A two-week online festival was launched to showcase drama school graduates to casting directors, agents and producers. Guildford School of Acting graduate Liam Gartland and ArtsEd graduate Alice Croft are behind the The Grad Fringe Festival, which began on June 29, 2020.

Graduates performed in live cabarets, singing up to five of their favourite musical theatre songs, as well as in a selection of rehearsed readings of plays, overseen by Croft. In addition to the performances from graduates, the festival included a series of online Q&As with artists including actress Alice Fearn and choreographer Andrew Wright, as well as online classes taught by the graduates. Michael Harris, managing director at Apollo Artist Management, hosted a Q&A to provide graduates with advice on getting an agent.

A cabaret event celebrating black artists and writers, with black graduates performing their favourite work to raise money for charities in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Representatives from 20 drama schools including ArtsEd, Guildford School of Acting and Mountview also were on hand to give advice to graduates. 

Gartland said: “I wanted to create a space for graduates to network and to give them opportunities to enjoy experiences, like directing or teaching their own class, that they may never have had the chance to do before. "It is a chance for them to get advice from all areas of the industry, from leading performers, casting directors and agents, especially as the current pandemic means that graduates are struggling to get exposure at a crucial stage of their career.”

All of the sessions and performances are available to watch on Instagram and Youtube.