Press coverage

“The advice it contains from those who have experienced the August onslaught first hand will prove invaluable to newcomers”

Scotland on Sunday

“A wonderfully practical but also inspirational book full of good advice”

Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

“Useful . . . engaging . . . excellent”

Susan Elkin, The Stage
9 August 2016 The Stage

How to… survive your first Edinburgh Fringe

MARK Fisher’s excellent book, The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide, has some great advice for looking after yourself offstage as well as on.

20 August 2012 The Scotsman

Top comedian claims Fringe flyposting is ‘polluting’ Edinburgh

ONE of the Fringe’s leading comics has claimed Edinburgh is being “polluted” by the amount of flyposting by his fellow comedians. Phil Nichol, a previous winner of the Edinburgh Comedy Award, claims the level of flyposting, which was legalised by the city council for the festival several years ago, has got out of control.

18 August 2012 The Scotsman

‘Squeaky bum time’ at Fringe as advance ticket sales plunge 

News article by Brian Ferguson about third live show

A VETERAN Fringe producer claims companies are grappling with a “perfect storm” of problems at this year’s festival, with advance sales running at their lowest level for 20 years. Guy Masterson says it is “squeaky bum time” for many promoters and venues because pre-bookings are so low, with shows increasingly relying on flyering this year to bring in last-minute sales.

17 August 2012 British Theatre Guide

The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide: Live! – How to Keep Body and Soul Together

Review by Philip Fisher

MARK FISHER has put together a series of shows helping participants and visitors to survive the Fringe, not to mention buy copies of his book of the same name, reviewed in February. Some very wise advice was delivered on 16 August – apparently depression day or the lowest point in the Fringe – from a varied team of four guests. The choice was good with actress Maureen Beattie joined by producer / director / actor Guy Masterson, comedian Ian Fox and producer Teresa Burns.

15 August 2012 The Guardian

How do you survive the Edinburgh fringe? Don’t drink

Reflection on The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide: Live!

OF ALL the expert advice that could have come out of the Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide: Live! event I organised last Thursday, the lesson I least expected to hear was the value of sobriety. It often seems the Edinburgh festivals are powered by an unholy cocktail of creativity, blind hope and beer. And mainly beer. If only financially, it’s hard to see how any of it would happen without the sale of large quantities of alcohol. And, after all, what would a festival be without a dash of hedonistic excess?

10 August 2012 The Scotsman

Fringe chief says the price of fame is well worth paying for

News article by Brian Ferguson about first live show

STAGING a show should not just be about making money, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe chief executive has declared. Days after comedian Stewart Lee triggered anger by claiming that the Fringe was being killed off by over-commercialisation, Kath Mainland insisted the event is in rude health. And she told a “Fringe Survival Guide” event yesterday that making a profit was not essential to have a successful show when there were so many other potential benefits.

10 August 2012 The Stage

Short Shorts 47: Notes from Edinburgh

Blog plug by Mark Shenton for live show

AND this morning, Scottish-based critic Mark Fisher, who has recently published The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide, is hosting a session where fringe theatre makers can find out how to get their shows noticed by critics, with a live panel that includes Lyn Gardner and Brian Logan, the Guardian’s comedy critic. 

9 August 2012 The Guardian

Edinburgh festival: day four at the fringe

Blog plug by Lyn Gardner for live show

GUARDIAN reviewer and colleague @MarkFFisher’s The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide is terrific and I’d recommend it to anyone who has a show on the fringe, or thinks that they would like to bring one next year. Mark’s doing a live version of the book at the Pleasance every Thursday and Friday morning at 11.30am. 

7 August 2012 Whatsonstage

Michael Coveney: Critical tips on the fawning fringe

Blog commentary about critics doing shows

SO it’s no surprise that there are always critics who take this fawning as a prompt to direct action on their part. This year’s sucker is Mark Fisher, the amiable and experienced reviewer who has written a survival guide to the fringe and is promoting it in the form of a late-morning chat show in the Pleasance. To be fair, Fisher’s not actually “performing” himself, nor is he actually speaking anyone’s lines but his own, as he chairs discussions with the likes of artistic directors Orla O’Loughlin and Vicky Featherstone, fellow critics Lyn Gardner and Brian Logan, and comedians Josie Long and Phil Nichol.

7 August 2012 STV

Skirting the Fringe: Ruby Dolls stock up on seamed stockings

Interview with Fringe company

WE highly recommend reading The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide it’s got some great tips from veteran Edinburgh performers. Our advice would be to really understand your reasons for taking your show to the fringe, and to create a show that you are 100 per cent passionate about, as it’s a huge financial commitment as well as being incredibly hard work. But if you believe in your work, and know why you’re there then that is half the battle.

7 August 2012 BBC

The unusual venues of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Interview with Mark Fisher about site-specific theatre

MARK Fisher, author of the Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide, says it is all down to providing a unique experience for both performers and audiences. He said: “In an era when we’re surrounded by televisions and computers and computer games and very individualistic ways of entertainment – one of the things that theatre can do is bridge all of those walls that get erected by pre-recorded media.”

4 August 2012 The Herald

Guide to surviving the Fringe makes for an inspiring read 

Review by Keith Bruce

IF ANY book, in terrestrial life, should have “Don’t Panic” in large, friendly letters on the cover – as Douglas Adams described his proto-e-book The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy – it is Mark Fisher’s The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide: How To Make Your Show A Success, published recently by Methuen at £9.99. A former theatre critic on this newspaper and co-convenor of the Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland, Fisher still looks much the same as he did when I first knew him, and he has lost none of his passion for theatre over what is assuredly more years than either of us care to count. This combination of experience and enthusiasm might be expected to produce a good book, and so it proves.

30 July 2012 The Vile Blog

Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide

News piece about the show

RELUCTANT as I am ever to say a nice word about a fellow critic – if I can’t be nasty about them, the performers will probably get it instead – I heartily approve of Mark Fisher’s programme in support of his book The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’ve read it – the emphasis is on helping creatives through the Edinburgh maze – but I applaud both his willingness to support artists and risk his reputation by getting up on the stage.

30 July 2012 AllMediaScotland

Fisher to be joined by fellow journalists at Fringe show

News piece about the show

A STAGE adaptation of a book about the Edinburgh Festival Fringe – by local journalist, Mark Fisher – is to include a session comprising fellow journalists, to provide first-hand insights on how a show might get noticed above the competition.

19 July 2012 The List

How to make your Edinburgh Fringe show a success

Tips from Mark Fisher

A COUPLE of years ago, I was commissioned by Methuen Drama to write The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide, a 280-page manual published earlier this year and described by Lyn Gardner of the Guardian as “a wonderfully practical but also inspirational book full of good advice”. I like to think so too. Inevitably, when I was writing the book, I had to deal with a vast amount of material. I knew I had to cover everything from how to run a marketing campaign to how to negotiate with landlords, from coping with bad reviews to capitalising on a runaway hit, from overdoing it at the Traverse bar to finding the best way to hand out flyers. 

19 July 2012 Whatsonstage

Fringe First judge Mark Fisher on… choosing the right show for Edinburgh

Extract from The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide

WITH so many shows at the Fringe (this year boasts a record 2,695), and famously unpredictable audience, it’s difficult for companies to know whether their show will be a festival hit, or sink without a trace like so many others. In his new book The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide:How To Make Your Show a Success, Fringe First Awards judge and Guardian critic Mark Fisher gets inside the fabric of the festival and finds out from veteran performers, PRs, producers and journalists, and finds out exactly what makes the world’s biggest arts festival tick.

1 June 2012 Northings

Critic turns presenter for stage version of acclaimed Edinburgh Fringe book

News article about live show

THEATRE critic Mark Fisher is moving across the footlights to present a show on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Following the publication of The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide in February, the Edinburgh journalist is hosting a chat show, supported by the Pleasance Theatre Trust, based on his celebrated book. “I made my first appearance on the Fringe in a student show in 1983,” says Fisher, 47, a freelance contributor to the Guardian, the Scotsman, the List , Edinburgh Festivals Magazine and Northings. “I’ve been addicted to it ever since. I can’t wait to be back on stage.”

14 April 2012 Irish Theatre Magazine

The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide

Review by Abie Philbin Bowman

IF YOU’RE determined to perform a show at the Edinburgh Fringe, following Mark Fisher’s Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide: How to Make Your Show a Success will save you several thousand pounds. I make a similar claim about the workshops and consultations which I sporadically host. In truth, you could save even more money by skipping Fisher’s book, my workshop and avoiding the Edinburgh Fringe entirely. It’s a bit like the Californian wine industry: the quickest way to become a millionaire is to start out as a multi-millionaire. That said, if you want to go, getting sensible advice can save you from several very costly mistakes.

29 March 2012 The Stage

The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide (How to Make Your Show a Success)

Review by Thom Dibdin

WIDE IN his scope and thorough in his attention to detail, Mark Fisher proveides an entertaining and readable account of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Ostensibly, this is a user guide for those wanting to perform in Edinburgh in August. And it is certainly packed with pertinent advice. In reality it is a must-read for anyone interested in the workings of the event – whether producer, journalist, punter or, indeed, performer.

26 March 2012 Chortle

The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide, by Mark Fisher

Review by Steve Bennett

EVERY SO often, some regimental old Tory will bark out a call for the return of National Service, arguing that the best way to instill great character in the feckless youth of today is to teach them how to kill foreigners most efficiently. But playwright Mark Ravenhill has a better idea. His view is that the world would be a better place if everybody took a show to the Edinburgh Fringe at least once in their lives, since the intense and inspiring month requires a unique community spirit, tireless work ethic and incredible optimism. His comments come in the foreword to this useful manual about putting on a show at what is the world’s biggest arts festival, by quite some margin. The book is designed primarily with theatre groups in mind, but there’s plenty of tips comedians could learn, even those who’ve been before.

1 March 2012 The Guardian

Olympic dilemma: Is it worth performing at Edinburgh this year?

Blog by Lyn Gardner

IF YOU are still undecided, then get yourself a copy of Mark Fisher’s The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide, a wonderfully practical but also inspirational book full of good advice for those thinking of performing on the fringe. It’s excellent on the essential information, such as choosing a venue, writing your brochure copy, getting your accommodation booked, your show reviewed and surviving what is fondly known as “suicide tuesday” in the second week when it’s raining, nobody turns up to see your show, and all your dreams have crumbled. But it is equally good on helping you tease out the reasons why you are going to the fringe, how to manage your expectations and how to make the best of your experience. As Mark Ravenhill says in the forward, Edinburgh is an “incredible adventure”. It is, and I’m looking forward to it again this year.

24 February 2012 The Stage

Want to take a show to Edinburgh and survive?

Blog review by Susan Elkin, education and training specialist

“I AM firmly convinced that everyone should take a show to the Edinburgh Fringe at least once in their lives. Performing at the Edinburgh makes you a better neighbour, better teacher, better friend, better parent. For a few it even makes them better performers” That’s playwright, Mark Ravenhill making a joyfully upbeat case for the transformative power of Edinburgh as a learning experience in the foreword to Mark Fisher’s useful and engaging new book The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide.

16 February 2012 Britishtheatreguide

The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide

Review by Philip Fisher

MARK Fisher may be an Englishman but he is probably the perfect person to write this guide on how to make your Edinburgh Fringe show a success. He has been writing about theatre in Edinburgh for a couple of decades and regularly reviews and comments on events in that city during August, when it changes character completely, doubling the population practically overnight. His approach to advising those that wish to put on shows on the Fringe is measured and sensible. Rather than putting forward Mark Fisher opinions, the writer has sought views and anecdotes from a large number of people who between them have experienced things from every perspective.

16 February 2012 So It Goes: John Fleming’s Blog

The man with advice on how to make an Edinburgh Fringe show successful

Interview/review published on day of publication

I HAVE occasionally blogged advice on the perils and pitfalls of staging a show at the Edinburgh Fringe. But it really requires a whole book – which is what Mark Fisher has now done with The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide – How to Make Your Show a Success – published today.

15 February 2012 Edinburgh Festival Punter

For festival newbies

Recommended links for Fringe first-timers

IF YOU plan to perform I thoroughly recommend Mark Fisher’s book The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide: How To Make Your Show A Success. It covers all the major topics that any artist / performing company should be well versed in before coming to Edinburgh, liberally sprinkled with the sound experiences of veterans from all aspects of the festival. Fisher strikes the right balance, encouraging would-be performers while pointing out the various pitfalls.

1 February 2012 The List

Mark Fisher on The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide

Five things I learned while writing the book

CHOOSING a title takes ages: It’s as straightforward as they come, yet The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide was a title born of months of discussion. The subtitle, How to Make Your Show a Success, was arrived at no quicker. My editor couldn’t believe it.

8 January 2012 allmediascotland

Fisher Pens Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide

News item announcing publication of The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide

THE theatre critic, Mark Fisher, has penned a book designed to help rookie performers survive, and flourish during, the Edinburgh Fringe. Fisher, who is secretary of the Edinburgh Freelance branch of the National Union of Journalists, is featured in today’s new-look Scotland on Sunday newspaper. His book, The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide, is out next month. Writes Brian Ferguson: “Author, and Scotland on Sunday festival reviewer, Mark Fisher, who wrote the book while working at the 2010 event, interviewed all the main venue operators as well as Fringe executives, producers, promoters, agents and even a public safety officer at Edinburgh City Council.”

8 January 2012 Scotland on Sunday

Survival guide is just the ticket for Fringe acts 

News item announcing publication of The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide

IT IS a gruelling three-week marathon with more than 1.9 million tickets sold for 40,000 performances in 250 venues. So no wonder first-time Fringe performers arrive in Edinburgh with a sense of trepidation. But now help is at hand with the publication of an independent ‘survival guide’ for rookie artists bringing a show to the world’s biggest arts festival. Based on insights from Fringe veterans, including comics Ed Byrne and Mel Giedroyc, magician Paul Daniels, and actresses Siobhan Redmond and Cora Bissett, the book covers every aspect of Fringe life, providing tips on budgets, promotion, finding a venue and avoiding pitfalls. Continues here.