LONDON – As part of a collective agreement with other venue operators and The Festival Fringe Society, it is with great sadness that The Pleasance Theatre Trust has taken the decision to suspend planning for the 2020 Edinburgh Festival Fringe season. This follows the suspension of operations at the Pleasance Theatre in London earlier this month.
While the Pleasance remains hopeful that we will be through the worst of this crisis by August, public safety remains their top priority. It is clear that there are a great many uncertainties and this constantly evolving situation has the potential to create a great deal of personal risks for performing companies, artists and venues. The ‘unknown’ is undoubtedly one of the Fringe’s most exhilarating characteristics. However, in this instance, it is one that creates critical challenges. It is for these reasons that the decision to suspend has been made now.
The Pleasance has stood proudly at the centre of the Fringe community for 35 years and exists to champion great voices, ideas and experiences – an ethos that remains unchanged. Committed to supporting artists, the Pleasance will be refunding any deposits and marketing fees already paid by companies. As part of the communication with existing ticket holders, the Pleasance will be giving audiences the option to convert their tickets into donations that will be shared between the venue and performing company.
Anthony Alderson, Director of the Pleasance, says: “Our primary concern is for public safety. In light of the current risk to public health, and with so much uncertainty about future risk, we firmly believe there is no alternative but to suspend any plans. We also want to avoid the significant financial liabilities that performers and visiting companies could have by going forward. I sincerely thank and congratulate all of those artists that have spent so long creating such incredible work. We truly hope that it has not been in vain. Our programme is curated with works that excite and challenge us – this remains the case.”
“These artists continue to be part of the Pleasance family and, whether it is in London or Edinburgh, we would be delighted to continue discussing future opportunities. In time, when restrictions are lifted and life returns to a new kind of normality, we will reopen and once again capture that undefinable Fringe spirit that embodies all those who perform with us, work with us and visit us. Our London theatre’s doors will open as soon as we’re able and we will return to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe galvanised within a renewed purpose. We will establish new ways to support artists and even better routes to help audiences discover them. We will thrill, amaze, provoke and entertain. We will persevere. We hope we can do this together.”
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