Fringe Theatre

My Show at the Fringe

Notes from...a director?

The authors of this play, Barrie Keeffe, wrote that “The whole conceit of the play was the classic Aristophanes idea that the audience knows more than the main character does. Delroy comes in thinking, “Oh, I’ve just got picked up again on Sus, another waste of time, let’s have a laugh.” The audience – and the cops – knows it’s much more serious.’’

The creation of this production has been an experience of perseverance from the actors, and tutors, and everyone that contributed to this show has been an integral component for us to make it to this stage. In fact I have nearly imploded and exploded so many times, I have become a puffer fish, all bloaty and panicky. 

Would you like a flavour of the current diatribe? ”What is happening, why am I acting in a show no one will see, that hasn’t been promoted or rehearse, with no production company and actor missing and a non-existant budget….with nothing to prove but everybody right that doesn’t like you….Thank you to the theatre. I hope that you enjoy this dastardly tale.

-Dale Edwards, Director

Dale Edwards is a Mancunian actor and director who played Leon Delroy in The UOB Lowry Showcase. In fact, Dale played the role so well, it was recommended that he consider acting as a profession, and is now appearing at The Empty Space Footlights theatre. The critically praised 1981 play features Sus is a shocking and disturbing drama which protests against the rise of the right-wing, the infringement of civil liberties and the casual humiliation which the police inflict on their prisoners. Exploring the abuse of power and racism, Sus is a resonant, socially charged and powerful play, as relevant today as it was in 1979.






















What’s The Difference Between Theatre And Fringe Theatre Directing

A fringe theatre director directs to direct (fringe theatre) while a theatre director to work (workshops, facilitation, TV and radio and films and theatre too). To put it bluntly: a fringe theatre director bares their soul; a theatre director sells their soul.

Essentially, fringe theatre directing and theatre directing are about words and ideas? Right. And about making a play worth to going to see? Right? So if you can do this articulately, you can be both? Wrong

Here’s a quick guide to six differences Between a Theatre And Fringe Theatre Director

  1. Cost (paying peanuts v paying nuggets)
As a director, you are paid in accordance with ITC and Equity rates, ITC negotiates minimum rates of pay, on behalf of its members, with the appropriate unions for: administrative staff, choreographers, designers, directors, fight directors, performers, stage managers and writers.


  1. Limitations (self-promotion v sales promotion)

As a fringe theatre director, you have no restrictions about what to direct (unless directing a show for a client). direct for yourself and you can work on zillions of plays and become a play master, with trusted, authentic and relevant content. As a theatre director, you’re paid to do the hard work in building on a theatre’s brand. I guess it’s self promotion too though as the better the work you do, the more you’ll also get known and the better the work you’ll get.


  1. Experience (learn the easy way v learn the hard way)

Want to be a fringe theatre director? Put pen to paper, find your voice and start directing.Want to be a theatre director? Get work experience if you can. Get a job in a theatre if you can. Spend ages building up a portfolio. And win some awards. Being a theatre director is tough because, unlike a fringe theatre director and unless you’re freelance or run your own company, you’re not the boss of you.


  1. Voice (dance to your own tune or dance to someone else’s fiddle)

If you’re a fringe theatre director, you can do your own thing. If directing a show for a theatre or company, you have to do theirs. And you have to be bendily versatile. Can you direct authoritatively with a new play that has just come out of 3 stages of R&D, and prosaically about the revival of one of their past popular productions.


  1. Mindset (self preservation v self determination)

There’s a lot in the press about the challenges that directors face, from the difficulties of maintaining a ‘yes, I’m still loved – phew’ following to the agonies of having to become an agony aunt for peers. When I attended a theatre making workshop with theatre director Roy Weiss Alexander, he discussed how being a director can be quite a lonely thing for some. He discussed his experiences of networking as an emerging director vs a successful director and he stated how the pressure and social environment carry a lot of emotional weight. As a theatre director, can you remain professional at all times and respond efficiently to feedback yet still retain the award-winning part of an idea while managing to keep everyone happy?


  1. The long and the short of it (waxing lyrically v waxing back)

Directing theatre isn’t easy. Most theatre directors learn to think in short blocks. Snappy ones, too. And start sentences with and. Directing is about persuading, there’s a reason why there’s a limit to the amount of space/time in a press ad or 30” TV commercial anyway to make a point. As a fringe theatre director, you have the freedom to go on and on. And on.


Do direct fringe theatre No – and yes. My home page states that I do direct fringe theatre. It’s not strictly true but due to the type of enquires I’ve received in the past (see point 1), I’ve had to add it. However, I currently edit one or two pieces a week for a SME Film company. I’m always happy to direct fringe theatre for anyone who realise the true value of a play that’s well researched, well written and well directed. And who’ll therefore pay well for a theatre experience, instead of paying peanuts.

SUS by Barrie Keeffe

@The Empty Space

Fringe Shows

Worth seeing

 debut solo show launching at the Greater Manchester Fringe Festival 2019. “What am I even doing here? Wasn’t I supposed to be famous and successful by now? Is this it? If this is it, I might as well start getting fat.” 

Following on from ‘Snowflakes’, their sold-out new writing showcase, Hung Theatre presents ‘Bypass’. Influenced by the homes, villages, towns and cities decimated by developments, gentrification and urbanisation (to name a few), 

Meet Aurora. Aurora is your dream girl. Aurora is anything you want her to be. Aurora is 23 and living next door to you…Aurora orders an Indian every Friday and loves Blue Planet. 


Please come and see the show and give a review