A collage of photos from the previous Spotlight networking event

Spotlight on Theatre & Dance at Edinburgh Fringe

Spotlight on Theatre and Dance from Northern Ireland champions Northern Irish artists at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, providing mentoring, a small financial contribution, and a platform and networking opportunities (both individually and as a group) for artists to pursue onward touring and collaborations with national and international markets.

A collage of photos from the previous Spotlight networking event

Led by Theatre and Dance NI (TDNI) with Arts Council of Northern Ireland (ACNI), British Council Northern Ireland, and Belfast International Arts Festival, the programme has contributed to multiple successes (see below).


  • Since 2019, our non-curated programme provides a platform for independent Northern Irish artists at the Edinburgh Fringe, offering international exposure and opportunities for further artistic growth and professional development.
  • The Edinburgh Fringe festival is one of the largest and most important global arts marketplaces with industry members/programmers attending from around the world through well-established networks. These networks have consistently expressed interest to engage more with Northern Irish artists and their work.
  • Performing at the Edinburgh Fringe can result in further opportunities for our exceptional creative talent in NI artists/companies, to tour nationally and internationally. The Spotlight programme is designed to maximise this opportunity.
  • With our extensive international partnerships and networks, we facilitate deep and meaningful connections for NI artists, maximising their future touring potential.

Support under the programme includes

  • Inclusion in Spotlight on Theatre and Dance NI from Northern Ireland event at Dance Base, Edinburgh. This will include a short presentation of your work and face-to-face networking with international industry delegates (see below).
  • Mentoring and guidance from TDNI and external partners, including personalised meetings before the Fringe to identify and understand individual needs and goals. This guidance will help with navigation and making the most out of the festival before, during and beyond.
  • Tailored industry event schedules and networking opportunities with national and international delegates.
  • Recommendations for attending EFFS (Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society) industry sessions aimed at artists navigating the Fringe; skills building/development workshops; and industry-artist (networking) sessions including free access to workspaces (through collaboration with the Irish Embassy), resources, and mental health support.
  • Networking facilitation with EFFS teams, national and international groups, Arts Council of NI, British Council UK/NI, Culture Ireland, and Dance Base to connect NI Spotlight artists with other UK nations and international showcases. We will help introduce you to the most relevant people for future touring to foster transnational exchange and connections.
  • Marketing and communications, including a digital brochure with QR code integration, media coverage across various channels and promotional video in collaboration with Arts Council of NI. See our 2023 edition here.
  • Invitation to a special UK Event at Dance Base, Edinburgh.
  • Post-Edinburgh evaluation session for reporting and advocacy purposes.
  • A small financial contribution towards your Fringe expenses.

Past Spotlight artists successes

  • “In The Name of the Son” (GBL Productions) toured to Auckland National Arts Festival 2024 following their Spotlight profile in 2022.
  • “Two Fingers Up” (Skelpie Limmer) won the Melbourne Fringe Tour Ready award, leading to a successful tour at Melbourne and Sydney Fringe Festivals, 2023 and Irish Cultural Centre (2023).
  • “Scaredy Fat” (Skelpie Limmer) toured at the London Pleasance and is scheduled for a run at the Grand Opera House, Belfast, with plans for the Adelaide Fringe Festival in 2024/25.
  • “Lie Low” (Prime Cut) is being performed at Royal Court Theatre, London, in May 2024.
  • “Whisk(e)y Wars” had sold-out runs at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, and Bozar Brussels, supported by ACNI & NI Exec Office.
  • C21 Theatre company’s “Expecting”, exploring experiences unique to d/Deaf couples, has it’s US premiere in May 2024 at The Keegan Theatre in Washington.
  • Fellowship Artist Flora Herberich made connections with Bristol Circus City/Handstand Arts and secured funding through a successful Four Nations Fund application for further networking.

Check here for any current opportunites.

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