February Update Newsletter 
The Return of Malostranská beseda
Volunteer application window open 
(photo by our official Fringe photographer Jack Ollila Lux Praguensis)

Greetings from Sunny Prague,

And suddenly it's March!

The programme is pretty much in the bag and as promised in the last newsletter we are to present more award winning shows, more family shows and a new comedy venue. The full programme will be launched in April with maybe some teasers later in March - brace yourselves.  We also mentioned the return of a very special long standing Fringe venue, which of course many of you would have easily guessed as being Malostranská beseda - you were right. It has been four years since we played there during Fringe and its return will have a huge impact on audience numbers and the buzz at the heart of the Fringe. More on the history of Beseda at the Fringe below. 

Exciting times - we are now seeking volunteers for the 2023 season read on for more info on that too. 

Thanks for being a subscriber to our e-mails we hope you enjoy these monthly newsletters. Feel very free to share this on your social media platforms or by using the e-mail share tab below. 

There are now less than 3 months till the 22nd Prague Fringe get these dates in your diary if you haven't yet -  May 22nd - 27th 2023.

Steve Gove, Director, Prague Fringe.

2023 Fringe Update - We are expanding!

5,500 tickets to go on sale

This year, as we expand back to the Fringe that we used to be, more than ever we need big budgets to promote sales when our programme goes live next month.

Our current fundraising goal now is to build as successful a marketing campaign leading up to  the festival in May, aiming to sell out as many shows as we can. 

50 Friend of the Fringe sign ups would make a significant impact on our marketing budget, are you a Friend of the Fringe yet?

If you would like to be part of building a fantastic Fringe 2023 and (and you haven't already) please consider becoming a Friend, Best Friend or Fringe Angel.

Friend of the Fringe  2023 2,200 CZK (90 EUR)
Best Friend  2023 5,000 CZK (200 EUR)
Fringe Angel  2023 10,000+ CZK (400+ EUR)

Full details on benefits associated with the above here.

Every contribution will make a difference.  

On the 5th of September 2022 an appeal was made to help us raise the missing 200,000 Kč (€8,000) from our budget - A reminder of this appeal sent out previously can be found pasted at the bottom if this newsletter.

Long live Prague Fringe.
The Return of Beseda - the 10th season of shows at Prague Fringe 
In May 2005 during our 4th Fringe festival, Giles Burton and myself made our way up the steps to the first floor of the grand Malostranská beseda. Numerous attempts of calling had failed (they only had a land line that rang out every time we tried to call and there was no website or e-mail address). We knocked at the office door and were welcomed in. Of course we'd love to be part of the Fringe was the response. if it's in Malá Strana we should be part of it. The following year the doors closed and a remarkable 4 year reconstruction took place. 

My first trip to Beseda was in the early 2000s was to a music gig - Monkey Business - Tonya Graves was a friend of friends and we had all been invited. The main hall was thick with smoke, everyone was drinking beer it was quite the Czech experience but I loved it.  Not long after the new look and new feel Beseda opened Peter Beneš our friend who was the Manager at Divadlo Inspirace introduced me to David Dvořák one of the new managers at Beseda. In 2011 (our 10th Prague Fringe) we hosted over a dozen performances in the main space on the first floor.

During the almost 10 years we played there, Beseda became the beating heart of Prague Fringe. We held after parties well into the night and the central Fringe office was located there for a number of years. We believe its return as a Fringe venue will be hugely welcomed by artists and audiences alike.
(replacement of the 17C towers and window features during the four year reconstruction period)
The meaning of the word beseda
I once put beseda into google translate and it came up ceilidh... a good Scottish word... a ceilidh is a gathering or a party. Since the late 1800s the former town hall for Malá Strana has been one of cities gathering places full of cultural activities and gatherings.

Pop-up  Fringe Spaces
As well as the main space on the first floor Fringe has taken over a few of the less conventional spaces and filled them with shows too - The Trick Bar, The Gallery in the attic as well as the Multipurpose room on the 2nd floor. 

Beseda Fringe Highlights over the years
Fringe regulars will remember these names - Jamie McDowel and Tom Thum, The Men with Coconuts, The London Gay Men's Chorus, Fringe Club highlights included Scottish Country Dancing, Karaoke, Film nights, 

(All photos from Prague Fringe archives)
(A room with a view, St Nicholas church as seen from the bar in Beseda)

Become a Volunteer Festival Assistant
at the 2023 Fringe

Festival Assistants are the heartbeat of the festival and hold an essential role in ensuring the Front-of-House operations of each venue run like clockwork and that the festival is successfully promoted across the city.

Festival Assistants work across a variety of venues from the afternoon until late evening and take it in turns to see the various performances whilst on duty. We are looking for adventurous, energetic, creative, organised and responsible people to be the faces of the Fringe, as venue staff and on street team, to promote the festival, manage venues, sell tickets and money handling, deliver top customer service, assist visiting companies from around the globe.

For more info on what's involved and how to apply check out the info on our website here.

Save Ukranian Grannies
'Abandoned grandmothers live in the combat zone of eastern Ukraine. In winter, they literally fight for survival. They had no one before. Now, thanks to you, we warm their homes and hearts! Chuť pomáhat - Teplo frontovým babičkám(A Desire to Help - Heating for the Battlefront Grannies) - English version of the website now available
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A reminder of how our fundraising appeal started:

A note from the Director (5.9.2022 newsletter):

It has been in incredibly challenging two years for all of us.

For us here at Prague Fringe too.

Bluntly put, the 21st year of Prague Fringe may well be the last.

We have worked hard over the last two decades to bring a quality, fun event to you which had blossomed into an extremely well attended, globally recognised and highly praised festival both here in the Czech republic as well as across the world. We carried on bravely during the pandemic and created some unique events - the Fringe hug from near and far was palpable.

Our upcoming September Fringe will be an exciting and vibrant one, with a multi award-winning programme we expect sales will be strong. Going forward into 2023 is the challenge. With the loss of a major partner at the start of the year it shook the foundations of the organisation quite significantly.

We are urging our biggest fans (that's you!) to consider becoming Friends, Best Friends, or Fringe Angels to help us keep our Fringe alive and carry forward into 2023.

Best regards and long live Fringe!

Steve Gove

Founder and Director 

Copyright © 2023 Prague Fringe, All rights reserved.

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