Best In Class, the profit sharing show that champions the talent of working class comedians, is now open for applications for Edinburgh 2020.
Best In Class has been designed to help comedians from working class backgrounds perform at the Edinburgh Fringe. Acts arrange their own travel and accommodation and commit to a week appearing in the Best In Class shows at the festival. In return, they are paid for their contribution from the profit that is made from the audience and fundraising campaigns.
Acts must not already be taking part in another show but are encouraged to seek spots on compilation shows during their time in Edinburgh.
The project was set up in 2018 by Sian Davies, a working class comedian from Liverpool as a way of combating the systemic barriers facing working class performers in the arts. Over the last two years Best In Class has supported 16 working class comedians to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe. She says: "The acts work tirelessly throughout the year to crowdfund the costs involved. Crucially, none of the acts pay to participate in the show and they all received payment for the work they do."
Kathryn Mather, who took part in a previous year, says: "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."
Charlie George comments: "Best In Class was an invaluable experience for me. I never would have got the chance to develop my stand-up in front of sold out rooms every day at the fringe without the backing and support of Best In Class. (And to walk away with money to cover some of my costs was a flipping great bonus!)"
Drew Taylor says: "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 6 days and developed exponentially as a comedian. None of this would have been possible without the support that Best In Class provided."
To find out more about applying to take part, see the application form, which includes criteria details and answers to commonly asked questions. The form will close mid-January.
Ahead of the Fringe, fundraising shows are already planned for Leicester Comedy Festival, Vault Festival, Brighton Fringe and Greater Manchester Fringe. Find out more at bestinclass.org.uk
Comedy fans and industry individuals who are able to contribute to the crowdfunding campaign should visit gofundme.com