Help me get 'Pinched' to the Fringe

by Emma Hadley-Leonard in Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Help me get 'Pinched' to the Fringe

Total raised £3,470

raised so far



I am determined and excited to bring 'Pinched', my debut solo show to the uniquely fantastic stage that is the Edinburgh Fringe, this August

by Emma Hadley-Leonard in Edinburgh, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

Thank you for clicking through and considering supporting me. Your support really is appreciated.

Having spent three years developing and refining Pinched, it fills me with excitement to announce that my dream of bringing my own work to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is within reach; and I'd love your help.

In my second year of training on the Professional Acting course at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, I started to write my debut Performance Art/Theatre piece, Pinched. Having relished every moment since my arrival at BOVTS, my training then abruptly grinded to a halt, as it did for so many of us, as COVID-19 hit and the school closed with immediate affect. I subsequently lost nearly two years' worth of in-person training, performing in my final year show as Hedda Gabler on the main stage at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre Royal in 2020, but in a devastating blow, to an empty house and an online audience, rather than a live audience of industry professionals. Opportunities to connect with such professionals were then scarce. Since graduating I have been determined to stay engaged, doing the work that I love, despite little opportunity.

Creating my own work has been a real life-raft to me, both as a performer and an individual, fighting to forge a career in such a competitive and struggling industry. Motivated by the endless possibilities of storytelling and the exploration of pressing and crucial topics, I have been developing my current work, Pinched as an expression of my, and others', struggles with self-worth, mental health and body image, set within a celebration of individuality. My work strives to be thought-provoking for audience members, to promote social change in areas of government funding and social reform, and to instigate those difficult yet necessary conversations between audience members and their friends, family, partners, and co-workers. I believe the impact of my show will be significant for audience members and, hopefully beyond. Through the allocation of two free Community Ticketing Initiative tickets per show, I am striving to actively make a difference by increasing accessibility to the Arts.

Having visited and worked at the Edinburgh Fringe for many years, from the very beginning of the devising process for Pinched, I had the Fringe in mind as its initial destination. The festival's forward-thinking, inclusive and powerful platform, with its individualist roots, has given a voice to some of the most impactful pieces of work I have seen. I believe the experimental nature of my exposing, unbridled piece can find no better platform, as elsewhere its unorthodox method of storytelling could well be excluded. 

Now the good news!!

I have secured a two-week run in a fantastic venue, the Sprout Studio, Greenside @ Infirmary St, and have great hopes for the success and longevity of Pinched off the back of the Fringe this year. 

But right now, without your support, the great potential of this dream is one of optimism, not realism. 

The cost of taking a show to the Edinburgh Fringe makes it an exclusive opportunity, unobtainable to the average individual performer without significant funding, and increasingly so. I am resolute to do whatever it takes in order to achieve my dream of putting on my own work at the Fringe, but I cannot make this happen alone, and so I turn to you... 

Thanks for reading this far :) 

It will cost me  4,500 in total to put on this show. But, if I can raise even half of that through crowdfunding and a number of fundraising events (watch this space!!!), then, it can happen! Alongside making contributions from my own savings from my current work teaching Performing Arts to some of London's most vulnerable young people, and applying to every applicable grant I can find, which frankly are few and far between, this exciting dream will become an incredible opportunity and experience for many. 

So! I am asking for donations, no matter how small, to my cause. Any sum that you may be able to spare will truly go a long way: 

Your  1 donation could buy a crucial prop - a bucket from B&Q!
Your  20 donation could pay for one day's hire of tech equipment
Your  50 donation could go towards purchasing thousands of flyers that will fall into the hands of festival-goers all over the city

And there are so many other ways to help, for example sharing my digital flyer and this link through your networks, loaning props if you live in Edinburgh or nearby, even visiting the Fringe & coming to see the show! Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you think you can help, and would like to, help in any way, via the email below.

Email: [email protected]

Thank you for reading, and thank you so much for your support. 


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