It’s the day before Gluttony opens and the Fringe hub is a sea of hi-vis vests and construction during bump in, to get the popular venue up and running before opening.
“I’m somewhat sleep deprived and caffeine-fuelled,” says production manager Charlotte Kirby while Gluttony co-director Elena Kirschbaum says bump-in always flips between “everything is on track” to “there’s no way we can pull this off”.
“But we always do,” she says. “And one of the best things I’ve heard is that no event is ever ready to go until three minutes before the punters walk in the door. And that’s right; there is always something more you can do.”
Kirby and Kirschbaum are two of 10 women who hold key management roles at Gluttony, while eight females are part of the tech crew (out of 19) and 58 shows at Gluttony are produced by women.
“We have women in almost all of our major roles, which is by coincidence rather than design,” Kirschbaum says. “We’re just lucky that we have so many capable women that are on the team and we’ve got women in most of the forklifts, most of the boomlifts, all of our riggers are women, of our core management team, two-thirds women. We don’t have a gender equality statement as a business because we’ve never needed to. We’re surrounded by enormously capable women.”
Kirby’s Gluttony journey began last year when she was a manager of the venue Octagon while Kirschbaum started as an independent producer eight years ago and four years ago became a partner in the business with Daniel Michael.
“The reason I chose Gluttony over other jobs I got offered last season was because of the interactions I had with the management when I was negotiating a position,” Kirby says. “It was not that Gluttony was the coolest place to work or the flashiest or the most notable at the time, but it was a pleasant interaction and it came from Elena and Daniel.”
Kirschbaum says a lot of people who work at the hub say the venue is like a family.
“We try and foster that sort of atmosphere around our worksite and around the event suite as well; people feel safe and protected and we are on their side. I would hope that’s the kind of vibe we try and create at Gluttony.”
Will the Gluttony family travel to other cities or be present at other events?
“Gluttony is Gluttony at the moment,” Kirschbaum says. “Daniel and I independently run other events. This is the big one we collaborate on together. There are certainly plans to expand it. We’re hoping in the next few months to coordinate an event together with this team, in at least one other place, everything is in the pipeline. That’s the plan over the next year because we do all these things independently already, but we have such a great team here at Gluttony. If we have one or two other events it means this team can stay together and move around the country. That would be the dream. That’s what we’re working towards bit by bit. Artists and staff – the whole lot. We forge these relationships and it will be great for us to keep fostering them.”
Until Sunday, March 19
Header image: Gluttony staff left to right Elena Kirschbaum, Jane Schofield, Boo Dwyer, Charlotte Kirby
Photography: Jonathan van der Knaap