Hello and Welcome
By Giles Moss on March 11th
Hi, and welcome to theSpaceUK Production Team blog, in which we intend to offer a window into the nitty gritty for the detail of what goes into running the largest programme on the Fringe. Over the course of the next few months we're going to introduce you to some of the key players at theSpaceUK, we'll take deep dives into how some of our systems work and likely mention risk assessments, networks, cables, lights, dimmers and amps. We’re going to talk venue design, ticket printing, truck scheduling... it’ll be fun!
A bit about some of us
TheSpaceUK's core team has been friends for countless years, we do it out of passion for the Fringe, for technical theatre, and because it turns out to be a great outlet for a lot of our hobbies at once. Our intention, stemming from how we all started at the Fringe, is to provide good, reliable venues and top-quality technical support for those using them.
Our Creative Director, Charles, and the Senior Production Team are engaged with theSpaceUK year-round. The rest of our large team comes on board at various points through the year as their input is required.
I'm Giles (mainly I'll be the one writing these blogs) and this is my 20th year. We've also got Gareth, who's done slightly more years, Ian, who's done slightly fewer (but who's counting) and Mark, who is a mere newcomer with 'only' a decade-and-a-bit with us.
We all bring different yet overlapping personalities to theSpaceUK, and while there are no hard and fast divisions of labour, we've all settled into our own roles: Gareth knows our theatres inside out, understands implicitly what our performing companies and staff need and has a great eye for photography (indeed most photos on our website are from him). Ian is our resident systems expert and software guru, develops our websites and ticketing system and generally has a firm handle on how things should best be done. I have a focus on big architectural elements of our operation, do some graphic design and desktop publishing, wrangle CAD plans of venues, write documentation and obsess over our computer networks and phone systems. Mark handles our computers and everything IT on site and, as the one of us most recently having tried his hand at venue management, keeps us in touch with the fundamentals of what we're doing.
There is a large cohort of others who come on board for part of the year to help us with the production side, whether it's recruiting our teams, helping with web development, running pre production for our companies or staffing our Press Office. Everyone we work with has known us for years and we regard these people as almost family - certainly very good friends (we have even had a few marriages between our team) - and it’s this friendly crucible in which our unique ethos is forged.
Even our keen group can’t run the whole show alone so we recruit many more staff to run our venues and box offices on site. From venue managers and technicians, box office team, front of house staff, and even people to look after flyers, in late July our team expands to well over a hundred people.
We all got into the Edinburgh festival via artistic background backgrounds including event production, student theatre and amateur radio. While the the nature of the work we typically do for theSpaceUK now has moved us into other, more admin (boo) areas, we all still get a huge thrill when we see companies putting fantastic productions on stage in the theatres we've built for them.
Happy New year
To say the Production Team has had a few months off is an overstatement, but we do take it a bit easier in the final few months of the year. The Fringe just completed has been put to bed and except for a few discussions over email about headline things to tackle for the next year, nothing much needs our attention. All is peaceful.
Then, new year hits and literally overnight “next year's Fringe" becomes this year. And so it begins!