Greater Manchester Fringe: MM chat to acts old and new (and the Lord Mayor) for the lowdown…

With the Greater Manchester Fringe running through all of July – the event’s seventh year – Mancunian Matters went to speak to some of the acts and the organisers of the event at the closing party…

The event was described as an ‘enjoyable’ and ‘affordable alternative’ to the Edinburgh Fringe.

The organisers continued to explain how they brought three venues together and that there were seven venues in the first year.

When asked if they had to overcome any obstacles they said: “It can go badly wrong, we had two mental breakdowns on stage.”

MM were also keen to know how they chose who to award prizes to – we were informed they have a big team that watch and discuss and eventually come to a consensus of who they believe is the worthy winner.

The first group of performers keen to talk about their act were the group behind the western spoof Westernized.

Written by Nathan Smith, who also works as an actor and directs pantomimes, it was his second time at the Fringe having also been here three years ago.

The Westernized group later went on to win the award for most innovative use of space.

 Also attending the event was the online YouTube group @YourMcr who have an amazing 71 thousand followers on instagram and they managed to interview many of the acts.

Their team included Belinda Scandal, the interviewer who worked alongside Daniel Westwood, and her two technical producers Jack Carlin and Orielle Ashcroft.

It was fantastic to see so many people attending and MM caught up with the 17th female Lord Mayor of Manchester June Hitchen (main picture, middle).

“It’s an amazing opportunity to showcase talent every year,” she said.

MM also got the chance to speak to so many talented people: one in particular was Darren Scott, the winner of the best actor award for his appearance in a one-man play where he portrayed a man in the first half and his sister in the second half.

He described it as a bittersweet comedy, or in just three words, he replied: “Difficult, challenging and brave.”

Although Darren prefers to perform in plays, he has also recently worked on his role in the upcoming film Peterloo, a drama about the 1819 Peterloo massacre in Manchester. He was on set for three days and worked closely with Maxine Peake and Mike Leigh.

MM were also very interested in Brian Gorman as he is a ‘second time fringer’ performing his very own show (written by him as well!) in which he stars as the lead actor in One Man Bond. 

MM put the same question to Brian ( to describe his play in three words)…

“Fast and furious,” he replied, adding the show is “every Bond film in 60 minutes, from Goldfinger to Casino Royale.”

Alongside starring in his own show he has also appeared as Thomas Hamilton in 2011 in the TV programme The Dunblane Massacre.

Brian Gorman is currently touring for the rest of the year with his show One Man Bond.

Image courtesy of Craige Barker, with thanks.

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