Our Top Hacks For The Edinburgh Fringe

It’s now less than 2 weeks until the start of The Fringe, and it’s safe to say we’re all very excited! 

However, The Fringe can be intense, and especially if you’re there for the whole month you can start to lose your grip on reality. So we thought we’d help you out and prevent that from happening with our own list of tips/tricks/hacks, whatever you’d like to call them, for how to make the most of The Fringe and ensure you enjoy every second.  

Firstly, let’s start with the most important question ‘What shows should I see?’   

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Well, these are our top tips:

  • Don’t go to The Fringe and just see the big names.
  • Try and find something a bit different. 
  • If you’re stuck for ideas and overwhelmed by the huge range of shows on offer you could: – Ask people for recommendations  OR – Use the Fringe’s Imagination Machine which will generate 3 random show suggestions complete with mini previews.  
  • See something that you would never normally choose – you never know you might just be pleasantly surprised! 
  • While you should definitely make sure you plan to see the shows you really want to see, also don’t be afraid to take a day just to wander around the city and go and see things spontaneously. 

That’s great, now I have my list of shows I want to see, but ‘how can I save my money for these shows?’    

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Well firstly:  

  • Prepare for the expense – You can do The Fringe on the cheap. There are plenty of fab Free Fringe Shows and you can save your paid shows for the ones you really want to see. However, you should go into this with your eyes wide open. Everything costs more than you thought you would. The Fringe is great, but also expensive.   

It’s not all doom and gloom however, there are ways to save those pennies!: 

  • Eat in rather than going out for every meal. 
  • Notes for participants: 1. Some bars and clubs will give you a fringe card. Revs did one one year and it gave you £1 shots (what a bargain!). 2. Get a participant’s pass from Fringe Central at Appleton Tower. This is a Free Fringe branded lanyard that allows you access to the Fringe Central Networking and other events. (Additional FYI: Lots of people around the city will give you discounts if you’re wearing it).   

That’s fab! But what else can I do to make my Fringe experience the best it possibly can be? Funny you should ask! Here you go!   

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Miscellaneous tips on how to have a good Fringe: 

  • DO NOT BE AFRAID to go to shows on your. It’s not weird, it’s not awkward, and why should you miss out just because none of your friends want to go with you
  • Pack light, and make sure all your things are well organised. You’re going to be living out of your suitcase for a month, so you’re not going to want too much washing but you also want to ensure you will be able to find all your belongings!
  • Make sure you give yourself time to get from one show to another. You don’t want to have to run through the streets of Edinburgh, it’s not pleasant! 
  • Be nice to flyerers – they have a tough job, and you can always recycle their flyers after you’ve taken them! 
  • Always have a raincoat on you – Edinburgh weather is temperamental at best. 
  • Don’t be afraid to carve out time for yourself. The Fringe is a lot, and you will be surrounded by people constantly. While this is lovely for the most part, there is nothing wrong with needing to have a bit of ‘me time’ to replenish your inner introvert.   

There you go, everything we think you need to know about how to survive and thrive at The Fringe! We can’t wait to see you at The Greenhouse in less than two weeks!!!

 

 

 

Three Things To Consider For An Ocean-Friendly Lifestyle

On Wednesday, the wonderful Caroline Duncan (GOES’s marine biologist) and Dr Stephanie Terreni Brown (co-director of GOES) sat down with our Artistic Director Oli Savage for a super fun and informative chat. (Don’t worry if you missed it, you can catch it here! – insert link).

We all learnt many, many things. But our main take home was that everyone can do their bit to make our oceans cleaner. So, in the spirit of this, here’s our take on three ways to change your lifestyle to make it more ocean-friendly.

1.Eat in a way that reduces your carbon footprint.  

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A study by Oxford University in 2018 found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the biggest way to reduce your impact on earth’ and that giving up beef will reduce your carbon footprint more than stopping driving cars. The results of this study and others which have come to similar results has prompted many environmentally-conscious individuals to shun meat and dairy in favour of a plant-based diet. In Great Britain, for example, the number of vegans quadruped from 2014 to 2018.

Now, we’re not saying you have to go vegan. What people chose to eat or not eat is entirely down to them. However, cutting down on your meat and dairy consumption will have undeniable, positive effects on the cleanliness of our oceans. Not just because decreased consumption of animal products will result in less CO2 emissions. But also because less demand for meat and dairy will result in less livestock – which has a surprising benefit.

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Water supplies are not only polluted by agricultural practices, there are also contaminated by the animals themselves. Say, for example, that a farmer is grazing their cows in a field where there is a stream. Well it stands to reason that the cows will at some point walk over to the stream and ‘do their business’, polluting said stream. In other words, less meat and dairy = less animals = less excrement in our water sources. (Sounds like a winner to us!).

2. Think about the water footprint of food.

Dr Stephanie Terreni Brown highlighted a factor during our livestream which we think deserves a bit more attention: when it comes to preserving the health of our oceans, we do not only have to think about our carbon footprint, but our water footprint too!

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How do we go about reducing our water footprint then?

Well, there are simple solutions like turning the tap off while you brush your teeth and taking shorter showers. There are, however, other factors you can take into consideration. The production of products such as rice, cotton, and almonds are huge water drains. Therefore, in order to reduce our water footprint we should also consider reducing the consumption of products that have a big water footprint.

3. Think before you bin/flush. 

Finally, we want to address our throw-away attitudes. In an era of fast food, fast fashion, and fast cars we’re all very used to having something, discarding it, and moving onto the next one. It’s been well-publicised that this kind of attitude has seriously negative effects on the environment. What’s not often publicised, however, is the specific effects this has on our water sources.

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When you put something in the bin, the bin man takes it away and it ends up in landfill. Yes, this is obviously bad for the landscape. But the landfill leachate (or ‘bin juice’) that is created from landfills pollute our rivers and streams, which in turn pollutes our oceans. So, think before you buy something you know has to go to landfill. Do you want to contribute to the creation of even more stinky bin juice?

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Another way you can ensure your waste products don’t pollute our water sources is by disposing of unused medicines safely. It’s quite common for us to throw medicines we no longer need down the toilet because it is easy, convenient, and doesn’t make a mess. However, when these pharmaceuticals go through sewage treatment works, they are not filtered out, meaning they end up polluting our oceans. (Sad reacts only please) So, rather than flushing your unused medicines down the toilet, next time take them to your local pharmacy and ask for them to be disposed of safely? Then you can ensure that no lovely ocean creature will be harmed because of your cold.

 

There we have it. Just a couple of little tips to help you live a more ocean-friendly lifestyle. We hope this blog will help to prompt small lifestyle changes and give you the information necessary to start asking questions about what else we can do to clean up our oceans!

These questions can (probably) all be answered by the wonderful team behind The GOES Foundation and Clean Water Wave. So head on over to their websites if you want to find out more, and stay tuned for even more collaborations between us as we come ever closer to the start of The Fringe!

 

 

The Global Water and Sanitation Crisis

We’ve been telling you all about the amazing work that Clean Water Wave does this week, so now it’s time to enrich your water knowledge to help us all understand quite how significant their work is. Partnering with these guys has dramatically opened our eyes to the global water and sanitation crisis, and we hope that you guys feel as inspired and passionate about CWW’s work after reading this as we do!    

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These are just some of the shocking facts we have learnt: 

Now those are some pretty shocking statistics …   

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And it’s pretty evident that there is a global clean water and sanitation crisis. 

Now, stats like that can awaken a natural instinct to do something, to act and make a difference. There is just one problem in this noble response, the majority of us do not possess the knowledge, skills, expertise, or resources to actually do anything ourselves.  

There are, however, some people who do not have these obstacles to overcome, and they include our friends at Clean Water Wave! Their CAFE (Clean Aqua For Everyone) water filter systems are long lasting, durable, and sustainable systems which deliver clean drinking water to rural and peri-urban communities across Asia and Africa. We’ve spoken before about how in awe we are of the work that these guys do. But when we place their work in the context of the clean water and sanitation crisis, we can see how through working with such a great organisation we are able to do something which can really, truly make positive, life-changing impacts in people’s lives.   

 

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Clean water is something that we are all, at some point, guilty of taking for granted. To live under the constant pressure of not having regular and easy access to water must be an unimaginable stress. And it’s horrifically unjust that in a global society where a select few have so much that so many people are denied basic resources they need to survive. Which is why we’re so passionate and excited about working with CWW as they can truly make a difference! 

If you want to do you bit to tackle the water and sanitation crisis, then head over to Clean Water Wave’s website to find out more about the organisation and what you can do to support their life-changing work. 

 

Why we’re so excited to be partnering with GOES and CWW!

In case you missed it (although for that to happen it would mean that you weren’t following us on either Facebook , Twitter, and Instagram , so get on that now!) we’re partnering with the GOES Foundation and Clean Water Wave during this year’s Fringe. We’re so thrilled to have this wonderful opportunity, and we want you to be as hyped about it as we are.

Now, we’re not silly here at BoxedIn. We appreciate that two amazing organisations which both promote the environmental importance of cleaning our oceans and provide water filtration systems to remote communities, and a slightly wacky, boundary-pushing theatre company might not seem like an obvious match. But here’s why we believe this partnership will work so well, and why we’re both really excited for the adventure that will be The Edinburgh Fringe!

We’re both passionate about tackling the climate crisis     

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This is probably the most obvious linking factor between our two organisations. Although we’re both approaching the problem from different angles, we both have the same objective: to limit the effects of climate change and prevent irreversible damage to our environment.

There are many different contributors to climate change, and consequently there are many different ways to tackle the problem. And this is part of the reason why we believe The Greenhouse has the potential to really make a difference, because we offer an open, non-confrontational space to discuss the many aspects of eco-activism. To have the privilege of having GOES and CWW with us right from the beginning really kicks the doors open to allow us to get these important conversations rolling right from the off!

We can learn a lot from them    

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What’s so great about having open conversations  is that you can see things from other people’s view, and you can also learn a lot from their experience and knowledge. Now it’s safe to say that the GOES and CWW team have an impressive amount of knowledge between them. (Their doctorates and MBAs put our paltry undergraduate degrees to shame!) And we’re looking forward to learning all about how important the ocean is to the protection of our environment, and what we can all do to protect our oceans!

Hey, and maybe we could give them some acting tips if, on the very slight off chance, we awaken their inner thespian and they decide to make a career change!  

(Disclaimer; We do NOT want this to happen. The whole GEOS and CWW team are brilliant and have absolutely nothing to learn from us. They are also doing very important work and should definitely keep doing that!)

We’re excited to do something different     

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How many Fringe venues have you heard of being made out of entirely recycled and reclaimed materials?

None? We thought so.

How many Fringe venues have you heard of that are running an entirely zero-waste marketing campaign?

None? We thought so.   

How many Fringe venues have you heard of that are operating without any mains electricity?

None? We thought you’d say that too!

In case you haven’t realised by now, at The Greenhouse (and BoxedIn in general) we like to do things that are a bit different. Not just for the sake of being different, don’t get us wrong, but because in order to really make a differen-ce you have to do something differen-t (see what we tried to do there!). By fusing our two companies together in our unique little venue, we hope to create a place that is different, exciting, interesting, informative, and so many other adjectives, and in doing so create a space in which we can really start to enact change!

We think it will be fun!      

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Finally, not most importantly, but nearly as important to us as a team, we think this partnership will be fun. For us (and everyone attending it – hopefully) the main point of attending The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is to have fun!

We may be trying to tackle a serious problem, but we don’t think that means that we can’t have fun doing it. You know like when a medical professional says that you need to exercise and the best way to do that is by finding an exercise that you enjoy? Well, that’s what we’re hoping to do at The Greenhouse, if you will indulge that awful comparison. But instead of trying to cure an individual’s ailment, we’re trying to help prevent climate change! We really hope that engaging in the environmental activism debate from a fun angle will really allow us to connect with our audiences and actually make a difference.    

Performance is fun, the GOES and CWW team are crazy enough to agree to partner with us, and we’re all going to be at the largest performing arts festival in the world. How could this be anything but a super exciting and inspiring project?  

If you’re looking forward to our partnership with GOES and CWW as much as we are then head on over to their websites now to learn more about the companies and the awesome work they do!   

 

Introducing The GOES Foundation

Did you know that more than 70% of our oxygen comes from the oceans?

And most of our carbon dioxide? It’s absorbed by the oceans as well, used by tiny plants floating in the water called phytoplankton. This – not the Amazon, or any other land-based forests – this is the planet’s main carbon sink.

These tiny plants collect whopping amount of carbon dioxide – we estimate around 12 gigatonnes of it every year! So it’s a bit of a shock to the system to learn that over the last 60 years, the amount of plankton in the oceans has halved. That means the amount of Carbon Dioxide that can be absorbed by the oceans has decreased significantly, leaving it to wreak havoc in the atmosphere.

The question, of course, is why? Increasing temperatures and an abundance of Carbon Dioxide should be an absolute field day for plankton the world over – we would expect them to flourish under these conditions. But they’re not.

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Enter the GOES foundation, an international organisation that works hard to raise awareness for the importance of keeping our oceans clean. They’ve got a pretty convincing argument – micro-plastics and toxic chemicals being dumped in to the oceans, which are crippling for most types of plankton. More horrible stuff in our ocean leads to less plankton. Less plankton leads to more CO2. More CO2 leads to more global warming. And we’re sure you can fill in the blanks from here.

So how does that work exactly? Let’s think about coral. 

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Take Oxybenzone, for example. Oxybenzone is a chemical commonly found in many different types of sunscreen. Just like many other toxic chemicals, it often gets absorbed and concentrated on tiny plastic particles (micro-fibres from synthetic clothing, micro-beads, that kind of thing). As the plastic absorbs more and more of these types of chemicals, it becomes completely coated and even more toxic. And corals, being none-the-wiser, grab that particle, thinking it’s food. That’s a big problem.

The coral gets inoculated with a huge dose of Oxybenzone, which it is not at all equipped to break down. The reason this chemical is so prevalent in sun blocks is because…well…it’s really good at blocking out sunlight. So it reacts with the coral in exactly the same way the sun block protects you from getting burned. The corals can’t absorb any more sunlight, which quickly leads to a stress reaction, and coral bleaching.

Normally, coral can survive temperatures up to 32 degees celcius. The stressed coral can now be killed by temperatures as low as 28 degrees. That may not seem like a huge difference, but considering that just a 5 degree change in global temperatures is considered enough to totally wipe out human civilisation as we know it, it kind of makes sense.

In Florida, 90% of the coral is dead already, and the situation is similar across the world’s coral reefs.

Unless we stop aquatic pollution, the remaining coral will be dead in 10 years.

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Coral reefs are critically important to supporting all aquatic life in our oceans: they are a source of food, they protect land from erosion, and provide nursery space for tiny fish.

The time has come for us to seriously re-think our habits, and how we interact with our oceans. They are the real lungs of our planet, and support the vast majority of life on earth. We hate to say it, but if we continue the way we are, things are looking quite bleak.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel, however! The fate of the oceans is not yet signed and sealed – and even with small, incremental changes, we as individuals can make a huge contribution towards securing a healthy and sustainable future. Restoring the productivity of plankton and plants in our oceans would mean a total of 24 gigatonnes of CO2 can be absorbed by the oceans each year. Of course, there are other measures to be taken, but this would be a huge step towards a carbon neutral world!

Amazing, where do I sign up!

In case you missed our live-stream with Stephanie Terreni-Brown, the co-founder of GOES, there are three key things that you can do to help restore oceanic health.

  1. Oxybenzone – oxybenzone is commonly found in sunscreen and any products with an SPF. BUT not all suncreens and cosmetics contain Oxybenzone. Check the labels on the products you buy, and make sure to avoid this at all cost. If you’re wondering what chemicals might be less bad in your sunscreen, take a look at this handy chart GOES made.
  2. Micro-plastics – micro-beads have been banned in the UK (horray) but you may have some still sitting around in your bathroom. If you do, get rid of them! And as for micro-fibres, the solution is simple: when buying clothes, make sure to priorities items made from natural materials.
  3. Triclosan – this is commonly found in toothpaste and other cosmetics. Again, now you know, you know! Make sure to avoid products with this ingredient in it, there are plenty of alternatives out there!

And, if you’re looking for something a little extra, there’s something else you can do too. Part of the problem of chemicals in our water systems is down to inadequate treatment facilities. Tertiary treatment facilities treat waste water to remove chemicals, and there is a shocking lack of that in the UK. To implement it requires government investment and intervention. So, write to your MPs, demanding more oversight on this issue. We want cleaner water! We want to help our planet’s health! Only by being active together can we hope to help create a more positive future for our climate and our earth.

 

 

Sustainable Shopping

It’s our sustainability boutique next week, and we’re so, so excited to bring you some awesome products from sustainable sources! Not only because shopping is fun, but because what we buy and how we shop is often forgotten when we come to consider how our actions could be affecting the environment. So we thought we’d talk about it, because what is The Greenhouse if it’s not something to make you think about things you haven’t considered before?

shopping-bags-3568315_1920.jpgSure, we know that buying food in plastic or items that have to be transported long distances are bad for the environment, but how often do we stop and think before we buy our clothes? The fashion industry has been under fire in recent months for its contribution to climate change. So much so that The UN has put in place the ‘Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action’ , and more recently ‘The UN Alliance for Sustainable Fashion’, highlighting that although this aspect of our lifestyle has been under the environmental radar for a while, it’s important this issue to be brought to prominence.  

Now don’t you worry. We get it, having yet another aspect of your life under evaluation (see what we did there) can seem a bit overwhelming. But we’re here to show you this doesn’t have to be the case. Here are our five top tips for being a sustainable fashion consumer:

Shop less, shop better  

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Now we are obviously ALL guilty of succumbing to the lure of a sale or the wonderful thing that is student discount and buying clothes we don’t need (or even really like that much) because they’re cheap. But buying clothes in this way is extremely unsustainable.  Think to way back when people wore their clothes until they were threadbare and could no longer be patched up. It is possible to wear clothes for more than one season, and it is possible rewear an outfit because let’s face it, no one’s going to really remember if you wore that before anyway!

 

 

The shopping habit that makes this possible is to buy less, but buy better. Now what do we mean by this? Well, quite simply we mean that in order to be able to wear these clothes day-in-day-out they have to be 1. Good Quality and 2. Something you love – so you want to wear them again and again. We’re not telling you to spend all your money on clothes, because that would just be ridiculous! What we’re saying is, instead of buying 10 items at £3 in the massive sale on ASOS (other online retailers and stores also sell clothes), why don’t you spend that £30 on something you really love?

This practice is not only a lot more environmentally friendly, but it also means you don’t suffer from the post-sale-shop-binge regret. We’ve all been there and you and your bank account are never happy about it.

Check the label for plastic    

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‘Okay, so I get that fast fashion is bad for the environment. But why is it bad??’ We hear you cry. Well, criticisms of fast fashion include: agricultural pollution, water pollution, the use of toxic chemicals, and increasing levels of textile waste . Which seems like a pretty hefty list.

One way to make sure you avoid adding to these problems is to check the label in your clothes for plastic. Common plastics found in items of clothing are polyester, acrylic, rayon, and additionally try to avoid conventional cotton as its production normally involves farming practices which are extremely harmful to the environment.

Go vintage     

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It’s cool, trendy, some might even say hip, AND it’s environmentally friendly, so why are we not all doing it?

Vintage shopping is such a great way to bring really unique and stylish pieces into your wardrobe, with the added benefit of being eco-friendly because you are both reducing the level of textile waste AND ensuring less clothing items need to be created in the first place. Obviously we understand that this is only applicable to consumers of vintage clothing on a wider level, just you buying that really cute denim jacket is not going to have a massive effect. However, if you don’t play the game you cannot win (or something like that). So what are you waiting for? You’re environmentally friendly makeover starts now!

Get creative with upcycling      

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It’s all well and good talking about not buying too many new clothes and keeping them until they wear out. But what happens if you’ve grown out of your old clothes, or you just really want to revamp your wardrobe? (Fashion is a form of self-expression after all).

Why not try upcycling some of your old clothes to re-fashion them into something that fits, or simply to breathe new life into your wardrobe? If you don’t know what upcycling is, it’s simply reusing something unwanted in a way as to create a product of higher value or quality than the original.

Need some help getting started? Here you go

Capsule your wardrobe     

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Tip: Make yours A LOT smaller than this!

And last, but not least, the thing that will make all these other tasks easier, why not create a capsule wardrobe?  

This is a lot easier said than done, admittedly, but is super useful especially if you are short on space and want to buy higher quality items. Additionally you will save yourself a lot of time in the morning as you don’t overload yourself with decision fatigue!

Want to give it a go? Well, check out this how-to! 

So there you have it, our tips on how to shop for clothes in a more sustainable way. Living in an eco-friendly way means that we must all reconsider our lifestyles in many different ways, but this doesn’t need to be difficult or invasive, it can be fun too! And we hope that we have shown you that in this blog post.

Looking forward, we cannot wait to see you at our sustainability boutique on the 2nd and the 4th April, and at our outdoor gig on the 4th too. Make sure you’re are following us on Facebook , Twitter, and Instagram to keep up to date with all our progress and fun events to come!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Say Hi To Our Events Team!

After the success of our launch event AND our mystery book sale, we thought it was time to introduce you to our events team (Annabel Steele and Cate Hanlon) ahead of our sustainability boutique next week!

To start, can you guys introduce yourselves?

Annabel: As well as being Head of Music for the Greenhouse, I’m also one of the events managers. This is the first time I’ve ever worked on the logistics side of a project but I am loving every second. While my wonderful, organised and competent partner-in-crime Cate deals with literally anything that involves a level of sanity, I’m dealing more with the collaborative side of the job: meeting up with fellow creators who want to get involved in the events that we’re putting on, and want to make sustainable art. I’m an environmentalist, a traveller and a creator, so this has been the dream job.

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Say hi to Annabel 

 

 

Cate: I’m the other half of the events team, and I’m also producing two shows with The Greenhouse:Daphne, or Hellfire and The Voices We Hear.I make a lot of lists and charts, and Annabel makes our events creative and fun. I’m very excited to direct my environmental efforts into something productive (and very cool!) instead of just silently seething whenever I see people take plastic grocery bags.     

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Cate would say hi, but she’s busy! 

 

What’s your experience of being part of The Greenhouse team been like so far?

Annabel: I’ve been involved in a LOT of projects and groups during my time at university thus far, but The Greenhouse is absolutely the best thing I’ve gotten myself into. I could talk forever about how privileged I feel to be working with some of the most talented people I’ve ever come across, to build a venue which brings together theatre and the environment, two endeavours which are really important to me.  

Cate: It’s easy for environmentalism to seem futile or exhausting or overwhelming. There have been times where I desperately wanted some coffee but didn’t have my keep-cup on me. The Greenhouse makes caring rewarding, which I think is extremely  important. I’m so lucky to be working with people who are truly the best of the best, creating without wasting. This is such a unique opportunity, and I’m so happy to be a part of it.   

Tell us more about the events you’ve planned.

Annabel: We’ve got a few bits and bobs dotted throughout the semester, including outdoor gigs and our Sustainability Boutique.   

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Cate: That’s where we’ll be selling lots of cool products including metal straws, reusable produce bags, and wooden toothbrushes. Keep an eye on Facebook for more details, we’re very excited!  

Of all the fabulous events you’ve organised, which one are you the most excited about?

Cate:Honestly, I think the entirety of Fundraising Week is going to be incredible. There’s really something for everyone, whether you love a night of chill music or a massive party (or both). 

Annabel: Yeah we have some amazing stuff planned. We have a Secret Garden Party, the famous BoxedIn Beach Bonfire and, my personal favourite, a collaboration with Wax Collective which will see a daytime set-up of environmentally friendly creative stalls – we’ve got a bunch of fantastic student societies on-board to make it a gorgeous day – followed by St Andrews’ first ever zero-waste house party. It’s going to be big!  

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced organising a zero-waste event?

Cate: The biggest challenges have been the smallest – it’s amazing how many little things we just look over in our day-to-day life. It’s relatively easy to reduce waste, but it’s quite another thing to eliminate it entirely. I’ve found that my whole mentality has shifted – for example, we used poster paper in my management tutorial last week, and my immediate reaction was ‘I need to save this poster so I can use the back for a sign’. If you were at our mystery book sale, the back of that sign was full of notes on social enterprises.  

Annabel: We want to keep everything creative, especially our collaborations with societies and groups like Wax and Capture Collective. But it’s a really big challenge to get people creating visual art without using any plastic or unsustainable products. We’re working with Transition on a couple of our events and they’re making homemade dyes using herbs and spices, which is fab, and Capture Collective are looking into building a corkboard out of bottle corks for one of our events too. All in all, while it’s been challenging to keep this aspect of the events zero-waste, it has also been incredibly fun and also so rewarding to get myself and other people thinking about how to do things differently, in order to put the planet first.  

What would you say is the best thing about organising events?

Annabel: Getting new people into environmentalism! At our Launch Event, I had several people come up to me, wanting to know more about the project and wanting to get involved. That has to be the most rewarding thing of all, because ultimately this project is about spreading awareness of the environment and when people come up to me and specifically ask how they can get on board, it’s explicit confirmation that we’re doing exactly that.    

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Look at our jazzy launch event! 

Cate: I love watching everything come together – what was, two months ago, just a spreadsheet of ideas is becoming a reality. We also have access to such an incredible pool of people and such a broad spectrum of talents, which makes our job so much easier.  

If you had absolutely no restrictions (financial, geographical, etc), what kind of event would you love to organise for The Greenhouse?

Cate: I think a campout would be amazing – I’m not an outdoorsy person at all,but some of my best memories from school were our trips out into the mountains (I’m Canadian, and we take camping very seriously). Nothing bonds people like taking away modern conveniences, where the only source of entertainment is overly competitive card games. Nothing makes you realize how much garbage we produce like carrying it around with you for a few days. Nothing makes you realise how important our planet is like getting out and seeing it.   

Annabel: Music, travelling and environmentalism are the three things I hold dearest, so my dream event would be an amalgamation of all these. I’d organise a sailing trip, destination somewhere in Europe that I hadn’t visited before, where I’d host a sustainable music festival. Loads of gorgeous music, promotion of grassroots artists, so much vegan food (and alcohol, of course), sustainable clothing sales, outdoor yoga… all the good stuff.  

And looking towards to The Greenhouse’s future, what are you looking forward to the most about going to The Edinburgh Fringe?

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Look it’s a street in Edinburgh! 

Annabel: Enacting real change. I believe in this project so much, and I really do think it’s going to achieve everything it’s setting out to. I’m excited beyond words to spread our message and to get people talking about sustainable theatre and prioritising our beautiful planet.  

Cate: This will be my first time at the Fringe, so I’m super excited for the happy chaos that comes with that. More specifically, everyone involved with The Greenhouse really believes that what we are doing is critically important. It can be incredibly difficult to reconcile creation and beauty with the reduction of waste, but humanity doesn’t stand a chance if we can’t do that.    

Thank you so much to Annabel and Cate for taking the time to answer our questions! Make sure you join us at our Sustainability Boutique and are following us on Facebook , Twitter, and Instagram to keep up to date with everything we’re doing over the next couple of months.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why You Should Audition For The Greenhouse

It’s now February, and obviously that means one thing and one thing only. You’ve had the dates in your calendar since the beginning of the year, and you’ve been slowly counting down the time, day after day, week after week until you can seize the opportunity of a lifetime and audition for The Greenhouse!

Now, we know that you’re all just jumping at the chance to join The Greenhouse team and go on this crazy adventure with us, but that doesn’t mean you don’t also want to know a bit about which shows might be a good fit for you before you come on over to auditions between the 11th-18th February. And there’s no need for you to worry, because we’ve got you covered!

You can read a little synopsis of each show if you head on over to the audition events on our Facebook page, so to really give you an insight into what each show entails we spoke to each show team and asked them to give their own personal accounts of the shows and why they think you should audition!

Evaluation- Caelen Mitchell-Bennett (Writer and Director)

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Evaluation is a short play that focuses on a conversation between a human and a machine. It is a simple concept made complicated by the fact that all lines delivered by the machine are pre-recorded and queued live.

The conversation is essentially an interrogation – the machine’s critical and hypocritical questions are in fact meant to judge humanity as a whole, bringing into context environmental degradation, human conflict, and other anthropocentric crises, which the human must defend against. I wrote this play with the intention of impressing a single idea: that in order to make things better, humanity must undertake the daunting task of combining unflinching optimism with constant, objective self-criticism. That doubt must always accompany progress, and vice versa. If not misguided or at least over-simplified, the idea was to portray this as a literal argument between human doubt and logic itself.

Evaluation loosely draws on a few select episodes of the 1987 television program, Star Trek: The Next Generation, mainly those episodes which involve semi-omniscient beings and their evaluations of humanity. While the play has nothing to do with Star Trek, it does utilize many of its themes and a few selections of dialogue. Admittedly, I did write this play because I love Star Trek, but I also wrote it for its size – for the challenge of cramming such a wide scope of ideas into such a small package. I definitely did not succeed. While it may be just small enough to say both everything and nothing, somewhat appropriately, I really doubt it.   

From The Wind – Eilidh MacKinnon (Playwright)  

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From The Wind follows the development of renewable energy on the Fair Isle, a small island half way between Shetland and Orkney. Discussing the attitude of the Scottish government towards funding and aiding renewable projects on the islands and mainlands of Scotland. The people of the community speak their mind in this verbatim play, as their relationship with the island and how it provides them energy, changes over the lifetime of the Fair Island inhabitants.

My experience of writing the show has led me to interact with many interesting people. As it is verbatim I had to make contact with actual residents of the Fair Isle.

Additionally, I learned a lot from Community Energy Scotland and made contact with a prominent Scottish renewable energy project developer who was happy to take the time to explain the current political and financial barriers facing renewable energy projects. It has been an incredibly educational and eye opening experience in the process of writing this play.

The Greenhouse is the ideal platform for this play due to its renewable nature and the emphasis it is placing on the environment. The incredible work of the Scottish based Greenhouse team has helped not only with providing full support for the show but in encouraging me as a writer to pursue larger scale projects and keeping me to a time schedule!  

Daphne, or Hellfire – Isla Cowan (Playwright and Director)    

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I am a Scottish playwright and director, currently based in Edinburgh. I graduated from St Andrews with MLitt Writing for Performance earlier this year. Most recently, I was Assistant Director on the NTS / Traverse Theatre production of GUT by Frances Poet and my environmental play, ‘The View From Portobello’, was commissioned by David Greig for the Lyceum Youth Theatre’s 20th anniversary production in November. I am also currently on attachment at Hampstead Theatre in London (read more: islacowan.com): “I’m really excited about bringing ‘Daphne, or Hellfire’ to the Greenhouse. I feel really passionately about this project and what it means for changing theatre today. While I have a strong sense of the play, I am always interested in ‘playing’ with the script once I have actors and creatives in the room (and we’re already assembling a kick-ass production team!!). This means that rehearsals will be a process of exploring and experimenting together – we’re looking for two strong actors who will embrace the opportunity to really dig deep into their characters and develop this play”.    

The Earth Untold – Georgia Luckhurst (Playwright)

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The opportunity to stage a show at the Greenhouse is truly once in a lifetime. It’s rare to find a group of people as committed, efficient, supportive and passionate as the team at BoxedIn, and the chance to work on this project with such a talented network was irresistible.

The Untold Earth may seem conceptually simple – what is more ancient than the urge to tell stories? – but it is for that reason that I’ve loved working on it; remembering how much I loved sitting and listening to a well-told tale as a child. This show is for families, but it isn’t pandering: ultimately, we want to remind people how much we owe to our earth, and thereby prompt our audience to do their best to protect it.

More so than writing, I’m loving the research. I’ve been delving into old myths, reading historical anecdotes, even taking my first ever trip to the Science Museum… My goal is to make a show that feels warm and positive about our relationship to the environment, while still being pointed, because even just in the process of writing I’ve realized exactly how indebted we are to our physical surroundings, and how much we take them for granted.   

Shellshock – Louis Catliff (Playwright and Director)

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Creating Shellshock has been really fun. I’m working with a very talented musician in Joseph “Bowow” Baker to help write the music for the show. We’re working on establishing its specific genre and ‘sound’ which is currently a mixture of folk and blues. The setting is Louisiana so we’ve decided to really draw inspiration from the musical history of that part of the world which I think fits both the story and Greenhouse venue nicely.

The idea to do a comedy about a lowly intern starting out in the oil industry came up when I was chatting with a friend at the last fringe. I’ve always wanted to direct a musical and the idea seemed to really suit the form. In combining the squeaky-clean sensibilities and aesthetic of a musical with the morally dubious corporate setting of a large oil company I wanted to highlight the hypocrisy and the humour in each. Also, it helps round out our exciting and varied programme. Whether you’re into dance, drama, verbatim or music The Greenhouse has got something for you.    

Swallows – Oli Savage (Director)     

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For me, Swallows was the beginning of this project. It started in the basement of a wine-bar in Tottenham Court Road almost two years ago. Henry pitched me a show about eco-terrorism, and slowly, it grew and grew. See, we know what we’re doing is important – we know that the planet is dying, and we know that we need to treat it better. We know that leading by example is one way. But what if that isn’t enough?

This is an incredibly hopeful and beautiful piece of writing that looks at the self-obsession inherent in the environmental crisis. It carefully explores the fact that it isn’t nature and it isn’t some multifarious existence but it is, in fact, fundamentally individuals that have caused the mess we are currently in. It looks at all that and then it asks: honestly – what are we meant to do?   

The Voices We Hear – Louis Catliff (Co-Director)    

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The idea for voices came out of wondering what would be the most inconvenient way to meet the love of your life? It’s a meet cute like any other really. But in this the setting is a world ravaged by an environmental apocalypse, the couple only communicated via a two way transistor radio and the inconvenience is that one character, after being totally alone for a good few years with no hope of finding other human life, commits suicide just as the radio sparks to life.

Oli and I thought it would be a unique way of exploring a familiar concept. We wanted to take a subject matter like the apocalypse, one that is frequently used as an excuse to blow up landmarks onscreen and humanise it, creating a story that looks specifically at loneliness and intimacy in the most extreme of situations.  

 

So there you have it, a little bit more about all of our fabulous shows!

Now, we’re sure you want to audition for them all, and don’t worry you can do just that! Make sure you’re following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep on top of all audition updates over the next couple of weeks.  

 

10 Fun Facts About The Fringe

Your chance to audition to join The Greenhouse at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is just around the corner and we thought we’d make you even more excited by giving you some fun fringe facts! (And enjoy the accompanying pictures from the team’s previous experiences at the fringe!)

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  1. The Edinburgh Fringe Festival was founded by gate crashers.

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is a completely different event to the Edinburgh international Festival. In 1947 eight theatre companies came to Edinburgh with the hope of performing in the international festival, but they were not permitted to enter.

This rejection, however, didn’t stop them from performing, and they decided to put on their own shows anyway, creating a new kind of performance that grew into today’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

  1. It would take you five years to watch every performance.

Think you’ll have time to see all the shows if you’re staying for the entire month of The Fringe? Think again. With over 30,000 performances taking place you would need a time machine to watch everything that the festival has to offer.

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  1. The Fringe is one third comedy.

The Edinburgh Fringe is renowned as a place where a number of famous comedians got their big break (e.g. Miranda Hart, Graham Norton, Mel and Sue), and consequently many comedians flock to the festival in hopes that they too will be ‘discovered’.

  1. A quarter of the shows in 2018 dealt with social issues.

42 shows in 2018 talked about mental health, 29 explored women’s position in society, and 11 focused on the #MeToo campaign.

This is really exciting for us at The Greenhouse, and we see it as a positive step forward for using art to further discussion and action on social issues.

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  1. Edinburgh’s population almost doubles during August.

The Edinburgh Fringe is one popular event, and this is demonstrated by the significant increase in the city’s population.

  1. The Edinburgh Festivals contribute £260 million to the Scottish economy.   

Due to the influx of visitors to the country who travel from all around the world to attend the festival, The Fringe currently contributes hundreds of millions of pounds to the Scottish economy and provides over 5000 jobs.

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  1. The Royal Mile isn’t a mile long.

What?!?! They were lying to us ALL. THIS. TIME???

Turns out the Royal Miles is actually one mile and one hundred and seven yards.

(I feel like I just found out my favourite love song was written about a sandwich – prizes for those of you who get that reference).

  1. Only the Olympics exceeds the number of tickets sold for Edinburgh’s festival events.

The Fringe attracts more than 4.5 million people every year, the same amount of people as those who go and see the world cup. And while the world cup only happens once every four years, The Fringe attracts this crazy number of people every single year!

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  1. The Fringe has its very own time zone.

This is known as Fringe Time. Days at The Fringe begin at 05:00 and end at 04:59, meaning shows which are on in the early hours of the morning are actually listed as occurring the day before.

  1. Anyone can perform at The Fringe.

Which is why we love it. There are weird, wacky, and wonderful acts who perform anything and everything you could possibly imagine. It’s a melting pot of crazy creative talent!

The Fringe is SUCH an amazing experience, and so auditioning for The Greenhouse really is an opportunity you don’t want to miss!

Set alarms/reminders/write the dates for Auditions on your arm so that you don’t forget. Or maybe just head on over to our Facebook page instead …

What To Expect As An Actor In The Greenhouse

Unless you just haven’t been paying attention to our social media for the past month (which, if this is the case, we’re slightly offended), you’ll know we are holding auditions for our shows from 11th– 18thFebruary. Hopefully you’ve had the chance to look over each show’s individual page and get an idea of which ones you might want to audition for. If you haven’t had this opportunity yet, what are you waiting for? Head on over to out Facebook page now!

Have you had a look?

Good.

Now we’re all on the same page. We’re all up to date, know everything we need to know about the shows, and you have an idea of which shows you want to audition for. (By all means if you want to audition for all of them please do!) There, understandably, may be one thing holding you back. That small niggle at the back of your mind which keeps asking you, ‘but if I do audition for this slightly crazy project and get a part, what will I ACTUALLY be signing up for???’

Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. We know our main focus so far has been publicising the project and all the things that make it so cool, like the fact that we’re building The Greenhouse ourselves, that the building, our shows, and our marketing will all be sustainable, that we’re also focusing on making theatre accessible, and that we’re a group of young people working with other young people to really create a positive social change. But there we go again, not actually telling you what life will entail being an actor at The Greenhouse. So, here are the top four things you need to know:

1. What your time commitment will be    

Already dreading the boredom which you will inevitably succumb to after one week of being stuck at home with nothing to do during that long, long, long summer break? Well, have no fear because we have the solution to your problem!

The main body of the project will be taking place over the summer (July and August) which means you won’t have the chance to get bored. Exact rehearsal periods will vary, but the majority of our shows will look to start rehearsals on 1stJuly in St Andrews to give you all plenty of time to perfect your performances, and then it’s off to Edinburgh for The Fringe for the entire month of August!

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N.B. Most shows will also require a couple of rehearsals during the semester. Again, the amount of rehearsal will vary show to show, but they will probably require a couple of hours a week.

2. You will be joining the BoxedIn family   

When you sign up to The Greenhouse, you join the BoxedIn family! And you know what families do? They work together. The Greenhouse is a big project, which means we’re going to need you to give us a helping hand from time to time.

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Now, don’t worry we’re not asking you to build The Greenhouse all by yourself! But here at BoxedIn we like to foster a collective atmosphere. You can expect to be doing things like helping to plan and organise (and attend) fundraising events or publicising the project on your own social media platforms. We won’t be asking you to do anything too taxing, and ultimately we think it’ll be fun as you get the opportunity to get to know the team better and form new friendships.

3. What you will do day-to-day during The Fringe   

Surely you didn’t think that all you’d do during a day at The Fringe is act in one show? Of course you didn’t, that would be silly! The Fringe is simultaneously one of the most draining and energising experiences you could ever have.

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No one day at The Fringe will ever be the same. Obviously, you will have to perform your show once a day (not including Tuesdays), but there are many more activities to do besides that! There will be at least a couple of hours of ‘non-flyering’ (walking around the streets, meeting people, recycling old flyers and trying to get people to come to our shows) as well. And then once that’s done, it’s all about seeing shows, going to workshops and having a really good time. The city of Edinburgh comes to life in such a beautiful way during The Fringe – there are people spilling out of all the pubs, and everyone you meet is just walking on clouds. It’s lovely.

4. Your financial commitment   

Now we understand that as students we don’t exactly have an unlimited budget. In fact, we know most of us have a very, very limited budget, so it’s only natural you might have some financial concerns about getting involved with this project.

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Show teams will find accommodation, however, you will have to pay for it yourself and this normally costs between £300 – £400. You will also need to be able to pay for all your daily essentials (e.g. food, drinks, toiletries, emergency umbrellas etc.) AND ensure you can go and see as many of the shows you want to see as possible! (Because, come on, you can’t go to The Fringe and not see shows) – There are a number of great Free Fringe shows, so you won’t have to splash out for every show you see, but budgeting for tickets is something you will need to consider.

So, there you go, that’s the low down on what to expect if you want to be an actor at The Greenhouse! We really hope we will see you at our auditions, and if you want a little more of an idea about how exciting performing at The Fringe is, there check out Part 1 and Part 2 of BoxedIn’s Edinburgh experience 2018.