Digital Transformation

British Council's Edinburgh Showcase 2011 to embrace digital media

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By The Drum Team | Staff Writer

July 29, 2011 | 4 min read

The British Council's Edinburgh Showcase 2011 is aiming to extend its global reach through digital media, using a new website and apps.

The showcase, which will take place on 22 – 27 August as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, has introduced a public-facing website for the first time, which will allow all visitors access to the content.

Brendan Griggs, head of drama and dance at the British Council, said: “The digital elements of this year’s showcase break new ground by giving some of the UK’s most innovative performing artists a global platform like never before.

“Furthermore, they will provide visitors to the festival with a deeper understanding of the programme that we have curated, offering more ways of engaging with the artists and their work.”

Video trailers for each of the productions, created in partnership with Arts Council England, have also been released on the website in order to help raise awareness. Each video embedded on the Edinburgh Showcase’s website will be jointly owned by the artist and the British Council, and will include an interview with the artists, along with curated archive footage.

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The videos will be able to be shared on social networks, with The British Council currently having 70,000 Facebook fans and 17,000 followers on Twitter.

Barbara Matthews, director of theatre at Arts Council England, said: “Enabling artists and arts organisations to make the most of digital technology and the opportunities it presents is a key ambition for the Arts Council and so it is extremely valuable for us to work with the British Council on this project. We are delighted that companies have been given support to reach international markets digitally and that projects we have funded will be featuring strongly.”

The programme of events at the showcase includes a panel discussion on the use of digital media in the arts, with panellists including Toby Coffey (National Theatre), Robert Delamere (Digital Theatre), Dick Penny MBE (Watershed) and other contributing speakers such as John McGrath (National Theatre Wales) and Hannah Rudman (GetAmbition). The event will be webcast and available to watch worldwide on the showcase website.

The iPhone and iPad app will work in two phases: initially providing a guide to the showcase, including specially commissioned content about the artists, as well as the @Edshowcase Twitter feed. The free app is intended for both general audiences and delegates. Phase two will use GPS-tracking to follow the ES2011 artists as they tour internationally and allow the audience to feed their comments and reviews on the productions directly through the app.

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