The Stage Awards 2018 included in their nominations for Fringe Theatre of The Year, Edinburgh’s vibrant and exciting venue, Summerhall. This year’s winner, Manchester’s Hope Mill Theatre, shared the nomination with Richmond’s The Orange Tree Theatre and Edinburgh’s Summerhall. The award, sponsored by encoreinsure.com, celebrates unfunded organisations based outside central London, recognizing them as a vital part of the UK theatre ecology.
Summerhall, that is delighted at the nomination, is building upon its reputation as a leading venue for innovative, creative arts and 2017 saw eleven Summerhall Fringe shows being nominated at the Total Theatre Awards, six given Fringe First Awards, as well as several other wins and nominations in a range of categories. This recognizes not only Summerhall’s own programme, but also the work of their partners and collaborators.
Programme Manager Verity Leigh said, “Like the other venues nominated in this category, Summerhall has a ‘mixed economy’. The building is owned by a private philanthropist and we generate earned income to keep it open to the public all year round. Alongside our year-round performance, live music and visual art programmes, we provide workspace for artists, innovators and community organisations. We have a pub, a café, a distillery and a brewery on site, and host all kinds of events, parties, workshops — even weddings. The financial model has its challenges, just as being publicly funded does; but there’s definitely something about the mix of activity that happens in the building that leads to an interesting and diverse range of people using it …”
This year Summerhall is building upon its reputation as a leading venue for innovative, creative arts. Burns Unbroke celebrates Scotland’s Bard with a three-month contemporary multi-arts festival and Nothing Ever Happens Here… will bring the best in alternative and world music to the Dissection Room. Through initiatives like Lab, Space and Scratch, Summerhall aims to ensure that the sense of community and creativity that is so present during the Fringe exists all year round.