Ever heard of Jasper Maskeleyne? Many haven’t these days – but he was quite remarkable. He was known as The War Magician and was a major inspiration for Kevin Quantum‘s ★★★★ Army@TheFringe show The Trick That Fooled. During the show Kevin, who is based in Edinburgh, recreated magic tricks that fooled the greatest and most creative people […]

Loneliness and social dislocation are the price some children pay for life in a military family – due to frequent moves and relocations. This makes it difficult to settle into education, establish friendships or even know where to call home. Dandelion by Creative Electric addresses these issues in a work of physical theatre created for this year’s […]

The head of the Army in Scotland, Brigadier Ben Wrench, raised the curtain at the Army’s own Edinburgh Fringe venue – a drill hall converted into a COVID-safe theatre space. With the Edinburgh Fringe facing so many challenges, the Army wanted to ensure that Hepburn House (which hosts Army@TheFringe) was one of the venues able […]

If someone mentions Army musicians what springs to mind? Changing of the Guard, The Edinburgh Military Tattoo, perhaps a sombre rendition of The Last Post. All very much part and parcel of what they do, but they have many other dimensions too. Take Colour Sergeant Dougie Anderson of the Lowland Band of the Royal Regiment […]

Are we the Makers or Victims of History?

Oli Yellop has that enviable capacity to make us see things from different angles and to put us in situations we could normally not imagine. Most of the time we trudge along in the mainstream of events – working, shopping, eating, sleeping and dreaming of our summer holidays. Of getting away from it all. His […]

Rosie Kay – The Mind is the Frontline

What risks do we face from the militarisation of cyber space and outer space? Is increased cyber security undermining the liberties and values we want to protect? Are artists the first line of defence? Does capitalist society really value the arts? These are just some of the questions leading choreographer and champion of the arts […]

As a small venue outside the Edinburgh city centre, with little walk up trade, Army@TheFringe has always had to work that bit harder to win audiences. Ticket sales tend to build as the Fringe goes on, as the result of reviews and word of mouth recommendations. This year we decided to return to in-person performances […]

From Page to Stage – a Platform for New Edinburgh Writers

When Michelle McKay returned to Edinburgh she found there were few opportunities to connect with other creatives and started Page2Stage as a solution. The idea was to provide a platform for new work and bring people together. As the arts seek to recover after the pandemic she’s relaunching the initiative during Army@TheFringe. This year’s Army@TheFringe […]

By Jordan Blackwood, Army@TheFringe producer It’s good to be back on stage at The Edinburgh Fringe. Last year we went digital and it worked well. But there’s huge yearning among performers and audiences alike to get back into venues and to soak up the atmosphere that is unique to in-person performance. A mark of that is […]

My Bumpy Road to The Fringe

Hi. I’m Lori Hamilton, writer and actor currently living in New York City. Between now and August, I’m planning to do a regular blog about the challenges of bringing a show to the Edinburgh Fringe (I’m also doing online performances for the Brighton Fringe) from the USA in 2021. You’ll hear about recording during Covid, how my cats […]

Army@TheVirtualFringe is drawing to a close with a delightful final flourish. Yesterday we were delighted to surprise 12-year-old Leila McPhate with a trip to Redford Barracks to be presented with a professional recording made by Army musicians of her rap inspired by the Windrush generation. Leila, from Larbert High School in Stenhousemuir, wrote The World Is A Dark […]

As the final week of Army@TheVirtualFringe gets underway Matthew Shelley takes a look at what’s coming up including more about what looks to be one of the big highlights – Patrick Baty’s talk on The Artists Rifles. From fading Victorian photographs to WWII cartoons – research into an astonishing collection of pictures and memorabilia is […]

Blurred Lines: Exploring Art and Identity

Harkirat Kaur Assi, or “just Kirat” as she is more commonly known, artistic director of Punjab Arts, will be leading an Army@TheVirtualFringe webinar on Monday, 24 August. In it she will use her own long relationship with the arts to delve into the increasing correlations and relationships it has with the themes of heritage, culture and […]

This Saturday sees the 75th anniversary of VJ Day – the surrender of Imperial Japan and the effective end of WWII. Army@TheVirtualFringe commemorates the anniversary with a streaming of part of Bill Aitchison’s play about life for Hong Kong citizens and Commonwealth troops interned during the brutal Japanese occupation. In this blog Bill explains the origins […]

Overcoming the Oversimplification British History

Lest We Forget explores the experiences of black Britons in the period around WWI. Co-writer Rasheka Christie-Carter writes about the importance of telling stories about black British history from before Windrush ahead of a reading of the play she wrote with Charlotte Green, which takes place on Tuesday 18 August as part of Army@TheVirtualFringe. There […]

Guerilla Art and the Spirit of the Fringe

 Guerilla art, military musicians and minority voices – Matthew Shelley writes that Army@TheVirtualFringe is on the way and is making a splash in the media. Would you necessarily think of the Army as being on the “front line of arts activism”? For a lot of people it’s not an automatic association. But a feature by […]

Care Assistant’s Journey To Become Army Photographer Of The Year

Rebecca Brown is a hugely talented photographer who’ll be talking about her work as part of Army@TheVirtualFringe. But she’s also a former care assistant and military medic – one of those people without whom society couldn’t function. In 2019 Corporal Rebecca Brown became the first female to be named Army Photographer of the Year. This […]

Sets, Sound, Vision And Success At The Fringe

Army@TheVirtualFringe is offering the chance to hear from expert designers, artistic directors and military musicians about how to get the best from sound, vision and stage sets. Huge amounts of sand, plus piles of sandbags were necessary to realise Anna Driftmier’s set for the critically acclaimed opera Dead Equal. By contrast, the remarkable projection was […]

The Art Of Being A Ridiculous Goof

Of all the different types of performance artists clowns are perhaps the most funny, charismatic and truthful. Aron De Casmaker, former Cirque du Soleil performer, will be presenting a workshop on the basics of clown performance during Army@TheVirtualFringe. Here he discusses their power to make us look at ourselves, our world, each other – and […]

So Little Gained, So Much Destroyed – An Assassin’s Tale

His name is Gavrilo Princip. He is the young assassin who shot and killed the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the murder that started the First World War. This one-hour play with live music explores his life, his legacy and the world he left behind. It was changed forever. My name is Oliver Yellop and I am […]

Compelling Pictures Win Audiences – Top Tips On Fringe Images

Theatre and performance photographer Mihaela Bodlovic knows all about creating compelling images that make audiences want to go and see shows. She will be leading an online worksop during Army@TheVirtualFringe to help companies ensure their media, marketing and promotional pictures stand out at future Fringe festivals. Read three top tips below. Your promotional image is one […]

Remembering The Black British Soldiers of World War I

The story of the black British soldiers who fought in World War I is little known and the race riots that took place in 1919 are largely forgotten. Charlotte Green talks about her work to explore what happened – something she and her co-writer Rasheka Christie-Carter will discuss as part of Army@TheVirtualFringe. The idea for […]

Tim Marriott – A Journey From Sit Com To Shell Shock

Actor Tim Marriott became known to millions in the sitcom The Brittas Empire. In recent years he has found an entirely new audience – returning to the stage with plays like Shell Shock that have found success at the Fringe and worldwide. Here Tim talks about his contribution to this year’s Army@TheVirtualFringe – and invites […]

Coming Out In The Army – The Story Of POSTERBOY

James Robert Moore’s play POSTERBOY will be featured as part of Army @ TheVirtualFringe. Here he writes about the origins of a project that explores the real-life experience of a soldier who did much to advance LGBT+ rights in the Army. Back in 2014 I Tweeted that I wanted to speak to openly gay soldiers […]

Veterans and Serving Soldiers Share Experiences of War, Peace and the Arts

While most of those who take part in this year’s Army@TheVirtualFringe are civilians some are serving soldiers or veterans involved in the arts. Experience of military life has spurred many veterans to express themselves through the arts. In other cases their role within the armed forces is one of artistic expression. The full programme of […]

Army@TheFringe Launches Online Programme For 2020

Jordan Blackwood, Producer of Army@TheFringe, introduces a special online initiative for 2020 – Army@TheVirtualFringe. When it was announced that the Edinburgh festivals weren’t going ahead this year, I felt a mix of relief and sadness. Relief that we were out of a strange limbo that meant we didn’t know whether to continue with planning our […]

The Most Courageous Woman I Ever Encountered

“The most courageous woman I have ever encountered” is Edinburgh author Louise Miller’s description of Flora Sandes. And her book A Fine Brother: The Life of Captain Flora Sandes is truly an account of bravery – both as a soldier in warfare and as a determined woman battling her way through a world riddled with […]

Australian Actors’ Tribute to Inspirational WWI Scottish Woman Doctor

A group of Australian actors have visited the memorial for Dr Elsie Inglis who set up the Scottish Women’s Hospitals to treat wounded soldiers during World War I. Their production, called Hallowed Ground written by Helen Hopkins and Carolyn Bock, traces the story of Australian female military doctors across the past 100 years. The first […]

Images From The Fringe Front Line

Behind every Fringe show there is a crowd of unseen people who make huge contributions to their success. The first rank of these who spring to mind will probably be the writers, directors and producers. After that you might think of technicians or set designers and builders. How about photographers? The shots that appear on […]

Asked to describe herself Natalie Clark said “Tall AF, goofy, brace face, professional, movie lover, total geek, sailor, food lover. My nails are always on fleek [yasssssss].” Jo Young answered the same question: “Yorkshire woman, mum of boys, poet, wild swimmer (ocean).” These words accompany the portraits on show in the Live Equal exhibition which have been […]

Untold Stories of Australia’s Women at War

The experiences of women in uniform too often go unreported. Hallowed Ground, which is part of the Army@TheFringe programme, is helping put that right. Created by The Shift Theatre from Australia, it follows the fortunes of four female military medics and a century of service. Here the team behind the drama explain its origins and […]

Press launches and photo shoots don’t always go as expected – all have their challenges and some present unexpected delights. Just as we gathered yesterday to start taking pictures of opera singers, brigadiers and actors linked to this year’s Army@TheFringe a fabulous 1950s Daimler rolled up and parked in front the the Hepburn House Army […]

A great tragedy, according to playwright Owen Sheers, is that each time we head towards war we suffer a national amnesia about the detail and awfulness of past conflicts. This was one of the motivations for writing Unicorns, Almost, a one man play being presented by  The Story of Books as part of this year’s Army@TheFringe […]

Lila Palmer believes that people can gain the strength to break down barriers today by knowing how our ancestors changed the rules that existed in the past. In 2016, when there was substantial controversy over the announcement that the British Army would accept women in full combat roles, the composer Rose Miranda Hall introduced her […]

Fringe venues are magnets for the extraordinary… And even though Army@TheFringe is among the smallest and newest, it aims to be diverse. Now in its third year it gives performing artists a chance to address an abundance of issues about life in and out of uniform. Over the next few weeks we hope that this […]