Greenside Venues is presenting a whopping 168 shows at this year’s Fringe, achievable through its three separate buildings containing multiple studio spaces at Nicolson Square, Infirmary Street and Royal Terrace. Having gathered momentum over many years at the festival, Greenside is now one of the biggest players on the Fringe.
Size isn’t everything though, and as its name would suggest, Greenside is committed to sustainability with a reuse, recycle, reduce policy. There’s also a particular focus on accessibility, inclusivity and the wellbeing (both mental and physical) of those who work, perform and attend the fringe.
Much of the programme, over sixty per cent, is theatre, but a wide variety of other mediums are also represented due in part to the versatility of the spaces. There’s local groups too, Napier University Drama Society return to Greenside once again with the musical And Peggy, while Lochgelly Youth Performing Arts ensemble present The Addams Family.
Greenside’s launch showcase provided a whistle stop tour of this enormous programme, with twenty-two short excerpts performed to a large gathering of the Fringe press. Opening proceedings was Broken Romantics: A Unicorn’s Quest for Love. Colourful, glittery, sublimely ridiculous, with super vocals from Emma Dean, this musical/physical theatre blend proved a mad and mischievous couple of minutes, and deserving a longer watch.
Plays can be harder to shoehorn into two minute teasers than music, comedy or dance, mainly because they need context. But as a mainstay of the Greenside programme, we were proffered sneak peaks of many. A highlight was a segment from the poignant, warm and thought provoking Woodbine Willy: Poet and Padre, in which Searchlight Theatre present the tale of a heroic Revered, who takes his place is on the front line with his fellow men during WWI.
A comedy highlight and the penultimate act of the launch was a preview of menoPAUSE, which sees stand-up, Funny Women semi-finalist and best-selling author, Harriet Beveridge, returning to Greenside with a pay-what-you-want or buy a ticket in advance show.
Greenside’s programme begins on the 3rd August and runs until the 25th, and with so much on offer it deserves some time. The full line-up can be found here.