Get "Is the WiFi Good in Hell?" To Fringe

by Lyndon Chapman in Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Total raised £700

£5,000 target 4 hours left
14% 20 supporters
Keep what you raise – this project will receive all pledges made by 25th July 2024 at 4:33pm

We are raising money to help us to take "Is the WiFi Good in Hell?" to Edinburgh Fringe 2024 - but we need you!

by Lyndon Chapman in Edinburgh, United Kingdom

"Chapman’s debut play isn’t just genuine; it is brutally real" - ★★★★★ The New Current.


THE SHOW

2008. Margate isn't cool (yet). 12-year-old Dev sits on a derelict shack, sandwiched between Margate's sea and the abandoned theme park, Dreamland. He's also recently discovered gay people exist...

"Is the WiFi Good in Hell?" follows Dev from boyhood to adulthood. Margate to London. He's gagging for a good connection, yet with his roots firmly intertwined in his hometown's seabed – can he cope with the realities of a life he's forever put on a pedestal?

Written on Soho Theatre’s Writers’ Lab and selected for Brixton Houses’ Housemates Festival, ITWGIH? is coming to Fringe - but we need you!

WHO?

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That’s me above, in my hometown of Margate, two weeks ago… My first memory of theatre was watching my sister in a very legitimate production of Annie, at the Theatre Royal Margate in 2002 - where they called it Pennie to avoid paying the copyright fee… Since then, my debut short film, ‘Unnatural Deeds’, premiered at the BFI Southbank. Set backstage in a theatre, it explores sexuality in the 18th century. It won the Outstanding Live Action Film in my graduate showcase, and was subsequently nominated for the Independent Talent’s Screenplay Award at Watersprite 2022. ‘Is the WiFi Good in Hell?’ is my debut play, which I wrote on Soho Theatre’s Writers Lab in 2021-2022.

Will Armstrong is our incredible director. He directed Abby Vicky-Russell’s GUSH at Camden People’s Theatre, Soho Theatre and Vaults Festival in association with Sheffield Theatres. The production was nominated for a Vault Origins award, and received the Keep It Fringe fund for its Edinburgh Festival, 2023. He was a finalist in the 2022 Max Turner comedy prize and is an acclaimed drag performer and host, having co-created production company/queer cabaret ‘idiots. gay idiots.’ (‘London’s Best Cliché Free Cabaret Nights’ – Time Out). www.willarmstrong.uk

Simon Castle is our fantastic producer. Through his company, Grey Castle Productions, he specialises in new writing with an LGBTQIA+ focus. He has supported many exciting new creatives, such as Simon David (Chortle Award Nominee), Abby Vicky-Rusell (nominated for The Tony Craze Award and BBC Popcorn Award) and Gabrielle-Nellis Pain (Winner of the PYP Award at Theatre Royal Haymarket). Arts Council England, Theatre Royal Stratford East, The Leeds Playhouse, The North Wall Arts Centre, The LGBT Consortium and Margate Pride have supported his work.

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WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP

I’m from Thanet, one of the UK's most poorly funded areas, so developing as an artist has been a struggle. Both major theatres in Margate have closed due to funding cuts. Despite this, we’re proud we’ve been able to already raise £3000!

Edinburgh is the biggest step I’ve taken as a writer and also the most financially risky. It presents a golden opportunity for us to showcase this new play at one of the most exciting new writing festivals in the world. With our dream of touring this play to coastal communities that might not have engaged with this style of story before, the Fringe will platform us to venues that otherwise might take a financial risk on a play featuring gays, sea monsters and weaponised McDonald's fries (often at the same time)... But… to convince them to open the pearly programming gates, it costs SERIOUS DOLLA. With the shaky tides of the current financial climate - we’d appreciate your support.

But don't just take our word for it! After our sharing Brixton House, we caught up with some of our audience to hear their thoughts!

THE MONEY

We’re aiming to raise £5,000 with this crowdfunder, which will not only help us cover the costs of getting the show (and us!) up and running in Edinburgh but will also cover:

  • £5,000 for accommodation (a STAGGERING but apparently ‘cheap’ option by 2024 Fringe standards…) 
  • £2,000 for Marketing.
  • £1,375 in registration fees, guarantee and marketing contra with our venue.
  • £450 for transport to and from Edinburgh (it is a long way from Margate)
  • £350>£400 for set and costume.

We have managed to fundraise over £3,000 already to cover the core costs of the project, paying for our rehearsal process and space. Amazingly, we are recipients of the Keep it Fringe Funding which is helping towards our marketing plan.

Additionally, we’re also partnered with Just Like Us and The BeYou Project, two INCREDIBLE charities that support young LGBTQIA+ people both in Margate and nationally, we’ve been providing outreach alongside their young people to develop the play. Then, with the incredible support from our other project partners, Margate Pride and The Tom Thumb Theatre, we have been able to secure previews to share the play and raise a couple of quid.

THE CHALLENGE

Through ongoing support from Brixton House Theatre, we will also be doing further fundraising, but we will still be hugely reliant on ticket sales from Underbelly to make the show ‘successful.’  

A GIFT FROM US, TO YOU!

Incentives and rewards are a funny part of crowdfunding. My mum used to give me sweets as an incentive to do my homework so I’d be successful, and now I’m an actor… But let me tell you, they made me happy - and that’s what we want you to be.  

So we’ve got some gorgeous Margate-inspired ways to do that. Check them all out on the right, but while I’ve got you here, I want to say a GINORMOUS thank you. Thank you for reading, thank you for donating and thank you for helping us get this show to the audiences it matters to most.

Thank you for reading and we hope to see you in Edinburgh! You can book tickets for Is the WiFi Good in Hell? HERE!

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Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£5,000 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Margate...Literal Margate

We’ll sell you *Margate. We’ve got the deed to the town. It’ll be yours. A statue of you will be erected, *Tracy Emin will design. (*My producer told me I had to say this is a joke... I'll build you the statue.)

£10 or more

The Margate

Personal, Margate inspired, “Thank You” on Twitter and Instagram.

£100 or more

The Dev

A poster signed by the cast, PLUS two free tickets to a show of your choice (dates subject to availability).

£800 or more

0 of 3 claimed

Margate Legend

Personal beration and message from Margate legend, Miriam Margolyes PLUS two free tickets to a show of your choice (dates subject to availability).

£1,600 or more

0 of 2 claimed

The Producer

Included as an associate producer on ALL printed & web marketing materials including your name/organisation name AND logo. PLUS free tickets to a show of your choice (dates subject to availability).

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