Press release

The Sick of the Fringe: celebrating science, health and art at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Science and health are to be front and centre stage in a mini-festival of events during this years’ Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The Sick of the Fringe is bringing together scientists, doctors and performers to explore and debate major issues in research, medicine and the human condition, as well as celebrating the shows in the Fringe that do the same.

The Sick of the Fringe (TSOTF) culminates in two main events at theSpace @ Symposium Hall (V43) on 27 and 28 August, headlined by keynote speakers, neuroscientist Sir Colin Blakemore and actor, comedian and disability rights activist Liz Carr. Over the first two weeks of the Fringe, Brian Lobel will be working with a team of guest curators to pick the most innovative artists from the Festival to present their work as Opening Acts at these events.

Other TSOTF events at Summerhall and Forest Fringe will include Open Meetings featuring Bryony Kimmings and Tim Grayburn, Simon McBurney, Laura Dannequin and many others.

TSOTF has been conceived by artist, performer and Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellow Brian Lobel, whose work on the body and illness has shown at the Edinburgh Science Festival, Edinburgh Festival and Forest Fringe. The programme has been commissioned by the Trust as a way of highlighting the diverse range of biomedical themes and topics inspiring Fringe artists every year.

Brian Lobel said: "I am so excited to be working with the Wellcome Trust to celebrate the voices of artists in scientific and medical inquiry. The Fringe is all about surprising sources of inspiration – a play that challenges your political opinion, a devastating cabaret act, a comedian who makes you cry – and, just like a scientific discovery, these sources of inspiration have the most impact when they are nourished, shared and given appropriate platforms. The Sick of the Fringe might just be one such platform, and we look forward to collaborating with emerging and established artists from the Fringe, and sharing their radical ideas for both medicine and performance."

TSOTF is also running a series of Wellcome Trust surgeries for Fringe performers and attendees. These surgeries will provide the opportunity to find out more about the Trust’s work in theatre and arts funding, with staff on hand to talk about collaborations between artists and scientists as well as to answer specific project related questions.

Simon Chaplin, Director of Culture & Society at the Wellcome Trust, added: "We’re passionate about collaborative projects which bring together the arts and sciences. Each year we support a host of fantastic shows and performances at the Fringe, and are always thrilled to see many others that work with similar ideas. This year, Brian Lobel’s TSOTF programme provides a unique platform for drawing out these connections and celebrating the different kinds of creativity that underpin art and science. We can’t wait to see who or what will be the Sick of the Fringe!"

Further details are available on the Sick of the Fringe website.

Follow @TSOTFringe on Twitter using #TSOTF15