The organisers of Ukraine Fringe were determined that the festival would go ahead – they weren’t prepared to let the war with Russia stop them.
As final preparations are made, we caught up with festival founder, Alex Borovensky and asked him how he was feeling.
“I’m proud and humbled by artists from USA, UK, Hong Kong, France and Switzerland coming to Ukraine in person. What seems to be a regular day for a Ukrainian – air alarms, drones, missiles alerts – must be quite a thing to decide to experience. Feels like we’re standing shoulder to shoulder.
Ukraine Fringe is the symbol of ongoning Ukrainian resilience despite 1.5 years of full scale war.
Festival for the brave is the Ukraine Fringe motto. On one hand it is a tribute to all Ukrainians. On the other hand it is a courtesy to those international artists who are brave enough to come and support Ukraine at Ukraine Fringe this year.”
Of course many theatre companies who had planned to attend have been unable to appear in live performances and Scenesaver is proud partner to Ukraine Fringe so everybody wherever they are can support the festival by watching it online.
In addition, the generous people at Chewboy Productions, the UK company that specialises in filming fringe theatre performances, is sponsoring the festival and funding the recording of the live performances in Ukraine so that they can then be shown worldwide on Scenesaver. Chewboy said:
We’re thrilled to be the UK Film sponsors of this year’s @UkraineFringe, providing support to those in the country to shoot live performances.
Following on from the pandemic, there was a huge surge of digital work, and the need for people to deliver their work in new ways. This has been sustained, and we’re fortunate enough to be at the forefront of this mission to continue to make theatre accessible for all, and allow it to live beyond the four walls it traditionally resides within.
We could never have guessed the importance of this work, as more and more companies we speak to find it crucial to have their art captured digitally for so many reasons including for access and expansion, but also to give them a record of the work having been on for further life, and providing a further marketing tool for them too.
Finally, Alex reflected:
It is tremendously good to feel the non stop support of international community to our theatre and to the festival. It was very big in the first months of invasion. It is there still. Organisations such as Scenesaver (UK), Chewboy (UK), Prague Fringe (Czech republic) and many many others help and support our artistic struggle. For which we are very grateful.
Please get behind Ukraine Fringe, watch the online programme and help spread the word about the Festival for the Brave!
Ukraine Fringe (Kyiv Programme)
Aug 21 – Sep 3, 2023
6 countries (UK, USA, Ukraine, France, Switzerand, Hong Kong)
different genres: from butoh to stand up comedy, from experimental to a detective story
3 venues in historical centres of Kyiv
potential: 600 audience in Kyiv (Ukranians and visitors)
organized by ProEnglish Theatre of Ukraine, supported by AMO Pictures (Ukraine), Scenesaver (UK), Chewboy Productions (UK)
Find out more at www.ukraine-fringe.com