We EFF…ing did it!

Well friends, Edinburgh Fringe has drawn to an end, adding to the books another successful festival for ITI. While the team here at ITI HQ are still catching up on sleep (and washing), we look back on the hazy month of August where we pulled off over 110 performances! 

This year at the Fringe we achieved a bunch of new stuff, including: staging a brand new hub, Imagination Workshop; a Fringe debut with Only Fools The (cushty) Dining Experience; a new and improved venue for Pamela’s Palace; over 4,000 tickets sold at Faulty Towers The Dining Experience; and a lovely List bribe of some hard-earned cake with Confetti & Chaos. And that’s only to mention a few. 

So let’s take a minute to chat about our flagship show. It was Faulty Towers The Dining Experience’s 12th year at Edinburgh. As we said, over 4,000 tickets (like, wow) were sold for the 44 performances based in The George Hotel’s Kings Hall. On August 6th we even welcomed our ONE MILLIONTH customer (yes, you heard that right). It’s wild to think about the one million people since 1997 that have sat down at tables across the world to watch our Basils, Manuels and Sybils serve them up dinner and a bucket of laughs. We are so grateful for the audiences we have!

Something ITI loves doing is lifting up our actors and supporting them in their own creative work. That’s how we ended up with seven (!) Sybils at Edinburgh Fringe this year. Most of our Sybils were performing in their own productions (or other ITI shows) but we managed to get them all Sybiling together for a stellar photocall that ended up being featured in the Edinburgh Evening News!

Other highlights definitely included the Edinburgh Fringe debut of Only Fools The (cushty) Dining Experience! Over 1,000 tickets were sold as people raced to The Nags Head for an evening of pub trivia and laughs. Broadway World even gave us some great praise, saying “Only Fools is a belly-filling, rib-tickling experience that is sure to delight fans of the show as much as those not familiar with the sitcom.” Not bad for our first year there!

For Confetti & Chaos, this was our first year at the Fringe since our renaming and reimagining of the show formerly known as The Wedding Reception. You might remember it from last year when we took to the streets with horses and a carriage and lots of confetti! This year, our team worked hard making Confetti & Chaos the absolute worst wedding anyone has ever gone to – and everyone loved it! The show definitely packs more punch than ever so we decided to extend their run to London’s West End for three nights only. If you’re in town you can catch it 11-13 October at 7:30pm daily at Amba Hotel Charing Cross. 

More remarkable is that all three of these shows were hosted in one location, alongside 12 other independent shows. Based in the magnificent George Hotel, v119 – Imagination Workshop is a new hub for Edinburgh Fringe that is the brainchild of ITI’s Global business manager, Jared Harford, and Creative Director, Alison Pollard-Mansergh. The shows at IW were diverse, ranging from stand-up and sketch comedy, to cabaret and immersive dining experiences, children’s circus and drama. It will return in 2020 with applications for artists opening soon (we’ll let you know when!).

On the other side of town, the sassy ladies of Pamela’s Palace returned to the Fringe for the second time. Making their home in The Box at Assembly, they arrived in a whirlwind of hairspray after performing at both Adelaide Fringe Festival and Melbourne International Comedy Festival. They shared a massive month at Edinburgh with 10 promo spots, 20 flyering sessions, three Instagram takeovers and some killer photocalls. They received a steady stream of 5- and 4-star reviews; The Scottish Sun even said “It is a raucous comedy, the laughs are huge, and it is one of my favorite shows at this year’s festival”. Biggest of all, Pamela’s Palace got signed to a production company: from now on in the UK, the show will be presented by ITI in association with Dark Unicorn.

This year’s Edinburgh Fringe was a huge one for shows and admin team alike. We pulled out all the stops this year, proving we were bigger and better than ever! While we were away we went a little quiet on our own blog channel but recorded much of the month on our blog spot hosted by our friends at FringeReview. You can find our blogs on putting together an EFF hub, running a production company, branding for festivals, finding venues, adapting for unusual spaces, and getting reviewers in on the FringeReview website (here).

After a jam-packed Fringe we have lots to talk about and plenty of work arising. Planning for Edinburgh Fringe 2020 is already underway, so be prepared for something bigger and better!

We’ll leave you with a few more images from our month… Speak soon, friends!

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