Discover which UK artists will travel to Edinburgh to experience the Edinburgh Festivals, build international links and develop their careers
We're thrilled to announce the eight artists who will take part in our Artist Development Programme in Edinburgh from 20–22 August 2019. The programme helps artists who want to take work to the Edinburgh Festivals gain vital experience. The participants will attend events, expand their professional networks and receive a ticket budget that allows them to see a wide breadth of work.
They will also have special access to the Edinburgh Showcase, our platform of UK performance for an audience of international promoters, and develop international contacts.
The participants were selected from an open call for artists based in the UK who identify as minority ethnic and/or disabled – as these groups are underrepresented at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
"Edinburgh during the festival season can be a daunting opportunity and a big financial risk", says Steven Brett our Theatre and Dance Programme Manager who works with the EU and the Americas. "It's hard to gain practical knowledge about the pros and cons of taking work to Edinburgh. That's why this programme helps artists to explore the festival, and talk to Edinburgh Fringe veterans before deciding when and if it's right to take a show to the Fringe.
"Ongoing conversations with disabled and minority ethnic artists continue to indicate that people assume the Edinburgh Fringe isn't for them. Although there has been some positive change, these groups are still underrepresented at the festival. We hope that continuing our Artist Development Programme helps to change this, and many of our programme alumni have since found success in Edinburgh."
Alumni of the Artists Development Programme include Selina Thompson, whose award-winning production .salt was subsequently selected for the Edinburgh Showcase 2017 programme and found touring success in Brazil, Australia, Canada and the US. Dance artist Seeta Patel, who took part in 2015, is taking her show Not Today's Yesterday to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe as part of our Edinburgh Showcase 2019.
“It was so insightful and inspirational" says Patel "to see the work of other artists and hear the thinking behind some of the decisions that affect programming."
"Many of our programme alumni have since found success in Edinburgh"
The artists on the 2019 Artist Development Programme are:
Bisola is a writer and producer who began her writing career with Soho Theatre's Writers Lab. Her work has been featured with Soho Theatre, Actors Touring Company (ATC), Ovalhouse, Almeida Theatre and the National Theatre.
She is currently a resident playwright at Bush Theatre under the scholarship Project 2036, and has completed her show Exceptional Promise. She has had work published as part of the Hear Me Now audition monologue book collection and in the Artistic Directors of the Future... Talks Brexit collection of work and essays.
Elaine Collins is a singer, recording artist and performer. She has received Arts Council Funding to develop her performance: DDDivas which is currently at R&D stage, and received a mini-commission at DaDafest 2017.
DDDivas incorporates drag and explores Elaine's experiences as a young disabled woman – and her experience of feeling her body was owned by others. Elaine will study an MA in Theatre-making and Acting at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA) from September this year.
> Follow Elaine @peachyaze
Hannah is a theatre director with an ongoing commitment to working with British Sign Language (BSL) in performance and making theatre accessible to new and diverse audiences. She is currently developing a production of Laridae by Sarah Wallis and is taking part in a mentoring programme through Stage Directors UK.
> Follow Hannah @HannahQuigley
Jaivant is an award-winning independent dance artist, choreographer and cultural producer. He is associate artist at Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton and Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham. He is a board member for Dance4 and a former Artistic and Quality Assessor for Arts Council England.
He is artistic director of Jaivant Patel Dance, making work that challenges the complexities of inherited notions and perceptions surrounding British-Asian identity. The company uses South Asian dance forms, aesthetics and principles to create contemporary work targeted at diverse audiences. Jaivant is currently touring YAATRA, a bill of Kathak and contemporary dance that provides a fresh perspective on South Asian LGBTQ+ narratives, faith and spirituality.
> Follow Jaivant: @jaijpdc
> Image: Bonehhaker Photography
Manjeet is an actress, theatremaker and writer who focuses on strong female narratives from a working-class perspective. She is an alumna of the Soho Writers Lab and Rep Foundry. She has toured her solo shows: Flying Solo and A Dangerous Woman across the UK, and has been commissioned as one of five writers by Birmingham Rep and Women and Theatre to write a series of podcasts under the title Women & Work. Her first short film The Link was commissioned by the BBC Asian Network and BBC Writers' Room and she is writing her first novel.
Manjeet is founder of Run The World – a community organisation working with women and girls through sport and theatre.
> Follow Manjeet @ManjeetMann
Si is a dancer and theatre maker. He is a Breakthrough Artist at Curve Theatre, Leicester, and choreographer for Wayward Thread. His work uses hip hop and contemporary dance to make political theatre, exploring art as activism and the urgency of now.
Wayward Thread has performed at venues like Southbank Centre for China Changing Festival, Sadler's Wells for Breakin' Convention Festival, and Rich Mix. Spirit Level, a collaboration between Si and composer Blasio Kavuma, was recently awarded the George Butterworth prize from Sound and Music. Si teaches dance at De Montfort University between performing.
> Follow Si @si_sleepless
Tarik Elmoutawakil is an artist, programmer, and community organiser, as well as Founder and Artistic Director at The Marlborough Theatre in Brighton – the UK's only performing arts venue dedicated to intersectional queer arts.
His current public work is entitled Brownton Abbey, an Afro-Futures Performance Party that centres QTIPOC (queer, trans and intersex people of colour) and in particular those with disabilities. An Unlimited Commission, Brownton Abbey reclaims and reinterprets QTIPOC spirituality and rituals, channelling it into an out-of-this-world party. Tarik is taking Brownton Abbey on a UK tour in 2019/2020.
> Follow The Marlborough Theatre @marlboroughbtn
Vijay Patel (he/him) is a performance artist based in London. He crosses forms manifesting in live art, performance art, theatre and queer performance. The work he makes derives from being British/Indian, queer and neurodivergent. He makes autobiographical and political work which relates to the current state we live in.
His debut solo show, Pull the Trigger, premiered at SPILL National Platform 2016 and went on to Camden People’s Theatre Sprint Festival before touring in 2018. He is currently developing his second solo show, Sometimes I Leave. Vijay will tour with Sometimes I leave in Autumn 2019 at Ovalhouse, The Marlborough Pub and Theatre, and Colchester Arts Centre.
> Follow Vijay @vijayrajpatel92