Enjoy The Show

This is the name we now promote our shows under, mainly so you can find out about us through this website or on Facebook much easier than you could before. One other social media platforms (Twitter and Instagram) the events are promoted via @gazcook – he’s the person who organises and produces these shows.

We have two aims: To bring brilliant performers and performances to Lancashire, an area they would not otherwise be lucky enough to perform in. And to introduce non-theatre-going people to these fantastic shows, give them a wonderful experience and, hopefully, have a positive impact on their view of the arts and performance. What we’ve found so far is that usually they come back for more.

We also try to make these visiting performers feel as welcome as possible by looking after them, do all the marketing, promotion, printing, writing press releases, taking photos, feeding them and finding them beds to sleep in. So, like I said, three main aims.


‘I’m working with Garry Cook because he has the skill set and time to do the important work, that I as an artist can’t always do. Garry is kind, tenacious and logical.  He is well-connected in both the North West and the North East and his background, knowledge and connections from working as a journalist for the  national press are invaluable.  As a photographer, film-maker and writer, who attends arts events of all disciplines, he understands how artists work. He is someone who will make a ‘to do’ list and actually do it in a timely fashion.  The arts industry lacks this focused, methodical skill set.  He is someone who will tirelessly promote my work- and the other artists he works with- which has resulted in sell-out events for me as well as introductions to several opportunities for me where I have been granted new work.  Garry is now focusing on developing his ‘professional’ practice as a producer and event manager- taking it to the next level so it’s the main focus of his working life.  I’m really happy to be involved with him at this point in his career where his  energy, motivation and passion for the arts can be harness to make great opportunities for audiences and artists.’
Louise Fazackerley

‘I thought Garry Cook was a spectacular events organiser – not only a lovely person to work with but someone who really cared about the poetry as well as the venue – the venue he chose for my gig was absolutely incredible. Highly recommend anyone to work alongside or with him.’
Hollie McNish

‘Garry was the promoter for my show visiting Ham and Jam last year and he was a fantastic. He worked incredibly hard on the event and the audience was nearly at capacity. It was one of the most pleasant shows I have done with no stress. I wish all promoters were as good as Garry.’
Jenny May Morgan

‘Garry is a really talented promoter. I was incredibly impressed with how hard he worked to get a decent audience for my show and how well all of his hard work paid off, with a sell out evening. I would definitely recommend him as a promoter and would love to work with him again.’
Jess Green

‘During the planning and the marketing of my event in Preston, Garry Cook was fabulous to work with and was tireless in his enthusiasm. Very professional, with great results. The show was a great success due to his relationships with local people and the venue. I hope to work with him again in the future. Two very enthusiastic thumbs up!!!’
Ruth E Cockburn


Lancashire Fringe Festival (our standalone festival which was first held in 2016 in Preston) – this is how it works:

What is a fringe festival? It’s an arts festival, mainly involving performers. So you could call it a performance festival. Performance can mean anything from comedy and poetry to acting, opera and, best of all, more surreal stuff. Anyone can take part in a fringe festival.

For the Lancashire Fringe Festival, we pick out who we think are the best performers at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and persuade them to come to Preston and perform for free. That means the people of Lancashire get to see the best performers at the festival – without having to buy a ticket. You just turn up and watch.

There must be a catch, something we have to pay for? Well, er, not really, well maybe… At the venues hosting the acts you will probably want to buy a drink (which helps pay for the use of the venue) and after each performance it would be nice if you put some money in a hat for the performer, which helps pay for their expenses. This is optional but is a well-worn custom in many of Edinburgh’s fringe events.

Is there anything else we should know? The plan is to have three performances on each night. You can turn up any time you want and watch them, then leave or stay for the next one. Of course, this is the first time we’ve done the festival so please be nice t us if something goes wrong. We’ll obviously be doing or best to make sure everyone is happy and enjoying themselves.

Why are you doing this?

We want to encourage people who do not go to the theatre to try it out.

We want to encourage those who have never seen performance poetry to experience it.

We want to encourage people who have never seen a fringe performance to give it a go.

We’re convinced you’ll love it. We’re passionate about performance and art. We know that once you’ve experienced it, you will want more. And because the performers are passionate about their art, they are also willing to come to Preston to put on a show.

I’m in two minds about this, I need a bit more convincing. Listen, if you spend 52 weekends a year doing the same thing every weekend, get drunk or watching the telly, try coming to this for just one night. We guarantee it’ll be the only weekend you’ll remember in years to come. You’ll have a wonderful, unforgettable night out. Or your money back.

Why are you doing one-off gigs now? Well, until we get funding for the second Lancashire Fringe Festival, these one-off gigs enable us to carry on bringing wonderful performances to the region – and offers audiences the chance to see the shows we love which would otherwise not come to Lancashire.

And these one-off shows are not free, are they? Sometimes they kind of are – we use Pay What You Decide where you, the audience, puts money into a bucket at the end of the show. Otherwise we charge a very cheap ticket price to ensure that the artists gets paid for their performance. This is very important to use. We also keep all other expenses to a minimum to ensure that as much money as possible goes to the performers. We do take some money to pay for our costs, like marketing, printing flyers etc – but we put a lot more in than we get out of this.

lancashire fringe festival, michael porter photography, frances kay

Lancashire Fringe Festival 2016 sponsor:

UK & global, james garratt