From The Message Boards by Dan de la Motte at Lancashire Fringe Festival

dan de le motte (Natalie Mitchell 2)

Who doesn’t love a good comedy-lecture about the Royal Family and Daily Mail message board comments?

Lancashire Fringe Festival is proud to present From The Message Boards by Dan de la Motte.

When everything else in the world seems so uncertain, there’s only one news story that remains constant: the media’s infatuation with the Royal Family.

The show will be staged at the Harris Museum on Saturday May 18, starting at 7pm.

Dan picks this apart in an interactive comedy lecture which gets to the nub of what drives people to make the most banal, irrelevant, or downright weird, anonymous comments on the Mail Online message board.

In this interactive comedy piece, Dan picks apart our Royal family, and the Mail’s infatuation and fascination with them, through the Queer lens, as well as an exploration of what drives people to make the most weird, aggressive, or worse, banal comments anonymously on a message board.

Dan de la Motte is a comedian, performer and curator. As part of the Arcola Queer Collective, he was part of They, Them, We, Us, at the Arcola Theatre in April, and performs as part of the Soho Theatre Comedy Lab+.

Dan is a tour guide and host for Queer Tours of London, and a Resident Artist at Greenwich and Lewisham Young People’s Theatre, where he performed a version of this show in January. Dan is the voice of Off Book, the Young Vic Podcast.

See From The Message Boards by Dan de la Motte at Harris Museum, Market Square, Preston PR1 2PP 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!
Twitter: @Dandelamotte

Natalie Wardle’s Control Pant Symphony at Lancashire Fringe Festival


Love a bit of live art, me. And I’ve got this lovely, engaging, funny piece about beauty standards and body positivity by Natalie Wardle in Lancashire Fringe Festival.

Control Pant Symphony is a performance which looks at how women constrict their bodies to fit in with society’s ideal body types, exploring shape wear and tape that is placed over nipples to both cover and repress their form.

It’ll be amazing to see the work performed in the historic, beautiful space of Preston’s Harris Museum.

Natalie is a performance and visual artist from Manchester who has been selected to work with Random Acts North (Tyneside Cinema, True North, HOME) to develop Control Pant Symphony.

Her work has been seen on Channel 4’s Random Acts and at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. And this performance is part of developing her work into live-art performance, which has been performed at HOME (Manchester), Word of Warning – hÅb events, Live Art Bistro (Leeds) and is scheduled to perform at Camden’s People Theatre (London) in June.

See Control Pant Symphony by Natalie Wardle at Harris Museum, Market Square, Preston PR1 2PP  on Saturday May 18, at 7.45pm.

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: @nashywardle

A Rock N Roll Suicide! – Lee Mark Jones at Lancashire Fringe Festival

A Rock N Roll Suicide poster & flyer

Lee Mark Jones’ outrageous performance A Rock N Roll Suicide! is ready to rock Preston as part of  Lancashire Fringe Festival.

The in-your-face performance – which has had amazing reviews from a stint at Edinburgh Fringe -will play at Preston’s leading music venue The Ferret on Monday, May 20.

It’s a Ziggy Stardust-inspired tragical tour through the life of a nearly-rockstar, where darkness meets anarchy against a live music and video backdrop.

The show follows the bizarre life choices of Mark’s character, backed by a line-up of legendary music references including Lemmy, Slash, Axl, Blondie, Joey Ramone and Joan Jett.

The Theatre of the Wild, Beautiful and Damned specialises in chaotic and surreal contemporary theatre and performance, as a response to surrealism becoming mainstream.

Lee said: “I intend to attract a new kind of audience which does not usually go to the theatre; an audience craving strange journeys of darkness, horror, suspense, and wonder. All these thrills we will provoke into life, in the flesh, breathing and bleeding on stage, and right in your face.”

Good reviews:
“I love Lee, he’s dangerous and doesn’t give a f**k and I love that.” Chris Thorpe

“Among the most blisteringly bold theatre I’ve seen at this year’s Fringe. Regardless of whether you love it or hate it, one thing is certain: you will never forget it.” Miles Jackson EDFringe review 2018 ****

“It also has the gloriously anarchic edginess of the likes of ‘The Young Ones’ and ‘The Mighty Boosh’, while still absolutely creating its own persona. This is gloriously silly, wonderfully twisted, and from the mind of a very clever ‘boy’. We absolutely loved it. More please!” The Write Angle, Max Lantone

“Bold artistic instincts and vision.” Pippa Frith, Fierce Festival Producer.

Bad review:

“The show’s singular highlight was when Jones, dressed as Jesus, offered audience members the Holy Eucharist consisting of Monster Munch and cheap red wine? Take this advice literally and avoid this nightmare at all costs.” Lauren James EDFringe 2018 review  *

See A Rock N Roll Suicide! by Lee mark Jones at The Ferret, 55 Fylde Rd, Preston PR1 2XQ on Monday, May 20 at 8pm.

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: @TheatreDamned

Where There’s Muck, There’s Bras – Kate Fox at Lancashire Fringe Festival

where theres muck square

The wonderful Kate Fox will perform her hit show Where There’s Muck There’s Bras at Lancashire Fringe Festival.

The stand-up poet has performed her poetry on BBC1 and BBC2 as well as numerous radio shows. For Radio 4 she has made two comedy series The Price of Happiness.  She has been Poet in Residence for the Great North Run, Glastonbury Festival and Radio 4’s Saturday Live

Where There’s Muck, There’s Bras is a hilarious and thought-provoking show which sees Kate and actor Joanna Holden explore the Northern women you’ve heard of (and the ones you haven’t).

This performance lecture uncovers the hidden history of the writers, scientists, sportswomen, politicians, protestors, musicians and other heroines who make up a far more diverse North than we usually see.

In 2018 Kate completed a PhD at the University of Leeds about class, gender, Northern Englishness and stand-up and has published several academic papers and book chapters on comedy and performance. Her poetry collections have been published by Burning Eye Books, Smokestack and Valley Press.

She is a headline act in her own right who has also supported acts such as Linton Kwesi Johnson, Hollie McNish, John Cooper Clarke and John Hegley.

Where There’s Muck, There’s Bras, on at the Harris Museum at 7.30pm on Weds, May 22, was commissioned by Great Exhibition of the North 2018.

“Funny and endearing with a cynicism that cuts through the whimsy” Sunday Telegraph

“A wonderful storyteller” Three Weeks

“Reminds us of Victoria Wood, Alan Bennett and Willy Russell”

“The wordplay was linked by jokes and hilarious recollections” Fringe Guru

“She really is a true original” Cuckoo Review

“Captivating, funny and warm. Humble without being self-effacing” The F Word

“Carefully crafted hilarious chaos…Kate definitely gone on my must see again list” York Mix

‘Kate Fox is funny, quirky and a wonderful writer’ Sarah Millican

See Where’s There’s Muck There’s Bras by Kate Fox at the Harris Museum, Market Square, Preston PR1 2PP on Wednesday, May 22 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: @katefoxwriter

Catch 22 Years at Lancashire Fringe Festival


Lancashire Fringe Festival is over the bloody moon to have award-winning actress and comedienne Katie O’Brien perform her provocative one-woman show Catch 22 Years in Preston.

The show, happening on Friday, May 17, is a hugely alternative take on well-established taboo tales of addiction, challenging perceptions of recovery.

And I’m delighted that it will take place in the wonderful venue of Preston Central Methodist Church on Lune Street.

Katie has had flipping brilliant reviews for her past work – both in film and on stage. Her show Trishelle: Out Of Order was hailed as character comedy at it’s very best – but this new show takes the genre into a new direction, where Katie’s character-acting performance unravels into a confessional about her own life.

Catch 22 Years in an autobiographical show revealing what it is like to be a 37-year-old who is 22 years sober, meaning she gave up alcohol before she was even legally allowed to purchase it.

Hilarious, brutally honest, heart-warming and provocative, the show challenges perceptions of recovering from addiction, pathologising humanity and the quest for self-discovery.

It sees Katie transmute from her performance alter egos, in particular Trishelle – described as a “beautiful hot mess” by Bryony Kimmings – into other versions of herself until she is liberated on stage dropping all character.

Katie O’Brien is an Irish-born Londoner trained as a fine artist. She studied at Philippe Gaulier’s Paris-based Clown School and in 2016 won Best Supporting Actress at the British Independent Film Festival for her role in Is It Dead Yet.

This confessional performance is a big leap for Katie, revealing a secret she has kept from most people in her life for a long time: she is 22 years clean and she is challenging herself as a “recovering addict”, artist, performer and theatre maker with stories of crack cocaine to finding connections in a yoga class.


“Character comedy at it’s very best – brave, committed, brilliantly performed and – most importantly – completely hilarious!” ***** ToDoList 

“O’Brien’s performance defies both logic and explanation…. there’s definitely something captivating
about the way O’Brien brings these vivid characters to life.” The List

“Beyond twisted and side-splittingly funny… tantamount to a work of genius.” ***** Everything Theatre 

“The girl’s got balls… skill and charm… one to watch!” London Is Funny

“This lady is a stylish talent, & like all the best comedy storytellers has the ability to transport us into an unshakable reality of hilarity.” Laughs:  *****  Material:  **** Delivery:  *****  Mumble Comedy 

See Catch 22 Years by Katie O’Brien at Preston Central Methodist Church, Lune St, Preston PR1 2NL 8.15pm 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!

Website: http:/
Twitter: @Katiedoescomedy

Nannas With Banners come to Harris Museum for Lancashire Fringe Festival

Nannas with Banners web image
The nannas are coming!!!!!
A play about the passion and empowerment of a group of women who standing against the fracking industry will be performed at the Harris Museum as part of Lancashire Fringe Festival.
Written by Kirkham-based Jo Catlow-Morris, Nannas with Banners has been inspired by the words and testimonies of a group of extraordinary protesters who have become famous world-wide for their opposition to the development of a fracking site – the exploration and the drilling of shale gas in Lancashire – on Preston New Road near Blackpool.
The play has been developed with the anti-fracking nannas and several of them take part in the passionate, funny, empowering and engaging performance.
Nannas with Banners is Jo’s first full scale theatre project. Over the last 12 months she has worked with the nannas to write, develop and produce the show. It was performed for the first time at Blackpool Grand Theatre last autumn.
The nannas decided to take a stand against fracking in because of the environmental risks associated with the process.
They took on the mantle of the Lancashire matriarch in a bid to dispel the misplaced belief that they were professional activists. In fact, they are mothers and grandmothers and working women – artists, barbers, teachers, bakers and healthcare professionals.
The Nannas are passionate in their stance for the environment and a safe and clean future for all our children and grandchildren.
The play has taken testimonies of the nannas and woven them into a tapestry of wonderful words, music and expression.
See Nannas With Banners at the Harris Museum, Market Square, Preston PR1 2PP on Wednesday, May 22 at 7pm.

Louise Fazackerley to launch Lancashire Fringe Festival

louise poet red flower dress Benji Reid

Louise Fazackerley will launch Lancashire Fringe Festival on Wednesday, May 15, at Vinyl Tap in Preston.

The brilliant spoken-word performer debuts new show The Secret at the festival.

Louise, who has supported the godfather of punk poetry John Cooper Clarke, last played in Preston to a sell-out crowd of over 80 people.

The pop poet has appeared on BBC 1’s Breakfast show, as well as BBC Radio 3 and 4, performing to millions of people and talking about issues surrounding poetry and northern life.

Her work has been hailed by several of the UK’s best poets and literary icons:

‘A great performer’ Will Self
‘A voice that tingles with promise’ Ian McMillan
‘That was amazing and I’ve been a poet for 34 years. Will you come and do my festival?’ Attila the Stockbroker
‘A class act… I love her, you will too’ John Cooper Clarke

Much of the inspiration for her funny, bitter-sweet and observational work comes from Louise’s home town of Wigan.

Love Is A Battlefield, one of three albums Louise has recorded, is a result of a New Voices commission from BBC Radio 3’s The Verb. The set addresses the after-effects of war on the social and domestic lives of soldiers.

Louise will be supported by three poets selected from the festival’s new commission call out, aimed at developing new regional north-west talent.

See Louise at Vinyl Tap Preston, 28-30 Adelphi St, Preston PR1 7BE on Wednesday, May 15. Show starts 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!

Louise Fazackerley’s website.
Twitter: @louisethepoet
Photo: Benji Reid

Lancashire Fringe Festival 2019 (Preston May 15-24)

lff flyer 2019 digitalIt’s taken a while to get this far – and the worst bit has been having to turn down some of my favourite people and performers because I couldn’t find them a venue. I was working had on this until last night. But some other brilliant shows have squeezed their way into the festival, not least because of the help of some amazing people like Catherine Mugonyi (Harris Museum), and Kelly Graves & Chris Gilligan (Derelict).

One thing I’ve learned through all this is that if you sit at your desk all day and bang your head on the keyboard enough times, nothing changes.

I think I’ve got some of the best performers in the country appearing at this festival. I think that, because I have.

There’s still a lot of work to do and this next month I will be promoting the hell out of this festival. My aim is to get people who don’t see much live stuff to come along, enjoy themselves and experience something wonderful. If you think you know someone like that – or if you think that might be you – get in touch, speak to me, take a leap of faith and come along to the festival.

These events don’t work unless people come to them. And Preston won’t develop into the arts and cultural hub it wants to be unless you – the people – turn up.

Possibly the most important thing to say is that all the events in this festival are FREE. No charge to you.

I’m using a Pay What You Decide model, which means can put some money in a bucket after the show, should you wish. (It may be that some shows have a ticket system with a nominal refundable fee – but that will only be so we can manage venues with a strict capacity).

I’m now going to do my best not to fall out with tortured poets and diva performers. Wish me luck and see you on Wednesday, May 15.


Lancashire Evening Post on Lancashire Fringe Festival

The Lancashire Evening Post also wrote about us. This is the link to their online article.

Or, this is what they said:

A NEW performance arts festival, showcasing some of the country’s best live acts, is to launch in Preston next weekend.

Lancashire Fringe Festival is a unique event for stand-up comedians, improvisation acts and spoken word performers.

Several hit performers from the Edinburgh Fringe are booked in to entertain over Friday and Saturday nights (July 15 and 16) at the Ham and Jam Coffee Shop in Lancaster Road.

Organiser Garry Cook said: “The idea is to bring some of the greatest entertainment and comedy acts in the country to Lancashire, so people can see great performances and comedy on their doorstep. I’ve invited some of the best acts from last year’s Edinburgh Fringe festival to perform, plus several others who are expected to be huge hits this year.”

Liverpool-based performer Joanne Tremarco is bringing her brilliant and controversial improvised show to the city on the Friday.

On Saturday Juliette Burton , who had a sell-out run in Edinburgh last year, will perform her brand new show Decision Time which she is taking to Scotland later in the summer.

Blog Preston on Lancashire Fringe Festival

Those lovely people at Blog Preston previewed Lancashire Frinage Festival. You can read the article on their website here.

Or, this is the article here:

Lancashire Fringe Festival is the new performance arts show launching in Preston on 15th-16th July at Ham & Jam Coffee Shop, Lancaster Road.

The free event will showcase the country’s best live acts including stand-up comedians, improvisation and spoken word performers.

Organiser Garry Cook has devised a major line-up featuring some of best acts from last year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival as well as several newcomers who are expected to be huge hits this year.

Cook told Blog Preston: “The idea is to bring some of the best entertainment and comedy acts in the country to Lancashire – so people can see great performances and comedy on their doorsteps.”

The headline act is Joanne Tremarco, a Liverpool-based performer, who became one of the biggest hits at the Fringe Festival in 2015.

After performing her show over 150 times worldwide, Tremarco has received huge acclaim for the piece described as “a genuinely remarkable piece of theatre. Tremarco is utterly captivating.”

The Lancashire Fringe is coming weeks before the Edinburgh Festival 2016 starts, giving you chance to see fresh material before everyone else.

Other performances include talent from around Lancashire and the North-West, such as Charlotte Berry, an ex-University of Central Lancashire Contemporary Theatre and Performance student, who will showcase Crystal Vision.

The festival will also feature the work of Wigan-based conceptual artist Claire Doyle and UCLan Graduate Frances Kay’s shockingly beautiful durational work ‘Sorry’.

Exciting Chorley-based comedian John Porter will preview his new Edinburgh Fringe show Lunatic (of the) Fringe.

Audiences can come and go as they please without charge, and they can leave donations at the end of a performance going directly to the performers, helping cover their travel costs, if people wish.

Cook added: “Free really is free. The audience can come and go as they please. You can come and watch one act, leave, and then come back later if there’s another act you think you might like.”

The Ham & Jam Coffee Shop, run by Richard Lowthian, a keen supporter of local arts in Preston and Lancashire, will have an alcohol licence for both nights allowing audiences to have the full festival experience – or you can have coffee.

To discover the full list of performers, visit Organiser Gary Cook can be contacted via email:, twitter: @gazcook, or mobile 07976 579 522.

Ham & Jam Coffee Shop is located at 50 Lancaster Rd, Preston, Lancashire, PR1 1DD.