December Newsletter:
2023 Status,  
Feature on Divadlo Inspirace,
Ukraine Fringe
(photo by our official Fringe photographer Jack Ollila Lux Praguensis)

Greetings from Prague,

It is almost the end of December and a lot has happened in the Fringe office since we last wrote

The artist application window for our 22nd edition is now CLOSED and wow what an amazing selection of applications we are going through. Usually this process all happens a little earlier and when we last sat together as a selection committee, we were sitting in leafy Suffolk in September 2019 - hard to believe. Given that everything has been so upside down, there's a tight turnaround this time but we are well on track for delivering the usual incredible selection of shows in MAY! 

Read on for more news on the current situation with our fundraising appeal and how we plan to step into 2023 a special feature on long standing Fringe venue, Divadlo Inspirace and a report on a something very exciting that is being planned behind the scenes Ukraine Fringe.

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

Oh and if you haven't yet... please put our next Fringe dates in your diary - May 22nd - 27th 2023.

Steve Gove, Director, Prague Fringe.

Stepping into 2023
Current Status
Since our last newsletter further pledges of support have been made to ensure that we can make it through to the next Fringe. We can't thank you enough - every one of you. 

What we now know is that the organisation will make it through to the next Prague Fringe what we still do not yet know is what shape the event itself will take therefor we are still aiming is to double the number of pledges in the coming weeks so now is the time to be part of keeping Prague Fringe alive into 2023 and securing its long term future. A pledge may mean the difference of a part time extra member of staff to assist through the year or a maybe enough to do some more pre festival publicity. Every contribution will make a difference.  

If you would like to be part of securing that Fringe 2023 happens (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 2022-2023 5,000 CZK (200 EUR)
Fringe Angel 2022-2023 10,000+ CZK (400+ EUR)

On the 5th of September 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 previsouly can be found pasted at the bottom if this newsletter.

Full details on all of this can be found here

Long Live Prague Fringe.

Divadlo Inspirace
Located at Malostranské náměstí 13, Divadlo Inspirace is housed in the cellar of the Music and Dance Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (HAMU), the space opened in 2000 as a theatre to host performances of the music students.   

Divadlo Inspirace has been a Fringe venue since 2007 with a few years off during their complete renovation.

Facts and Figures
HAMU (established in 1945) is housed in the premises of the stunning Lichtenstein Palace which was build in the 1590s, converted from a number of renaissance town houses and aristocratic residences.  Its look today dates from the 1790s after a major reconstruction where the buildings were unified by one single facade.

Executions Galore
There are 27 bollards decorated with heads along the front of the building commemorating the 27 men that the Lichtenstein family had executed in 1621.

Cheap Nosh Tip
Through the big blue main door to HAMU you'll find two secret courtyards - in the first is the HAMU Cafe - open to all (although the suggestion is not to go till after 1pm when it clears a bit) they serve large portions of mainly meaty dishes late into the evening (according to availability) for around 5 EUR.

Below (and above) are a selection of show photos from productions we hosted there this year. Above: Afghanistan is not Funny - Henry Naylor, England. Below: The Green and the Blue Kabosh Theatre, North Ireland. Quintessence - Emily Carding, England, The Chess Player  - Theatre Omnibus, USA.

(all show photos by our official Fringe photographer Jack Ollila Lux Praguensis)


Ukraine Fringe, a Fringe is Born
Report from Steve Gove,
Prague Fringe Director.

Czech's Supporting Ukraine

Before we tell you about the exciting plans to set up a Fringe in Ukraine we would like to suggest this Czech charity as one you may wish to donate to this winter. 
'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 - Warmth to the Grandmothers on the Front)

In the middle of June an e-mail arrived in our inbox from Kyiv. An English language theatre company who wanted to bring their show to Prague Fringe. The programme was full but I immediately said yes and then asked what was the show about. Alex Borovensky the Founder and Director of ProEnglish theatre and myself had a Zoom a few days later and plans were formed. ProEnglish theatre travelled from Kyiv by train (26 hours) to the Fringe in September and they performed their show A Book of Sirens four times at the Museum of Alchemy. To find out more about the show and hear how the put it together in their theatre/ bombshelter while russian tanks surrounded their city check out the BBC Radio Scotland Interview at the link below.

Ahead of their trip to Prague and after a few Zooms, I mooted the idea of starting a network of Fringes in Ukraine to Alex, the Fringe concept does not exist at all in Ukraine although ProEnglish Theatre company's  5 year festival of English language theatre had a similar vibe to Prague Fringe. Alex loved the idea and a Fringe was born. The first Ukraine fringe will take place between 21st August and 3rd September (around the date of Uklrainian Independance Day (24th August) - Alex has rebranded his ProAct festival as Ukraine Fringe - ProEnglish theatre has been very active throughout the invasion and plays regularly to busy houses - with or without electricity! 

It has been wonderful meeting and working with Alex and his team. To witness the spirit, determination and resilience of the Ukrainians first hand has been humbling. I look forward to visiting Ukraine soon.

Slava Ukrajini

Steve Gove, Prague Fringe Director.

BBC Radio Scotland Interview with Steve Gove and Alex Borovensky 

If you are an artist and interested in performing at the first Ukraine Fringe (either online or live) the application window is now open - more info can be found at the Ukraine Fringe facebook page

(all show photos by our official Fringe photographer Jack Ollila Lux Praguensis)
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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 

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