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Cost of Edinburgh fringe shows

In this Guardian article, Paul Arendt talks about how expensive fringe shows are.

Most lose money. The director and performers are unpaid and he’s still almost 10k down (see budget below). My last show Lost in Peru, which was paid at equity rates (although producer’s and writer’s fee were low) at the Camden People’s Theatre came in on a lower budget (our set cost much higher, but PR was handled by producer and no accomadation cost) and had good ticket sales.

If you can get a slot, it suggests to me that the regular London fringe is a more “cost effective” show case, although of course you don’t get the same buzz or (one if you are lucky) perhaps the same exposure. I also think if at all possible performers should be paid a fair (ie equity) wage.

Expenses so far for the show Faultless and Torrance Take Their Faces/Off

Producer: £1000
Director: free
Performers: free
Public relations: £900
Technician: £260
Magazine advertising: £584.27
Fringe brochure entry: £242
Venue hire: £3,900 (or 40% of box office, if greater)
London previews venue hire: £300
Accommodation for three: £1,500
Train travel for three: £123
Poster design: free
Poster printing: £145
Flyer printing: £200
Set costs: £36.20
Rehearsal space: free
Photography: £100
Replacement umbrellas for umbrella fight: £27.40
Stuffed dog: £13.50
Miscellaneous props (elastic, lampshades, silly string): £31.70
Costumes: £27
Music: £24.98
Photocopying: £8.20
Alcohol: £80
Total: £9,503.25

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One Response to “Cost of Edinburgh fringe shows”

  1. James McCarthy on November 18th, 2005

    Given all these costs can you elaborate on the cost of your tickets, number of seats in the the theatre and lenght of the run?

    I am interested in the return from all this expense, and whether you consider it to be worth it.

  • About me

    I'm a playwright and investment analyst. I have a broad range of interests: food, gardening, innovation & intellectual property, sustainability, architecture & design, writing and the arts. I sit on the board of Talawa Theatre Company and advise a CIS investment trust on socially responsible investments.

  • Recent Work

    Recent plays include, for theatre: Nakamitsu, Yellow Gentlemen, Lost in Peru, Lemon Love. For radio: Places in Between (R4), Patent Breaking Life Saving (WS).

  • Nakamitsu

  • Yellow Gentlemen