Lancashire Fringe Festival is a series of FREE* performance events. The festival operates a Pay What You Decide model, where audiences can make an optional donation after the show. No tickets required. Just turn up! Only one show in this year’s festival requires tickets – and requires a fee.
Note: Further shows will be announced.
Teatro Vivo: The Regulars
Tues April 26 – Vinyl Tap (8pm)
Have you ever wondered who might have nursed a pint at this table before you? Who propped up the bar a decade ago? Or who stood in front of that fireplace telling tall tales 200 years back?
In Teatro Vivo’s show, The Regularsof the past sit shoulder to shoulder with the pubgoers and bar staff of today.
Designed specifically for performance in pubs, it is a celebration of the outlandish, sometimes incredible stories you hear over a pint.
Pull up that stool, lean in close, and as the drinks flow you might start to wonder how blurred the lines are between fact and fiction.
Teatro Vivo is a critically-acclaimed theatre company led by Kas Darley and Mark Stevenson. They make playful and exciting immersive shows in unusual spaces. They tell stories in surprising ways – bringing Shakespeare to supermarkets, exploring The Odyssey on the streets of Deptford, or exposing the truth behind the British arms trade in public squares.
Damson Poets with special guests T.M/O and Joy France + open mic
Weds April 27 (7.30pm) – The Continental
Lancashire Fringe Festival is delighted to joing Damson Poets to present an evening of poetry with the brilliant T.M/O and Rapping Granny Joy France!
T is a self-taught poet, painter, host and facilitator, currently living in Yorkshire, UK.
Performing poetry since 2017, and painting since she can remember, T’s work focusses on connection and exploration of the hypocrises we sit with. Featured in WordsBy, Unicef Next Gen, and Thrive Ldns Mental health campaign, featured sets UK wide from Blur The Lines (Leeds), to Moetry and Say No More in London, T is gaining momentum and becoming a household name in the Spoken Word scene here.
Currently working on collaborative projects and due to release her debut spoken word EP In 2022, T is ruthlessly fighting for us all to express ourselves more, for ourselves. She runs a Patreon, with creative workshops (writing, painting, metaphor etc) , and currently exhibits her ‘Harsh Truths’ illustrated poetry excerpts at Coles Gallery, and Leeds Left Bank.
T talks openly about her turbulent past, and the motivation that gives her to make the future much brighter. She believes we are all the same, really, and if we could communicate, look inward and fit ourselves in this mess we call ‘now’, that the world could change for the better, belly feeling by belly feeling.
Performance poet who is also known as The Rapping Granny after she entered the world of Battle Rapping. In 2020, ex-teacher Joy’s rapping was the subject of a documentary film: ‘Joy Uncensored – Retirement to Rap’.
Sat April 30 – The Larder (8pm)
Spark storytelling (open mic)
Groan-ups: Jessica Aszkenasy and Dan Jones stand-up
Free show – no tickets needed
Spark – true storytelling event
Spark Preston is a member of a national network of Spark events which includes London, Oxford, Manchester and Bristol. Each event is an open mic in which performers are asked to speak for a maximum of five minutes. Each story must be true, and from the performer’s own life. The stories can be many things: funny, sad, inspiring, tragic, uplifting, surprising, shocking – anything that springs from the performer’s experience. We believe that everyone has some sort of story to tell, and Spark events provide a welcoming platform where anyone can share theirs.
Followed by… A split-bill hour by two up-and-coming comedians talking about trying (and failing) to be functioning human beings. Love. Nervous breakdowns. That time Jess shat herself on a bus. Full disclosure: some of it’s unfinished. But after hearing about our failures, you’ll DEFINITELY come out of this feeling better about yourself. Come for the ego-boost, stay for the jokes!
Tues May 03 – The Continental (8pm)
A dizzying, poetic journey through one woman’s true experience of homelessness and mental health hospitalisation.
A young woman is taking shelter from a sudden storm underneath a large tree. She does not know where she is, how she got there, or where she is going. The contents of her rucksack barely give her any clues, so she relies on the fractured memories that flit back into her mind bit by bit as the rain gradually filters through the leaves and it becomes harder and harder to avoid the question: do I have somewhere to sleep tonight?
The audience insists on staying to listen to her, in spite of all her warnings that they are not safe with her. And when the full truth finally comes back to her, they see just how hard it can be for a NoMad to get used to going home.
Written and performed by Nell Hardy. A Response Ability Theatre production.
There are no graphic depictions during the show, but there is some strong language and there are mentions of homelessness, rough sleeping, domestic abuse, dissociation, restrictive eating/drinking, and attempted suicide.
Performances of NoMad to be in a relaxed atmosphere. The show has captions that can be delivered through a projector.
‘A challenging and engrossing production that leaves no stone unturned” London Theatre 1 ★★★★
‘A mercurial, knotty and raw look at what it means to be homeless by the incredible Nell Hardy. I was blown away’ Milly Thomas, actor-writer of ‘Dust’
‘It was captivating all the way through and never let up its energy… Nell’s intelligent writing and excellent performance prompted standing ovation applause’ The Bite Mag
It is What it Isn’t
Weds May 04 – The Continental (8pm)
Free show – no tickets needed
Or is it? Join award-winning comedian Cheekykita on a one-woman Tour de Force nonsense ride.
Cheekykita, who has shared bills with Alan Davies, Robin Ince, Simon Munnery, Tony Law, Harry Hill and Spencer Jones, is a Prague Fringe 2014 award-winner and has performed her peculiarly charming brand of comedy in and around the UK and abroad and at The BBC tent at Edinburgh Fringe.
‘Mancunian maverick like no one else out there’ The Alarmist
‘Like Spike Milligan on MDMA’ The List
‘Brilliantly surreal and delightfully silly. Made me absolutely howl with laughter’ Ellie Taylor
‘Hilarious’ Alan Davies
‘Ridiculous in a good way’ Arthur Smith
‘Right up my street’ John Kearns
‘Clown act of the highest order, floating around in some other ether, Cheekykita is tapped into the magic a true gem’ Tom Ward
‘Not even a show I intended to review but, after watching it, I found I had a moral obligation to do so….This act could – and should – be playing, and selling-out, big venues. I can’t wait to see her perform again. It is the silliest, maddest, funniest hour I have ever spent and it is fantastic’ Fringe Review ★★★★★
‘It is one of those shows that I would describe as a work of genius without being able to pin down exactly why’ Lynne Parker, Funny Women ★★★★★
‘Like The Mighty Boosh on crack ’ Broadway Baby
‘Cheekykita is what happens when that weird lassie from high school grows up, but doesn’t lose her oddity….’ The List
‘A weird but wonderful quest you will never forget’ The Scotsman
‘How on earth do you describe this bonkers hour? Imagine 50% Jane Horrocks, 25% Su Pollard and 25% Charles Manson…. You couldn’t dream this. But it happened’ Fringe Review
‘A weirdo somewhere in the universe of Boosh…’ Chortle
‘One of the strangest acts you’re ever likely to see. But see her you must’ Manchester Wire
Weds May 04 – The Continental (9pm)
Free show – Pay What You Decide
Fonda Cox is an international cabaret legend who has performed for 19 years around Europe and beyond. She’s a warm queen that gets to know her audience whilst regaling them with witty anecdotes and high energy live vocals.
A Whole Lotta Roses
Thurs May 05 – The Larder (8pm)
Free show – no tickets needed
Join Richard Atkinson for a swashbuckling examination of the Wars of the Roses.
Richard will examine the key aspects of the conflict and link them to the modern day. From Richard Duke of York to the current Duke of York and Jane McDonald. Take a sideways look at history in the historic setting of Leicester’s Guildhall. The characters, the battles, the fake marriages, princes, princesses, disappearing children, the fun is endless!
Nobody was harmed in the production of this event unless you count the needless slaughter of thousands of people between 1455 and 1485/7.
How to Be A Better Human
Tues May 10 – Stanley Arms (8pm)
Spoken word performance
Free show – no tickets needed
In 2019… I lost my Dad.
Well, I didn’t lose him. I knew exactly where he was – in the coffin at the front of the crem.
How to Be a Better Human is a spoken word comedy about grief, loss and self-acceptance. It
tells Chris’ story of losing two of the biggest relationships in his life – Dad and Wife – in the space of a few months. It finds the lightness and humour in death, loss and divorce, exploring how they help us become better at empathising, connecting and understanding. How we can lose everything and still find the strength to rebuild. How growing a beard can be the best decision of your life, and why some hedgehogs are absolute d*******s.
Written and performed by Chris Singleton and directed by Tom Wright, How to Be A Better Human uses PowerPoint comedy, poetry, autobiographical storytelling, original music by Reece Jacob and animation by Huckleberry Films to open accessible conversations about grief, loss and mental health.
“A true artistic vulnerability that absolutely chimed with our audience” Rio Matchett, Leeds Playhouse
“A superb and slick debut. A son’s touching eulogy to his dad. A man bettering himself in the face of adversity. A surprisingly hilarious top night out” Porl Cooper, Harrogate Theatres
“There are autobiographical shows that ask ‘why me?’, and shows that ask ‘what can we learn from this?’ It is clear which one this is” Richard Warburton, Artistic Director of Theatre in the Mill
“It’s the humanity of Chris’ writing that compels you: candid, unafraid, harrowing, startling and compassionate in all the best ways, pulled together with a clarity of vision and beauty of language that simply will not let you go” Dawn Bauling, Indigo Dreams
“You make grief accessible to the masses” Audience member
Weds May 11 – The Continental (8pm)
Lancashire People’s Theatre present Lancashire Briefs, a series of brand new monologues by Lancashire writers, performed by Lancashire actors.
Lancashire Briefs has an explosive debut in 2019, where 14 monologues were performed across two nights to the biggest audiences of the festival. In 2022 Lancashire People’s Theatre will perform on one mesmerizing night at the Continental’s Boatyard theatre space.
The brand new monologues are written by Lancashire writers and are based on the theme ‘About Last Night…’
Lancashire actors will bring these monologues to life under the guidance of Lancashire People’s Theatre’s Anthea Carpenter-Procter. This year they will have Postcard Theatre’s John-Mark Reid as a guest director.
Twitter: @lancashirepeop1 Instagram: @lancashirepeoplestheatre
Thurs May 12 – The Continental (8pm)
An interactive comedy theatre show about Artificial Intelligence
In the not too distant future, millionaire and inventor (think Elon Musk with a further attitude problem) ‘Hugh’ from Hubris Industries is launching the first superhuman artificial intelligence at a press conference. And you’re invited.
‘Eugene’ is a show about what happens when we give technology the power over us, with an anthropomorphic power point. Think The Terminator does a Ted Talk with Steve Jobs.
This is a comedy theatre show, with integrated captioning, that allows the audience to choose between two alternate endings…
Please bring your smart phone for the full Eugene experience. https://www.hubris-industries.com
Written & Performed by Daniel Nicholas. Produced by Ingenious Fools.
Twitter: @eugenelaunch Instagram: @Eugenelaunch
Eugene Teaser Trailer: vimeo.com/326313156
‘Delightfully monstrous’ Bouquets & Brickbats ★★★★
‘A completely unique experience’ The Reviews Hub ★★★★
‘A triumph’ Liam O’Dell ★★★★
‘Ahead of its time’ A Theatrey Blog
The show itself uses captioning software the Difference Engine, a device that allows people to access captions on their mobile phones meaning that every performance is Deaf friendly.
Tues May 17 – The Continental (8pm)
The term ‘Suzy Homemaker’ is used as a derisive reference to any woman with habits linked to stereotypical domestic activities traditionally done by women. Suzy Homemaker was a line of miniature functional toy household appliances produced by Topper Toys, and launched in 1966. It taught girls how to be the perfect housewife, just like their mother. In this performance we see women throughout history trapped in a role they did not ask for, they had no choice. Domestic Bliss quickly turns into a distorted nightmare.
Meet Suzy! Suzy is a 1950’s housewife that is quite strange, but to the outside world she seems like a wonderfully put together wife- neat, prim and she makes an excellent Victoria Sponge Cake. Everything she does must be perfect; heaven forbid if the neighbours saw!
Written and performed by Erica Mulkern
Here is the trailer link: https://youtu.be/pWNLBDAl5XU
Thurs May 19 – The Continental (8pm)
An explosive new show with live music from award-winning storyteller Jack Dean.
On 9 June 1817 Jeremiah Brandreth assembles a crew of malcontents in a pub near Nottingham. Their plan is to march on London, overthrow the government, wipe out the National Debt and end poverty forever. What Jeremiah doesn’t know is that there is a spy in his ranks with other ideas…
Jeremiah tells the incredible true story of the much-misunderstood Luddite rebellion – a movement that spanned the whole of northern England and had more British soldiers fighting it than Napoleon. Jack Dean brings these rambunctious characters to life as he delivers a fast paced lyrical opus.
Cello, violin and guitar create an original score which fuses hip-hop with cinematic splendour as we follow the life of Brandreth, instigator of the Luddites’ final gambit, the Pentrich Rising, and the last man to be beheaded in the history of Britain.
Strong language and depictions of violence. A Jack Dean & Company production
Big Saturday – Sat May 21
The sleepover by Louise Fazackerley
Sat May 21 – The Larder, Lancaster Road (10.30am)
Free show – no tickets needed
‘The Sleepover’ is a modern fairytale; a re-imagining of ‘The Princess and the Pea.’ Elouise goes to sleep at her Dad’s house every Saturday night. One Saturday it seems like something magic has happened and she must save the day! Will Elouise wake Daddy up from a pretty long sleep? Will she find a way to conquer her fear of a black dog called Prince?
Great for children age 4-10 and grown-ups of all ages.
A performance of poetry, storytelling and interactive family workshop.
With Louise the Poet. As featured in the Guardian, BBC Radio 3 and Just So Children’s Festival.
Sat May 21 – The Larder, Lancaster Road (12pm)
Free show – no tickets needed
Martin Kiszko is the ‘UK’s green poet’ — a moniker given to him by audiences around the world. Martin’s climate emergency campaign began in 2009 with the publication of his first books Green Poems for a Blue Planet and Verse for the Earth in 2013. His one-man show, Green Poems for a Blue Planet, has been performed from LA to China, Dubai to India, and from the Edinburgh Fringe to the Royal Albert Hall. The books and show are illustrated by Wallace & Gromit creator Nick Park.
Most recently he wrote and published the world’s first epic eco-poem King Frank & the Knights of the Ecoquest which he also adapted as a fifteen-part series starring Toyah Willcox for Fun Kids radio station. Martin’s new fun collection of poetry, Inversebrates, has also been published and was recently launched at Waterstones.
In 2015 Martin was Poet in Residence for Bristol European Green Capital year. In 2016 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Bristol for his work.
In addition to his one-man show performances at festivals, schools, corporate events, award ceremonies and on the street — he has also given eco-poetry workshops around the world.
Serving and Saving the Planet through the Power of Poetry!
‘Martin is a rare, inspiring and original, creative powerhouse’ Nick Park
‘You are super creative, I see you as one of the most talented people I’ve ever met.’ Toyah Wilcox
‘What a multi-talented chap you are!’ Sir David Attenborough
There will be a city-wide performance tour from 1pm until approx. 5pm – with pop up performances at various locations.
Oliver Lavery: Trickster Makes This World
Sat May 21 – Plau Bar’s Once Was Lost, Friargate (6pm)
The Trickster is common to many mythologies; always ruining everything for everyone with his silly pranks, but somehow managing to make the world a better place almost by accident.
From Crow, Coyote and Wolverine from Native American folklore, to the Norse god Loki, to the Greek Hermes, to the African Spider god Anansi – the world is full of tricksters. They’re reflections of us: Wise and foolish at the same time and obsessed with eating, shitting and fucking.
Written and performed by Oliver Lavery.
Bróccán Tyzack-Carlin: Turtle
Tues May 24 – Stanley Arms (8pm)
Award-winning wordboy Bróccán Tyzack-Carlin presents a new hour of stand-up comedy and poetry about all sorts of stuff. Sex toys, turtles and the intersection of Marx and the Spice Girls get a look in this time. People will call this spoken word. But all words are spoken if you say them.
Turtle intersects poetry and comedy with surreal storytelling to take a good look at the modern world. Mixing the personal, the political and the absurd, Bróccán skewers events from his own life and the public experience. The show varies its comedy stylistically but stays consistently funny.
‘At the top of his game’ Bunbury Magazine ★★★★★
‘A star’ Broadway Baby ★★★★
‘Brilliant’ Palatinate ★★★★
‘Outstanding’ Salford Star
‘Full of wonderful imagination’ Voice Magazine
‘’Brutally funny and hilariously honest’ Mark Grist
‘One of the most hotly tipped performers in the country’Punk in Drublic
‘A much needed escape from the river of &%#! that is the world’ Josh Berry
Damson Poets with special guest Amina Atiq + open mic
Weds May 26 (7.30pm) – The Continental
Born in the heart of Yemen City is Liverpool & Art is the purpose People & places inspire this creative journey Muslim is my faith A woman is all of me Existence & visibility to be seen & heard Dyslexic but I am a passionate Poet, lover of the power of words with a Scouse accent & an Arab mothers’ tongue. I owe all of this to my family and community.
Amina Atiq is a Yemeni-Scouse poet, performance artist, creative practitioner & award-winning community activist. BBC Words First Finalist 2019 & Young Associate & Anti-racism group member for Curious Minds. Artist fellow of DadaFest & Weston Jerwood Creative programme.
Currently working in-collaboration with 20 Stories High, a new public arts project coming to Liverpool 8 working closely with Muslim Young people, titled Poets’ Gift. New work can be seen at the Imperial War Museum One Story, Many Voices installation, also a selection of poems at the Sutton Manor: Just Beyond Reach. Broken Biscuits & Collection of Works coming to Dada International Festival 2022. Broken Biscuits explores her gran-mothers 1970s Yemeni- British household.
In 2020, she produced a short documentary, Unheard Voices, commissioned by DadaFest capturing the stories of Yemeni shopkeepers in Liverpool. She is working on a new online and print project, Scouse Pilgrimage commissioned by Unity Theatre. Upcoming publications found at Speaking Volumes and Cordite Poetry Review.