With the sun now emerging there’s further reason to bring a little extra cheer into your life as theSpaceUK announced the first shows on sale for the 2019 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Over thirty shows are already on sale, so The Fountain spoke with theSpaceUK’s Head of Press & Marketing, Nick Abrams about some of his personal favourites already available to purchase.

TF: It’s only April and you have some of your Fringe shows on sale already, that’s what they call organised? 

This year we should have around four hundred shows at theSpaceUK – far more than any other venue. If we weren’t superbly organised it would be carnage. When you start considering all the details required to have 400 shows at the Fringe it’s quite astounding. 400 technical rehearsals, 400 press releases, 400 posters & flyers – the list is end-less. Each show can have up to fifty people in it (Rock Choir has close to a thousand!) that’s tens of thousands of people to help make sure have the best Fringe experience possible. TheSpaceUK has a world-class team in place that works all year round to ensure that the largest venue at the Fringe runs smoothly. This is particularly important when helping companies who have never been to the Fringe before. We want them to have confidence that they’re part of an organisation that will look after them and provide them with the support needed.

TF: You’ve got quite an eclectic variety there, what does TheSpaceUK look out for when choosing acts for The Fringe? 

There’s a whole range of acts – theatre, comedy, music, dance, spoken word, musicals, improv. This means you’ll see celebrity names such as Phil Hammond alongside University a cappella groups. However, new-writing is always an area that there’s significant focus on. TheSpaceUK has a strong track record in helping promote new-writing at the Fringe. For many of our companies this might be their first time at the Fringe and we provide a supportive environment in which to take a chance and produce new work. 

TF: And for those that have never been to The Fringe, why should they come Nick? 

It’s a remarkable experience – whether as an audience member, a company or working for a venue. There’s that feeling of being in fresher’s week at University, where everything is new and exciting – the friends you’ll make, the people you’ll meet and the experiences that will happen. Added to that is seeing what people can create within a 4x6m stage. It’s not just about the shows, it’s about the whole experience. For some, it’ll be something they tick off their bucket list – but there’s a reason why so many of us (myself included) return year after year.

TF: What are your personal favourites of those that are already on the list, who are you keen to see?

Clouds (Time & Again Theatre Group). They performed Greyhounds last year and I caught the final night. It was excellent and perfectly pitched for a slightly elder Fringe Audience. They should be able to build on that reputation. 

The Penguin Tango (1850 Productions). A satirical comedy based on the romantic adventures of 8 penguins (also based on true events). Definitely worth watching. 

A Tribute to Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill (Seventh Avenue Arts). As a nineties child I love this album and still play it regularly. 

Teach (Bread and Butter Productions) – they brought Canoe here last year, it was a smash-hit, and they’re always lovely to the Press Office.

TF: When do the rest go on sale? 

18th April will be the next batch, followed by 16th May and finally the full Edinburgh Fringe Programme is announced on 5th June.