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Adam Smith: Father of the Fringe

A feature-length film

I thought I’d feature our film Adam Smith: Father of the Fringe here on Substack for those of you who have not yet had a chance to see it. Even though I say so myself, it is a very pleasant way to spend an evening.

Adam Smith: Father of the Fringe is written and presented by yours truly and features many of the UK’s most loved comedians including Jimmy Carr, Al Murray, Henning Wehn (not technically UK, but hey), Arthur Smith and Shazia Mirza. It tells the extraordinary economic success story of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Let me give you some numbers so you get an idea just how big the Fringe is: in 2019 it attracted 4.5 million visitors from 157 of the world’s 195 countries. It sold over 3 million tickets - only the Olympic Games sells more and they are every four years. It is the biggest arts festival in the world and yet it all started by accident in 1947 when 8 groups were told they weren’t good enough to perform at the inaugural Edinburgh International Festival, but decided to come and do their shows anyway.

As you may have gathered by the title, I suggest that the success came because, quite by accident, the Fringe realised the principles conceived by a philosopher who lived in the same city two hundred years earlier: Adam Smith.

As well as the comics, there is original footage of the first edition of Wealth of Nations captured in the very room where Smith completed it and many more unique surprises. It is shot in scenic locations in and about Edinburgh and Glasgow, as well as at Panmure House, where Smith lived for the last 12 years of his life.

Crack open a bottle of red (as Smith would have done) or have yourself a nice mug of tea, and enjoy.

And if you like the film, please give us a nice rating on IMDB

"A lovely history ... Come for Adam Smith, stay for the portrait of the glorious beast that is the Edinburgh Fringe." Bruce Dessau, arts critic.

"Excellent, well researched and cogent. Bravo!" Arthur Smith, comedian

"This film is a celebration of what makes the Fringe so thrilling and mad and creative and vast," Steve Bennett, Chortle

Written and presented by Dominic Frisby.
Directed by Alex Webster.
Executive Producer Paul Wedgwood
With Peter Buckley Hill, Jimmy Carr, Caroline Howitt, Shazia Mirza, Al Murray, Arthur Smith and Henning Wehn
A Frazdom Production ⓒ 2021 All Rights Reserved
For licensing or other enquiries, please contact frizzers(at)

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The Flying Frisby
The Flying Frisby
Dominic Frisby