This coming Sunday, TV production company Brown Eyed Boy are opening an all-year-round venue and sketch-based show called Alchemy EH1 in the Trinity Apse, part of the 15th century Trinity College Kirk on Chalmers Close, just off the Royal Mile.
Alchemy is the idea of Jemma Rodgers, who produced The League of Gentlemen and Irvine Welsh’s Wedding Belles, then became BBC Scotland’s Head of Comedy before moving to new Shine-owned Scottish-based venture Kudos Brown Eyed Boy which started earlier this year.
Alchemy is going to run for eight nights during the Fringe and then continue monthly in Edinburgh all-the-year round.
The idea is to develop new-ish writing and performing talent – including musical comedian Helen Arney and my comedy chum Janey Godley’s staggeringly talented daughter Ashley Storrie and “to nurture these acts through a team writing model used so successfully on shows like Saturday Night Live, and to enable us to forge a strong creative relationship with such a promising mix of non-London-centric talent.”
Cutting through the pseudo-American circumlocution, that is a bloody good idea. They team up talented people, let them develop new ideas and give them a regular live performance outlet. It is an especially bloody good idea given Shine, Kudos and Brown Eyed Boy’s US contacts.
Shine produce Merlin and Masterchef. Kudos have made Life on Mars, Spooks and Hustle as well as the movies Eastern Promises and Brighton Rock. Brown Eyed Boy are opening up a Los Angeles arm and have just had their Imran Yusuf Show pilot commissioned by BBC3 – Imran Yusuf was nominated as Best Newcomer in the Edinburgh Comedy Awards last year.
The hour-long Alchemy EH1 stage shows during the Fringe start at 10.00pm and are on:
Sunday 7th August
Friday 12th August
Saturday 13th August
Friday 19th August
Saturday 20th August
Thursday 25th August
Friday 26th August
Saturday 27th August
At the very least these shows sound a tad interesting and have impressive backing.
It is ironic that one of the most interesting and potentially successful ideas at the Fringe is not actually officially on the Fringe but is on the fringe of the Fringe.
Who knows what future years may bring?
I still have Fringe fever: a swirling of uncertainties in the head, coupled with a slight shiver of anticip….