Where did CoDI come from?

It’s a long story! But we’ll give you the short(ish) version…



In January 2013, it came about that there was an open slot for a show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival on George Street. The space had become available due to noise complaints, meaning a new show had to either be acoustic or spoken word. Cue Susan Morrison. Susan suggested both the concept for the show and the name for it – ‘Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas’. From there in came Fair Pley (Stephen Wright), who secured the venue(s) and later produced the shows.  The Beltane team (Sarah Anderson) scoured Edinburgh and beyond for controversial research topics, and rallied the academic performers that they belonged to. Come  August 2013, the first ever Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas was performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. From then on the performers got the bug,  the audiences got excited, and the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas kept coming back for more provoking discourse, discussion and debate over some of research’s most controversial topics every year!



It should be noted however, that whilst CoDI would cease to exist without the incredible Susan, Stephen, and Sarah, there is a large team of people behind them – too long to list. The success of CoDI today is a result of the hard work of everyone involved, from researchers and performers, to those behind the scenes, to the founders themselves.

CoDI 2017 audience figures have doubled since 2014 with over 2,000 fringe-goers now entering the Cabaret. Moreover, 74% of viewers on average learned something new, and 83% said they would recommend to a friend!

And here we are today, where the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas provides an informal but high-profile platform for researchers to discuss their work with members of the public. Curated by the Beltane Public Engagement Network, produced by Fair Pley, and compered by comedian Susan Morrison.

Come along and see for yourselves where CoDI came from, to where it is today, and become a part of this unique Cabaret’s history.