Share |

Steve Gove of the Fringe Festival: Blown Away 2.

Go see it all Friday 27th May to Saturday 5th of June
photo: Fringe Festival

Fringe is the place where the future stars are born. the famous theatre festival that was born in Edinburgh is taking place in Prague also. We chatted with its director and founder, Steve Gove. Read part 2 of our interview.

How long does it take to prepare such a festival? 

Preparation almost takes a whole year. In August applications open. Groups from all over the world apply to take place. In August, of course, we visit Edinburgh and try to find some cool shows who might like to come. In September we are booking theatres and finding sponsors and from October we are programming. In January we are preparing the brochure, translating the show descriptions and finalising the programme. From March we start to slowly promote the event and everything goes on sale in April. The team in Prague is very small - just me and a few colleagues who work part time doing the website, design etc etc so we need the whole year to prepare. My colleagues who work most often with me are in England, Hong Kong and New Zealand.

Who was the biggest star of the Czech fringe, and who is the VIPest VIP in the global version of it?
Difficult question. Stephen Frost is a famous British comedian who has performed here many times. He is most well known for an 80's tv programme called 'Whose Line is it Anyway' he has even appeared in a Mr Bean series. Two years ago we had Alison Mack performing in a show in Studio Rubin. Allison plays Chloe in the American tv series 'Smallville'. Fringe is not really about 'fame' or 'VIPs', Fringe is mainly new work by young companies and sometimes where tomorrow's stars are starting their careers. John Cleese, Rowen Atkinson (Mr Bean) and more recently the boys from 'Little Britain' all performed at the Fringe in Edinburgh many years before anyone really knew who they were.

What is it like to work with such a  vast amount of actors and theatre people?

Once everyone arrives it's a great atmosphere. The groups are from all over the world and have worked hard to raise the funds to be able to come so there is a great sense of achievement on the first day. Usually by the end of the festival new friendships have been forged and in some cases new profesional relationships too.

At how many places is Fringe happening? Those are not just theaters, right?
Fringe takes place in seven spaces this year including Malostranska Beseda, Divaldo Inspirace, Kavarna 3+1 and Divadldo Kampa so there is a variety of styles of spaces not just classic theatres.

Any funny stories related to the event?

Plenty! I think the funniest or at least the strangest for me was standing on Charles Bridge surrounded by 20 scottish bagpipers in full costume thinking 'where am I?'

Any changes this year? Do you have any new venues and where will the whole thing take place?

Divadlo Kampa and A Studio Rubin hold events for the whole festival.

Which events will be the biggest, what do we absolutely have to see?
Really hard to say at this time but look out for the singer song-writer Merry-May Gill from Australia she performed at the first Fringe in Prague and is coming back for the 10th. There will be an influx of American and British Theatre groups too as usual and the winner of the 'Best Of' from Amsterdam Fringe our Fringe sister!

You are going to Australia to meet other Fringe people. What are these conferences like and what kind of people does one meet there?

The conferences are a great opportunity to swap ideas and meet people who are doing similar things. The conference that I am attending in Perth Australia is being organised ahead of their first Fringe in 2012. I regularly attend Amsterdam Fringe and in the past Dublin Fringes too I think including Prague I have been to over 35 Fringes in total!

The performances are mostly in English, why should Czechs go there to see them?
Performances are mostly in English but some of them are 'lighter' than others - the brochure has a language difficulty guide so that people can choose. There's quite a lot of music this year too which is of course an international language! Czech's are speaking beautiful English now and have no excuse not to come. More often than ever Czech's are practicing their language skills by watching British and American TV via the internet. Fringe is about getting out and experiencing it live and then having a few drinks in the Fringe club afterwards!

How do the Czechs react to the shows, any special memories?
Czech's that I have met who have been to the Fringe always seem to have positive experiences. Even with the most challenging shows (linguistically) there is a lot you can get from a piece of theatre in another language even if you don't understand a word. Typical comments might include 'oh my god that was so funny, but I didn't understand a word'. Joking aside the type of Czech's that come to the Fringe are well read, intelligent and young so English is not usually a problem from them.

Last but not least (we ask everyone): what do you do against the gray?

Apart from the colour of my hair NOTHING in my life is grey, I oppose grey at every opportunity!

view counter
Webové aplikace by iQuest s.r.o.