Best in Class is a crowd funded profit sharing show that champions the talent of working class performers. We provide the opportunity for working class comedians to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival without charging them for the privilege.
There are many barriers facing working class performers, who are underrepresented in comedy and at the worlds biggest arts festival, the Edinburgh Fringe. Often parodied and mocked in mainstream comedy, working class comedians have strong voices and unique experiences that need to be heard at the fringe. Growing up, they often have little access to the arts, they don’t have industry contacts or money and are unable to finance Edinburgh shows. They also struggle to take the time off work and to justify a full run at the fringe. Best in Class gives talented comedians the opportunity to perform at Edinburgh Fringe whilst minimising some of the barriers they usually face, such as cost and length of commitment. Talented comedians from working class backgrounds can perform at Best in Class for a maximum of one week. They won’t have to pay anything towards the running costs of the show and will receive a share of any profits.
Most of our show costs have been covered from our fundraising in 2020. This year we want to support more working class comedians than ever. With support from the Fringe Recovery Fund, we have established a new fund to offer accommodation bursaries to working class performers taking part in a full run at the fringe.
House of Class aims to support as many working class performers as possible by making a contribution to their accommodation costs.
The spiralling cost of Edinburgh Fringe accommodation
is a huge barrier that prevents many working class people from accessing the biggest arts festival in the world. Costs can be upwards of £1200 per person for a room in a shared student type flat. With demand outstripping supply, rents increase year on year and many working class acts are priced out of the market. This has a knock on effect within the comedy industry, less working class acts in Edinburgh means less working class representation on TV, radio and in writers rooms.
Working class networking events and plays about living under the shadow of a colliery are all well and good, but lived experience shows that the main barrier to working class participation at the fringe, is a financial one. Best in Class aim to support as many working class performers as possible, the more money we can raise for our House of Class project, the more people we can directly support.