the first to hear, sign up to our newsletter and follow us on Twitter @UKTheatreDance.
Everyone is welcome to see Edinburgh Showcase performances. When the programme is announced, you can buy tickets from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe or the venues where the performances are taking place.
Find out more:
> Visit the Edinburgh Showcase website to discover more
> Get expert advice on when to take a show to the Edinburgh Fringe
> See our top tips on how to prepare for international touring
> Read a guide on how to survive the Edinburgh Fringe
> Watch a short film about Edinburgh Showcase 2015