FEATURE: Newcastle Fringe Festival | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Fragments of Poe by Luke Waddington

Newcastle Fringe Festival returns from Tuesday 16th-Sunday 27th July and will be dishing out a full range of performing art delights, with fifty touring artists taking over Alphabetti Theatre, Prohibition Cabaret Bar and Dance City in the centre of the city, along with The Old Coal Yard and The Cumberland Arms in the Ouseburn Valley.

There’s comedy, cabaret, theatre, music and lots more in one of the festival’s most vibrant and eclectic programmes to date. So if you’re looking to kickstart your cloud-filled Summer, check out what’s in store.



When you think ‘fringe’ you tend to think of comedy, and this event is brimming with laughs. To name a few, at Alphabetti comic Amy Matthews explores love, home and class in Commute With The Foxes (16th-20th); Cal Halbert shares how alcohol ruined his life (19th); Alex Kealy discusses The Fear (17th); Richard Pulsford dispenses one-liners in Get Rich Quick (18th) AND Daniel Nicholas thrills audiences with his murder mystery, Art To Die For (20th). At The Coal Yard, there’s Britain’s Got Talent winner Lost Voice Guy (19th); at The Cumberland Arms, Australian comedian Thao Thanh Cao comes clean in Confessions of a Comedian (16th) and there are hilarious sets from Amy Anette (24th) at Prohibition Bar and Jessie Cave at Dance City (25th).


Alongside the laughs, the Fringe offers a variety of performance art that will capture your imagination. Want to get lost in a story? Then check out online dating drama You Need To Say Sorry (16th), Brainsoup Collective’s apocalypse-based surrealist theatre Thresholds (18th-19th) or Dora Frankel Ensemble’s gothic and quirky Fragments of Poe (27th) at Alphabetti. Black comedy/horror The King In Yellow (27th) is at The Cumberland Arms. The Old Coal Yard offers cabaret from climate-focused duo Fossilheads (24th) and LOL-alicious drag acts PlastiQ (18th) and SALLY™ (25th). Music lovers can get their jazz fix from Bold Big Band (26th) at The Old Coal Yard and disco divas can enjoy A Hot Minute’s tribute to female music legends (19th).


Kick start your Summer holidays with some quality time catching a performance with your brood. Enjoy the improv storytelling of The Extraordinary Time-Travelling Adventures of Baron Munchausen (26th); Philip Simon’s award-winning kid-friendly joke show, School’s Out Comedy Club (25th); or magical, musical adventure The Ballad of Billie and The Tree Stump (23rd-27th). For the slightly older ones there’s a witty, musical insight into the teens with Mother’s Ruin: The Teenage Years (26th-27th).


As well as being a great event for touring talent, Newcastle Fringe also features lots of local top turns. The Alphabetti highlights include Lauren Pattison with her brand new show Big Girls Pants (23rd-24th); fellow female comedians Kelly Edgar, Kerris Gibson, Alex Redman and Kelly Rickard join forces for No Worries If Not (17th); and the master of spoken word Donald Jenkins performs Still Raving In Your 40s (23rd-24th). Over at The Old Coal Yard, Geordie comic Mike Milligan talks about his acting experiences in Lead Me Here (25th). Prohibition Bar’s local selection sees Si Beckwith talk step-parenting in Bricks (26th) and Amy Wright (26th) goes Consett daft in her must-see routine.

Image: Jessie Cave

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