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Queer exceptionsSolo performance in neoliberal times$
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Stephen Greer

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781526113696

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526113696.001.0001

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Locating solo performance

Locating solo performance

(p.21) 1 Locating solo performance
Queer exceptions

Stephen Greer

Manchester University Press

Since the late 1990s, the figure of the creative entrepreneur has played an increasingly significant role in the working life of performers and theatre-makers across the UK and Europe. Focusing on the burgeoning economy and ecology of contemporary arts festivals as a key environment for the creation and staging of solo work, this chapter explores the increasing demand for self-employed artists to pursue individualised risk and reward, and to self-exploit. While unjuried events like the Edinburgh Festival Fringe emphasise that they are ‘open to all’, participation requires artists to take on the risk of significant personal debt and embrace often narrowly-drawn industry standards. In this context, ‘free’ fringe festivals – and the work of artist-led groups like Forest Fringe and BUZZCUT – suggest alternative modes of practice in resistance of neoliberal economies.

Keywords:   Entrepreneurship, Creative industries, Arts festivals, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Free festivals, Forest Fringe, BUZZCUT, Precarity

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