Newcastle Fringe: What’s on and how to get involved

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Entertainment

The forthcoming Newcastle Fringe has attracted 30 different shows with over 90 performances. All the action kicks off on January 28th and runs until the 6th of February. Acts are coming from the United States, England, Melbourne, Sydney and of course Newcastle.

Five venues will take part in the Fringe, all within the Newcastle CBD. The  Civic Playhouse, The Royal Exchange, The Unorthodox Church of Groove, The Leagues Club and The Cathedral.

The original concept of Fringe Festivals started in Edinburgh, Scotland as an off shoot to a major arts festival. The result – the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is now bigger than the original main festival. A Fringe festival is where any one can have a go. It is open to all levels of performing artistry with many artists now making a living performing at all the Fringe festivals around the world. These types of festivals attract all forms of performing arts, including Comedy, Theatre, Dance, Music, Cabaret, Children’s Theatre. There is something for everyone. More importantly, Fringe festivals give artists a chance to work outside the “norm”, and be more experimental, daring and different. It is art in its purest form.

Two interesting acts combine Comedy, Circus, and Theatre. “The Incredible Feelzo” presented by Nikolas Strubbe from the United States, is on each night in the Civic Playhouse at 9pm. Also “Mind over Mind over Matter”; presented by Hannah Quinn is at the Unorthodox Church of Groove, at 7pm for the first 5 nights.

A home grown entertainer who is now enjoying a successful career as a comedian, Stephen Abbott, alias “The Sandman”, is opening his new show “Steve and the Birds of Sandman” at the Civic Playhouse, 7:30pm for the first 4 nights.

There are 2 Children’s Theatre shows. “Would Man Strikes a Pose” at the Civic Playhouse, 28th, 29th 30th 31st January and “Rabbit’s Folly” at the Unorthodox Church of Groove for 3 shows 5th  and 6th February. Both of these shows have been programmed at a time to suit children.

Two shows that combine music and theatre/cabaret are “Storytime With Lord Pencil” by Ricky Dunbar and “Sound Human” by Bryce Halliday. These shows are at the Royal Exchange at 7:30 and 9pm from the 2nd February to the 6th February.

There are three music/theatre shows at the Cathedral. Spaning 9 of the 10 days. They are “Huckleberry”, “Intimate Haunts” by Ryan Burrett and “Artemis Cocoon” a major work by Angela Harman spanning two nights.

Local CONDA winning musicians “The Smoking Chops” will be presenting their music show ”Speak Easy” at the Unorthodox Church of Groove on the first week end and at the Civic Playhouse on the second week end.

Melbourne Comedians, Gavin Lind and Adams Jacobs, will also be performing one off shows at the Unorthodox Church of Groove on the 29th and 30th January.

Local entertainer, Clark Gormley will be doing 2 different show at the Royal Exchange. “Up the Nerdsville Track” for the first 5 days and “Nerds and Music” on Friday the 5th February.

“Zingara” is a dance show presented by Sonya Manzalini is at the Civic Playhouse, 2:30pm on both Saturdays.

There is a host of Comedy talent available, including Sam Maloney in “Hot Wheels”, Jarrod Moore in “Confessions of a Good Catholic Boy” and Kristen Boesenberg in “Krystal meth in Cirque Hey Hey”. Also Alan Brady doing 5 shows at the Unorthodox Church of Groove, Nick Phillips, Chris Butler, Michael Sykes, Andrew Milos, Marty Bright, Jen Carnovale, Liam Callen and Steve White.

Well known artist, Kara Zmatiq, will be doing her brand of cabaret at the Leagues Club on the last night February 6th.

The four theatre shows are all unique. Elisa Cristallo’s show at the Royal Exchange on the first weekend, “Welcome to the Family” appeals with a real sense of fun.

Alex Travers is presenting a different type of theatre that will be enjoyable called, “The Stage Where We Met” at the Royal Exchange for the first 5 days. Nyssa Hamilton is performing  “Few Too To Mention”. This piece has been performed in England and is at the Royal Exchange on the last day.

One of the Administrators of the Newcastle Fringe, Phillip Aughey, will be performing his piece, “Chopin’s Last Tour”, at the Civic Playhouse starting 1st February to the 6th February. This work was performed at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2015 to high acclaim. After Newcastle the show is going to Adelaide, Edinburgh (again), Sopol and Sydney.

On the last 2 nights there are Open Mic sessions at the Leagues Club starting 9pm. These are open for anyone to have a go.

Ticketing for the Newcastle Fringe is through “Sticky Tickets” for the Royal Exchange, Unorthodox Church of Groove, Leagues Club and the Cathedral. Ticketex is doing the ticketing for the Civic Playhouse. These can be booked on line through the ticketing companies, or through the their website.

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