Edinburgh’s Telford College is proud to hear that Performing Arts Lecturer, Allan Woolfe was commemorated for his Lifetime Contribution to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe at a dinner by the Edinburgh Fringe Society last Friday 14 January 2011.
Curriculum Leader for Technical Theatre Skills at Edinburgh’s Telford College, Allan Woolfe has been the longest ever serving Director of the Board of the Fringe, serving 25 years since 1985, of which for 20 of these years he was the Vice-Chair.
He was presented with his award, in the form of an inscribed Scottish Quaich – accompanied by a bottle of malt whisky to fill it - by Chairwoman of the Festival Fringe Society, Baroness Smith of Gilmorehill, Elizabeth Smith and the current Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Festival Fringe Society, Pip Utton, who said “the dinner and award was given so that the Society could pay tribute to the enormous contribution Allan made to the Fringe and in recognition of Allan being the longest serving director in the history of the Fringe”.
Commenting on receiving this recognition, Allan said:
“I was delighted to be in receipt of the Quaich and whisky, but the warm and kind words of my colleagues were even better.
“It was a huge wrench to draw a line under my service to the Fringe and I will miss working to promote the Fringe and Edinburgh, however, after 25 years it seemed the right time to step down. I intend to remain a member of the company and will continue to support the Fringe as an audience member.”
Having a degree in Social Science, Allan trained to become a social worker, before becoming a roadie and sound engineer. He moved sideways into the theatre world, doing sound for Wildcat Theatre and subsequently became production manager for 7:84 Theatre Company; technical director of Theatre Workshop and technical manager of The Arches. In more recent years, he has undertaken production management and senior stage management for outdoor events including the Edinburgh Hogmanay celebrations; the European Cup Final at Hampden; and the Queen and the Dali Lama visits.
Allan currently lectures full-time in lighting, sound and stage management at Edinburgh’s Telford College. He has a long association with the Technical Theatre courses and was chair of the validation committee for the HNC course in 1994. Still undertaking freelance projects, he is now one of Scotland’s most experienced theatre technicians with extensive knowledge of venues from the tiny to the large.