(Gardner’s article appeared in the Guardian, 8/2.)

Theatre’s obsession with the new is magnified during the Edinburgh fringe. But as well as hunting out fresh talent, we need to ensure that artist development schemes support sustainable careers

A wall of flyers at the Edinburgh fringe. Photograph: Murdo Macleod for the Guardian

This week, hundreds of young companies and artists head to the Edinburgh fringe, full of excitement and hope. Many will be graduate companies emerging from the cocoon of college with their first piece of work; some will be returning for a second or third time, hoping that against the odds and in spite of spiralling costs this will be the year that puts them on the radar and helps them make those all-important industry contacts.

For the fringe in August is where the industry comes looking for new talent. A substantial number of theatres across the UK will have teams scouring the fringe looking for what they hope will be the next big thing. I know of one who will have at least 30 people coming and going over the festival’s duration.


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