964   Demonstration

A Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas: Seven years, 230 shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Author: Fiona Murray
University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom

The Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas (CODI) is an innovative and highly successful co-produced public engagement with research programme. Started in 2013, this is a collaborative effort between the four universities in Edinburgh (coordinated through the Beltane Public Engagement Network), Fair Pley and Susan Morrison. CODI takes public engagement into the thick of the world’s largest arts festival: the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. In 2019 there were 48 CODI shows at the Fringe presenting different dangerous ideas every day and providing opportunities for the audience to discuss and debate cutting edge and controversial research with experts.

The strength of CODI lies in the development time and comprehensive training programme for researchers including knowing your audience, marketing and stagecraft. The shows and training appeal to both senior academics and Fringe going audiences as they are informal yet intellectual and have the prestige of being part of the Fringe. The shows use provocative statements and humour that result in lively discussions that address the complexities of the subject areas. Audience contributions are an integral part of the show and researchers expect to be challenged.

In keeping with this year’s conference themes, this demonstration will present Dangerous Ideas around Data, however the CODI format is highly versatile platform for all research areas.

This Demonstration will start with two taster CODI shows: “Dark Side of Data Security” and “Privacy is Dead, Long Live Privacy!”

We will then present the outcomes and conclusions of 7 years of evaluation data from audiences and performers.

This will be followed by a facilitated panel discussion covering:
Co-production with entertainment professionals
Training researchers in stagecraft and marketing
Researcher experiences performing at the Fringe
Questions from the audience

Co-author: Stephen Wright
Fair Pley, United Kingdom

Co-author: Susan Morrison
Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, United Kingdom

Co-author: Nicola Osborne
University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Co-author: Ross Donaldson
Heriot-Watt University, United Kingdom

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