First ever Greater Manchester Fringe Festival launches in style

By Ian Silvera

The first ever Greater Manchester Fringe Festival was launched in style last week – and MM were there to find out what they have in store for us come July.

The night kicked off with a vibrant performance from the mischievous double act Norris and Parker.

The terrible twosome executed their original take on sketch comedy, incorporating the London riots, toffs, bohemians and hilariously satirizing the gap-year set.

It was a solid performance and got the show well and truly rolling.

Following the Manchester Theatre School graduates was Jenny Shuttleworth, aka ‘Girl Peculiar’. 

Ms Peculiar created an ambient atmosphere with her acoustic riffs and melodic voice, providing a pleasant contrast to the riotous style of Norris and Parker.

The festival’s events will include drama premieres, live music, dance, stand-up comedy, visual arts, literature and workshops.

Blake’s Seven star Paul Darrow will be appearing in the opening nights of Robots of Death and Storm Mine, brand new stage adaptations of Dr Who stories from 1977 by Alan Stevens, thanks to a joint collaboration between Fab Café and the Lass O’Gowrie.

As with the adaptation of Russell T Davies’s Midnight at Lassfest in January, neither story features Dr Who or his companion. They feature the main characters from Magic Bullet’s series of audio adventures Kastron Iago and Elska Blayes, taken from Chris Boucher’s original rehearsal scripts.

Manchester City Ballet and Jazzgalore dance companies will be showcasing A Dance Review at The Dancehouse.

Also keeping the Dancehouse crowd entertained will be the legendary London comedy club Jongleurs Comedy Live will also be bringing a selection of the country’s finest up-an-coming stand-ups.

Other highlights at the venue include Cabaret Regale and Grimm Up North, a horror film double bill.

Sandbar will be hosting a range of spoken word events, live music and creative workshops including the comedy MC improv event Freestyle Fictionary – a challenge akin to the TV show Who’s Line Is It Anyway, but with a lyrical twist.

Other spoken word events at Sandbar will include Magical Animals, a combination of poetry, spoken word and surreal comedy… with cakes.

All will be polished off with some promising live music events such as a Freedom Principle, a jazz platform for touring bands ran by efpi Records. Look out for all this and more, alongside word events curated by the Blank Media Collective.

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