Edinburgh Fringe session to help performers with anxiety

A free workshop for performers suffering from anxiety will be held at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe and explore how breathing exercises can help them overcome their nerves.

Conquering Performance Anxiety will take place on August 20 at Fringe Central. It is being run by GP Pippa Wheble in association with Equity. Wheble is also a trainer in a technique known as Transformational Breath, which helps actors “open up the full potential of their breathing system for better physical and emotional well-being”.

The workshop comes after performers opened up about the impact anxiety has had on their careers, including Broadway star Patti Murin. West End actors including Caroline Sheen and Jodie Jacobs have revealed their battles with anxiety in a bid to encourage more industry conversations around mental health.

They have been joined by actors including Savannah Stevenson, best known for her roles in Wicked and Chariots of Fire, and Danny Colligan, who was in The Book of Mormon. All have revealed the struggles they have faced with anxiety and the impact this has had on their careers, and have urged the industry to do more to support sufferers.

The workshop will explore “why anxiety is good for us as performers” but also the problems that can then occur. “I will talk about how breathing can be a really direct tool for managing anxiety in those performance situations and techniques that can help with that,” she said, adding that actors will also take part in a practical taster session of Transformational Breath.