Empowering Young People on the Fringe

Thu 04th July 2013

Every year the Fringe attracts around 2 million visitors and puts a spotlight on arts in the capital. It also provides a great opportunity for the young people of the city to get involved in the world’s largest arts festival. This year, comedian Mark Olver has chosen Impact Arts as the charity to receive profits made through his Fringe show ‘Dancing About Architecture: Comedians Talking About Comedy’.

Mr Olver chose the charity because of their employability programme in Edinburgh. Impact Arts is working with a group of unemployed young people in Edinburgh through Creative Pathways Theatre Arts. The programme provides an opportunity for young people aged 16-19 who are not currently involved in in education, employment or training to choose from a range of creative paths to employment.

Jay McAlister, Regional Manager Impact Arts Edinburgh said:

“Creative Pathways Theatre Arts focuses on developing skills in the world of creative arts with a view to tying young people into the festival city of Edinburgh. The 18 week programme offers a choice of three paths where young people learn skills in costume design, set and theatre design or performance, drama and movement.

“We are so pleased that Mark has chosen us to be the beneficiaries of his Fringe show, which I’m sure is going to be a great success. We believe this is going to strengthen our ties with the Fringe Festival even further.

“Last year, the young people from one of our other programmes, Gallery 37, performed a play on The Mound as part of the festival. We are keen to maximise opportunities for the talented young people of the city, who can sometimes feel side-lined during the festival.”

The month long show, based at Assembly Checkpoint, will take the form of a discussion between Mr Olver and some of the best performers at the Fringe. The comedians will talk about how they write and why they love comedy. Previous guests on ‘Dancing About Architecture’ include Johnny Vegas, Jon Richardson, Russell Howard and Josh Widdicombe.

In addition to the proceeds going towards enabling young people to learn new skills for a more positive future, Mr Olver is also looking to hire some of the young people on the Creative Pathways course as part of his marketing team.

Mark said:

“I was signposted to Impact Arts by a number of different people on the comedy circuit. After finding out more about the work that they do, and realising just how little I engage with Edinburgh on a wider scale than just rocking up every August, I am really excited to get involved.

“This is a show I’m really proud of, and this is by far the biggest room I have ever been offered in Edinburgh. It is also potentially the most money I will ever earn from doing the festival. And so I have decided to give it all away. This is about trying to do my small part in bringing attention to the issues that exist in that magnificent city and the ways that us less than magnificent comedians can somehow put something back.”



Mark Olver’s ‘Dancing About Architecture’, Assembly Checkpoint, 13:45 on August 5th to 22nd, excluding Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

Mark Olver: http://markolver.com/

For more information on Creative Pathways Edinburgh please contact [email protected] or 0131 661 9102.

Mark Olver Poster Front

Mark Olver Poster back

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