Tuesday, 25 June 2019

REPORTAGE: Opening Party for the Greater Manchester Fringe Festival.

The Greater Manchester Fringe Theatre Festival is only one week away, and this last Sunday, at The King's Arms in Salford, saw the official opening party for what looks like being the biggest and best yet. Our reporter John Waterhouse went to check it out.......

The ‘Kings’ was unusually full for a Sunday evening and for good reason because this year’s Fringe boasts near two hundred acts, typically performing three times across forty venues. This was essentially a time where fellow performers could meet each other in a relaxed atmosphere, with all tables covered with flyers as everyone naturally plugged their own shows. There was no sense however of any hard-sells and a party like this provides as much a vehicle for everyone to learn from as much as sell to each other.

As always, this year’s fringe is a huge mix of radically varied shows, with a fairly even mix of offering just pure entertainment or drawing attention to political or social issues. A few of the offerings provide some interesting What if’s, such as an encounter between Emily Pankhurst and Liam Gallagher. Others just look delightfully bizarre such as ‘2 Clowns 1 Cup’, essentially a journey of sex and self-discovery with a warning to would-be audience members -‘You will get wet!’

‘Mistress To The Midnight’ looks like a crowd pleaser to look out for, a stage spoof of the classic British horror film. Also worth a look might be a reprise from last year’s Edinburgh Fringe entitled, ‘Holy Sh*t’, about two priests raising funds by selling bodies. On the more serious side, ‘Drowning In Silence’ by Roni Ellis explores the effect on a family following the sudden death of a parent.

For those looking for the downright curious, ‘Underwater’ is a show performed in the dark, about sea creatures facing an environmental apocalypse! There are as always, plenty of one man (or woman) shows with surely one of the most extraordinary being Jimmy Allen presenting a bawdy tribute to Carole King as the ‘Carole Queen Tapestry’ show. Let no one say there isn’t something for everybody in this year’s fringe.

John Waterhouse.

For more information on shows, dates, venues, and of cousre how to book, go to .... www.greatermanchesterfringe.co.uk

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