Culture

 

Prague Fringe - Edinburgh's naughtier grandchild

 
photo:  (Steve Gove, photo: Jan Velinger)
 

This Friday sees the start of the 14th Prague Fringe one of the biggest events of the cultural season. This week I spoke to the founder of the festival Steve Gove. I began by asking him what set the Prague Fringe apart.

 
 

“Fringes the world over are different from other festivals and Prague Fringe is the same in that sense. We like to think of the festival as an experience, something to jump into and absorb. The idea is not to come and see just one show and then to go home but to see two or three, then to meet up with others afterwards to discuss what you saw, talk to others, maybe end up in a bar at the end for more discussion and so on. The experiences are varied: one minute you can laugh, cry, go on an exotic mini holiday; the aim is for people to jump in the deep end and for visitors to get the most out of it.”

Anybody who goes home early is basically selling themselves short… the website describes the Prague Fringe as Edinburgh’s naughtier grandchild… is it naughtier or is that just a catch-phrase?

“When we founded the Prague version the aim was always to create a smaller version of the Edinburgh Fringe. Perhaps the naughtiness was kind of taking the idea of the festival to Prague. Can it be naughty? Sure. Anything is allowed as long as it doesn’t break the law. That goes for the performers as well. It goes an open-access festival: you can express your work and present your opinions. In Prague, like Edinburgh, if you want to do a show about you and your dog in a telephone booth you can. Of course, the Edinburgh Festival is pretty naught itself and huge by comparison.”

There are many cities today which have their own Fringe Festivals…

“It’s true and we were not the second or third but many new ones came after us and caught on. It seems to be that Fringe festivals are in. Cities like them and there is a very good reason why: they bring people to the city not to see just beautiful buildings and churches and they bring them back the next year and the year after that. We have attendees who have been coming for most of the 14 years. So the fringe is a money-spinner as well. They are definitely big these days.”

(to be continued shortly)

 
Author: Český rozhlas Radio Praha
 
Added: 22.05.2015
 
 
 

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