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Exeter Fringe Festival Will Take Place This Summer With Over 100 Performances

Exeter Fringe Festival Will Take Place This Summer With Over 100 Performances

In July 2019, the inaugural Exeter Fringe Festival will take place with over 100 performances at Exeter Phoenix and Barnfield Theatre across 10 days from 26 July to 4 August. There are 6 performance spaces featuring a wide range of fringe theatre, family theatre, comedy, music and dance. The inaugural Exeter Fringe Festival has been organised by Elaine Faulkner and Alex Jackson.

Headline acts include the magician James Phelan (Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee's nephew), India Electric Co. a soulful folk double act who recently supported Midge Ure on tour, Sleeping Trees with their new show Silly Funny Boys return to Exeter following sell-out runs of Western and Mafia. The programme also features a host of emerging and established comedians, local family theatre company Paddleboat Theatre, and more.

Other festival performances include a new show about space flight in Cornwall to a storytelling performance which combines panto, drag and the art of storytelling in an all-singing, partial-dancing extravaganza filled with stories about being who you are and loving who you want. There's also a virtual reality experience that whisks you away to exciting locations and performances by Exeter based artists, companies, students and youth theatres. We even have a late night cabaret, a musical comedy about a homicidal BHS pensioner and a play put together by local people in just 24 hours.

The festival will proudly showcase brand new pieces as well, in a dedicated space for work-in-progress performances where all the tickets will be 'Pay What You Decide'. Audiences will get the chance to see the next big hit in the early stages of its creation.

Festival Director Elaine Faulkner grew up near Exeter, training at Exeter College and Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Having worked nationally and internationally she returned to the city to work for local company Theatre Alibi, and more recently as a co-director of Stage Technical Services. She has recently been appointed a board member of the Barnfield Theatre and Production Manager of the Exeter Northcott Theatre. "it's an exciting time to be living in Exeter with the Cultural scene in the city going from strength to strength. As a local resident, I've been excited by the prospect of a festival where everyone is welcome. Whether you've never been before, or you're a regular theatre goer, we've programmed something for you. That's what we want to build, an exciting festival that draws audiences and acts from near and far to our vibrant city.

Alex Jackson, now a Theatre Director based In London grew up in Honiton and worked at the Bike Shed Theatre until it's closure last year. Since then he spent a year training at the King's Head Theatre, London on their prestigious directors programme working across projects from Opera to Pantomime, and is Resident Director on the UK Tour of Club Tropicana, the 80s jukebox musical starring Joe McEldrey and Kate Robbins. "Exeter Fringe Festival was born from conversations Elaine and I had last summer. We felt there was a real gap in the cultural offering for audiences. We've created a festival that encompasses theatre, comedy and more with a strong programme of Family theatre so that all ages can join in and enjoy themselves together. There's something for everyone so I hope people will support our efforts and make the most of the fringe."

If the festival is a hit, organisers hope to make it an annual event building on this year's success for 2020.

Save money on tickets across the festival with concessions for children and students. Plus, everyone can take advantage of 20% off full price tickets for booking 3 or more shows. Tickets are available from and from the box offices at The Barnfield Theatre and Exeter Phoenix. Booking fees apply.

Further Quotes from the Organisers and Supportive Organisations

"We're hoping that the public will come out and support the festival this year. We're starting something no one has ever tried to do before, so its always been a leap of faith in starting up the festival. If it goes well this year, we've big plans for the future and there's the potential for the festival to bring a huge amount of tourism and income to Exeter's economy, especially its thriving independent sector."

"We're passionate about audiences getting to experience the best of theatre and live performances both by local artists who have deep connections to the city and from talented acts who are coming from as far afield as Australia! We're also really excited to introduce Exeter to performers who haven't necessarily visited the city before. Our beautiful county has so much to offer, and our city in particular has some incredible sites to see and things to do. The festival venues are a train ride away from the beach, a stones throw from the quay, and a short walk from Gandy Street and Fore Street where Devon's best collections of independent shops and restaurants reside meaning that tourists and artists alike will be coming to Exeter to soak it all in."

"We've been really lucky so far with strong support from Exeter Northcott Theatre, the Barnfield Theatre, Exeter Phoenix, Cygnet Theatre and other organisations in the city that we've reached out to. We've got a small but dedicated team working on the festival including some fantastic volunteers who are helping us out with everything from taking the programme and print around the city centre, to sitting on our advisory board. There's also our generous sponsors, local businesses who value the opportunity this presents for Exeter and have chosen to help us out with direct sponsorship or in-kind support. Without this kind of support the festival would be difficult to organise."

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