Everybody knows that Edinburgh hosts the world’s largest Fringe Festival in August, but that means that lots of other cities host smaller festivals the month before. Manchester, of course, tends to get all the good stuff first. The Greater Manchester Fringe is back this July, now in its third year. Let’s take a look at some of the cult entertainment style shows on offer in 2017. And whilst you’re out in the city of Manchester to look at some shows, you may also want to grab a drink or two at local bars such as The Fab Café or The Tiger Lounge before heading off to your venue.
The Dead, Live! – Scytheplays Ltd, July 18th, TriBeca
Scytheplays can be relied on to deliver the chills. Their previous works tend to satisfy that niche interest, involving scary stories, sci-fi weirdness or simply retro-chic. The Dead, Live! is a clever stab at the ‘pyschic’ entertainment industry. It focuses on a chap called Lawrence Dodds, a popular 'psychic' medium who knows he's a fake, but the world of Spirit may have some shocks in store for him when someone unexpected attends one of his live shows.
Porky The Poet & Achtung!/Acting - Phil Jupitus, July 13th & 14th, Kings Arms
TV comedian, Beano reader and occasional Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band member Phil Jupitus adopts an alternate persona for a surreal and odd journey into his psyche.
The Magnificent Captain Moth – Ultramarine Theatre, July 15th & 16th, 22nd to 25th, 53two
What are superheroes for if they aren’t for helping us face our fears? When Lucy’s dreams are disturbed by danger in the darkness, out comes the Magnificent Captain Moth, to save the day. But why is he afraid of the dark? Will Lucy abandon the safety of her duvet to help a hero in trouble?
Christopher Bowles Live in Technicolour – Magpie Man Theatre, July 17th & 18th, Studio One
Christopher Bowles can be relied on to deliver insightful, terrifying and incredibly clever dialogue in a one-man performance from the award winning playwright. Expect to experience a full spectrum of emotions and oddness.
starke.florida: the final hours of Ted Bundy – Pact Productions, July 20th to 22nd, The Vaults.
Sunrise in the small town of Starke, hours before his execution, serial killer Ted Bundy requests a meeting with Florida detective Howard Stacker, a man who has spent the closing years of his service hunting down this demon. Expect tense drama.
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - Salford Arts Theatre's Young Performers Company, July 20th & 21st, Salford Arts
CS Lewis’s classic novel, performed by children for children and the young at heart. We can’t wait to see the Lion.
Conspiracy Theory: A Lizard's Tale - Half Rice/Half Chips, July 23rd, 28th & 30th, 53two
One man’s journey into the world of lizards and denial, the truth may be out there, but it’s probably nowhere near the characters in this cracking bit of fringe theatre.
Clonely - Jasmine Chatfield & Charlie Hammond, July 25th & 26th, Studio 1
Clonely is the sort of show that brings us to the GM Fringe. It’s an adventure in existential sci-fi crisis and a blend of absurd theatre with sci-fi cinema with DIY props. Expect lo-fi aesthetics, an awkward five minute docking scene, and long monologues about how dark and bleak space life is. Sounds great to us.
Super Hamlet 64: Parody DLC – Edward Day, July 24th to 26th, Kings Arms
An ocarina, a ukulele and a thirst for revenge. And a metric tonne of videogame nostalgia. Expect Shakespeare shoved into an 8bit world with plenty of liberties with the text. We expect local critics to hate it and fans to love it.
Planet Caravan - People Zoo Productions, July 28th & 29th, Oldham Library
Modestly subtitled the “The GREATEST tour of the Universe in the Universe!”, this family show features an intergalactic adventure, original songs and, of course, a caravan
You can find out more about Manchester’s own version of a fringe festival at the GM Fringe Website.SHARE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW OR ON TWITTER @STARBURST_MAG
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