Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Black Dingo's David MacFarlane

Black Dingo Productions is a not-for-profit community with a DIY ethic. It supports Edinburgh’s emerging talent in theatre and brings affordable theatre to audiences year round.
It works as an umbrella under which established theatre professionals can work together with others looking to become more established, and create work for the benefit of all.
It was founded by David McFarlane in 2012. The name comes from one of the first characters David ever played.
The benefits of working together sparked an idea: if two people collaborating make things this much easier, imagine what could be done with more people all working to the same end.
And from there the community grew.
Can you tell me a little about the evolution of the company?
The company started out as me cobbling together shows that I liked with amateur groups. I was then lucky enough to meet Jen McGregor of Tightlaced Theatre we were talking about the problem with funding and generally how to set the theatre world to rights. From those conversation the basics of Black Dingo Productions were established and eventually it progressed to the point we now co own a theatre space called Discover 21. The overriding goal is to find way to do good theatre make it affordable and make it accessible.

How do you keep going during 'the rest of the year'?
We run most of our small scale performance at Discover 21 which we own which helps to keep down costs. We are helped by St Margarets house who own the building Discover 21 is in. Black Dingo was designed to be a non profit company, we try to get our shows to break even then the money can be used to fund the next show and if shows make a loss we look for funding either from business or individuals (most commonly our own bank balances)

This is an ambitious line up: is there any particular 'curation' of the companies that Black Dingo work with?
We work with companies through out the year and they tend to be who we look to at Fringe time. As we grow we are looking at finding ways to increase our support of local theatre companies doing good work. We are looking for a certain quality threshold with the intention of making the Black Dingo seal of approval a guarantee of a certain amount of ticket sales.

Is the Fringe a good place for BD to put work out? Are there any issues with the size or nature of it?
Are intention is to produce fringe style theatre all year round so the fringe should be our natural home, obviously the problem is there are 4000 other people who also believe it is their natural home. We are lucky to have strong ties with the Just festival and this year with the Scottish storytelling centre which means we have tow organisation willing us to succeed which helps a lot. Hope fully our ambition will be rewarded and we will have a great Fringe which will allow us to work with the Edinburgh grassroots all year round.

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