Oh! Suburbia – Bob Karper at Lancashire Fringe Festival

14 Trouble films

Oh! Suburbia! is a one-man avant-garde theatrical review by multi-award winning Bob Karper, mixing film, songs, experimental dance and painfully true stories about unjust childhood punishments, playground heroism, meticulously planned escapes, tragedy and comedy, life and death and everything in between. You’ll love it! Come and see! Bob is not a dancer!

Where are the suburbs of our consciousness? What are the suburbs of ourselves? Multi-award winning raconteur/performance artist/musician Bob Karper has made a brand new, inidividually idiosyncratic show about growing up in the suburban American Midwest*.

When he was a boy, Bob’s world turned upside down. His buttoned-up anti-social plumber father joined the Palos Village Players amateur dramatics company, just as they were workshopping the 1970s phenomenon, Oh! Calcutta!  According to Wikipedia: ‘The 1970s phenomenon, Oh! Calcutta! was an avant-garde theatrical revue filled with sketches on sex-related topics and featuring extended scenes of total nudity, both male and female.’ Nine-year-old Bob Jr’s** sheltered suburban life was never the same again…

Oh! Suburbia! presents funny, intriguing, surprising tales of life in our residential outlying districts in the form of an avant-garde theatrical revue, a one-man avant-garde theatrical review, mixing film, songs, experimental dance*** and live musical stories about unjust childhood punishments, playground heroism, meticulously planned escapes, tragedy and comedy, life and death and everything in between. You’ll love it. Come and see.

*In Palos Heights, a southwest suburb of Chicago. **Bob’s father is also called Bob.  ***Bob is not a dancer.

Bob Karper is a performer, filmmaker and composer whose solo work features true stories mixed with film, song, projected images and a variety of instruments. Work he’s created has won the Herald Angel, Anti-Fest Best of the Best, Live Theatre New Writing and Empty Space Bursary Awards.


“Like Tom Waits soundtracking The Waltons, Karper is part performance artist, part one-man cabaret.” Neil Cooper, Glasgow Herald

“An unsentimental storyteller with an idiosyncratic and beguiling style” Maddy Costa, Guardian

“His musical talent is immense, his gift for expression impressive… Spare no effort, watch him work” John Lydon, FEST

“A profoundly interesting storyteller” Scotsman

“Karper is a Maestro” Mark Shenton, Stage


See Oh! Suburbia by Bob Karper at Harris Museum, Market Square, Preston PR1 2PP  on Saturday May 18, at 8.15pm.


Lancashire Fringe Festival is a FREE event. 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!

Twitter:  @BobKarper

Instagrma: bub_k

Look Up – Ruth E Cockburn at Lancashire Fringe Festival


We spend so much time looking at screens that we have begun to miss out on life. So, Ruth is coming to Preston to tell some of the stories she’s heard about love, friendship and families.

Look Up is the party you always wished for as Ruth sets out on a one-woman mission to get people out of their houses and into venues to enjoy life.

Experience songs, poetry and laughter as we all come together to laugh and clap in a room with other people. It will make your life better.

The songs and stories you’d miss if you didn’t look up and listen.

‘Warm and Disarming…HIGHLY RECOMMENDED’ Buxton Fringe

‘She’s a real talent’ ****Broadway Baby

‘Impossible not to be won over by this host’s charm.’ ****One4Review

See Look Up by Ruth E Cockburn at The Ferret, The Ferret, 55 Fylde Rd, Preston PR1 2XQ on Monday, May 20 at 7pm.

Lancashire Fringe Festival is a FREE event. 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!


Website: ruthecockburn.co.uk
Twitter: @ruthecockburn





Lancashire Fringe Festival – the information you need

Press release

May 3, 2019

Performers announced for Lancashire Fringe Festival

Some of the UK’s most hard-hitting, controversial and funny shows are coming to Preston as part of Lancashire Fringe Festival.

Hugely respected names in contemporary performance will play alongside acclaimed poets and award-winning performers, giving the people of Lancashire a unique festival experience – and all the shows are free to attend.

Lancashire Fringe Festival, funded by the Arts Council, will see acclaimed performers like Kate Fox, Louise Orwin, Bob Karper, Joana Nastari, Louise Fazackerley, Lee Mark Jones, Ruth E Cockburn and Katie O’Brien perform across Preston between May 15 and May 24.

The festival aims to engage a wide range of audiences, particularly people who do not usually come and see live shows, and includes everything from comedy and poetry to shows covering complex  social issues like addiction, sex work and fracking.

Poet Louise Fazackerley opens the festival at Vinyl Tap on Wednesday, May 15. She will be supported by three poets who she has been working with as part of the festival’s artists development programme.

Several newly-commissioned pieces of work by local artists have also been included in the line up, so regional talent gets a chance to perform to a wider audience. This includes Neil Procter’s Lancashire People’s Theatre who have paired  14 Lancashire-based writers with professional actors to deliver a series of monologues over two nights during the festival.

Preston Central Methodist Church hosts Katie O’Brien’s brilliant Catch 22 Years, which examines addiction in a unique and unexpected performance by the award-winning actress. That is followed by new work from writer Karen Featherstone who is performing I Surrender! for the first time.

The Harris Museum hosts four stunning pieces of theatre on Saturday, May 18, kicking off with Dan de le Motte’s comedy-lecture about the Royal Family and Daily Mail Online message boards, followed by the hotly anticipated Control Pant Symphony by Natalie Wardle and Goth Diary by Karina Azlanova. The night ends with the brilliant Oh! Suburbia! by Bob Karper.

Acclaimed writer and performer Louise Orwin brings her new show Oh Yes Oh No to The Continental on Sunday, May 19. This stunning piece of theatre – hailed as “bold, brave work” by The Guardian – looks at female sexuality, consent and power.

A fantastic double bill at The Ferret on Monday, May 20 sees new work by Lancashire’s Ruth E Cockburn alongside outrageous show A Rock N Roll Suicide by Lee Mark Jones.

Kate Fox brings her hugely successful touring show about strong Northern women Where There’s Much There’s Bras to the Harris Museum on Wednesday, May 22. Also on the same bill that night is Blackpool-based Jo Catlow Morris’ play Nanners With Banners, about the Preston New Road’s anti-fracking nannas.

Poet Benjamin Guilfoyle stops off in the city on Thursday, May 23 at Vinyl Tap to perform. His performance is part of a 12-day walking tour between Lancaster and Brighouse.

And the festival ends in style with hard-hitting show about about strip club workers called F*ck You Pay Me by Joana Nastari. This show is at UCLan’s Media Factory, and is a collaboration with of Derelict Mayhem, a two-day contemporary performance festival of new work.

Lancashire Fringe Festival, created by local producer Garry Cook, is using a Pay What You Decide  model, where audiences making an optional donation at the end of each show. Some shows cost over £20 per ticket when performed at other venues across the country.

Preston-based Cook has already put on several one-off shows in the city this year, including pulling off a major coup for the city by persuading poet Hollie McNish to come to the Harris Museum for a sell-out gig in March.

Cook said: “The one-off shows I’ve been doing for the past year have gone down brilliantly with Preston audiences – everyone has loved them. And it’s the audiences who have turned up to these shows – some people come to every performance – who have helped make this festival possible. I can’t thank them enough.

“There are some absolutely stunning shows in the festival. It has taken a lot of work to get some of them here but I’m delighted with the line up, and hope the people if Preston and Lancashire will come and help make this festival a huge success so that we can carry on doing it for years to come.

“I want to encourage people who do not usually see this kind of performance to come to one or two shows and experience something remarkable. All these shows have been chosen not just because of their subject matter but because they deliver a message in a hugely engaging, entertaining and exciting way.

“Even if you think a show covers a topic that doesn’t interest you, you will be blown away by the visual storytelling techniques these artists use. There are some exceptional talents coming to Preston over these 10 days – it’s a wonderful opportunity for Lancashire people to see shows which usually only come to London or Edinburgh Fringe.

He added: “If you turn up, you will experience something that will stay with them for the rest of your life.”

Lancashire Fringe Festival takes place between May 15 and May 24 in various venues across the city. Find out more at enjoyshow.co.uk


Weds May 15 (venue: Vinyl Tap)

7.30pm The Secret – Louise Fazackerley + Helena Ascough, Richy Integer & Amy Lee Tempest


Thurs May 16 (venue: Stanley Arms)

7.30pm Lancashire People’s Theatre Monologues #1


Fri May 17 (venue:  Preston Central Methodist Church)

7pm Catch 22 Years – Katie O’Brien

8.15pm I Surrender! – Karen Featherstone


Sat May 18 (venue: Harris Museum)

7pm  From the Message Boards – Dan de la Motte

7.45pm Control Pant Symphony – Natalie Wardle

7.55pm Goth Diary – Karina Azlanova

8.15pm Oh! Suburbia! – Bob Karper TBC


Sun May 19 (venue: The Continental)

7.30pm Oh Yes Oh No – Louise Orwin


Mon May 20 (venue: The Ferret)

7pm  Ruth Cockburn

8pm A Rock N Roll Suicide – Lee Mark Jones


Tues May 21 (venue: Stanley Arms)

7.30pm Lancashire People’s Theatre Monologues #2


Weds May 22 (venue: Harris Museum)

7pm  Nannas With Banners

7.30pm Where There’s Muck There’s Bras – Kate Fox


Thurs May 23 (venue: Vinyl Tap)

7pm The Wandering Poet – Ben Guilfoyle + Lyndsay Price, Flora Martyr, Rikin Parekh & Lorna Smithers


Fri May 24 (venue: Media Factory, UCLan)

8.15pm F*** You Pay Me – Joana Nastari (part of Derelict Mayhem festival) FREE tickets link: https://cutt.ly/Vrzf5m


Garry Cook is a photographer, writer and producer. He has put on several one-off shows in Preston and his Arts Council-funded Lancashire Fringe Festival takes place across the city this May 15-24, 2019. Follow him at @gazcook

More information available at enjoyshow.co.uk

All the shows can be seen as Facebook events at facebook.com/enjoyshowUK

Photographs available on request.

Why you need to go to an event


I’m writing this from the perspective as a fan of the arts. By arts I mean exhibitions, performances and theatre, but not the theatre of big shows and musicals – they leave me feeling a bit empty inside.

This short article is about events – and how important it is to go to them. And when I use the word ‘events’, I mean art and photography exhibitions, live-art performances, contemporary theatre, stand-up comedy, processions and festivals. And I also mean kids play groups, bonfire nights, Christmas festivals, street theatre days or anything you can take your family to, except those god-damn awful fun days in pub car parks where parents get slowly p*ss*d and subconsciously show their kids that alcohol is an acceptable form of addiction.

Why am I writing this? And why do I feel the need to say this?

Most of our lives shuttle along at 100mph without any time to stop and think. If you’re a parent that speed will regularly hit 120mph, or until you’re engine overheats and you have a nervous breakdown (this is similar to doing a phd but you don’t get a job with a university once you’ve recovered). What this means in real terms is that we all have our daily and weekly structures in terms of the things we do, the things we have to do and the things we enjoy doing. And often this does not include going to events like the theatre (adult or children’s) or similar events. For some people, a free festival in a nearby town or a weird little performance in the back of a pub is just not on the radar.

I know this because that was me. I went a dozen years without seeing any type of theatre performance, save for the occasional panto with my kids. Live-art performance festivals, fringe festivals, comedy festivals – it’s not that they weren’t on my radar, I didn’t even know they existed. I was doing other stuff. Like watching television. And drinking.

But here’s the thing. Live events, like those described above, offer something to us as humans mentally that we don’t quite understand. Academics sometimes refer to the effect of art and culture on people as wellbeing. But that does not do justice to the experiences involved.

The best way I can describe it, which most people get, is comparing watching a football match on TV compared to being at an actual stadium. At Old Trafford or Anfield or Holker Street, Barrow (delete as appropriate), there is the extra, intangible ingredient of atmosphere and sense of thrill that can only be experienced in a crowd, as part of a crowd. It’s this feeling that comes from watching events in person that I am talking about.

And it’s this feeling – along with other invisible benefits like nourishment for the soul, mental stimulation, feeling good – which makes going to events of any type hugely important to our wellbeing.

If we’re talking about theatre, there’s two main obstacles here (I could actually come up with six but it gets too complicated talking about social issues and the inaccessibility of some subject matters to a non-traditional theatre audience). The two obstacles are: people thinking theatre is too posh for them; and people (who do go out a lot) preferring to spend their time binge drinking. I can accept that drinking is an experience – and quite a fun one – but when you sit there scratching your blotchy red alcohol-soaked skin, looking back over those nights on the lash stretched across three decades, all those memories merge blur into one. It’s the extraordinary nights which stand out.

And extraordinary nights usually mean seeing Maxine Peake at the Royal Exchange, experiencing the anarchy of spoof magic show Peter and Bambi Heaven at Edinburgh Fringe, learning about social protests at a Mark Thomas gig or spending two hours laughing at Daniel Kitson (he’s the best stand-up comedian in Britain by a mile but does go on the telly so you might not have heard of him. I’d recommend you get seek him out, get on his mailing list and see him live).

But live experience does not end there. There’s also a myriad of processions, dances and performances at festivals up and down the country which can trigger feelings of joy some of you reading this did not even know existed.

The effect of art and culture on the mind is immeasurable. And believe me, I’ve read some reports which have tried to measure it. It’s immeasurable because you can’t measure how someone feels. But what you can do is ask people about their experiences and question your own – and the answer is always the same: art and culture makes us feel good. And that’s why experiencing stuff like this so crucial, especially to those of us a bit worn down by life. The effect could be as quick as the flick of a lightbulb, or it could be a more gentle, slower provocation of thought and feeling. But it will always be good and always be worth it.

There is actually of lot of theatre and performance out there – and a huge amount of it is totally free (both indoor and outdoor events). I’ve seen my fair share of weird sh*t – and you could too. So do yourself a favour, give yourself some memories. Go and see some theatre, or enjoy some live art where, for example, a naked man cellotapes his cock up his backside. Yes, you too could have memories like mine.

There will be some amazing experiences at Lancashire Fringe Festival in Preston, between May 15 and 24. Some of the shows, in my opinion, are by the absolute best performers currently working in Britain today. Can’t quite believe they will be in Preston. And you know what? I’ve organised it all so that it is free to attend. This is your wake-up call – it’s time for you to make some changes in your life.



I Surrender! by Karen Featherstone comes to Lancashire Fringe Festival

Portrait of writer Karen Featherstone by Jonathan Bean (www.beanphoto.co.uk)

Karen Featherstone will debut her play I Surrender! in Preston as part of the new development commissions for Lancashire Fringe Festival.

I Surrender! is a show about vulnerability, how good her dad was at swearing in Welsh and what happened on the worst day of her life.

Karen Featherstone has written plots for Coronation Street and Emmerdale, while her words have been heard at theatres including  Manchester Royal Exchange, Liverpool Everyman, Hampstead Theatre, National Theatre Studio and on Channel 4. She was part of Graeae Theatre’s Write-to-Play programme.

Her previous work includes comedy Careless Sponsored Walks Cost Lives, about an SAS-style elite parent-teacher association, which premiered at London’s National Theatre Studio and in 2015.

BBC Radio Lancashire has broadcast her work in the Laugh Out Loud. She’s won a Northern Writers’ Award for her painful, comic description of a sexless marriage while Jimmy McGovern once wrote her a letter saying her writing was ‘evidence of genuine talent’.

I Surrender! is Karen’s first performance of this intensely personal show. It’s about discovering a new vulnerability since becoming disabled, her dad’s proficiency at swearing in Welsh and how, without meaning to, he was responsible for the worst day of her life.


“Karen Featherstone – definitely a writer to watch out for… Careless Sponsored Walks Cost Lives is a razor-sharp comedy about parents being strong-armed into joining elite parent-teacher groups at the school gates… had everybody laughing out loud.” Female Arts website

“Clever, jocular and painful…” Alison Moore, author.

See I Surrender! by Karen Featherstone at Preston Central Methodist Church, Lune St, Preston PR1 2NL 7.30pm on Friday, May 17.

Lancashire Fringe Festival is a FREE event. 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!


Goth Diary – Karina Azlanova at Lancashire Fringe Festival


Goth Diary – Karina Azlanova

Karina Azlanova will perform Goth Diary at Lancashire Fringe Festival.

The Armenian-Ukrainian comic, performance artist and cosplayer developed her observational stand-up o the comedy circuit in the Czech Republic.

Now living in North-west England, Karina brings her acclaimed performance to the Harris Museum on Saturday, May 18.

She  will read excerpts from her gothic teenage diary with humorous insights into the many gothic misadventures immortalised in her writings.

With raw wit and a healthy dose of burning shame, Karina openly discusses such goth plights as existence, love, constipation and seaside holidays with the aim of educating a new generation.

See Goth Diary by Karina Azlanova at Harris Museum, Market Square, Preston PR1 2PP on Saturday, May 18 at 7.55pm.

Lancashire Fringe Festival is a FREE event. 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!

#lancsfringeInstagram:  @azlanova

Fuck You Pay Me by Joana Nastari at Lancashire Fringe Festival


[Photo: Alex Brenner]

TICKETS LINK – Tickets are free for F*ck You Pay Me but you need to register here: https://cutt.ly/ArKE3u
Derelict Mayhem have four shopws on immediately before F8ck You Pay Me in Media factory. These are also free and you book a ticket for all of them here: https://derelictliveblog.wordpress.com/derelict-mayhem/

Brilliant show Fuck You Pay Me is coming to Preston as part of Lancashire Fringe Festival. DO NOT miss this show.

Fuck You Pay Me is the debut play by award-winning artist Joana Nastari.

It was developed with support of Soho Theatre Young Company, Lyric Hammersmith, Rich Mix and development residencies at Wiltons Music Hall and with, Brainchild (AIM Festival Award 2015 and 2016).

In 2018, Fuck You Pay Me had sold out runs at Vault Festival 2018 – where it won a People’s Choice Award – and Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Fuck You Pay Me will run for two weeks at The Bunker Theatre, London in May, 2019. And the show will also be in Preston on Friday, May 24.

I’m delighted to link up with Derelict Live’s Derelict Mayhem festival, who have their own brilliant two days of new performances in Preston on Friday, May 24 and Saturday, May 25. This show will end the first night of their shows – and also mark the end of Lancashire Fringe Festival’s 10 nights.

About FYPM

More often than not, strippers are portrayed in the media as voiceless bodies, statistics or through cheap stereotypes.

Fuck You Pay Me is a no-holds-barred, explosive trip through the world of stripclub culture, telling a story often left out of public conversations surrounding sex work.

As Bea navigates the politics of the strip club, she explores stigma, shame and sisterhood, and discovers a little more about herself.

Writer and performer Joana Nastari says: “Even within social groups, there is still no topic that divides people like sex work does. I think this is because there’s so much to unpick in our cultural and social relationships to both sex and work. People either want to hear a scandalous tell-all about ‘happy hookers’ or a tragedy-porn sob story.

“I want my show to transcend these binary preconceptions about sex work and keep the audience on their toes.”

Joana Nastari is a Brazilian-British actor, poet, writer and organizer of events for the queer, Latin and sex worker communities. Joana is currently Associate Artist at Oval House Theatre.

She makes cross-form work about sex work, psychedelic drugs and matriarchal Brazilian families.

Joana has worked with, Sean Holmes, Steve Marmion, Simon Stephens, Roy Alexander Weise, Stef O’ Driscol, at The Pleasance, Lyric Hammersmith, Soho Theatre and the The Yard.

See Fuck You pay Me by Joana Nastari at Media Factory, University of Central Lancashire, at 8.15pm on Friday, May 24.

Lancashire Fringe Festival is a FREE event. 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!


Show trailer: https://youtu.be/kyyXX85fs_g
Twitter: @fypmshow

Wandering Poet Tour part of Lancashire Fringe Festival

All dates final poster.jpg

The Woolly Hat Poet will be part of Lancashire Fringe Festival as he stops off on his own 12-date tour to perform in Preston.

Lancaster-based Benjamin Guilfoyle is walking 125 miles taking in 12 venues as part of his wandering Poet tour between Lancaster and Brighouse.

He will be joined on stage at Vinyl Tap, Preston by Lyndsay Price, Flora Martyr, Rikin Parekh and Lorna Smithers. The show starts at 7pm on Thursday, May 23.

And there will be a special appeal by Benjamin on the night – when he asks someone in the audience to put him up for the night.

But audiences on the 12-date tour are in for a shock – because he will make an on-stage appeal every performance for one of them to give him a bed for the night.

Benjamin is raising money for two charities – the Lancaster and District Homeless Action Service and the Lancaster Children’s Library – with every penny from ticket sales and donations while on the tour donated to the charities.

And to raise awareness of the issue of homelessness, the poet will have nowhere to stay each night of his tour – that’s why he will be asking you for a bed for the night.

Benjamin said: “The Wandering Poet tour is all about being kind and doing something for others to make their day a little bit brighter. I want to be able to use my poetry and this tour to make a difference, however small, and to support these two local charities because without support they might not be around that much longer.

“My poetry comes from a place of happiness. I use my poems to tell stories and to focus on the smaller things in life that we might overlook and those small victories that get us through our everyday lives.

“I hope I will make my audiences laugh and there will be at least one poem in the show that they can relate to on a personal level.”

The performance poet – know as The Woolly Hat Poet – heads out on the road in May for a gruelling 12-date tour, taking in Lancaster, Garstang, Preston, Wigan, Bolton, Prestwich, Salford, Oldham, Littleborough, Hebden Bridge, Halifax and finally his home-town of Brighouse on consecutive nights.

The Wandering Poet Tour is inspired by Yorkshire’s own Simon Armitage and his Coast to Coast walk in 2015.

Each show Benjamin will be joined by local poetic talent, musicians and artists to give each show a local voice.

Guests in Preston
Lyndsay Price:
Lyndsay Price is a Spoken Word Artist with an interest in how art can be used as a tool to ignite social change. With a previous background in theatre; Lyndsay melds together her knowledge and artistry to create dynamic performances, events and projects that cater from beginner all the way up to acclaimed performer. Lyndsay is inspired by the things that make us human; she writes mainly about: friendship, sexuality, sisterhood, nature, self-improvement, 90’s movies, and vulnerability. She is a drama school graduate, previous creative resident at mac birmingham and a National Youth Theatre of GB alumni.

“She shines a light of creativity, awakening and inspiring many to get into poetry as reader, audience, writer and/or performer.” – Paul Pyke, Poet

Flora Martyr:
Flora Martyr is one quarter performance poet, one quarter animator, one quarter photographer and one quarter tenpin bowler, based in Preston, Lancashire. She has performed at various poetry nights and open mics around the UK and was once the host of now no-longer Korova Poetry evenings. She writes about love, contemporary life and typefaces.

Rikin Parekh:
Rikin Parekh is a spoken word artist from Preston. He has performed at Chorley Literary Festival and has headlined Damson Poets, Preston’s monthly poetry night. Rikin also recently delivered a set at Gullivers Pub in Manchester for Brainwaves, a night of music and poetry in aid of the mental health charity Mind.

The tour kicks off on May 21 in Lancaster and will run each day until June 1.

See The Wandering Poet Tour by Benjamin Guilfoyle at Vinyl Tap from 7pm on Thursday, May 23.

Lancashire Fringe Festival is a FREE event. The festival operates a Pay What You Decide model, where audiences can make an optional donation after the show – with all money going to charity. No tickets required. Just turn up!


Website: https://woollyhatpoems.wordpress.com/
Twitter: @woollyhatpoems


Lancashire Briefs: Monologues at Lancashire Fringe Festival over two nights

Lancashire People’s Theatre in partnership with members of Just Write presents ‘Lancashire Briefs’. Two evenings of short monologues about Lancashire life. Written and performed by Lancashire-based actors and writers.

A new Lancashire-based theatre company will debut their first original pieces of work at Lancashire Fringe Festival.

Lancashire People’s Theatre have brought together over a dozen writers,  and paired them with professional actors to produce a series of monologues which will be performed over two days during the festival.

The monologues will feature hugely diverse topics and subject matter, all performed by actors with a wide range of experience and credits in TV, film and stage.

The teams have been meeting weekly since the start of March to develop their monologues ready for the two festival dates.

Neil Procter, who launched Lancashire People’s Theatre with wife Anthea Carpenter Procter, said: “We have been working hard alongside members of Preston-based writing group Just Write to devise five-minute monologues. They have paired up the writers with professional across who are based across Lancashire.”It’s quite a unique project as there was one stipulation – everyone involved had to be based or come from.

“The project sees amateur writers get to see their work critiqued by a profession director and professional actors. Once the writing was at its optimum the directors and actors set about creating short theatrical pieces whilst the writers watched their words come to life.”

Anthea Carpenter Procter directed the hugely successful Preston Passion Play, staged across the city in 2017, which also starred Neil as Jesus.

Each event will last just over an hour and will follow the festival’s Pay What You Decide model – but with all money raised going to art group The Art Bureau which recently saw it’s premises at the former St John’s Church in Blackburn destroyed by fire.

See Lancashire Briefs: Monologues by Lancashire People’s Theatre Stanley Arms, 24 Lancaster Road, Preston PR1 1DA on Thursday, May 16, at 7.30pm and Tuesday, May 21 at 7.30pm.

Lancashire Fringe Festival is a FREE event. 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!


Twitter: @lancashirepeop1

Louise Orwin’s Oh Yes Oh No comes to Lancashire Fringe Festival

oh yes with text

A playful, provocative journey through female sexuality and who gets to have a say in it, featuring Barbie’n’Ken role-play, a heady mix of pop culture references and dramatic sound design. Conceived, written and performed by Louise Orwin.

“Bold, brave work, and all the better for being filled with the voices of real women who, by speaking out, are staking a claim for their own erotic agency” The Guardian

And it’s part of Lancashire Fringe Festival. I know, I can hardly believe it either.

Made exclusively with the candid input of those willing to talk openly and honestly about their sex life, Oh Yes Oh No explores having sexual fantasies that don’t align with your politics.

Asking difficult questions about sexuality, Oh Yes Oh No interrogates identity, consent and power play, encouraging audiences to rethink their views on desire. Daring to speak about a subject which is rarely addressed publicly, especially in the wake of #MeToo, Oh Yes Oh No is for anyone who has ever struggled to find their sexual voice, or questioned the sexual culture they were brought up in.

Louise Orwin said of Oh Yes Oh No: “I am a survivor of sexual violence and I am obsessed with sex. Why does it feel like those two things shouldn’t exist in the same sentence? Oh Yes Oh No began its journey when I began to attempt to untangle these things from one another, in an effort to reclaim my sexuality for myself once and for all.

“I wanted to understand my desire, its complexities, the politics of being turned on by things that were possibly at odds with my politics. And I wanted to know whether other people had the same sort of neuroses surrounding their orgasms.

“The show is based on interviews I conducted all over the UK with those willing to openly and frankly discuss their sexuality and, in particular, with survivors of sexual violence. In it I ask what the price may be of living in a climate which prizes heteronormative desire and pornified punish-fucking, and what we can do to begin to own our turn-ons and celebrate them.

“Making the show in the tidal wave of #MeToo, I began feeling that, more than ever, those of us who have struggled with our sexuality have a responsibility and even a duty to be reclaiming our lives and bodies for ourselves. Oh Yes Oh No is playful, dark and very, very real.

“By putting the voices and stories of those who have never had a say in their own desire centre stage, it is a sucker punch to the gut, and a battle cry to uncovering the true power of asking for what you want.”

Louise Orwin is an award-winning writer, researcher and performance maker. She makes research-driven theatre projects about subjects that are close to home, hard to get your head around, and need to be spoken about.

She makes work about what it means to identify as female today, in a fast-moving, media-saturated world that prizes patriarchal, heteronormative narratives. Louise likes to make work that is provocative and brash, intimate, awkward at times, and generally filled with a heady dose of pop culture.

Her work has received great critical acclaim. Pretty Ugly, which delved into how teenage girls interact with the internet today, caused a bit of a media stir in 2014 as it went viral, and was featured national and international press all over the world: on the radio (Woman’s Hour, BBCR4), TV (Fusion News, ABC, US), and broadsheet press (Vogue, The Telegraph, The Independent, El Pais etc).

A Girl and A Gun, which explored women and violence on film, has been featured in The Guardian, Vice Magazine, and on the BBC Radio. She has toured work throughout the UK and Europe.

See Oh Yes Oh No by Louise Orwin at The Continental, South Meadow Lane, Preston PR1 8JP on Sunday, May 19, at 7.30pm.

Age Guidance 16+

Trigger Warning: Show contains description of sexual violence


Lancashire Fringe Festival is a FREE event. 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!


Website: http://louiseorwin.com/
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