Features

Best in Class Returns to Edinburgh Fringe

After a successful Edinburgh run last year supporting and showcasing working-class comedians Best in Class is back fundraising for another run at the Fringe. Best in Class is a crowd-funded, profit sharing show that champions the talent of working-class comedians.

The project was set up by Liverpool comedian Sian Davies who had the idea after she experienced difficulties financing a place on an established Edinburgh Fringe showcase. Believing that the barriers facing working-class performers in the arts are systemic, Sian set up Best in Class.

In 2018 the project took nine working-class comedians to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe. The group worked tirelessly in the run-up to the festival to crowdfund the costs involved with taking a show to the fringe. Crucially, none of the acts paid to participate in the show and they all received payment for the work they did.

Sian selected an exceptional lineup. Of the comedians involved last year, two were nominated for the Leicester Mercury Comedian of the year, one was signed by an agent, two are doing tour support for huge names, one was selected for Leicester Circuit Breakers and several are developing shows for 2019. They really are the best in class.

One showcase member, Kathryn Mather said: “I had a great time with Best In Class – I made new friends and it enabled me to perform at Edinburgh Fringe when I absolutely couldn’t have done otherwise.”

Drew Taylor said: “Best in Class taught me so much about what it takes to flyer, gather an audience and perform a show every day with a great group of like-minded comedians who are in the same boat as you. Because the show was crowdfunded and all I was required to bring to the table was my comedy, this meant I could actually afford to attend the Fringe for the first time. Without the support from Best in Class, that wouldn’t have been possible. As a result I took part in over 30 comedy shows over six days and developed exponentially as a comedian. None of this would have been possible without the support that Best in Class provided.”

Applications are now open for working-class comedians who would like to be part of the 2019 team. Acts commit to a week at the fringe, they arrange their own travel and accommodation. They will fundraise in the run-up, taking part in showcases, interviews and other events. Whilst at the fringe they will be involved in flyering and the day to day running of the show. They must not already be taking part in another show but are encouraged to seek spots on compilation shows during their time at the fringe. Acts pay nothing to be part of the show and are all paid for their contribution from the profit that is made.

Best in Class will return to the fringe in 2019 as part of the Laughing Horse Free Fringe Festival. Running daily at 15:30 1st-25th August at The Counting House. For more information click here!

To apply to take part click here! 

To donate click here!