Behind the Scenes: LEAP Fringe Festival

For LEAP’s first ever Fringe we partnered with LIPA, working with two second-year students Michaela Munden and Grace Bell. Here’s what they’ve been getting up to in preparation for the festival.

What interested you about working with MDI on our Fringe festival?  

Grace: I got involved as part of my Practical Management Project. I aspire to work in live theatre, music and dance events, and its been great that our course opens up so many doors to collaborate with local artists and producers. I feel so lucky to have been introduced to the creative team at MDI and have the opportunity to work as a producer on LEAP’s fringe festival – it’s without a doubt the most special project to date!

Michaela: It’s great that the Fringe is aimed at performers who might be looking to “break into” the industry, but haven’t been given the chance just yet. LEAP’s fringe is an amazing opportunity for aspiring acts to be seen, and making the industry more accessible and affordable is something I’ve always been very passionate about.

Where has your inspiration come from for pulling it all together?

M: The fact that an event like this hasn’t been done before is definitely inspiring! We’re helping to create something completely new, so there aren’t any expectations – only the chance to make the Fringe whatever we want it to be. The main starting point was Hope Street, and we knew we wanted the festival to work its way down the road, creating a pathway of performances.

G: I just really want to be part of creating something spectacular and memorable – the more unusual the better. There’s so much talent in this city, and this is a perfect way to prove that performers don’t need a stage to share what they can do.

Can you tell us a little about the process so far? 

M: We’ve had lots of planning meetings with the MDI team so far to understand the vision of the overall festival. Grace and I have equal and important roles to play, which so far has included programming the acts, creating budgets and working with MDI on marketing. As we’re just four weeks away from the first day of the Fringe, Grace and I are going to be busy liaising with venues and finalising schedules, to ensure our partner venues and performers are all happy and prepared.

What are you most looking forward to on Fringe weekend?

G: Watching the audience respond to our programme of incredible performers – hopefully people will feel inspired to bring dance into their lives in some way afterwards. I’m also excited to celebrate the fantastic locations and businesses we’re working with – it will be an honour to introduce new audiences to these venues.

M: I just can’t wait to see Hope Street come to life as we fill the street with performance. With the whole Fringe being free, it’s going to be great watching people stumble across a performance and stay to watch. I’m excited to surprise all those unsuspecting audiences who just happen to be on Hope Street that weekend.

LEAP’s first ever Fringe Festival takes place Friday 11 – Saturday 12 October, and is completely free!

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