The great outdoors will be our festival stage this summer - Karen Koren

What a dismal May it’s been; we’re already at the end of the month and it’s cold.

Thursday, 27th May 2021, 7:00 am
The Gilded Garden next to Teviot Row House

Bad May must mean good June and an amazing summer. What’s even more amazing is that we are getting closer to being allowed to put on live events again.

Pubs cafes and restaurants are open, which makes me feel as though everything should be open. Cinemas have reopened but with two-metre social distancing.

I have had no inclination to go as all the films they are showing can be seen on television at home.

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The new Disney movie Cruella is coming soon with Emma Stone – I think that would be worth seeing.

A Quiet Place Part II, on the other hand, is not my cup of tea, much as I like Emily Blunt. I didn’t go and see the first one and I have no desire to see the second.

The Gilded Balloon are planning on a small Fringe programme in August. We, like so many others, are waiting on the announcement from the Scottish government on how we will be able to open, if it is to be two metres social distancing or 1.5 metres. At the moment any theatre or cinema requires two metres. For venues at the Fringe this is unsustainable, as many of the venues are small rooms that are converted into little theatres and it’s impossible to socially distance, the capacities just cannot work at two metres or even 1.5 metres.

For this reason we will only be opening a few rooms that can handle a higher capacity and the seating will be capable of following the guidelines.

A 300-seater, therefore, becomes 100 seats and 120-seater becomes 50 seats and so on.

It is late to be programming too, as we would already have had our brochure published and all the shows on sale in other years.

This year our programme will consist of homegrown talent - this is the year for Scottish talent to shine.

We will be presenting line-up shows on an outdoor stage in Gilded Garden next to Teviot Row House, where we very much hope, if we are given permission, we will have theatre, comedy, magic and children’s shows.

I really look forward to be able to present a new programme of work again and for audiences to come and enjoy the Fringe.