Adam Smith Tercentenary Lecture Series (2023), Panmure House, Review

Rondel showing the outline of Adam Smith, circled by text explaining it is the Tercentary of his work
Rating (out of 5)
Show info
Adam Smith’s Panmure House
Dr Caroline Howitt (Interviewer)
Dominic Frisby (day of reviewing; others on different days)
Running time

This lecture series features different authors on different days. All are exploring lesser-known aspects of Adam Smith’s life and work. Adam Smith, for those who may not have heard of him, was a Scottish economist and philosopher, best known for writing The Wealth of Nations, and is often described as the ‘father of economics’. The house he lived in for the last years of his life is Panmure House, which is where the lecture series is presented.

The first part of the lecture for the day attended, was a documentary connecting Adam Smith’s values to the rise of the Edinburgh Fringe and what has made it work. The creator of the documentary is Dominic Frisby, who was present for a Question-and-Answer session after the showing. The documentary is available on YouTube.

For those interested in the history of the Fringe and its development over the years, including links to capitalism, the documentary is a fascinating glimpse into how the Fringe has risen in popularity. It also tackles the economic impact of the Fringe on the city and those involved in putting on shows, as the financial impact for performers and creatives can be huge. Frisby is an entertaining speaker and handles complicated queries with diplomacy, particularly where audience members have a naive understanding of how difficult it is to make money during the Fringe, let alone break even. It is not as simple as the uninitiated might believe: a successful show does not equal profit.

The running time of the event was much longer than publicised (ran to about 1hr 25mins) and it had not been clear how the event would run (documentary then Q&A). Nonetheless, it is an interesting background to Adam Smith’s legacy and being able to see his beautifully restored house is a bonus particularly as it is all for free - would Adam Smith have approved?

Show Time: 17, 18, 21, 22, 24 August @ 18:00

Ticket Prices: Free

Accessible entry: Wheelchair access type - Wheelchair accessible (please contact the venue for more information). Age: 12+ (Guideline)